Volkswagen Front Wheel Drive 1974-1989 Repair Guide

Parts Replacement

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DISTRIBUTOR CAP



  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Label each spark plug wire and terminal on the old distributor cap.
  4.  
  5. Disengage the spark plug wires from the distributor cap.
  6.  
  7. Release the retaining clips securing the distributor/suppression cap.
  8.  
  9. Remove the cap from the distributor, then separate the suppression cap from the distributor cap.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Slip the suppression cap over the new distributor cap, then install the assembly on the distributor. Engage the retaining clips.
  2.  
  3. Match the position of the old distributor cap to the new cap, then connect the spark plug wires to their appropriate terminals.
  4.  
  5. Connect the battery cable.
  6.  

ROTOR



See Figure 1

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Disengage the retaining clips securing the distributor/suppression cap. Pull the assembly away from the distributor, then lay it aside with the spark plug wires attached.
  4.  
  5. Pull the rotor off of the distributor shaft. On 16-valve engines, the rotor is "glued" to the shaft. If you cannot pull it off the shaft, use a pair of pliers to break it. Clean the remaining pieces from the shaft.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Except for 16-valve engines (on which the rotor is glued in place) the rotor may be pulled from the shaft once the distributor cap is removed

Do not hit the rotor with a hammer or similar tool. The impact could damage other components including the distributor itself. Grasp the rotor with a pair of pliers and carefully break the pieces off.

To install:
  1. Install a new rotor onto the shaft. On 16-valve engines, use Loctite® 325 speed bonder to secure the rotor on the shaft. The rotor must be bonded to the shaft on these engines.
  2.  
  3. Install the distributor cap, then engage the retaining clips.
  4.  
  5. Connect the battery cable.
  6.  

IGNITION COIL



See Figure 2

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Label and unplug the wires from the coil.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Label wires before unplugging them-Note the white connector above the vacuum tee (On some models it is used to check the idle air stabilizer duty cycle during idle speed adjustment

  1. On some models, the coil is secured in a clamp. If so, loosen the screw, then slide the coil out from the clamp. Install the new coil, then tighten the screw until snug.
  2.  
  3. On other models, the coil is secured by bolts. On these models, remove the bolts, then replace the coil. Tighten the bolts until snug.
  4.  
  5. Connect the wires to the coil.
  6.  
  7. Connect the battery cable.
  8.  

HALL CONTROL UNIT



See Figure 3

On models equipped with an ignition advance type idle stabilizer, the Hall control unit is located under the stabilizer in the engine compartment. On other models, the Hall control unit is located in the cowling above the firewall in the engine compartment.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Make sure the ignition key is in the OFF position.
  4.  
  5. On models equipped with an ignition advance type idle stabilizer, remove the stabilizer. On other models, remove the rubber weatherstrip seal from the firewall. Carefully pull the plastic cover from the cowling.
  6.  
  7. Unplug the connector from the Hall control unit.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: On some models, the Hall control unit is located under the idle stabilizer- while on others, it can be found in the engine compartment cowling above the firewall

  1. Loosen and remove the screws securing it to the heat sink/bracket assembly.
  2.  
  3. Remove the Hall control unit.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Clean the mating surface of the heat sink/bracket and the bottom of the Hall control unit. These surfaces must be free of any debris. This will provide a good contact surface for the control unit to dissipate heat. Failure to do so may result in early control unit failure.
  2.  
  3. Position the new Hall control unit on the heat sink/bracket, then tighten the screws until snug.
  4.  
  5. Engage the electrical connection.
  6.  
  7. Install the idle stabilizer or plastic cowling cover and weatherstrip seal as applicable.
  8.  
  9. Connect the battery cable.
  10.  

