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MG TD TF 1500 - Electronic Ignition

3 or 4 years ago I removed my pertronix Ignition to troubleshoot some problems. It turned out not to be an ignition problem and I had no issue with the PerTronix. I just never put it back in.

Now I would like to go back to an electronic ignition. I would like to put in the best one available. I have seen threads in the past with passing reference to other ignitions like the ones made by Crane.

I would appreciate any and all feed back.

Mort 50 TD

Mort, I have a new Crane set up on the shelf for mine but haven't installed it yet. I understand they are a top of the line system. Wish I could be more helpful. The Crane requires placing the control box somewhere, so you have that to contend with. PJ
Paul S Jennings

Now for a little heresy.

I had a bugeye Sprite for several years. One of the first things I did to it was to install a Crane XR700 ignition. I liked it a lot. I was disappointed that the shutter didn't fit well over the distributor cam, so I made my own, but beyond that, it was a nice unit.

Frankly, I think many electronic ignitions are oversold. There is a significant advantage to an electronic ignition over the old points-capacitor type, but beyond that, the returns diminish quickly. Once you torch off that charge of fuel, the flame front moves rapidly away from the plug, and any further spark duration or energy (whatever that means) don't do very much. So, I'd suggest a good quality electronic ignition like the Crane, and leave it at that.

The greatest advantage of an electronic ignition is probably reliability, not performance. A higher initial plug voltage can compensate for problems such as plug fouling and keep the car running when the rest of the ignition system isn't perfect. When the condition of the ignition system is perfect, I suspect you'll have some difficulty seeing much difference between an electronic ignition and points-capacitor one.

I should confess--some of the ignitions have other features that might be valuable to you, like a rev limiter. I have a 123Ignition distributor in my Porsche 912, and it adjusts timing on the fly to keep the idle speed constant and promote smooth idle. A good idea, but it means that you can't adjust the timing at idle--I adjust it at the max advance point. Sometimes, "improvements" are not really that. We have a saying in the aerospace industry" "'better' is the enemy of 'good enough.'"

S Maas


If you really want the best then, IMHO ths is it.

It is more than just a points replacement system.

They can be supplied in both +ve and -ve ground.

Note: Usual no interest disclaimer.


J Scragg

G'day Mort. I also went with the 123. Yet to run the engine so can't comment on performance but my research indicated it was the best available. It has 16 mappable curves (easily adjusted with the screwdriver supplied). As I have a cam with roller lifters this seemed the way to go. I sent my original spare dizzy to Holland via a local firm & it came back ready to install. For the purist the only visible difference to the original set up is there are two thin wires to the coil (a red & black) as opposed to the original single low voltage wire which I believe was originally white with a black trace. I also replaced the HT leads with Magnacore's suppressed leads & was also able to use the almost original Champion HTC2 plug caps. See my thread in the archive on this. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

This thread was discussed on 20/12/2014

MG TD TF 1500 index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG TD TF 1500 BBS is active now.