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TR8 vacuum advance

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ASlowik Avatar
ASlowik ANDREW SLOWIK
THE VILLAGES, FL, USA   USA
I have a 1980 TR8 with a decrepit vacuum advance. I've had little luck in finding a replacement, but did find a unit on E-Bay that looks right. It is a RTC3201 with the vacuum advance and retard ports. As I have swapped out the Zenith's for a Holley set up from The Wedge shop I do not use the retard port. My question is: does anybody know if the RTC 3201 vacuum advance fits the old Lucas distributor housing? The wedge shop also sells a Petronix distributor which might be the way to go. Opinions please.

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POW Peter Wirth
HEBRON, NH - New Hampshire, USA   USA
RimmerBros seems to have exactly the right part. Even from England their shipping is reasonable and quick.


https://rimmerbros.com/Item--i-AAU8451

RossL Silver Member Ross LoMonaco
NJ, USA   USA
Try British Vacuum, they might have a replacement or maybe they can rebuild yours

British vacuum

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BondoRacer Avatar
BondoRacer Roman H
Chicago, IL, USA   USA
Last year I bought a new unit from British Vacuum Unit
The part number is 54429958. It did fit and work properly but the operating rod is longer than original so the distributor has a different clock position for setting the timing also the position of the advance port puts it below the upper radiator hose. While externally it looks like the Land Rover unit you found that one may not have the same springs in it and therefore not advance at the correct vacuum signal, nor have the proper total advance. It seems that British Vacuum is now reproducing the correct advance / retard unit that came on the 8. They used to offer a rebuild service as well but it seems that information was taken off their web site. I would contact them to discuss what you need they were very helpful when I spoke with them.

erictr6 Avatar
erictr6 eric l
Denver, NC, USA   USA

rbaron Avatar
rbaron Roger Baron
Fort Mill, SC, USA   USA
A couple of questions... What is the purpose of the retard port on the Lucas distributor vacumm advance? If not needed, can it just be plugged or capped? I have the Edelbrock manifold with FiTech throttle body FI and have been having problems with idle hunting and wonder if it relates to the distributor. I recall seeing something I saw somewhere that said the retard port affected idle.

Darth V8R Avatar
Darth V8R Vance Navarrette
Beaverton, OR, USA   USA
1980 Triumph TR8 "Wedgie"
In reply to # 1511413 by ASlowik I have a 1980 TR8 with a decrepit vacuum advance. I've had little luck in finding a replacement, but did find a unit on E-Bay that looks right. It is a RTC3201 with the vacuum advance and retard ports. As I have swapped out the Zenith's for a Holley set up from The Wedge shop I do not use the retard port. My question is: does anybody know if the RTC 3201 vacuum advance fits the old Lucas distributor housing? The wedge shop also sells a Petronix distributor which might be the way to go. Opinions please.

This unit fits the 35DLM8 distributor, so it is the correct part. $31 plus shipping from the UK.

The vacuum retard port on the Pertronix is inoperative, not that it matters. The retard port is there to reduce idle emissions at the expense of a higher thermal load on the engine (i.e. the engine wants to run hotter at idle). I passed emissions testing with flying colors with a Pertronix unit installed, so the vacuum retard really doesn't matter.

The quality on the Pertronix is dodgy, in my opinion. The unit arrived mis-assembled with the advance weights jammed in the full advance position, and the rotor shorted out in less than 500 miles. Add to that they didn't bother to make the vacuum retard operational (but they have a vacuum nipple for it, so it is misleading) and I feel that I cannot recommend it unless you are desperate. If you do go for the Pertronix, toss the rotor that comes with the unit and get another from your FLAPS.

Vance



1980 Platinum Metallic TR8, navy blue interior
Bare metal respray, Crower cam, raised compression
ported heads, modified Zenith carbs, 0.060" overbore

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