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MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG TD TF 1500 - OK, I've had it with points....

Car ran like doo-doo today. Turned around and took the '34 Ford to a car show instead. (Shame, I would have taken the oldest foreign award, but I did win the 50/50 for $135.00)

I got home, fiddled around with the usual suspects..... then cleaned the points and it's purring like a... well, it's running better.

So, electronic is in it's future. What are we finding to be reliable. Cheap isn't in the equation, my wife will be out and about in this one. Dependable is the right word here.


New points haven't been mentioned as troublesome, condensers are another story.

Electronic??? pertronix....I have my second one in the TF...fried the first one.

Crane....I've had one in my MGB for over 20 years...If I were doing the TF again thats what I would use myself.
MG LaVerne

The 123 EI is supposed to be the best available. Your dizzy goes to Holland, is reconditioned & then fitted with a 16 curve mappable EI. You get to keep the points plate & the advance weights & plate & they also give you a screwdriver. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

Pertronix has it's own set of "leave you at the side of the road issues". I have a pertronix set up in my parts bin from 6 years ago, points are super reliable and easy to the pertronix sits. Regards, tom
tm peterson

Get a set of points from (Jeff?) At advanced distributors. I haven't adjusted mine in two seasons of driving and they are still working fine. They are servicible on the side of the road. My only wish would be for a rev limiter. That would be a feature I MIGHT consider switching to electronic ignition for.

Alex Waugh

A suggestion, Alex...


I have a new Crane set up still in the box. Because the module has to be in the engine bay, to me it will look out of place, only thing keeping me from trying it out. I do like points though, so easy to change and a new set can be kept in the tool box. My car runs super with the points. The Crane, it'll probably just collect dust on the shelf. ?? PJ
Paul S Jennings

Side of the road fiddling, I'm OK with that (MGB, E-Type, Model A Ford....) but my wife can't do that. One failure to get home from church... I don't want that phone call for something as brainless as points.

Yea, the box looks out of place. Paint it body color and put it inside the cowl and wrap the wires with a cloth loom once it enters the engine bay.


Crane, this one?


Excellent idea Mclemore. Didn't know that existed.
Alex Waugh

I spent quite a long time restoring Lotus cars, among others, so I'm pretty familiar with these - most of the Louts cars had them. They work very nicely and don't arc as much as you'd think. Note that there are a variety of RPM limiting rotors - I'd pick the lowest speed one of the bunch for your TD, hence the Jaguar automatic one.

That's the one I have. Never thought of mounting the module inside. PJ
Paul S Jennings

I've been running with a Pertronix LU-146 module since 1999 and it has NEVER failed me. Closest I came was cured by replacing the rotor. I've been trying a lobe sensor model LU-146LS since last fall and am very impressed with it. For about $100 and $20 worth of ignition cables, it's hard to beat. Bud
Bud Krueger

Dealt with TFs since 1976.

Always have used the original Lucas set up for the distributor,points etc.The Distributors are relatively easy to restore.One car had to have its shaft rebushed (Lucas scinted bronze)and another pinned to arrest any shaft movement.

Invariarably I use the original Lucas points (NOS from the RED box). Also,use NOS Lucas Distributor caps.

Never have had any ignition problems!

It does pay also to check the timing plate (12 degrees on TFs) where it was crimped onto the distributor shaft.
Sometimes this comes loose. However,with careful welding,the plate can be firmly re affixed to the shaft.
Jewellers files can then be applied to smooth down the
weld to enable the shaft to rotate without any interference.

As an aside,had a Triumph Stag fitted with a non original
new electronic system which failed after three(3) years.

Rob Grantham

Do you think that when your electronic ignition malfunctions, you will be able to fix it in 30 seconds with a file?

