Monthly Archives: August 2010

Ice Cream & Electric Issues

This has been a fun weekend.  Paul has been home (yay!) and yesterday (Saturday) we bled the brakes (again) — it’s so much easier with two people.

After a relaxing nap this afternoon, we decided to take the Spitfire out for a ride for ice cream.  We took the long way around to Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun… then made our way down to Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream (the one just west of Lake Harriet).

Mmmmmm… Grapefruit Mint Sorbet for Paul, Dakota Berry for me.  The patio was nice as it was just getting dark and they had strings of little electric lights hanging through the trees.

And the Triumph had run like a little champ all the way there.

With the ice cream and homemade cones consumed it was time to start heading home.  We meandered our way back to Lake Harriet and the moon was spectacular as the light danced on the lake.

Odd, though… we heard a bit of sputtering coming from the engine.  No worries… it has done that before.  As long as I don’t push it, it doesn’t sputter.

Then it got worse.  After stopping at a stop sign, the Spitfire could barely get going again.

And then we realized the lights were all really dim.  It was well past sunset by this point and we could barely see in front of us, despite the headlights.  Paul suggested turning the headlights off, and that definitely seemed to help reduce the engine sputtering.

I won’t go into depth about every harrowing turn and dark street, but we eventually crawled our way home.  The engine seemed to run better with the choke out.

Now comes the task of trying to figure out what was wrong.  At the moment, my best guess is that the generator is failing (or at least not able to keep up with the drain of all the lights for such a long period of time).

Either way, we’re home safely now.  No accidents were caused.  And we weren’t stopped by the police.  And now Paul and our good friend Jose Cuevo are helping me relax a bit.

UPDATE: Things are definitely pointing to the generator or the regulator.  From what I’ve read online, a problem somewhere in those two components is consistent with what we experienced.  And I think the sputtering was caused by general low voltage, which caused the fuel pump to not deliver as much fuel to the carburetors.

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Filed under Lucas Electric, Triumph Spitfire