On the Perversity of Lucas
I first realised that the spirit of Lucas was alive and well and
hiding in my Land-Rover when my engine suddenly quit while driving
in convoy in the Eastern Cape. The 1" piece of wire connecting the
points to the outside of the distributor, the only piece of original
wire left after a complete rebuild and rewire, had disintegrated. So
I replaced it, and thought that I had banished the evil spirit of
The other night, driving to Sutherland, the dims switched themselves
on. I correctly suspected the relay (I have separate relays for
ignition, dims, brights and still-to-be-fitted spots, and they start
doing these things if they get wet) - pulled the fuse and no worries.
OK, so two nights later, driving back from a supper that couldn't
be beat, the dims quit. OK, cool, I think, the buggering relay has
given up the ghost permanently. Give Donald in front of me some
leeway and switch to brights. Again, no worries.
Which brings us to Monday night and driving back home from Sutherland.
Somewhere past Ceres I decide that it's time to fix the lights --
I should be able to switch over to the spare relay or just short it
out totally -- and I notice that I have no lights at all. Parks, of
course, but no brights, no dims, wat nou? Turns out that the bulbs are
blown. Both of them. OK, I should have at least one spare bulb around
here somewhere, that'll get me home, scratch, scratch, aikona. Zip. Nada.
F˘kol. Brake, indicator, panel light bulbs, but no headlight bulbs.
So, I have to drive home via Worcester, get the 24hr breakdown guy
to come in and sell me two bulbs (R100 for the first one, 'cause
he had to come in, and R45 for the second, I still have to find
out if I was robbed), fit them and everything's good.
Which brings us to the perversity of Lucas. Why did both bulbs
blow? At the same time? I noticed, when I plugged the new bulbs
in, that the dims were on again. Aha! So what happened is that
the buggering relay decided to switch on again in the middle
of the night - I didn't pull the fuse, 'cause the dims were dead
anyway. Normally that would have given me a flat battery the next
morning, and I would have needed a jump start. But no... It was
also fairly cold. -5 degrees or maybe even less. Frost all over
the place, including, presumably, the headlights. So, when the
power came on, both bulbs simply cracked. Leaving me with a
detour and a callout charge. Yes, it is the spirit of Lucas that
chose the coldest night the Land-Rover has seen to pull these
tricks. Perverse, I tell you... :-)
Now, I wonder which other tricks Lucas has up his sleeve?
P.S. Yes, I was robbed :-)
I bought two bulbs for R11.50 each from Tonnessens.