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Starting Issues
#1
A few months ago we began to encounter starting issues. The car
would crank but not start, nothing wrong with the fuel system. We
would crank the engine for a few seconds then release the key and
a puff of smoke would could be seen coming from under the hood
near the battery. Get out of the car, open the hood and check the
wiring near the voltage regulator. No warm or damaged wires could
be found. This happened a few more times completely random in
occurrence. Turn key, crank engine, release key and smoke. On a
second attempt to start the car everything was fine. This would not
repeat itself for several weeks or days. At one point I drained the battery
too quickly so it may not have been getting a proper charge.
We checked voltage at the terminals when at idle, 13.4V. The battery
is a little over a year old. We did an overnight slow charge and
checked it with a load meter. Battery checks fine. We installed a
new ignition switch in the steering column and a new regulator I
had purchased a while back. Everything seems fine now, car started
this morning from cold with a flick of the key. Still don't know where
the smoke came from. I bet if I opened the old regulator it would be
cooked inside. Also ordered a new solenoid just to complete the job.
The evidence points to a faulty ignition switch.

mike

[Image: 1_11_11_13_11_50_27.png]
  Reply
#2
It could be your solenoid isn't poassing power along to the ignition circuit. I would probably just replace it rather than wait for it to be in a failure mode to test it.

Or you might need to reinject the smoke

A Treatise on the Importance of Smoke
by Joseph Lucas

Positive ground depends on proper circuit functioning, which is the transmission of negative ions by retention of the visible spectral manifestation known as "smoke". Smoke is the thing that makes electrical circuits work. We know this to be true because every time one lets the smoke out of an electrical circuit, it stops working. This can be verified repeatedly through empirical testing. For example, if one places a copper bar across the terminals of a battery, prodigious quantities of smoke are liberated and the battery shortly ceases to function. In addition, if one observes smoke escaping from an electrical component such as a Lucas voltage regulator, it will also be observed that the component no longer functions. The logic is elementary and inescapable!

The function of the wiring harness is to conduct the smoke from one device to another. When the wiring springs a leak and lets all the smoke out of the system, nothing works afterward.

Starter motors were considered unsuitable for British motorcycles for some time largely because they consumed large quantities of
smoke, requiring very unsightly large wires.

It has been reported that Lucas electrical components are possibly more prone to electrical leakage than their Bosch, Japanese or American counterparts. Experts point out that this is because Lucas is British, and all things British leak. British engines leak oil, British shock absorbers, hydraulic forks and disk brake systems leak fluid, British tires leak air and British Intelligence leaks national defence secrets. Therefore, it follows that British electrical systems must leak smoke. Once again, the logic is clear and inescapable.

In conclusion, the basic concept of transmission of electrical energy in the form of smoke provides a logical explanation of the mysteries of electrical components - especially British units manufactured by Joseph Lucas, Ltd.

[Image: 1_01_07_15_8_53_18.png]

"I love my Hookers!" and "Get some Strange" probably have a different connotation to non automotive enthusiasts!
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#3
Two possible issues here:
First, sounds like you have cheap, too thin battery cables. The high amperage draw during starting events creates so much resistance the cables are heating up and fusing, melting the insulation...creating the smoke.
Get some high-quality, heavy-duty battery cables. The factory OEM cables and even the best quailty authentic repros are only mediocre at best.
Second, poor grounds will dramatically exacerbate the issue. Bad grounds are probably the #1 source of aggravating, intermittent and hard-to-locate problems on old cars like ours.
Tight connections isn't enough after 30-plus years. Remove each ground cable, thoroughly clean EVERY connecting surface with a little sandpaper or an emery board/ cloth, make sure every connection is then tight.
Typical trouble spot: the main ground cable attached to the engine block. Years of exposure can allow corrosion to seep into even a tight connection. Remove and clean thoroughly.

Might solve your issues.

Good luck!
  Reply
#4
Kit Sullivan;186058 Wrote:Two possible issues here:
First, sounds like you have cheap, too thin battery cables. The high amperage draw during starting events creates so much resistance the cables are heating up and fusing, melting the insulation...creating the smoke.
Get some high-quality, heavy-duty battery cables. The factory OEM cables and even the best quailty authentic repros are only mediocre at best.
Second, poor grounds will dramatically exacerbate the issue. Bad grounds are probably the #1 source of aggravating, intermittent and hard-to-locate problems on old cars like ours.
Tight connections isn't enough after 30-plus years. Remove each ground cable, thoroughly clean EVERY connecting surface with a little sandpaper or an emery board/ cloth, make sure every connection is then tight.
Typical trouble spot: the main ground cable attached to the engine block. Years of exposure can allow corrosion to seep into even a tight connection. Remove and clean thoroughly.

Might solve your issues.

Good luck!

I will replace the battery ground cable although it is maybe 5 years
old. I think you are on to something.

mike
  Reply
#5
I would also check for corrosion where the wire connects to the clamp, they used to be molded into the lead clamp and didn't have corrosion issues, many today aren't and the connection corrodes. Make sure the posts on the battery and the cable clamps are clean.



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
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#6
So it would crank but not start?

The smoke is from the carb. My Jeep was going this. It would crank for a second and it would kind of backfire but no pow! Smoke would come from under the hood. It appears to be from the battery area because that is where the air cleaner horn is pointing.

'Mike'
73 Convertible - 351C/4V CC heads/4bolt/forged flat tops/comp 270/rhodes/mallory unilite/tri-power/hookers/glasspacks/c6/3.50 limited slip/Gear Vendors/Global West sub frames, strut rods and shelby style traction bars/ Rear sway bar/tilt steering (not original)

Pics of modifications included in:
  Reply
#7
will e;186136 Wrote:So it would crank but not start?

The smoke is from the carb. My Jeep was going this. It would crank for a second and it would kind of backfire but no pow! Smoke would come from under the hood. It appears to be from the battery area because that is where the air cleaner horn is pointing.

That is an interesting thought! It would occasionally "pop" but not
exactly a backfire. I like that idea a lot better than an electrical
short. I think we solved the problem by replacing the ignition
switch. The car starts with a flick of the key now even when cold.

mike
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