Hello Everyone:

I would appreciate some help with a problem I'm having with setting the Dwell Angle on my 1971 VW Beetle (1600cc Dual Port).

My dwell meter shows the angle as 86-87 degrees! The meter is a brand new digital model. I used it just prior to testing the Bug on my '67 Bus. It is definitely working properly as the dwell on the Bus read out as 48 degrees.

The points are properly gapped to .016". The plug wiring is correct. The engine even turns over at idle quite nicely (very easy to start).

I ordered this engine as a longblock from a well known builder in the aircooled community. Honestly though, because of this problem, I cannot get the car to drive for more than about 2-3 miles without shutting down and overheating.

The RPM function on the meter is skittish when testing the Bug. I cannot stop it from "jumping around". However, it was solid and correct when testing the Bus.

The wiring on the Bug ignition coil is certainly correct. The carburetor, Bosch distributor and Bosch blue ignition coil are all brand new on the Bug.

I'm wondering what the problem is...??? Could it be that the builder installed the distributor drive gear 180 degrees out?? And yes, the Bosch distributor I installed (and reinstalled several times) is inserted properly into the drive gear on the block.

Any help with this very perplexing problem would be greatly appreciated.
I thank the members of this site in advance for their helpfulness.

Quote 0 0

First the .016 is to get it running then you fine tune with the dwell meter, I would first go and purchase a good set of high quality points don't use cheap crap they'll give you nothing but problems, I tried cheap points once and spent more than half an hour trying to get them close to 50 degrees dell angle, if I remember right if the distributor was 180 out it wont run, also check this site to get the proper advance for your distributor and points part number. http://www.oldvolkshome.com/index.htm

Ignition Distributor List - By Bosch Number

Sometimes to move forward you must first fall backwards
Quote 0 0
MadMax, Have you found your problem yet? You can easily check the distributor position by turning engine until rotor points to # 1 plug wire on distributor cap, pull #1 spark plug and using a mirror, see if piston is at top of stroke and then pull valve cover and while turning engine back and forth slowly with a wrench, observe what the valves are doing (intake opening or exhaust opening). If the Distributor was out 180 degrees you would be getting some very serious backfiring and damage if you drove it that way. If you have a overheat problem I would be checking the cooling fan,or the air shroud for any blockage such as a rag.

Quote 0 0

It must be frustrating to have a new engine do this....

overheating is not good....

What distributor are You using..?   009??

o tell the truth, I haven't used My Dwell meter for aver 20 years...

I just use the feeler gauges...

and the timing lamp... 32 degrees at maximum advance for the 009 dizzy.... with the engine running...


It seems that Your problem is electrical....

well, electrical ignition timing....

and as You know timing and lean fuel mixture are twp dangerous things with a VW engine....


Your distributor cap is on the correct location??

I always buy VW stuff from VW shops.....

The rotor button is in the correct position???


Something  has got to be wrong here....


Lee -- 68AutoBug -- Australia --




Lee Noonan
68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -

Quote 0 0