Lucas Distributor Cap

So I bought an aftermarket distributor cap ONLY three years ago. Black with LUCAS imprint, looked like decent quality, brass center connector, they go for about $50.

Popped it today and there is a hairline crack heading towards two of the plug connectors. Also, the little thingie for the center electrode popped out of the spring and I cannot get it back in.

I’ve decided to order the OEM version, which is about $100 (!). It is also black with the Lucas imprint. I hope this one holds up?

I also see the blue Intermotor caps for about $50, but I just don’t know what quality they are like?

So I pushed hard with both thumbs on inside of cap where the “Y” shaped hairline crack was. This happened.

Anybody want to buy a used Lucas cap?

The only good quality distributor cap I managed to find was new old stock genuine Lucas cap. You can identify if it is a reproduction or real deal by looking at contacts as they are all brass. Here are few pictures.

I have tryed intermotor cap but had to return it due to fitment issues. It didn’t fit with original plastic spark sheald under the cap and also like in your case with repro lucas cap had issues with center electrode.


Yeah, I’ll bet those are hard to come by…I saw NOS on ebay but they look just like the one I’m buying, black with only brass in center electrode. Jaguar probably stopped making the one you have ages ago.

I guess ill keep my eye out and buy one, will be a good backup that i may need in a few years. And i assume will last a long time.

Deja vu
For all of us Marelli owners, this story sounds familiar. The OE cap with the brass terminals has been a history for over a decade. Anything aftermarket (yes, I’ve tried them all) is lighter (to the touch) and obviously cheaper.
All terminals, thinner shell. You name it…
I’ve driven just over 10000 miles in 11+ years of ownership and I am on my 4th dizzy cap.

Yes, I’ve heard Marelli ONLY has aftermarket now, which I feel for you. I bought an aftermarket blue Lucas cap a few years ago, $30, I sent it back because some of the conductors on the inside were broken off! I hope your quality is better.

At least there is an OEM Lucas still, although I’m sure not the same quality over 20 years ago. Hopefully somewhere in between original and aftermarket.

I am going to weigh my new oem lucas when i get it. Others can compare.

What is being marketed as OEM Lucas (or Marelli in my case) is very, very far from being OEM quality. Just take a look at the picture John_John provided.

We’ve all fallen victims to unscrupulous online retailers (or global economy and rebranding/reboxing to n-th power). “OE” and “OEM” are abused to the point where they mean nothing. For example, all the dizzy caps I’ve tried say Made in Italy and have come in different packages claiming to be original.
All appear to be the same part, likely originating from the same factory. Unlikely to be in Italy.

I am almost certain that this is the case with the Lucas caps as well.

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IIRC, my original Lucas cap was not black. I think it was green. Not sure if that was a distinction between the Opus cap and the HEI cap.


The “Lucas” that provided parts to the industry when our cars were built isn’t really in existence at all. Lucas Industries sold off its automotive division circa 1996. Some other company…the name always slips my mind…is now selling parts under the Lucas brand name. I don’t think think company manufactures anything. I think they contract to have parts made and sell it as “Lucas”.

IME the ignition parts are of lower quality. They seem to work OK but never last as long as the ‘real Lucas’ stuff.

OTOH, manually operated switches seem to be better quality, IMO.


“Elta Lighting”


Yeah, years ago I did an underhood clean up at a car wash a good ways from home but near where I was going to school and the car wouldn’t start. But no, it wasn’t because of my under hood clean up. I had to park the car, and try to figure out what it was the next day. It was the bad blue aftermarket cap I had bought for my cracked Lucas one because it was the easiest thing to find. After a couple of hours of messing around because I HAD spark, I finally pulled the cap. The carbon button was no where to be found. Just GONE.

~Paul K.

Yaps, mine still has the original cap (1986 - 145.000km and still ok) and its indeed green.

Did some online digging - finding a used or nos green cap or black cap with all brass is unobtainable, at least for today.

The current “oem” cap is black imprinted with Lucas with brass center electrode and off-white fasteners for the vents. It goes for around $100.

The black Lucas imprinted aftermarket I currently have is also brass center electrode, but has black fasteners for the vents and goes for around $50.

I’ll try and compare once I receive new one.

New dizzy caps are now a crap shoot!!! Aftermarket parts are … Welll…
That little “thingy” center connector inside the cap is a spring loaded carbon brush. It’s very important!!! JS579 Jaguar Part number — IF you can find one. S3 E-type RTC9012 book, pg 27.49; XJ12 RTC9012, page 12.52. A new one could be fabricated from a carbon block rod I guess but never tried that. Early dizzy caps and rotors could not handle the high intensity spark of the OPUS system. Had numerous rotors short to the dizzy drive shaft. Everythings just QUITS. Always carried a couple of dizzy’s and rotors — just in case. Maybe a trip to your local NAPA or other parts stores, looking at some dizzy caps, to see if one has a suitable center carbon brush. At least it’s worth a try. If you find something let us ALL know… Ha Ha.

Happy Trails,


Are you suggesting the carbon brush is missing on new caps on the shelf? Do they just fall out somewhere?

Pencil holder!!! Glue it back together. Add nail polish over the crack. no ide as to the center contact/

Poor plastic. Junk!!! Made from recycled prill???

Truly AMAZING!!! How does one deduce a supposition that “something is missing” from after market caps from the Forum conversation? I believe V12JagGuy wrote “The carbon button was no where to be found. Just GONE”. That is what I was referring to along with the center contact Part Number (NLA) data. I’ve never found an in-use cap with a missing center contact but I have had them fall out, spring and all, once removed! Since the JS579 OEM part is NLA my suggestion was, if missing or lost, to attempt to locate a suitable replacement contact in another vehicle dizzy cap! I’ve seen Black or Blue Dizzy caps but never come across a Green one! Would love to see a picture of one if you captured it on film/digital. Aristides, can you post a photo of yours? Thanks
Waiting for the J-B-Weld crew to chime in…

I did toss the blue cap (well I might still have it… IDK… this was eons ago) for the $89 (at the time - I remember… because that was a lot of bank for me at the time) OEM Green Lucas Cap.

I never did find that carbon; and I looked. You’d have thought it would HAVE to have been IN the distributer cavities somewhere. Nope. Never did find it. It’s like it warped itself into another plane of existence between turning the car off, cleaning the engine bay, and attempting a restart. Then the experience of needing the hair club for men’s services while trying to track down the problem when everything was saying YES YOU HAVE SPARK.

I see that every last one of em you can find online now are black, but from the Jag Lover site:


The one on the left. That’s what mine looked like after swearing off the blue ones.

~Paul K.

And I got hell over it from afriend who reminded me that “I washed my cat, and now it’s scratching my eyes out.”

Still waiting for new cap. I just saw this diagram, and I have my two hoses for the air circulation hooked up backwards. My AAV hookup is going to the side vent, and the filter line is to the top vent. Does it really matter?


Can’t see why it would, but mine is connected as the above diagram.

I may as well do it right, easy enough. Just curious, as I’ve had it backwards for three years now!