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Marcdeb
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:24 pm    Post subject: O Ghia's Restoration Journey Reply with quote

I am progressing through a complete tune up on my 1971 stock Karmann Ghia with a 1600 period correct engine. It is most likely the original engine but I have no evidence of that yet. Already did points and valve adjustments. Now I'm having trouble finding all the correct information I need to set the timing.

I'm working from the Bently Orange book and the John Muir book.
My engine has 2 vacuum lines from the distributor. Crank shaft pulley has only 2 notches that are close together. no other markings at all unless I don't know what to look for, but I've seen supposedly all the variations of markings in the books except this 2 notch pulley.

It has the stock 34 Pict 3 carb. All vacuum hoses installed. But I am missing both hoses to the air cleaner that bring in warmed air.

Owners manual says to only do timing with strobe light, with engine at normal operating temp, and all vacuum lines connected, and set to 5 degrees ATDC.

For starters, I can't find any information as to which mark is TDC on this pulley. I don't want to assume, but my guess is that TDC is the notch on the right and the left notch is 5 degrees ATDC. Can anyone tell me for sure what the notch positions are?

The car arrived from CA by truck 2 weeks ago. It would not idle on it's own.
It was back firing, no power and I had flames coming out of the exhaust. I was lucky that It made the 1/3 mile trip home from where the truck dropped it off.

The timing was set to approximately 35 degrees BTDC. I set the timing by static method to half way between the two notches. Now it's running much better. Still will not idle on its own when cold though.

Is setting the timing with the static method good enough with this engine.
What is the correct timing if using the static method?
Is my pulley stock?, and if so why doesn't the Muir book show it in the timing tables?

I've tried numerous searches, but have not found any answer.
Thank you,
Marc
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

Marc, the timing for a DVDA distributor is 5° ATDC. A 1971 Ghia would have a 113905205AJ DVDA in it if it's a manual transmission Ghia and it has the correct distributor installed.

You really need to use a timing light to set the idle timing. However, FIRST you really need to determine if the vacuum canister is good on both the retard and advance side. Often times, one side of the vacuum canister or the other are blown and don't hold vacuum. Usually the retard side is blown. Since this is a new to you VW, you have to check that first. This could explain why someone had the timing set so far off. Basically, the retard side of the vacuum canister is plumed into manifold vacuum. When the engine returns to idle, the manifold vacuum retards the timing back to 5° ATDC through the retard side of the vacuum canister. Another way to look at it is if you unplugged a working retard side of the vacuum canister with the timing set to 5° ATDC, the timing will jump typically 11-13° BTDC to 6-8 BTDC.

If the retard side of the vacuum canister is blown but the advance side is good, you'd could set the timing to 7.5 BTDC and run it like an SVDA distributor unless you replace the vacuum canister. You need a hand vacuum pump to determine if the canister is good first. Pump it up to 200MM hg and insure it doesn't leak down on both sides of the canister. If one side of the vacuum canister is blown, it won't hold any vacuum.

As to your pulley identification issue- Do this. Pull the spark plug out of cylinder one. Get a straw or a wooden dowel. Find TDC on #1 with the straw/dowel. When the piston is out at it's furthest travel on the compression stroke. Then note where the marks are on the pulley. Who knows if this engine has the original pulley or not. There were many variations of the timing marks as your finding. Other people will also add marks with files. By putting it on TDC #1, you know for sure.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:27 am    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

Or, for about forty bucks you can buy an aftermarket degreed pulley find TDC then put yours back on and see what’s what.
Then file your own notches to suit your need
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:44 am    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

wcfvw69 wrote:
Marc, the timing for a DVDA distributor is 5° ATDC. A 1971 Ghia would have a 113905205AJ DVDA in it if it's a manual transmission Ghia and it has the correct distributor installed.

