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John Stevenson
04-24-2009, 05:40 AM
http://www3.telus.net/bc_triumph_registry/smoke.htm

.

Evan
04-24-2009, 07:54 AM
Here I thought this was about a nearby supernova about to explode and light up the night sky for the next month. What a disappointment.

I've known about smoke replacement since I was a boy having had the unfortunate bad luck to have been introduced to British Vehicles by my father who took me on a shopping trip for an XKE in the early 60s. Naturally I wound up with the closest thing to that I could manage which was a clapped out Morris Minor 1000 with missing convertible hood. I eventually removed the doors, boot lid and bonnet, then the front and rear wings as well. This improved the acceleration to the point where it was possible to see forward progress without resorting to noting the position of the hour hand. It also had the side benefit of making parking much easier as I could simply drive straight in to a slot until I hit the pavement curb, then leap out and run to the rear and pick it up and set it in place. This was facilitated by the special light weight tyres I used which had none of the weighty black material on them but only a special durable fabric outer covering.

I did discover that the fabric covered tyres did have a minor disadvantage as one day whilst waiting for the light to change one of the tyres decided to retire from service without my consent. Instead of a gracefull hiss of it's last breath escaping it gave in with a loud bang and the front left fell to the ground as if a prop had been kicked out.

This would have presented a problem to most in such a situation but because of the earlier mentioned modifications to improve performance I merely commanded my friend to shift from the right seat to perch in rear right corner of the topless boot. That was sufficient to counteract the weight of the mighty 947cc engine that I could pick up without assistance and we continued our drive on the remaining three tyres paying special attention to avoid turning to the right.

Circlip
04-24-2009, 08:23 AM
But did you keep it long enough to experience the dangling front paw Evan??

Regards Ian.

oldtiffie
04-24-2009, 09:21 AM
Evan's car sounds a lot like the BMC "California"

Evan
04-24-2009, 09:59 AM
I forgot to mention a very convenient aspect of the ignition system. The full extent of the fusing cosisted of two fuses in holders placed side by side. Next to those was a handy spare stuck on end in a hole. By taking the spare and popping it into place between the two working fuses it not only bridged both at once but served to turn on the ignition in the absence of a key. Then all it took to start the engine was to bridge the starter battery conection to the solenoid with a small metal object, frequently found lying under the car as a spare part. Failing that a coin or small screwdriver would do. This was handy when my father confiscated my keys.

darryl
04-24-2009, 03:43 PM
Ah, Lucas electrics. I don't know what was in my english ford van, but I have had some similar experience with expired tyres. Lost a front about 40 miles out on a gravel road, with no spare. With passengers hanging out on the back door kiddie corner from the flat, we were able to keep the rim off the road and make it back to cilivisation. Of course, none of us had any money, so it was only to get rid of us that the gas station operator fixed the tyre for free.

Come to think of it, the eletrics must have been Lucas. Why else would the van body have taken up a permanent electric charge for a couple of weeks at one point- you could walk up to it and as you touched the lock with the key, ZAP!

aostling
04-24-2009, 03:50 PM
Thanks to Lucas I finally got insurance to cover something wrong with my 1965 Rover 2000. A short behind the dashboard started a fire which burned all the wiring behind the firewall. It took two weeks for this to be repaired, but at least I didn't have to pay for it like I did for everything else which failed on that car.

Has the spirit of Lucas been channeled into Bosch? How else to explain the poor reliability of Mercedes, Volvo, and other continental cars?

Evan
04-24-2009, 04:24 PM
Still on the subject of electrics, the Morris Minus had only a warning lamp instead of a fuel gauge. The lamp would illuminate just before the electric fool pump would begin to emit a long series of clickity-clickity-click-click-click... as it began to suck air from the fuel tank bottom. Fortunately, my MM was so light that I could easily push it at a respectable walking speed to the next petrol station.

