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Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions
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furgo
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:22 am    Post subject: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

I've learnt perhaps more than I ever wanted about distributors in the last few days, but there's always more Smile

After discovering that the vacuum advance was not working on what was going to be my spare distributor, and then discovering the same on the distributor that's on the bus, I set out to find at least one new vacuum can. I eventually did with help from someone here at The Samba.

That was my first foray into distributor restoration. After having cleaned up the vacuum advance/breaker plate to get it working again, I thought I'd continue with refreshing the rest of the distributor. The distributor overhaul thread was extremely helpful to do that, but after having disassembled mine, there are a couple of questions that I could not find the answer for there.

First of all, the data:

SVDA distributor: VW 022 905 205S, Bosch 0231 170 093
Rotor with resistor (measured 5.6K-Ohm), NO rpm limiter
Markings on body: date stamp 726 (June 1977), stamped with "Germany" underneath

And here is the fully disassembled distributor. Breaker points, condensator and cap are not in the picture. The picture was taken after some preliminary cleaning with parts cleaner, rust removal with a bath of a light solution of citric acid and some elbow grease and wire wool.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


After the cleanup, the parts looked pretty good at least optically. The main areas that needed work were:

Vacuum/breaker plate (surface rust, it had eaten through the zinc plating in places)
Centrifugal advance (weights and springs slightly rusted)
Shaft (noticeable rust and pitting in the thread-like incisions underneath the centrifugal advance plate)

I only have a "before" picture of the centrifugal advance:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


And after the preliminary cleaning:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Some rust still needs to be removed here. Btw, what is the purpose of this thread in the shaft?

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


From this picture in the distributor refresh thread, I can see the number of shims and fiber washer and the order of assembly:

mcdonaldneal wrote:

Last pic shows the order of small shim, fibre washer and large shim that goes between the advance plate and the distributor body.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


In my case, only the fiber washer is missing there. So far so good, I only have to worry about sourcing it.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Now where I am confused is in the order and number of shims and fibre washers at the bottom of the shaft, between body and drive dog.

Looking at my old distributor to compare, I can see, from top to bottom:

Big shim (12.5 mm ID, 24.8 mm OD)
Fiber washer (I could not measure it)
Small shim (12.5 mm ID, 20.5 mm OD)

Yet, even assuming the fiber washer has disintegrated on my spare distributor, it looks like there are two extra shims (big and small) for no apparent reason:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Shall I just get a replacement fiber shim, sandwich it between the top big and small shims and remove the two extra ones?

While we're on the subject, one of the first differences I noticed between distributors was the noticeably bigger vertical play of the spare distributor's shaft. Unfortunately, I did not measure it before disassembling it, but I did measure the play on the original bus distributor. Here is a picture for comparison:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Does the 0.016" figure look reasonable as the vertical play spec?

Does the black ring in the spare distributor have a particular purpose?

I'm thinking the reason of the extended vertical play might be simply because the original distributor still has the two fiber washers, whereas on the spare distributor they're long gone. After examining the spare distributor, I could not figure out an area of wear that would contribute to the vertical play. Or am I missing something?

Finally, after reading this:

Glenn wrote:
mcdonaldneal wrote:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

That part is NLA. You'll need to source it from another core. [...] [it's] a plastic spacer that fits on the on the top of the mainshaft and then the upper section with the cam goes on next.


I don't think my distributor even has that part, but then I might not be looking at the right place (below the circlip at the top of the main shaft?). If it's disintegrated, I would think it being plastic would leave some remains, but I could not see any.

Was this a part that was on all 021 905 205P / 022 905 205S distributors, or were there variations between the years? What's the actual effect if the part is not there?

Thanks!
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Last edited by furgo on Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:54 am; edited 2 times in total
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asiab3
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:33 am    Post subject: Re: Distributor restoration questions Reply with quote

Since I can't post a blithering block of text like I want to from my phone, I'll be short. Razz

Generally speaking, the later distributors from VW/Bosch got cheaper as time went on, so there may be less parts, or less variety of parts. Even a 205S made in '76 will probably be slightly different from a 205S made in '82 as a "factory replacement part."

The shim quantity and thickness depends on the distributor itself. Lower shaft end play has a set spec, in the single disgust thousandths of an inch. This reduces timin scatter by keeping the distributor drive gear fully seated. If the drive gear is allowed to jump up and down with the distributor shaft, you can get timing scatter. When building an engine, the distributor to drive gear interface is set between .020" and .040". So shims in the wrong area will affect that clearance. You might have to measure down the distributor hole to see where to shim your distributor's lower shaft.