You really need to use a timing light to set the idle timing. However, FIRST you really need to determine if the vacuum canister is good on both the retard and advance side. Often times, one side of the vacuum canister or the other are blown and don't hold vacuum. Usually the retard side is blown. Since this is a new to you VW, you have to check that first. This could explain why someone had the timing set so far off. Basically, the retard side of the vacuum canister is plumed into manifold vacuum. When the engine returns to idle, the manifold vacuum retards the timing back to 5° ATDC through the retard side of the vacuum canister. Another way to look at it is if you unplugged a working retard side of the vacuum canister with the timing set to 5° ATDC, the timing will jump typically 11-13° BTDC to 6-8 BTDC.


Thank you Bill,

I will get TDC marked on the pulley right away. Your reply is very helpful. But as a noobe, it brings up questions. More history plays into this.

This car was an auto stick originally. It was modified to a 4 speed long before the PO. Then it sat for 10 yrs during a restoration. The engine was only recently put back in service. The seller modified the vacuum / carb arrangement back to factory original just a few weeks before shipping. The cars new speedometer has only 1 mile on it so it was not properly evaluated.

At this point, I have a lot to learn. I'm a bit overwhelmed. I think I need to keep it simple as I learn and get familiar with the engine. This was supposed to be ready to drive on arrival. It was not my intention to buy a project but I welcome the challenge. I'm having fun and looking forward to the gratification of having done it myself.

I don't have a vacuum pump (I will plan to get one).

Would it make more sense to bypass the vacuum so I can get the car running and drive it before snow arrives? That's my goal. Would it be simpler and easier ( is it even possible ) to basically modify the set up as it would have been on earlier models? I will have all winter to figure out the rest. Is the existing carb and distributor able to run this way? Would this be a preferred set up and be more reliable with less parts that can fail???

If so, how do I proceed? Can I leave all the parts in place and disable the vacuum ports? Would that then make static timing adequate and where would I set it? If I understand correctly Bill, I think this is what you are implying in your reply when you state:

"If the retard side of the vacuum canister is blown but the advance side is good, you'd could set the timing to 7.5 BTDC and run it like an SVDA distributor unless you replace the vacuum canister."

I'm asking for a lot. Sorry. Hope I'm not asking for too much. I appreciate the help.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:08 am    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

Marc,

Do this.

1) Identify which distributor is in the engine. Hopefully it's not the autostick distributor 113905205AH matched to a manual transmission. I would NOT run an autostick distributor with a manual transmission or vs versa. Post the number of the distributor.
2) Yes, if it's a 113905205AJ distributor, you could disable the vacuum canister if it's bad and run it as a mechanical advance only distributor before the snow flies.
2) Post some pictures of this engine so we can look the engine over. A 1971 engine would be dual port but who knows what could have been changed. Looking at engine pictures can tell a lot.

Get a hand vacuum pump with a gauge on it. They are like $30-40 dollars. Test the vacuum canister. At the same time, identify which distributor is in it. Post some pictures of the engine.

You have a couple choices if this distributor is incorrect or have a bad vacuum canister. I would NOT run a mechanical only distributor, especially if this engine is a dual port with a 34-3 carb. You can still find NOS vacuum canisters or simply change over to a Bosch SVDA distributor if you're not a hardcore purist.

Don't be overwhelmed. Yes, there's lots to learn (winter is almost here) but with this site, service manuals and other resources, you can educate yourself rapidly.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:56 am    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

Bill, You are absolutely SO SO Helpful.

I have the 113905205AN Distributor. Here's a few photos of the engine.

I also have 2 spare Distributors that are different & I do not have any idea if they are good or not. Spares are 113905205AH & 043905205.

I've already learned a lot, enough to realize I can do this, but right now the desire to get out on the road for a few miles before snow is looking questionable as I'm in Vermont. Patience can be a horrible thing. Smile

I think I like the idea of simple is better until I get more educated.

Thanks so much for the help.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:35 am    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

Is that also an altitude compensation device on the firewall (or was it a line for the AS?). Either way is it introducing complexity into your timing?

