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My 1976 Spitfire 1500 CC has an issue where it dies after around 5 miles. During the time that it is actually running it backfires multiple times. I can get it going again but it dies again after a mile or so. This has only happened twice so far in the last 6 months and on both occasions the weather was fair. I use it regularly for 3-4 mile trips with no issue. For the record the battery is less than 6 months old.

Has anyone had a similar issue or can offer some advice as to what may be causing my problem?

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1 hour ago, Pete Lewis said:

our PB van with induce backfire and  side exhaust under a bridge used to cause chaos and  telecom men down manholes were also a target  



Telecom men were fair game Pete, but the guy checking his tyre pressures at the local garage were much better :) 


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2 hours ago, poppyman said:

Got to be electrics as a lot of us used to turn the ignition off and back on again to make them backfire. In our younger day's of course :)   Could also be a loose wire on the ignition circuit ?


I used to do that in my works CVH Escort van in a tunnel on the M25,great days.


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I had an alternative stalling problem, I know this refers to a Dolomite Sprint but I had issues after fitting new HT leads which I later realized were of the graphite type supplied by a UK electronic Ignition source, with their electronic ignition kit.

The proper Sprint distributor cap has  side entry rather than push in top entry, the mode of making the connection is the cable (7mm) pushes in and is then held by old style screw in penetrating pins/needles thro the cable, all would be OK for a few runs then the car would start to miss and stall when stopping, it was a right bugger esp when on a club run of up to a couple of hundred klm.

I trimmed and reaffixed the HT leads a couple of times with subsequent delayed failure before I realized there appeared to be burning around the needle pin penetrating hole, the HT cable end looked OK. when I cut thro the cable at the pin hole it was apparent the graphite was burnt and the HT connection was failing on most leads.

Solution I changed the dist cap to an alternative push in taller top type using the brass clip over and crimp ends also supplied by the same UK ignition supplier for their higher elect ignition module. I don't like this cap as its not the best fit being sloppy and being taller the cap is only 1/8in away from one of the manifold mounting studs!! BUT hey it works no issues re stalling for a few months,

When we get back to normal I'll take the old leads, short side entry distb cap, & Sprint special very long plug boots to a local ignition specialist and get a new set of appropriate leads made up, Oh I changed to a Luminition Magnetronic elect ign module so I can use the shorter side entry distb cap, rather than the cheaper higher one which I must admit works well on the Spitfire (Delco) & Vitesse (Lucas). Hey the upside I have a spare higher type electronic ignition module!

I only offer this example as a think outside the square possibility.

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16 hours ago, Pete Lewis said:

if red fine if black has it got a rivet in the rotor sweep contact plate ???  

they are notorious for failing 

Hi Pete. It's funny, though I had 2 very cheap red ones with no rivet (I think) fail when first got the car. The 3rd one (black with a rivet) was slightly more expensive off Rare Bits. Still ok 5 years later.


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there were /are some  BLACK LUCAS COPIES where the rivet is so close to the centre the spark jumps from the rivet to the centre spindle 

 I agree not all , club shop and distributor doctor sell genuine  RED units 

 Dave  maybe your red ones were from eastern shores and just a poor copy , being a problem with a lot of parts we get ragged with

true there;snot so many rotor failures this year or they are but posted on facebook not here ????


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Happened to me when the BBC were filming our GT6s out on a club run for a local programme, my Mk3 disgraced itself by breaking down repeatedly and it turned out to be a poor copy of a rotor arm that kept jumping off the spindle.

Some of the red ones were just poor copies of the proper red versions, and even worse than the black copies.

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