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Refreshing a DVDA or SVDA distributor - my photographic tale
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asiab3
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:13 am    Post subject: Refreshing a DVDA or SVDA distributor - my photographic tale Reply with quote

Hi everyone. Earlier this month I found myself looking at some bay porn, and wanting a more "stock" setup in my engine compartment. I have a 1600dp, and a wimpy H31/30 carb from some foreign country that is not Germany. Boo. I ordered a rebushed, rebuilt, and thread-fitted 34/pict3 carb from Tim at Volksbitz, and I thought I should get a distributor to match it, even though my 009 works great, (more on that later.) Since my engine is straight out of a '71 bus, I wanted a '71 bus distributor, especially after hearing how much Busdaddy likes his.

205Q is the name, and hiding is its game. Hiding, that is, in the bottom of a bargain bin at the Pamona swap meet. That, and in no local junkyards, and nowhere near The Samba classifieds.

Without being too verbose, here is what I did to bring it back to life.

I write this so that others may try this on their own dirty distributors sitting in their closets, or for those who are curious how a distributor works. Do not undertake this exploratory surgery unless you are comfortable ruining your distributor.

Let's get started! Procedure is the same for SVDA units:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I sucked on each nipple and shoved my tongue into the hole, and the vacuum can held vacuum for a long time. Wink This is a good sign for the vacuum can, as it is not easily replaced for under $200 Sad
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'71 bus only, a good quality German unit!
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Start by removing this clip, it holds the vacuum advance/retard arm onto the top movable plate. This will jump out and spring into neverland if you're not careful. tasb says to cover it with a towel while you do this to save the ring. I didn't think about it because I have a spare box of different sized E-clips… Cool
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Remove these screws on the support arm of the vacuum can. Slide the can off and out of the way. This is the easiest point to test your vacuum can. Suck on it like a milkshake straw, and plug the hole with your tongue. It should hold for a long time, and pop when you pull your tongue off. I suppose you could clean it first…
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


There will be enough small parts to fill this petrie dish, but I realized later that the parts require more organization! This was also going to be my "tools required" picture, based on what I read on a Mustang forum. HA! Boy was I wrong, like when I almost dropped the press onto my foot…
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Remove the cap clips from both sides if you have them, (lucky!) and the points/advance plate will slide out. It may take some coercion, so try not to bend the roller ball cover… 009s and other RPM based units will have one solid plate, not two sandwiched plates with a swivel like this one.
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Comes out like this!
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Once the top plate is off, the fun begins! Here are the weights that rotate out with higher RPM, giving more advance. The springs pull the weights, allowing a smooth centripetal opening and closing of the weights. Mine was yuckier than the picture seems! SgKent mentioned that newer models have EXTREMELY FRAGILE plastic spring retainers, that require a super steady hand to not trash. The parts are NLA, so good luck. These here were metal and a solid part of the upper shaft.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Remove the wick that the PO never oiled. Shame, because you ALWAYS put a drop or two of engine oil on yours with each oil change, right?
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See that 7/8s of a circle? That's a wonderfully nasty clip. Like a circlip but with no openings and no way to get a tool in to remove it. It too will fly into neverland, so with two hands on the picks, one hand holding the distributor body, and one hand holding a spring-cathing rag………
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Remove it. There is a washer underneath that, (not pictured,) so remove that too. My 009 had a screw instead of the clip. If you have a screw then it's your lucky day!
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I used three of four dentists-like picks before I found the combo of two that worked.

