I stopped at O’Reilly for a distributor and ignition wires and came home with whatever they said fit.

When I pulled the stock distributor it has a black and red wire. But the new one only has a green wire.

Spectra Premium VW06 Distributor https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000..._api_i_DislEb4GCGJE3

Am I on the wrong track? Or can I just plug it into the positive on the coil and assume it’s ground into the clamp?

Original Post

I probably just needed spark plugs but here we are...

What do you think? It looks like the green wire loops back to itself and then would ground to the clamp, no? And my coil already had at least one terminal open, so one more couldn’t hurt.

What says my adult supervision?


CB907F4E-221A-4B51-BAF8-B995DF2CBF37
D414B3BE-B662-4441-8333-2AB81E21D132

 

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If there is a red and a black wire, I guess someone has put a aftermarket electronic ignition into the distrebutor.12755

like the attached picture.

If this is the case, I would suggest you, to put this electronic module from the old into the new distributor, it should fit...

 

best

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Last edited by Jan Peter Stahl

The new distributor with the green wire appears to have points and condenser. Your old one has a Pertronix or similar electronic ignition module.

If you change back to points, the green wire goes to the NEGATIVE terminal on the coil, and switches the ground side of the coil to charge/discharge the coil. The POSITIVE terminal of the coil is unused with points, and has 12V at all times when the ignition is on(this powers the Pertronix module if used as well as gives the coil power). 

Ryan in NorCal posted:

Looks like I’ll take the distributor back and start again. Thanks.

I know folks here swear by CB’s MagnaSpark. Any others to recommend that I could pick up today?

I have had previously and now have a Pertronix Flamethrower 2 electronic system and they work well too. 

Ryan...just trying to help here. You didn't answer my question why you changed out your original distributor. You may benefit understanding what else your existing distributor has in in now such as the advance springs and maybe more. 

Thanks David. I’ll take a deeper look at the existing distributor.

I started all this after my car started taking a lot more cranks to start and was dying a couple blocks down the road even after warming up. After pushing the car home a few times I want to get it sorted.

Spark plugs were covered in black carbon so I think I’m running rich and sparks were weak or missing.

And when the car takes a while to start, it leads to flooding, which probably makes the spark plugs even worse. At least that’s my amateur take on the issue.

I‘ll take a closer look at the stock distributor today. Maybe I can just replace the spark plugs and cables and get back on the road. Or I’ll have to get the Magna Spark. What do you think?

If it had been running OK before this started, I would start with just new plugs, plug wires, distributor cap and rotor, keeping your old distributor for now.  

 If you go to a Magnaspark II in the future, you’ll need the “kit” that includes all new plug wires, too, because the Magnaspark II uses a high energy cap with different wire ends than a stock VW-style distributor cap.

Anyway, if you try the first, cheaper option, drive it for a few days or a week before doing anything else to see how it seems.

The next step would be to adjust the fuel mixture screws on the carbs, but wait until you’ve driven it for a while first.

To adjust the fuel mixture, very slowly turn in one mixture screw at a time at idle (engine warmed up) until the engine stumbles slightly, then back it out 1/4 turn - it should smooth out.  Repeat on the other three mixture screws.

Anything more than that gets you into the Magnaspark realm and/or having someone do a serious carburetor adjustment.

Ryan in NorCal posted:

Thanks David. I’ll take a deeper look at the existing distributor.

I started all this after my car started taking a lot more cranks to start and was dying a couple blocks down the road even after warming up. After pushing the car home a few times I want to get it sorted.

Spark plugs were covered in black carbon so I think I’m running rich and sparks were weak or missing.

And when the car takes a while to start, it leads to flooding, which probably makes the spark plugs even worse. At least that’s my amateur take on the issue.

I‘ll take a closer look at the stock distributor today. Maybe I can just replace the spark plugs and cables and get back on the road. Or I’ll have to get the Magna Spark. What do you think?

I'm not well enough qualified to give you a tutorial on how to troubleshoot the problem Ryan but it would be important to know what's in your existing distributor as a base to start with. 

This distributor is assembled with a aftermarket ignition system like I said before. So your new distributor is not wrong generally...

What I directly see on your photo is, that the rotor disc is mounted in the wrong position. There is a mark on the disc witch should point to Cylinder no. 3, witch is not the case like it is now.

 

Best

I see the mark on the plastic and the notch are not aligned. Should they be? I don’t see any numbers. Could you walk me through realigning them correctly?

I see what looks to be the aftermarket part underneath. Are you suggesting I remove this and add it to the new distributor?

@Ryan in NorCal--

Click this link for the wiring diagram for an original (1970) Beetle. It might help clear up your original question.

That's an aftermarket Comp-u-Fire module in the old distributor (or the EMPI clone). The new distributor is points and a capacitor. Points are extremely old-school (not that there's a single thing wrong with that)-- kind of the drum brakes of ignition. The Comp-u-Fire makes things wayyyyy easier for a home mechanic. 

I'm just guessing here, but you probably pulled the plugs and bought the distributor and wires based on the soot on the plugs, correct? You likely don't need them, if you can take what you've got back.

If you want to proceed, your existing points replacement module has two wires, the red one is connected to keyed power (probably coming from the "15", or "+" terminal) on the coil, and the black one is connected to the negative terminal ("1" or "-") on the coil. On the new one, you'd connect the green wire to the negative terminal on the coil and lose the red one altogether.

... but there are other things to consider here. One is that the distributor has to be in the proper position for the car to start, then you'll need a timing light to set the final timing. You'll also need a tach/dwell meter to set the points correctly. It'd be a lot easier to move the module over-- but once you do that, you may as well just leave the entire distributor.

If you are concerned with the condition of your ignition system, changing the cap and rotor is what we always used to do in a tune-up (if your distributor was using points and condenser, we'd change those as well). The distributor never got replaced unless there was something wrong with the advance curve.

... but back to the black plugs. I'd be willing to bet that even a properly set up and operating ignition won't fix the black plugs. Hotter plugs might help, but I'd be willing to bet money that the problem isn't ignition at all. I'd bet you have dual Kadrons, don't you?

Kadrons always run rich. You can work on leaning them out, but they're pretty bad on the idle circuits and the needle and seat are really terrible. If you are generally satisfied with how the car runs (and with getting less than 20 mpg with a sub-100 hp engine), then change the cap/rotor/wires and the spark-plugs with something at least one step hotter.

Good luck.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Looks like a Compufire Ignition Module in a Bosch Distributor base, not a Pertronics (which looks different).

Here's a Youtube video of how to assemble the module to the base:

I see no reason why your old module couldn't be moved to the new distributor if it's a Bosch base for a VW aircooled.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols
Stan Galat posted:

 That's an aftermarket Comp-u-Fire module in the old distributor (or the EMPI clone).

Gordon Nichols posted:

Looks like a Compufire Ignition Module in a Bosch Distributor base, not a Pertronics (which looks different).

Jinx!

Last edited by Stan Galat

lol, in minute 3.30 he is talking about the mark but don't know about it... Its quiet important for the ignition delay for cylinder 3 to prevent overheating, just saying

Ryan, I am 99% sure I had installed a compu-fire in that car back in about 2007.

I would second that cap and rotor are probably all you need.
-=theron

Last edited by Theron

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