The MGA With An Attitude
High Tension SPARK WIRES - IG-112

At 03:26 PM 10/25/2008 +0200, John Barrett wrote:
>"I recently received a mail warning against using carbon ignition leads instead of the original copper leads. The reason being the original MGA side entry distributor caps that use the traditional "spike screws" that break up the carbon conductor".

This is not any problem with the distributor cap, but an issue of how you install carbon core wires. In the carbon wires the core is essentially a string like a candle wick impregnated with carbon dust. To make a good connection at the end of the wire you need to stick a short piece of solid wire about 1/2 inch axially into the core. With crimp-on end terminals the wire insert gets folded over the outside of the wire to make contact with the crimp-on terminal.

With the side entry distributor cap you don't need to fold the insert wire over, just cut it off flush the end of the HT wire, but you do still need the insert wire to make good end connection with the carbon core. The original type MGA spark plug connectors have a thin wood screw that screws into the end of the HT wire, and that will serve the same function.

>"The writer also informs that sports coils have a higher failure rate than standard coils".

This may be more of an issue with new parts being lower quality than older parts, and figuring out which new parts may be bad. I have been using a Lucas Sport coil for nearly 20 years and 200,000 miles. The only problem I had was a crack in the HT tower in 1996. The replacement part has been going strong for 12 years and more than 120,000 miles. If it ever craps out I might consider installing and epoxy filled coil rather than an oil filled one.

Otherwise I compare the cost of any "upgrade" coil to original style replacements that may be had for under $20 (if you shop around some). If it runs okay on a standard cheap coil you might just toss a spare in the boot. A fancy name on the side of the coil does not impress me. I seem to have been suckered into trying the Sport Coil about 20 years ago, and it treats me well, so I keep it.

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