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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a cross post from celicasupra forums, credit to aerojock there.

Looks like a ton of fuel vapors we're leaking from the vehicle ignited.
Pretty crazy, looks like a Michal Bay move or something.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Agreed
 

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90T
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Probably some modded fuel system with the pump cutoff deleted or pressurized lines with worm clamps. I see so many dangerous fuel system mods on facebook that are the fruit of ignorance and cheapness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It had to be dumping fuel everywhere to set it off like that.
Lifted the rear of the car.
 

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Typically that kind of blast in a gasoline vehicle happens when an existing fire heats up a 1/4 to 1/2 full fuel tank or fuel cell of some kind to the point where the fuel boils and the tank 'pops' in the presence of an ignition source. Tracers from an MG can occasionally get this effect but the car/truck needs to already be burning for it to work for sure.

Given the age of these cars, the stock wheels, and muffler shop stock-style muffler - I suspect corrosion/damage to a fuel line toward the rear of the car that caused a small fuel leak. Hot exhaust piping on the highway, fuel drips on it, and the car catches fire... whereupon the fire burned long enough to heat the gas tank as described above, and RIP one red 91-92 targa Supra.

If it had a set of shitty wheels and an ebay muffler on it, I'd suspect shitty wrench work causing a fuel leak, but the end result is the same.
 
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I posted this on FB but people talk about fuel flow, lines etc and yet i have not seen ANYONE properly address fuel tank venting.

Most everyone caps the OEM fuel vent line (which is tiny compared to some fuel flow amounts and capping will starve the fuel pump) or worse yet, just vent the tank to atmosphere without any hose, check valves, flame arrestors etc.

The most dangerous part of gasoline is not the liquid, it is the vapors as the vapors will ignite with anything (ESD, cigarette etc).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah it's always the vapors.
You can ignite a plastic gas can sitting on the ground, it will melt the top off and just sit there burning at the top level only.
Slowly melting it's way down as the gas vaporizes and burns away slowly.
The can will only explode if it's mostly vapor inside.

Throw some idiot into the mix where they kick the fuel can and you have a huge fireball as well as a burning person running around.
I'm sure there are some YouTube clips of this around.
 
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Scary....I hope everyone is ok :(

This is a lesson to anybody who has driven on salted roads, or simply driven a lot on wet roads over the past 30 or so years...those fuel hard lines at the back rust out over time, especially where they run under the frame....even my Camry rusted out there so I replaced the lines from front to back.

Thankfully my Supra came from the south of Japan, so appears to have never been driven on salted roads, based on the lack of rust underneath it.

Its a lesson for all of us to get our cars up on a hoist and inspect everything very closely, and deal with any issues before we become a clip on the internet too
 

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stainless steel lines, harder to work with but salt resistant. Works wonderfully for brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Since you are local, has there been a determination of what went wrong?
 

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Now that's a Hot car! Too Soon?

260010


In all seriousness I hope no one got hurt.
 

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I do not want to be that guy. I always check for leaks after opening up the fuel system without starting the car by jumping in the diagnostic block to activate the fuel pump manually. Having flexible rubber hoses that are 34 years old is worry enough. Normal fuel pressure is around 42 psi.
 

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@figgie Fuel cell venting is a consideration I've had to make with my car. Currently, I have a hose that connects the cell's vent port with a -6 AN bulkhead fitting that vents on the outside of the hatch seal, above the tail light. Worst thing that's become of it so far is that the vapors condense and run down the tail light, which has caused some deterioration of the plastidip on the bumper.

I was considering running that line to a small charcoal canister, then either running it to the intake through a check valve of some sort, or venting to atmosphere.

We had a fuel tank pressure scare once, in order to get off a mountain pass in the middle of nowhere, many miles out of cell service, I capped (with a small vent hole) the breather line. Mechanical fuel pump was causing the fuel to boil, and as you're aware, vaporized gas doesn't "pump" too well. Hence the engine wouldn't run without extra pressure (I think) to raise the boiling point of the fuel. We got where we were going, but it's only by the grace of God that the car didn't explode, in quite literally the very worst place possible... the gas station we tried to fill up at.

