Refueling - Spraying Fuel

Jerry Zaiden

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Problem is the vent ball in the tank is probably light plastic and with the volume of air flowing past the ball it gets sucked up due to the volume of air flow above the ball and causes the vent to close. When the vent is closed the air and fuel can't escape out the vent causing pressure in the tank and most likely not a full tank.

We make a billet tube that welds to the bottom of the fuel fill plate on the vent side. This thick billet tube has larger oval holes to allow more air to flow further away from the ball so the ball can't get sucked up into closing the vent. This is a large metal ball. This way the vent can't siphon the ball to close the vent and fill the tank with pressure closing off the vent.

This also insures the tank gets filled 100%

I'm sharing this info so maybe this can help reduce the risk of an accident.
 

BmfJ33

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I was at this pit. This was an error between fueler and “deadman” valve communication. The fueler was trying to time and pull away before valve was closed therefore ending any pressure into the hose/truck/cell. The pressure pushed the redhead valve on the truck and it got stuck crooked in the truck and tore the seal on the fuel head. We learned from this and after speaking with multiple teams and Pressure Pro we fixed our problem and continued to use it safely and properly.
 

Ranch Hand

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On the PLUS Side - Fuel Man did NOT panic when the Red Head started to spray. He quickly got the hose away from the truck and the right rear tire carrier also quickly noticed that the fuel intake receptacle was spraying and started to reset the disconnect. Fuel man hustled back to the truck and finished reseating the valve.

On the Minus Side - I did nor see ANY type of Fire Repression equipment in the pit. The tire carrier did not have on a Fire Protection suit.

ALL teams need to have multiple Fire Extinguishers available during refueling and outfit their crews in proper protective clothing. I totally realize that
there is a large expense involved in outfitting your Pit Crew, but it sure is cheaper than Med-Evac helicopters, Hospital and Burn Care Rehab and possible
funeral expenses for a racing friend.






















reefueler
 

Charlietuna

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To be fair, the video says it's from 2019....I was under the impression that the rules now required firesuits for anybody that touches the truck during a pit stop. If that's incorrect, then it damn sure should be the rule.
 

tapeworm

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On the PLUS Side - Fuel Man did NOT panic when the Red Head started to spray. He quickly got the hose away from the truck and the right rear tire carrier also quickly noticed that the fuel intake receptacle was spraying and started to reset the disconnect. Fuel man hustled back to the truck and finished reseating the valve.

On the Minus Side - I did nor see ANY type of Fire Repression equipment in the pit. The tire carrier did not have on a Fire Protection suit.

ALL teams need to have multiple Fire Extinguishers available during refueling and outfit their crews in proper protective clothing. I totally realize that
there is a large expense involved in outfitting your Pit Crew, but it sure is cheaper than Med-Evac helicopters, Hospital and Burn Care Rehab and possible
funeral expenses for a racing friend.






















reefueler
Everyone seems to think that having everyone in fire retardant suits while fueling is going to greatly reduce burn injuries which isn’t typically true. Nomex burns. A simple test, take a lighter and hold it up against a nomex suit and watch a hole get burnt in the material, pull the lighter away and the flame self extinguished due to the makeup of the material. Now do the same test with a gasoline soaked piece of nomex and the flame won’t self ignite. The accelerant will continue to burn until it’s completely burned off.

min these fueling instances the nomex suit is not going to keep you from getting burned. They are simply going to continue burning and be a real pain in the ass to pull off if they do ignite. In the case of gasoline soaked materials a two or 3 cotton long sleeve shirts and jeans offer as much protection as gasoline covered nomex.

Now the liquid resistant apron will actually provide more protection for the fuel crew. This is an integral part of a firefighters ensemble as well, a moisture barrier. With an open back and Velcro, these can be made to shed quickly in the case the garment does catch on fire.

It seems as though everyone keeps reiterating driving suits and extinguishers as being the safe fueling practice but that isn’t necessarily true. You need people who know how to use a fire extinguisher and can distinguish between saving a race car or saving a life and fueling aprons and sleeves to truly provide much more risk reduction.

