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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - V8 packed up. Ignition?!?

My generally bulletproof BV8 just suddenly packed up for no apparent reason. Drove 400 miles on Sunday perfectly OK, then two miles into a 10-mile jaunt yesterday, it just quit and I had to have it flat-bedded home. No dramas; while going up a hill it just stopped firing, and I simply rolled backward down the hill into the parking lot of a church where I was able to use the phone to call a tow. fuel pump is whirring; plenty of gas in the fuel filter; fuses all fine; good + and - at coil when ignition switch is on. Starter happily spins motor, but it does not catch. Almost certainly something is wrong ignition-wise.

Do MSD boxes suddenly quit? Do Unilites throw in the towel for no apparent reason?

The car has an MSD-6AL box feeding an MSD 8302 coil (their standard type coil), in turn feeding a Mallory Unilite distributor. All this stuff is about a year old and was installed with the utmost care wiring-wise. What's the best way to de-bug this? ... unfortunately I don't have an assistant out here in the country where the car is located. I don't even have much in the way of manuals, although I have a decent set of tools and on-line access.

I would be grateful indeed if someone could propose a game plan here.
Paul Keyes

I located the problem! -- this may be useful info for you if you run a Unilite. The Unilite module in the diss had shorted out, due to my own fault. As I think some others do, I positioned the vac advance can 180 degrees from the normal position so it wouldn't potentially chafe the radiator hose. However, in doing that, you naturally wrap the distributor wiring loom around it so the loom is just barely long enough for the connectors to reach. The issue was, I hadn't provided adequate strain relief; the wires pulled tight inside the diss, their insulation was rubbed off by the knurled diss spindle and they shorted/melted together.

My conclusion is, if you're gonna flip the vac can around backwards, you ought to solder a few extra inches of wire into the loom, so it doesn't pull.
Paul Keyes

Good deal and congrats Paul. I was going to mention checking the light in the distrib. I have heard people claim they can burn out, but I know people that have run them daily for 3 years and never seen it happen..
Larry Embrey

This thread was discussed between 15/05/2001 and 16/05/2001

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