Pertronix and Fuel Injection on Type-4s.

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MontanaMark
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Pertronix and Fuel Injection on Type-4s.

Post by MontanaMark » Sat May 02, 2015 12:17 pm

New to the type-4 motors, but been around type-1s forever. We've purchased an 82 Vanagon with the 2.0 liter, fuel injected type-4 motor. It is 100% stock with 140,000 miles on it and runs great with one exception. We've been lucky enough to get hold of three different sets of Bosch points over the last year that have failed, and with reading I've found that they apparently have a manufacturing problem. I'm wanting to change over to an electronic ignition and Pertronix was the first name to come to mind, as they offer inexpensive replacement distributors and conversion kits and have a decent reputation as far as I know.

With a bit of slop in my original distributor, I really wanted to go for a new distributor with the electronic unit already installed. Checking the Pertronix catalog, I saw that they don't offer a replacement distributor for the 80-83 2.0 Liter Air Cooled Fuel Injected Vanagons at all. They do list the conversion kit though. I called several of the internet VW parts suppliers to speak with them about this and they all, each one said the Pertronix SVDA distributor made for the Type-1 will work. :?: At this same time several guys on another group say they will work as well, and still others tell me they've installed the distributors with no problems. (Scratching my head here). I've been wrenching for almost 40-years, it is very hard for me to believe that a distributor made for non-computerized type-1 would work with a fuel injected computer controlled type-4. I know they slide right into place, but the advances, springs, pretty much everything internally is different.

I emailed Pertronix with my concerns and just had to call after I received my response. The folks at Pertronix advised me that they in fact "do not manufacture a distributor for my vehicle". They also advised to "not" try and convert my 82 with their kit either. That is unless I want to dump the fuel injection system for a carb(s). They say that the Pertronix Control Unit will not interface with the fuel injection system on the 80-83 Vanagons. Unsure why it's not noted in their catalog. Am I, and the guys at Pertronix wrong?

I've also spoken with a recommended distributor rebuilder in Oregon. He says that he has never rebuilt and installed the Pertronix in my particular application, but he can, "make it work with my old distributor." Anyone out there with "real actual" experience with installing the Pertonix distributor and/or conversion kit on a 1980-1983 2.0 liter, Air Cooled, Fuel Injected Vanagon that can help out. If not Pertronix, is there another? I'm kind of wanting to believe the manufacture of the parts, but perhaps there is something they're just not aware of.

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Piledriver
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Re: Pertronix and Fuel Injection on Type-4s.

Post by Piledriver » Sat May 02, 2015 12:54 pm

Welcome to the STF!

First: Bosch is not the only company that makes points that fit.
They aren't what they used to be.

LJet/digijet (the latter is a digital version of ljet used on some models, probably later) only need a coil kickback signal, they won't know//can't tell the difference if you install a Prtronix or compufire (I have a preference for the latter)

It is likely you have a bog std late vac+mechanical advance t4 distributor, but you have a relatively rare vehicle, so the companies/shops don't want to commit out of caution and lack of familiarity. I cannot say myself without physically trying it, or at least knowing what the part#s off the distributor were, but the factory EFI won't care.

Also pictures: we like pictures.

The only mods you can do that would cause issues would be something like an MSD CDI box install, and getting a compatible tach signal to the ECU from that sort of setup... (it is possible)

If you can source one, the Hall effect setup form the later early WBX is very nice and has vacuum and mechanical advance.
It is used with an ignition driver--- Electrically same setup used on mid-80s Mk1/2 VWs, uses a better coil and does its own dwell compensation. They were used on Mexican beetles, and used to be available quite reasonably from CBPerformance.

You need the distributor, the cable, and the coil driver module, and of course the later "transistorized" coil.

