Tagged electrical

Remember when warning labels were actually useful?

Pint Size Project — Positive Earth?

If your British car was built before 1968, it probably is wired for positive earth. That is not some kind of sixties hippie movement, but rather the practice of connecting the plus terminal of the car’s battery to the chassis as common ground. It was once thought by the English that there was a scientific…

142-000 from stock 9-2008 e

Pint Size Project — Voltage Regulator

Let’s talk about some other electrical topics this time. Well, actually I’ll talk and you can listen! I pretty much beat the generator subject to death last time, so I will move on to the voltage regulator control box. The repair manual would lead you to believe that these units are adjustable, but that is…

The innards which create centrifugal advance.

Pint Size Projects — The Distributor

While we are on the subject of Lucas electrics, let’s take a look at some of the components. A vital, but often neglected item is the distributor. This hard working gadget often performs faultlessly for decades, but may very well be in need of servicing. The distributor is a fairly simple mechanical device that has…

In-line fuse holder. Part # 146-755.

Pint Size Project — Fuses

Last time we talked about the amazingly simple wiring scheme used on British cars. Armed with this valuable knowledge, we can now put it to practical use. “Oh yeah, like what?” you might ask. How about bleeding the smoke from the system? What? Alright then, it’s settled! The device used for allowing excess smoke to…

Wiring diagram for an MG TC.

Pint Size Project — Lucas Wiring

When remembering the outstanding scientists and inventors of yore, several great names immeadiately come to mind: Edison, Bell, Tesla. But then, there is Lucas…the Prince of Darkness. This man is singularly famous for turning electrical science into a black art. When it comes to Lucas electrics, it’s really all about preventing the smoke from escaping…

Here is the lighter installed. The front O-ring is visible but not obtrusive.

Negative-Ground Lighter Socket in a Positive-Ground Car.

I recently installed a cigarette lighter in my 1960 big Healey, in preparation for a trip that would need my Garmin and cellphone charger. I used the large hole where the windshield washer hand pump used to go (I had replaced that with an electric pump and pushbutton switch). Then it fortunately occurred to me…


Lucas Service Manual — Vehicle Wiring Circuits

This original Lucas Technical Service Manual discusses the various electrical circuits of the “modern British automobile” and defines the wire colors for each circuit to help in electrical diagnosis. This is a wonderful and thorough reference for Lucas wiring. Click the image below to download the full PDF document.   The following is the introduction…


Electric TR4

Last month our British Motor Club of Southern New Jersey club members attended a workshop at Motorcar Garage on the Lucas electrical and wiring systems, famous in British cars. Coincidently, in conversation with other club members, I mentioned that last June I had completed a full restoration and EV conversion of a 1967 Triumph TR4a…

Tech Tips: Summer 1998

Here’s a time-saving and cheap idea that is sure to help out any British car owner when working in his/her garage. Simply save an egg carton and use it as a separator/part holder to hold small parts and keep them organized. There is no cheaper container with as many compartments! Also I use a soft-bristled…


Ballast Resistor The purpose of the ballast resistor is to reduce voltage going to the coil. Not all cars have a ballast resistor. If your coil has three wires connected to it, chances are that one of them is for a ballast resistor. If the ballast resistor is bad, the car may start but die…

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