The Internet is a great place where you can justify just about any opinion by looking for like minded information. In the past I have written about the good experiences I have had with the Bosch 009 distributor. Many people believe it to be an inferior product that overall doesn’t perform well on VW street engines. With that in mind I came across a concise and to the point description over at the Kustom 1 Warehouse website. The key sentence is this, “009 distributors have more of an advance curve and will allow you car to reach top speeds faster.” The gas mileage may be bad, but there is a certain pep I feel when I run one on my ’73 bus. Arguably this is not a performance motor, but the effect seems to be similar. I have a 009 that I put a Pertronix ignition into last summer, can’t wait for spring to try it out.
Posted tagged ‘009 distributor’
Recently my ’73 bus began to have problems idling. Inconsistent at best it would quit when my foot was off the gas, most often at a stop sign or intersection. It would start up again, but I’d have to keep my foot on the pedal to keep it from stalling. The problem 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 driveway to install it in hopes that would take care of the problem. The new distributor was smooth, but the idle issue remained. I had a good stare at things under the engine hatch and after a while I noticed a wire that seemed to be disconnected. Did a little detective work and determined that it was power to the automatic choke on the right side Solex carburetor. At first glance it looked like it was connected but it was only the last stage going from the electric choke to the idle solenoid. The primary power wire from the coil had been torn away. I connected it up and crossed my fingers, went for a spin and it seems OK now. So no power was getting to the choke element or the idle solenoid which feeds off the same circuit. Automatic chokes can be troublesome, in fact the late John Muir used to disconnect his, he said that the rich and inaccurate mixture they produce would age your engine prematurely. Another nugget of wisdom from John, he preferred mechanical only distributors! I have to say I had grown fond of the power curve the 009 was delivering, quite peppy. My apologies to the 009, it’s back in the spares box and if I miss it I can always throw it back in.
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.
One 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.
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 CIP1.com)