Back to my father and his attempts to curtail my driving rather than studying. One day I went to take my auto for a little jaunt but when I cranked it it responded with a deafening silence. This was unusual as the one thing that engine did well was to start. After a bit of intense trouble shooting it dawned on me that the distributor cap was gone, wyres and all. I presumed this was the problem and sat for a bit to contemplate my options. Walking was out of the question as was riding my English bicycle.

An idea ocurred to me so I went about looking out the materials. A bit of dry plywood, a jig saw, a few nails and the core of some coax cable scraps that I had recently liberated from the open back of the local cable installers truck were collected and assembled to make this:

http://ixian.ca/pics6/distrib.jpg

It worked perfectly and I proceeded to drive to Berkeley. On the way it proved it's worth by saving the Morris engine from certain destruction. The water pump bypass hose sprung a leak and was quietly pissing away all the water in the cooling system. Lacking any gauges to judge the temperature it would have siezed the engine had not the water sprayed on my newly constructed distributor cap and shorted it out, killing the engine.

steverice
04-24-2009, 05:22 PM
Lucas, the Lord of Darkness.

small.planes
04-24-2009, 06:02 PM
Phil, the prince of insufficient light :p

aostling
04-24-2009, 06:27 PM
Evan's car sounds a lot like the BMC "California"

You may be thinking of the Austin America http://www.austinamericausa.com/

John Stevenson
04-24-2009, 07:30 PM
Know over here as the 1100 and 1300.
Compared to what else we had they were not bad cars. Reading the web page on the America it seems that a lot of problems stemmed from the auto transmission which has never really caught on here so the manual boxes were less sustible to problems.

From memory problems were sub frame mountings breaking, syncro's failing on 1st and 2nd gears and the hydrolastic suspension pipes corroding between front and back.

Again a lot of these finished up as donor cars for the mini's. In a one lump change you got a remote gearchange and a chance of picking one of the rarer GT twin carb models.

You still had to swap the diff as a unit because the 1300 was on larger wheels and the mini only on 10" wheels.

Spin Doctor
04-24-2009, 07:44 PM
Lucas Headlight Switches have the following positions. Dim, Flicker and Maybe

The reason the Brits drink warm beer is they have Lucas refigerators.

oldtiffie
04-24-2009, 07:50 PM
Originally Posted by oldtiffie
Evan's car sounds a lot like the BMC "California"

You may be thinking of the Austin America http://www.austinamericausa.com/

Thanks Allan and JohnS.

I know the Austin 1100 and 1300 due to the problems that some of my workmates who had them had with them!! Same applied to the earlier Austin A30, A40 etc.

But sadly, no that isn't the one I called the BMC "California" as I've obviously got that wrong.

The one I was referring to was basic to say the least. It was like a flat open-topped box with a rag top. It looked some-what "Jeep-ie". The body panels were all flat with some pressings for stiffness. The seats looked like they were made of electrical conduit with thin cloth (rag?) over them. The dash-board was basic to the extreme. It did have a rag top. It seemed to have a "Mini" engine in it.

Sorry I can't be more specific.

aboard_epsilon
04-24-2009, 07:53 PM
Evan ..arent your electrics on your LR Lucas

I've got nothing bad to say about them i loved them ..

don't need a degree in electronics to fix them
just change the points before they wear out ..and no breakdowns.
suspect breakdowns with them is more to do with age of vehicle.
no fancy crap that has you puzzling for weeks .
no being to scared to take it for a diagnostic test at 50 a shot
no expensive ECU'S
no guy guessing what is wrong with your car ..replacing every electronic sensor until he gets it right.
if you breakdown ..you can fix it cheaply at the side of the road for buttons and get home ..
so no getting towed.
if you were vigilant and looked after them ..they looked after you.

that's my memories of them.

all the best.markj

John Stevenson
04-24-2009, 07:59 PM
The reason the Brits drink warm beer is they drink proper beer and not this gnat's piss that has to be refrigerated to minus 345.65288153966472 degrees [ approx ] to stop it frothing all over your boots.

