Lotus Elan

Lucas Lord of Darkness: Worth the 100% Premium?

PostPost by: Stevie-Heathie » Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:52 pm

As usual, one job reveals the need for another. Changing out all my bulbs for LEDs (highly recommended incidentally, especially the "warm light" versions) revealed that my indicator stalk is goosed.

So, to eBay I went and there are two price points. New Lucas ones go for about ?30 whereas "unbranded" ones (with 12 month warranty) go for about ?15.

Given the number of times the Lord of Darkness has let me down over the years it beggars belief that the Lucas brand commands such a premium.

Do you guys prefer Lucas stuff over the generic option for these kind of applications? Can it really be twice as good? I've been out of the game for 14 years so your insights much appreciated.

Many thanks
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PostPost by: nomad » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:01 pm

In general, concerning the electric's, Its my opinion that old stock Lucas or good used is superior to anything offered today.


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PostPost by: lotusfan » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:05 pm

You only get what you pay for in this life. I bought a ?15 winker switch and it failed in a very short time. It was replaced with a Lucas one and all is well.
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PostPost by: Stevie-Heathie » Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:35 pm

Thanks for the advice. Lucas it is then. (Shopped around and found a Triumph specialist selling the Lucas part at a better price btw)

Best
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PostPost by: The Veg » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:12 am

Stevie-Heathie wrote:Given the number of times the Lord of Darkness has let me down over the years it beggars belief that the Lucas brand commands such a premium.


I'd thought that Lucas was defunct. Some digging on teh interwebz says that the company that earned so much derision has indeed been defunct since 1996, and that the name is now owned by ZF and licensed to Elta. Good on them for giving Lucas a fresh start, although I have to question their sanity for wanting to use the name, all things considered. Still, I suppose from such a fresh start it's easier to make a quality product.
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:02 am

There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:49 pm

StressCraxx wrote:The Lucas name lives on...

http://www.lucasaerospace.eu/


The funny thing about that is that I remember reading somewhere that the last product to bear the original Lucas name after they'd been absorbed by TRW was an APU for commercial aircraft. Do you really want the Lord of Darkness being responsible for keeping the electrons flowing in aeroplanes? :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: elanner » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:40 am

I'll never forget when Lucas started using their last, modernized logo, many years ago, some wag in a newspaper referred to it as "Going downhill and backwards." ;-)

lucas_industries_logo.png and

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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:08 am

The Lucas Pacemaker white paper was what got to me.

Lucas also bought the Bendix high speed aerospace and industrial coupling lines. It was a less than optimal product. One tiny scratch on the diaphragm, it would fail from the stress raiser and lose drive. Not a good failure mode for a turbine drive on aircraft.
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PostPost by: oldchieft » Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:35 pm

Lucas aerospace was Bolton Paul, the firm that built the Defiant night fighter, it could have been a good plane.

In the jet age, Boulton Paul worked on the English Electric Canberra and de Havilland Vampire. It designed and built a couple of delta-wing jet-engined aircraft for research work and continued to tender designs for official requirements. In 1961 the company was acquired by Dowty Group and was renamed Dowty Boulton Paul Ltd and then Dowty Aerospace.

They went through a few other owners and names, but they did good work making parts for Boing and other plane builders.

My uncle work at the the Wolverhampton works for about 30 years.

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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:44 pm

I'v always felt that Lucas got an undeserved bad name, largely thanks to British Leyland, BMC and predecessors. Lucas main components like starters, dynamos (generators), distributors and so on were as good as any, and their competition stuff was excellent.
Where they were let down was, for example, by lights that flickered because the earth return (ground) was by self-tapping screws into steel bodywork that rusted very quickly, making the connections intermittent. It was touch-and-go whether the car fell apart before the lights stopped working.
They were victims of the malaise that was the British motor industry in the later 60s and 70s, Donald Stokes, Red Robbo and all.
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PostPost by: Chancer » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:51 pm

And you can be sure that if the British motor industry had given a four X like the Japanese and the Germans, then they would have insisted that Lucas provide quality parts that added to the reliability of the vehicle and Lucas would have been on an even footing with Bosch, Nippondenso, Valeo etc.

As it was they could provide pretty marginal products that didnt evolve over d?cades which were nonethless as reliable or even more reliable than the rest of the vehicle. I dont think the UK ever lacked the savoir faire just the motivation or the demand for quality.
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PostPost by: oldchieft » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:59 am

Chancer wrote:And you can be sure that if the British motor industry had given a four X like the Japanese and the Germans, then they would have insisted that Lucas provide quality parts that added to the reliability of the vehicle and Lucas would have been on an even footing with Bosch, Nippondenso, Valeo etc.


It was driven by price, for the price they were paid they did a good job.

Chancer wrote:As it was they could provide pretty marginal products that didnt evolve over d?cades which were nonethless as reliable or even more reliable than the rest of the vehicle. I dont think the UK ever lacked the savoir faire just the motivation or the demand for quality.


They also lacked management worth the name, and as the management didn't give a crap, the work force was the same.

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PostPost by: Chancer » Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:56 am

Yes all contributory factors amongst others, I was welding up an repairing Britains finest products from the age of 14 through to 26 to put a roof over my head and support myself through my apprenticeship and further education, I recall my first exposure to a Japanese vehicle and it was a revelation a little Colt hatchback, tatty and battered with 100K miles on the clock completely neglected and I dont think it had even been serviced from new, a non DIY friend owned it and asked me to look at it as the o?l warning light had been on for several months :shock:

The sender had gone but I could not believe the mechanical, electrical and bodywork condition of the vehicle considering its total neglect, it still ran like a sewing machine, o?l and filters changed, plugs aand points gapped and it was good for another 100K

Later on with a highly tuned X flow in a Westfield with the starter and alternator in proximity to a very hot serpentine work of art I repeatedly suffered every possible falure mode of Lucas starter and alternator and probably a few unique to me, a change to Bosch equivalents and never the slightest hint of a problem.
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PostPost by: Keith Scarfe » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:07 am

To hijack your thread slightly, if that's ok:
Changing out all my bulbs for LEDs (highly recommended incidentally, especially the "warm light" versions)

Where did you get these from? Ebay? do you have a link to them please.
Ta.
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