Tech Tips:  Serious Fire Hazard

This warning applies to all Hunter & Arrow type vehicles, as well as any other models where the battery and starter motor are on opposite sides of the engine.
Jim Leach has been a professional motor mechanic for a few decades, and has worked on several hundred Rootes vehicles as well as other British cars.  He has prepared his own Sunbeam Alpine and Tiger race cars.  Overall, he's owned "about twenty Rootesmobiles."

From: Tigerootes(at)aol.com
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 10:08 AM
To: HillmanCars@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [HillmanCars] Re: Arrow on eBay (important)


      ... (snip) ... the positive battery cable is routed from the right fenderwell battery location, across the rear or the engine to the starter solenoid, which is integral to the starter motor, ala MGB/GT.

      After years of service, the insulation on the wire can chafe away on the steel loops that hold it to the rear headbolts (or if those "clamps" are missing, the cable rides on top of the bell housing) and once the insulation goes away, the cable finds earth (ground).

      When it does, it gets very hot and it sags ... and then it burns thru the plastic fuel line.

      That sets the stage for a major fire fed by however much fuel is in the fuel tank at the time.

      Without a doubt in my mind, these days, there would be a recall from the manufacturer.

      Exactly that scenario happened within less than a mile from me to a 1969 Alpine Fastback in about 1979 and I have seen at least 6 other Arrows (Hunters) and Fastbacks (Rapiers) in wrecking yards that (obviously) had the same thing happen to them.

      My simple, "cheap" solution on every Hunter-Range car I work on is to thread the positive battery cable thru a length of heater hose, to double-insulate it where it crosses the rear of the engine block.

      Perhaps this is a big tech-tip to be considered by all with Hunters...

Jim Leach    Pacific Tiger Club     Seattle

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