Unlike water troubles, electrical troubles may be harder to spot. An egress of water is pretty obvious, but the lack of electricity where there should be some is a mystery. At this point Our Man James advocates the summoning of an expert, who will arrive with various probes and meters, suck his teeth and tell you its going to be expensive.
Basically the older the car, the simpler the electrics. You might have a magneto, which produces a spark and dispenses it to the plugs, or you might have a coil, which bungs a charge at the distributor for onward transmission to the plugs.
Then there are the ancillaries, lights, wipers, horn etc, which will run via a system of wires, known as the loom and take power either from the battery or if the engine is running via a dynamo or alternator. The wires were originally colour coded, so that you can trace an individual circuit in attempt to find a fault.
For those of a more practical nature, fixing an electrical fault is no more difficult than solving the odd murder, you narrow down the suspects until you find the culprit. Trouble is, just as it is possible for a murder suspect to inflict harm on a pursuer, so it is possible to for an electrical fault to inflict a good measure of pain and distress on the investigator. Shocks, burns and fire damage are not unheard of.
If you are unsure about your wiring , you may like to make contact with an enthusiastic family firm, who are producing large scale wiring diagrams for the popular classic cars. Currently they can cater for over 100 makes and models, so it is worth giving them a try. The wiring diagrams are printed on magnetic paper, so you can simply attach them to a metal bonnet whilst you work. They also produce an easy reference manual, containing a detachable wiring diagram plus lots of useful information about the servicing needs of your vehicle.Have a look at www,framebook.co.uk
Our Man James would welcome input and advice about electrical problems. A simple discourse on Magnetos, Dynamos etc would be useful. Likewise if you have an electrical problem, someone might spark up with the answer.