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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Accuspark Help Please

I have just fitted an Accuspark distributor, electronic ignition,new coil.

I had the rotor pointing to No1 at TDC and fitted the new one to the same position, connected to the coil as per diagram provided (and picture).

I have a spark at the plugs but it will not start!

Any ideas how I can set the static timing or anything I may have done wrong!

Tony Brough

Sorry its Powerspark from SimonBBC not Accuspark DUH!
Tony Brough

Actully tony,

If the dissy is set just about anywere in the middle of its range the engine will start....static is more for new engines that havent been started before to avoid any damage from being over advanced say check your spark plug firing order is correct 1342 CCW ....its easy to mistake

Then go back to the old dissy installed and reverse engineer looking for missed wires and incorrect grounds

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

you have not got a balasted coil as only 10v supply after starting pretty sure it will need 12v supply to dizzy.
mark 1500 Lights on at the end of the tunnel

Thanks for the replies


I've double checked and the order is correct.


Its a new coil supplied as part of a kit from SimonBBC so I believe it is the correct one.

Tony Brough

have you checked voltage at supply to coil
mark 1500 Lights on at the end of the tunnel

If it is ballasted... you should be able to get a ballast from any auto parts store

But yeah id check the voltage and not rely on the instruction sheet

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

In your photo, it looks like your HT cable is falling out of the HT coil? Also did you turn the engine before you fitted the new dizzy? - I wonder if you had no1 at TDC of exhaust stroke when you fitted it?
J Smith

Possibly 180 out?

Ballast wise - you want none of that for this system. Not sure if a 66 midget has a ballasted wire rather than a separate resistor, if it even has ballasted ignition. If it has a wire then you'll have to replace it with a normal one.
Rob Armstrong

My SimonBBC dizzy has a cap which is 90 deg turned compared with otherwise similar caps. This could lead to issues.

Check it against your old cap.

Get your No1 cyl at TDC on the firing stroke and make sure the rotor is lined up with the correct No 1 spark plug lead as connected to the cap!

Once that is ok, you need to realise you can't use the 12v lamp across the points as per "old days". You need a strobe and set Static at very low tickover (too fast and the mechanical advance kicks in) and with the vacuum disconnected (but blocked at the carburettor).
Graeme W

Your coil looks fine. Only 1500s had ballast ignition, yours is clearly an A series car from coil location.

You can set a very very rough static timing using a lamp, but you have to rotate the dissy back and forth quick(ish) to get the light to work, it gets you within 10-15 degrees, which is enough to start the car (or enough to let you guess the rest), and then get dynamic timing going.

As Graeme says, check the cap is not 90 degree out. I got one from MOSS lately and took it back and complained. Of course they claim they have never seen that before!!! They exchanged it for a genuine Lucas with the correct orientation. If the cap is 90 degree out it shifts the firing order and won't start until you re-order the leads.

Rob aka MG Moneypit

Tony - I have just fitted a SimonBBC distributor, coil and HT leads to my positive earth Sprite. I had been experimenting with a capacitor in place of the condenser so my wiring wasn't standard. Looking at the wiring diagram, originally the feed (white wire) goes to the coil, the other terminal then goes to the distributor. With the electronic ignition the feed (white wire) goes to the distributor and the black wire to the coil, the other coil terminal goes to earth. I had to shorten some wires and make some longer, your wiring looks original. Just a thought.
L Langley

I used the cap from the original dissy so that should rule that out.

I did get it firing earlier but the battery is now flat
I will try again tomorrow and thanks again for the ideas
Tony Brough

for caps, condensers, rotor arms, (points), etc. got to the Distributor Doctor -

having a battery that's low in charge (or crud on clamps or main lengths and earths) so don't put it on quick charge give it a long slow charge as a full charged battery will help with these sort of problems and if you're lucky might even be enough to get the car going

personally I'm not a fan of uninsulated connectors like on the coil (bare wire showing on the blue spade too) and from the dark blue wire - not that the connectors make any odds to your present problem

tomorrow is another day
Nigel Atkins


If you're still struggling tomorrow, give me a shout.
Dave O'Neill 2

Thanks DaveI

I am out most of the day, but will give you a call if I don't make any progress.

Tony Brough

I got her started and will give her a run out today.

Dave I think it must have been the threat of having someone who knows what they are doing have a go that frightened her into playing ;-)
Tony Brough

I messed up my last post basically I meant it's a lot easier to solve these type of things with a fully charged battery and one that is low in charge can hide or hinder progress

if you know what resolved the issue it'd be interesting to know as there's a chap with a MGB that's just fitted an Accuspark and can't get the car started
Nigel Atkins


I think it was down to connections. In particular the spade ends on the coil were not a very good fit to the spades from the ignition unit. I swapped them with the ones from my older coil. I also rotated the dissy further than the anticlockwise than the original was fitted. Now with a fully charged battery she is starting every time.

I didn't get out in her today so I am not sure if everything is ok. Although it sounds as if it is running OK I haven't checked the timing as I find that a hard task on my own with the timing marks in such an inaccessible place.

Tony Brough

thanks for reporting back

you have to watch out with modern crimp fittings as the can be poor quality, I had one come loose that I only fitted two years back and I always make sure the spade connectors are a tight fit before crimping

as you probably know I'm a big believer in a fully charged battery in good condition but it can be hard to notice the battery loosing charge when absorbed in finding the repair
Nigel Atkins

This thread was discussed between 07/06/2014 and 09/06/2014

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