Man, when I read that back, it makes me realize this thread very likely could have been about me.
 
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@figgie Fuel cell venting is a consideration I've had to make with my car. Currently, I have a hose that connects the cell's vent port with a -6 AN bulkhead fitting that vents on the outside of the hatch seal, above the tail light. Worst thing that's become of it so far is that the vapors condense and run down the tail light, which has caused some deterioration of the plastidip on the bumper.

I was considering running that line to a small charcoal canister, then either running it to the intake through a check valve of some sort, or venting to atmosphere.

We had a fuel tank pressure scare once, in order to get off a mountain pass in the middle of nowhere, many miles out of cell service, I capped (with a small vent hole) the breather line. Mechanical fuel pump was causing the fuel to boil, and as you're aware, vaporized gas doesn't "pump" too well. Hence the engine wouldn't run without extra pressure (I think) to raise the boiling point of the fuel. We got where we were going, but it's only by the grace of God that the car didn't explode, in quite literally the very worst place possible... the gas station we tried to fill up at.

Man, when I read that back, it makes me realize this thread very likely could have been about me.
oooof. Glad everything worked out. Mechanical fuel pumps are a different breed as they are sized for the max output but that also impacts low rpm output, which might be way to much even at idle. NO way around that though if it cooks the fuel. I was thinking of taking the OEM charcoal canister apart to see what it is and how it works. My guess is with bigger ports (and perhaps a check valve) it should work.

Or maybe a custom one based on the same design just bigger (the trick would be what to use for the carbon inside the canister).
 

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@figgie Fuel cell venting is a consideration I've had to make with my car. Currently, I have a hose that connects the cell's vent port with a -6 AN bulkhead fitting that vents on the outside of the hatch seal, above the tail light. Worst thing that's become of it so far is that the vapors condense and run down the tail light, which has caused some deterioration of the plastidip on the bumper.

I was considering running that line to a small charcoal canister, then either running it to the intake through a check valve of some sort, or venting to atmosphere.

We had a fuel tank pressure scare once, in order to get off a mountain pass in the middle of nowhere, many miles out of cell service, I capped (with a small vent hole) the breather line. Mechanical fuel pump was causing the fuel to boil, and as you're aware, vaporized gas doesn't "pump" too well. Hence the engine wouldn't run without extra pressure (I think) to raise the boiling point of the fuel. We got where we were going, but it's only by the grace of God that the car didn't explode, in quite literally the very worst place possible... the gas station we tried to fill up at.

Man, when I read that back, it makes me realize this thread very likely could have been about me.
Not sure if this makes you feel any better, but between open vented fuel cells and totally sealed fuel systems with no pressure venting, I've seen open vented fuel cells burn down more cars. Hot day + vented fuel cell or stock tank + nearby ignition source = bad day. Modern fuel cells with open vents that have flame arrestors and other good features can mitigate this risk substantially but there's no getting around the fact that fumes burn.

Totally sealed systems are only a problem when total heat and pressure causes a leak near an ignition source, and the resulting fire heats things up enough to cause it to pop.
Much less likely overall, just makes a more exciting video if if does. In your case, Brad, I suspect that your attention to detail led you to use good fittings and quality lines etc and the whole fuel system had enough passive cooling to keep max fuel temp below any sort of ignition risk.
 

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@figgie @Wreckless

To clarify gents, I am no longer using that mechanical fuel pump, it was pulled out of the system about a day later. It is now being put on a 6m powered 1980 Corolla running methanol and tearing up the 1/8 mile down in Tuscon, so at least the pump went to a more appropriate car. I'm now running the Bosch 044 that was being used as a primer pump for the mechanical. This too, will change to an in-tank setup eventually.

I do believe ATL has a flame arrestor fitting, I really should look into that before I cause my own Car-B-Que. That never ends well.

HEY TOYOTA, MAKE US SOME MODERN GAS TANKS TO REPLACE ALL THE NASTY ONES STILL IN USE IN MK3'S... Please! ;)
 
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