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Spinifex fires under Prados

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  • Spinifex fires under Prados

    I can't find a discussion on this topic here but there's recent chatter on other forums.

    Last year a Prado 150 burnt to the ground at the start of the northern end of the Canning Stock Route.
    There are pics of other 150s enveloped in raging flames too, but this forum has a useful discussion:

    I appears that our vehicles are in real peril when driving over spinifex.

    The guards around the fuel tanks catch the stuff and, due to their shape, its difficult/impossible to get all the spinifex/seeds out without removing the guards.
    Worse, the main fuel tank is plastic.

    I surmise that after the Prado on the CSR collected spinifex between the guard around the main tank the stuff caught alight during a DPF burn.
    A hole melted in the main tank, it sprung a leak, and that was the end of the vehicle.
    Diesel has an auto-ignition temp of some 250C.
    The DPF and exhaust gas temps will reach 600-700C in the latter stages of a burn.
    Aluminium melts at 660C, and it wont take much to set dry grass alight (but I think the grass fire just melted the plastic and wasn't responsible for setting the diesel alight).

    Contrary to the discussion on the exploroz site, a DPF burn can occur at quite low speeds. Having driven tracks in 4LO, 10-20-30Km/hr, the DPF burns completed as fast as in 6Km.

    The design of the tank guards and the plastic tank are the weak links.

    Has anyone worked up a good preventative measure(s)?

  • #2
    Have a 120, we just stop often and check, use a length of wire to remove anything caught. Try to be tail end Charlie if possible Also carry a spray water bottle, water has a few drops of detergent in it to act as a wetting agent.
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