Of the 7 cars in my care, 6 are equipped with points. The 7th has EI and it's the only one in 20 years to ever suffer an ignition failure. But to each their own preference.
Steve Simmons

So let me get this straight,, You had to just clean up your points to get the car running correctly,,,, and that convinced you that you need to go to EI,,
Well,, do so if you think you must,, BUT IMHO, you should keep those points in you tool box for that "side of the road" repair if the EI fails,,

Steve Wincze

I have electronic ignition fitted to my TF that was made by a company called Stealth. Unlike my old TD which ran on points the TF almost starts itself as I rattle the garage door. One touch of the starter is all that's needed hot, cold, sunny or damp. There is a problem with solid state ignition though. When you initially set the timing with points after say the distributor has been removed it is easy to line up the pulley and rotate the distributor until number one plug flashes. With an electronic system the rotor in the distributor needs to turn past the sensor at speed for it to trigger and simply turning the distributor won't work. I had to remove all the plugs, turn the engine over with the starter and make adjustments to the distributor until my strobe showed the pulley marks were in alignment. Electronic ignition kits are so inexpensive these days it would be possible to carry a spare and change over a duff unit at the road side - probably quicker than with points - but you would need your strobe to be in your tool kit.

Jan T
J Targosz


You and I and nearly everyone reading this can change a set of points, blow out a fuel line, jury rig the headlights and hot wire the ignition to get home.

My goal is to make this car as dependable as possible so I don't get a distress call from the Mrs. 30 miles from home.

A solid state Pertronix unit gets me just a step closer. If solid state units weren't more dependable classic car enthusiasts wouldn't be installing them, and plenty of guys in both my antique car club and my European car club are.

I'm all for originality, but if 20-40 years ago I could have put them in my MGB and E-Type and Model A and Newport and Skylark, and '35 Buick and.... I might have.

But I'll keep the points in the tool kit cause you never know when 100 year old technology will need to be pressed into service to save the day It'll be sitting on top of that 5 foot roll of bailing wire.



Where can one fine a decent non-Chinese-junk set of points; condenser; rotor and cap?

Bill Brown

Mike, first thing to do if considering going pointless is to switch to a negative ground configuration. At club events I enjoy demonstrating my ability to switch back to points, at have the car running, in less than 10 minutes. Bud
Bud Krueger


Lucas,original parts for T types are in fact getting harder to acquire. However,it is amazing what one can find at Swap Meets,Weekend Garage Sales,eBay,Car Club friends and associates including BBS TD TF members!
Grandfathers and fathers also often can contribute 'hidden away stock'.

Keep asking and looking and you will be surprised
by what is out there.

Lucas,the true 'King of the Road'!

The original Lucas T type Points are numbered 407050
and the Distributor Cap number is 418888.They will last 100 years with their quality and current limited miles/kms which our cars accumulate annually.When ever you see the Lucas stamp or casting in a relevant part,grab it.

An example of the BBS TD TF comraderie on this issue was my request for 50amp Lucas fuses for TFs(they also use 35amps).These fuses are extremely rare in correct bullet shaped end form with the yellow paper 'Lucas' insert.
I believe it was Canadian and long time TF owner,Mr Gordon Clark, who offered these fuses to me-gratis.
I was very grateful and appreciative.

Rob Grantham

In my experience, the Petronix fail out of the box or last for a very long time. I think some out of the box failures are due to wiring or installation issues.

The other failure mode I've experienced is that the bottom of the magnetic collar will break open and the magnets will fall out. I've had this happen to me in my MG midget and to a friend with a MGB, both in a racing environment. The symptom was failure to fire on one cylinder. As long as you haven't lost a magnet, this is easily fixed by gluing it all back together.

I currently have a 123 distributor in the Midget and it has been dead-nuts reliable. One of the advantages is that it uses Beru or Bosch cap and rotor as spec'd for a Volvo. These pieces are bridge-member solid, especially compared to the flimsy Lucas stuff.

Attached is a picture of the interior of a 123 distributor with rotor.

FWIW, I don't have any difficulty static timing one of these. You turn it until a green LED lights up and you are done.

David Littlefield

This thread was discussed between 02/05/2015 and 04/05/2015

MG TD TF 1500 index

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