Citrojim's AX, Saxo, Pixo, Running and Cycling Tales

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

Been in hospital all day today. Luckily all seems OK...

This is what landed me in A and E at seven this morning...

Last night there was a long power fail here which entailed the forum database server running on UPS for an extended period. The server and it's peripherals, because it runs unattended for long periods is equipped with a Fire Protection System designed to cut power and extinguish any fire should the server or UPS do its worst. The extinguishant is stuff called FM200 with is fully non-toxic, non ozone depleting and so on. It's an HFC (heptoflouropropane) compound. It is so safe it is used, as HFC2207, as a proplellent for asthma inhalers.

Anyway, as a possible result of the UPS running for an extended period on batteries and the UPS running hot (as it does under those conditions) the fire system decided to trigger itself at 04:30 this morning and release its extinguishant. It's non-toxic so no worries. It even extinguished my central heating pilot light so it works...

I vented the house and proceeded to toast some crumpets under a gas grill. During the toasting, the kitchen filled with the most awful, pungent, sharp smell that got your throat somewhat.

Checking the MSDS for FM200, I found that if the released gas is heated in a naked flame it liberates Hydrogen Flouride which is nasty enough and I had a kitchen full of it. Worse though is that on contact with water, Hydrogen Flouride becomes Hydroflouric Acid that this is truely nasty, nasty stuff..

here is a description of it's toxicity:
Hydrofluoric acid is extremely corrosive and a contact poison. It should be handled with extreme care, beyond that accorded to other mineral acids, in part because of its low dissociation constant, which allows HF to penetrate tissue more quickly. Symptoms of exposure to hydrofluoric acid may not be immediately evident. HF interferes with nerve function and burns may not initially be painful. Accidental exposures can go unnoticed, delaying treatment and increasing the extent and seriousness of the injury. HF is known to etch bone, and since it penetrates the skin it can weaken bones without destroying the skin. More seriously, it can be absorbed into blood through skin and react with blood calcium, causing cardiac arrest.

In the body, hydrofluoric acid reacts with the ubiquitous biologically important ions Ca2+ and Mg2+. In some cases, exposures can lead to hypocalcemia. Thus, hydrofluoric acid exposure is often treated with calcium gluconate, a source of Ca2+ that sequesters the fluoride ions. HF chemical burns can be treated with a water wash and 2.5% calcium gluconate gel or special rinsing solutions. However, because it is absorbed, medical treatment is necessary — rinsing off is not enough. In some cases, amputation may be required.
:shock: I noticed the brightly polished stainless steel pans I have above the cooker had tarnished from what I presumed was the Hydroflouric Acid attacking them.

Time for a visit to A and E...

Hydroflouric Acid is often liberated in car fires and hence the reason to approach a burned-out car with extreme caution.

admiral51
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Post by admiral51 »

Hi Jim
Glad you are ok pressume kitchen and house is now suitably decontaminated :) :)

Now i know you enjoy adding to your blog but surely with so much work to do on the V6 you shouldnt have to go to such extremes in order to post something technical and informative :lol: :lol:

Seriously though, glad you and yours are ok :D

Colin

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Post by jgra1 »

Jim i read the exact same paragraphs at 10 this morning!

you did the right thing and i am sure all wil be fine

John

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Post by MikeT »

All I got to say is I'm glad you're still with us!

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Post by myglaren »

Pleased that you survived the chemical warfare stunt Jim. Don't be doing that again!

I had much more dramatic imaginings when you first told me, scouring the news for terrorist attacks :oops:

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Post by XantiaMan »

Seems i wasnt the only one to get a text :lol: Pleased your out all ready and no side effects....

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Xaccers
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Post by Xaccers »

Glad you're ok Jim!

One thing though, FM200 is an extinguishant, used because it's non-toxic-tree-hugging-friendly etc.
If it comes into contact with a naked flame it turns into hydrogen floride, which if breathed in turns to highly toxic and corrosive hydrofloric acid.
Now, I don't know about you lot, but the term "extinguishant" to me suggests "comes into contact with a naked flame"
Did they really think this through?
Going to be checking the server room's extinguishant tomorrow me thinks!

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

Xac wrote: Did they really think this through?
Indeed :? Still, it could have been worse; the old halon systems liberated phosgene at high temperatures as well as killing the planet.

Most computer-related fires (and what the device is designed to extinguish) is smoke and heat and the gas would have an immediate cooling effect so the liberation of nasty stuff is much reduced.

