Foglamp adjustment spanner

The mounting of the Lucas SFT 576 fog lamps as fitted to the ‘Z’ series Magnette’s make adjustment quite awkward. The wiring feeds up through the hollow centre of the fixing and thus prevents use of a socket or ring spanner, whilst space prevents us of an open ended spanner. The spanner size of the fixing nut is 7/16” BSW. The lamp body stalk is domed at its base and locates into a ‘cup’ washer, which allows adjustment of the lamp on its bracket. Space is restricted with the consequent risk of damage to the paint if a spanner should slip.

All one can generally do is to either guess at the correct position, or align the lamp with the cable in place, remove the wire and tighten the nut, hoping that nothing moves in the process to spoil the adjustment. 

Looking recently through an old copy of the Nuffield house magazine ‘Motoring’, I came across a letter from a contemporary Magnette owner. There was an illustration of a ‘Melco’ motorcycle spark plug spanner had been adapted to fit the Magnette fog lamp nut. An enquiry with Thomas Meldrum, the makers of ‘Melco’ tools confirmed that the spanner in question is no longer made.

Having been ‘sold’ the idea I decided to make a suitable tool myself, by adapting a second-hand ring spanner. I was able to acquire used a 7/16” x 3/8” BSW ring spanner for the princely sum of £1. The tool I found was a King Dick item, probably made in the 1950’s and eminently suitable for the job, due to the steeply inclined offset of the ring.

Firstly the spanner was cut into two unequal halves, so as to give the 7/16” end a good handle, after filing the cut end smooth, the ring was filed through to admit the fog lamp wire. Cutting was no easy matter, it consumed a new good quality Eclipse hacksaw blade and the ring had to be filed through as the hacksaw just slipped off, a testament to the quality of these old British made tools.

The surgery was then made tidy with a fine file and the new ‘special’ tool polished and tested. It works a treat and allows easy adjustment of the lamps as required. What’s more it also works on my Wolseley 6/90, which also has the same fog lamps fitted as standard.

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