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Sherlock Ohms

The Fuse Holders Wouldn’t Hold

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tekochip
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Platinum
Poor Connection
tekochip   9/9/2013 8:16:01 AM
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Poor fuse holder connections can also blow the fuse, as the high contact resistance heats the body of the fuse.  This is sometimes a pretty tough failure ti track down.


Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Poor Connection
Rob Spiegel   9/9/2013 9:30:17 AM
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Yes, Tekochip, this must have been hard to track down. And I'll bet this was a problem for many of those who owned this car. A simple change in the fuse holder selection would have saved a lot of trouble.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Those Lucas fuseholders
William K.   9/9/2013 10:56:02 AM
This story reminds me of a joke that I got from a British electrical engineer a few years back. The question had arisen as to why the British drank their beer rather warmer than we do here in the states. The engineer explained that "It is because so many people have Lucas refrigerators." I have not been able to verify the validity of that assertion, but it was quite an interesting testament about the perceived quality of the product line.

I would also offer an opinion about installing any kind of unprotected fuseholder under the hood, which is that it is always an example of very poor engineering. In my part of the world, southeastern Michigan, the entire underhood area is subject to salt spray far more brutal than the military salt spray test. This is not something new, it has been that way for at least 50 years that I have been aware of it.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Those Lucas fuseholders
Rob Spiegel   9/9/2013 11:20:34 AM
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Hey William K, there are a couple theories about warm beer. One is simply that there is more flavor at warmer temps. In the past Americans favored bland beers, so the ice cold temp didn't kill the flavor. That's changed of course, and now Americans actually like tasty beer, maybe warmer beer will come to America.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Poor Connection
Charles Murray   9/9/2013 6:51:17 PM
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Yes, I agree this must have been difficult to track down. Problems like these confound the best mechanics and are responsible for inordinate amounts of labor time. They're also responsible for people giving up on their cars before their time is really up.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Those Lucas fuseholders
William K.   9/9/2013 7:50:13 PM
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Rob, OK, it seems that you don't buy the story about Lucas refrigerators. BUT I got it straight from an Englishman, and we all know that they never exagerate, Right?

Battar
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Those Lucas fuseholders
Battar   9/10/2013 8:50:45 AM
Not for nothing has a leading UK motoring journalist (aka Jeremy Clarkson, aka "that insufferable prat" ) named Lucas "the prince of darkness". Reliability of British built cars in the 70's and 80's has always been a bit of a joke.  Eventually the UK stopped making cars on their own initiative, letting the Japanese teach them how to build Nissans, and selling Jaguar to the Indians (Tata), Rolls Royce and Bently to the Germans (VW and BMW) and Rover to the Chinese (MG, or Rowei).

PMB
User Rank
Iron
Re: Those Lucas fuseholders
PMB   9/10/2013 9:06:37 AM
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William, please bear in mind that the subject Lotus is mid-engined, thus "under the edge f the inner front fender", while technically "under the hood" (bonnet, in the UK), is far removed from the heat and other aspects typical of proximity to the engine.

Peter

PMB
User Rank
Iron
Re: Poor Connection
PMB   9/10/2013 9:13:29 AM
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Colin Chapman had one overriding design philosophy which, in this case and perhaps a few others, worked to his detriment:  No component was allowed to do only one job.    Thus he was probably thrilled with the concept of integrating the fuse holder with the relay.  Had the concept been soundly executed, a great idea; but in the implemented design, not so much...

At least with the modification, that 'integration' is to a certain extent maintained, and the in-line fuse holders are  actually much more 'sealed' than their predecessors which featured totally unprotected contacts.

Peter (who doesn't drink beer, warm or otherwise...but has the T-shirt)

 

kf2qd
User Rank
Platinum
Lucas - ahead of their time...
kf2qd   9/10/2013 9:44:46 AM
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Everyone thinks that Lucas had a quality problem... They were just ahead of their time. It is called "Planned Obsolescence" an Idea that the various US manufacturers have plyed with to varying degrees of success or failure. Though for the British motor industry, the standardization to Lucas parts made the problems  universal rather than manufacturer specific. It is interesting that this "single vendor" mentality had a large part in the ending of "The British Auto Industry". When Leyland bought the sole company doing sheet metal bodywork it just finished it off...

Probably the only thing that has kept the US auto industry going is that the market is large enough that the individual car companies can support the multiple supply chains so every car doens't have exactly the same problem. And because of this there is some competition because there is something to compare your car against, as the different vendors don't all have the same design weaknesses.

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