After all, a proper server room does not normally have a gas cooker in it where crumpets get toasted. At least, I'd hope not :lol: :lol:

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Post by KP »

Glad your OK now Jim as thats a close one!!

Server rooms, that are cold??? If the AC failed due to a fire or such like in one i could imagine the heat would get in excess of at least 50'c as the scsi drives alone get toasty when not being cooled and the cpus these days and dimms.......

Maybe we should club together and get you soem BA gear for the future Jim?? :)

Glad your OK though fella.

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Post by red_dwarfers »

Im glad you're okay Jim!
Its a good job you took the precautions or the outcome could have been quite different...

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Post by CitroJim »

Despite a fair attempt at killing myself on Tuesday, I'm still here and as well as ever :D Thought I'd better post something just in case you were concerned that Tuesday may have had some repercussions...

The reason I've been practically inactive here is the same one; I'm extremely busy and forum time (as well as playing time) has been woefully short this week. The number of hours I've put in at work recently, I've considered moving my bed there and having my post redirected there :twisted: 92 hours these past two weeks :roll: Don't ever get the idea that those of us who serve Queen and Country have an easy life...

This week has seen my washing machine blow up and is dead but thanks to good old Tesco Direct, a new one arrives on Tuesday. The, to complate a week of disasters, I managed to flick a lump of toothpaste in my eye whilst cleaning my teeth. These electric toothbrushes are dangerous :lol:

Sadly, I see no light at the end of two, long dark tunnels I'm currently travelling. I did see some light the other day in one of them but it was just someone with a torch bringing me more work :twisted: having said that, I'm happy and content, just busy, and by Friday, shattered. Last evening though I enjoyed a great social evening at my best friend's 50th birthday party :D Good food and great company. I'm 50 myself in three months :roll:

Tomorrow I'm off to the Severn Valley Railway for the day in continuing celebration of his birthday and I'll be going there in the Activa :D

I've done nothing on the cars this week but both Activa and 2.1TD continue to perform brilliantly..

I did get to do a bit on the V6 later this afternoon and that story will be told in my V6 blog. I hope to reveal the cause of the dead gearbox....

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

Gosh, it's been a long time since I've updated this blog :oops:

Looking over my last entry, I'm happy to report that things have calmed down in my life hugely and some bright shining lights did eventually appear at the end of those tunnels and it did, this time mark their ends.

The Severn Valley Railway was good and well recommended for a great day out :D

It's not been a very busy week at all and precious little to report on the cars to be honest. Both the Activa, which I've been using more recently because of the fine weather and the 2.1TD have been fine although the 2.1TD has enjoyed a nice slumber this past week except for an excursion to the local tip with my old, dead washing machine. The 2.1TD has seen good use today and has underlined it's value to me and why I'll never part with him. He's too useful :wink: From dump runs to what he did (and may do) today, his value to me is immense as you'll see a bit later :D

This Easter break I did intend to get a real load done on the V6 and planend to get the gearbox rebuilt. Here it is Sunday and it still lays in 1000 pieces with much still to be done in the workshop :twisted:

Friday I did get some work done on the aforesaid 'box and then DickieG visited me for a general natter of Citroeny things and to see the gearbox in bits. A short while after, Xac joined us and we enjoyed an extremly pleasant, if impromptu, FCF (Bucks) meet :lol: At one point Citronut joined in on the 'phone. He's at Santa Pod this weekend and visiting me tomorrow.

Yesterday saw very liitle done, jus a multitude of odd jobs with nothing truely achieved really. the day just sort of slipped away with nothing to show for it really :roll:

This morning I decided, very rarely for me, to have a lie-in. Normally I'm up at around 5, seven days a week but today I thought I would. 06:55 and the phone rang :twisted: "Hi Dad, my bike is broken, and I can't do my paper round. Can you come and help me please?" Well, you all know the answer to that one. 20 minutes later Siany, TD and I are chasing around Newport delivering her papers..

