MGBGTV8 alternative distributor
Chris Armitage (Tundra 2066) from Hampshire has found and extensively tested an alternative to the Lucas distributor for the MGBGTV8. (Dec 04)

I have never been impressed with the quality of the standard V8 Lucas distributor. Firstly the dwell adjuster threads stripped and left me stranded by the roadside. Secondly I was getting fed up with repeatedly replacing the vacuum advance/retard unit, then I had problems with pinking even when the ignition was retarded a few degrees from the factory setting. Finally I had an erratic idle speed which was being caused by weak return springs and sloppy mechanical advance/retard mechanism, revealed as timing scatter visible when checking with a stroboscopic timing light. Hence I bought what has turned out to be an excellent alternative which has cured all these problems- a Mallory twin point distributor.

The Mallory distributor is an American after market

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accessory, presumably originally aimed at the Buick version of our engines but supplied with adaptors to fit both types of Rover V8 oil pump drive. It is a substantially engineered unit with a turned alloy body & brass spindle. Everything is more substantial than the Lucas unit, and features heavy duty twin contact points. It is possible to adjust the amount of advance. Installing & setting up is the same as the Lucas unit except there is no external dwell adjuster. However I have found that it has retained its gap / dwell over the 3 years since I fitted it. Idle is now rock steady, there is no pinking, the engine seems smoother and it inspires confidence.

I obtained mine from a Rover V8 engine specialist in Norwich - RPI 01603 891209 or www.rpiv8.com. At the time of writing they are £215 for the contact breaker version which I fitted, or £345 for an electronic type. I have no connection with either RPI or Mallory!

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