Electronic Ignition swap on my 1965 VW Bus

January 5, 2016

Until now my 1965 VW Bus has still utilized the original points and condenser system. I enjoy the feel of the old tech so I never really gave it a thought. This Bus has been running points just fine for me for the past 7 years.

Occasionally though you have to change out the points and condenser. The way points work to get spark in your motor is by creating an arc across metal contact points. This causes wear and eventually they need to be replace. Condensers usually will last longer than points, however they too need periodic replacing. Conventional logic says to replace both at the same time.

Last time my points were replaced the condenser was not. A couple months ago the condenser went out on me while proudly giving a friend a cruise in the Bus. I had not experienced that particular issue before and was not able to diagnose it myself, nor did I have the spare set of points/condenser that VWers are supposed to carry.

Once I figured it out I did some research into the Electronic Ignition (EI) systems. They are stupid easy to install. Took me about 15 minutes with my buddy Sam to get it in. EI supposedly will last longer than I will and never needs maintenance. For $96 and 15 minutes I eliminated both the cost of all future points/condensers and the headache of a possible point of failure.

The bus is now running quieter and smoother. Someone told me I should see a gas mileage improvement also (I already get 30mpg!).

After installation I had not run the beast for a couple days. Here is a cold start on a cold day (37F). Fires immediately. No monkeying with things. Running much smoother than with the points also.

This is the Electronic Ignition kit I used http://www.airheadparts.com/vintage-vw-parts/tune-up-parts-electronic-ignition-kits/compufire-electronic-ign-f-009-dist-zvw905065-a

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