The MGA With An Attitude
Failing Condensers

Mallory distributor

February 2013: A quick review.
 7/22/92   25,000  Install Mallory Distributor
 5/19/99 138,968  Replace bad condenser (83,737 mi)
 6/20/11 238,280  Replace bad condenser (99,312 mi)
12/11/12 247,379  Replace bad condenser (9,099 miles, 18-mos)
  2/5/13 247,614  Replace bad condenser (257 miles, 2 mos)

This was going quite well for 20 years and nearly a quarter million miles. Then I had a premature condenser failure in December 2012. Well, it could be a rare fluke. Old stock maybe? No. My records show that condenser was purchased in July 2009, so only 3-1/2 years on my shelf. I had also heard a few reports of failing Mallory condensers. Not being keen on paying $11 a pop for bad condensers, I bought one from O-Riley Auto Parts. This one came in a "generic" white box with no brand name, only the supplier's stock number. Two months and 257 miles later the new Mallory condenser failed, an I installed the generic part. This was accompanied by a bug grin, figuring that not buying another Mallory condenser was a good move. The next spare condenser was purchased from Advance Auto bearing part number G120P. The computer said it was a BMW part, but they all look the same to me. So now I'm running on a generic condenser with a BMW part for the traveling spare.

On 2/16/2013 -0700, Ken Roscoe in Sacramento , California, USA wrote:
"Mallory Dual Point Distributor - I'm on my third ignition condenser in 500 miles. I'm using a Lucas sport coil and buying the [Mallory] factory condenser - never had this problem. HELP!".

In light of multiple recent reports like this, I suppose Mallory ran into a production batch of bad parts. My best advice is to avoid Mallory condensers for a few years, by which time the current inventory should be used up (or tossed in the trash if Mallory gets their act together).

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