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My sparks are escaping

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<stands up> "My name's John and I have a petrol engine. I haven't driven it for nine days."

The K1.8 in my MGTF is misfiring, particularly at low revs and wide throttle openings, so I took it apart to see what's wrong. In the meantime I ordered plugs and HT leads, but due to a "communicatory complexity" they won't be here until after this coming weekend, so I spent a sunny bank holiday in the LR while my open top car sat in the garage. :(

I decided to do some fiddling needlessly "fault finding" this evening, and I've found the sparks are escaping. The MG forum are only useful to talk about different types of polish and how to fit chrome this and blinged that, so I'm asking on here since it's also a Freelander engine - it has two coil packs and two HT leads, running wasted spark.

There's an audible ticking with the engine running; when I turn off the lights there are sparks escaping everywhere I've shown in red:


When I swap only the coil packs over, the sparks still escape by #1 cylinder. When I then swap the plug leads over, the sparks escape by #3 cylinder. I'd like an adult to confirm my thinking, because I think I need to replace one lead - well, both the leads because I'm not a real skinflint but only one's misbehaving, according to the swapping test. However, the sparks are arcing from the body of the coil pack that is connected to the faulty lead, not from the lead itself - so does the coil pack need to be replaced too? The coil packs are rather expensive (and I've not ordered any) so I'd like to avoid spending if possible...

Can sparks be caused to escape further up the chain by a bad HT lead?

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I assume you are doing the plugs as well.

The spark will, as you say, escape somewhere so if it can't jump the plug gap it will find the next weak link in the chain. It may be that with the plugs in good order the leads will be fine but if it were me I would replace plugs and all the leads.


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Thanks guys - abuse, sarcasm, humour and the (hopefully) right answer, all within three hours of the OP. On the MG forum they'd still be tutting since I haven't washed it in a week...

Mo - I was thinking a nice Perkins Prima would fit in the same hole...

James - :hysterical::hysterical:

Did someone say I could spam pictures of my <cough> other car? :)


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John, as I've told you before you want a nice reliable Elise :P :P :P

BTW, if this was mentioned on an Elise forum you'd be advised to replace the Rover lump with a Honda K20, Audi 1.8T or Ford Duratec. Any K-series misbehavior is simply an excuse to fit more power :D

Slightly more on topic. I keep trying to persuade FridgeFreezer that he should put a Ford Duratec lump in his Freelander. They are pretty simple to mount up to a PG1 gearbox and would be a great conversion: cheap (unless you go silly and get something like a hot 2.3l lump), reliable and torquey!

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Had exactly this problem with my FL - it was britpart ignition components. The electricities will escape under the boot as that's literally the path of least resistance, so cleaning up the coil towers & making sure there's a good contact in the coil end and on the plug will also help massively.

Will - there's nowt wrong with the power from my sports convertible, why cheapen it by fitting a Ford lump? :rolleyes:

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