The MGA With An Attitude
ELECTRONIC IGNITION, Pertronix Failure #1 - IG-205B

This is just one example of failure(s) of the Pertronics ignition module. In this case the car owner was doing everything correctly as instructed, and the module would fail anyway. This seems to be maybe a batch of faulty parts. If the parts are not really good quality, then you're just stuffed. I have seen enough failures of the Pertronics ignition modules to know that I will not install one in my car. So this is just to pass this story along.

On 2/28/2015, Graeme Smith in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia wrote
"I have just read your views on electronic ignition, which the current saga makes me inclined to agree with. The saga is: I installed Pertronix LU-146LS in MGTD supplied by Moss Europe. The result was:
1. Vehicle running evenly, idling at 800 rpm with point setup.
2. Installed Pertronix strictly as per instructions-wires connected correctly, new rotor installed, all connections tight etc.
3. Coil resistance checked,3.6 ohms.
4. Engine started promptly, ran smoothly on the throttle with car stationary but noted idle speed 500 rpm. ran engine for approx. 3-4 mins.
5. Switched off engine checked all connections, started engine again, adjusted idle speed and timing. Engine started immediately, idled smoothly. Car not yet tested on road. Made sure ignition turned off.
6. Following day, started engine, drove car out of workshop, within 100 meters began missing, then backfiring, managed to get it back into workshop (just) before it stopped.
7. Unable to restart, no spark to plugs.
8. Checked all connections, no faults.
9. Substituted coil (resistance checked 3.4 ohms) no difference.
10.Followed the test regime as per, found no fluctuation in the voltage reading (steps #5 and #6), concluded unit had failed.
11. Removed Pertronix, reinstalled points setup, engine started promptly, idles at 800 rpm, performs as expected on the road.

Contacted supplier who supplied a replacement module.
1. Installed unit - had to slightly elongate fixing hole on unit to get adequate clearance between cam lobe and unit - clearance is 18 thou, had to sand down base of rotor button to reduce diameter to get clearance between rotor button and unit, securing screw wrong thread, substituted screw.
2. Engine started immediately, adjusted timing and idle speed (both minimal).
3. Took vehicle for test run, approx 12 kms, performed faultlessly.
4. Two days later took vehicle for run (no other use since test run above), engine stopped after approx 6kms, engine stopped approx 10 times to get home, distance between each shutdown got progressively less.
5. Back in the workshop, all aspects of installation checked, no problems identified. Engine ran initially for approx 10 mins then stopped. Time between each restart and shutdown became progressively less culminating in engine not starting at all. Bypassed ignition switch and then ran lead directly from battery to bypass loom with no success.
6. Reinstalled points, no problem, cars runs perfectly.

Everyone that has looked at the vehicle points to the Pertronix unit, but this is the second unit. No problems have been identified with the wiring, electrical settings etc with the vehicle. Even tried heat sink paste between unit and base plate to no avail. On the one hand I'm inclined to simply put it down to experience but on the other I would like to get to the bottom of the issue".

On 4/12/2015, Graeme Smith wrote:
"After much buggerising around (thats a highly technical Australian term) the problem was the plug and coil leads. The Pertronix website specifies, in very small print at the bottom of the page not to use solid core leads. After getting a set of suppressor leads made up, no problem. The car runs well and I suspect idles a little more smoothly.

"However, the Moss Europe website, from which I bought the unit, makes no mention at all of the lead issue. It would make sense for retailers like Moss to state clearly that the traditional plug leads need to be changed and if they were half way smart, offer a set of leads as part of a package with the unit. That way, ordinary customers like me wouldn't be stuffed around".

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