Now back to the weights…

TAKE A PICTURE of your weights and springs. Then when you take them down, mark them and place them specially so they remain correctly oriented. I don't know if this is actually important, but another, less knowledgeable auto forum said to do this. So I did.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


So the springs are marked accordingly? Your posts might have the same E-clips as the advance arm, just like my 009 shown later. Either way, once the springs are out, the top shaft can come out now. Ewww!!
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Again, marked. (On the paper I set them on after the picture, I promise…)
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This uncovers the weights.
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The weights are removed and placed/marked with the springs. This uncovers the weight plate, (scientific term,) and the two fiber washers that the weights rotate on, as well as the center washer that keeps the weights from hitting the shaft.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


You'll lear really quick how NLA these washers are if you break one… Allegedly superiorwasher.com has some of the small ones that fit my micrometer readings…… The center one has to be taken from a donor unit.
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By now you'll have nothing left that you can remove from the inside, so get your picks ready again.
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Remove this spring but try not to bend it.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This pin under the spring is what holds the shaft to the end piece with the offset teeth.
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The pin on several websites is a roll pin, but on both my distributors it is a solid metal dowel. Holding it in a vice was no use, as the end piece is smaller than the body and it constantly spun. tasb, who knows far more than I, says that all VW distributors have a solid pin.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Somehow it has to be pressed out. I tried a 10-ton shop press and couldn't get it aligned enough. Eventually I had my dad hit it with a few hammers on a flat-nosed chisel. I held it steady and kept the shaft from turning from the inside. This did the trick, but I forgot to take a picture.

tasb wrote:
I lay the drive dog on the edge of my vice thusly keeping it from rolling around,and whack it with a BFH and the pin will come out.


EDIT: Marked the toothed drive dog before you take it out! My rotor ended up points a different direction after the instal. This affects confirming TDC on 1/3 or 2/4 during valve adjustments, and it will make your engine difficult to start when the wires are now 180* off. Ask me how I know Wink

busdaddy wrote:

One thing I didn't see mentioned is marking or noting the orientation of the lower drive dog before you drive the pin out, it goes back on both ways but messes up those who like to have the rotor line up with the mark if you choose the wrong one.


Set the toothed gear aside. Underneath it will be one or more thin metal shims. Keep track of them, as they work with other shims inside the unit to keep axial play within spec. Underneath this shim here is the bushing that holds the main shaft. Lateral play here is death to timing, and quite noisy so I hear. Between the bushing and the metal shims was a fiber washer on my 009, but not my DVDA.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


From there, you can pull out the last bit of the main shaft. Again, keep good photo records of how it all goes back together. Inside will be more thin metal shimming washers, and another fiber washer between the bushing and shims. Also since the last picture, I took some carb cleaner, steel wool, a rag and compressed air to the unit to get rid of the old distributor grease that had flung all over the side walls. You do plan on using Bosch distributor grease when you reassemble the unit, don't you?
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I took my softest wire wheel to the really dirty spots on slow setting. This is after I gently rubbed the unit with steel-wool.
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The wire wheel broke on me (EMPI makes Dremel wheels now??) so I did the rest with a soft polishing wheel and rouge polishing compound.
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It doesn't look as shiny after the polishing compound was cleaned up all the way around the entire outside. It looks like a well-kept old German unit. Just what I was after. I would buy more soft wire wheels if I wanted a super-polished look like the of the aftermarket cans. I was happy to find the new Wolfsburg West hold-down clamp in my closet last week!
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Here is the inside of my spare 009- which I used for parts. Notice that I'm missing one spring. And then note the scoring around the can. Yikes! This would have made quite a racket in the car. Glad I never had to use it. Notice the E-clips holding the weights on, and the plastic 'bumpers' on the right side weight. I assume this alters the curve, but I can only guess that it bumps up the idle advance because it won't let the weights return all the way to the center. EDIT: tasb says this is stock d'oh!
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On vacuum advance/retard units, the rotating point plate assembly must be free to rotate, and the rust on this one didn't help. The plates must be rotated to a certain position so a tooth on one plate will clear a cleat on the other for removal. You can see where I have and haven't cleaned in this photo, and after I got the Dremel out again it really cleaned up nice. This is after steel wool on one side only. I broke the braided wire putting it back together. It's probably best that I replaced it since it was getting thin. A nice condition original one will be better than a poorly soldered one like mine though.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



As they say in Bentley, installation is the reverse of removal*

*Or something like that. You will need to acquire fiber washers because yours WILL be broken Wink

*You will also need to shim the axial play out of unit. There should be about .004" of vertical play in the main shaft. Don't quote me on that number, because I found it on a Mercedes/Bosch forum. It does feel the same with .004 now as it did when I disassembled it, so I think it's a good number. Err on the side of not pinching the bushings, but try not to err at all Smile EDIT: Philbin Rebuilt Products suggests .002.

