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Ignition Timing and Advance

It is a major component of the Ignition System. Note that a related topic, on Points Setting also covers some of this material. Ultimately these sections may need to be merged.

Definition

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  • Its technical name & common name(s)
  • part # - start year & end year
  • which area it belongs to - engine, transmission, body, injection etc, link back to the relevant section

Function

Describe, in general terms the function of this component. Meaning what is it there for and what role it plays. Describe how it works, the inside mechanism. Use diagrams to explain.

Maintenance

Describe common maintenance procedures, and common faults that may occur. Describe how these may be diagnosed and resolved. Again, include diagrams, photographs and explanations. Where possible, include measures, tolerances, weights etc.

  • Symptoms when it faults
  • How to test if it is faulty - what tools to use
  • How to fix / change

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Does anyone know the basic distributor point setting, Dwell angle, and idle speed for a 230 SL engine (127.981)? What is the reference you are using?

The point setting is not published anywhere, that I know of. However, you can start with about 0.018 inch and give it a try from there. Dwell angle is the preferred method of setting the points. I use a digital meter that also serves as a digital voltmeter, ohmmeter, etc. The dwell angle as I remember is 38 to 42 degrees.

Will Samples says: I have a Glenn's service book dated 1966. It gives the following:

 point gap: .012-.016"
 timing: 30 degrees @ 3000
 compression: 142-156 psi
 idle speed in neutral: 700-800

No dwell figures are given for the 230 SL. But, for every other 6 cylinder with identical point gap the dwell is listed as 38 degrees. There are 7 other 6 cyl MB that all say this. Hope this helps. Also, don't forget to disconnect the vacuum line to the distributor before setting timing.

I have three manuals, a MB-factory, a Haynes and a Chilton, they all list the timing at 8 ATDC, which puzzled me, but I figured all three couldn't be wrong ... but they must be. Based on your feedback I will reset to 8 BTDC where it was when I bought the car. I did a check at about 2500 RPM (I don't feel right free revving an engine beyond that) and it was near the 30 BTDC mark. I did notice that the timing marked 'jumped' every once in a while, what might that mean?

Will: I have my ideas on why the timing marks jump: weak advance springs inside the distributor, worn distributor shaft bushings, engine miss due to plug or injector or valve train. Anyone with better ideas or know for sure? I also do not like to rev an engine too high without a load. I suggest you have the timing light in use while you do the reving. That way you can see when the timing marks stop advancing, regardless of the engine rpm. The important thing here is to have the advance counterweights inside the distributor fully extended. Once that is done, the timing marks on the crankshaft stop advancing and you can now set the distributor.

The biggest culprit is the point system. Even with solid distributor bushing/shaft. Also, it is common for the advance plate to wear where the ball bearing sits (makes an uneven groove). The answer: Point conversion. Preferably optical.

Frank: earlier cars are generally timed WITHOUT vacuum to the distributor, but the 70/71 USA 280 SL is supposed to be timed at 8 deg. ATDC at 800 rpm WITH vacuum. The distributor vacuum on these cars gets switched from retard to advance (little known fact that most earlier 113s have vacuum retard); so if you set it at 8 deg. BTDC with the vacuum connected, you are likely to have too much advance when it switches to advance, which can result in severe engine damage. My advice: when installing a distributor on the 70/71 280 SL, set timing to 10 deg BTDC without vacuum; this should result in a setting of 8 deg ATDC at 800 RPM with vacuum. Rev engine to 3000 rpm (with vacuum) and adjust to 30 deg. BTDC. These values come from the 1972 Technical Data Booklet, with exception that it gives a range of 25-30 deg. for the 3000 rpm value. Exhaust gas value for 70/71 USA 280SL is 1.5 - 3.5 % CO at idle speed with engine warmed up.

I was told that having my ignition on for the radio but not running the engine burns the points. The mechanic has been wrong before, is he right this time?

Good chance he could be right. If the points are closed then there is a contact there that generates heat. Also heats your ignition coil and causes premature battery discharge. Without compression involved, which causes the distributor to stop at preferred places around its rotation, you have about a 50/50 chance to have the points closed. Is there not an ignition 'accessory' position for radio playing that does not actually fire off the ignition (you can tell I havent started mine in some time)?

When I turn the key the first notch that produces tunes also produces fuel pump running. The next notch starts the car.

Joe Alexander says: yes, it can burn your points, if your engine stops when your points just happen to be slightly open, arcing and burning across the contacts can occur. It's not likely but possible. You will notice that the ignition coil gets warm when the ignition is left on most of the time. On the later transistorized ignition cars the effects may be different.

The spark plugs on my car are carbon fouled and the vacuum at the distributor hose is only 5. I can tell you the following: all warm up devices working, dry compression check - all cylinders above 137 lb., timing at 6 degrees BTDC, vacuum holds on distributor hose, new hoses and new brake vacuum booster, no leaks at valve pan cover into intake manifold, vacuum comes up to 15 when revving the engine, new gasket on intake manifold. Looking for ideas to vacuum problem.

Will: 137 psi is low compression. If the compression is low, then vacuum will be low. Not much you can do about it except install new pistons or piston rings. You can squirt a few shots of 30wt oil in thru the spark plug hole and redo the compression test. If the compression goes up, the fault is piston rings. If it does not, the fault is valves. Make sure the valves are properly adjusted before the test and hold the throttle fully open while cranking the engine.

I understand you're taking vacuum at the "distributor vacuum line" this is not manifold vacuum, but throttle plate vacuum. It varies with RPM because it's taken at the edge of the throttle plate, so that it can control the distributor advance. There is a small slotted, screw-type plug, at the base of the throttle, and just below the top mounting bolt, that will give you manifold vacuum. This takes a special fitting or a rubber tapered fitting must be held here to get manifold vacuum. My '67 230 SL does not have a plug in the intake manifold itself, for vacuum readings. I added cruise control to my car and in order not to modify any existing parts, I removed the banjo bolt at the rear of the manifold and drilled and tapped this plug, which can easily be replaced. This is the line that goes to the transmission modulator.

