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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline OP
Found this somewhat tongue-in-cheek piece while looking for something else.

So now we know how elec-trickery really works in cars!

Positive ground depends upon 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 smoke out of the electrical system, it stops working.

This can be verified repeatedly through empirical testing. When for example, the smoke escapes from an electrical component (like,say,a Lucas voltage regulator), it will be observed that the component stops working. The function of the wire harness is to carry smoke from one device to another, when the wire harness "springs a leak" and lets all the smoke out of the system, nothing works afterwards.

Starter motors were frowned upon in British motorcycles for some time, largely because they consume large quantities of smoke, requiring very large wires. It has been noted that Lucas components are possibly more prone to electrical leakage than Bosch or generic Japanese electrics.

Experts point out that this is because Lucas is British and all things British leak. British engines leak oil, shock absorbers and hydraulic forks and disc brakes leak fluid, British Tyres leak air, and the British defense establishment leaks, naturally, British electrics leak smoke.

From the basic concept of electrical transmission of energy in the form of smoke, a better understanding of the mysteries of electrical components--especially those of Lucas manufacture--is gained by the casual user.


Let the "Prince of Darkness" jokes commence. [Linked Image]

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 456
My understanding is the Brits drink warm beer becasue they keep it in Lucas refrigerators.

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
The Welsh smoke leeks and the French leak... wherever they like!
And our wonderful British cars [ like the superb Austin 'All-aggro' with its square steering wheel ], did not 'leak' oil- this was a deliberate design concept of continuous fresh-oil replenishment for long engine life and a weed-free driveway.
Pity the bodies all collapsed in shards in 4 years due to galloping rust, or the bloody things self-immolated with electrical faults, but you can't have it all!


Wood work but can't!
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline OP
It seems that at least one Frenchman was happy though! Check out this 1977 Leyland TV ad:
(Real Video 10, 1.85MB)

"Zis Allegro is ze best foreign car I have ever owned."

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
I was told by those with experiance to never get on one of these unless it did leak...

[Linked Image from]

Otherwise, it too was prone to crash, as it was out of what it should be leaking - hydraulic fluid. Frieghtening to watch someone fill it back up mid-flight, and use most of a 5 gallon can.

Having sat at bars with thier mechanics, they tell me that there is some called the "cat box" on each one - it's where they keep the cat litter for the floor inside after a few hours of flight.

Anyway, it is good to know that the void is now closed and the Brit's have now come around to the old electrical-smoke theroy we have stood by in the US for so long.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 717
When I used to solely ride Brit bikes, it was well known that we were dealing with "Lucas, the Prince of Darkness"

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,767
Likes: 13
Way back in the olden days disk drives and printers leaked oil on the floor.
I am a Harley guy so I am used to a bike that leaks although most of that classic "Harley leak" is really a maladjusted chain oiler.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 929
Likes: 1
Do you know what a German Shepard and a Harley have in common?

Both like to ride in the back of pick up trucks.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,767
Likes: 13
I don't know about these new Harleys but if you have an old one you can pretty much fix anything that goes wrong with them and use over the counter parts from an industrial supply or farm store. When I was rebuilding a lot of bikes I had a notebook full of cross references between the Harley part and the number you ask for at the bearing store, fastener store and auto parts store for most of the stuff that breaks.

Greg Fretwell

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