Joe Lucas, Prince Of Darkness, Continues To Haunt 20R Sprite Hell Project

Having owned British cars prior to taking on the '67 Sprite Hell Project, you'd think I'd have learned my lesson about Lucas Electrics: always remove every last trace of the Prince Of Darkness' evil works!

Joe Lucas, Prince Of Darkness, Continues To Haunt 20R Sprite Hell Project

When I started the rewiring project, my plan was to remove every single component that ever transported electrons for the POD. However, I got lazy when it came to the taillights and front turn signal lights. Here's the "before" shot of the taillight wiring (cue spooky haunted-house music).

Joe Lucas, Prince Of Darkness, Continues To Haunt 20R Sprite Hell Project

And here's the "after" shot. You can see how I totally, utterly failed here; rather than gut the light assemblies and transplant nice reliable sockets and wiring from a junkyard-donor Infiniti (my car of choice for light-bulb-related hardware), I kept the Lucas sockets and spliced my harness into the few inches of Lucas wire heading into them. Note the cut wire in this image; that's from the early stages of my "why ain't this working?" testing.

Joe Lucas, Prince Of Darkness, Continues To Haunt 20R Sprite Hell Project

But that wasn't the real bonehead move. Oh no, that was the way I totally spaced on testing the lights for continuity and/or inadvertent grounding. Sure enough, when I had the wiring all done and started flipping switches, I popped a fuse every time I activated the brake lights, right turn, or taillights. Turns out that one brake light socket, one taillight socket, the license plate light socket, plus front and rear right turn signal sockets were dead shorts. That's five out of nine possible for the Prince Of Darkness!

Joe Lucas, Prince Of Darkness, Continues To Haunt 20R Sprite Hell Project

Now, it's not entirely fair to single out British cars for electrical problems, because Detroit really doesn't get the recognition it deserves for maddening electrical problems, but Lucas Electrics got their fame for the combination of unreliability and symptom-masking undiagnosability. I should know better, too, because- in addition to having had MGs as daily drivers- I used some Lucas components in the Turbo II, Junkyard Boogaloo Boombox and had all of them fail. I thought it would be fun to use some Jaguar marker lights, both of which required total rebuilds in order to get juice to the bulbs, and the Lucas switch I tried to use? Ha ha ha! Smell the melting plastic! So, now I'll be completely excorcising the sulfur-scented works of the Prince from my project before I proceed.