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MG MGA - Mallory Dual-Point VS. Pertronix Flame Thrower


I have a 1960 1600. I am thinking of converting over to a new distributor with electronic ignition to get better reliability. I also have the stock coil and the stock generator(if that means anything).

Trying to decide between the Mallory Dual-Point and the pertronix Flame Thrower Distributors. Is one perferred over the other? How is the fit into the block. Will I have to purchase the Lucas Sport Coil?

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated!


Michael O'Brien
Michael O'Brien

Mallory Dual-Point Has points and is not electronic. There is information on Barney's site for these.
Mallory does make an electronic distributor, with Lucas electronics.
Pertronix Flame Thrower Distributors are avalable and are electronic ignition. I have not used either.
Standard MGA distributors may require more maintenance but generally can be made to run with a screwdriver and a match book. If an electronic distributor fails you are stuck.
There are also ways of converting a standard distributor to electronic using Pertronics parts. If these electronics fail a point and condenser set can get you home.
Search "distributors" and "electronic ignition" on Barney's site.
R J Brown

I have fitted the 123 Electronic Distributor on my Mk2 This was after having fitted one on my MGB some two years ago. After trial and error selecting the right advance curve I have been pleased with both results-smoother tickover and performance through the rev range. I suspect both my original distributors were well worn-hence the major improvement!!! I also fitted a Lucas Sports coil to both and new leads
P D Camp

I have a standard distributor but with the Pertronix electronic system fitted inside. It substitues for the points and condenser and works fine. The only clue to the fact that it is fitted is that two wires emerge from the distributor. You can get +ve and -ve earth versions.I recommend it as long as you are happy that your distributor is in good shape. They are not difficult to refurbish and there is a guy in the UK who specialises in supplying the parts or doing the whole job: .

As to the coil, if you use Pertronix, why not use their own Flame Thrower unit that is designed to pair up with their ignition systems. After having leakage problems with a Lucas unit, I fitted the Pertronix epoxy-filled unit that is a bit more heavy-duty.

Malcolm Eades

You can have your existing distributor completely rebuilt and fitted with either points or Pertronix internals quite resonably. Check out
Andy Bounsall

Went Pertronix and would never go back. No more coil, points or condesor to fuss with. Runs sooo much smoother.
WMR Bill

I've become especially fond of Pertronix during wet, rainy weather. There's great benefit in becoming pointless in such times. Way smoother!
Ken Korey

Why would anyone want to miss out on the fun of filing down the points surfaces, fiddling with a stripped Phillips head set screw, working with a bent feeler gauge, resetting the timing, wondering if the vacuum advance is still working ...

Now try it up in Minnesota with an MGA as your main transportation ...
Chuck Mosher

I did the Pertronix distributor and coil combination and treated myself to new spark plug wires at the same time. Straight forward install and sweet running and no issues concerning the physical condition of your distributor.
Keith Lowman

The Mallory are a waste of time, and get you no benefit for considerable outlay.

Jeff's product is very good and the Pertronics Ignitor replacement for points is pretty good too. Always carry a spare set of points and you can install them by the roadside if any of the modern fancy set ups ever fails you.

A friend that had a Mallory because hey - it was the latest greatest coolest thing, got no difference in lap times but did fail to make a race start when he found he hadn't packed a spare set of points. he could have had 20 sets of Lucas points within 200 feet of course (almost all the racers run them) but not many bother with the Mallory.
Bill Spohn

This thread was discussed between 28/12/2009 and 04/01/2010

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