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Triumph TR3 - Mallory Distributor

The DPO has installed a Mallory Dual Point with the Bosch blue coil. I'm having trouble firing all cylinders. (so is the engine) When I pop the cap and turnover the engine, one set has a weak spark and there is little if any on the other set. The car is positive ground (1960) and I haven't found a ballast resistor. I forgot to check for a ground strap - engine to frame. I believe the distributor to be the MAL-2332001. I would like to get rid of the points and go with a Pertronix setup, but no spark is no spark. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Steve Crosby

Do you have an original distributor, too? I think you'll need one for the Pertronics kit, not sure about that. I've done fine with original Lucas for years on 4 cars, I do carry a spare set of points and condenser, just in case. If you do have an original, I'd swap it in. You might sell the Mallory on ebay.

I really don't mean for this to sound like a snobby "keep it original" post. You may have a common problem with the Mallory unit, I just don't have any experience with them. Maybe a Google search would give you better answers than here, maybe even a call to Mallory if they're still in business.

Thanks for the reply Tom,
No, I don't have the original, if I did I'd install the Petronics Kit like you sugested. For now I'm stuck with the Mallory, at least it's not the glowing red model. With the sprayed oil and crud it just sort of blends in. I need to get the motor sorted so I can get to the spray wash and hose down the engine room. The car had an extra 2-3 liters of oil in it when purchased. I have heard of this - for storage purposes. I should have checked before starting it and moving it from the trailer to the garage.
There is no engine ground strap. Anybody know where it should be? I'll be diving into the electrics this weekend.
Steve Crosby

I think the ground strap goes across the driver's side motor mount. Do you have a catalog from the "big 3" yet? Moss Motors, The Roadster Factory, and Victoria British. Moss has good exploded drawings on their website. Sounds like you have a mess, but it will get better, hang in there! Pretty basic machines, and lots of parts and info available to get you going.

Did you get your problem solved? I believe Pertronix makes a kit for your Mallory. There are 14 different mallory specific Pertronix kits. Otherwise I have a box full of stock distributors...

Thanks Jeff,
The problem isn't solved yet. Last weekend was the Van Dusen ABFM in Vancouver. It was a huge success, there were 585 cars. I drove out from Calgary in my '74 TR6. Now it's back to work on the TR3. I do like the idea of having the stock distributor. I found that after a cleanup, mine is the red top Mallory and I have located a Pertronics kit for it. Please remove the x's and email me information about a replacement stock unit.
Steve Crosby

I dug into the electrics this Sunday and found some interesting things. The top two wires on the regulator needed to be switched, the generator was setup for negative ground, but the coil terminals were not switched. Ureka, she fired up!! I will continue to look into the Pertronics unit for the Mallory (neg ground).
Now I can tackle the steering hub and try for signal lights and horns. Any tips on this?
Steve Crosby

There's more than I could tell you on the web. I searched for "trafficator" to find a lot about these funny control heads. It seems they use them on Austin Healeys, too.

When you tell us about the symptoms we can give you more advice. There are connectors down by the wires that come out of the steering box. I'd check continuity there (a beeping voltmeter would be handy) while trying the switches. Hopefully you just have some dirty connectors or grounds.

Congrats on finding the way to get her running!

This thread was discussed between 24/04/2006 and 30/05/2006

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