The Correct ’67 Beetle Distributor

The Correct '67 Beetle DistributorThe Distributor of choice for the 1967 Beetle is the 113-905-205K.

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)

The Correct '67 Beetle Distributor
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.

As a “Service Installation”, dealerships could install a circular-shaped metal vacuum tube (with two short ends) for previous chassis/engine numbers.
unnamed-4

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!

IMG_5074

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.
unnamed-3Ref: 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.
unnamed-2unnamed-1

Reference Materials:
Distributor Specifications

Distributor:
VW 113-905-205K/L, Bosch 0231 137 009/010 > 315-905-205B, 0231 137 031

Can Use:
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

The Finishing Touches for Your Vintage Volkswagen™
The Finishing Touches for Your Vintage Volkswagen™

Jay Salser

My wife, Neva, and I have been driving and working on VWs for over 41 years. In fact, we raised our family in these cars. Now, we are retired and enjoy VWs as a hobby. The ’67 Beetle always has been our favorite year. We own a '67 Beetle and a '68 Karmann Ghia.

10 Comments

Bill

about 3 years ago

Very nice, detailed information here Jay. Well done. A couple of things- Glenn Ring (a moderator) on The Samba sells the correct (Bosch) fiber shims. He buys them from Germany. I've bought several from him while rebuilding some 205K and 205T distributors. One thing I've seen before on a "K" distributor while rebuilding them was the wrong vacuum can. The original "K" distributor vacuum can's with the timing of 7.5BTDC had a "star" pattern on the back of them. They were replaced with a "T" vacuum can which has a timing setting of 0 or TDC. I've had both vacuum cans in my hands. The difference is how far the arm pull the advance plate. There's a thread on The Samba that discusses these can differences as well.

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Eric Shoemaker

about 3 years ago

Another great article, Jay, I can't thank you enough.

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Eric Shoemaker

about 3 years ago

Bill, If you can email me those photos, I could place them in this thread.

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jay salser

about 3 years ago

Hello, Bill...Very good points--all! Thanks! I will check the "star" pattern to see what I am dealing with here. Also...the Samba Link is good. Thank you for posting that for us. I would love to discover the German source. I will continue to attempt that. The original fiber washers are the very best for the reasons which I gave in the article. However, the ones which I have hand-fabricated or bought outright (nowadays) will work fine and do the job intended. jay

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Eric Shoemaker

about 3 years ago

Jay, I have a German source for them. Probably the same as Glen.

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Sam Glenn

about 3 years ago

You're a Genius, my friend. If you ever think about moving, come South! I'd love to have you folks as neighbors

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jay salser

about 3 years ago

Hi, Sam...Not a "genius"--practical, I hope. I just couldn't pass an opportunity to photograph the parts since I had a dizzy disassembled. BTW--I do live in the South--in North Central Texas. I wouldn't mind living further South in Texas, though. Usually it's not so cold further south--this morning I awakened to a frozen landscape--we had a mini-blizzard last night with small flakes being driven by a strong wind. But, the sun is out. Nothing moving. Very quiet. Take care, Sam! jay

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Eric Shoemaker

about 3 years ago

You mean, like Austin. :-)

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bill

about 3 years ago

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=307450&highlight=vacuum Eric, here is the link to The Samba thread on the vacuum cans to include the "star" can. Jay, I figured you knew Glenn. I think I paid $5 bucks for the last two shims I purchased from him. It was a much better deal than buying two of the Bosch kits at $40 which only had one fiber shim.

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jay salser

about 3 years ago

Hello, Bill...I don't do these distributors for a living and usually end up either keeping them or giving them away and/or giving away the fiber washers to others who need them. After the labor, I find that there is not much "profit margin" left. My hat is off to those those people who can rebuild dizzies and market them and make any money at it. I see core dizzies, dirty and needing to be rebuilt, going for $50. So, you can see that it is difficult to make money. I have a couple rebuilt and inventoried for my own cars. Once in a while, I will rebuild one when the urge overcomes common sense. LOL There is a certain amount of pride when one is completed. Another vintage piece resurrected and in working order to help to power a vintage VW. Wow! It can't get better than that, can it? jay

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