NOW installation really is reverse of removal. You'll need to get a new roll pin if that's what you have, otherwise oil up the old solid pin if it's straight, and gently press it in. With a hammer if you need to. And because you, dear reader, did such a wonderful job organizing all the parts you took off, assembly should be a snap!

Solder on a new braided wire, replace the points and condenser, lube every moving mechanism with Bosch distributor grease, and you'll be back in business!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Set your dwell, using whatever feeler gauge floats your boat, and cap it off! Don't forget the rotor and dust cap… Mine are still in the mail…
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As of writing: you might see a lack of Bosch distributor grease. Sad This is because mine's in the mail, and I started this project out of boredom. When I got halfway through, I thought, hey these pictures that I'm using to remind me how to reassemble might help other people. I'll be greasing everything up once the grease comes, so if my photos look skimpy on the lube front, that's why Smile I'm also missing one fiber washer, as two were broken from the start, and I gorilla-fisted another one into oblivion when I was reassembling for photos Sad I will update here as soon I get it running.

Remember, this is not a factory manual, and I don't even know if this worked YET. I did inspect every part I could for wear, and found no traces. This is not a substitute for having a qualified profession rebuild your unit, but it beats throwing out an old distributor, or selling it for $5 at the swap when you can sell it for $30 without the tune-up parts.

If you have anything to add, or anything I did wrong, PLEASE let me know!
Otherwise, I hope this has been helpful to anyone looking for help! Very Happy

Disclaimer:
I am not a professional level rebuilder like Glenn and others. I did seek his advice, and he was extremely helpful. That being said, I love the stock-ness of this, but nobody rebuilds vacuum units. I did this to try to bring an old part back to life, and I think it came out well for the price. (Less than $30 after the core and all new tune-up parts, and a nice afternoon in the garage.) The reason of the lackluster rebuild market for aluminum units is the unavailability of parts, not the ability of rebuilders. Bosch/OldVolksHome show a rebuild kit, but it does not contain three of the five correct fiber washers. Glenn suggested I find a donor containing the parts I needed, and since I had a sketchy 009 in the bus, and an even sketchier one on the shelf, I sacrificed it for the greater good.


Thank you to:
Glenn- for clearing so many novice questions of mine.
Busdaddy- for convincing me to get off my but and get a real distributor.
Westfabulous- for constantly reminding me that someone out there has a better attention to detail.
SgKent- for finding a website selling new units in case I botched this one.


Further reading:
http://www.glenn-ring.com/010/index2.html
http://www.allpar.com/fix/electrical/distributors.html
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Last edited by asiab3 on Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:53 pm; edited 4 times in total
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CoastalAirCooledVW
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:55 am    Post subject: Re: Refreshing a DVDA or SVDA distributor - my photographic Reply with quote

asiab3 wrote:


I sucked on each nipple and shoved my tongue into the hole


Laughing I almost died laughing when I read this. Sig line material. Good job on the distributor.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

on the early ones the metal spring retainers allow for the spring to come off. On later models the spring retainers are small pieces of plastic that are slipped onto a thin piece of steel then it is twisted to hold them. With age they are EXTREMELY brittle. If you aren't as careful as a museum curator taking them apart you will trash the distributor. The parts are NLA.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work and great pictures, you'll notice the difference when you finally install it, mmmm......midrange torque Smile
One thing I didn't see mentioned is marking or noting the orientation of the lower drive dog before you drive the pin out, it goes back on both ways but messes up those who like to have the rotor line up with the mark if you choose the wrong one.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is helpful to me as well. Thanks for the time to do this.
And by the way, what is the site that sells the new units?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good write up.

