Dizzy, my head is spinnin'...

Like a whirlpool, it never ends… :rasp

So, what’s your preference: vacuum advance or 009?

Oh, and why? :smiley:

If the one that came with your engine is working and the engine is still the same as VW planned then there’s probably no need to change.

Reasons to change your distributor:

  • your old one is cuffed (and a proper relacement from VW costs too much)
  • you have been playing with your engine (bad boy)
  • you have fitted different carb(s) and dont have a vacuum take off

The Bosch 009 is a simple, cheap reliable distributor that can be used on pretty well any VW engine in any state of tune. Because it is mechanical advance only, it doesn’t need feedback from the carb(s) nor does it attempt to do anything about clever emission control (which didn’t really work anyway).
The 009 is easy to fit and easy to set up.

There are other alternatives, here’s a few:
Bosch 010 (also 050) - mechanically similar principles to 009 but more difficult to find and costs more
Mallory - looks different but same mechanical principles, even rarer and more expensive
A magneto ignition = even more money - totally different principle, no battery required. Good for high revving engines.

Here are a few interesting pages, I’m sure there are loads more.

At the end of the day, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a Bosch 009. Loads of us have been using them for years. In a perfect world, there may be something better, but you’ll spend time and money getting it.

I’ve used 009’s on a few occasions - no problems, I’ve also got a Mallory thats waiting to see the light of day.
My bus has its standard VW item that was fitted 160,000 miles, 27 years ago.

Hope this helps

Alan - 2005-10-22 11:40 PM

  • you have been playing with your engine (bad boy)

Ahem… :lol: Not hugely, though (just bigger barrels and pistons than stock), so a vac should still be perfectly applicable.

Yes, that all definitely helps, Alan, thanks. I was wondering as I was reading through the John Muir book and he suggests just getting an 009 at the earliest opportunity. Greg, on the other hand, is very much from the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” camp, so I thought I’d ask here.

I’ve been giving some thought to the various electronic ignition options available and some of them are specifically for 009 or vac so I figured it sensible to get some opinions.

Any more opinions gratefully received! :smiley:

Being American, John Muir suffered from having a lot more pollution crap on his cars during the 70’s. I believe some of this stuff made the cars truly awful to drive, so its more understandable his desire to rip it all off and fit a 009.

“come to kindly terms with your ass, for it bears you” - John Muir

I don’t think anyone would argue against fitting a 009 with some kind of electronic module. Fit and forget it would be the philosophy. Once the timing has been set, that should be it for life.

Alan - 2005-10-23 9:59 AM
Fit and forget it would be the philosophy.

If only we could work our way right round our vehicles and apply this philosophy! :lol:

Time to revive this old thread! :rolleyes:


Still seems like a good deal compared to dissy & pertronix set available in UK!


Unless you have fitted twin carbs then stick with the original dizzy. This is because the vacumn advance works better on smaller capacity engines, as it avoid the hesitation caused by the 009. I found my 1641 always had a hesitation when hitting the throttle, but since I had fitted twin webers I had little choice. On larger capacity engines, say 1776, with twin carbs, the extra torque seems to overcome the hesitation problem. However, I would still prefer a vac advance or programmed ignition curve which does a better job when travelling down the motorway with a light throttle. The 009 is basically simple and agricultural. I would go for a pertronix kit though.

Good advice Keith!
Funnily enough, I don’t use 009s on either of my dual carb Dubs - they’re both kitted with 050s at the mo, (with 009s as back up spares). :slight_smile:

However, Op.B has an SVDA dissy (read Alan’s link to ‘aircooled.net’) on the stock 1600 which I bought from the E-Bay USA link above. The Hot-Spark kit’s basically the same and every bit as good as Pertronix unit which is why I thought it worth sharing the info again…

seamonsta - 2007-09-10 10:44 PM
The Hot-Spark kit’s basically the same and every bit as good as Pertronix unit which is why I thought it worth sharing the info again…

Oh dear - I knew this would happen after saying that! :huh:
A case of tempting fate - the bloody less than 1 year old Hot Sparks unit is now not working!
Will try and investigate further, but still looks ok ie. not fried!

So, the HS equipped 050 is off and last night I got life from Eva’s old 1776 first fire up in the Bug with a good ol’009 and points.
Still seemed a bit sluggish with the occasional misfire but it was getting too dark to continue.
So, this morning I cut out the condenser and fitted my spare Velleman ignition kit -
Yup - working great! :smiley:


It might be cos I’ve not driven Op.B with a twin carb engine for nearly a year,
but by christ she feels every bit as grunty as she did with the 2 litre in it! B)

Right time to ask this question???

Just been to Van Fest and the type 4 motor in my Bus started to play up AGAIN???
This has happend 2 or 3 times and just bugs the krap out of me as it is on and off like a yo yo and never got to the bottom of it as all the parts on
the engine are either overhauld or brand new…
Knowing the problem was either Electronic ignition pack or distributer advance and retard Vac unit I decided to replace them with the 009 dissy and the Petronics
Ignition unit.
Well known for my skills at haggling the cost down… £95 down to £80 for both , from the good folks from King Fisher Customs Stand.
Tools out on Saturday morning and the Job of changing the dissy turned in to a right laugh as I would not recomend doing the job with a hangover???
Easy job any other time just remember which way round the plug leads go???
RESULT… Money well spent as the engine runs a lot better than before but as mentioned does have that slight time lag before the power kicks in???
For the £40 for an 009 Dissy I would recomend them as they are money well spent…

Hope this helps… :beers:

Justavan - 2007-09-20 12:19 AM
Well known for my skills at haggling the cost down… £95 down to £80 for both 009 dissy and the Pertronics…

Jammy git! :rolleyes:

Justavan - 2007-09-20 12:19 AM
…engine runs a lot better than before, but as mentioned does have that slight time lag before the power kicks in…

Aye - that’ll be the 009 factor - no vacuum to advance the ignition a wee bit before the centrifugals kick in!

However - if you have a carb set-up that gives a vacuum signal, I have something that may interest you for a wee experiment Eric.
Earlier this year I bought (from the States) the SVDA dissy with Hot Sparks ignition
(which we can dismiss as a lot less robust than Pertronix!)
The SVDA was specifically designed as an improved dissy for a stock 1600 with a 34 PICT carbs advance signal,
then provides centrifugal advance akin to a 009.
It worked well enough on the Bug’s 1600, but I just don’t think I could return to a single carb air-cooled again!
It’s juuuust, so bloody WRONG to asthmatise a flat-four like that!!

So, would you like to test it on your motor?
Might get rid of the slight stalling sensation from rest, and prove the best all round with yer Pertronix module installed…?
This dissy’s done less than a thousand miles in my Bug and in almost new condition. B)
I’ll bring it to Rannoch anyway…

HHhhmmm… Interesting… :think