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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Distributor Rotation

I have a Rover 3.5 from a 1970 Rover 3500S sedan which has been rebuilt and is now in a 1977 B roadster. I am planning to do the first start this week-end. The car was non-operational and some parts were missing when I pulled the engine from the Rover sedan. The PO had removed the factory intake and carbs and replaced it with a Buick 4 barrel intake and an unidentified Holley carb. The distributor is the one that was installed when I acquired the engine. It has been reconditioned and new points/condenser installed with a pertronix to be installed later.

We set up the dist. on a machine today before installing in the engine and the centrifugal advance is within spec. However, when checking the vacuum advance, applying vacuum actually RETARDS the timing. In checking a Rover manual, the dist. should be a Lucas 35 D8 with anti-clockwise rotation. The manual lists distributor models with stamped numbers on the dist. body as follows - 41176, 4278(??), 41317, 41392.

The installed dist. is a Lucas 35 D8 with CLOCKWISE rotation (according to the arrow on the dist. body) and the model number 41277B stamped on the body. Can anyone tell me what this distributor might be from?

The present distributor will work fine but having no vacuum advance will hurt fuel mileage. Does anyone know if there is a vacuum dashpot that will fit the Lucas distributor that will push instead of pull? I believe that Ford used to have one that had a vacuum port on each side of the diaphram.

Phil O

Hi Phil

Here are the numbers from my Rover 3.5 Dist. I have been told that this dist is a vacuum retard but don't understand exactly what that means. However it sounds as if it’s the same dist. Good luck with the start up.
Distributor 35D8 41277 E 54420642
Bruce Mills

My Rover 3.5 is a 1969
Check this link out. It might help a bit.

FYI it works well with the
Pertronix Ignitor LU-183
Pertronix’s Coil #40001 1.5ohm

Apparently a distributor from a Buick 215 or Buick 300 (all dist the same up to Buick 350)will work as well

Bruce Mills

Thanks for your input and taking the time to look up your distributor numbers. I think we have the same set-up. I too have the same Pertronix ingitor and coil to be installed later.

Not being at all familiar with vacuum retard, I was somewhat concerned. When we set up the dist. on the machine, applying vacuum to the dist. gave us 20 degrees of timing retard. Further head scratching led me to the fact that the dist. vacuum should have been plugged into the ported vacuum on the carb, not the full-time vacuum.

We started the car today - ran very well with a couple of minor problems. The heater valve is leaking, there is a small leak from one of the bolts on the water pump and the temp. sensor in the intake manifold is not working
Phil O

This thread was discussed between 16/10/2005 and 17/10/2005

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