No Negatives (Except Weather) On A Positive Tech Session!
The skies were cold and overcast on Sunday, April 28th when sixteen LBC owners from the CTR and CTMG clubs arrived at the home of Janet and Alex Thomson for a spring electrical tech session. Although most people left their LBCs at home, Jay Jablonski brought his TR6, Sam Patterson drove his Spitfire, Bill Hughan arrived in his Healey 3000, Geoff Fairbairn piloted a TR3 and Francis Dunne, the first to arrive, came in his MGB.
Extra wood was thrown in the 3 barrel stove to stave off the outside weather while coffee “and” was available for all. The initial vehicles in the shop were Janet & Alex’s TR6 and a John Deere utility Tractor. You may wonder why a tractor was used as a demonstration item. The simple fact is that a starting system is a starting system and tractors such as this one have much less sheet metal to obstruct visibility of the various test points.
The presentation began with an overview of batteries, testing methods, test equipment along with a general discussion of various experiences by participants. Battery testing was accomplished with a variable load tester as well as a simple hydrometer while safety around batteries was emphasized. There was some show and tell of various test instruments as well as failed and ready-to-be-discarded electrical components. Francis Dunne even showed us a set of MG ignition points that had recently failed.
The group then moved over to the Deere to measure and analyze voltage drops along the starting circuit. They found a fairly healthy system with the biggest drop (0.3 volts) between the starter housing and the engine block. We also watched as battery voltage climbed to 14 volts after the engine was started, confirming that the charging system was operational. After a quick break, we moved over to the TR6 to look at the basic Triumph ignition system, confirming that there was a very healthy spark at the coil. No one was shocked at that!
After another break, we made room for the TR3 and A-H 3000 to come into the shop with the Spitfire just outside the shop door. Owners and others ran through an analysis of starting & charging systems, finding some expected and unexpected voltage drops. The misty rain was somewhat of an inhibitor to working outside but the cars didn’t complain.
At the end of the program, participants drove off into the distance with their classroom handouts in hand, ready for the next dry day to enjoy their LBCs. Many thanks to all for making a program enjoyable.
By Alex Thomson