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Ignition Wires

Ignition Wires

I'm attempting to change the ignition wires on my '54 120 SE.  My problem is
that I don't know how to attach the core of the wires to the brass plate that
gets screwed into the cap.  On the Jag right now are little brass screws that
go through the plate and look to be screwed into the core of the wire.  On
the MG's that I've worked on, the strands of the wire get pulled through the
plate and frayed.  What is the correct procedure for the Jag and is one
method wrong?
Thanks from a new Jag owner.
-Aaron Pincus

Either will work but the preferred method is to pull the wire thru the
centre, splay out the wire evenly and solder to the brass "washer" using
rosin core solder only.
George Badger

Hi Aaron Pincus & all -- on my original Mk IX, 792817 BW (built 15 December
'59), plug wires are black with metal core.  "Brass plate" is small washer,
3/8" or so with 1/16" or so hole in center; it goes on end of wire into
distributor so it MUST fit in the distributor hole.  Do this with
distributor plug cap on wire, threads toward end:   strip 3/8" of
insulation from wire at distributor end, twist small length of wire with
fingers, insert in hole in center of washer, fold down with fingers, fit
wire with washer in cap, screw down plug cap snug with finger pressure
only.  Do this x 6 and you should be OK.

Hope this helps -- Larry Martz

Hello, Aaron -

My experience and remembery is the same as yours for the old MGs, with the
non-resistance Packard 440 wire both frayed on the distributor-cap side of
the split washer to secure it in place.  I used to solder it to the washer
for added security, through this made 'field repairs' more challenging!

Enjoy your new ride!

[ Interesting!  My spell-checker didn't recognize the word "Packard!"
What's this world coming to??? ]

Larry Schear
Twin Cam, Inc.

Brass screws? Never heard of such a thing! The plates are to be held just
like on the MG.
Mike Plechaty

I'm  guessing this is a matter of who supplied the wires.  I have bought
several sets and those from SICP had the brass screws.

Dick White
64 3.8 S-type
58 150 FHC

        go with the brass screws (if you can make them fit properly), just
because M G couldn't get it right doesn't mean you shouldn't try.   A much
better method than squashing the frayed ends in the long run, the screws
must be brass to reduce galvanic action if the wires are copper.
 Both systems work very well but the screw method has an  advantage over
"fraying" and "washer  soldering" because of it provides closer fit between
the insulation of the wire and the inside of the  distributor cap ferrule
due to the taper of the screw slightly swelling the diameter as it
penetrates the wire core. Swelling the outside diameter of the wire has
advantages by increasing the mechanical strength of the attatchment of the
wire in the distributor cap and also, there may be an increase in the
resistance to internal corrosion of the contact area of the brass screw head
and the distributor terminal in the cap tower as there could be reduced
possibilities of moisture and condensation penetrating the terminal cavity
to promote corrosion. That's a tip I got from a guy who seriously off-roads
in an old Land-Rover in our local Land-Rover club. Those old beasts have
similar distributor caps (the Land-Rovers I meant, not the club members)

John Morgan

I'm using brass screws with solid core wires. It seems to work OK.

Mike Carpenter

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