Page last updated 1 March, 2012

3 Litre V6 Essex

A very simple ignition system is fitted to the M Series TVR's, so there is no reason to ignore it! The main parts are as follows:

  • Ignition switch
  • Battery
  • Ignition Coil
  • Ballast Resistor (on some models)
  • Distributor (including points & condensor for standard carburettor models)
  • HT Leads
  • Spark Plugs

Problems mainly arise from neglect, and so the best thing to do is give it a complete once-over NOW to ensure reliability. It is recommended you always carry a spare set of points & condensor, distributor cap & rotor arm, and one long HT lead (i.e. long enough to reach the furthest spark plug from the distributor). Although still available, parts for these engines are becoming scarce, and you never know when you'll need one of these items until it's too late.

A pictorial will follow very soon to show you how and what to check.



The most popular and time saving items to modify are the points & condensor. An electronic ignition setup is very simple to fit, improves performance, removes the need for regular adjustments, and can easily be removed at the road-side if a fault occurs (which is very rare) to allow the points & condensor to be refitted temporarily.

Kits currently available (for both the Motorcraft & Bosch Distributors)


Aldon Ignitor

Pertronix Ignitor - identical to the Aldon kit, simply a USA supply. These are less than the UK item but if you import the kit, customs charges may mean the price savings are minimal.

Accuspark - as seen on ebay.



There were two makes of Distributor fitted to the V6 Essex Engine - Motorcraft (Ford's own brand), and Bosch. The features of each are shown below:

Identified by Black Distributor Cap & Rotor Arm. Spring contact on top of Rotor Arm (rather than spring loaded central cap contact)
These distributors have been documented as being inferior to the Bosch units, but it's not commonly explained why. As far as I can see, the main disadvantage with this distributor is the baseplate for the points pivots. When the vacuum advance operates, the baseplate moves the points closer to the hexagonal spindle, therefore altering the points gap slightly. A rotating baseplate was for some reason not designed for this, and as a result means that if an Accuspark Electronic Ignition kit is fitted, the vacuum advance system has to be disconnected. I have spoken to Accuspark's technical dept, who said that at present the kit cannot be used in conjunction with a vaccum advance. To be fair to them, they did say they are working on a solution to this.

Identified by Brown Distributor Cap & Rotor Arm


Replacement Distributors are available to suit the performance specification of your engine - both with & without vacuum advance capsules.




Work will be continuing on this section during march 2012 with electronic Igntion fitting guides.