Monday, November 27, 2006

VW - Retard on #3 Cylinder

>I've heard guys talk about this retard business before but I've never seen
>anything official on it.

-------------------------------------------------------------- '

Workshop Manual for Volkswagen Transporter, 1963-1967' ISBN 0-8376-0391-9 Section E-9, page 12 'Service Note: From 3rd August 1964, Chassis No. 115 000 001, Engine No. 8 788 071, all VW engines are fitted with modified distributors. The breaker cam lobe which controls the firing point of No. 3 cylinder is offset 2 distributor-shaft degrees in the retarded direction.'

Various other associated Notes, Warnings and Illustrations, bleeding over to page 12a, the obverse of which is blank, indicating 12a is a supplement, inserted after normal pagination of the manual.

(To find out when they stopped using the retard, you need to look in a Factory Service Manual covering the 1971 model year.)

If you have a VW engine of 1200cc displacement or more and you are using the original upright oil cooler then you should be using a distributor which retards the #3 cyl. firing point.

If you are using an engine fitted with a dog-house type oil cooler it doesn't matter what type of distributor you are running, although one without the retard will improve the engine's efficiency.

If you have a distributor of unknown provenance and wish to determine if its #3 lobe is retarded, you can develop that information by inspection, either with a distributor diagnostic machine or by installing the distributor on an engine fitted with a degree wheel and observing the firing point OF each cylinder using a stroboscopic timing light. Two degrees at the cam is four at the crank so it's pretty easy to spot.

Normal service life of the VW distributor is 50k to 70k miles and is determined by end-float. That means even the youngest of the retarded distributors was worn-out by about 1985.

-Bob Hoover

No comments: