Originally Posted by petawabit
I want one, how much can a 2.5lb FE put out? Small cloth fire? medium-I-just-blew-my-motor-and-have-a-small-oil-fire-fire?
That's a great question but kinda tough to answer since the Fire Extinguisher user is a big factor in the equation.
A short example story from my life would go nicely here. I used to have a '86 Toyota MR2 rally car. Required by the then SCCA rally rules were two of the 2.5lb amerex dry chemical FEs just like the ones for sale in this thread. One late night I was out for a drive in the middle of nowhere all by myself. At about 4 AM the engine starts knocking big time, it was a spun rod bearing. I had never heard this sound before but I knew it was bad and started to head back towards home. The knocking got worse and worse until... BANG! The forest was lit up in my rear view mirror (it's a mid-engine car) on the deserted 2 lane road. A vivid memory indeed.
I pulled the car over to the side of the road and jumped out of the car with my fire extinguisher in hand (it was bolted to the floor in front of my seat). Fire was pouring out of the rear of the vehicle (oil) onto the ground. The main part of the block was also burning. Adrenalin pumping I started hitting the fire with my FE until the FE completely ran out. The fire was almost out but oil was still burning. Lucky for me those SCCA rally rules required there be two FEs in the car. I grabbed the second FE and extinguished the rest of the fire. Big sigh at this point as I looked around at my situation. I had to walk about a mile before I found cell service and called a tow truck. They just love coming out at 4:30 in the morning... In the end I found a fist sized hole in the block from where the rod had thrown through it. I was lucky that most of the engine bay wire harness was not burned. The car did smell awful though!
In hindsight I obviously should have stopped driving the car once the rod started knocking.
As for how I handled the fire? I think the fire could have been extinguished with just one FE had I been a bit smarter about how I used it. There was allot of oil though... and it was a fairly big fire. In that situation I think that the dry chem units are better than the Halotrons since it actually puts a powdery agent onto the fire vs. a halotron trying to starve the fire of oxygen but the engine bay was a huge mess from the dry chemical FE...
In my street cars I have a single $31.99 Dry Chem FE just like the ones in this thread and I feel very safe. The current rally car, a '95 Impreza coupe, I have two FEs just like what the MR2 had.
So petawabit, I think that the 2.5lb dry chem is good for that "medium-I-just-blew-my-motor-and-have-a-small-oil-fire-fire" or for the standard, "turbo blew and oil...-fire". But if you can afford two of them ($63.98 for two FEs) then you'll be covered for that, "I'm a idiot and threw a rod through my block at 4 AM".
I do hope this helps.