LECTRICAL Long ago, in the pre-restoration period, when this car was used daily for general domestic duties, it was never completely reliable: the lights were always a bit erratic and it always seemed to crank very slowly, which made it hard to start. One day as I was trying to coax it into life, I noticed a wisp of smoke coming from the carburettor linkage; and when I touched it, it was hot enough to make me wish I hadn't. Evidently the electrons used this linkage as a shortcut on their way back to the battery after trying to persuade the starter motor to live up to its name. I can't guess how they got there, or where they went afterwards, but I didn't think they should be anywhere even close. To keep them away I ran a heavy duty wire directly from the battery earth terminal to the starter motor fixing bolts. Thereafter it cranked well, and that prompted the second fix, which was to run an earth wire from each light right back to the battery earth, avoiding earth returns through corroded steel or painted panels. It looked messy (of course, by then the whole car looked messy, anyway), but after that I had no more trouble from the electrics, and if there were any bits which still relied on return through the chassis they were obviously well-earthed or non-critical, because they didn't worry me.
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