Tag Archives: Magic Smoke

Um, Some of the Magic Smoke Got Out

It has been said that Lucas Electric components rely on this mysterious “magic smoke.”  Whilst the smoke is inside components, they work fine.  But if you should, say, cross two wires, the smoke gets out and things stop working.

That’s what happened today to the radio.  Some of the magic smoke got out.

I’m not sure when the radio last played, but it hasn’t worked since being parked in Minneapolis.  So today I tried to diagnose the problem by removing the radio and fiddling with the insides.  Keep in mind, this is the original radio — there’s a stamp inside that reads “Dec. 1964.”

The radio powered up (that is, there was a light on inside, and if  you wiggle the speaker wires, you would hear a crackle of static).  But it wasn’t picking up any stations or even the odd squeaks between stations.  Complete silence.

After playing with it for a while, I smelled the scent of fresh rain on a dry desert.  I thought one of my neighbors was up to something.

And then I saw it.

A little plume of magic smoke drifted up from the top of the radio.

There it was: the magic Lucas Electric smoke.  It drifted carelessly up through the cabin, free from the confines of the radio wires.  And with it went any hope of getting the radio to turn on.

This is where the magic smoke escaped.

In its place, the magic smoke left behind one charred little component on a psychedelic circuit board.

Everything has been put back together (radio, fascia, knobs).  And the power has been disconnected from the radio to keep the rest of the magic smoke inside.

That’s too bad because, while I’m not sure what the next steps are for the radio, it won’t be playing any lovely tunes anytime soon.


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Filed under Lucas Electric, Triumph Spitfire

The Prince Of Darkness Shines Bright

The driver's side headlight is the original Lucas Electric headlight. And it still works!

So far, I’m extremely impressed with the quality of the Lucas Electric components in the car.

There, I said it.

And now I’ve probably jinxed myself and will now experience an endless list of electric issues.

In all seriousness, all the electric systems seem to be working fine (at least the ones I’ve tested).  All the lights appear to work, including the original Lucas Electric headlight, thank you very much.  And the car turns over (though it doesn’t start yet).  And so far, there doesn’t appear to be any magic smoke leaking out of any cables or components.

I’m surprised because, while researching Triumphs, there seems to be no shortage of complaints (and jokes) about Lucas Electric.  Mr. Lucas is even known as the Prince Of Darkness.  So far, it looks like the Prince has skipped this particular Triumph.

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Filed under Lucas Electric, Triumph Spitfire