[Healeys] Smoke and brakes

Simon Lachlan simon.lachlan at homecall.co.uk
Thu Jun 8 09:30:51 MDT 2017

I have received 2 emails from my nephew. 

He has an early Phase 2 BJ8 ie with the single light setup front and rear
and the 8-way flasher relay box. Car is LHDrive.

The car's wiring loom looks to be new and in excellent condition; it looks
like it has been competently installed with all clips and grommets where one
would hope to find them. The individual wires are emphatically not old &
crumbly ie flakey insulation.

The car starts and runs well. It feels strong and is well behaved ie it
coped with appalling traffic on a very hot day when we drove it out to
Chantilly. It started first time when the engine was hot. In fact, the
engine didn't get hot; I reckon it has a recored(?) radiator. Certainly it
has the 6-blade fan offered, I think, by the factory (like a 6 blade version
of the normal 4. Something we don't usually see or need in the UK).


First email:- "It was very hot today and something weird happened: a bit of
smoke came out from just above my knees (just below the dashboard along the
steering wheel pole). the smoke was white and little (about as much as a
match would make when it goes off, but white). Then a funny noise went on
for 5 seconds (like a motor, a bit like the starter motor we can hear at the
end when the engine doesn't want to start (do you see what I mean?).

Anyway after that incident everything went back to normal:

-all the lights (turning indicators, panel lights, all the instruments...)
seem to work.

I have no idea what happened and I have not found anything not working!"


A few days later, the second email:- "Everything electrically seems to work.
Except that when I push on the brake pedal nothing lights up at the back.
Shouldn't it?"


This is the Paris car, my being back in the UK with the previous issues



I am presuming that the two issues are related..the smoke and the lack of
brake lights.

I am discounting the heat reference.

I am puzzled by there being no brakes related wiring under the dash yet
that's where the smoke came from.

The "funny noise" has me stumped.

The only place where braking circuitry and lighting circuitry meets is in
the 8-way flasher box. (Barring bare wires shorting out).


I am going over to Paris in about a month's time in order to help get the
car down to Roscoff and thence by ferry over to Plymouth in the UK and up to
my house. I will then have it for a few weeks and will do various things to
it..seatbelts being item one.

So, I (we) would like to make the longish journey with brake lights and
without smoke.

I have, I think, all the tools I need in Paris but I would welcome ideas....

Has anyone had this happen to their car?

What is the likely connection between the two seemingly irreconcilables.
(Smoke under the dash yet brake lights only are affected).

Can anything to do with the brake light switch lead to smoke under the dash?
I can't see how, myself.


I just want to be slightly prepared when I get there. I won't have much
time...certainly not enough to get replacement parts over to Paris from the


Any thoughts?




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