Monday, February 06, 2023

Getting dizzy


My first thought when looking at the distributor, was that it doesn't look like any VW dizzy I've ever seen.Had the kitmakers designed it for ease of manufacture, rather than prototype fidelity? 

Nope. Doing a little digging online, I found photos of early VW engines with a Bosch unit that looks very like the one in the kit. It appears the change to the more common version with the HT leads emerging from the jell-mold shaped top took place sometime in the late 50s, the same time the fuel pump moved to the centre of the engine. This stuff is complicated, and strictly for the VW nerds!

On the model, the unit does it's proper job. Driven by a gear, it distributes electricity to each of the spark plugs (which definitly don't look like the real things) so they flash at the appropriate time as the engine turns over. Power comes, not from the coil, but from a lead plugged into the base. It would be nice if this was routed through the plastic coil, but hey-ho. 

I have, so far, resisted the temptation to unscrew the top from the dizzy to find out what's going on in there. I'd guess the inards won't be that different from the real thing, but since it's supplied ready to use, the designers don't want us poking around in there. That probably won't stop me eventually, but let's get it working first.

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