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Re: Damn Ignition!

To: Benjamin Ruset <>, (David Deutsch)
Subject: Re: Damn Ignition!
From: Chris Delling <>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 13:11:04 -0500

Some advice.  Buy a shop manual, and a cheap multimeter from Radio Shack.
Using the ohm meter, with the ignition off, trace the leads from all the
relevant devices, and verify that there is continuity.  Turn the ignition
switch to "on" and verify that voltages are where they are supposed to be.  

Proceed from there, verifying that components are good or bad, not just
random replacement.  Random replacement always ends up costing more, and
may never yield a solution.  Narrow down to the smallest "segment", and
work out, always in small steps. 

The fact that the Lucas, and Lumination/Ignitor/Crane (whatever it is that
you have) don't work suggests that the problem may well not be in any of
the ignition modules, but instead with power to the unit, or grounding.

Have you verified the trigger component works?  Could be nothing but a bad
sensor.  I have a Crane System that uses an opto-electric trigger.  This
part is pretty bullet proof, but can fail.  No trigger = no spark.

By the way, the Lucas CEI system works off a six volt coil, while most of
the aftermarket use 12 volts.  For this reason, you need to change the feed
wire to the coil, as well as the coil.

I would suggest that you contact the customer service/tech support people
at the company that manufactured your ignition.  Request a copy of the
detailed installation directions - they will probably fax or mail you a
copy at no cost.  Explain your problem, and see what they suggest.

Stop throwing money at the problem.  A points type distributor might solve
your problem, but then again may not.  Isolate and fix the problem.  It may
seem a monumentous task, but you seem like a pretty bright guy, and if you
go about it with logic an reason, you will prevail.


Chris Delling

At 10:06 AM 12/23/97 -0500, Benjamin Ruset wrote:
>>Although I must say that I admire Ben's "I'd rather do it myself" 
>>philosophy, but there comes a time when it is more admirable to seek 
>>professional mechanic's help and stick around to see where you are 
>>going wrong. I have given you names and numbers of New Jersey mechanics 
>>that would be able to diagnose your problem and fix it in, most likely, 
>>under a hour. I also offered to direct you to some mechanics here on 
>>Long Island when you initially bought the car. If you had gone that way 
>>you would have driven the car home back in Oct.
>I know. I barely had enough money to get it home from NY. I only had about
>$150 in excess cash, which was all blown on a lawnscaping trailer and
>borrowing my friend and his truck. As for getting it to a professional
>shop, well, those of us on the list who benefit from steady $30k+ jobs may
>find that a workable solution, but I have to trudge along with the
>do-it-yourself-and-learn save-up-and-buy-parts method. I sold my spare
>computer so that I would have funds for this car now.
>My mehanic (who used to own several LBCs, and is familiar with the cars)
>and I have been working with the car. The Lumenition module turned out to
>be inoperable, so we went back to the Lucas ignition. I replaced the GM
>component in the external amplifier, and reconnected everything. Still no
>spark. On hindsight, I remember that there is a capacitor in the module
>that only has one wire going to it. I'm assuming that the chassis of the
>module acts as ground for the cap, right? If so, then I have probably found
>what the problem is, as I did not screw the ignition module back to the
>car's body.
>>Have you joined a local MG club yet? Here on Long Island we get 
>>together several times a year and help out fellow members with chronic 
>>MG problems. We also have several qualified professional mechanics that 
>>offer great discounts to fellow members.
>The term "local" and MG club unfortunately don't mix in my neck of the
>woods. The NJ MG club is about an hour away. Too far to push the MG, or
>drag someone down to look at the car.
>>I remember Ben's first post to the list after having gotten his car 
>>home. He was so proud to annouce that he had removed the cap from the 
>>distributor and that this was the first time he had ever done that on 
>>any car.
>Suffice it to say that I know a helluva lot about the ignition system in
>1978 MGBs.
>>I'm very curious to know what is ailing your car so please let me know 
>>once you have gotten it fixed.
>You're not the only one. I just see the car rusting away as I try to
>consider what my options are. The wiring in the car is a total mess, almost
>nothing works... It'll probably need a new harness, just because everything
>is so messed up.
>MG Cars Webring Admin.
>MG Cars Webring -
>Safety Fast! -
>Crossroads   -

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