Author Topic: Genuine Lucas Ammeter  (Read 382 times)

Offline RogerSB

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Genuine Lucas Ammeter
« on: 19.03. 2019 07:25 »
Last year I had reason to spruce up my GFs charging system and some of you may remember I changed my old ammeter for a new one with a metal case, chrome bezel press fitted all round and with a securing bracket supplied, only to discover, when taking a photo of the speedo’s mileage reading, for agreed value insurance purposes, that on the reverse of the dial printed ‘Lucas - Made in England’ I could clearly see Royal Enfield printed (see photo). It only showed up in the photographed and normally cannot be seen, so I decided to live with it for a while until I got around to buying one of the more expensive ‘genuine’ Lucas ones (Ha! Ha!). The Genuine Lucas one is now in the post and on its way back to the seller for a refund of £29.99 (edit: price was £25.95  *conf* not £29.99). Here’s an extract of my note to the seller explaining why:-

(Quote):-
Today I fitted the ammeter you supplied but it didn’t register anything. It didn’t show a discharge with the lights turned on and engine not running and it did not show any movement of the needle with the engine running and the revs increased – either with the lights on or off.

I do not want a replacement of this ammeter as I don't think the quality is very good, to me it seems a cheaply produced instrument taking advantage of the once highly respected Lucas name.

What I found irritating (apart from it not working) is the cheap way the bezel is manufactured with four tabs bent over a plastic housing to hold it in place instead of being a press fit all the way around. The four tabs allow the bezel to move around and when fitted into the hole in the nacelle do not allow it to sit flush and having gaps where the tabs are. Even fitting with an ammeter rubber gasket this instrument would not sit flush and still showed gaps. It will definitely allow rain water to run through the gaps and into the nacelle and over the electrical connections inside.

I know you are not responsible for its manufacture but as the seller of it I feel I should point out the problems experienced with it.’
(End quote).

Well, after a mornings work trying to get the new ammeter to sit flush, fitting, refitting *rant* and then resorting to my bike’s original 6v ammeter and my wife coming out to the garage saying ‘I thought you said it was a ten minute job’ . . . again, the original 6v ammeter is working fine, as the original problem last year, after converting to 12v, of it not showing a healthy charge was not the ammeter but was solved by changing a V-Reg regulator with a DVR2 and giving the dynamo F and D connections a good clean.

Also attached is a photo of the offending ‘Genuine Lucas’ item, which we know is supplied by a company that bought the Lucas brand name to take advantage of its past reputation, of 100+ years, for high quality.

1960 Golden Flash

Offline Swarfcut

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Re: Genuine Lucas Ammeter
« Reply #1 on: 19.03. 2019 08:32 »
Roger.... Looks OK at first sight! The Royal Enfield logo seems rather strange, perhaps that was the only material lying around, but gives me a good idea of the original geographical source.
    So despite this, are you saying this was an OK unit? But what a disappointment to get a Lucas branded item that does not work. My Lucas ammeter from way back has a plastic body, but I never really noticed the bezel attachment. It was fitted to a cowpat/divers helmet cowl which I seem to remember had cut outs for the four tabs so it fitted flush. Let us know any developments.  This is one area where purchasing from your favourite online auction site gives some certainty of a refund if you go by their rules.

 Swarfy

Online Rex

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Re: Genuine Lucas Ammeter
« Reply #2 on: 19.03. 2019 09:57 »
It was fitted to a cowpat/divers helmet cowl which I seem to remember had cut outs for the four tabs so it fitted flush.
 Swarfy

I agree, the four tabs arrangement isn't a recent development. I have a draw of ancient ammeters (just in case!) in the garage and I reckon most are this tab type.
Good call on the DVR2 reg. It works well, unlike the V-Reg thing which shows a discharge at any speed below 30MPH in my experience. Poor.

Offline RogerSB

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Re: Genuine Lucas Ammeter
« Reply #3 on: 19.03. 2019 11:45 »
Hi Swarfy, here's a photo of the type of ammeter design that was under the overprinted Lucas design. However, it did have a metal body with a pressed on bezel all round and it also came with a securing bracket as shown in the photo of one attached and it fitted perfectly with the rubber o-ring and worked fine . . . and only cost £9.00 + postage.

Swarfy and Rex the nacelle on my GF also has the cut outs but still the bezel didn't sit flush and with the headlight removed I could see daylight through the gaps.

The one I fitted yesterday after removing the Lucas branded £29.99 one was the original 6v ammeter that was fitted when I bought my GF some years ago, which I'm pretty sure it's also a foreign repro version but at least it isn't pretending to be a genuine Lucas one as it has no name or country of manufacture printed on it. I fitted it because it was the one that was replaced last year and I wanted to check if it worked - and surprisingly it seems to be the best of the three - well, it shows a health charge but whether that's accurate  *dunno*  but I may as well keep it on the bike especially if it makes me feel happier seeing a healthy charge  *smile* .

On the other hand I suppose we must be thankful that companies are even manufacturing repro parts for our classics but I wish they would take the trouble to make sure they fit and work properly.  Regarding Lucas branded parts: I was also disappointed with some Lucas magneto pick-up brushes I bought last year (soft as charcoal), never used them, threw them in the bin and replaced them with some far better ones from Brightspark Magnetos.  I believe the Lucas brand was taken over in about 2003.

