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Series Land Rover DM2 to 25D replacement electronic ignition upgrade with red rotor arm

Just a few thoughts shared about the replacement of my distributor on the Series 1 2.0 litre side valve engine.

After driving around the Series 1 and getting the cobwebs off the old girl I realised how sluggish and lazy the engine had become. I was sure it ran better before and checked the timing and checked the plugs etc.

I checked the old Lucas DM distributor, the cap was chipped and a poor fit, the rotor arm was loose and could move about 30-40 degrees on the shaft and the shaft itself was sloppy and moved about 45 degrees with little or no resistance. How did this start first time and run as well as it did ???

It was time for a change, I looked for similar DM distributors on e bay hoping to pick up a bargain. No such luck, but a new 25D distributor caught my eye from Simon bbc. Now I recon I have seen this same spec  25D4 fitted to 2.0 litre side valve engines in the Rover 60 and Land Rover engines in the past and I was sure the drive dog was the same.

I wanted a side entry cap, so I could reuse my old leads and so they didn’t rub on the bonnet. I like points, ‘cos I can adjust and fiddle with them. Simon bbc  sold points and electronic types. I bought a NEW points type 25D4 with side entry, it arrived and sure enough it looked better than I thought it would.

Once I removed the old DM type after setting the engine to roughly TDC No1 I could see that the drive dogs were the same. It was a nice fit in the engine and it was easy to snip ½ inch from the old leads and refit into the new side entry cap. The DM coil lead went into the side of the DM body so I cut and fitted a lucar connector and attached it to the terminal on the 25D body. The quality and finish of the 25D body looks great in the engine bay.

It started first turn and I retimed the engine, no need to adjust the points gap or the vac adjust screw on the side !!! it ran smoother and ticked over slower. I could hear the points opening as the plastic rubbed over the cam on the spindle it was so quiet. I quickly took it for a run, what a difference it made. I am delighted and perhaps I will fit the electronic kit that he sells later on or even a powermax red rotor arm when the time comes.

Why had I not sorted the distributor out before, such a simple job and such a big gain ?????


  1. Just to share my experience.
    I own a 1970 MGB, in which I had a complete breakdown a couple of days ago. On finding there was no spark, and the ignition system wiring was old and brittle I decided rather than investigate to trace the fault by elimination, that I would just throw the old bits away and replace them with the 25D electronic ignition kit with red rotor arm and distributor cap. It took minutes and fitted perfectly in the original distributor, it’s easier than fitting a set of points!!
    I’m really impressed with the results, better starting, smoother tickover and the engine seems altogther crisper than it ever has! And just to top it all off, it’s a massive boost to engine reliability and less stuff to worry about. I’m all up for that!!
    I will be recommending this kit to all my friends without a doubt.
    Thanks Simon.

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