The spirals are oil control grooves, I think, like the oil grooves on a T1 crank pulley. The main o-ring keeps the splash of oil that enters the distributor's lower hole inside the case or distributor- no leaks allowed!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:36 am    Post subject: Re: Distributor restoration questions Reply with quote

Furgo, love your pictures and details. Applause
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:56 am    Post subject: Re: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

Please read
http://thegoodvolks.proboards.com/thread/6830/distributor-refresh

Unless Glenn or Tasb can sell you them.
Glenn https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/memberlist.php
or
Tasb https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/memberlist.php

You may need to make your own Fiber washers. Not the original material, but all I could source.
https://www.amazon.com/I-D-Fiber-Washers-Thickness-Pack/dp/B00FSY1DHM

Good luck
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:01 am    Post subject: Re: Distributor restoration questions Reply with quote

asiab3 wrote:
Since I can't post a blithering block of text like I want to from my phone, I'll be short. Razz


All replies really appreciated, regardless of length Smile

asiab3 wrote:
Generally speaking, the later distributors from VW/Bosch got cheaper as time went on, so there may be less parts, or less variety of parts. Even a 205S made in '76 will probably be slightly different from a 205S made in '82 as a "factory replacement part."


Ack, I'll bear that in mind when comparing distributors of different years.

asiab3 wrote:
The shim quantity and thickness depends on the distributor itself. Lower shaft end play has a set spec, in the single disgust thousandths of an inch. This reduces timin scatter by keeping the distributor drive gear fully seated. If the drive gear is allowed to jump up and down with the distributor shaft, you can get timing scatter. When building an engine, the distributor to drive gear interface is set between .020" and .040". So shims in the wrong area will affect that clearance. You might have to measure down the distributor hole to see where to shim your distributor's lower shaft.


Somehow I suspected it wouldn't be as simple as throwing two fiber washers at it...

If I understand it correctly, the distributor to drive gear interface play spec would translate directly into the distributor's shaft vertical play? In other words, I can just measure at the distributor as I did to make sure the requirements are met, correct?

Also, I'm guessing this spec is not distributor-dependent and is probably found in the Bentley? I'll try to find it.

asiab3 wrote:
The spirals are oil control grooves, I think, like the oil grooves on a T1 crank pulley.


Ah, that actually crossed my mind, but I wasn't sure, thanks!. In that case, I won't get crazy about removing the last minute bit of rust there.

asiab3 wrote:
The main o-ring keeps the splash of oil that enters the distributor's lower hole inside the case or distributor- no leaks allowed!


Where is this main o-ring located, is it part of the distributor itself? As an excuse for stupid questions I'll use the fact that I didn't know anything about distributors until last week Smile

Xevin wrote:
Furgo, love your pictures and details. Applause


Thank you! Glad these can be useful to others too Smile

Tcash wrote:
You may need to make your own Fiber washers. Not the original material, but all I could source.
https://www.amazon.com/I-D-Fiber-Washers-Thickness-Pack/dp/B00FSY1DHM


Thanks, I appreciate you looking for an alternative! While I'll come to it, I'm not yet worried about sourcing them, but to understand where and how they fit first.

I'm aware of the distributor restorers here selling them and I've seen at least one kit online that I could use. I'll post the details once I've found it again Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:47 am    Post subject: Re: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

furgo wrote:


And here is the fully disassembled distributor. Breaker points, condensator and cap are not in the picture. The picture was taken after some preliminary cleaning with parts cleaner, rust removal with a bath of a light solution of citric acid and some elbow grease and wire wool.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Finally, after reading this:

Glenn wrote:
mcdonaldneal wrote:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

That part is NLA. You'll need to source it from another core. [...] [it's] a plastic spacer that fits on the on the top of the mainshaft and then the upper section with the cam goes on next.


I don't think my distributor even has that part, but then I might not be looking at the right place (below the circlip at the top of the main shaft?). If it's disintegrated, I would think it being plastic would leave some remains, but I could not see any.

Was this a part that was on all 021 905 205P / 022 905 205S distributors, or were there variations between the years? What's the actual effect if the part is not there?

Thanks!


Good work! Love the pic of the dismembered distributor!

As far as I remember the mangled plastic ring in the picture was an alternative to the circlip in one of the distributors I had. As someone said, a cheaper alternative Confused . If you have the circlip, I don't think you need it.

