Best source for 140 Ignition Parts?

I searched through the old posts looking for a source for a new distributor cap. My search skills might stink but wasn’t really able to find a lot. Looking at our car (see pictures) the cap, wires, plugs and probably rotor and condenser have been on the car for decades. I’m getting a skip/hesitation which I really feel is ignition.

Where should I be looking for parts? Moss/XK?

Not planning on having the car judged, but would like as close to original looking components as possible.

When I was having sputtering ignition problems, it turned out to be the condenser.
Perhaps I’m peculiar, but I trust my old distributor cap and rotor more than I would trust new reproductions, so I scraped and cleaned all the terminals and am still using them. New plug wires, carefully cleaning and attaching the brass discs, new insulators, and new points LU1211, condenser LU209 and plugs from Rock Auto. The new condenser would not fit in the distributor, the mounting strip interfered with the rotor, so I modified it a little.


Ditto with my MKII. Funny how such a single, simple item can make such a world of difference. Once a new one was installed, it ran perfectly.

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Thanks! I will inspect the cap and if it looks good then clean it and keep it.

Is the modification for the condenser relatively straightforward?

99% of carb problems usually end up being a condensor.

It’s why I hate p&c ignitions.

Long may they be DEAD.

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I love original distributors with points and condensers…easily maintained as they have been in use for 100 years…all about the same. matchbook and nail file for a quick roadside adjust. Millions of cars have used points and condenser distrubutors, ALL the XK 120 140 150 had em, most still do. Just rebuild the distributor once…and it will be just fine for years…British Vacuum Unit did mine…perfect. Quality caps available from Bassett, with the better rotor and a Lucas Sports coil as well. Make your own primary spark plug wires with zero resistance wire…Those that like EDIS.on the XK .(new cars have entire systems totally different than an XK so don’t tell me about all the new cars…don’t care. It is an XK not a Lexus. ) can put air conditioners, power steering, power brakes, seats from a Lincoln and a Chevy small block in their cars if they want to. As Ray K likes to say…I have had my car for 40 years and never ever had a problem. Nick


That was predictable…:grimacing:

Times I or customers were left on the side of the road by kaput p&c: too many to count.

Times I, or anyone I know, were left on the side of the road?

Not zero… but close to it.

Take a look at the ‘distributor doctor’ web site . A UK company, really excellent quality parts and distributor rebuilds. I’m on points in my 120. Carry spare set and condenser in the glove box.


Thanks guys for all your opinions. We will stick the points but I’m not against hidden upgrades on occasion. I’m happy to see a lot of feedback on the condenser. I’ve been trying to explain to my dad that 90% of what is perceived as fuel problems are usually ignition.

Upgrading to a 123 dizzy makes a HUGE difference, causes no irreversible mods, and overall, is way more reliable.

There’s a very good reason no cars use p&c, anymore.

Not to ask a dumb question, but what is a 123 Distributor?

Not at all dumb: tons in the archives!


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no new cars have bias tires, no new cars have Burman steering, or a Moss gearbox non sychro is 1st , no new cars have 4 wheel drum brakes without power, nearly all have power steering, have computers, fuel injection , ABS brakes, airconditiiong, air bags,…The XKs are XKs…What new cars have or don’t have is irrelevant. I have not said a points distributor is better.:…I have said they work just fine, have for ever, for millions and millions of cars of the period. Change if you like…: add the power brakes, rip out the suspension and replace it with Corvette parts if you wish. oh…and that slow , grindy Moss shift gear box…why would anyone want that…Nick


Has anyone found a good source for an ignition coil that is at least close to original in appearance? I just received a dented coil from a supplier, which I will return based on the damage, but I was disappointed to find that it was shorter and smaller in diameter than the original so I could not have used the original bracket. I would like to get one with a screw in connection for the HT lead if possible. I am not a stickler for originality, but the coil sits at the top of the engine for all to see so I would like to keep in original in appearance if I can.

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Bob, I’m a dedicated Luddite running points & condensers on all my cars. Although I try to refuse any electrical component that’s less than 40-ish years old, I do admit to running a modern Pertronix Flame-Thrower coil on my 120 after protracted hot-start problems with period Lucas coils. It does NOT have a screw-in HT connection, but I managed to carefully tap some sort of thread in there. I use the nicely dull black version; the chrome option is way too blingy. Length is pretty much the same as the Lucas, and although circumference is about 3mm smaller it’s not noticeable, and the bracket is easily wound in to hold it. Oh, the Lucar spade terminals unscrew off to allow original ring connections.
Chris T.
Wiltshire, UK.

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Hello Bob - check the classifieds on this forum - I noticed a new post for a coil with the screw-in HT lead section, posted by “Wiggles” who used to have an E-Type - he is also the fellow posting on the PUB section about his installing a jag 6 cylinder in a jeep - don’t know if this will help you, but just thought I would mention it - Tex Terry, II - 1991 XJS V12 Classic Coupe, 1986 XJS V12 Coupe - sent 11/16/2020 2049hrs. EST USA

Rock Auto has seven different coils listed for our cars. I bought one made by Standard Motor Products.