Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Electronic ignition & other bits.

Hello all,

I'm about to have some upgrades done on my factory V8. My cam and followers are in need of replacement, the carbs need servicing, and electronic ignition has been recommended.

I'm curious about peoples experiences with replacement ignition systems...


Guy Harper


My opinion is that the electronic ignition is superior above the normal points. But i have a little mixed feelings. I restored 2 motorbikes (a BMW and a Laverda) and was in the beginning sure that i would replace the points by an electronic ignition. I could find a good aftermarket kit at that moment and fitted points and i also had a later BMW motorbike which was fitted standard with an electronic ignition. The engine i overhauled myself and was in perfect fettle but somehow the bikes with the points always started very quickly when leaving them for a few weeks and the bike with the electronic ignition took longer.
On my BV8 conversion i have the Rover electronic ignition and i am happy with it. Also an issue is how many miles you make with the car. If it is only 1-3000miles per year it may not be necesarry.
Peter van de Velde

Guy ,Ive used Lumenition & Pihrana electronic igns. on my cars. Both work extremely well. The Pihrana system was a lot cheaper from memory.I,ve also used Alison on other cars, which I don't reccomend because the hardware is universal, whereas with the other two,it's dedicated to the model of the engine. HTHs Barrie E

It's interesting that you mention annual mileage... I use the car very little, no more than 5k miles per year. Use is quite frequent, but generally relatively short trips. (My primary transport is a motorbike.) How is this likely to affect the choice of ignition??

My aim is to improve the efficiency and performance of the engine.... can anyone recommend one they've (had) fitted?

Guy Harper

There's two types of 'electronic ignition' - the electronic trigger type which just replaces the points or the full electronic that replaces points, has an external electronics module and sometimes replaces the coil. The former results in the same energy at the points, it just eliminates 'tuning slip' caused by points wear. The latter does the same plus usually results in a higher energy HT. You have to open the plug gaps to see this increased HT in the cylinders, but this increases the stress on the rest of the HT system. If you were doing a high mileage and needed a gauranteed start in all weathers then maybe it might be worth going for the full electronic, but my V8 lives outside, is a daily driver in all weathers, was used for 170mile per day round trips for some time and gave me no problems. With your mileage and usage I would not expect to see much benefit. One more thing. If your factory dizzie fails you will probably have to replace it with the later Rover electronic unit anyway, which would mean money spent on after-market stuff would be wasted.

Paul Hunt

I have the 1963 Oldsmobile 215 in my MGB V8 conversion and I'm thinking about going with the complete electronic (distributor, control box and coil) ignition from MSD. I have but one question and couldn't get an immediate answer from MSD (they said they would get back to me). The question is, "is the distributor the same on the Buick and Oldsmobile 215". I'm asking this because MSD only list the Buick 215 V8 in its catalog and lists P/N 8548. I"m hoping the Buick distributor will work but I want to be sure before I lay out around $500.00 for this set up. I plan to do this upgrade in the next couple of days so feedback is important.
Michael S. Domanowski

You can also consider the Crane Hi-6 ignition box. You can set it up both ways, with an magnetic trigger, or you can use your existing points to trigger the box. I like using the point to trigger the box. If the electronic box decides it wants to go out, you can always switch back to a plain points ignition system on the side of the road.

We installed it on my brothers 70' B 4 cyln. It did wonders for starting and low rpm's due to the multiple spark. The Hi-6 coupled with a high voltage coil allowed us to open the spark plug gap to .055"

if you don't care to ever have points again, you can install a Petronix trigger. The timing became much more stable once we installed the Petronix unit.

To Michael. I am pretty sure the Old and Buick are the same. All the auto parts stores I went to didn't have the Buick distributor, but oddly they had it listed as a Olds. It mated to my 215 front cover perfectly. Actually I think I heard somewhere that the Olds has different advance springs. That is the only difference.

Michael Hartwig

I use the Pertronics "Ignitor" that replaces my points and condenser - here are the pros and cons of it:
1. Totally enclosed within the distributor, it looks stock on the outside
2. Eliminates point bounce, dwell drift due to points wear, and timing scatter due to shaft bushing wear
3. Eliminates the condenser - because I don't trust the newer Lucas third world sourced condensers
4. Engine starts quicker (may be due to worn points and condenser used prior to Ignitor unit)

1. If it fails by the side of the road, you are out of luck. I carry the old points and condenser just in case
2. Requires wiring modifications if you have a ballasted coil
3. Unforgiving of mistakes during installation, unit will fail instantly if polarity is reversed (hearsay only!)
4. No significant increase in spark intensity

I felt the pros outweighed the cons, so my V-8 now has one. I would be even more likely to install one on a car with a distributor that is harder to get at (like an XJ6 or mga twin cam).

Paul Kile
Paul Kile

Has anyone attempted, or even concidered, installation of a ROVER 4.6 HSE engine and associated electronic ignition system? I am looking for more information on this ignition system. Specifically, what do I need to modify to get this ignition system to function in a vehicle other than a Land Rover. My knowledge of auto ignition systems is not great. Any advise on books that detail what is happening with the various sensors that control the ECU would be greatly appreciated.


Neal Arnold

This thread was discussed between 13/02/2001 and 18/02/2001

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical BBS is active now.