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About a week ago, I heard a thud from the garage, as I sat in my office next door.  I passed it off as a crow landing on the tin roof.

A couple of days ago, I was getting set up to do a minor service on my wife’s daily.  I found a small square of black plastic lying on the floor where she parks.  It had a handle, and the words AC Delco on it.  

I kinda recognized it without knowing where it was from, binned it and got on with the job.

Today I needed to turn on my compressor to blow out some dust, and noticed this tucked in the corner.



I’d forgoten 

I’d hooked it up to the dumb as charger about 6 weeks ago, when it had a lid and a handle, which said “AC Delco”

lucky me that 

(a) Julz’s Corolla wasn’t present when it blew, so no paint killage,


(b) it was tucked away in a corner where the acid couldn’t spray onto the 6Fire.

note to self, use the smart charger, or check into the garage after using the dumb ones





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Talking of batteries, Chris a friend who's TR8 I garage and look after brought over a couple of almost new YUSAKA car batteries last week, they had been donated to his Clay Club for running the traps by a member who works for a battery distributor. Story was they were new units that customers returned as duds, but when tested afterwards on the bench were absolutely perfect. Chris though I would like to have a couple of good spares around.

So earlier this week I decided that I would try and get the new competition bonnet finished and fitted for Prescott this weekend, all I really had left to do was finish making the wiring loom and fit the light units. Loom by customising from portion of a Spitfire one was easy, as was fitting the light units. So thought I'd test all the lights before fitting bonnet as I had had to make a lot of soldered bullets to fit the old lucar connectors, and its easier to play with bonnet off.

Grabbed one of the new batteriers, flashed a wire between the two posts got a health spark, so set about  testing, hooked a clamp lead to each battery terminal, ran them to a block so that I could then apply the terminator connectors of the bonnet loom to it and test each light individually.

Nothing worked!  OK must be a bad earth follow the earth wire through each of its connectors fiddling but getting nowhere, ok make a couple of fly leads plug direct on to the light unit wires and manually hold the the fly leads onto battery, magic light works, so must be bad earth or bad live follow things back a junction on each, test, doesn't work! broken wires, bad lucar connecting blocks? get multi meter, test, everything ok, attach fly leads test, OK hm must have been doggy connection in Lucar, corroded. Anyway this goes on for an hour or so, one moment a light works, next it doesn't, get one working, get another working, hook two together and nothing works. There seemed to be no logic other than I must have done a crap job soldering on bullets, and that some of the old ones on the lights units must also be suspect, not to mention possibly bad connector blocks that I was slowing building a pile  of suspect ones. By this time I'm already cutting of new and old bullets and using new crimps.. but still nothing made sense about when it worked and when it didn't.

Sat back contemplating as I tested a light unit direct using fly leads, it worked, tried again it didn't, this is stupid what is different, have I got power at battery? Flash ark'd it it sparked, flashed again it didn't! tried again it didn't, tried again it did! UH!

Looked again and realised that if I ark'd across the top of the battery posts it worked, do it on the side of the posts it invariably didn't! grubby corroded lead posts? cleaned them made no difference. Had a real close look at the terminals and realised that the posts had a central lead core, and that around them they had a further lead ring that made them the correct terminal size. Clipped a Crocodile clip on the outside wiggled and the whole outer lead ring just pulled straight of the central core , tested the other exactly the same although a bit tighter. A look at the inside of the outer lead rings showed a nice blue/white furring.

The blasted terminals conducted power if you touched the top of the central core, but didn't or rather only occasionally did if you touched the outside of the outer!

So anyway explains why customers brought them back as dud when they had normally battery clamps around the outer, but put them on a bench and apply two good probes to the top of the terminals to test and magic perfect condition battery!

So I had wasted hours looking for cabling faults, where what I had was random power, usually worked when I dabbed a fly lead on top, sometimes didn't, occasionally worked if i dabbed it on the side, and most of the time didn't work when I used proper clips around the sides to feed my testing power block!

No the new bonnet isn't fitted! just squandered the fitting time playing Sparky! and Saturday is too close now to start!




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I've never actually blown the lid off the battery by over-charging - though this is luck, not judgement.  We did blow the lid off a battery many years ago when connecting two in series to start a very recalcitrant full race Mini - wrong connection made last and a spark lit the gases.  Huge bang, acid everywhere.  Luckily no one got any in the face and the hose pipe was handy.

I do have a smart charger these days - and also a dumb one.


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