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Distributor question

Discussion in 'Engine & Transmission' started by deeksy62, May 7, 2019.

  1. deeksy62

    deeksy62 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    698
    Location:
    Sawtell
    hi Kombi gurus,
    As per above, a distributor question, should the distributor shaft have any play in it?
    I have a 1974 Kombi, 1800cc twin carb, all standard issue.
    After checking the valves, setting the timing, resetting the plug gaps and points, I'm still have an issue with it not running as well as it should. Hard to describe, but is like a slight flutter in the motor. No too technical description I hope.
    But when resetting the points, I did notice that the distributor shaft did have 1-2 mm of play in it.
    Is it time to get a new one installed?

    Thanks

    Steve
     
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  2. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,821
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Vertical, sideways or rotational ?
     
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  3. deeksy62

    deeksy62 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    698
    Location:
    Sawtell
    Didn't check vertical, but certainly side to side.
    Rotational? probably!

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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  4. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,821
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Side play is the relevant one.
    A few thou ok .
    More than that it probably needs rebushed.
    If an original and correct for van then better to have it rebuilt than buy a new one unless a top of line model.

    With a timing light and at revs it will show up as an unsteady timing point.
     
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  5. deeksy62

    deeksy62 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    698
    Location:
    Sawtell
    Yep, that sounds about right, the timing point was unsteady.
    Not sure if it is original to the van, but lots of modifications and short cuts made ovver the past 45 years, so originality not so much of an issue as drivability. It is my daily and gets me to work and back each day.
    Any new ones to be avoided?
    Any reccomended?

    I will keep the old one in the shed in case it needs to go back in at some point in the future.

    Many thanks CBUS!

    Steve
     
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  6. Mordred

    Mordred Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,830
    Location:
    Penna, Hobart
    The most common standard one for an 1800 (and 2000) has a long part number stamped on the body ending in 205P. It should also have a vacuum advance unit on the side. (the 205P has a single vacuum unit rather than the dual vac unit on some later engines).

    Volks Doktor in Adelaide can rebuild them (1500King on here). A properly rebuilt original is the way to go as most of the new copies around have wildly variable advance curves as well as quality issues. Stay away from a 009, original or copy. They are not designed for a bus(and were never fitted to any VW from the factory).

    The other option is one of the new 123Ignition programmable units with electronic ignition as they can be set up to give you the correct curve. Around the same price as a rebuild and set up properly seem to have a good name. Personally I prefer the original with a Petronix module instead of the points and condenser. If you have a failure of the module it a is few mins to swap back to the original set up on the side of the road. Much more accurate and only have to put a few drops of oil in the top of the shaft every service.

    Adrian
     
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  7. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,589
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    X2 for Adrian’s advice.
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
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  8. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,821
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Driveabity is usualy best from an original.
    Rebuild price probably cheaper than a good new one . Most under couple hundred Bucks are crap and get worse quickly.
    Having original not for appearance but matching cam, carbs etc.
    Will have numbers on the body .

    http://vw.zenseeker.net/Ignition-Distributor.htm
    ( American so may not match exactly)

    Edit.
    Second Adrian's post.
    Andrew does an immaculate rebuild.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  9. deeksy62

    deeksy62 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    698
    Location:
    Sawtell
    OK, I have bought a new (cheap) distributor to use while I get the original reconditioned somewhere.
    Taking it out of the box, what do I need to do before installation?
    Grease the shaft?
    Clean the points?
    Set the points?

    Anything esle?

    I have read the info on installation, I can manage this and then adjust the timing.

    Anything I have missed?

    Thanks guru's

    Steve
     
  10. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,821
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Wipe some engine oil over shaft and o ring seal to assist installation.
    Guess you are aware of offset of lower cog.
    A few drops of engine or machine oil on the cotton plug in centre of shaft under rotor button.
    This provides lube for half way down the shaft.
    Some lube sprayed to weights at base wouldn't hurt.
    Operate by hand and feel for smooth operation.
    Yep, clean points and set.
    Grease on the cam.

    Hold rotor button on #1 and check that all leads are going to line up same as previously dissy and that cogs at base of shaft will match position of distributor drive.

    Set old disy to number 1 lead.
    Timing mark on fan (type 4 motor?) to base setting7.5BTDC .( From memory)
    Rotor button should be centred over the notch in top of dissy body and hopefuly this is also in line with no. 1 lead ??

    If all above good , remove 13mm nut and washer the remove dissy.

    Check cogs when inserting for bias.
    Push down to get print in .
    Ensure that dissy body firmly touched engine case otherwise cogs can slip.
    Turn rotor button slightly either way to assist seating of cogs.
    Tighten 13mm nut securing dissy.
    Hopefuly new dissy included the clamp.

    Do a static time.

    Hopefuly cap/ leads arrangement is same.
    If so just leave old cap assembled and fit cap.

    If it is 180 deg out you can remove dissy and rotate the bottom cog but it can be a bitch to remove pin.
    Probably easier to rotate by swapping leads to opposite.
    is 3to 1 etc then 4to 2 etc.
    Double check it's all correct. Firing order 1423.

    When checking timing check initially with vac hose off.
    Check for good smooth increase and return, fairly quickly, from base to 28-32.
    Good idea to measure advance at 1600RPM, 2k, 2.5 if you can establish revs.
    We can compare these numbers to stock curves.
    Once you have an idea of its curve you can play a bit with settings.

    Main start point is that it's smooth advance and no sticking points.
    Stable at revs.

    Fit vac hose and check vac is working.
    Bit harder to get a good reading so for now just working is fine.
    Total mechanical should be 30-32 and vac on will max at 42;44.

    Drive and see what power is like and any flat spots.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  11. deeksy62

    deeksy62 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    698
    Location:
    Sawtell
    Once again the Kombi Club comes to the rescue of a novice, well meaning kombi owner.
    Many thanks Cbus.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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  12. deeksy62

    deeksy62 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    698
    Location:
    Sawtell
    Distrubutor installed and running, seems to be down a little on power, requires more throttle on the couple of hills near home.
    Will recheck the timing and points gap after running for a couple of days.
    Following the instructions above made the process much easier! Many thanks to CBUS!

    Cheers
    Steve
     
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  13. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,821
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Down on power will be because lacking advance.

    Is it a 009 or vac dissy?.

    If you can check advance at 1600 and 2k 2.5k it will help .

    Otherwise observe for fairly rapid smooth advance.

    Advance up to 32 total mechanical.

    An extra 2-3 deg does wonders as long as no pinging under load.
    What grade fuel?
     
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  14. deeksy62

    deeksy62 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    698
    Location:
    Sawtell
    Vacuum advance distributor, generally use 95 or 98 ron fuel, currently on 95.
    Will check advance on the weekend.
    Was much easier when Graham Melling was operating Mid Coast Volkswerks
     
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  15. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,821
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    The fuels you are running will easily support a few extra degrees on a stock compression motor but don't overdo the top end.
     
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  16. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,722
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    Ha ha!
     
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