Distributor options

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martinclan
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Distributor options

Post by martinclan » Mon Apr 04, 2022 10:57 am

I have acquired, what was sold to me, as a Stage 2 tuned B series engine. It was a bit of a bargain as it has the Marina crank and was therfore not suitable for the MGB market. In fact the bloke I bought it from, bought it himself for that reason and found he couldn't use it.
Being an untrusting sole I have been stripping it down to check what is in it and it does seem to be all correct. And what's more it has never been used...

Anyway, to cut a long story short I need a distributor. I have an original one from my orginal engine but I guess that's well past it's sell by date. There seems to be four options.
1. A reconditioned original Lucas distributor. Quite expensive...
2. A new Lucas distributor. Seem to be commonly available but I guess made in India or China and of suspect quality?
3. An Accuspark Lucas clone with contactless points. Relatively cheap and seems like a reasonable option, but too good to be true?
4. A 123Ignition micro processor based distributor. Probably the best option but pricey.

I wondered what others have done?
The engine is fitted with a slightly hairy cam (Piper 285) so I my thoughts are currently the 123Ignition jobby - but I am more than willing to be corrected!
Cheers, Robin

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balmy
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Re: Distributor options

Post by balmy » Mon Apr 04, 2022 11:16 am

123 is used in mine. 10 years of faultless driving
1974 Marina Tc Coupe - 1950CC
1982 Morris Ital HL Estate - 7600 miles from new
1992 Lada Niva Cossack - brilliant
2008 Ducati 1098R TB21 LE 200bhp/99lb/ft of a monster on two wheels. All from 1198cc
1998 Laverda 750 Formula-rare
1997 Ducati 916 Senna - Awesome
!974 Honda CD175-awaiting resto - now stripped

martinclan
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Re: Distributor options

Post by martinclan » Mon Apr 04, 2022 12:14 pm

Thanks Balmy
There seems to be a bewildering range of options from 123. Do you recall which one you used?
Cheers, Robin

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PHUQ
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Re: Distributor options

Post by PHUQ » Mon Apr 04, 2022 12:14 pm

I've not put it together yet but I have an engine built to a very similar spec to yours (1860 fast road, Burgess head with the standard early 70's "big" valves, 185 cam).

The "new" distributors will have a generic curve in them- they should be tuneable, within the limitations of the design of course, but are likely to be a bit "wobbly" as the tolerances won't be as good as option 1 (but probably better than a worn out original).

I've gone for a bluetooth mappable 123- I reckon the time saved on the rolling road getting it set up properly will offset a fair chunk of the price, they appear to be very high quality, unlike the other distributor based options it should be possible to map out some of the off- cam lumpiness inevitable with the fairly hot cam that, and the bluetooth immobiliser is another bonus. They ain't cheap though!
Matt
1974 1973 Tundra Black Tulip 1800 SDL TC Estate "Mud"- Freshly Franked rolling shell.
Really, really horrible 1974 Black Tulip 1300 DL- Basically compost.

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MarinaCoupe
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Re: Distributor options

Post by MarinaCoupe » Mon Apr 04, 2022 4:12 pm

There is a brilliant book by Peter Burgess on tuning the B Series - there are lots of recipes for parts combinations, with sections on cams, cams, sparks etc. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/178 ... tu00_p1_i1

There’s also a kindle version.

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balmy
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Re: Distributor options

Post by balmy » Mon Apr 04, 2022 5:17 pm

martinclan wrote:Thanks Balmy
There seems to be a bewildering range of options from 123. Do you recall which one you used?
Cheers, Robin
It was the only one available at the time for that engine! Not sure they do it now?