"Where's your bike Siany?" I ask. "At Hanna's Dad.." About a mile away. Off we go in the TD and back seats down, it swallows her bike easily. That's why the TD estate is so useful and valuable to me and also for what it'll have to do in the week; a trip to IKEA for SWMBO to pick up a load of finest Swedish flat-pack. All in a days work for a 2.1TD Break :D

Having got it home, Siany's bike was in a terrible state. She doggedly does a long and arduous paper round to earn her pocket money and her bike does get a hammering, poor thing. So there was nothing for it but a full service. Her rack was falling off, and her tyres kept going down. I fitted new tubes and found the root cause was the pump. It just could not pump them hard enough (a rubbish Halfrauds one) and she keeps pulling the valves on the tubes because they're not hard enough. They need to have around 45psi in them and so I showed her how to use the electric tyre pump.

So that ate a lot of 4HP20 rebuild time. This forum has been busy today and so that has eaten a bit more time :roll: Finally I'm looking after next door's menagerie - three kittens, a rabbit and a ginuea pig whilst they enjoy a hoilday in the Forest of Dean. The kittens are still using a litter tray :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

I may not get much done tomorrow either. It all depends on the trains really. Robyn and her pals have gone to see a band at Kensington Olympia this evening, some outfit I've never heard of called Bloc Party :roll: She and pals will be leaving around 11 and hope to get a train back to MK. My personal belief is they'll make it to either Harrow or maybe Watford Junction and then I'll get a phone call... "Dad! can you pick us up..."

The last reason why the 2.1TD is so useful to me - "Dad's Taxi" par excellence :D :D

Thing is, If I do have to go to Watford to get Robyn and her mates around midnight, tomorrow I'll be shattered so there'll be little more V6 progress made AGAIN :twisted: :twisted:

Still , in a couple of weeks I hope to take a weeks' holiday from work primarily to crack on with the V6 and to go and see Gareth (Xantiaman583) and help him with some long-promised jobs on his fleet.

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Post by Deanxm »

Hi Jim

Sounds like a typical bankholiday weekend to me, lots of good plans and intentions that are ruined by rain, a lack of enthusiasm and emergency jobs for other people :roll: :lol:.

D

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Post by Citroenmad »

Deanxm wrote:Hi Jim

Sounds like a typical bankholiday weekend to me, lots of good plans and intentions that are ruined by rain, a lack of enthusiasm and emergency jobs for other people :roll: :lol:.

D
Yup, we all have those dont we. Fortunatelywe had no rain here this bankholiday, makes a nice change.

I do like reading your blogs Jim, always a good read.

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

It's been a long time since I updated this blog :(

Truth is, it's been a crazily busy couple of weeks and there has been no time for spannering and precious little time even to devote to the forums. Although busy and hectic, it's been a great couple of weeks and I've been enjoying it immensely despite putting in long and hard hours at work. We are snowed under..

Needless to say, nothing has been done to the V6 for two weeks now :( I did intend to take this week as leave and really crack into the V6 but events at work prevented that happening and those events have posponed that planned leave for a few weeks yet :( Still there is a bonus and last week I was awarded a very hansome one in recognition of my hard work and that will very nicely cover the cost of restoring the V6 to full roadworthyness :D Inevatably the V6 hitting the road again has been delayed again but I'm still looking at mid summer to experience the joy of V6.

There will not be a lot of activity onthe V6 this weekend either as my 2.1TD and Activa are both crying out for a service. Even they have been somewhat neglected these past few weeks and both are in desparate need of an oil change and general check-over and that must be done this weekend. Despite that, they both continue to perform faultlessly :D

My cars are getting a little less use than has formerly been the case as I'm now car sharing to work with a lady who lives nearby. The only downside is her vehicle is a small Vauxhall of some sort. I'm not even sure of the model actually but I can report that whatever it is, it is woefully underpowered and rather harsh in the ride department and painted in a girly pale violet. It gets us to work though and as a bonus we can use special parking reserved for car-sharers! My Xantias feel positively lovely after riding in that Vauxhall!

I went to look at Andy's (transit-v8 ) poorly Xantia this evening and on the way I saw the aftermath of a very recent nasty accident. A mororcyclist had been struck by a Pug 207 or 307 and had come off very much the worse. The bike was a tangled mess and an ambulance was in attendence but in no hurry to be getting back to hospital if you know what I mean :cry: It looked like it was very serious. The Pug was well stoved in at the front and it looked like the car struck the bike turning right with some force. It had popped the Pug's airbag. It rather took the edge off the evening :cry: Going on a comment I made in another thread, it really does make me wonder if the limited visibility afforded by these moden cars with their slit-like windows and impossibly high dashboards contribute to accidents like this :evil: I just hope and pray I was wrong in my assumption of the seriousness of the accident and the biker is OK.