Timing Your VW Engine – Static Timing Method

Timing Your VW Engine – Static Timing Method

welcome to VW classic fix I’m Ricky and today I’m going to show
you how to time your engine using the static timing method so the first thing you want to do is
take the distributor cap off so that you can see where the rotor is pointing you
want to make sure that the rotor is pointing to cylinder 1 i’ll show you how
to do that in a minute first thing take the two clips off the
side of the distributor cap and pop it out of the way next you want to turn your engine over
using the wheel brace or a socket turn it over clockwise until the rotor is
pointing to the notch in the distributor as you can see here that indicates to
you that it’s pointing to cylinder number one and you’re also checking at
the same time that the notch in the bottom pulley the far left notch is
pointing to the crack in the case that ensures that your at top dead center and
cylinder number one is about fire once you’ve checked those things take the
alligator clip of your test light and hook that up to the negative side of the
coil and just to make sure follow the wire from the distributor up
to the coil that way you know it’s the negative side it should be running from
the condenser up to one side of the coil and simply ground out the other side of
the test light onto the alternator where you can see the light easily then take a
12 millimeter socket and loosen the nut on the distributor clamp this way you can move the distributor
freely in order to time the engine so now just gently move to distribute
around anti clockwise until the light comes on and then you can play with it a
bit bring it back until the light goes off and then turn anti-clockwise again
just until the light comes on that means that the cylinders ready to
fire on cylinder number one at top dead center which means the engine is
technically timed correctly now it may be different for a 009
distributor sometimes you do time in a seven degree marking, those are what
those other notches are on the pulley that you might have noticed but just be
aware of what distributed you’ve got and that you’re actually timing it to the
correct agree on the pulley now let’s start it up see how it runs thanks for watching guys if this video
was any help to you give it a thumbs up and subscribe don’t forget to check out
my pinterest page as well


  1. Hey VW lovers! Thanks for all the great feedback and support
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    Many Thanks,


  2. Great video. Just wondering though shouldn't there be a loop in the distributor vacuum can – carb to stop fuel vapour rotting the vacuum can?

  3. Well presented. No unnecessary background noise, or poorly thought out chat, well lit, clear and concise. It would have been good if you could have explained when setting it to TDC that not all Beetles are timed at TDC. 60-65 Beetles are 10° BTDC and many others are 7.5°BTDC. I had to find that info elsewhere. I know you mentioned different figures at the end, but it was a bit glossed over.

  4. Thanks for a very clean & Clear video, like that you are not talking FAST or over my head.LOL  I Just bought a 1970? VW I checked the vin Engine# and it starts with AE & that shows Type 2 Motor., 1600cc 1970 to 1973. It was starting until I changed the plugs? I gapped them at 0.25 would this be right? I put on a new fuel filter, Cleaned inside the Dis. Cap but now it just turns over and won't start? I followed your video & The belt wheel has the #'s & TDC marked on it. I could NOT get my ground 12v probe to light up? Did I need to have the key on? I had it off, I moved the dis. left & Right but it never lit my light. Now the engine just turns over but won't start. Before I just turned the key and it would start. Do I have the right gap on the plugs? I had to buy 4 NKG Plugs and had to re-gap each one.Thanks for your videosSteve

  5. While trying to set the timing the light actually always stays on no matter how fair i rotate the distributor,
    Im new to this so thanks in advance:p

  6. This was exactly what I was looking for! I got my bus running after sitting for 20 years. The last thing I had to do was set the timing.

  7. Actually, spark occurs when the points break, not make. When the points make, the coil is charging. When they break, the current is released to the spark plug. So the best static timing is right when the light goes out, not on.

  8. Nope you can't accurately time the engine that way……..You need to plug the vac advance line and use a timing light to adjust it properly

  9. This is a good video as I I have a vacuum advance distributor which everyone kept telling me needs to be 7.5 degrees before top dead center which I didn't think was right which this video confirms.

  10. How do you time the engine when you've got an electronic unit in the distributor not points, a timing light method does not work with elec unit?

  11. Thank you soo much man, I've been working on this thing for hours. Should of watched your vid at the beginning.

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