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MG MGA - Electrical Mystery

After a brisk run and then a stop at a red light or stop sign, if I accelerate ahead or make a left or right turn, the engine dies, electrically. I realized later (after several occurences)that if I switch the ign key off and then on, the car will restart if still moving and in gear. I replaced the ign switch, but still have the problem. Any ideas?
C.T. Irwin

I would check the wires to and from the coil. I have had one with an internal break that would duplicate the problems you are having.

I had an MGB with a fuel pump that would respond to flicking the ignition. You might want to let the car die and remove the float bowl covers to check the fuel level.
John DeWolf

Tyler, you don't mention anything about your car. Is it in factory form, or have you added electrical bits to it?

Do you have a keyring with many other keys on it? Ignition switches do fail, and tend to do so if there is more weight than just one key.
Chuck Schaefer

Sounds like it could be a loose low tension wire to the distributor or a loose wire inside the distributor. The motion of the car is causing movement and a short.

I had a similar problem once about thirty years ago, on a Mini, where there was a small washer loose inside the distributor and when it moved into the wrong position and shorted the car "died". Sometimes the jolt from lost power was enough to move it again and all was well! I was pleased to finally find the culprit!
Neil McGurk

Sounds like a loose connection somewhere in the primary (low voltage) ignition circuit. Since it seems to respond consistently to a flip of the ignition switch, the switch itself or wires on the switch may be suspect.

Second thought: Maybe the disconnect happens only while in the turn, in which case it might start running again after the turn without flipping the ignition switch, just roll start or pull the Start knob. If so, then the fault may more likely be in the engine bay.

Look for loose wires first, including both ends of every wire between ignition switch and coil, from coil to distributor, and the two flex wires inside the distributor. Also be sure the distributor base clamp is tight to have a good ground on the engine block.

One other possibility. There might be an intermittent disconnect inside the ignition coil. I had this once (on my small tractor lawn mower). It would run when in normal position, but simply tilting the coil one direction or another would break the connection.
Barney Gaylord

This thread was discussed on 29/09/2010

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