009 with no Flat Spot

New Version EMPI Mechanical VW Distributor

An update to my post on the 009, sure enough my timing problem appears to have been a failing vacuum distributor, possibly 40 years old. I took it apart, looks pretty crusty down around the mechanical advance, I’ll try and save it.  Add to that, the plugs were wet with fuel from the timing issue. Cleaned up an old set of plugs and put new points and condenser in my trusty spare 009. The next part is a little tricky, you can’t just throw it in.  Although the various distributors slide in one way they can have different rotor positions. Case in point, what used to be the number 1 firing position is now number 2. On the Type IV engine I matched up the timing mark on the pulley with TDC on the scale.  Then I took a look inside my existing distributor to see that the rotor was pointing at number 1 cylinder. I removed the old distributor, dropped in the 009, held the cap in position and traced in the new firing order.  Instead of pointing at 4 o’clock the rotor was now at about 2 o’clock for number 1. Installed the rest of the wires, 2,3, & 4 counter clockwise, or 1,4,3,2 clockwise by the book. It’s important to get this right, don’t take my word for it, get out your manual, the more information the better. Aircooled.net has a great explanation with appropriate warnings.  Timing for the 009 is now 10 degrees BTDC as opposed to the double vacuum setting of 10 degrees ATDC. But to get it right it’s best to set the timing at full advance with the engine revved up to where the 009 reaches its maximum advance. Set to between 28 and 32, I went for just under 30, and let the idle advance fall where it may. The engine runs better than ever and it doesn’t seem to have a flat spot, great!

VW 009 Distributor

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One Comment on “009 with no Flat Spot”


  1. […] Celebrating the magic that is an aircooled Volkswagen camper « 009 with no Flat Spot […]


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