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Cleaning up a "JFU4" 231 176 059 dizzy today.

I removed the vacuum advance mechanism. No amount of sucking on the vacuum advance port seems to move the push-rod which is rigidly extended.

Am I right that sucking on the port should be enough to see a movement in the mechanism? I confirmed the plate it pushes on is freely able to rotate upon the plate beneath it.

I have about 1/16th+ inch play up and down in the shaft, but no side to side play. Is that OK?

Conversely I found that the dizzy in my fjord 2002 has a LOT of side to side play in the shaft.


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if you're quite sure the point plate (the part where the points are attached) will not move back and forth when you push it manually, and when you suck on the vacuum line attaced to the vac advance and feel no resistance, then your vac advance capsule is shot.

I think they're still available from Bosch; you should check with a Bosch stockist to see for sure. Otherwise, you'll have to rob a good one from another dizzy.


'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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You were applying suction to the dist port itself correct? You should be able to create suction you can hold with your tounge after sucking on it.

If you can and nothing moves, check for an object hanging up the rod linkage like a screw dropped in the past.

Don't rely on the hose it may be pluged or leaking.

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Actually I removed the vacuum advance housing from the dizzy and found its control arm is rigidly extended and impossible to move by hand or by suction through a clear vacuum line on either port.

The control arm is pushing against a metal cylinder inside the bracket between the vacuum housing and the dizzy. It is pushing quite hard on that little cylinder all the time, so I think the vacuum unit is hosed.

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Gasp! Choke! They're $168 for a replacement!

Try a VW bug specialist. They use the same dizzy and vac unit, they might have one on the shelf cheaper.


1971 - 2002 RHD VIN 1653940. Agave (stock with Pertronix & 32/36 Weber) - "Cactus"

1972 - 1602 RHD VIN 1554408. Fjord (with 2L motor, 5spd & LSD - Weber 40/40 to come) - "Bluey"

1984 - E30 318i VIN WBAAK320208722176 - stock daily driver

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They use a similar vac advance... the travel and spring

pressure might not be right. I went through this 10 years ago,

when they first started going NLA, and I think we ended up using a

Volvo part (wish I wrote things down...) that was pretty close.

There are 4 things that define a vac unit-

diameter, travel, spring rate and spring preload (assuming that it fits mechanically).

BMW seems to have changed the last 3 for every type of dizzy they made

(which, if you look at the advance curves, makes sense).

I'm about to give up and just megajolt lt all our cars...


"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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