123 Distributor - A Breakdown


The 123 Distributor is the ultimate distributor for the entire range of Mini, Mini Cooper or Mini Cooper S models.  The 123 Distributor comes completely pre-wired for direct connection to your ignition coil.

The 123 Distributor works with any coil of 1 ohm or larger. You can check for this resistance across the primary terminals. Pre 1974 Mini & Mini Coopers typically had coils in the 3 ohm range as they internally operated at 12 volts. Later and most common coils in the 1 ohm range have an internal ballast resistor that allows you to apply 12 volts to the coil while operating at 6 volts. In practice it provides a hotter spark during start-up while giving a more efficient spark during normal running. The 123 Distributor will work with either type coil. Do NOT use coils of less than 1 ohm as this will void the warranty of the 123 Distributor.


The 123 Distributor should be set up with a static timing of 0 degrees. By setting the 123 distributor at TDC when the engine is not running you will have a nominal 10 degrees of advance from 500 to about 1,000 RPMs. Timing at 0 degrees static should be used in ALL cases with selection of a different curve being used to achieve a different low RPM timing.

The ability to select an advance curve for your specific engine is one of the primary benefits of the 123 Distributor but it can also represent a real potential problem. Please be sure to either choice a curve as supplied by the factory (chosen from the detailed list of curves) or be very careful not to be too aggressive with your choice that might result in your severely hurting your engine. Please review the ‘tuning’ directions carefully. It is extremely common to have some sort of upgrade on your motor and this 123 distributor is designed to help you take advantage of them. But ‘caution’ should be the by-word. While the 123 distributor is not be re-programmed’ as such, it’s 16 curves provide tremendous ability to tune to your specifications.

The 123 Distributor requires that the coil be in good condition. A coil that apparently worked with standard mechanical points could very well demonstrate a intermittent misfire unload when used with the high performance 123 Distributor. Remember the 123 distributor will not increase the horsepower of your car but will surely allow you to get the maximum for an extended period of time.


The 123 Distributor is available with or without vacuum advance. As is typical with most distributors this means vacuum as available from the carb and not directly from the manifold. Weber carbs do not have provision for this type of vacuum and thus can only be used with the non-vacuum 123 distributor. The number one advantage of a vacuum advance distributor is fuel economy and as it also does not really affect performance, it is suggested that all street and street performance cars take advantage of the vacuum feature available on the 123 Distributor.