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MG MGA - Distributor

Who uses an original Lucas distributor? Me. Now I am replacing my motor with an original 1500 motor shall I keep the Lucas distributor in service? If so, what should I update in it? At this time I am considering Rotor, Condenser and Point Set, replacement ground wire, Vacuum Line adaptor. Does anyone use grease anywhere? I recall being advised to use a couple of smears of grease here and there...

I am curious about the replacements out there, including electronic conversion. I'd like to hear ideas from members who changed.

Steve Lofaro, Simi Valley, CA
Stephen Lofaro

Hi Steven

If you have still not downloaded a copy of the workshop manual, you should do this immediately. This will already answer many of your questions. Then use Barney's site as a starting point for anything else, as it is sure to be covered in detail and you can use the excellent search facility to find stuff easily.

The electronic ignition I use is excellent and is called pertronix on this side of the Atlantic. It fits inside the standard Lucas dizzy with little work.
dominic clancy

Hi Steve

Careful dab of grease around the rotating cam where the rubbing block on the points touches will protect against wear. Otherwise friction grinds it down and the points gap closes.
Simon W


Has the distributor ever been away for a rebuild since its last use in a B-series engine? If so, it is worth checking that you have the correct cam inside. Mine came back from refurbishment with a 7 degree cam. This meant that I could only get 22 degrees of mechanical advance (7 x 2 + 8 degree static) instead of about 33 to 34. This meant that the engine ran flat above about 2500rpm. The cam should be engraved with about 13 degrees (13 x 2 +8 degree static). See here for photos of what I mean:

Steve Gyles

Just beware the authenticity of the advance degrees engraved on the cam! Over the years it is very common that previous owners have ground the "hook" portion of the cam to some advance figure other than that which is marked. Can be very confusing! Been there!
Bruce Mayo

I agree with you there Bruce because that is exactly what I had to do. Quite a bit of filing before I got mine up to 13 degrees. I drew the cam profile on paper, marked off 13 degrees and scribed it on the cam as a guide. The profile was still not that great; I reckon the springs were also incorrect. I gave up and bought my Chinese version which is still going superbly.

Steve Gyles

This thread was discussed between 07/04/2013 and 10/04/2013

MG MGA index

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