Try a little mouth suction on the line to the canister to see if you get movement on the advance internal to the distributor (with the cap off). That will let you know if the diaphragm has integrity.

Also for static I totally missed the part where you're not supposed to leave the key on too long. Thus I wrenched the pully, contacts closed, let it sit for 5 mins working on stuff, fried a bunch of stuff. If you have traditional points there is a way to use a test light on the #1 off the coil to set static. I also struggled with dwell setting vs. the points gap. Eventually I threw up my hands and got a Compufire point replacement which takes all that away and have never been happier.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:53 am    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

Also - go through your Coil wiring again. The pic shows multiple wires coming off the coil points...unless you have the test plug wired in #1 should only go to the condenser.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:02 am    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

Since I'm on a roll you'll eventually need to put a hose on that crankcase fitting near the oil-fill area (It recycles air back into the air filter). Under that air filter you have an open pipe that goes to the engine tin pipe. They are both open in your picture. In theory that pulls warm air from the engine tin (near the thermostat under the engine) through a fitting called a stovepipe to get to temp faster.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:28 am    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

Marcdeb wrote:


I have the 113905205AN Distributor. Here's a few photos of the engine.

I also have 2 spare Distributors that are different & I do not have any idea if they are good or not. Spares are 113905205AH & 043905205.



That AN distributor is a good one. It's very similar to the 113905205AJ.

Keep that 043905205 distributor. It is good as well. You could probably use the AH one but it wouldn't be as good as the others.

You can static time any of them with points. That's good enough to get the engine started but you really have to dial it in with a light.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

Marcdeb wrote:
Bill, You are absolutely SO SO Helpful.

I have the 113905205AN Distributor. Here's a few photos of the engine.



The 205AN is the same distributor mechanically as the 205AJ they just have a different vacuum advance range. The AJ is around 10-12* and the AN is 8ish. The 205AN will work fine in your application if it's in good shape and the vacuum canister is good.

Marcdeb wrote:


I also have 2 spare Distributors that are different & I do not have any idea if they are good or not. Spares are 113905205AH & 043905205.



The 205AH is what came with that engine when it was an autostick. It's a horrible match to a standard transmission. The 043905205 is better known as the "034" and is a very good SVDA distributor. It's a perfect match for your engine as well if you don't want the complexity of the DVDA or it's vacuum canister is bad. Keep in mind that any original, 50 year old distributor should be disassembled, inspected, cleaned and lubricated. The factory grease is long gone and you're wearing metal on metal. In most cases, the two fiber washers are broken and gone, especially the lower one near the drive dog.

Marcdeb wrote:

I've already learned a lot, enough to realize I can do this, but right now the desire to get out on the road for a few miles before snow is looking questionable as I'm in Vermont. Patience can be a horrible thing. Smile

I think I like the idea of simple is better until I get more educated.

Thanks so much for the help.


Overall, your engine looks great. Very original with the correct German Pierburg fuel pump and the throttle position-er in place. BTW, does the throttle position-er work? I run them on my stock engines because I'm a purist. Plus, they are just cool to see them work. Wink

Let us know how it goes after you test the vacuum canister. Glad to help.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

tjschmidty wrote:
Is that also an altitude compensation device on the firewall (or was it a line for the AS?). Either way is it introducing complexity into your timing?


I searched the gallery for Altitude compensation, yes that is what it appears to be. So I learned another part!! Now my memory retention is not great, so hopefully I'll remember tomorrow! Confused

tjschmidty wrote:
Try a little mouth suction on the line to the canister to see if you get movement on the advance internal to the distributor (with the cap off). That will let you know if the diaphragm has integrity.


I tried the mouth suction. The black hose that attach at each end are so old that they leak terribly. I used a piece of Aquarium tubing to test it and the vacuum moves the distributor well. So I take it the canister seems fine on the advance side. I'll replace the black hose. While I'm at it I should probably replace all of it even from the Throttle positioner as well right? Is there any particular brand or type that I should buy? or just get what ever is available at an auto parts store?

