How To Set Ignition Timing On An Air Cooled VW

Setting the timing is step 5 in the tune up procedure. Ignition timing is dependent upon the rest of the ignition system being set up properly. Accurate timing cannot be achieved unless you have sufficient compression, correct valve clearance, correct ignition point gap, correct spark plug gaps and the engine is at normal operating temperature.

Here are three different methods that can be used to set your ignition timing:

These steps apply to all methods: Turn the engine using the crankshaft pulley nut until the rotor button (remove distributor cap so you can see the rotor button) is aligned with the groove in the distributor rim and the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley is aligned with the crankcase seem.

If your pulley has two timing marks the one on the right is 10 degrees BTC (before top dead center) and the one on the left is for 7.5 degrees BTC.

If your pulley has three notches they will be, from left to right, 5 deg. ATC, 7.5 deg BTC and 10 deg. BTC (See photo).

Crankshaft Pulley Timing Marks

Air Cooled Volkswagen Ignition Timing Method Using A Test Light

You do not need an expensive timing light to adjust your ignition timing. For air cooled Volkswagen engines a simple test light consisting of a 12 volt lamp and two leads with alligator clamps is not only sufficient but recommended. You can easily make one yourself or you can buy one at an auto parts store.

Remove the vacuum hose from the distributor advance unit.

Loosen the clamp at the base of the distributor until you can turn the distributor with your hand.

Distributor Advance Unit

Connect one lead of your test light to terminal 1 on the distributor and the other

to a solid ground.

Turn the distributor body clockwise until the contacts of the ignition points are closed. Turn on the ignition switch but do not start the engine. Turn the distributor counterclockwise until the test light comes on (just as the contact points are opening) and tighten down the clamp.

Air Cooled Volkswagen Ignition Timing Method Using A Volt Meter

The steps for using a volt meter to set your ignition timing are the same as those for using a test lamp. Instead of watching for the test light to come on you will be watching for a voltage reading on the meter. When the contact points are closed the meter should show 0. When the points begin to open voltage will be indicated on the meter.

Air Cooled Volkswagen Ignition Timing Method Using A Timing Light

If you have a timing light you can use it to set your timing.

Use chalk or something similar to the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley to make it easier to see with the timing light.

Remove the vacuum hose from the distributor advance unit.

Loosen the clamp at the base of the distributor until you can turn the distributor with your hand.

Connect one lead of your test light to the number 1 spark plug wire on the distributor and the other to a solid ground.

Start the engine and aim the timing light at the top of the crankshaft pulley. Rotate the distributor body until the appropriate mark on the crankshaft pulley is aligned with the crankcase seam. Tighten down the distributor clamp.

NOTE: Be very careful of the belt and other moving parts when performing this procedure.

Written by David Slone, Copyright 2008 AirCooledVWLove.com

Vintage VW Training Film – Ignition Timing Part 1

Source: www.aircooledvwlove.com

Category: Forex

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