You gotta admit, those Jeep owners are pretty nice guys. Glad you made
93 Jeep Cherokee (soon to get a 4.5" lift)
00 Chevy Venture Mini Van (Wife's Car)
Jeff McNeal wrote:
> Today was the warmest day we've had in San Diego in some time. This
> evening, about an hour ago (7pm), I had an errand to run. A check to put in
> the mail to Joe Curry for the tach I just bought from him (thanks again,
> Joe!) and a deposit to make at the bank.
> The temperature outside was about 67 degrees. As I made my way towards the
> freeway, I glanced up just long enough to take in the beautiful night sky
> and the bright stars above. Taking a deep breath of satisfaction on my
> first night out with Mrs. Jones, I was reminded of how I felt when I took my
> first Spitfire out for the first time at night back in 1976 when I was 16.
> Man, it felt SO good. The feeling REALLY took me back -- seeing the freshly
> cleaned and reassembled guages illuminated in the dark; glancing over my
> shoulder to see the warm red glow of the taillights (the only car I've ever
> owned where you can see the taillights while you're driving), the purring
> exhaust note; the cool night air, etc.
> Then, I noticed something sort of funky at the stoplight right before the
> When the car was idling, the lights all went very dim, even at 1,000 RPM,
> but they brightened up and seemed fine at about 1,400. Oh-oh. I had a few
> silent, yet choice words for my Lucas generator and voltage regulator, the
> light turned green, the lights were bright and I was on my way. On the
> freeway, I hit speeds up to 75 MPH, but didn't want to sustain 4,500 RPM for
> long, so I dropped back to about 65 MPH and enjoyed the ride into town,
> checking those stars, along with the rest of the traffic, on occasion. As I
> exited the freeway, I noticed the same thing with the lights dimming again.
> Loose fan belt? Maybe, but I sure didn't think so...
> At the second light after I exited the freeway, where I was in the front of
> the line in a left turn lane at a major intersection, I suffered a complete
> and TOTAL electrical failure, after I let the RPM dip too low. The left
> arrow had just turned green for me and BLIP! No idiot lights, no
> headlights, no ignition -- no ANYTHING. S%$! "C'Mon, Mrs. Jones! Speak to
> me, baby!" I knew I couldn't stay there and as I opened my door to begin
> pushing the car out of the intersection, horns started to blare from several
> cars back. I had to push slightly uphill and at that moment, I was VERY
> grateful that the Spitfire is such an easy car to PUSH.
> A good samaritan in a Jeep stayed behind me at I pushed the car uphill and
> safely to the curb on the street perpendicular to where I had been. He
> offered to give me a push, but knowing the massive body damage that would
> result, I politely declined. Realizing that I after driving 350 miles with
> no major problems, I had gotten rather cocky and didn't have my cell phone.
> What's worse, I didn't have a flashlight or any tools with me, either. I
> did NOT want to leave the car there, open and exposed. By the same token,
> my wife was out for the evening and I knew that my two boys at home would
> begin to worry if I didn't check in soon.
> Opening the bonnet, the first thing I checked were the fuses. I had two
> spares, fortunately. Unfortunately, that wasn't the problem. All the fuses
> were fine. I wriggled the wires connected to the generator, solenoid,
> battery and coil. Still, nothing. I felt around and checked the ignition
> wires behind the dash. All connected. The wiring harness is very recent,
> installed by the PO not too long ago. I've seen messy wiring before, but my
> wires are all orderly (as much as possible, anyway) and good. I was
> beginning to stress a bit, muttering, "think, THINK" under my breath, when a
> second Jeep pulled up in front. A young man got out of the passenger side
> and asked if I needed a hand. I explained the problem and he had no clue
> whatsoever. Since the fuses were fine and nothing had burned up, I thought
> that the battery connection just HAD to be the culprit. I wriggled the
> positive lead around on the battery post again and --voila! We had
> Greatly relieved, I profusely thanked Corey -- and his father who had
> stopped to lend a hand. If push came to shove, I would have used their cell
> phone to call a tow truck.
> As I pulled away from the curb, I gave the samaritans a wave and a toot from
> the dual note horn, pulled into the post office, dropped Joe's check in the
> mail after climbing over my passenger seat and headed off to the bank.
> Happy again, and adding "flashlight" to the tool items I want to begin
> carrying in the trunk. The cool night air felt good, since pushing the car
> 30 yards or so generated a sufficient amount of body heat. After getting
> into some strange contortions at the drive up ATM machine, I've decided that
> drive throughs in my RHD Spitfire are a thing of the past. I also took note
> that my lights no longer dimmed at the intersections. At 1,000 RPM, the
> charging system, now reconnected to the battery, was doing its thing
> properly. Although they dip to the left, must say that I was very pleased
> with the performance of what I'm assuming are the original Lucas sealed beam
> headlights. Bright enough that I won't be ditching them for halogens
> anytime soon! I'll try to aim them a bit better for right hand roads, but I
> was duly impressed.
> Alls well that ends well.
> Question. I've noticed (even at night or when its cool) that my temperature
> gets into the top third region of the scale when I'm idling at a stop for
> any length of time. I seem to recall this as being normal. While driving
> at speed, the temp rarely gets past the first tick of the center position.
> Best wishes,
> Jeff in San Diego
> '67 RHD Spitfire Mk3 aka "Mrs. Jones"
> Jeff's Classic '67 Spitfire Mk3 site
> home of the NEW Totally Triumph Auction
> "By Triumph enthusiasts, for Triumph enthusiasts"
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