We are having an awfully hard time matching our points with what the parts guy has in his computer for my car (1966 230 SL). The # on the distributer is 02311 85009 JFU6 & my engine # is 127010410080. Maby I'm trying to buy points for a 230 when I don't have a 230 engine in it. Can anyone help me! Also I have found out that my car is what they call a "gray market car" as far as the States are concerend.

Although my car is a 230 also, it has a later model distributor (the body is aluminum instead of a darker color).

Dan Caron says: you have the wrong distributor in your car. 230 SL's were never designed for these aluminum distributors. Most 230's have vacuum advance - the aluminum ones are usually vacuum retard. The dwell angle on the cast iron distributor is about 38 degrees but on the aluminum one it's 30 degrees. This distributor is designed to be used on the CD ignition cars from '70 and ' 71. I usually take all that out if it quits working as it is expensive to replace. Works fine when it works - not so fine when it doesn't. There were 3 or 4 different distributors used in the 230 SL, the last one being a vacuum retard system. The 250 and early 280's all use the same one and the late 280 SL's use the aluminum ones. The early vacuum advance distributors used on the 230 SL have a very sharp advance curve, more than any other car they made. This engine actually produces more HP per cc than a 280 SL. These engines need to have the correct timing advance and fuel ratios to work right. Rebuild kits are available for the more adventureous. They have springs, bushings, all the washers and insulating plates. Really everything you need. About $40. Not hard to do, not easy to do. Experience makes it easier but not more fun. These old units are almost bullet proof.

I had a distributor problem on my 280. I bought a new distributor (rebuilt) through Kragen of all places on the Web. That solved my problem. Later when I had more time I looked at the old distributor and found my problem. The distributor shaft is two piece. The upper piece is held to the lower piece by a small circular clip that is locted under a round felt pad under the rotor. This clip had somehow popped off and the distributor shaft could lenghten. This caused the small pins attached to a plate on the upper shaft to ride up and out of the slots in the centrifigal weights. This made the car run very poorly until you got the rpm's up around 3000. I think the rebuilt dist was about $100, plus $50 core charge.

How do I set the ignition timing on this engine? I'm used to doing this on other cars by a strobe light that flashes on a timing mark on the crankshaft pulley, and adjusting the distributor. With the 230 I can't even see down to the bottom of the engine, let alone discover a timing mark!

I haven't done it on this car yet either but, from what I can tell by looking at the pic in the shop manual, you will need to time it from the bottom, looking up! The timing marks are on the vibration dampener aft of the belt pulley(s). The fixed mark (pointer) is on the left side of the block (your passenger side). It looks like you will have to time it by aiming the light horizontally at the marks, as opposed to coming up from the bottom (parallel with the wheel axle). I would suggest marking the correct mark with white chalk/nail polish/white-out to make it easier to see. An alternative method would be to static time it, but that is not as accurate.

The first thing you'll need to do is remove the hood, as you need to do for almost any maintenance on the engine, except Oil changes. Mark the pointer and damper on the proper marked with chalk or white paint, as suggested. (30deg BTC). You'll be able to see the marks by sighting the timing light beside the distributor. (I held the timing light on one side of the distributor and sighted down the other side that I could see the best.) It's a little scarry checking the timing with the engine reved up over 3000 rpm, but that's the most acurate. (Ie: 30deg BTC @ 3000-4500 rpm with the vaccuum line disconnected). The Idle settings shown in the manual, can be used initially, but the over 3000 should be your final check. If these are way off, you may have distributor advance or bushing problems.

Joe Alexander writes: The timing marks and pointer are viewed and aligned from the top driver's side. Use a good light to find the pointer it's buried but visible. This sheetmetal pointer is mounted to the front of the block, just above and to the right of the large crankshaft vibration dampener. Spend some time cleaning the timing scale on the cast iron part of the dampener. Marking some critical points on the scale with white paint is very helpful. Do not be alarmed if you find two complete sets of timing scales in different areas of the same dampener! Sometime in the mid sixties The Factory decided to change the length of the pointer so it would be easier to view from above. The Factory now added a second timing scale to match the new style pointer. So most mid -sixties and early seventies six cylinder Mercedes engines have two sets of timing scales on the dampener. You need to find out which is the correct one to use for your engine. If you have a shop manual you can view and identify the two style pointers which are visibly different. If you cannot determine which scale to use, remove number one spark plug and turn the engine until number one piston is at top dead center. Your engines pointer will be at Zero on the correct scale. As far as turning the engine, you can sneak a 32mm or 1 1/16" socket between the radiator and the front engine pulley and onto the front crankshaft Bolt. A 1/2" drive rachet handle and a short extesion will allow you to turn the engine by hand. If you remove all the spark plugs this will allow the engine to turn easily. Always turn in the correct rotation direction. (clockwise as you stand in front of the car looking rearward!!) Do not forget to remove the socket and ratchet handle when finished! A preliminary static timing can be set with a 12v test light or a meter while turning the engine by hand. Final adjustments should be made with a timing light with engine running at specified rpms. Specifications will vary depending on year, engine version etc. Optimum settings may not be possible with todays fuel octane ratings, however specs should fall in the permissable range. Be sure a new set of ignition points are installed and set with a dwell meter before you go to all this trouble. Newly installed points seat themselves after initial use so you may want to run the car first, reset the points and then perform timing adjustment. Don't forget to lightly grease the cam of the distributor which moves the ignition points. As far as specifications I strongly recomend the Factory "Technical Data" booklet available for less than thirty dollars at the Mercedes Dealers, (a real bargain about four hundred pages of in depth specs on Mercedes cars, every engine variation with specs will be listed.) These booklets do not describe repair procedures as do manuals, but only list data and specifications. Mercedes published one of these booklets for every model year. They cover engine, chassis, transmission, rear end, etc etc. You should be prepared to supply the dealer with the part number for the booklet. A listing of part numbers for available years was provided in the May/June "The Star" magazine page 80, thanks to Dave Todd. Here are some of the years and part numbers still available; (1963 passenger cars #S-2357-000), (1966 passenger cars #S-2358-000), (1969 passenger cars #S-2359-000), (1971 passenger cars #S-2360-000). If you have a factory shop manual you can fish the same data out of it. However these "Data" booklets are more concise and easier to use, a must if you’re a do-it -your-selfer. Distributor rotation can be carried out by loosening the 10mm slide adjustment or loosening the 5mm allen bolt at the distributor mounting base. Caution the distributor is spring-loaded and a downward pressure should be kept on the loose distributor before retightening to prevent disengagement.