The fibre washers should take up most of the axial play. If not, there are some shims in the elusive Bosch repair kit. I don't think it is a disaster to have too much play, but as asiab3 said, you might get timing scatter. My guess is that a clean, lubricated distributor with excess play is better than nothing.

Good luck!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

mcdonaldneal wrote:

Good work! Love the pic of the dismembered distributor!


Well, thank you for showing how it's done!

mcdonaldneal wrote:
As far as I remember the mangled plastic ring in the picture was an alternative to the circlip in one of the distributors I had. As someone said, a cheaper alternative Confused . If you have the circlip, I don't think you need it.


Ah, excellent. I do have the circlip and the washer underneath, glad to see I don't have to worry about the plastic ring. Out of interest, I guess if one would come across a distributor with that plastic ring, it could just simply be replaced with a generic circlip of the right diameter?

And just as a curiosity, when I removed the wool bit that acts as oil reservoir, it revealed a circlip that was not holding the shaft, just resting on top if it, so I didn't even have to undo it. I do not know what might have caused it to come undone, but I'll double-check the fit once I re-assemble the distributor.

mcdonaldneal wrote:
The fibre washers should take up most of the axial play. If not, there are some shims in the elusive Bosch repair kit. I don't think it is a disaster to have too much play, but as asiab3 said, you might get timing scatter. My guess is that a clean, lubricated distributor with excess play is better than nothing.


Perfect. On a related note, I just came across this comment on this thread, which points to axial play not being something to worry much about:

Amskeptic wrote:

Axial play is not only not-a-big-deal but necessary for thermal expansion, the spring between the driveshaft and the distributor makes sure that axial play does not actually occur when installed.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

furgo wrote:
asiab3 wrote:
The main o-ring keeps the splash of oil that enters the distributor's lower hole inside the case or distributor- no leaks allowed!


Where is this main o-ring located, is it part of the distributor itself? As an excuse for stupid questions I'll use the fact that I didn't know anything about distributors until last week Smile


To answer my own question, I found out that the o-ring is fitted externally on the groove at the neck of the distributor body. It's part # 111 905 261 and still available from VW. So far, so good.

However, and coming back to the question of what this thing is, my spare distributor has got a metallic ring sitting on the space where the rubber o-ring would go. I can't imagine it would stop oil leaks, as it has the same external diameter as the distributor neck.

I'm not sure if the distributor came from a bus, but regardless, it should be the same mounting on all Type 4 engines I guess. Here's the picture of the black metal ring again:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Any ideas of what the purpose of the metal ring is and why it's taking the place of the rubber o-ring?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Distributor restoration questions Reply with quote

furgo wrote:

Tcash wrote:
You may need to make your own Fiber washers. Not the original material, but all I could source.
https://www.amazon.com/I-D-Fiber-Washers-Thickness-Pack/dp/B00FSY1DHM


Thanks, I appreciate you looking for an alternative! While I'll come to it, I'm not yet worried about sourcing them, but to understand where and how they fit first.

I'm aware of the distributor restorers here selling them and I've seen at least one kit online that I could use. I'll post the details once I've found it again Smile

The kit I bought online included one fiber washer that fit the dist. shaft. It would be better to source them individually.

furgo wrote:
Any ideas of what the purpose of the metal ring is and why it's taking the place of the rubber o-ring?

That looks like the rubber seal. It may be as hard as metal. Take a magnet to it.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2051206
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

Tcash wrote:

The kit I bought online included one fiber washer that fit the dist. shaft. It would be better to source them individually.


Indeed, I just found out too. The one I was looking at was the Bosch distributor shaft kit, with part # 1 237 010 007, available here for 15:

https://www.wallothnesch.com/en/repair-kit-12-03-15.html

An alternative source for the kit is BMW, part # 12 11 8 630 239

(Pictures from the threads linked below)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


- There is a good overview and review of the kit on this other forum: https://www.bmw2002faq.com/forums/topic/187441-bosch-distributor-shims-and-washers/?page=2
- And a detailed ID with measurements of each part in the kit here: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=678349

Summary: the kit has two differently-sized fiber washers. If I understand it correctly, just one of them would fit our distributors.

The other items that can be used for these distributors are:

one type of the metal shims for the small shims
two of the felt wicks
the thrust washer and circlip under it.
the o-ring
weight retaining rings

The fiber washer in question is Bosch # 1 230 107 011, with the following dimensions:

kawfee wrote:

ID 12.85 mm
OD 20.49 mm
Thickness .77 mm


I've just found some sources for the fiber washer here in Europe, which might save me the shipping from the US. Tip: this is also sold as Mercedes Benz part # 000 158 02 76

Tcash wrote:
furgo wrote:
Any ideas of what the purpose of the metal ring is and why it's taking the place of the rubber o-ring?

