Lucas electrics (was: RE: Connectors (was: NEXT Color Printer find

From: Chris Kennedy <>
Date: Wed Jan 2 18:28:18 2002

Tony Duell wrote:

[stuff deleted]

> So my experience suggests that Lucas stuff is pretty reliable.

I think it depends on vintage. More recent is decidedly better
than older. My experiences include:

- Multiple defective ignition amplifiers on an early series III V12

- Lack of suitable snubbers on the cooling fan relays on an early
(like number three in the US) XJ12, resulting in overtemp problems
in the middle of nowhere (jumper around the fried relay and limp

- Multiple regulator failures with accompanying battery cook-off
(no failure warnings other than sulfuric acid fumes filling
the car) in the same XJ12.

- A trashed engine in a 4.2 E type owing to the incredibly long
integration time of the Lucas thermally-driven oil pressure
gauge (blew a rear oil seal [not hard to do] on a twisty road;
leaked enough oil to unport the oil pick up on the corners
but never had any indication that I was losing oil pressure
because the gauge had a response time measured in seconds)

- Easily out-driven headlights on a 3.8 E type. While other
vehicles of the same vintage had reasonably bright lights,
the best one could hope for out of the Jag was a warm brownish

There were other, to-be-expected items, like the incredibly
nasty Bendix on the 3.8 starter, worn brushes on the 3.8
starter, a worn-out washer fluid motor (attached to a
_glass_ fluid reservoir), worn points on the wiper motor.

There was once a piece in AutoWeek, back in the 80's, wherein
one of the writers discussed how those of us who drove
British cars learned to tuck in behind large trucks on dark,
stormy nights, because while people would have a hard time
seeing the feeble glow of our tail lights (driven by
"Second String Electrons", rather than "Robust Detroit
Electrons"), they'd at least see the bright lights of the
trailer and _probably_ not drive up the ass-end of our cars.
I finally addressed the problem by hacking in a Delco internally
regulated alternator (which was a lot of fun on a positive-ground

Chris Kennedy
PGP fingerprint: 4E99 10B6 7253 B048 6685  6CBC 55E1 20A3 108D AB97
Received on Wed Jan 02 2002 - 18:28:18 GMT

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