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October 31, 2010 - I've been learning about MG tachometers.
It's fairly normal to have trouble with older tachometers and LS conversions due to the signal from the GM computer. The usual problem is a voltage one, and the solution is a pull-up resistor. That didn't work.
So I asked the folks on the Grassroots Motorsports forum, and it turns out it's the tach used in the MG. Up until sometime in 1972, they used an inductive loop inside the tach to measure the ignition pulses - that's it with the white wire and the copper winding. Well, this works well with points but not with newer ignitions, it would seem. And of course, our 1972 MG has the old style, identifiable by an RVI part number on the face.
One piece of information I found suggested that dropping the number of loops of the white wire would help, but that didn't work. I suspect that's for when you change from points to an electronic ignition, and the distributorless setup from the GM computer is just too different. I guess this problem is well known in MG circles.
Luckily, there's no shortage of MGBs that have been turned into parts cars. There's an "RVC" tach on eBay right now with an identical face design, and it'll play nicely with the GM computer. I may still need the pull-up resistor, but we'll see when it gets here.
An interesting little side trip into gauge electronics, I have to say. And one that can be sorted out fairly inexpensively.
tags: tach, instruments, wiring