Electronic ignition for Mk5

Hi Guys
Decided to put a Mk5 distributor onto my Mk4 3.5lt neg earth.
Pertronix want $341 plus postage - seems a bit pricey! Has anyone had success with a less pricey unit?

Hi Michael,
I know it seems expensive, but I installed a Pertronix in my MkV and it just works perfectly. (I got the Igniter 1 system and the Flamethrower coil to match) I had other issues with incorrectly assembled carbies, (my own fault) but I never had dramas with the ignition. If you go with something cheaper, then I recommend putting the money you save aside for the flatbed towtruck…

Thanks Jon I will keep that in mind. PowerSpark have one to fit the Mk4 and as the same points are used in the Mk5 I see no reason why it would not fit - still thinking about it.

…words to live by, and steal!


The Mark V distributor is basically the same as XK120 except for the drive shaft and the advance curve, so you might want to read the XK forum archives for guidance and their experiences. There are some yea’s and some nay’s.

Well that has thrown a spanner at the cat eh! Some say they are completely happy with electronic and other want to revert to points. Would like to know the brand that failed twice but he is cagy with the info. There seems to be 3 major players - Accuspark, PowerSpark & Pertronix. My car fails to idle sweetly (erratic miss) although goes well under power. My original coil has a resistance of over 5 ohm so thinking it may be giving a weak spark. May get a good coil (perhaps Pertronix or a Remax ES3 sports coil) for the moment, stick with points and condenser and do more research on the electronic conversion. The Pertronix coil puts out 40k volts - has anyone experienced spark leakage through the high tension leads? I have some new 7mm silicon leads with copper core - would these hold the voltage?

If you are having problems with leakage then check that you are not using a modern black plastic rotor arm and/or distributor cap. Many people have had problems due to the use of carbon black in modern plastics. They become very conductive as them warm up.


Thanks Peter - still using the original bakelite - dont have any problems so far using the standard 25k volt coil but with the 40k volts sports coil the insulation is under more stress. As not much correspondence about electronic ignition I guess most are staying with their trusty points and condenser.

Hi Michael,

In 25 years of ownership I have only ever had one ignition problem with the original equipment and that was due to my bad maintenance. Firstly my battery was approaching end of life and secondly I had not cleaned my plug insulators. On this particular trip conditions were wet and misty and the car was parked in the open overnight but refused to start in the morning but because it was pouring rain I was reluctant to get out to investigate. With the battery failing I decided I had to and cleaned the insulators and she started very easily on the handle.

I had one other ignition failure (again my fault) when the car was misfiring badly. After replacing virtually everything (coil, condensor, points etc) I eventually discovered that an in-line ignition interference suppressor that I had fitted had broken up internally.


Yes indeed - a real bugger it wont start when its pouring with rain. When its sunny it only runs out of petrol.

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Peter Agreed, In 45+ years Ihave only ever had a couple ofignition problems,Both th eEklin non Jaguar ]condensors.
I have been very satisfied working on the if it’s not broke , don’t fix it
I see people who love the ye olde look of woven wasp pattern plug leaves, but I have seen plug leads fail with heat ,nnot mine.

I use modern silicon coated stainless core leads and they work well, The only problem I have seen with original Lucas dis is wear and age, and on the DUH6A on SS, they originally relied on the screw that hold the bakelie base for earthing.Later parts replacement have a separate defined earth point.