Even with all the proper PPE, I still wouldn’t use one of those pressure pro systems. Too much risk involved IF a small mishap occurs. There may be little risk involved when everything works properly, but the risk of injury and harm is HUGE when there is a issue with the system. Dump cans have more risk involved even when everything is working properly, but the risk is much lower with the tendency to have smaller consequences when you do get a fuel spill. There is much less available surface area and atomization of liquid during the dump can process compared the the pressure pro process, therefore reducing your volatility of ignition during the fueling process when everything is going wrong.

Again, low chance of fire when the pressure pro works correctly, but big chance of fire and explosion when something goes wrong. Higher chance of fire with dump cans when everything is going right, but lower chance of fire and ZERO chance of explosion with dump cans or a gravity tower.

Either way, fueling in off road racing is one big mishap away from a major change just like many of the previous motor sports in years past.
 

Slippery P

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The ping pong ball discriminator valves are Junk!
 

Dirtman

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Everyone seems to think that having everyone in fire retardant suits while fueling is going to greatly reduce burn injuries which isn’t typically true. Nomex burns. A simple test, take a lighter and hold it up against a nomex suit and watch a hole get burnt in the material, pull the lighter away and the flame self extinguished due to the makeup of the material. Now do the same test with a gasoline soaked piece of nomex and the flame won’t self ignite. The accelerant will continue to burn until it’s completely burned off.

min these fueling instances the nomex suit is not going to keep you from getting burned. They are simply going to continue burning and be a real pain in the ass to pull off if they do ignite. In the case of gasoline soaked materials a two or 3 cotton long sleeve shirts and jeans offer as much protection as gasoline covered nomex.

Now the liquid resistant apron will actually provide more protection for the fuel crew. This is an integral part of a firefighters ensemble as well, a moisture barrier. With an open back and Velcro, these can be made to shed quickly in the case the garment does catch on fire.

It seems as though everyone keeps reiterating driving suits and extinguishers as being the safe fueling practice but that isn’t necessarily true. You need people who know how to use a fire extinguisher and can distinguish between saving a race car or saving a life and fueling aprons and sleeves to truly provide much more risk reduction.

Even with all the proper PPE, I still wouldn’t use one of those pressure pro systems. Too much risk involved IF a small mishap occurs. There may be little risk involved when everything works properly, but the risk of injury and harm is HUGE when there is a issue with the system. Dump cans have more risk involved even when everything is working properly, but the risk is much lower with the tendency to have smaller consequences when you do get a fuel spill. There is much less available surface area and atomization of liquid during the dump can process compared the the pressure pro process, therefore reducing your volatility of ignition during the fueling process when everything is going wrong.

Again, low chance of fire when the pressure pro works correctly, but big chance of fire and explosion when something goes wrong. Higher chance of fire with dump cans when everything is going right, but lower chance of fire and ZERO chance of explosion with dump cans or a gravity tower.

Either way, fueling in off road racing is one big mishap away from a major change just like many of the previous motor sports in years past.
I completely agree with you but I think we are in the minority. When the bad thing happens everyone will be quick to blame the fueler, the deadman guy, who did or didn't have extinguisher, or somebody screwed up on the particular fuel cell set up. I went through decades of experience in an industry where we were dealing with high pressure and temperature fuel vessels. When someone made a mistake and equipment/people were destroyed everyone was quick to blame the well trained and well paid guy who made the mistake. Finally the industry realized you must design and engineer the system to be safe even when the smart, well trained guy makes a mistake. Of course we don't have to worry about our volunteer guys making a mistake at 3 AM halfway down the peninsula. But when they do we can all quickly place blame on them.
 

43mod

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Tapeworm thats a good post . I had not thought out the fire suit explanation like that before . In short fire suit is best for a dry fire situation buying time to get out . Not for fuel soak fire protection .
 