Anyone know where to find a set of springs to install the advance weights under the points plate? (230sl) I've checked all the listed parts houses & nothing that deep in the parts breakdown is listed. Would they be a dealer item?

I'm looking for source to rebuild my distributor...mechanical advance seems to be mal functioning. I have 1970 sl with electronic ignition. Mechanical advance is only giving me 10 deg. advance at about 4500 rpm (vacuum disconnected). With distributor cap removed, when I push rotor around by hand (full mechanical advance) as it moves through half way there is a little catch.

According to my service books, one installs the distributor by first positioning the crank 2 degrees before TDC (for my particular distributor), just at the end of the compression stroke for cylinder number one. Then the distributor drive gear is inserted so that when the distributor itself is inserted, the rotor points to the mark on the distributor rim. On my distributor, the rotor would then be just about parallel to the front of the motor, pointing to the left. Mine doesn't do that. It points either about 20 degrees before the mark, or 20 degrees after (there are 9 teeth on the drive gear, so moving it one tooth rotates the rotor 40 degrees). There is quite a bit of play in the rotor, but I'm measuring by pushing it counterclockwise as far as possible. Any idea what's going on?

I'm trying to find an intermittent problem on my 1970 transistorized ignition ever since I fried the battery by overcharging it last week. After that I rinsed out the battery area with baking soda and water to neutralize the acid so there is a chance of water playing some role in this, but seems unlikely to me. The car will either start right up and run cleanly, especially when cold. Suddenly it will stumble and cut-out after only seconds (or, as it did yesterday, after 10 minutes of driving fine- followed by three hours of tinkering and finally pushing it back home up a slight incline). Once the problem occurs it seems to get progressively harder to keep running for more than a few seconds until it finally just cranks and seems to show either no spark or very weak spark. Troubleshooting it today from cold engine condition, it started right up smoothly, then died after 20 seconds. On all subsequent starting attempts (basically still with a cold engine) it starts up and then stumbles very erratically in idle until it dies after several seconds, sometimes it races up to fast idle for a second and then dies. Fuel is plentiful and pressurized. It seems like the ignition is arbitrarily cutting out. I know this could sound like the ballast resistors which I have both checked and replaced, as well as the coil, high-tension ignition lead and more. I also replaced the transistorized ignitions "black box" with another one. Do all of these symptoms together sound familiar to anyone? Otherwise I'm not quite sure where to go next except for checking wiring shorts or breaks.

Tom Hanson: It could be the ignition switching unit going bad. These usually just go out all at once, but who knows.

Tom Hanson (on the later-style 280SL transistorized ignition): your car should have two resistors, a 0.4 ohm and a 0.6 ohm. This should be indicated on your coil. If not, the coil may not be correct. The 70-71 280SL had a "switching unit" (as we call it in the MB parts world), which used a different coil and resistors. I've heard of a blue coil for non-transistor ignition. The later car still used points. You might convert it to a breakerless ignition. You might also put a hot-start relay and harness on it for your problem. One more thing; there is a relatively simple way to see if your switching unit is bad. It takes a bit of guidance to find the right wires and bypass the switching unit. The car will run with the unit bypassed, if the points are good and there are no other obvious ignition problems.

Joe Alexander: the original spark plug wires are solid copper and very rarely go bad. However the screw-on spark plug ends have built in resistance and these do go bad. chances are if you replace the whole set, you will never get another set that looks as good or lasts as long as the originals. I advise that you check each wire and replace the bad ends. Finding original ends may be a challenge, but I am sure some listers have spares. Make sure you still have the original solid copper wire and that it has not been replaced by those troublesome carbon resistance wires. If you do have some damaged plug wires, original solid copper plug wire is still available from some motorcycle and farm tractor sources. I remember JC Whitney used to sell it by the roll. I usually check all my plug wires and ends with an ohmeter during a standard tune-up. Mercedes used several versions of wire ends during the 113 years. Same vintage Mercedes sedans used the same in many instances and are good parts donors! The coil wire was also solid copper originally, and had a screw-on resistance end. I am not sure what the spec. for it is but I can dig it up if needed. I have seen a lot of beautiful original wire sets discarded just because of a defective end! I would change only as last resort if your concerned about original appearance.

It turned out my distributor static setting was just about exactly 20 degrees off, so I figured out a different way to solve the problem. I set the crankshaft at TDC just past compression on cylinder one, removed the head, rotated the crankshaft 360 degrees, and put the head back on. Hence the engine was still at TDC, just past the compression stroke on cylinder one. That caused the distributor drive sprocket to rotate 180 degrees, so I could then remove and reinstall the distributor drive gear 4 teeth (160 degrees) away from where it was. The 180 - 160 gave me the 20 degrees I needed. Of course, I then also had to remove the fuel injector pump, rotate it 180 degrees, and reinstall it. (I first thought I might not have to remove the head, but quickly realized one can't rotate the crankshaft independently of the camshaft with the head on, because the valves hit the pistons). Sorry to be carrying on a conversation with myself on the list in this way, but perhaps my experience may help someone else avoid the same problem.

