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MG MGA - Car would not start from cold

For several weeks now my car has been getting progressively worse starting from cold. Today, after a 2 week holiday, it would not start at all. I suspected it might be choke related as I did a complete carb overhaul a couple of months ago, including fitting a complete new jet assembly.

Having established that there was nothing obvious on the fuel side I turned my attention to the ignition. What I found was a complete new one for me. All now sorted and the car running really good.

I took the distributor cap off and noted a major build up of carbon on the centre of the red rotor arm contact. Cleaned that up, then looked inside the distributor cap. Where was the central protruding electrode? It was flush inside its housing and the lot covered by a layer of carbon. Scraped it all away and ping, out came the electrode to its normal proud position. That's odd I thought. What caused that? I had another look at the rotor arm to see it sitting a few mm proud on the shaft. So it would seem I did not push it fully home during the servicing a few months ago and it had pushed the electrode up flush with the housing, causing a gradual breakdown in the spark and a build up of carbon.

Why had the red rotor not gone fully down? Well, when I bought it a couple of years ago it was a very,very tight fit and I had to do a bit of 'easing' to push it on. I recall someone else on this forum having a similar problem.

Another gotcha for the memory bank.

Steve Gyles

Steve, on a sililar topic, my car has decided to start on I think 2 cylinders and the other two chime in after about 10 sec. Same thing hot or cold. Carb damper oil is OK.
Art Pearse

This thread was discussed on 06/08/2017

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