You don’t say what year your car is but looking at the wiring diagram for a
1957 car there is a thick cable from the battery negative terminal to one
terminal of the starter solenoid. This terminal should also have two brown
cables connected to it… One feeds a fuse that supplies the cigar lighter
which you say is working. This fuse also feeds the interior lamp(s) so these
should be working as well. The other brown cable goes to the ammeter through
which just about all the other circuits run except the clock.
I would start by making sure that the connections to the starter solenoid
are clean and tight and then have a look at the back of the ammeter to do
the same. For safety’s sake disconnect the battery ground when doing these
checks as it is very easy to short out a live feed to ground with a spanner
(or the metal bracelet of a watch). Also, check that the battery ground
connections are good and also the separate engine ground.
There can’t be much wrong here so it should be quite easy to find the
trouble. If you don’t have a voltmeter, a car bulb on flying leads is a good
test lamp and in some ways better than today’s digital meters which don’t
necessarily reveal high resistance connections because they draw so little
Tell us what you find if the above does not sort out the problem for further
Church Stretton, UK----- Original Message -----
From: “Geoff Sparkes” firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2011 9:39 AM
Subject: [xk] Dead electric on XK150 - help please!
Had used the car without issue - went to move it into garage -
ignition on - hit the starter button - click and ignition went off.
Tried a few more times and then ignition would not even come on.
Now I have nothing working - everything on the dashboard is
effectively dead. Tested starter solenoid and that functions
correctly off the car. Disconnected starter and that makes no
I now have power at one terminal of the regulator (right hand one),
at only the extreme right screw connector plus in and out of only
one of 6 fuses (second from the left) - that going to the cigar
lighter. All fuses are okay. Battery is fine - good charge and not
discharging. Nothing appears hot indicating a short.
Wiring is difficult to follow as the orginal loom was used in the
restoration 20 years ago and almost impossible to follow colours.
Nothing has been done to the car for years other than normal
servicing, gets driven every couple of months and has behaved
Car electrics are my weak point when it comes to fixing cars so any
help or advice would be appreciated. I have no idea where to look
next or how to check other components.
Auckland, New Zealand
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