Same poster: in an earlier note I mentioned that, in trying to install the distributor, I couldn't get the rotor to line up with the mark on the rim of the casing. After more thought, I realize that I must have incorrectly installed the drive sprocket relative to the crankshaft. So now my question is, what is the correct position for that sprocket (the one which drives the distributor and the injection pump)? The distributor drive gear has only 9 teeth, so moving it one tooth changes the rotor position by 40 degrees. The drive sprocket has 40 teeth, or 9 degrees per tooth. This makes it possible to reset the TDC distributor rotor position a degree at a time, if desired. For example, to move the distributor rotor 1 degree clockwise, move the sprocket 9 teeth clockwise relative to the timing chain, then move the distributor drive gear 2 teeth counterclockwise relative to the sprocket (that is, 9 x 9 - 2 x 40 = 1). (I realize the distributor body can itself be rotated a few degrees, but I would like to get the initial rotor position set exactly, with the distributor at the center of its adjustment range). If I'm correct in my figuring, there are 20 possible different positions for this sprocket relative to the crankshaft. Is there a mark on the sprocket that I didn't see, or is there some other way to correctly install it (without checking the distributor rotor each time)? I hope this explanation is clear.

There are so many people who said their's is canted that it's hard to believe that it's a true problem. Perhaps your's was worse than others? Didn't someone take dash-to-wheel measurements? I must be going (company golf league), but I'll take my measurements tonight and post and compare against others.

John Hassel: here are few suggestions. You'll need a voltmeter to do these tests.

  1. Remove the distributor cap.
  2. Check the points and make sure that they are not sticking and have the proper gap.
  3. Crank the engine and make sure that the points open and close properly.
  4. Connect a voltmeter between the coil positive terminal and ground.
  5. "Bump" the starter until the points are closed.
  6. The voltage at the coil positive terminal should be about 8 – 11 volts.
  7. Bump the starter until the points open.
  8. The voltmeter should read about 7 - 9 volts.
  9. Leave the ignition ON with the points open and watch the voltmeter. The voltage should remain constant, no fluctuations. Watch it for a good 3-4 minutes just to make sure that it's OK. If the voltage fluctuates widely or drops completely, the switching unit is the likely cause (however, they rarely fail).
  10. If these tests are good, replace the distributor cap.
  11. Pull out the coil wire from the midle of the distribuitor cap and hold it about 1/2 inch above the port.
  12. Take a small piece of wire and connect it to the positive terminal of the battery.
  13. Briefly, touch the other end of the wire to the positive terminal of the coil. You should see a spark from the coil wire to the distributor port.
  14. Touch the wire several times; you should see a spark each time.
  15. If all of these tests are OK, then the points, coil, ballast resistors and switching unit (the black box under the battery tray) should be good.
  16. Similarly, if these tests are good, there is likely another problem, which could be vacuum advance in the distributor, vacuum problem in general, the fuel injector pump, timing, etc. Basically, the steps above will allow you to eliminate the components in the ignition system itself.

You’re a HERO John. Following your advice I checked the points more closely and found that they were moving very minimally at best. This was odd because the screw was tight. After adjustment there still was no improvement so I checked the voltages and realized that the points were not making electrical contact when closed. I temporarily filed them and the engine ran as cleanly as before. My only conclusion about how this happened to coincide with my over-cooked battery was that the battery acid vapors had filled the engine compartment and condensed on the metal. I think this may have formed an oxide layer on the points very quickly. Anyway, I thank you for helping me get this problem out of the way as I am already busy enough giving my 3.0 CSi a complete paint job.

While setting my timing, I noticed I'm only getting about 20 degrees of advance at 3000 RPM. The spec is for something like 30 degrees. I'm trying to determine if this is a mechanical advance problem or a vacuum retard problem. Should I have full vacuum retard at 3000RPM as well as at idle?

If the distributor has ever been replaced, you might have the 71 style distributor that takes a different setting. I remember something in a parts bulletin about 20 years ago, but I don't exactly remember the settings.

I think you're right. This is a replacement distributor and it only has 20 degrees of advance between idle and 3000 RPM. So I have set the advance according to the book at 30 BTDC @ 3000RPM, and it is idling at 10 degrees BTDC instead of the specified 0-4 degrees ATDC. I'm still puzzled because the vac retard is full on at idle AND 3000 RPM. Shouldn't vac retard disappear when the engine is revved?

Total ignition timing should be like 45 degrees @ 4500 rpm look in any manual in the tune up spec section, that includes static timing as well. Fixing that problem will make a very noticeable improvement in performance.

My distributor is 0.231.185.009, it is a replacement from FastLane. You can determine the amount of mechanical advance you have by disconnecting the vacuum and measuring with a strobe at idle and then at 3000 RPM. Should be a difference of 20 degrees +/- 2 degrees. Similarly, you can determine how much vac retard your distributor has by measuring at idle with and then without vac retard. The timing should retard by 10 degrees when vacuum is applied. Under running conditions, you lose the vacuum momentarily when you step on the gas. This provides an instant 10 degrees of advance, because the 10 degrees of vac retard disappears. I don't know if vacuum should have any effect at 3000 RPM. It does on my car (10 degrees retard), but that may be because the 3 way air valve (emmission control) has been taken out of the loop. The three way air valve was intended to shut off the vacuum at higher RPMs. I am trying to find out the optimum setting for this car at 3000 RPM and at idle. I suspect it is around 2 degrees BTDC at idle, and 30 BTDC at 3000 RPM. The published specs are a compromise due to emissions. Do you know what your advance is at 3000 RPM? Does removing the vacuum change the advance at 3000 RPM?

