The 205K distributor’s advance is operated by a single vacuum. A tube on the vacuum canister is connected to a metal vacuum tube by a short length of vacuum hose. At the other end of the metal tube it is connected also by a short length of vacuum hose to the driver’s side brass vacuum inlet of the 30 Pict-1 (VW 105-1) Carburetor.
The metal tube is configured with a loop (like a large upside-down letter U) at the top at the vacuum port of the carburetor. This is to discourage any gasoline residual from being aspirated into the vacuum canister.
Here’s a little history of the evolution of the metal vacuum tube.
Into December, 1961, only a braided hose connected the vacuum canister directly to the carburetor. This was remedied during the month of December, 1961, with a kit supplied by or installed by VW dealerships. This kit was unusual in that a metal tube, formed into a loop as a complete circle, was connected by a 40mm length of braided hose to the carburetor vacuum tube and, at the bottom end, by a 40mm length of braided hose to the vac canister. This was to be a permanent installation.
VW installed a circular loop with one long end (to the vac canister) and one short end. (to the carburetor)
As well, there was a “service installation” which was a metal tube formed into a complete circle-loop which was an abbreviated version of the above metal tube. This tube was short on either end. It was to be installed on previous years as a replacement for cars which were fitted only with the braided hose. 40mm was cut from the existing braided hose and the metal tube-loop was inserted between the longer end and the 40mm piece.
Ref: Bentley’s Workshop Manual Volkswagen 1200, 1961-1965, Page 8 of Section E-5, December, 1961, at Chassis # 4-423-336, at Engine # 6-411-578
Eventually, VW simplified the circular loop into the upside-down “U” form of metal vacuum tube.
Unfortunately, many of these original -205K distributors became worn and, rather than to be repaired, were discarded and replaced with other models of Bosch vacuum distributors or with mechanical distributors (such as the -009). As a result, the -205K has become rather scarce and examples almost always will need to be over-hauled before further use.
Rust is an enemy of the distributor. Rust can pit the cam lobes and destroy the ability to stay in time. The pitting and scaring can cause the fiber block of the points quickly to become worn and the points will make irregular/ premature contact. It is supremely important at tune-up time to put that tiny dab of grease behind the fiber block to ensure proper lubrication and to prolong the life of the fiber block.
I find that in order to rebuild a single example, I often must use parts from several distributors. What should be a quick and fairly simple rebuild can become a frustrating experience. I find myself hating to even think about a rebuild.
Until a few years ago, Bosch sold repair kits for about $12.00. The problem was that each kit contained only one of the two fiber washer/spacers needed for the repair. I looked around and found similar fiber washers at the hardware and worked them so that they conformed to original washers in inner and outer diameters and of about the same thickness. The great difference was the “texture” of both flat surfaces of these hand-altered washer/spacers. The original fiber washers have a textured, or “quilted”, surface which accomplishes two purposes: to hold lubricant and to lessen friction (less surface due to the quilted pattern).
That same Bosch kit now has sky-rocketed to about $40.00 each. I content myself with substitute fiber washers presently purchased from a source which provides washers of the same inner diameter as the originals and a slightly smaller outer diameter. The thickness is good.
If you know of a German source for the original style washers, a lot of us would be happy to know about it! Please let us know!
The original fiber spacer/washers are of the following dimensions:
Inner Diameter: 7mm
Outer Diameter: 20mm
Thickness: just a tiny bit more than .5mm
Eventually the fiber washer/spacers become worn and brittle and often disintegrate and disappear into “air-cooled-space”.
With the worn and/or disappeared spacers comes too much vertical play (called axial play) in the distributor shaft. Performance comes to a halt and the distributor must be retired or rebuilt using replacement new or good used washers. The metal washers can be of varying thicknesses to absorb axial play until satisfactory play is achieved.
If a distributor is discovered to have too much radial play (worn bushings inside the “stem” of the housing) the distributor is to be salvaged for parts and the housing discarded. There appear to be no bushing replacements for these units. I rarely find too much radial play. The genius of German engineering designed the housing with two bushings—upper and lower. Between the two bushings there is a recess with a hole in one side of the housing stem which exits through the side of the stem to a vertical groove in the stem. A felt pad is positioned in the recess between the two bushings. Oil from the engine is able to enter the distributor housing through the hole to saturate the felt oiling pad. This keeps the bushings and shaft well-oiled.
Ref: The felt oiling pad is of the following dimensions: 38mm long (1-1/2 inches long);
18mm wide (12/16ths inches wide); just under 2mm in thickness
I have disassembled many of these distributors and have come to conclusions about what goes where. I found that the Bentley’s Manual falls short when showing the exploded view of a disassembled -205K distributor. As a result, I had my faithful photographer to shoot my latest distributor project. I laid out the parts in some semblance of order to give an idea of the simplicity of these units while attempting to show the order of re-assembly.
VW 113-905-205K/L, Bosch 0231 137 009/010 > 315-905-205B, 0231 137 031
VW 113-905-205M, Bosch 0231 137 021, 113-905-205T, 0231 137 035 or 036
Points: 01 009
Points Replacement Plate Assy:
VW 111-905-227B, Bosch 1237 110 139
(Note: Order 01 013 Points when using this Plate Assy)
Condenser: 02 007 – Note: If equipped w/AC use 02 069
Rotor: 04 006
Cap: 03 001
Parts Kit (Shims, Washers & Hardware): 059-998-211, Bosch 1237 010 007
Coil: 6 Volt – 00 001, 12 Volt – 00 015
Blue Coil: 6 Volt – 00 016, 12 Volt – 00 012
Vacuum Can: 07 017
Ignition Wires: 09 001
Spark Plug: W8AC
Timing Set At: 7.5deg BTDC Static or @ 800-950rpm w/strobe w/vacuum hose disconnected and plugged
Advance/Retard Range: Vacuum (Advance Only): 17-19deg @ 1.3 In. Hg, 24-28deg @ 3.2 In. Hg
Table of Bosch Distributors
Special Thanks: To my Dear Wife, Neva, for patiently learning a new photo management program—then spending time practicing before embarking on the photos for this article.
Editors note: Jay, your contributions to 1967beetle.com are amazing. You’re helping build a library of knowledge for all ’67 owners around the world. Everyone, comment below and thank Jay for his efforts! Thank you so much! -Eric