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Product Review: Lifeline Ampstore

The Barefoot Mechanic – Adventures with a 1964 Volkswagen.


Starting the car from flat… with a nifty new product from Powerspark

The car is not quite as pristine as you see in the picture and It needs a little Powerspark goodness. Last time out it was forced into service as a daily driver during a particularly wet and muddy December. It’s since been left parked in its the garage for a more than a year. So, it’s grubby, has a flat battery and the MoT has expired. Nothing that can’t be sorted, but first thing is to get the engine running…

A quirk of this car is that its big dual Dellorto carburettor setup will dry out if left for any length of time, so it will take a lot of engine cranking before it will fire. Despite charging the battery for a good few hours, there wasn’t enough power to crank the engine fast or long enough to get it started. That’s just not going to happen with this old battery! Powerspark to the rescue with the new Lifeline Ampstore Plus Portable Emergency Jump Starter.

LLA21 - Lifeline Ampstore Plus


The Lifeline Ampstore Plus Portable Emergency Jump Starter is a rechargeable Lithium-Polymer battery pack small enough fit in you pocket, yet powerful enough for several jumpstarts. But could it possibly start the reluctant VW? This will surely be a test…

Now, with dual Dellorto carburettors it can take a minute or more of cranking to prime the carbs from dry. Oh, and just to make things interesting, while the battery had been on charge, I swapped the 009 distributor for an SVDA, and I’m just hoping that the HT leads are in the right places…

I connected the jump start unit to the Ampstore Plus, then the heavy duty clips to the battery we’re ready to go. The instructions state that you mustn’t crank for more than 3 seconds. If the engine does’t start, wait 30 seconds before trying again.

When this car is used regularly, the engine always starts first go, but with those big carbs needing priming, the routine is crank 3 seconds, wait 30 seconds, crank 3 seconds, wait 30 seconds, until it fires. Will the tiny Ampstore Plus be up to it?

It cranks fast with the Jump Starter connected and sure enough, after maybe six or seven attempts, the engine spluttered into life. I’m impressed! It’s cold and dark outside, so to try out more of its features, I set about using the built-in torch to help check the tyre pressures on the daily driver before heading back into the warm to charge my phone from one of the Ampstore Plus’s two USB ports. Checking the charge indicator showed it still had plenty of power left.

The troublesome VW hadn’t made a dent in the Ampstore Plus‘s power.

What a fantastic bit of kit!

Purchase your Lifeline Ampstore Plus here:

Lifeline Ampstore Plus Portable Emergency Jump Starter

Next up, getting the timing set accurately with with a strobe timing light…

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