How do I check the retard side? Or is that even the next step?

tjschmidty wrote:
Also for static I totally missed the part where you're not supposed to leave the key on too long.


Wow, what a downer!! Tthat's good to know!! I don't need to introduce more problems. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

tjschmidty wrote:
Also - go through your Coil wiring again. The pic shows multiple wires coming off the coil points...unless you have the test plug wired in #1 should only go to the condenser,


My Dash has extra gauges installed. You'll notice that I have 5 guages, not 3. the dash actually is from a 1962. The standard speedometer, Tach, Oil Temp, Oil Pressure, and Gas. All VDO. Long story about this.

I suspect the extra wire on the coil might be for the Oil Pressure?? Would that make sense? It's a really pretty Dash. Now if only the outside restoration looked as good as that Dash!

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

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

tjschmidty wrote:
Since I'm on a roll you'll eventually need to put a hose on that crankcase fitting near the oil-fill area (It recycles air back into the air filter). Under that air filter you have an open pipe that goes to the engine tin pipe. They are both open in your picture. In theory that pulls warm air from the engine tin (near the thermostat under the engine) through a fitting called a stovepipe to get to temp faster.


Yes, I need to get on that as well. These are just a few of the items that the seller neglected to provide and did not advise me of.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

wcfvw69 wrote:
The 205AN is the same distributor mechanically as the 205AJ they just have a different vacuum advance range. The AJ is around 10-12* and the AN is 8ish. The 205AN will work fine in your application if it's in good shape and the vacuum canister is good.


Is the 205AN correct for a 1971?


[quote="wcfvw69"Keep in mind that any original, 50 year old distributor should be disassembled, inspected, cleaned and lubricated. The factory grease is long gone and you're wearing metal on metal. In most cases, the two fiber washers are broken and gone, especially the lower one near the drive dog.[/quote]

Thank you. I will plan to rebuild the distributor, fuel pump, and carb during the winter. Thanks so much for that advice.


wcfvw69 wrote:
Overall, your engine looks great. Very original with the correct German Pierburg fuel pump and the throttle position-er in place. BTW, does the throttle position-er work? I run them on my stock engines because I'm a purist. Plus, they are just cool to see them work. Wink


As I posted a bit ago, I tried mouth suction on the advance side and it seems to be working but the hoses are dry and hard and leak terrible. I need to replace them. I am going to get a hand vacuum pump asap.

The fuel pump has a very small leak somewhere. Just enough to leave the base slightly wet but not enough to drip anywhere. It will get a good overhaul this winter.

Should I bypass the altitude compensation device for now? Until I get everything else worked out? If so, do I just disconnect the hose to the intake and plug both?
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

Marcdeb wrote:
tjschmidty wrote:
Also - go through your Coil wiring again. The pic shows multiple wires coming off the coil points...unless you have the test plug wired in #1 should only go to the condenser,


My Dash has extra gauges installed. You'll notice that I have 5 guages, not 3. the dash actually is from a 1962. The standard speedometer, Tach, Oil Temp, Oil Pressure, and Gas. All VDO. Long story about this.

I suspect the extra wire on the coil might be for the Oil Pressure?? Would that make sense? It's a really pretty Dash. Now if only the outside restoration looked as good as that Dash!

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

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


Very nice dash!
The oil pressure gauge gets its signal from the dual pole accessory sender that is in place of the original sender. (Big round thing with blue wires going to it) The wire to coil, probably tach.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

Marcdeb wrote:
tjschmidty wrote:
Also - go through your Coil wiring again. The pic shows multiple wires coming off the coil points...unless you have the test plug wired in #1 should only go to the condenser,


My Dash has extra gauges installed. You'll notice that I have 5 guages, not 3. the dash actually is from a 1962. The standard speedometer, Tach, Oil Temp, Oil Pressure, and Gas. All VDO. Long story about this.