That looks like the rubber seal. It may be as hard as metal. Take a magnet to it.


... and it was indeed rubber, not metal. Other than the fact that it was compressed and hard as a rock, the thing that threw me off was some squashed metal residue stuck on the ring. That made it look as a scratch to a black-painted metal ring.

I simply had to cut it to extract it:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


In any case, o-ring mystery solved, and I've found a local source for genuine o-rings.

wcfvw69 wrote:
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2051206


Excellent one source for fiber washers sorted, thanks Bill!

I think other than the axial play spec (there seem to be different opinions) most of the questions have been answered, thanks all!
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

Those are wonderful disassembled pics.

Clean the groove up. It helps for lubrication.

Also, look inside the shaft. If your grooves are that dirty the wick in there is probably clogged/corroded as well. They are only about $1 to replace.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

Yes....as previously noted....you do not want to remlve shims between the drive dog and the body of the distributor because you want the drive dog to stay down against its shim in the case....even though the spring "should" accomplish this.

However...the gap between body and drive dog I find to be excessive on most distributors. It has to have enough tolerance to allow some axial misalignment of the distributor drive dog and the drive pinion....meaning the drive dog needs to be able to float on its cross pin.....a little.

Typically about .010" is as much as you ever want in my experience. Closer to .007-.008"" even if you add a shim or two between the dog and the distributor body is just fine. That allows about .005" when the distributor reaches about 300F.

This greatly reduces timing scatter and wear. Ray
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

If you've got that much axial play you should look over the shaft for radial play. Radial play is even worse for the distributor. The dwell angle given rotation will bounce around even for the same cylinder.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

kawfee wrote:
If you've got that much axial play you should look over the shaft for radial play. Radial play is even worse for the distributor. The dwell angle given rotation will bounce around even for the same cylinder.


I always look for both. However its common to have excessive axial play even with virtually no radial play. Radial is just shaft bushings and shaft wear.
The axial play increases by more and faster due to wear in all the shims and washers.

But.....you can have just a little bit of radial play....still be in spec....and excessive axial play will magnify its effect.

Ray
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

raygreenwood wrote:

But.....you can have just a little bit of radial play....still be in spec....and excessive axial play will magnify its effect.


That's a very good way of putting it.

On the other end, tight is good but you don't want it too tight (not in this instance).
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:34 am    Post subject: Re: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

kawfee wrote:
Those are wonderful disassembled pics.

Clean the groove up. It helps for lubrication.

Also, look inside the shaft. If your grooves are that dirty the wick in there is probably clogged/corroded as well. They are only about $1 to replace.

All parts may be found on my site http://www.vwnos.com/distributor


Thanks. I long finished the restoration of this distributor, and two more Smile One was a spare, and the other I got really cheap as a core. It turned out to be fully restorable, which was great.

I should probably update the thread with the pictures of them all finished. I'll dig them out and post them in the next couple of days.

Regarding the hardware, I found everything I needed (felt wick, fiber washers a plenty, etc). The only thing I could not find were the bigger diameter shims. In one case I reused the existing one, as it still looked good. In one other case I replaced it with a couple of smaller diameter shims, which did come in the kit I posted about.

One thing I had to fabricate for one of the distributors was the fork-type piece of metal that holds the rubber bit of the capacitor in place. It seems some old type capacitors could be mounted without it, as it was an integral tipe of their fastener. New (Beru) capacitors do need that piece, so I just copied it with sheet metal from one of the other distributors I had.

Also, for the new capacitors the rubber bit/buffer leaves quite a big gap open on the case when installed. It defeats the purpose of having a dust cap at all, so I sealed the gap with some Permatex Ultra Black RTV.

Now that I've got some more info on specs and experience with axial play, I'll double check it again and post the results.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:17 am    Post subject: Re: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

furgo wrote:


The only thing I could not find were the bigger diameter shims. In one case I reused the existing one, as it still looked good. In one other case I replaced it with a couple of smaller diameter shims, which did come in the kit I posted about.




Are you referring to these fat boys?

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2113862
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2107354
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furgo
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Joined: September 06, 2016
Posts: 872
Location: Southern Germany
furgo is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:44 am    Post subject: Re: Distributor 022 905 205S restoration questions Reply with quote

These are the ones, thanks!
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'79 Westy, P22 interior, FI 2.0 l Federal, GE engine (hydraulic lifters)
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