Jerry Zaiden

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I was at this pit. This was an error between fueler and “deadman” valve communication. The fueler was trying to time and pull away before valve was closed therefore ending any pressure into the hose/truck/cell. The pressure pushed the redhead valve on the truck and it got stuck crooked in the truck and tore the seal on the fuel head. We learned from this and after speaking with multiple teams and Pressure Pro we fixed our problem and continued to use it safely and properly.
There is pressure in the tank in this video. This is caused by the vent ball closing and being backed by pressure. This has nothing to do with the redhead. THereis literally 6-10psi in that tank. We can fill our truck all the way and then press on the redhead and have no fuel with pressure come out.
The ping pong ball discriminator valves are Junk!
THey work fine for there design. They are just not designed for the quick filling we are doing with a pressure pro.
 

MTPyle

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Jerry

not sure about this as I have not tried but by removing the feed from the cell while it’s pressurized I think you can create or “leave” pressure in the cell.

buy pulling out the red head while still filling you close off the vent also, while still shoving fuel in.

the small vent can not move much air. Ours has a -10 vent with descriminator that’s only to replace fuel as it’s used or vent with heat expansion. The main vent is hooked up to the PP lines and in this case was closed while under pressure.

not saying the main roll over ball or vent in this set up did not fail but I think even with a proper designed system you could end up with pressure if you pull while filling.

When we switched to PP we made a lot of mods to our system. The main one was the longer tube with a heavy steel ball on the main vent. Let’s more air thru and the air can not push the ball closed.

we also added a long tube on the fill to make sure we are filling the cell from the bottom and not allowing fuel to cross over to the vent during fueling. And kept the flapper valve on the fill side for rollover

then we added a better discriminator valve on the small vent.

I will be honest it was hard to get the info on what to do when we made the switch. Took a lot of research and calling around to get answers. I could see how someone could set it up wrong.

Anyone messing with fuel cells should call the experts like Jerry or the other truck builders. Without any drawings or design rules it’s easy to get it wrong. Not to throw Harmon under the bus but even they did not totally understand the PP set up. Nor did a couple other people I talked to that should have known. lots of mis information out there.

Mike
 

michael.gonzalez

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Is it time to bring back the Wiki-off-road-guide?

Link to shared document:

Feel free to use this document to suggest safety procedures when fueling. (SEE HIGHLIGHTED FUELING SAFETY SECTION)

Mike and Jerry and any others. Your input is valuable and appreciated.
 

Slippery P

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There is pressure in the tank in this video. This is caused by the vent ball closing and being backed by pressure. This has nothing to do with the redhead. THereis literally 6-10psi in that tank. We can fill our truck all the way and then press on the redhead and have no fuel with pressure come out.

THey work fine for there design. They are just not designed for the quick filling we are doing with a pressure pro.
They do not work fine when the truck rolls over and fuel flows through the discriminator fast enough to cause a pressure differential that causes the balls not to seat and do their job properly allowing fuel to dump out the cell. FIA has approved discriminator valves for a reason.
 

Slippery P

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EBDB9BC6-BDCD-46DD-A390-DA5BED56A522.jpeg

Look in the right hand of the fueler...
These things happen, it’s how you deal with it that matters, these guys In my opinion handled the situation fairly well, calm no body panicked, and nobody got hurt. Should there be someone standing there with a fire suppression bottle absolutely. Hopefully they learned from this and adapted.
 

jon coleman

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i think sanctioning bodys should look at restricted fuel zones at the races, ie No camping, kids, spectators, non essential persons not involved with fueling ONLY, eliminates a Lot of unnecessary fire/ fuel exposure possibilities, have main pits still, tires, mechanical work, family& friends,ect, just No fueling!, thats in a restricted , manned by a volunteer type fire crew, Away from the general public
 

MTPyle

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I think things are going in the right direction. Lots of teams fueling with zero issues. I bet even BJ’s team learned from this and made the adjustments. They have not had an issue since and this was 2 years ago.

this is just more hype to cause drama. Haha.

I will say it again, the PP properly set up and used correctly is the safest way to fuel a desert race vehicle. Period. I have no problem pitting next to a team that has one.

Mike
 

jon coleman

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thumbs up, MT, its like why not argue 35000 deaths on the freeways and arguing to Stay Home!!, or , *SHARK ATTACK*( no more surfing, i think mixing humans and dangerous things is DANGEROUS, period
 
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