I have a few pointers:

Oil the heck out of the shaft before you install it in the housing.

The orientation of the drive dog is different on some of the later distributors like this one compared to earlier distributors ie: 180 difference.

The 009 you showed only has one advance spring when stock. You can ad a second which dampens the advance.

I've never encountered a stock roll pin holding the drive dog in place, they've all been solid. They are reusable if not beat up too badly. I lay the drive dog on the edge of my vice thusly keeping it from rolling around,and whack it with a BFH and the pin will come out.

On the later units like the 211 Q the points plate rarely just "slides out". Sometimes it must be rotated to clear a cleat that hold the bottom plate in place.

I like to stuff a paper towel around the points cam when I am removing the points cam circlip as they can make deep space orbit if your not careful. I also prefer to remove the distributor shaft and cam together as one unit since it makes it easier to work on them removed from the housing.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CoastalAirCooledVW wrote:
asiab3 wrote:


I sucked on each nipple and shoved my tongue into the hole


Laughing I almost died laughing when I read this. Sig line material. Good job on the distributor.


I put that in there as a reward for people who read the words instead of just looking at all the pretty pictures Wink


SGKent wrote:
on the early ones the metal spring retainers allow for the spring to come off. On later models the spring retainers are small pieces of plastic that are slipped onto a thin piece of steel then it is twisted to hold them. With age they are EXTREMELY brittle. If you aren't as careful as a museum curator taking them apart you will trash the distributor. The parts are NLA.


Is this for 205Qs specifically from the '71? Or for mechanical advance systems in general?


busdaddy wrote:
Nice work and great pictures, you'll notice the difference when you finally install it, mmmm......midrange torque Smile
One thing I didn't see mentioned is marking or noting the orientation of the lower drive dog before you drive the pin out, it goes back on both ways but messes up those who like to have the rotor line up with the mark if you choose the wrong one.


Good point! (no distributor pun intended… Laughing ) I will add that to the original post. I noticed that my rotor/wires were 90* off from my 009. I didn't think about that orientation, but I did have to break out the Muir to remember how to static time it… Embarassed


71whitewesty wrote:
This is helpful to me as well. Thanks for the time to do this.
And by the way, what is the site that sells the new units?


If it helps one person, then the work to do it is totally worthwhile to me!
Aircooled.net sells the genuine Bosch SVDA "034" that most recommend. They are currently out of stock, which lead me to ask for recommendations. As you saw above, busdaddy recommended this one to me. SgKent also pointed out that http://bughaus.com/type234.htm is the same Bosch unit. Aircooled individually inspects and curves the 034s that they sell, which is why I leaned initially toward them. ac.net will also curve it to a H30/31 carb if you have one, because that carb doesn't pull enough vacuum to fully advance the SVDA or DVDA units. Nobody sells new DVDA units as far as I know. Most DVDA cans are shot, as there are twice as many options for leakage, as CoastalAirCooledVW so kindly reminded us Wink


tasb wrote:
Good write up.

I have a few pointers:

Oil the heck out of the shaft before you install it in the housing.

The orientation of the drive dog is different on some of the later distributors like this one compared to earlier distributors ie: 180 difference.

The 009 you showed only has one advance spring when stock. You can ad a second which dampens the advance.

I've never encountered a stock roll pin holding the drive dog in place, they've all been solid. They are reusable if not beat up too badly. I lay the drive dog on the edge of my vice thusly keeping it from rolling around,and whack it with a BFH and the pin will come out.

On the later units like the 211 Q the points plate rarely just "slides out". Sometimes it must be rotated to clear a cleat that hold the bottom plate in place.

