Electronic Ignition, yes or no?

Technical MGB discussion
SteveH1960
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Electronic Ignition, yes or no?

Post by SteveH1960 »

Hi, I'm new to the MGB and am getting a 72 roadster, not mint but very useable and I'm thinking of changing to electronic ignition. Reason being I recall spending far too many hours under bonnets fixing/adjusting them many years ago and it's not a fond memory.

Worth it or not?

I expect this will be the first of many questions.

Thanks in advance
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Paul Scott
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Re: Electronic Ignition, yes or no?

Post by Paul Scott »

Hi Steve,
I have a Powerspark £35 module.
Easy to fit, adjust timing and away you go.

2yrs so far, never missed a beat.
https://simonbbc.com/Powerspark-Electro ... tor-K2--R1
K2R1__79540.1610643015.jpg
Regards
Paul
1975 MGB Roadster
Webguru for MGB Register
Vic Butler
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Re: Electronic Ignition, yes or no?

Post by Vic Butler »

It's fit and forget except don't forget to oil the distributor lightly.
Both my vehicles have electronic ignition. The MG has Lumenition Optronic and it's Pertronix from the Distributor Doctor on the Land Rover. The latter I fitted the kit, timed it by ear about 11 years ago and have never had to do anything to it apart from the odd drop of oil now and again.
Last edited by Vic Butler on Sat Jul 03, 2021 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1977 Stage 2 MGB GT
1975 SWB Series 3 Land Rover with a later 2.5 petrol engine
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Paul Hollingworth
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Re: Electronic Ignition, yes or no?

Post by Paul Hollingworth »

I'm running with Luminition magnatronic at present. I cant say I've noticed any improvement over the points set up. With points you need to renew every 6000 miles or so, check your dwell is in tolerance and then set your timing (dynamic is best). You obviously don't have to do any of this with electronic once they are set up, but if they go wrong you are stuffed. Lengthy job by the side of the road to convert back to points. Don't fancy doing this on the hard shoulder. I will by a cheap pickup (not genuine Luminition) to keep as a spare before taking on any lengthy drives. Not too difficult just to change the pick-up.
Distributor doctor reckons the cheaper electronic pick ups give a lot of scatter on timing, but he would, wouldn't he.
1971 MGB roadster & 2006 MGTF
Vic Butler
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Re: Electronic Ignition, yes or no?

Post by Vic Butler »

Paul Hollingworth wrote: Sat Jul 03, 2021 10:24 am Distributor doctor reckons the cheaper electronic pick ups give a lot of scatter on timing, but he would, wouldn't he.
He' s right though Paul. Some of the cheap and nasty ones have been tested and the angles of the magnets which on a 4 cylinder engine are 90 degrees can be anything up to 5 degrees out.
I never buy cheap. "Buy cheap, buy twice" as the saying goes.
1977 Stage 2 MGB GT
1975 SWB Series 3 Land Rover with a later 2.5 petrol engine
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Tom Brearley
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Re: Electronic Ignition, yes or no?

Post by Tom Brearley »

Another factor is that the quality of condensors seems to be variable*. I switched to 123 after getting fed up with duff condensors. Now running Pertronix which seems to be well-regarded. It isn't as smooth at idle as 123, but fits in a traditional distributor.

* by variable I mean rubbish
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Vic Butler
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Re: Electronic Ignition, yes or no?

Post by Vic Butler »

I can get my Land Rover engine with Petronix to tick over so slowly the ignition light comes on. It's very smooth even at that speed.
1977 Stage 2 MGB GT
1975 SWB Series 3 Land Rover with a later 2.5 petrol engine
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Charles Farran
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Re: Electronic Ignition, yes or no?

Post by Charles Farran »

I know Vic had a bad experience with the 123,but I've had mine for 10 years & it has been faultless. Certainly much smoother idle as i recall + no fiddling with points & condensors or trying to ensure i didn't drop the screw holding the points to the base plate.... (Some purists think the original distributor set up is the only way to go, but life's too short)!
Cheers,
Charles
1980 Roadster
Vic Butler
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Re: Electronic Ignition, yes or no?

Post by Vic Butler »

My 123 turned out to be faulty but something I heard about them is that they do not provide enough vacuum advance for low compression engines. The Land Rover is 8:1. Fitting a spare distributor with points and condenser restored the power.
1977 Stage 2 MGB GT
1975 SWB Series 3 Land Rover with a later 2.5 petrol engine
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Peter Cresswell
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Re: Electronic Ignition, yes or no?

Post by Peter Cresswell »

For me NO!
I've had several failures over the years, and seen them fail on other peoples cars as well, and they always seem to fail when you are miles from home. When they do it is instant, and you can't fix them at the roadside, unless it is something obvious like a wire fallen off. With points you can often get home with a quick adjustment using a screwdriver and a * packet, which is much quicker than waiting for the rescue truck.
I know some cheap ignition parts from the far east are prone to failure, but if you avoid these then a points system only needs adjusting every 15,000 miles or so. The choice is an individual one, but you can either wait for the rescue truck or get home with badly adjusted points an hour or so earlier!
The alternative is to carry a spare points distributor around ready adjusted (including the pinch bolt plate) to drop in when needed.
Pete
1969 MGB Roadster
2020 MG HS Exclusive
2007 Mercedes SLK
Plus 34 other cars since 1965
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