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CO2 Extinguisher as Prophylactic Measure for Runaway Diesel?

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CO2 Extinguisher as Prophylactic Measure for Runaway Diesel?

 
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Old 03-23-2019, 12:12 PM
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CO2 Extinguisher as Prophylactic Measure for Runaway Diesel?

While chatting with a person on my website, we got to talking about runaway Diesel engines. It got me thinking about any precautions that can be done to stop a runaway. I've heard of guys swaddling their air cleaners with rags and bags to stop the airflow, however in the IDI van, there isn't really a good way to reach the turbo air filter. If I have a runaway in my van, I'm basically screwed, because I wouldn't want to reach my body into the narrow engine bay when the engine is revving up to 4000 RPMs, and after the time spent I get the doghouse off, I'm sure it'll have already seized up by that time.

So I thought, I already have a fire extinguisher in my van for any sort of possible issue in the cab. It's an ABC extinguisher, but what if I got a CO2 extinguisher instead? Then could I theoretically spray it into the air filter to cut off the oxygen supply and stop the runaway in a safer way?

What are repercussions of spraying CO2 into the intake? Does that particular gas cause any potential damage to the cylinder heads or chambers? I'd wager it's worth the risk, since allowing a runaway to continue is guaranteed catastrophic engine failure.

I'm mainly just thinking out loud here. What do you guys think? Have any of you used CO2 to kill an engine?
 
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Old 03-23-2019, 12:14 PM
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Also, what about putting a shut-off valve on the oil-feed line? For the banks kit, it would be a pretty simple install, on the port near the oil cooler. On the hypermax, it would be less accessible, but pulling the doghouse back just enough to reach the valve would be pretty easy.
 
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Old 03-23-2019, 03:27 PM
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I doubt you'll ever have a turbo fed runaway so all that valve would do it toast your turbo, you can stop runaways with any fire extinguisher, but it's not good for all that powder to get in there. If you got a co2 one it would kill it without hurting a thing.

It's basically what we breathe out and what your exhaust puts out. Just get one big enough. Our engines suck a lot of cfm
 
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:32 PM
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Postive air shut off valve would be better if your worried about a runaway. See them on semis and some equipment.
 
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:56 PM
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Before you get the tools out: How prone to runaway is the IDI motor? What is the usual cause? How likely is it to happen?

I don't look at every diesel forum post here but I don't recall any titled "Had a runaway....", or everyone's favorite, "Watch my runaway video" (with a Ford engine)

Just a thought.

You could plumb a tube into the intake, and terminate it in an easy to get to spot--like your footwell. Use a threaded cap, and you could put the CO2 in via that remote line.
 
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:59 PM
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It's pretty hard to get an IDI to run away... Mainly because it doesn't have fuel racks to get stuck, unlike other engines. The design of the IP doesn't lend itself to jamming up and running away as far as I can tell.

(I have had one 'runaway' situation, though it took about half a can of ether into the air cleaner to do it. All the volatile bits were sucked into the engine leaving the oily/less volatile bits behind, so when the thing finally fired up, revved it up to 2K and it just started sucking enough of that oil in to rev up to like 4K or so for about 20 seconds. No harm done though...)
 
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Old 03-24-2019, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by 85e150six4mtod View Post
Before you get the tools out: How prone to runaway is the IDI motor? What is the usual cause? How likely is it to happen?

I don't look at every diesel forum post here but I don't recall any titled "Had a runaway....", or everyone's favorite, "Watch my runaway video" (with a Ford engine)
Right, the chance of it happening IMO is about zero unless someone puts the IP top lid on with the lever in the wrong position. About the same as the "common" problem of the old Detroit Diesels running away. Worked on all series of them for years and drove 4 different Detroit powered semis for almost a decade and the only "runaway" I ever saw was when another mechanic left half the rack without the connecting pin installed so it went to full fuel when he started it.
 
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DarkOverCast View Post

It's basically what we breathe out and what your exhaust puts out. Just get one big enough. Our engines suck a lot of cfm

That would be an interesting experiment. I wonder how much CO2 it would take to kill an IDI at 3000 RPMs .... If the person didn't get a big enough extinguisher, then it would probably be diluted enough for the engine to survive the gas and then keep going. I have an old 6.9 sitting on a stand in my garage. Maybe I could slap on a spare IP and get her running for a moment and see if an extinguisher would shut her down. Could be interesting or educational at the very least.

As for the general advice, I really don't expect my engine to go runaway, but just curious.
 
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by RaymondIV View Post
Right, the chance of it happening IMO is about zero unless someone puts the IP top lid on with the lever in the wrong position.
This is the only way I've read about a runaway happening on an IDI. If the top of the IP were to be disassembled then it would be a good idea to have a fire extinguisher or shop towels handy to choke the engine before it could runaway.
 
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Olds64 View Post
This is the only way I've read about a runaway happening on an IDI. If the top of the IP were to be disassembled then it would be a good idea to have a fire extinguisher or shop towels handy to choke the engine before it could runaway.
This is the most common malfunction, but I have had a fault ip that was stuck on full throttle, dumped enough white smoke it look like a locomotive cold start.

All the linkages were free the governor just stopped working and had lots of slop. Luckily the key killed it.
 
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Old 03-26-2019, 07:13 AM
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I've wondered would you want to use a damp (not sopping wet) towel to choke the engine in case of runaway? Or is the risk of introducing water into the combustion chamber to great a risk in that event?
 
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Old 03-26-2019, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Olds64 View Post
I've wondered would you want to use a damp (not sopping wet) towel to choke the engine in case of runaway? Or is the risk of introducing water into the combustion chamber to great a risk in that event?
I feel like the damp towel would work pretty good, definitely would seal better, at the point of a runaway even if it swallows water, I'd rather bend a rod than lose a block.
 
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Olds64 View Post
I've wondered would you want to use a damp (not sopping wet) towel to choke the engine in case of runaway? Or is the risk of introducing water into the combustion chamber to great a risk in that event?
Considering you can basically feed an IDI a garden hose's worth of water at idle(I did this when I was really young), I don't think a few ounces of water will matter...

Originally Posted by DarkOverCast View Post
This is the most common malfunction, but I have had a fault ip that was stuck on full throttle, dumped enough white smoke it look like a locomotive cold start.

All the linkages were free the governor just stopped working and had lots of slop. Luckily the key killed it.
And this is why runaways aren't common - the FSS does a good job of shoving the metering valve closed no matter what.
 

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