Proper beer should be drunk at cellar temperature.

miker
04-24-2009, 08:07 PM
Tiffe, was it the Mini Moke that you are thinking of?

http://www.ozcooper.com.au/moke.jpg

Rgds.

oldtiffie
04-24-2009, 08:12 PM
That's it Michael - many thanks.

As soon a I saw the "Moke" I knew you had it.

John Stevenson
04-24-2009, 08:14 PM
Lucas got a bad rep because of accountants.
First off Lucas made commercial gear as well as mass produced car gear.
Most of the British armed forces and bus's had Lucas CAV systems, these were produced to run under adverse conditions with little or no maintenance, and they did but they weren't cheap.

The car systems were designed as cheaply as possible, remember there was a sub industry in getting any equipment classes as OEM on vehicles even if it meant giving it away to the manufacturers as any spares soon paid for this exercise.

Another thing you have to remember is servive and backup. In the UK at this time we had garages every 2miles in towns and 5 to 10 iles out of town, all were Lucas agents and a lot of stock was very interchangeable, 7 sets of points fitted most UK cars, and you could get this on sale or return.

The result was if you broke down it was quick and cheap to get going again and you tended to forget that.

Now in the US Lucas was an import and agents were few are far between, a breakdown would be costly and time consuming.

We had the same here when Vauxhall was taken over by GM and Sunbeam went the same way.
Pressure from the parent company forced them to drop Lucas and move onto AC Delco which was regarded here the same as Lucas in the US. main agents were few and far between, parts were expensive because of imports and fitters were not as familiar with AC Delco as Lucas so AC Delco got a bad reputation here.

Now someone is going to post and defend AC Delco but the point I'm making is you had many agents for cheap AC Delco parts, we had many agents for cheap Lucas parts, now swap countries and we both have problems.

.

Spin Doctor
04-24-2009, 08:25 PM
The reason the Brits drink warm beer is they drink proper beer and not this gnat's piss that has to be refrigerated to minus 345.65288153966472 degrees [ approx ] to stop it frothing all over your boots.

Proper beer should be drunk at cellar temperature.

Actually I agree with you. But then again there is the one about "Why don't the English (or Harley) build computers?

Because they can't figure out how to make them leak oil. :rolleyes:

John Stevenson
04-24-2009, 08:25 PM
Tiffe, was it the Mini Moke that you are thinking of?

http://www.ozcooper.com.au/moke.jpg

Rgds.

Followed by the mini pickup.

http://www.minipickup.org/

I had a couple of these, a bog standard 849cc and a later 1425 cc ? [ correct they never made a 1425 ] with a lot of gear on it.
These were fun with a capital F

John Stevenson
04-24-2009, 08:29 PM
Actually I agree with you. But then again there is the one about "Why don't the English (or Harley) build computers?

Because they can't figure out how to make them leak oil. :rolleyes:
That's true, I always reckon that if we had discovered North Sea oil 10 years earlier we would still have had a motorcycle industry.
[edit] in fact thinking about it that's probably where the North sea oil came from, all the leaks ran into the sea :D

I used to have a Royal Enfield that leaked oil where there was no joints. On the tank badge it listed the patents it was made under and when Ilooked some of these up one was the same as the Amoco Cadiz :D

Evan
04-24-2009, 08:53 PM
Evan ..arent your electrics on your LR Lucas

I've got nothing bad to say about them i loved them ..


They used to be. I rewired it and replaced the 22 amp generator with a 80 amp alternator that I converted to positive ground. Changed the voltage regulator to suit the alternator as well. About the only part that is still lucas is the coil and the ignition switch. To start it you must first wiggle the key in the switch until the dash lights come on full brightness. If it has been running recently then half brightness will do. It has no starter solenoid but instead a push knob hidden under the dashboard on the right. This is pushed several times until it actually makes contact and the starter engages.

Between these two items the system is a very effective anti theft immobilizer so I never bothered with door locks even when we used it as a daily driver. :D

John Stevenson
04-24-2009, 09:00 PM
Between these two items the system is a very effective anti theft immobilizer so I never bothered with door locks even when we used it as a daily driver. :D

I used to have a Vauxhall Viva, forerunner to the Vauxhall Chevette aka Shovit.
That didn't need an immobiliser on it because I could ever get the bloody thing going.................................

