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1960s Lucus wiring question

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My brother just bought a 1968 Austin America for his kid.  It is a bit rough.  will not start ( no spark ) and the turn signals don't work.

Should I tell him to put this in the battery or in the both coil and the flasher can ?

I will forward  responses to him.

017.JPG

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That's cruel, but funny.:D  I don't think you'll need the Wright's Liquid Smoke, since Lucas electrical components make their own smoke.:o

 

My sympathies to your brother,

Grog

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Working on any British equipment will require a lot of patience.

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Actually you'll need to go through the wire harness and ensure all grounds are clean and tight, all the little "bullet" style connectors are clean and sound, all fuse holders are tight and then - try to undo all the PDO (Dumb Previous Owner) repairs and hack job installs for things like radios, etc.  Even my wife has mastered Joe Lucas by keeping things clean and tight.  Oh, a word of caution - some recently produced aftermarket components like switches, etc. are of very poor quality and can cause a lot of problems.  We've had a couple of replacement (made in China) headlamp switches that literally fell apart.  We have had no issues since installing a genuine Lucas part.  I've always felt there is something inherently inappropriate about installing Chinese stuff on a British car anyway.  You should get a wiring diagram and research the car carefully.  You'll discover some interesting things that leave you wondering "why did they do that!"

 

Welcome to the wonderful world of British Motoring!  In the USA, we gather around the coffee pot in the morning and talk about sports, in the UK they pour a cup of tea and talk about what it took to get to work!

 

Enjoy motoring about. 

Terry

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I agree 100% with Terry above.  I've owned Metropolitans since the late 70's and never had an issue once all the contacts were clean and making proper contact.  

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I have worked on those wiring systems before, you just need to know how they work. To get spark for starting, you must put on the turn signal to the right, open the glove box to turn on that light, hold down the horn button while tapping on the Amp gauge. This will complete the connection for starting the car. To get the turn signals to work, again the glove box light needs to be on, and also the dome light. And while tapping the Amp gauge, you must also shut down the engine. This will complete the connection for that system. If you are wanting to drive the car, and use the turn signals, I am not sure what to do?

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56 minutes ago, Terry Bond said:

No - absolutely don't use that stuff - you need this!Image result for Lucas smoke

 

The older style smoke replacement kit is preferred, as it comes with the appropriate filter and adapter hose.

 

full-322-467-lucas_air.jpg

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Lucas aside, the fact that he bought an Austin America is his worst sin. Apart from the, comprehensively wretched, Austin Marina, the AA is about the worst automotive disaster ever foisted on the colonies by the Brits. Well, there was the TR-7, the Stag, The Lotus Elite, the Jensen-Healey.........Anyhoo, if it a four speed car, they were, actually, a pretty good car. Same basic drive train as a Mini with full synchro transmission and Hydrolastic suspension. The automatic..........not so good. I bet there aren't a dozen, running AA automatics extant

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Not so, I had an MG 1100 with manual trans that was essentially the same car and it never gave me any trouble. Jags I just reversed the diodes and put in a Delco alternator. Of course I think my MGA was one of the last cars to come with a crank.

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Gotta love British engineering. We did a  '37 Bentley with Lucas electrics. It had 5, count 'em 5 wires running to the sending unit in the gas, oops petrol tank.

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2 hours ago, padgett said:

Not so, I had an MG 1100 with manual trans that was essentially the same car and it never gave me any trouble.

If you re read my post, I conceded that the AA, WITH A FOUR SPEED, was a pretty good car

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The Austin America should have been the Honda Civic of the early sixties. But even though it was supposedly designed for America, they never got it right.

 

They couldn't figure out why they had so many complaints of burnt out clutches in San Francisco and burnt out engines on Los Angeles freeways. How could two cities have such different driving conditions when they were only a couple of inches apart on the map?

 

It really needed a fifth speed in the transmission. It needed a lot of things the Brits weren't ready to give.

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He knows about British cars and problems. He has a series 1 Land Rover 109.

This is what I have on my CJ, ( he gave it to me )

 

001.JPG

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The #1 issue I usually find is the grounds improperly done.

 

#1 Improper;

  1. surface
  2. eyelet
  3. star washer
  4. screw. 

#2 Proper;

  1. clean bare surface
  2. star washer
  3. eyelet
  4. screw

The difference is that in the 1st example the path is through the screw head then screw head and eventually the threads (poor connection), in the 2nd (proper) example is the path is directly through the eye to star washer. This has served me well for every connection I've done.

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When you are buying British cars you have to be real careful, especially Austins. Sometimes it is hard the know the good ones.

016.thumb.JPG.528f150d7b6a1688dca5dc0350679d82.JPG

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Gee a Boston Beany Sprout. (super trivia)

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We have had several British and half British cars (Sunbeam Tiger and a Pantera ...I know, Italian/American, but it had Lucas, Smith, and Yaeger gauges, fusebox, and other "stuff"), and loved them all. The 63 Mini has been part of our family for 27 years, and this last year is my 1st trouble with it.... well, besides exploding something in the lower end that let the oil run out in 2015....   Anyway, the "new" engine and all the new components we've put in it so far has been, well, lets say unfriendly.  It ran great for a couple of months, but right now, for instance, I can start it, idles smoothly, revs cleanly. but immediately starts bucking and snorting if I try to drive it !  Got 145 to 150 compression, great looking bluish/white spark, timing dead on, new carb and intake gaskets, new plugs, coil, plug wires, condenser, another of the little nearly invisible mystery wires that hides in the distributor, no vacuum leaks, and well, everything seems right. Even fresh, no corn 89 octane gas...Do you guys think it just hates me for driving it so hard all those years, or has the dreaded Lucas syndrome finally caught up to me. Love the little guy, but considering coasting one way to the ocean or buying a large bore weapon.... And I just sold our precious little 48 Anglia (pure stock) this week, so I need a quick "Britfix" !

63 mini.jpg

DSCN0660.JPG

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3 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

When you are buying British cars you have to be real careful, especially Austins. Sometimes it is hard the know the good ones.

016.thumb.JPG.528f150d7b6a1688dca5dc0350679d82.JPG

Crushed both my knees in one of these in a head on as a 19 year old. Loved the Bug Eye but now 50 years later I would  prefer to still have my original knees. 

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John, I had a similar problem with my 1275 Midget. Finally traced it to a loose earthing screw on the condenser. Worth a look. No doubt you've checked the oil in the SU dash-pots.

And Bernie, that looks like a nice little Bug-eye project. Had one in the 60's, which I had going pretty well. Drove it across the Nullarbor Plain when I was 19, when it was a rough, unsealed 'road'. Slow trip. I could completely hide the car down in some of the holes in the road. Lost a valve in the AC mechanical fuel pump out in the middle, but I carried spares, so no problem. Unfortunately I hit a 6 foot kangaroo, which went clean over my roll-over bar. Nasty dent in the door, and wiped out the 'roo. BUT, no Lucas problems. I have generally found Lucas systems to be quite reliable, especially if you service the points in the electric fuel pumps occasionally...... I still run a couple of Lucas equipped cars.

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The picture of the Sprite was just an example of what a "discerning" buyer would bring home. You know, the type who really knows what they are doing.

 

Yes, I bought it.... yes, I sold it. To get money for one of my other "discerning" purchases.

Bernie

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I've owned an MGTD for 15 yrs. Fuel pump and voltage regulator are the only items I've had to replace. I would change the condenser. Had that same problem with my 40 Buick.

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OK , he got the thing running (kind of ) and has told me that the ignition must be leaking.out through the exhaust .

Most likely a stuck rings or worse time for a tear down. It has been sitting since 1985

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