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MG Car Repair/74 MGB- I can't remove the distributor


Hi Barrie,

I have removed the bolts securing the distributor in a 74 MGB that I'm trying to get running.
Does the engine have to be at TDC for the distributer to come out?
It won't turn or budge at all.
Since half of the distributor is missing I'm going to replace it with a new electronic ignition distributor.
I'm trying to do the work on my own but am somewhat mechanically-challenged.  But I'm learning.
Any advice for how to remove the distributor would be much appreciated!

Ben Fluno
Dallas, TX

Hi Ben.

The distributor on an MGB is only held in place by a clamp plate (item #19 in this diagram):

I presume that you have removed the two small bolts holding the clamp plate to the block.  

The distributor has nothing else holding it so it should rotate and it should pull out.  They do sometimes stick with corrosion because the block is cast iron and the distributor is an aluminium alloy.  

Since you intend to replace the entire distributor with a new one, you can safely hit the side of the distributor with a rod such as an old screwdriver in order to get it moving.  Once it is moving, pull with a twisting motion and it should come out with the clamp plate still attached to it.  

I recommend that you fit the new distributor with a new clamp plate, because the old plate will have distorted over the years.

The old distributor will come out in any position, but you must align the new one correctly when you insert it.  Get back to me if you need advice on that.

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Barrie Jones


MG Sports Cars from 1949 to 1980 - Including MGB, MGBGT V8, TF1500, TF, TD and modern Midgets. I also specialise in SU carburettors, Lucas wiring, suspension, steering & brakes.


I have owned my 1955 TF1500 since 1966. Technical specialist for the TD and TF with the MG Car Club T Register. Also owned 20 MGBs and currently own an MGBGT V8. Written 3 books on MGs and produced a DVD on how to strip and rebuild the TD/TF gearbox.

MG Car Club.

Barrie's Notes on the 1953-55 MG TF (author). /=====/ Barrie's Notes on the MGB (author). /=====/ Barrie's Notes on the MGB GT V8 (author). /=====/ The Essential Buyer's Guide to the MG TD, TF and TF1500. (author)

M Phil, C Eng, BSc (Eng).

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