God, in hindsight we had some crap but it was the only crap we could get :D

.

franco
04-25-2009, 02:34 AM
Evan,

Re your coment "I forgot to mention a very convenient aspect of the ignition system. The full extent of the fusing cosisted of two fuses in holders placed side by side. Next to those was a handy spare stuck on end in a hole. By taking the spare and popping it into place between the two working fuses it not only bridged both at once but served to turn on the ignition in the absence of a key." - you did not even need the spare fuse if it happened to be missing - just remove one of the other two fuses and clip it in between the two pairs of fuse holders, and everything worked normally. You would swear it was designed that way.

One of my later Lucas equipped vehicles had a re-designed fuse panel with the fuse holders mounted some distance part, possibly to deter nasty people who used your method of starting to deprive lawful owners of their vehicles. However, the spring clip which held the regulator cover in place was exactly the right length to bridge the outer ends of the two fuses in the new mounting positions - still very convenient if you had misplaced your keys.

One place I worked had an early Holden utility truck used by all and sundry. The keys had been lost years before - can't remember if it had Lucas or Bosch electrics - both were used at different times. A silver threepenny coin was kept in the ash tray, and once the knack had been mastered, could be held between the tips of the first and second fingers and clicked neatly into place between the two terminals of the ignition switch behind the dashboard.

franco

.RC.
04-25-2009, 05:58 AM
I watch the UK Top Gear show and often when they have their challenges with cheap UK and European cars they nearly always suffer electrical problems...

They also criticise any car not made in the UK or Europe or Japan saying they are crap etc etc. Funny thing is when they did the US special and bought three cars for $1000 and drove them from Florida to Lousiana they never had any problems electrical or mechanical at all...

Circlip
04-25-2009, 07:25 AM
The dangling front paw sindrome I was reffering to on the Minor was its ability to loose a leg due to the bottom suspension bearing grinding itself away due to lack of lubrication.

The other one was the electric Fool pump that used to tick merryly when working but you'd be tootling along and the engine would die cos the pump had stopped. Without fail, it ALWAYS responded to a "Tap" with a 7/8" Whit. spanner.

Regards Ian.

gnm109
04-25-2009, 07:59 AM
That's true, I always reckon that if we had discovered North Sea oil 10 years earlier we would still have had a motorcycle industry.
[edit] in fact thinking about it that's probably where the North sea oil came from, all the leaks ran into the sea :D

I used to have a Royal Enfield that leaked oil where there was no joints. On the tank badge it listed the patents it was made under and when Ilooked some of these up one was the same as the Amoco Cadiz :D


When I was a kid, I owned a 1948 BSA single cylinder bike. I often hung out in Chicago at a motorcycle shop that was owned by the famous English Lady Motorcyclist, Theresa Wallich.

Besides being a great bike rider and a very skilled motorcycle mechanic, she owned a lovely 1948 Norton International single cylinder 500cc bike. All the time I khew her, she was working on that bike to try to stem the factory-induced leak that billowed down from the cam box and left the cylinder shiny with oil. It would literally glisten. She used castor oil so it smelled a little like frying bacon, too. She never did cure it but was able to keep it down to a trickle with skilled tinkering.

I guess it was Joe Norton's attempt to keep up with the Harley-Davidson factory which was noted for their own line of leakers. I owned a few Harleys and you could generally tell when they were out of oil when they quit leaking. LOL.

Later when I left Chicago for sunnier climes in California, I owned an Ariel Single that developed a pinhole leak in the crankcases. I took it to a local dealer, Bud Ekins, and he fixed it for me with a small ball peen hammer. No charge.

Apparently lots of post WWII British and American bikes were bult with scrap aluminum from melted-down Spitfires and B-29s. LOL.


http://www.motorcyclemuseum.org/halloffame/hofbiopage.asp?id=309