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The rare “Eureka!” moment when troubleshooting finally pays off

I just finished a three-part series about shimmed valve adjustment in my 1974 Lotus Europa Twin-Cam Special. You wouldn’t think I could get a fourth article out of it. And you would be wrong. After all that work, it didn’t start. So today we’re going to troubleshoot.


The very word “troubleshoot” implies that you don’t know what the cause is—that is, it’s not like a leaking hose that you can clearly see needs to be replaced, or hearing your brakes let out a metal-on-metal squeal and knowing that you need to buy pads and rotors. And the funny thing is that the more vexing the problem is, the less likely it seems that you have a true “Eureka!” moment at the end. I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I think that the reason why is because, instead of being blown away and wonderous at the mechanical and electrical processes that caused the problem and your deductive skills that fixed it, your reaction is instead “THAT? THAT was the cause? I should’ve thought about that weeks ago.”


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Rob, Thanks for these articles.  You make my mistakes - and the successes - feel better.  The investigative process is all part of the fun (and frustration) but victory is so sweet when the engine fires up and comes to life. 

New Driver