HALL SENDER



See Figures 4 and 5

The Hall sender is located inside the distributor.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Make sure the ignition switch is OFF and remove the distributor cap/suppression shield as a unit. It is not necessary to remove the spark plug wires from the cap.
  4.  
  5. Remove the rotor and dust shield. On 16-valve engines, the rotor is glued onto the distributor and may have to be broken apart with pliers to remove it. Carefully crush the lower portion, remove the rotor and clean off all the old adhesive.
  6.  
  7. On 8-valve engines, remove the snapring holding the trigger wheel in place.
  8.  
  9. Pry the trigger wheel off carefully using a pair of small prytools. Be careful not to lose the locating pin that indexes the wheel to the shaft. DO NOT distort the trigger wheel by using excessive force.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Pry the trigger wheel off carefully using a pair of small prytools

  1. Unplug the Hall sender connector, then loosen and remove the screw(s) to remove the sender from the base plate.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: The sending unit is usually secured by small screws

To install:
  1. Install the new Hall sender. Use a magnetic screwdriver to start the screw.
  2.  
  3. When fitting the trigger wheel into place, make sure the locating pin and wheel are correctly aligned on the shaft. On 8-valve engines, install the snapring.
  4.  
  5. Install the dust shield and rotor. On 16-valve engines, use Loctite® 325 speed bonder when installing the rotor.
  6.  
  7. Install the cap and suppressor shield. Check the ignition timing.
  8.  
  9. Connect the battery cable.
  10.  

KNOCK SENSOR CONTROL UNIT



See Figure 6

The knock sensor control unit is located in the cowling above the firewall in the engine compartment.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Make sure the ignition key is in the OFF position.
  4.  
  5. Remove the rubber weatherstrip seal from the firewall. Carefully pull the plastic cover from the cowling.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: The knock sensor control unit is located in the engine compartment cowling above the firewall

  1. Unplug the electrical harness connector and the vacuum hose from the knock sensor control unit.
  2.  
  3. Loosen and remove the screws securing the control unit to the bracket assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove the knock sensor control unit.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Position the control unit on the bracket, then tighten the screws until snug.
  2.  
  3. Engage the electrical and vacuum hose connections.
  4.  
  5. Install the plastic cowling cover and weatherstrip seal.
  6.  
  7. Connect the battery cable.
  8.  

DIGIFANT II CONTROL UNIT



The Digifant II control unit is located in the cowling above the firewall in the engine compartment.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Make sure the ignition key is in the OFF position.
  4.  
  5. Remove the rubber weatherstrip seal from the firewall. Carefully pull the plastic cover from the cowling.
  6.  
  7. Unplug the electrical harness connector from the control unit.
  8.  
  9. Loosen and remove the nuts securing the control unit bracket assembly.
  10.  
  11. Turn the bracket assembly upside down, then remove the screws securing the control unit to the bracket.
  12.  
  13. Remove the control unit.
  14.  

To install:
  1. Position the control unit on the bracket, then tighten the screws until snug.
  2.  
  3. Install the bracket assembly, then tighten the nuts to 15 inch lbs. (1.7 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Engage the electrical connection.
  6.  
  7. Install the plastic cowling cover and weatherstrip seal.
  8.  
  9. Connect the battery cable.
  10.  

IDLE STABILIZER



  1. Disconnect the wire plugs from the idle stabilizer.
  2.  
  3. Remove the mounting screws, then remove the unit.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Install the idle stabilizer, tighten the screws until snug.
  2.  
  3. Connect the wire plugs to the stabilizer.
  4.  

KNOCK SENSOR



  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. This must be done before loosening or tightening the knock sensor securing bolt to avoid short circuiting the alternator.
  2.  
  3. Unplug the knock sensor electrical connection.
  4.  
  5. Loosen and remove the bolt securing the knock sensor.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Install the sensor, then thread the bolt in by hand first. Do not use any washers.
  2.  
  3. On CIS-E engines with type 1 sensors, tighten the bolt to 9 ft. lbs. (12 Nm). On CIS-E engines with type 2 sensors and on Digifant II systems, tighten the bolt to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm).
  4.  

Type 1 sensors have a cable connection which is off center (see illustration in this section). On type 2 sensors, the connection is from the side. Tightening torque must be strictly observed as it affects the function of the knock sensor.

  1. Engage the electrical connection, then connect the negative battery cable.
  2.  

 
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