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engine shutting down and then restarting when cold

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cvhs18472 Ed Kulick
Waymart, NEPA, USA   USA
My 72 B has been occasionally shutting down just after I start it. If I try to catch it in gear it won't catch but if I turn the key off and on and then try to catch it in gear it will restart. I have changed the ignition switch, the coil, the cap and rotor on my Mallory Unilite dizzy. I have gone so far as hooking up a light to the power wire to see if I lose power when it stops. I don't. Anyone have any idea where to go next? Thanks, Ed

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bev sleet Avatar
bev sleet Bev S
Raunds, Northamptonshire, UK   GBR
Check and clean battery earth and engine to body earth. just an idea

RAY 67 TOURER Avatar
RAY 67 TOURER Ray Marloff
Fort Bragg, CA, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB "My Girl"
It would appear, at least to me, that the problem lies in the distributor itself. RAY

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cvhs18472 Ed Kulick
Waymart, NEPA, USA   USA
Does anyone know anything about Mallory Unilite distributers? I had one in my 64 for over 15 years and no problems, the one in my 72 is only about 5 years old. I know that things might not be of the quality that they used to be but is there a replaceable module in the Mallory? Thanks, Ed

course2kid Jeffrey Johnson
Fountain Valley, CA, USA   USA
1979 MG MGB "Lucy (Lucifer)"
Ed, can you describe the problem in a bit more detail? I'm a bit confused over what you mean by "catch it in gear" do you mean when the car is rolling and you are trying to restart the engine by bump starting it? Or, are you referring to the starter motor sometimes engaging and sometimes not?

Does the car only do this when the engine is cold?

cvhs18472 Ed Kulick
Waymart, NEPA, USA   USA
When I said catch it in gear I meant what you call bump start. When it dies the starter will turn but it will not start until I turn the key off and then on. Except for what ray said I have no idea. Ed

dohc281 Avatar
dohc281 Gold Member Ira Eckstein
Laurel Springs, NJ, USA   USA
If you’re concerned about your distributor do you have access to another distributor that you know is good that you could put in your B to see if that’s your problem? Last year I had an issue with my B not starting and bought a used distributor on this site and put it in my B. It didn’t fix my issue but I bought it reasonably and sold it on this site for what it cost me.



If you hit your pony over the nose at the outset of your acquaintance, he may not love you, but he will take a deep interest in your movements ever afterwards.



Rudyard Kipling

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cbou7983 Avatar
cbou7983 Christian Bouchard
Montreal, QC, Canada   CAN
1972 MG MGB
When you say you have power, do you mean on the white wire that goes to the dizzy?

cvhs18472 Ed Kulick
Waymart, NEPA, USA   USA
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. It seems as if my B just had a visit from the Lucas Grinch. After going through everything, changing distributers and such nothing changed. It might not be for purists , but we repaired it by running a wire from the ignition straight to the coil. It has been about a month and my B hasn't cut out or burned down. Live seems good. Thanks for the advise, Ed

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Sinewave Avatar
Sinewave T. Keith Vezina
Kenner, LA, USA   USA
On some 72 wiring diagrams, the white wire to power the coil goes through the tachometer. Try running a jumper from the fuse box straight to the coil.



T. Keith Vezina
British Motoring Club New Orleans
1976 MGB, 1976 MGB Trailer & 1967 MGB MK. I

albeegreen1 Avatar
albeegreen1 Gold Member bob tresch
bordentown, NJ, USA   USA
1972 MG MGB MkIII "ALBERT"
Ed: Wont hurt to clean and tighten your starter connections and solenoid. They collect a lot off the road.



"Be yourself, because everybody else is already taken". - Oscar Wilde.

"If wishes were horses, beggars would ride" - Phineas Quimby.

cvhs18472 Ed Kulick
Waymart, NEPA, USA   USA
I did all that good stuff over the course of a year or so. I believe that I messed with a wire when I installed my OEM radio, but I'll sure haven't been able to find it. Jumping the coil seems like it bypassed some of the potentially loose connections. The car has been running well since and I will put up with the jury rig. Merry Christmas, Ed

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