I contacted Bosch for some info a while ago, and according to them, your distributor JFUR6 0231 185 009 is the one that replaced 0231 116 051. My understanding is that the 051 unit is for a car newer than yours, so you may not have the correct replacement distributor. Some 113 distributors have "vacuum advance", and others have "vacuum retard", and so the vacuum ports are in different positions on the throttle body. Your replacement distributor has to be a match for your car's vacuum port. The 046 was replaced by the 0231-185-050; the 048 was replaced by the 0231-187-001.

Albert says: I have a 230 SL (february 1964). Until one month ago my car had the distributor 0231 185 009 (with vacuum retard - replacement for 0231 116 051), and I finally discovered (thanks for the info Will !) that it was wrong !! The correct distributor for my car (with vacuum advance) is 0231 116 046 or 050 (replaced for 0231 185 007 or 0227 100 911). Now, with the 0231 185 007 and the correct settings... What a difference !!: More power, better engine sound, better gas response... all is better! To combine a "vac. retard" distributor with a "vac. advance" port isn't good! The PO did a very bad replacement. According to my "research", first and second distributor "types" for 230 SL were with vacuum advance (vac. port on top of the throttle body).

Bosch reference numbers:

  1. VJUR 6 BR 49
  2. JFUR6 0231 116 046 or JFUR6 0231 116 050.
  3. JFUR6 0231 116 047.
  4. JFUR6 0231 116 051.

Third and fourth distributor "types" for 230 SL were with vacuum retard (vac. port on the lower part of the throttle body):

Each of the four types has different settings. Replacements (I only know these): 0231 185 007 and 0227 100 911 (with vac. adv.) (New MB Part number: 002 158 35 01) for: 0231 116 046 and 050 (Original MB part number: 000 158 95 01). 0231 185 009 (with vac. retard) for: 0231 116 051. Hope this information will help somebody... it was essential for me!

Cees says: thank you for posting this research Albert, this is the kind of information that is so important to keeping our cars in proper shape (and their owners from becoming discouraged). When I first got my car, it turned out it also had an incorrect-type ignition fitted. I suspect that a situation where this can arise, is when a not-so-informed shop fits a rebuilt/used or new ignition, or perhaps a rebuilt engine that is from a different series than the original. My current engine says "280 SE/SL" on the head, and it's not original and I guess from a sedan or coupe, and when they installed the engine they probably used the original (but for that particular engine incorrect) ignition. I suppose the differences in the ignition types has to do with the different camshafts used in the engines?

Thanks for the info on your distributor Albert. It sounds like it made a big difference in your car. My car is a very late 230, so I think I have the correct retard type distributor/throttle body. But I can't help wondering if I changed both if I would get even better performance with the advance type distributor? Can any of the experts out there point out a fatal flaw in this idea?

Albert says: yes, the change (or correction) made a big improvement, but there was a different situation: due to the wrong match (vac. retard distributor with vac. adv. throttle body) distributor was adjusted too advanced, and during vacuum retard phase (initial run of gas pedal) this was corrected, but at the end of vac.retard phase (with more gas pedal) the engine showed knock problems and it didn`t stimulate me to continue pressing the gas pedal. If you have the correct distributor/throttle body, I don't think you will have better performance with this change (your assembly was in fact an evolution of mine, and camshaft was always the same), and it would cost you a lot of money (around 1000 Euros/Dollars). Anyway it's important to adjust your distributor at correct degrees (each distrib. Has different adjustments). You can check your assembly with these data, according to 230 SL Spare Parts Book (Edition C):

  • UP TO ENGINE 10786 (manual 10/20), and 2990 (auto. 12/22): VACUUM ADVANCE.
    • Distributors (Bosch references): VJUR 6 BR 49, 0231 116 046, 0231 116 050. Note: Bosch 0231 116 046/050 is now replaced by 0231 185 007, 0227 100 911 (MB Ref.: 002 158 35 01)
    • Throttle body (MB Ref.) 000 140 39 53
  • FROM ENGINE 10787 (10/20) and 2991 (12/22): VACUUM RETARD.
    • Distributors (Bosch Ref.): 0231 116 047, 0231 116 051. Note: Bosch 0231 116 051 was replaced by 0231 185 009
    • Throttle body up to engine 14471 and 5668: 000 140 49 53 (replaced by 000 140 55 53 with some pipes and clamps).
    • Throttle body from engine 14472 and 5669: 000 140 55 53

Bernt Damm: the ignition retard distributor will do everything you need. High vacuum at idle assures that it will always return to the 0 position and no vacuum at speed allows the advance plate to move forward by spring pressure. Basically a good system.

Dan Caron: I use W9DC or W7DC plugs. Sometimes I use platinum's in certain cases.

Naj: I use NGK's BP7EVX. I trust the '7' heat value corresponds to the W'7'DC ?

Dan Caron: Possibly, but I never assume that anything matches between two different manufacturers. In some cases low numbers mean hotter. The Bosch recommended plug for almost every older car is W7DC but I often use the W9DC if the engine runs a bit rich. There were actually four different distributors used on a 230SL , the last was the 051. The 250/280SL's used the 051 as well, but the last ones with aluminum housings were the 061 ( I think ). These units have a different dwell angle and also a different set of points which are set to 30 degrees dwell angle. If you set them to the regular 38 degrees that the earlier ones use it won't run properly. Later distributors also have speed control and two vacuum ports. Frankly, I don't like these units all that much. Too much electronics to go bad and eat a hole in your pocket. The 051 is the best all around unit for these cars. Matched with the right coil and wires, it's pretty hard to beat. I've been using W9DC for years with no problems. The 7's are the recommended one's to begin with. Which model do you have? A 280 SL should just drain back into the engine. Hotter plugs do in fact run at higher temperatures. The cylinder temperatures are transferred on to the spark plug and depending on how far the porcelain goes down into the plug will give you hotter or colder. Hotter plugs warm up faster and stay that way so that anything that forms on them is burned off. Plug gap is also important. I've seen manuals that say .024 or lower - don't do that. 032 or even a bit more is where I like them. Make sure you have a good working coil and no resistance in the plug wires. Terminal ends at the plugs only should be 1K ohms and no more.

