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.

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.
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.

Reference Materials:
Distributor Specifications

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 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

Posted by Jay Salser

My wife, Neva, and I have been driving and working on VWs since 1976. 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.

  1. 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.

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

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

  2. 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

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

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

    1. 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

      1. You mean, like Austin. :-)


    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.

    1. 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

  5. Those fiber shims shouldn’t cost anymore than $1 each. Everything to rebuild these distributors is now available at an affordable price.

    1. Hello, Marcel…I want to thank you for your help with correct steel shim-washers and fiber washers for my -205K rebuild for my personal inventory. Having the correct parts makes a BIG difference! Glenn Ring also kicked in some new steel washer-shims which I was needing. I love the Volkswagen Community! jay

  6. Hi i wonder if you can help me i have problem with a lack of power on acceleration . i static time to 7.5deg but when i put a strobe on and connect the vacuum hose the timing is fully advanced . So how dose the the engine spark in the right place if it can not advance any further ?

    1. Hello, Bob…Tell me if you have a ’67 Beetle and, if so, which Distributor you have in your car. Also, tell me which Carburetor you have in your car. Thanks. jay

      1. HI Jay , Sorry i should have said , yes its a 67 1500 chassis number 117389970 . it came as a 6 volt but this summer ungraded to 12 volt alternator . Running all original 30 pict 1 carb and Bosch 113905205k dizzy. When i have asked on other forums and they say yes this is fully advanced at idle with the vacuum hose attached but if this is the case then how can it spark in the right place at higher revs? the car at the moment will not accelerate smoothly.
        any help or diagnosis tips would be gratefully accepted.
        points correct ,plugs correct, valves set at 6 thou, carb mixture 5 X 1/2 turns out from bottom.

  7. Hi Jay
    Thank you very much for your great article! It helped me a lot. I am in the process of rebuilding the exact same distributor and have a question regarding the axial play. What would be a satisfactory amount of axial play? With two steel washers and two felt washers I am getting 0.016 in.

  8. Hello, Lukas…I am glad to hear that you have successfully rebuilt your -205K Distributor! .015-.016 thousandths is fine. If you have one, you can use a Dial Indicator at the top of the Shaft to accurately measure Axial Play. By “felt” washers, I feel certain that you intended to say Fiber Washers. It is heartening to hear these old Distributors being restored. They still can do the job they were engineered to do! jay

    1. Great! Thank you very much for your help. That’s exactly how I measured it. And yes of course I meant fiber washers. When I noticed that my 1500 that I am currently rebuilding still had the original or at least the correct distributor I just had to try and rebuild it to keep the engine as original as possible. Would not be the same with a different model

      1. Absolutely correct, Lukas! In addition, the -205K Distributor is paired with the 30 Pict-1 (VW 105-1) Carburetor. They were engineered to work as a unit. Oh, sure, all of these parts can be mismatched–but, the engine will not operate as designed. Stay on-track, Lukas. One of these days, get with Eric and do a write-up of your restoration! We all would love to hear about it! jay

        1. Sounds great! I will definitely do that once I’m done. Sadly the carb was replaced at some point with a Brsosol H30/31. I have an original 30 Pict-3 but I’ll definitely keep looking for the original 30 pict 1 (VW 105-1). Thanks to another one of your very interesting articles I learned that not all 30 Pict-1 are the same. Saved me from buying the wrong one.

  9. Are there any rebuilders that buy cores ? And by corr I know A few of these ran great others I don’t know .. I have 5 of them from 67s I’ve parted out

  10. My mistake should have stated I have 250k distributors

  11. Has anyone out there tried the 123Ignition programable dizzy, it comes with an app that allows any curve, vacuum or centrifugal. It looks just like a bosch dizzy. Popular on the 356 site.

  12. Hello, Richard…That sounds like an interesting Distributor. I’ll have to investigate a bit to learn something new. A lot of the people who have 1967 Beetles are wanting to be as original as possible. The 1967 Beetle Engine was designed with the -205K Distributor and the 30 Pict-1 (VW 105-1) Carburetor to work as a Pair. Thank you for bringing this Distributor System to our attention. jay

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