The late vanagons used a different cap and plug wire setup (and lacked any advance mechanism) , but the Magnecor wires for a late WBX Vanagon work very well on a T4.
(Used to be available as a store brand from either OReillys or Autozone, has been awhile)

The main difference in the cap/plug wires is the later style connections--- the cap will also fit on an earlier distributor, used with the right coil and suitable Bosch coil driver, which can be driven by points as well. (the points will last ~forever used as a logic switch, btw, if you want to go there)
I, for one, regularly embrace our new robot overlords, as I am the guy fixing the robots...

MontanaMark
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Re: Pertronix and Fuel Injection on Type-4s.

Post by MontanaMark » Sat May 02, 2015 5:16 pm

Thanks,

The numbers on the distributor are:

Z42
0231 170 093
022 905 205S

I know others make points for the application. Thing is I live in the sticks of Montana and the nearest parts stores are over an hour away so we have to order pretty much everything. I've called the wrecking yards I've been able to locate and Vanagons are few and far between out here so converting to the hall effect isn't a likely find. I'll try getting hold of Compufire on Monday to see what they say. Just really hate spending money on parts that don't work.

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ps2375
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Re: Pertronix and Fuel Injection on Type-4s.

Post by ps2375 » Sat May 02, 2015 6:52 pm

I have several sets, if not more, of Bosch point that are 10-15yrs old that my father gave me. I can check the number on them and let you have them for a nominal fee. If you want them. But, I have run the pertronix kit in the past on my Rabbit with CIS and it worked great, until the wobble in the dist shaft killed it.

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Piledriver
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Re: Pertronix and Fuel Injection on Type-4s.

Post by Piledriver » Sun May 03, 2015 3:59 am

I'm sure the USPS still delivers? :twisted:
You can probably find a setup on thesamba classifieds or ebay if you wanted.

Based on the part# it looks like it was used on 74 busses and 411s, as well as later Vanagons.

Most likely its common hardware, only subtly different in vac can or advance springs---
The T1/T4 distributors of the same era (and much later) were all built the same.
(The Djet ones were a bit diferent)
Only one way to tell for sure, but as long as you get one made to work with vac advance you should be golden.

Having said that, the aftermarket parts are not as robust as the later factory bits, so using a Compufire to simply trigger the Bosch driver mentioned earlier in the name of reliability (and hotter spark, with the matching coil/cap and plug wires) would not be silly.

I would still carry a spare set o' points in the glove box (or a complete distributor under the rear seats if they have storage) as you probably drive far away from the friendly fast AAA towtruck.
I, for one, regularly embrace our new robot overlords, as I am the guy fixing the robots...

MontanaMark
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Re: Pertronix and Fuel Injection on Type-4s.

Post by MontanaMark » Sun May 03, 2015 10:34 am

Thanks. Funny, I just spoke with the UPS guy, he comes out usually twice a week since we've had Amazon Prime. The wife even orders our coffee though them now, saves us at least one trip to town a week, 50-miles each way.

Todays schedule includes reading up on your suggestions so I can make a few more calls in the morning. Also going to call CB Performance to see if they can do anything for me. Read an article on a build they did a while back on a 2.0, pretty amazing results. Also we'll be heading out on a spare parts fun run though the Spokane area wrecking yards in a few weeks, adding an extra distributor to the list.

New problem developed over the last few days. Replaced the alternator and now I have no power under load. Uphill is not nearly as fun at 15mph in first gear, oh well, at least it keeps us out of trouble.

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Piledriver
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Re: Pertronix and Fuel Injection on Type-4s.

Post by Piledriver » Sun May 03, 2015 1:33 pm

Did you disconnect the coil by chance?

If you accidentally hook up the coil backwards, it will start/idle fine and absolutely fall on its face under load (but will oddly usually still feel smooth, not like its missing, although it is)

The physics behind that involve backwards polarity to the spark plugs, and how easy it is for electrons>spark to jump off the hot center electrode of the plug vs the not-so hot ground strap. Spark blows out if it happens at all under load.

If you have enough coil juice it doesn't matter much (as in the case of some waste spark coils)
I, for one, regularly embrace our new robot overlords, as I am the guy fixing the robots...

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