Get well soon Dave Germain - big trans explosion

Discussion in 'System One Pit Buzz' started by Will Hanna, May 19, 2015.

  1. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    Just sending well wishes to TAFC racer Dave Germain who had a nasty trans explosion when he swapped feet while testing this past weekend in Woodburn. He did sustain a broken foot and some shrapnel injuries according to his facebook post, but avoided what could have been a lot worse.

    I saw something similar happen to Lee Callaway a few years ago. He was lucky not to be injured as well. Not to mention the danger to crew/track personnel/fans.

    I know some people will hate me for bringing this up, but what is some of your thoughts on if we had an extra wrap-around blanket to cover the area the trans blanket can't cover. Basically another trans blanket, 5-6" long with one strap, to wrap it around the front of the trans after it is installed.

    I'm not an engineer but it seems if there was enough overlap and a tight fit, the bag should absorb the explosion.

    The next area to look at is the reverser handle. It was bent up like a paperclip.

    The progression of how these cars are as safe as they are today came from looking back at accidents and injuries and trying to figure out how to prevent them in the future. I think the extra trans bag is relatively simple and inexpensive. I think the simplest deal to fix the reverser handle deal is go to a cable shifter deal like a dragster.

    If we don't do something about it, in a year or two, this will happen again.
     
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  2. doug_ta

    doug_ta Member

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    Sorry to hear about your incident Dave. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    What brand, and style of transmission was it?

    Any photos to help us understand what happened?
     
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  3. Ro Yale

    Ro Yale Member

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    Trans Blanket

    I like the idea of a small 6" wrap. I was there when Lee Callaway had his explosion. Kinda scary. I made a shift handle that will break away in case of this. Wishing Dave a speedy recovery.
     
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    Last edited: May 19, 2015
  4. Mark Billington

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    Hope Dave recovers quickly. Sorry to hear it happened. I think Will's solution may make sense.
     
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  5. mark6052

    mark6052 Member

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    modern parts

    How about they make the cases out of billet aluminum? instead of mag. Titanium may be a little spendy. The back case could have a mount to help it from rotating. I'm switching to plastic pins to help break away the reverser lever.
     
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  6. jeffj

    jeffj Member

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    Gosh Dave, sorry to hear about the explosion and hope you are not too badly hurt and make a speedy and full recovery.
    Good idea to have a breakaway area in the reverser handle. I would really worry about a cable system spinning around like a stainless steel weed whacker line, I think it could be worse for anything in it's path. If the trans blanket had a couple of tethers added to pull them forward toward the bellhousing, perhaps anchored to a couple of tabs @ the motorplate? That could be retrofitted to existing blankets at recert time or fairly easily added to the existing designs.
    Jeff Johnsen
     
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  7. Creech

    Creech Member

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    How about the bag completely cover the reverser (besides a hole for the outshaft and lever) before pulling the straps through, where you would pull it over the reverser first, then rap the rest of it around and strap it. And eyelets where it bolts up to the can. Taylor Motorsports and other manufactures might be able to modify existing blankets.

    Martin Creech
     
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  8. Dennis Taylor

    Dennis Taylor Authorized Merchant

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    We are addressing this situation with the addition of a secondary piece on the front of the trans. Biggest complaint we get from the racer's is that the blanket fit's too close to the front flange and they can't get the nuts off. You can't have it both ways. Most guy's won't run the secondary piece unless they make it a rule. Unless of course something happened to you!

    Dennis Taylor
     
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  9. REEHL EQUIPMENT

    REEHL EQUIPMENT Active Member

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    Most of us haven't heard, EXACTLY what caused this?
     
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  10. bmoore

    bmoore Member

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    Sorry to hear about this Dave. I sure hope you are doing ok. Some good ideas being tossed out there so you're pain may turn out to be a positive for the future. Lets hope.
    Get well soon !
    Bill Moore
     
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  11. Barry Ferriolo

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    Dennis - Regardless of what the cause was, if you look at the pictures of Dave's trans explosion, one would have to be a total imbecile not to take 60 seconds to put on a secondary piece on the front of the trans. Please send me one of what you come up with as soon as it's ready. Barry
     
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  12. Bob Meyer

    Bob Meyer Comp Eliminator

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    What pictures....where?
     
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  13. Randy G.

    Randy G. Top Alcohol

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  14. Bob Meyer

    Bob Meyer Comp Eliminator

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    Thanks RG.

    Hope all heals well Dave!




    Bob Meyer
    Meyer Race Cars / San Diego
    2015 Our 50th Anniversary
     
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  15. john348

    john348 Top Alcohol

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    Dennis looking at the pictures from Dave this happened after the ring gear about at the sun gear back not at the flange as it was still intact,
    looks like it went right thru the blanket, has Dave or his guys determined why this exploded yet?
    What about straps to the can flange
    yes i would hate them but i like my old fat feet more...
     
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    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  16. NITROBANDIT1

    NITROBANDIT1 LOST IN SPACE

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    a idea

    I knew of the problems this could cause, but I thought more of the bolts breaking off and the trans spinning. ive been told to run plastic shifter lines, cut a line for the reverser to break off, but never thought I would see a gear go through a case like that. peanut had a trans do that and injured him pretty bad. a friend of mine, jeffco performance makes aluminum cases for his trans that are about 3/8 of inch thick. might be a bit heavier, but may contain gear explosions a little better. heres his link http://jeffcoperformance.com/ or email me at nitrobandit1@yahoo.com and I can send you some pics I have of the cases bare. I believe the cases are interchangeable with the lenco as well as the reverser case. don't fuel cars have to have a cover over the trans area? ive seen some carbon ones, don't know if they are mixed with Kevlar to be ballistic at all. get well soon dave. here are some pics I put on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/daniel.call.338
     
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    Last edited: May 29, 2015
  17. Dennis Taylor

    Dennis Taylor Authorized Merchant

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    John, Looks to me like the trans case rotated after the case broke and the blanket rotated with it and was pulled backwards with the case.
    I don't believe any parts went through the blanket. If you look at some of the pics of parts in the plastic pan, the blanket appears to have done it's job.
     
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  18. bruce mullins

    bruce mullins Top Dragster

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    how about some straps that go up to the 4 corner bolts (3/4) on the bellhousing that go through the mid plate. it could be a two piece strap that one end stays on the mid plate with a buckle and then a strap that comes off the blanket and up to the buckle.. quick and easy to put on in my opinion.
     
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  19. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    straps vs wrap around

    Seems like an extra wrap around to go over the studs would be the easiest and probably cheapest rather than have to add straps to everyone's existing bags. I can see where the straps going up to anything on the bellhousing might interfere with the clutch pedal/linkage and possibly throttle on a FC. Some FC's are pretty tight quarters besides the trans. Seems like if it was 6-8" wide and did a wrap around like the blanket, with one strap, shouldn't be much trouble on removal/install.

    It may not have happened in this instance, but I know of other instances where plantearies have exploded and exited the gap between the bag and flange. we all cuss the bag when we are trying to get the nuts on and off, but that area still needs protection.
     
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