In Praise of the Oft Maligned 009

VW 009 Distributor

Let me start off by saying that if you have a Type 2 bus with stock dual solex carbs, in my opinion your best bet is a single vacuum distributor (SVDA.) That said, I just polished up my old 009 distributor that I keep in my spares box in the bus. Dropped in some new points, condenser and a new cap to boot. Even though the old Double-0-Nine is notorious for that flat spot on acceleration, among other things, it felt good to know that should I need it in my travels I can drop it in and time the engine almost anywhere. (IMPORTANT the 009 has a slightly different orientation with regard to the rotor position, also be sure to have something to block off your vacuum ports) I’ve been having some issues with my timing advance which has all but disappeared on my old dual vacuum unit. If I can’t resolve the problem the 009 should get me through until I can order a new single vacuum distributor like the one below.

Reproduction SVDA VW DistributorOne note: after I screwed in the new condenser the rotor stopped turning, the screw had penetrated deep enough to prevent it from rotating. That was due to a thinner metal plate under the new condenser housing. The problem was resolved by adding an extra crush washer under the screw, now there are two instead of one.

This is interesting, an EMPI mechanical advance distributor that is said to address the 009 advance issue. For the price, US $44.95, it might be fun to try one out and keep it as an inexpensive spare.

New Version EMPI Mechanical VW Distributor

So here’s a tip of the hat to the humble 009. Simple century old techology that you can service in your own driveway, it may not be the greatest performer for street VWs, but it does work, and it will get you home.

(click on the last 2 distibutor photos to take you to

Explore posts in the same categories: Maintenance, My Westfalia, Volkswagen camper, Volkswagen van, Westfalia

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2 Comments on “In Praise of the Oft Maligned 009”

  1. […] update to my post on the 009, sure enough my timing problem appears to have been a failing vacuum distributor, possibly 40 years […]

  2. […] would be worse when the engine was warmed up. I thought maybe it had something to do with the 009 mechanical advance distributor I had been running. My new aftermarket CIP1 single vacuum dizzy arrived so I headed out to the […]

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