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My Stag Caught Fire !!!

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    Originally posted by marshman View Post

    Sorry to hear of your incident and glad the damage was minimal. Hopefully a valuable lesson learnt, however I have a few comments to make:

    Sorry to sound harsh but the basic issue came from fitting non original components (Halogen headlamps) onto the car and not double/triple checking insulation, clearance etc. before closing it all up. Then compounding the issue by not fusing correctly. Now you are thinking of fitting some devices to your car which may well be worse than the fuse you originally fitted, (see below).

    Yes, your comments are quite valid to a degree. There is a balance over one safety point over another. The original lamps were pitiful and dangerous in certain situations, so upgrading them to halogen was not an unreasonable thing to do. Knowing the loading increase AND trying to prevent bringing high power into the cabin past the firewall (Which Triumph did on the original wiring) I fitted isolation relays.

    These were correctly specified, as were all all cables which were soldered and fuses put in place. My wiring gave no trouble nor did the relays, and the fuse did blow. BUT you are correct I made some mistakes.
    1. I did not check the new harness supplied by James Paddock ( a reputable supplier) as I did not expect the pins to be sticking out, which they do
    2. I also did not check the clearance of the lamps in the bowls. After a long day I probably rushed the re-assembly too much... lesson learnt
    3. I did not think carefully enough about the fusing which was made worse by some muddled thinking which was:
    4. Originally had had planned two feeds but then I thought the way I designed the relay operation the dips and mains can never be on the same time so I only need one feed rated for the higher load (Main beam 4x55W). This was a mistake.
    Yes I really do take your points. I have now re-designed with two feeds and each lamp fused separately. I try to look on the bright side, its better to have a small mistake highlight things that help you improve everything. So now I will have:

    Much improved wiring and fuses. Also I will have two types of fire extinguishers handy. I also will think through strtaergies on how to deal with fires, etc...

    I doubt many people will put as much thought into safety going forwards as I will now. So yes, you are right, some careful planning ruined by poor mistakes on my behalf, but yet from it I will be in a much better place going forwards and that may not have happened without those same mistakes... we are after all... human.


      Dave (Bakdraft007),

      Hope you didn't take my post as knocking you personally. I think this thread has got some valuable "take aways" for everyone, be it checking the quality and suitability of newly supplied items and taking nothing for granted, double checking the installation and any work you do, thinking through the consequences of any changes you do and any possible fault conditions and last but not least the wisdom of having a suitable fire extinguisher to hand for when the unexpected happens. I too have made many, many mistakes in my time, some understandable others ... well let's just say I was a lot younger and less worldly wise - Welding a section of chassis next to a freshly waxoyled floorpan was not my finest moment, amazing how quickly the flame front spreads across fresh waxoyl - saving grace was a) C02 extinguisher very close to hand and b) car was over a pit so easy access to the fire - a couple of 3 second blasts and it was out.

      Another point about extinguishers, don't just get one, read the instructions and make sure you know how to use it, you don't want to waste valuable time reading instructions instead of putting out a fire - I'm sure Jeff could give us all a few pointers on the do's, don'ts and how to's on that subject.

      White TV8 BW35 no mods and now a Dolly Sprint to keep it company
      So many cars, so little time!


        Originally posted by marshman View Post
        I too have made many, many mistakes in my time
        You are not alone, Roger.

        Daughter: Dad, can you fit some wall cupboards in my utility room, please?

        Me: yes, no problem, I’ll do it on Wednesday.

        Started the job today. Fixed hanging brackets for first cupboard and hung it on the wall. Then noticed nothing on the digital panel for the boiler control timer. ????? First time ever, I’d drilled clean through one of the wires. My stud/wire finder hadn’t picked it up. Had to call my electrician nephew to come out after work and fix it. Oops!
        1974 Mk2, ZF Auto, 3.45 Diff, Datsun Driveshafts. Stag owner/maintainer since 1989.


          Originally posted by marshman View Post
          Dave (Bakdraft007),

          Hope you didn't take my post as knocking you personally.

          Not at all, your words of wisdom were just that, not offended at all... I am really happy to learn. I love my stag... 60 jobs in since I got her, and am greatful to this forum for the advise and insights people have.

          Speaking of funnys...

          I finished the front room... hung the 55" TV on the wall... stood back to admire.. just as the bracket slowly came off the wall. Grabbed it by to corners at the same end... tried to hold it but failed... it slowly went down and lightly clunked the floor on the corner... phew... got away with that one... well at least till i turned it on.. the screen had a cracks like a spiders web...

          I have just received the first fire extinguisher. The fire stick site says email them for a supplier... which I have done, but nobody as yest has got back to me.


            I spotted fire sticks on Amazon.
            Header tanks - you can't beat a bit of bling.


              So, I toook today off work to rework the headlamps and see how bad the damage was. I was att it from 8am to 5pm... hard going.

              I started with a clean up. The paint was noo too bad where it it shows... in fact you can't tell when the covers are on that anything happened..

              here is a before and after...


              I will get my paint guy to rework the area in the summer, when I have a few more things for him

              I took the opportunity do several things.
              1. I went with the original metal bowls as I liked the fact they acted as a firewall but I had to replace the melted adjusters as they are plastic. This meant I had to drill out the melted platic and re-tap them (1/4 32tpi) Lukily that went well. I also lined the bowl where the connector sits with duck tape to add some insulation
              2. I covered the back of the connectors with silicon to prevent any chance of shorting.
              3. I added a 4th relay, as somebody earlier in this thread mentioned they had set them to go off if the ignition is off. This is a good idea not only to prevent draining the battery but also, when the fires started I jumped out and actually forgot to tuen the lights off due to them being a separate switch.
              4. Each of the 4 units now as its own fuses. and the feed wires are fused
              5. I completely reviewd the wiring to ensure no possibility of chaffing or rubbing etc.
              6. I fitted the fire extinguisher
              The only problem with adding so many fuses is each one is another connection point that could go wrong....

              She is now back to normal, lights working great and hopefully I can put the whole episode behind me now... still you live and learn.


                I have now tested a resettable fuse as promised and posted about it here:

                White TV8 BW35 no mods and now a Dolly Sprint to keep it company
                So many cars, so little time!