Joe Alexander: This distributor situation can be complex and confusing. I have some research here but the answer is not clear. I believe Albert has done some research on this also. Anyway looking in my 1975 (OEM) Bosch catalog,it shows for the 113 230-SL; 1963-1964 distributor Bosch #0 231 116 040, next 1964-1966 distributor Bosch #0 231 116 046, next 1966-1967 Bosch #0 231 116 051. The catalog show distributor Bosch #0 231 116 050 as being the replacement unit for all these in 1975. For the 113 250-SL the catalog shows Bosch #0 231 116 051 also. Again the catalog shows that the Bosch #0 231 116 051 as the correct replacement distributor at that time,in 1975. All these distributors were for non-transistorized ignitions. Now the 113 280-SL , 1968-1969 (also non transistorized) is shown as distributor Bosch #0 231 116 051 also. The 113 280-SL 1970 thru 1972 (transistorized ignition) shows distributor Bosch #0 231 116 062. The catalog shows a replacement distributor for this distributor as being Bosch # 0 231 116 067 (which should also transistorized). Now the big question is how many different replacement distributors were offered after 1975 for these cars? I have a 1983 supplier catalog which show a Bosch # 0 231 185 009 as the correct replacement distributor for all the 113 cars at this time!? I am looking at some of these distributors as I write this. The #009 is aluminum and the direction and configuration of the ignition contacts (points) is different. So this may be the root of your problem Dan. One thing is for sure, If you mix up condensors, coils and ignition points , even though they fit, you will have problems. The biggest problem is usually premature failure of the ignition points. My catalog shows all the correct condensors with part numbers and some illustrations and photos for , ignition points , caps rotors and coils for all these distributors except the aluminum #0 231 185 009 unit. It is a large chart in the 1975 Bosch catalog. Maybe I can make a file for the group in the next week or so. If we can find out what the components for the #009 are and any other later replacements we will have a nice complete picture of the situation. Bosch or a Bosch distributor may be more able to answer these questions. Bosch does supply nice tune-up kits for different models, which has the correct condenser an ignition points in one package. I show a Bosch #IK-10 or #IK-17 (I do not know if these are still good numbers). All we need is the current Bosch part numbers. Tom Hanson, maybe you can unscramble this on your end?Some general information; original non transistorized ignitions have ignition points with the forked wire terminal. Transistorized ignitions have ignition points with the spade clip wire terminal. Maybe someone out there can fill in the missing link?

Today I looked at my distributor to confirm that it is an aluminum housing and the rotation is clockwise. The connection to the points is the spade "push on" type. The condenser has part # 1 237 330 246 821 stamped on it. Joe Alexander your information is incredible! As you mention the biggest problem is premature failure of the points. It sounds as if My 250 has the replacement distributor for the transistorized ignition. If the condenser I have is designed for a transistorized system that could account for the short life of the points.

Pete Lesler: it is possible that this is a dealer installed replacement distributor. I have one in my driver 250SL. If so, it takes V-8 points. If you can read the p/n off the top of the cap or the rotor, they too are different. Give me those numbers and I will be able to reference them to the distibutor you have. Joe, if this is the corect part number for a replacement distibutor for all M127-M-130 engines, this must be the one I have in my car. It takes a 000-158-35-02 cap and 000-158-3690 points. I do know the rotor is also slightly different. I am not certain of the p/n for the condensor. The distributor is aluminum and the timing specs are set as they should be on the original 051 distributor. It runs great with this distributor.

Pete Lesler: no, this is the correct replacement distributor, Once you get the correct style V-8 points installed. They should have a black and white striped wire arttached to them, with the correct rotor, cap and condensor, this car should run great. I have the same distibotor on my 250SL and this car never had transistorized ignition. I used the same coil and ballast resitor as supplied originally.

Dan Caron: oh I don't know about that. Not ALL of these cars can use a vacuum retard unit. All of the early cars have vacuum advance so you would have to change the throttle housing to match the distributor if went with a later unit. These aluminum distributors are designed to work with electronic switch gear but will work without. Keep in mind though that they run a different advance curve, different vacuum advance/retard and have different dwell angle. What you think is better really isn't - it's just working better than the old worn out one. Distributor selection and performance is far more important than most would believe and your cars will never run right unless you have this stuff right too. There really isn't a good replacement for the early vacuum advance unit. It has the sharpest advance curve of any distributor I've ever rebuilt and goes almost straight up. It's also one of the hardest to make work properly as the springs have to be set just right or it will advance too soon. The 051 is the one to use on all the older cars with vacuum retard and the 062 on the newer ones. They're available without looking too hard.

Joe Alexander: I am agreement with Dan here. It looks like the #009 maybe a "better than nothing" replacement for the early distributors!? The best option may be to rebuild the early non-transistorized units or convert to breakerless.

Albert: Hi Pete, 0231 185 009 is not the correct replacement distributor for all M127-M130 engines, because it works with vacuum retard, and more than thirteen thousand M127 engines were made to work with vacuum advance (they have different vacuum ports in the throttle bodies): -230 SL up to engine -M127- 10786 (manual) and 2990 (automatic), work with vacuum advance (vac. port on the highest part of the throttle body). Distributors: VJUR 6 BR 49, 0231 116 046, 0231 116 050. Note: 046/050 were replaced by 0231 185 007 (and now also 0227 100 911) -230 SL from engine -M127- 10787 (manual) and 2991 (automatic) work with vacuum retard (vac. port on the lowest part of the throttle body). Distributors: 0231 116 047, 0231 116 051. Note: 051 was replaced by 0231 185 009. To mix a "vac. retard distributor" with a "vac. advance port" is not a good idea!

