Volkswagen Front Wheel Drive 1974-1989 Repair Guide

Distributor

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REMOVAL



See Figures 1, 2 and 3

  1. Remove the distributor cap (leave the spark plug wires attached). Label and disconnect any electrical connections on the distributor.
  2.  
  3. At the front crankshaft pulley bolt, turn the engine to Top Dead Center (TDC) on No. 1 piston. It's easier to turn the engine with the spark plugs removed.
  4.  
  5. The rotor should point to the No. 1 reference mark on the distributor housing. If not, turn the engine one full turn to align the mark.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Align the rotor with the notch on the distributor housing. Make sure the engine is at TDC on the compression stroke; if not, rotate the engine one revolution until the rotor aligns with the notch once again

  1. Make a chalk or paint mark on the engine where the rotor points to the rim of the distributor.
  2.  
  3. On 8-valve engines, remove the bolt and hold-down flange, then lift the distributor straight out of the engine.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the bolt and hold-down flange. Make sure all electrical connections are unplugged from the distributor



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Fig. Fig. 3: Pull the distributor out from the engine block. This may be difficult on some engines due to corrosion. If necessary, spray the distributor/engine block mating surface with penetrating oil and allow it to soak

  1. On 16-valve engines, remove the 2 bolts, then pull the distributor straight out of the cylinder head. Note which holes the bolts came from to make sure the timing can be adjusted correctly.
  2.  

INSTALLATION



See Figure 4

Engine Not Rotated

If the engine was not rotated while the distributor was removed, follow these procedures.

  1. Check the condition of the O-ring on the distributor housing, replace it if necessary.
  2.  

Note the drive at the bottom of the distributor shaft. The lug is offset to one side on some models.

  1. Align the rotor with the mark on the rim of the distributor.
  2.  
  3. Carefully fit the distributor into place and gently push while turning the rotor side-to-side. The lug will drop into place on the shaft.
  4.  
  5. Make sure the mark on the distributor aligns with the mark you make on the block or head and install the hold down flange or bolts.
  6.  
  7. Install the cap, connect the wires and check ignition timing.
  8.  

Engine Rotated

Follow these procedures if the engine was rotated while the distributor was removed.

  1. Check the condition of the O-ring on the distributor housing, replace it if necessary.
  2.  
  3. Turn the crankshaft so that the No. 1 piston is on its compression stroke and the TDC timing mark on the flywheel is aligned.
  4.  
  5. On 8-valve engines, the oil pump drive slot must be parallel with the crankshaft. This can be turned with a screw driver if necessary.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: On 8-valve engines, the oil pump drive slot must be parallel with the crankshaft

  1. On 16-valve engines, look into the mounting hole and note the position of the slot in the crankshaft.
  2.  
  3. Turn the distributor so that the rotor points to the mark on the rim of the housing.
  4.  
  5. Install the distributor, making sure the drive lug engages the slot. On 8-valve engines, the distributor may turn as it is pushed down all the way.
  6.  
  7. Make sure the mark on the distributor aligns with the mark you make on the block or head, then install the hold-down flange and bolt(s).
  8.  
  9. Install the cap, connect the wires and check ignition timing.
  10.  

 
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