I like to stuff a paper towel around the points cam when I am removing the points cam circlip as they can make deep space orbit if your not careful. I also prefer to remove the distributor shaft and cam together as one unit since it makes it easier to work on them removed from the housing.


Thanks so much for the comments!
So oil the shafts instead of using the Bosch grease?

The roll pin comment I got from a Bosch rebuild article on a much newer mustang unit. Maybe a cheapening in quality as Bosch got older? Idea

My points plate slid out because I already had it totally crooked from monkeying with it.

I've added your advice to the original post; thanks again!

Stuart- if you're out there, I hope you see that I do other things with my bus than constant road trips! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice writeup. thanks for all the pics. It helps for reference.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work brother!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and from this I found a 205Q in the classifieds and bought it. Hoping to do the same to mine. Thanks again!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

71whitewesty wrote:
and from this I found a 205Q in the classifieds and bought it. Hoping to do the same to mine. Thanks again!


Wtf how?? I've been Searching every day!! Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:48 am    Post subject: Re: Refreshing a DVDA or SVDA distributor - my photographic Reply with quote

asiab3 wrote:

SgKent- for finding a website selling new units in case I botched this one.
[/i]


Where might this be found?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: Refreshing a DVDA or SVDA distributor - my photographic Reply with quote

Jim Bear wrote:
asiab3 wrote:

SgKent- for finding a website selling new units in case I botched this one.
[/i]


Where might this be found?


I meant to include this originally. Aircooled.net inspects and curved them to your application but they're indefinitely out of stock.
http://bughaus.com/type234.htm
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

asiab3 wrote:
71whitewesty wrote:
and from this I found a 205Q in the classifieds and bought it. Hoping to do the same to mine. Thanks again!


Wtf how?? I've been Searching every day!! Smile


Ha! I know, after you mentioned they were hard to fine.
General Parts search for distributor and I found the only one advertised. We'll see about the condition but the photo didn't look too bad.
I have an appt with Colin at the Maupin campout to put it in and see if we can make it purr even better. Very Happy
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1970's Snow Trac 1600 SP (sold 12/2016)
1968 Tucker sno cat
2017 VW Alltrac
71 tin top stock 1600 DP (project but great runner)
Newest edition, a twin 71 White Westy that I just pulled from a 15 year slumber in a dry eastern WA field. Thread to follow soon....http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=567878&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Refreshing a DVDA or SVDA distributor - my photographic Reply with quote

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SEXY!! Applause

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Westfabulous wrote:
Nice work brother!


x2
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OK, this thread is over. You win.

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1964 1500 S
1964 T34 S Convertible
1974 Westfalia Hardtop Campmobile
1977 Westfalia Camper pop-top
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Tcash
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi nice Tech Tip. Thank you.
One of your pictures did not load. Corrections needed noted in blue
[img]https://www.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/1069644.jpg[/img]
quote
Remove it. There is a washer underneath that, (not pictured,) so remove that too. My 009 had a screw instead of the clip. If you have a screw then it's your lucky day!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Replacing one of the springs with the 009 spring, will not change your total advance but may change your advance curve. Make sure it is the same wire diameter and length.
Good Luck
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asiab3
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tcash wrote:
Hi nice Tech Tip. Thank you.
One of your pictures did not load.


Fixed, thank you!
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Stuartzickefoose
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no i see what you do between camping trips...Razz
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

busdaddy wrote:
Nice work and great pictures, you'll notice the difference when you finally install it, mmmm......midrange torque Smile



WHEEEEWWWWW that was fun! Just got it around the neighborhood for the first time, and it felt like a bat out of hell between 1200 and 2000 RPMs… bye bye flat spot!

I'm having some issues getting more than a few degrees out of the retard side, but all the timing specs for mechanical and vacuum advance line up with the Bentley specs. Retard advance should be something like 11-13*, and right now all my specs line up while I idle at 7*btdc, which would put me at the perfect spec 5*ATDC if the retard works properly. I might cap the retard tomorrow and see if I like it as an SVDA better.…
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