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MG MGA - Car drives man crazy-distributor

My distributor has started jumping out of its clamp.

The ridge where the clamp seats has broken away in about a third of the diameter of the dizzy body which is obviously the issue.

It appears that I could take the dizzy in and have someone weld up the ridge and I can file it back to fit. So a couple of questions.

1) Is the dizzy body aluminum? or some strange unweldable alloy

2) Do I really need to disassemble or if I have a talented TIG welder will I be ok.

3) I note that when mounted properly the shoulder of the distributor body does not ride flush on the clamp face. It looks like there is a 1/16 -1/8 gap to between them. Is this kosher?

4) Am I being pound wise and penny foolish and should I just suck it up and buy a new dizzy.

Finally a general comment. It appears that the clamp opening is machined with an oval opening for the dizzy. This places all the clamp pressure at the top and bottom of the dizzy ridge leading to the cracks. I'm going to have that opening welded up on the ends of the oval and file to a more circular opening to help distribute the stress a little.


T McCarthy

Mr. "T" ;-)

The clamp was round until it crushed the distributor casting. It should open up enough to fit a "whole" distributor again. If not, check the pinch bolt- overtightening can bend it and limit travel.

I had the same issue and repaired it using aluminum "welding" rods sold in most hardware and home improvement stores. Mine didn't jump out and actually held the distributor correctly timed- some might have considered it an improvement ;-}

Your really can't reattach the bent/broken flange. Use a propane torch and follow the directions that come with the rods. Build up the area then machine or file it back into the shape you want. The new metal is harder than the original aluminum so you have to be careful not to gouge the remaining aluminum.

If you have a TIG guy weld your dizzy body, you still need to machine or file it back. The added cost doesn't save labor compared to the DIY braze.

Another option is to start combing the autojumbles for a replacement. Pretty much any 4 cylinder Lucas unit should fit. I had a spare so I could fix the original at my leisure. If it's the same style, you can swap your advance components in and maintain performance.

Less "elegant" solutions: If the clamp maintains good timing, you could take the clamp off, epoxy it to the distributor, and bolt her back on. Last but not least, got any baling wire?

Have fun,

Bill Eastman

HI from a very wet summer in east devon ,re the old & damaged dizzy , take this opportunity to buy yourself & the MGA an early Christmas present & get the Petronix set up complete , new b/series dizzy + electronic & you will be driving a modern MGA & enjoying a new car .i know i have done it !!
colin daly

As so often the case, I have a spare rebuilt one in my cellar if you are interested. $100 plus postage.
dominic clancy

Jeff at Advanced Distributors can repair the broken flange. He is doing one for me know.
Kris Sorensen

I also recommend Jeff at Advanced Distributors. He did a fine job with mine- he machines in a piece of steel in place of the aluminum lip so that overtightening the clamp will never break the dizzy body again.
Mark J Michalak

T,I have an extra one, Let me know if you would prefer to just replace it!
WMR Bill

Thanks All!

Given the variety of back up solutions (thank you for your help) I'm going to stop by the welder's to see the cost and decide from there. I'll report back.

BTW, Dominic I am convinced that you have enough spares and bits in the basement to cobble together a complete second car.
T McCarthy

This thread was discussed between 03/08/2008 and 04/08/2008

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