Think 16 preset curves to choose from but nothing else.
Was set up on the rolling road when I had the engine built and hasn’t been touched since.
1974 Marina Tc Coupe - 1950CC
1982 Morris Ital HL Estate - 7600 miles from new
1992 Lada Niva Cossack - brilliant
2008 Ducati 1098R TB21 LE 200bhp/99lb/ft of a monster on two wheels. All from 1198cc
1998 Laverda 750 Formula-rare
1997 Ducati 916 Senna - Awesome
!974 Honda CD175-awaiting resto - now stripped

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lil_red_roadster
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Re: Distributor options

Post by lil_red_roadster » Mon Apr 04, 2022 7:18 pm

Also have a look at Aldon...I have been impressed with mine so far.
Marlin Roadster...1860 B Series TC + Ford Type 9.
Only a terminally sick '74 1.8 Estate was harmed in its construction.
Now with Renault Espace 54mm front calipers & vented discs.

martinclan
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Re: Distributor options

Post by martinclan » Tue Apr 05, 2022 10:05 am

OK thanks all.

The Aldon option looks interesting if I decide to stay with conventional points. It gets just as expensive as a 123 though if you go contactless.

123 now have at least three options for the B series, the original, Tune, or Tune+. If I go this route I'll probably go for the original one as I dont imagine I'll want to tweak the curves.

The only other question is do I need vacuum advance or not? Opinions seem mixed on this.

Cheers, Robin

PS I have read the Peter Burgess book - several times!

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MarinaCoupe
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Re: Distributor options

Post by MarinaCoupe » Tue Apr 05, 2022 1:07 pm

Vacuum advance/retard is all about part throttle cruising, you can improve economy quite a lot by moving the timing. So if you are racing/rallying don’t bother with vacuum advance, if you plan to drive around, particularly on longer journeys then it’s worth having.

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locost_bryan
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Re: Distributor options

Post by locost_bryan » Fri Apr 08, 2022 5:16 am

I have a Powerspark distributor in my 1750 Aussie TC, was customised by them to suit my requirements. I gave them the advance curve specs from the standard Australian Lucas 29D distributor, told them my cam timing and the standard cam timing, and they came back with the right curve. Has had the cam run in on a rolling road dyno, but haven't had it on the road yet.
Bryan
Auckland NZ

1972 Morris Marina 1750 TC Coupe "Ozzy"

KwS
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Re: Distributor options

Post by KwS » Sat Apr 09, 2022 11:16 pm

locost_bryan wrote: Fri Apr 08, 2022 5:16 am I have a Powerspark distributor in my 1750 Aussie TC, was customised by them to suit my requirements. I gave them the advance curve specs from the standard Australian Lucas 29D distributor, told them my cam timing and the standard cam timing, and they came back with the right curve. Has had the cam run in on a rolling road dyno, but haven't had it on the road yet.
Speaking of, how is the project going, any plans to be on the road soon?
1973 Morris Marina Deluxe Coupe - 1750cc E Series - NZDM
https://tasteslikepetrol.net/

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locost_bryan
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Re: Distributor options

Post by locost_bryan » Mon Apr 11, 2022 12:16 am

KwS wrote: Sat Apr 09, 2022 11:16 pm
locost_bryan wrote: Fri Apr 08, 2022 5:16 am I have a Powerspark distributor in my 1750 Aussie TC, was customised by them to suit my requirements. I gave them the advance curve specs from the standard Australian Lucas 29D distributor, told them my cam timing and the standard cam timing, and they came back with the right curve. Has had the cam run in on a rolling road dyno, but haven't had it on the road yet.
Speaking of, how is the project going, any plans to be on the road soon?
It turns 50 in November, so that's my target. Better pull finger....
Bryan
Auckland NZ

1972 Morris Marina 1750 TC Coupe "Ozzy"

martinclan
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Re: Distributor options

Post by martinclan » Tue May 17, 2022 11:53 am

Just to add a little to this thread.
I found a place called "Ignition Car Parts ltd" They also trade on Ebay as Motortronics. They will produce a distributor with your chosen advance curve to order. I was a bit suspicious at first that it was one man in a shed in his garden but they seem to do I wide range of associated bits so I think I may give them a go. Just negotiating a price. I'll update this post when I have it firmed up.
Cheers, Robin

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