Tom Hanson: The Bosch number you provided crossreferences to MB # 002-158-38-01, which is the correct replacement distributor for your car. The corresponding points for this distributor are MB # 000-158-39-90 and the condenser is MB # 001-156-54-01.

Joe Alexander: the mystery is why Bosch recommends this same replacement distributor for both transistorized and non-transistorized 113 cars? Are the same condenser and points used in both? How about the vacuume advance or retard and the coil? Mercedes or Bosch must have published a service bulletin on this subject. Anyway I suspect that Tom has the most current part # information and it is most likely for the later transistorized ignitions or possibly for both? Maybe the use of the #009 distributor also involves upgrading the ignition to transistorized !$$$$ :(. It sounds like Pete may have the set-up for the #009 distributor on non-transistorized ignitions. Maybe Pete can relay the part numbers he is using for his points and condenser also. Pete, is your coil still stock?

Joe, if you remember asking me the distributor # in my 71 280SL (VIN: 11304412020320) when we talked about the #1 cylinder position, the # is 0231 185 010. This seems to add one more distributor # to be puzzled by. Tom, could you check what is this 010 distributor? Does it crossreference to any MB part #? Thanks!

Pete Lesler: I cannot find any mention of it anywhere. Could it be a replacement for the later M130 engines with the retarded ignition?

Tom Hanson: this distributor crossreferences to MB # 002-158-39-01. It does fit the 280SL, but there is no footnote in the parts list to tell us it's correct. I'm thinking it may be the later cast-iron type, and the 002-158-38-01 is likely aluminum. Over the years I think some info has been lost as to what is really what. In any event, there's the part number for that Bosch number. The rest remains a mystery. With enough research by the group, we'll collectively solve this matter.

Tom, Thanks for checking! The #010 distributor is aluminum. It came with the 280SL about 3 years ago. I did hear from one mechanic who did a tune up on the car saying " the distributoe is the same with that of a VW (not sure if he said "bug") and he used VW point and condensor for it. I repalced the point and condensor again (point was burned through) with parts ordered from K&K specified for transitorized Ignition.

Pete Lesler: My original 051 distributor had lost its advance mechanism back in the midlle 80's. I ordered a genuine replacement for the dealer. Apparently I received a 009 distributor because it takes different points, those found on a V-8. I believe the MB part number to be 000-158-3690, not the 2990 which will fit the early distributor. It also takes a different cap, MB part number 000-158-3502 which is the one to be used on the later style aluminum distributor housing. I can not get to the car for now as it is in storage, but I believe the rotor did not change from the 051 distibutor and I belive the condensor did not change. I have had this setup in the car since about 1985 or 6. I have only chnged points once and it ruins the stock black coil and the original ballast resistor. The car runs extremely well.

I just had a chance to get those numbers and here is what I found. Rotor: 1234 33 2215 with a R5 under the 2215 then on the other side of the rotor 040 inside an oval then 4.4 across from that. Cap: 1235 522 194 with 983 inside another oval. I hope this helps, the V8 points and condenser sounds unusual, how did you discover that?

I checked my distributor because I think I need new points (I bought the wrong points off a Euro model, didn't know they were different) because the car is badly popping, stumbling and misfiring at low to mid range, mostly under load. The Bosch number is 0 231 116 062 which appears to be the original unit for these cars. I thought those had a vacuum and a retard box. Mine only has one, even though the injection pump is the one solenoid design. Am I confused? Would I gain anything by going to a 051 distributor?

Tom Sargeant: I have that distributor in my 71 280sl. The vacuum box attached to the distributor is a retard box only that is activated by the vacuum. The vacuum is turned on and off by the two way valve which is the bell shaped device mounted to the rear of the battery. This is activated by the RPM relay (one of the two "twin relays near the 2 way valve). When the vacuum is turned off, the retard is remove (and advance occurs) at about 2400 RPM. All of this is due to the emissions controls introduced around 69/70.

Joe: the 062 distributor was the first version "transistorized ignition" distributor on these 113 cars. It was replaced later by the "067" and finnally by the aluminum housing "009". First make sure your transistorized ignition (under the battery) is still hooked-up and not by-passed. The porceline resistors should be marked .4 and .6 ohm resistance. The "062" distributor uses Bosch #1237-013-059 points (spade connector), Bosch #1237-330-181 condensor, Bosch #1234-332-109 rotor, Bosch #1235-522-051 cap, Bosch# 0221-118-005 coil. These numbers are out of a 1975 Bosch catalog and may have been changed!? The earlier 280-SL and 250-SL cars with non-transistorized ignitions used the #051 distributor. No transistor box is under the battery and the ignition is conventional with a hot wire going to the ignition coil after passing through a porceline resistor which dropes the voltage down to around 8.5 volts. The points (forked wire terminal) are Bosch# 1237-013-027, the condensor is Bosch# 1237-330-067, the rotor Bosch# 1234-332-088, the cap Bosch #1235-522-051 and the coil Bosch #0221-102-036. Mixing transistorized and non-transistorized componants can drastically shorten the life of the ignition points.

Hello Joe, you say that the 250SL ignition is "conventional with a hot wire going to the ignition coil after passing through a porcelain resistor which drops the voltage down to around 8.5 volts". I read an article about ignition systems from Crane engineering (it was about 1969 280SLs), which said that all those old systems used the KETTERING SYSTEM which has the resistor BY-PASSED during the START UP but ON_LINE when the motor is running. I checked my 250sl and found only one wire on each resistor terminal indicating that my system is as YOU describe…" passing through a porcelain resistor" My questions: on the 250SL, is the resistor in series ALL THE TIME including during START UP? If yes, does the reduced voltage make the car harder to start? What value resistor should the 250SL have? Can the wiring be changed around to BY-PASS the resistor on START-UP and back ON-LINE for normal running? Another question: with modifications to the 051 distributors' wiring (additional correct value resistors, new coil, condenser maybe), can an MB electronic ignition unit be fitted?