I suspect the extra wire on the coil might be for the Oil Pressure?? Would that make sense? It's a really pretty Dash. Now if only the outside restoration looked as good as that Dash!

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

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


Very nice dash!
The oil pressure gauge gets its signal from the dual pole accessory sender that is in place of the original sender. (Big round thing with blue wires going to it) The wire to coil, probably tach.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

Marcdeb wrote:
wcfvw69 wrote:
The 205AN is the same distributor mechanically as the 205AJ they just have a different vacuum advance range. The AJ is around 10-12* and the AN is 8ish. The 205AN will work fine in your application if it's in good shape and the vacuum canister is good.


Is the 205AN correct for a 1971?


[quote="wcfvw69"Keep in mind that any original, 50 year old distributor should be disassembled, inspected, cleaned and lubricated. The factory grease is long gone and you're wearing metal on metal. In most cases, the two fiber washers are broken and gone, especially the lower one near the drive dog.


Thank you. I will plan to rebuild the distributor, fuel pump, and carb during the winter. Thanks so much for that advice.


wcfvw69 wrote:
Overall, your engine looks great. Very original with the correct German Pierburg fuel pump and the throttle position-er in place. BTW, does the throttle position-er work? I run them on my stock engines because I'm a purist. Plus, they are just cool to see them work. Wink


As I posted a bit ago, I tried mouth suction on the advance side and it seems to be working but the hoses are dry and hard and leak terrible. I need to replace them. I am going to get a hand vacuum pump asap.

The fuel pump has a very small leak somewhere. Just enough to leave the base slightly wet but not enough to drip anywhere. It will get a good overhaul this winter.

Should I bypass the altitude compensation device for now? Until I get everything else worked out? If so, do I just disconnect the hose to the intake and plug both?[/quote]

The 205AN was for 1972 and 1973 manual transmission bugs/Ghias. The 205AJ was for 1971.

The mouth suction test will show you the vacuum can will hold some vacuum and you can see if the distributor pivot plate moves. Only a hand vacuum pump will tell you if the vacuum canister leaks or not. I won't use any vacuum canister that leaks, even a tiny amount. That leak demonstrates it's on the cusp of complete failure. You hook up the hand vacuum pump to the back side tube of the vacuum canister and pump it up to check it. It should also not leak. If it won't hold any vacuum, the diaphragm is blown.

Wolfsburg West sells all the correct metric diameter German braided vacuum and fuel lines. I'd replace the all the fuel hoses and vacuum hoses. Do this to the throttle position-er and altitude position-er. Then, can you test the altitude/throttle position-er to see if it works. There's plenty of threads that show you how to test/adjust it. It's also covered in the service manual.

Yes, rebuild that original fuel pump vs. replacing it with a much lower quality "new" fuel pump.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote


Link


I meant to share this in my other post. This one piece throttle positioner and altitude corrector was used on 1968-1970 VW's. I restored this one on my 69 bug. The video shows it working correctly.

When I've taken this bug to local VW shows, so many people ask "what is that thing on the carb". Laughing So many of these early smog devices were pitched in the dumpster after their VW didn't need to pass smog any longer. Old time VW owners or mechanics know what they are and smile when they see it in place, hooked up and working.

Most of my VW friends have functioning throttle positioners on their stock engines as well.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:08 am    Post subject: Re: Timing question Reply with quote

Marcdeb wrote:

The fuel pump has a very small leak somewhere. Just enough to leave the base slightly wet but not enough to drip anywhere. It will get a good overhaul this winter.


I'd bet the leak on that Pierburg is from the top square plate. You can see that it is bowed up in the middle between bolts. That happens when someone overtightens it. Mine was the same way, and I read somewhere in these forums that you can use a couple of adjustable wrenches to gently "form" the ears back up so that the bottom of the plate is flat. I was a little scared to try it, thinking for sure the ears would just snap off. But, surprisingly, the plate turned out to be pretty soft and malleable. Cured my leak, after a rebuild did not.
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