By Mike Peake.
Further help then came from a most surprising source. I noticed that Simon Stock Yeardon had commented on my post. So, with a heavy heart I clicked on the notification expecting sarcastic comments or accusations of alcoholism. Imagine my shock then, when I came across a comment that was actually rather helpful. No, really it was!
He’d posted a link to a scanned copy of a jolly useful booklet issued by Lucas and aimed at small independent garages. It was full of instructions of all the procedures to thoroughly test and check all the functions of the Lucas C40 dynamo and regulator. I printed this off and then did nothing for a couple of weeks as I was a bit busy.
A couple of weeks later I had found my enthusiasm for car tinkering again and I was back at the lockup. (It was that or rebuild a garden wall that some idiot knocked down with a caravan!) There I was, in my red boiler suit not looking like Po from the Teletubbies in the slightest, with all my tools around me.
The car was edged out of the lockup and I was ready to go. I just needed that bargain multi-meter that I’d bought off flea bay for £3.99 2 years ago. It took a while to find it but I did. Apparently, cheap as chips multi-meters don’t react well to having a pack of stubby spanners thrown in the box on top of them. I had no option but to pack up and head home having achieved sweet …… err having achieved not very much at all.
I did make sure that this took me long enough that I didn’t still have to build the wall when I got home.
I ordered a new multi-meter from Amazon and less than 12 hours later, on a Sunday, it arrived. Now that’s impressive! I was very quickly back in my red boiler suit , in my red boiler suit not looking like Po from the Teletubbies in the slightest,, with all my tools around me and the car was edged out of the lockup. I was ready to pretend that I knew how to use a multi-meter.
Simon’s wonderful booklet said *puts on best 50’s BBC announcers voice* “Test 1. With the engine running, disconnect wires from the dynamo. Attach the red lead from the test meter to terminal D and the other lead to a good earth. Then, run up the engine to 3000 RPM. If you get a reading of between 2-3 volts, your brushes and commutator are in good order.”
Well I had no idea which one was terminal “D” so I went for the big one on the top as that was easiest to get to and connected the black lead to the –ve battery terminal. Then, like a proper mechanic, I raised the revs to 3000 by moving the throttle linkage on the carb. (Sometimes I even impress myself!) The reading on the meter never exceeded 0.1V though. Maybe that wasn’t “Terminal D” then, I thought.
So I tried the other one with the same result. Being a clever chap, I deduced that having not got the required 2-3V, my brushes and commutator are NOT in good order! Indeed, when I removed the dynamo from the car and looked in the back, air could clearly be seen between the black blocky thingy and the shiny spinney roundy thingy,
I was actually really pleased with this result for 2 reasons. Firstly, the rest of the tests looked progressively more complicated. I didn’t even read Test 4 all the way through for fear that my little head would just explode. Secondly, it’s the brushes. I’ve seen them for sale at £2.50 and I’ve changed brushes before, how hard can it be?
Now I just need a clear area in which to strip the dynamo. What do you reckon? Coffee table or kitchen top?
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