Chicagoland MG Club: Tech Tips

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  Chicagoland MG Club:Tech Tips

Lucas, Prince of Darkness, A Bad Rap?

I have driven my 1960 Bugeye Sprite since 1961, when I bought it new. I'm not totally convinced that Lucas should be blamed for wet-starting problems. My Sprite will start and run when even a relatively new piece of Detroit or Japanese iron won't.

If your car runs fine once it starts, but won't start in the rain or fog, chances are you have a very easily solved problem. Most likely you have bad high voltage ignition wires. Replace them. If they are relatively new, take off your distributor cap with wires and run them through your dishwasher. For your own safety, I would suggest you do this sometime when your spouse is at the mall or somewhere else. (A wipe-down won't do as well, since the wires will still have a film of oil which will attract and hold moisture leading to a short.)

After the wash, rinse and dry cycles, make sure the carbon brush is still in the cap. Now remove the wires from the cap, clean the distributor and fire it up. If you have done it well, and you have no other problems like a defective coil, bad points, or cracked cap, etc., your engine will now start and run regardless of the weather. BR>
I wash my wires every year or so and my Sprite and Triumph will fire right up, even after a long winter's nap, regardless of the weather.

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