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Thread: Emergency Exiting!!!

  1. #1

    Emergency Exiting!!!

    I took my Nova for its first test drive at the weekend. HORRAY!!

    It was only up the road and back a couple of time (approx 100m), but I felt like cracking open the champagne on my return!

    Anyway...this got me a thinking.

    During the construction, we managed to set the car on fire twice (doddgy electrics being pulled out) and if anything were to happen (E.g, accident, fire, flat battery) with the canopy down.....I couldn't get out. Period.

    How are people getting round this problem, as with a pen and paper, I am only coming up with weird and wacky ideas.

    (Although a weekend at Farnborough airshow did get me thinking about ejecter seats! )

    Anyways, how are you chaps, and chapesses, getting around this?

    When faced with a complicated problem with no obvious solution, ask yourself this..
    "What would Chuck Norris do?"

  2. #2

    Re: Emergency Exiting!!!

    Removable sunroof is the simplest solution, however others are fitting quick release pins to the bottom of the hydraulic rams so they can be pulled out from within the car and you can manually push the canopy up. I'm not keen on this method for two reasons, firstly the hydraulic rams will be under tension as it would appear that to eliminate the canopy lifting or rattling that the pump is over run to "clamp" down the canopy so therefore there must be a load applied to the pins and secondly when you do get the pins out you will have to be careful (and remember) that without the rams the canopy may well go over centre and hit the bonnet or in an extreme case bend the hinges.
    An alternative that a couple of people have suggested, but I don't know if they have installed them yet, is a separate smaller battery (like a bike one) that is only there if the main electric's fail. I think one person was mounting this inside the car for access, all you would need to do would be double up on the cabling to the pump. This system is fine so long as the pump itself doesn't fail.
    There may well be other suggestions such as your ejector seats but in the end you will not be able to cater for every eventuallity so I would suggest keeping it simple.

  3. #3

    Re: Emergency Exiting!!!

    I agree with BBC, the sunroof is the best , I've exited this way at least on 3 occasions, not glamorous but does the job. I also had an emergency pump switch straight to the battery, bypassing all other wiring, but as BBC says if the pump itself is knackered (or battery) then this won't help you.

  4. #4

    Re: Emergency Exiting!!!

    The sunroof was my initial idea, however despite repeated attempts at putting in seals, it leaks like a sieve and on the occasional downpour of rain we enjoy on a regular basis in the UK, I was getting soaked in the car. So I've now clamped it down and permanently sealed it.
    The second battery idea does sound like a very good idea, and one I hadn't considered.

    Should probably sell those ejectors back to NASA then!
    When faced with a complicated problem with no obvious solution, ask yourself this..
    "What would Chuck Norris do?"

  5. #5

    Re: Emergency Exiting!!!

    What sunroof do you have? Roof panel or glass unit. If a glass unit then you should be able to seal it. I had one that was leaking on an old car and over came it by adjusting the clamping pressure of the catch (extra washers) and putting some silicon grease on the rubber to glass contact area.
    If the water is coming in elsewhere then removal of the roof surround is necessary so you can re seal with a good adhesive sealer and refit.

  6. #6

    Re: Emergency Exiting!!!

    Its a fiberglass panel on a MK1. I've resealed it a couple of times and used everything from Silicone gel, geese, white van door trims, to hard core bathroom sealant...and it leaks. The catch is as tight as it will go, but no joy.
    The current plan is to place a sheet of fiberglass over the top and bottom, bond it, fill with expanding foam and when painted over, shouldn't look like there was ever a panel there in the first place.

    I was very patient with it and like all problems on the beast so far, I threw a lot of ideas and time at it, but it wouldn't play ball.
    So to save my sanity I'm sealing the bugger!
    When faced with a complicated problem with no obvious solution, ask yourself this..
    "What would Chuck Norris do?"

  7. #7
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Hampshire, UK

    Re: Emergency Exiting!!!

    The Mk1 sunroof panel has a rain channel around the canopy rim, and this needs to be drained or the rainwater fills the channel until it overflows. So it might be worth checking your drain holes into the inner canopy are clear, and if not present, make some.

    The other possibility (which I am discovering on my Mk1 sunroof canopy) is that the flange around the drain channel that actually contacts the sunroof panel requires customer finishing - any unevenness around the edge will create a gap for water to get in.

    The sunroof panel appears to be designed for a "dry-fit" - the sides are lower than the middle and the centre latch pulls the panel flat against the mounting flange and holds it in tension. There can clearly be a gap around the join, and water will get in unless drained effectively.

    As an alternative to glassing in the sunroof, could you not fill the gap with silicone sealer and leave it at that? It could then be pushed out in an emergency.

    My current canopy sunroof has been glassed in because I couldn't find an intact 70's sunroof to fit the hole. In an emergency I have no recourse but to push out the side windows or windscreen (the latter was the recommended method of exit from an upturned Lamborghini Countach). Its not a pleasant prospect, which is why I have got a sunroof canopy like yours to replace it. I would give serious consideration to keeping the removable panel if you can.

    BBC is correct, as usual - hydraulic dump valves have been used as well as pull-out "lynch pins", but in these cases you still have the unsupported weight of the canopy to lift up, which can be very heavy.

    Sunroof is your best bet, however you do it

    Congratulations on getting your car on the road JayJay - lets see some pictures!

    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Concord, Ca

    Re: Emergency Exiting!!!

    Regarding the weight of the canopy, I plan on installing actuators AND gas lift struts to help it along. If you have to pull the pin on the rams/actuators, the gas struts should help lift the canopy. Yes?

    CCC Sterling # 416

  9. #9

    Re: Emergency Exiting!!!

    Pins will be my solution along with electric actuators. In the event of a fire would be my biggest concert as the engine is right behind me along with a gas tank inches from my head, so the faster I get out the better. That being said I am not worried about the canopy going over center or bending the hinges. I am worried about myself and passenger getting out safely and quickly.

  10. #10

    Re: Emergency Exiting!!!

    Has anyone actually tried to pull the quick release pins out when the canopy is fully sealed? I would just like to know if it is as easy as others think.

    As for emergency exiting then JUST GET OUT is the right thing to do, however most of the reasons people are thinking of the escape route is incase of electric's or pump failure so trying not to damage the car is also something to think about.

    Jay Jay I think Lauren's idea of leaving the sunroof in place and doing a nice silicon seal job would be the easiest and the neatest option (not sure once it is sealed that you would be able to push it out for escape as the sealer will more than probably over come your efforts unless you are a large person or can get your foot up there somehow ) but a really neat seal job would retain the originality of the Mk1 panel sunroof (I don't think there are that many around but could be wrong).

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