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MG MGA - Coil recommendation

I need to buy a new coil and with all the coil problems mentioned lately, I was wondering if anyone had any GOOD experience with any of the three coils that Moss has for sale or one from a local parts house. Thanks and have a good day!

John Progess

My experience is a little dated, since I have the same Lucas Sports Coil on my MGA since November 1996, 146,000 miles by now. Hard to complain. However, there are some more recent stories about deteriorating quality of the Lucas Sports coil, like blowing the end out and dumping the internal cooling oil. After that recommendations tend to favor the Bosh coil with potted core.
Barney Gaylord

Yes John, I would advise you to stay well clear of the current crop of 'Sports Coils'! Having said that, it could just be that they don't like being 'cooked' in an MGA engine compartment.

Lindsay Sampford

A friend of mine in the UK put a modern coil on his TD. It promptly cooked itself because, apparently, it was designed to run at 8 volts (?) instead of 12!
Barry Bahnisch


That coil was designed for a ballasted system where its 8v specification helps to achieve more current during starting. On a car with a ballasted system the 8v coil gets 12v while you have the key in the 'start' position and then reverts to 8v after the engine fires and you release the key. This is designed to aid starting. The ballast ensures the coil only gets 8v after the engine has started. It is not designed to run at 12v for a prolonged period. Bosch coils are available in either 8v or 12v.
Ian Buckley

Good on you Ian, you are a fountain of knowledge about MG's (and other cars!) and set me up to correspond on this site! You obviously keep an eye on it! Ian is an old (?) MG enthusiast friend of mine going back about 40 years and supplied me with a mint copy of my M-type owners manual for which I will always be grateful! He has, inter alia, a couple of superb MG's!
Barry Bahnisch

Coil? Shmoil!

Get thee to your local tractor supply house (or NAPA dealer) and get a generic 12V coil for a non-balasted ignition system. There is nothing magic about the MGA ignition system. Yoou'll be back up and running today.
Chuck Schaefer

I am with Chuck.

My old coil was getting tired. The new one from a local fleet-farm supply fires the A right up. About $12.00
Daniel Crothers

Yeah, most any 12 volt coil will work just fine. I have a list of about 200 part numbers and applications that are interchangeable. See here:
When you go shopping for an ignition coil take and ohm meter with you. Look for about 3 ohms resistance in the primary winding. 1.5 ohms or so is the low voltage coil that you do not want. The last coil I installed on a friend's MG was a $12 spare for my 1965 vintage John Deere garden tractor with 8-HP Kohler engine.

Barney Gaylord

This thread was discussed between 13/07/2011 and 14/07/2011

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This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGA BBS is active now.