1960 Golden Flash

Offline Swarfcut

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Re: Genuine Lucas Ammeter
« Reply #4 on: 19.03. 2019 12:28 »
Roger... All is revealed, a fake Lucas dial grafted onto another branded item. Cunning Bar Stewards.  Even so looks to be reasonable value.
 
 The ammeter on my bike is only there to let me know there is current flowing somewhere...the accuracy of these instruments is questionable anyway, and with the cowpat cowl the needle suffers a classic parallax error when viewed from the saddle.

 The quality of that Genuine Lucas item is a timely warning for intending purchasers, buying from whatever source.

 Swarfy

Offline RogerSB

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Re: Genuine Lucas Ammeter
« Reply #5 on: 19.03. 2019 14:02 »
The quality of that Genuine Lucas item is a timely warning for intending purchasers, buying from whatever source.

Yes, that's why I published it. I certainly don't want to put anybody off buying an item they need but it pays to be aware that sometimes all is not what it looks to be or priced to be.

1960 Golden Flash

Offline a101960

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Re: Genuine Lucas Ammeter
« Reply #6 on: 19.03. 2019 16:37 »
£29.99 and therein lies the problem: Paying top dollar does not guarantee top quality.  Traders are forever whinging on about poor quality merchandise is the fault of tight fisted buyers, who will not pay the going rate for quality parts. Nothing to do with profit margins then? Sadly the price of an item is not a reliable indicator of quality, and neither is a name. There are plenty of parts  on sale that use the BSA logo, but they are not BSA stock of any description. Once the "new" BSA's go on sale I wonder if Mahindra will put a stop to that.

Offline trevinoz

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Re: Genuine Lucas Ammeter
« Reply #7 on: 19.03. 2019 20:20 »
Interesting topic.
I ordered some "genuine" ammeters from a British supplier last year.
He contacted me and convinced me not to buy said ammeters as he had many returned to him as faulty and the supplier would not take them back thus leaving him out of pocket.
He offered me an alternative almost identical meter which was made in England but could not use the Lucas trademark but were marked "L A P" -  Lucas approved product.
These were a bit more expensive, something like 24.00, but I went ahead with these.
They look good except for the odd looking needle. I can't comment on their durability yet as they haven't been used.
29.99 was a bit steep for the genuine meter, the bloke that I was dealing with had them for less than 20.00.

Online KiwiGF

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Re: Genuine Lucas Ammeter
« Reply #8 on: 20.03. 2019 09:37 »
Roger... All is revealed, a fake Lucas dial grafted onto another branded item. Cunning Bar Stewards.  Even so looks to be reasonable value.
 
 The ammeter on my bike is only there to let me know there is current flowing somewhere...the accuracy of these instruments is questionable anyway, and with the cowpat cowl the needle suffers a classic parallax error when viewed from the saddle.

 The quality of that Genuine Lucas item is a timely warning for intending purchasers, buying from whatever source.

 Swarfy

The ammeter needs to conduct as well as provide a reading, there have been several cases in nz of aftermarket ammeters that stop conducting on a65s, being coil ignition this causes a breakdown!
New Zealand

Last had an A10 in 1976, in 2011 it was time for my 2nd one.

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Offline RogerSB

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Re: Genuine Lucas Ammeter
« Reply #9 on: 20.03. 2019 14:57 »
The Genuine Lucas one is now in the post and on its way back to the seller for a refund of £29.99.

Full refund received today *smiley4*.  There was no return postage cost for me and the price was £25.95 not £29.99 *conf*, my mistake in original post (now amended).

1960 Golden Flash

Offline Swarfcut

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Re: Genuine Lucas Ammeter
« Reply #10 on: 20.03. 2019 15:12 »
You could have paid a little bit more from the National Motorcycle Museum Shop, looks to be the same Genuine Lucas item, but the needle has a curious circle at the bottom, in my estimation.

 Good to know all sorted.

 Swarfy.

 PS  How is your new statue?

Offline RogerSB

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Re: Genuine Lucas Ammeter
« Reply #11 on: 20.03. 2019 16:49 »
You could have paid a little bit more from the National Motorcycle Museum Shop, looks to be the same Genuine Lucas item, but the needle has a curious circle at the bottom, in my estimation.

Good to know all sorted.

Swarfy.

PS  How is your new statue?

Swarfy, looking at the WW pt. nos. it's obviously made by the same manufacturer. The one I bought was a -12+12 version (see photo), for some reason the needle is made with a hollow circle at the bottom. Most dealers seem to sell them.  Our problem of having to buy repro parts is that the sellers don't necessary have any experience of using what they sell, that's why I let them know if something is sub-standard. However, I'm not under any illusion it'll make a difference to most when profit is foremost.

Photo of statue in situ, cost £450,000  *eek* but not paid for by tax payers.



1960 Golden Flash

Online cyclobutch

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Re: Genuine Lucas Ammeter
« Reply #12 on: 20.03. 2019 17:32 »
Off topic perhaps, but there has been some call these last few weeks for the siting of a new statue in the town here;

   https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-47542475

All credit I suppose, but hopefully anything forthcoming will be via crowd funding rather than the public purse.
Various, including ...
'58 Iron Head Flash Bitza


Offline Swarfcut

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Re: Genuine Lucas Ammeter
« Reply #13 on: 20.03. 2019 20:07 »
Sorry folks, didn't anticipate pictures. Now the whole world knows.....WTF they both scare me.

 Swarfy.