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MG TD TF 1500 - Electronic ignition - wow

Today I had electronic ignition installed. I was hoping for easier starting. But I got so much more! My car felt like a different one, so much better! I noticed soon that it was idling at almost 2000 rpm. It was adjusted down to around 1100. Runs so much better than before. I can hardly hear the engine when stopping at red lights. And it goes much better. I feel I have a new car.
With all the trouble I have had this year, I just hope it lasts...
Raymond Wardenaer

Is that a pertronix or other?
Try setting 30d advance @ 3000 rpm.
I'll bet you can get idle down to 500/700 after doing that.
David Sheward

David, it is a Pertronix. Next will be a new coil, a flamethrower. But the car is a dream to drive now. Never been so good.
Raymond Wardenaer

....i wonder what my timing is set at.....
gblawson(gordon- TD27667)

If you had the work done by others ...share the above timming info with them. The info is not in the workshop is something I learned from this BBS and made a big differance in my car's preformance. Like you, I was very happy with the results after installing the pertronix, but even more impressed after re-setting my timming at 3000 RPM.

Strange little "quirk" on these cars: If the timming is slightly off sometimes you will notice a "chatter" in the gearshift lever in 4th gear. Our little cars "talk" to us ...just takes a while to understand what they are saying!

An OBTW: Keep the old points set & condenser in the car as a spare. Seems as long as the "Gawds of Lucas" know it is in there, the pertronix will never fail! LOL

Cheers & Happy Motoring!
David Sheward

Gordon, you have to be close to TDC based on riding in your car last year. You might try advancing that about a quarter inch at very low idle, say about 600 rpm, or try static timing it at about the same setting, 1/4 inch before TDC. That would put you at about 8 degrees BTDC.

Raymond, great news on the pertronix. Also, a rebushed distributor helps a great deal as well. All the better if the shop can fine tune the advance curve to match our little cars.

Dave Braun

Switched to pertronix in my MGB. Amazing difference!
The TF is next. Good place to shop for these things is British Racing Green in Delaware.

Dan H.
Dan Hanson

Dan / Everyone:
Do not forget to get correct unit for Possitive or Negative ground!
Had to say that after helping my neighbor with his TD.
He ordered and installed a neg ground unit in his poss ground car.
Can you say "toast"?
He kept starring wishfully at my jar of Lucas replacement smoke.
David Sheward

David, same thing happened to one of our members. One turn of thekey, pull the switch and POOF. 135.00 up in smoke.
Tom Maine (TD8105)

I read all these comments about electronic ignition and I am so tempted. car seems to run so good with the points now, and somehow it just seems blasphemous to put electronics in this car.
L Rutt

I said the same thing ...10 years ago.
Now ...doubt I will ever go back to points.
David Sheward


I'm glad your car is now running better - may it continue to do so. I do wonder how much of the improvement is down to the new electronic ignition, or perhaps there were correctable faults in your previous set up?

As others have said, do keep your existing ignition parts with you in the car----you never know!

Except for racing, and other short period high speed events, I do not see the need for putting electronic ignition into our nearly 60 year old cars. For recreational and often long distance touring, the standard set up can cause problems, but it is rare that the car cannot be coaxed into some sort of life, enabling a garage or town to be reached for proper repair.

As for 'flamethrower' coils, remember that except for the last few months of TF production, the standard Lucas coil was not even oil filled, turned out a modest voltage, yet propelled our cars at quite fast and reliable speeds!

Also note Dave Braun's sound advice re. ignition timing, echoing my advice on another recent thread!

Good luck,

J C Mitchell

it has been quite awhile since i read about the pertronix system, but my faded recollection is that the flamethrower coil would not be applicable to our cars. is that the case? perhaps there is another model of coil i am thinking about. regards, tom
tom peterson

I went with a sports coil, painted it black, and stuck a Lucas sticker on it.
This was on recomendation of John Twist when my car was in his shop. The brand new "stock replacement" coil I had just purchased was NFG. John got Moss to refund on that one. Lucky for me as, they normally won't do that on electrical parts.
I put the Pertronix in a few months after that.
The combination has been working well for 10+ years now.
Neg ground car, so easy swap for points if I ever need it. So far my spare has gone to two other cars to get them home.
David Sheward

The flamethrower coil that is recommended by Pertronix fits in the original bracket with a bit of thin metal sheet around it, as the Flamethrower is a wee bit slimmer than the original coil.
Jan Kristoffersen

This thread was discussed between 25/08/2011 and 27/08/2011

MG TD TF 1500 index

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