Bosch Distributors for VW Motors
Cast iron mechanical Bosch distributors for early VW bug and other motors. Distributors are rebuilt to factory performance or can be modified for better engine matching. CFI also sells restored original Bosch 010, 019, and 009 distributors for Volkswagens without a core charge.
Bosch 019 VW Screamer distributors with hammer-blue finish
VW Centrifugal Advance Distributors
There is a seemingly endless number of distributors fitted to Volkswagen bugs, cars, and trucks throughout their course of production. These fall under categories of all-mechanical (centrifugal advance), all-vacuum, and a combination of mechanical-vacuum. A centrifugal advance distributor can be used with any engine regardless of vacuum provisions. The most popular centrifugal advance distributors are those used in VW transporters of the late 1950s and 1960s. Since then, these distributors have proven as ideal for stock bug street use or for 'hot' performance in a modified VW motor. The three best (and most popular) are the Bosch 0 231 129 019 (aka the 019), the 0 231 129 010 (aka the 010), and the 0 231 178 009 (aka the 009).
The Bosch 019
The 019 all-mechanical distributor was used in VW truck or transporter motors up until 1959. These units start advancing at about 600 RPM at the distributor (1200 RPM at the crank) and are all-in at with advance at about 16°at 1800 RPM (3600 RPM at the crank), as seen below. These distributors were normally painted standard black. They were also sold as part of the 'Screamer' kit, painted a hammer finish blue and supplied with a hot high-performance coil wrapped in a chrome sleeve. CFI stocks original Bosch 019 distributors restored with black or Screamer blue finish.
Bosch 019 distributor in black (top) Screamer blue (bottom)
VW Distributor Advance Curves
The 010 all-mechanical distributor was used in VW truck or transporter motors after 1959. These distributors start advancing at about 600 RPM at the distributor (1200 RPM at the crank) and are all-in at with advance at about 22°at 1300 RPM (2600 RPM at the crank). These have been used in racing or for spirited driving because of the earlier and greater advance as compared to the 019, which are better suited for normal driving. CFI stocks and sells original restored Bosch 010 distributors.
Bosch 010 distributor from 1960 and beyond
The 009 Distributor
New mechanical distributors with ‘hot’ advance curves are available from many sources. These are usually referred to as 009 distributors and are loosely based on original 019/010 Bosch cast iron distributors made for VW industrial motors and the famous blue 019 Screamers popular with bug enthusiasts since the sixties. Older cast iron distributors were replaced with the aluminum body 009 (the full original part number was 0231 178 009) , which were made in Brazil by Bosch for a time and now are probably all made in Asia (although some claim to be Brazilian, for what it’s worth). These distributors are really quite a bargain, sold with a condenser, rotor, points, and cap. Aside from some ‘you get what you pay for’ differences in manufacturing quality (where it is tough to match the quality of the early Bosch precision instruments), the advance mechanism of the 009 differs in several ways from original cast iron types. They use linear spring tension alone to counter the outward motion of advance weights, compared to the tension plus spring flexure of older mechanisms. The result is a linear timing increase versus the more curved transition of an original. For a more complete description of the advance mechanism of the Bosch distributors for Porsches, see the TechTips article on Distributors and Springs. These replacement distributors use a single stiff spring rather than two - but the advance plate does allow for another. The parts and inner workings are shown below. Also see the TechTips article on Modifying an 009 Distributor for use in a higher performance motor.
A aluminum body 009 distributor and advancing mechanism