Joe: in responce to your questions; You are correct your 250-SL ignition does not have the bypass for starting. This came along during the 280-SL series. A larger more powerful starter was used in these 280-SLs. This starter also had a second small wire terminal on the starter solenoid. The ignition resistor bypass circuit was switched through this terminal. Yes the resistor on your ignition remains in the circuit, during starting on your 250-SL unlike the latter 280-SL's. If your conventional ignition is correct and in good order, the points should last 10,000 to 15,000 miles anyway. According to my technical data booklet these are the specs for; " Series Resistors for Normal Coil Ignition"; Bosch coil #0221-102-006 or #0221-102-033 (ignition coils with yellow stickers) require 0.85 to 0.95 ohm resistors. Also Bosch coils coils #0221-102-071 or #0221-119-011 (coils with red sticker)require 1.8 ohm resitor (red). Again these are specs for NON-TRANSISTORIZED ignitions. A resistor bypass circuit could be easily hooked up to a early car by using the later starter and running a wire through the bypass terminal on the solenoid. It's not necessary however if everything is in good working order. I am sure you probably can hook up a later transistor ignition. This may not be practical. The factory transistor box is expensive and you probably should install the correct distributor for this ignition, which would also be costly. The aftermarket breakerless ignitions (Crane and Petronix?) as discussed on this list seem to be worth looking into as an alternative.

Thanks for the reply and the part numbers. I make an entry in a 250SL PART NUMBERS database for my future reference. What is the difference between the 2 different coloured coil types and the 2 MB numbered coils for each type? The reason I asked about the MB transistor ignition was that I saw one auctioned on eBay for about $33.00. A list member sold it as a working unit. Also I wondered if the reduced voltage would reduce the starting ability of the car... apparently not! I have in mind to fit a Pertronix system in the future. One limiting factor is that here, the Pertronix unit is quoted at $320. At the moment my car’s ignition system is working properly.

Strongly recommend an aftermarket pointless ignition system. With it installed you can eliminate a lot of problems with the careful balance of resistors and coil types, etc. Put one on mine last year after many people recommended it and it is perfect.

According to the books; for non-transistorized ignitions, Bosch coil # 0221-102-006 and #0221-102-033 (with the "yellow sticker") have 1.9-2.1 ohm internal resistance built into the coil and required use of a 0.85-0.95 ohm porceline series resistor (Beru or Bosch). Also non-transistorized ignition coils; Bosch #0221-102-071 and Bosch #0221-119-011 (with "red sticker"), have 1.2-1.6 ohm internal resistance built into these coils and require use of a 1.8 ohm porceline series resistor (red fastening clip). The important information here is that there are several different set-ups for the non-transistorized ignitions. Components for these set-ups must be matched correctly also! As discussed in previous posts, the TRANSISTORIZED, ignitions used a different set-up from those above. Maybe we can organize all this information for the transistorized and non-transistorized ingnitions into a nice chart for everyone. This seems to be an important area in need clarity.

Tom Sargeant: the vacuum line should connect to the two way valve in a properly functioning emissions control system. That distributor has an advance curve that requires the retarded ignition during initial idle and partial acceleration for optimal performance. Without the vacuum hose hooked up and the related emissions relays functional, you will likely be in a state of perpetual advanced timing. This means you either have a fast idle (15 or better degrees of advance at idle to achieve 30+ degrees advance at speed), or if the distributor timing is adjusted to have a "normal idle", your advance range is likely no more than 15 degrees. This means that at mid and high range speeds, you are only 15-20 degrees advanced, vs the optimal advance of 30-35 degrees at higher rpms. This means poor combustion, a rich running condition, poor mileage and generally less than optimal performance-both on acceleration and at speed. Joe, since you have been active on this posted topic, pls check me where I may have technically mis quoted. I have now exhausted my knowledge in this area, but if you elect to bypass the emissions system, I think you can revert to an earlier distributor that is based on vacuum advance and not retard and improve your performance.

I just realized that the third vacuum hose that I was talking about was broken in two and it leads to the rear, trunk mounted expansion tank. I guess there is no performance issue here, mostly emotions, but I will reconnect it now that I know where it goes. Is there an easy way to check that my vacuum switch and all those speed switches work on my 1970 US Model? I'm going to check timing today after I put in new points today. The BBB is a little confusing regarding the ignition timing. They refer to a "starting speed" (idle= 800rpm?) and also, which of the two vacuum lines do I disconnect to check the values on page 00-0/3 with and without vacuum control?

The BBB describes how to check the relays but what I did was put a timing light on the crankshaft pulley and see when the vacuum retard cuts out. If you are at 800 rpm idle and your advance is set at about TDC (4 degrees after I think is spec), you should see advance progress to about 15-20 degrees BTDC through 2300 rpm. At 2400 RPM, you should see a sudden advance of 10-15 degrees. This is because the RPM relay is shutting off the vacuum at the 2 way valve, which eliminates the retard (which means allowing for more advance). Don't recall the vacuum hose connections. IF this happens, your RPM relay and 2 way valve is working correctly.

I'm sorry to have to ask this question, but I searched the archives and am still looking for the correct points gap for a 1970 280Sl transistorized ignition. Is it 0.3 as stated in the Haynes manual or 0.4mm as I got from the German Sl Club Pagoda. Is this points gap adjustment accurate enough as it sounds like the standard MB procedure in the BBB is quite difficult and requires special equipment.

I have a 1970, US version and adjust it to between 0.3 and 0.4mm. I don't recall offhand what the exact measurement is for the feeler gauge that I used. The car runs well with the setting where it is now. I found that if the point gap is insufficient (below 0.3mm), then the car will sputter when I apply power and won't accelerate properly. I have been toying with the idea of going to a breakerless ignition, but I am a stickler for originality and I do not want a separate box.

If you want to avoid the external ignitor box, you could use a Pertronix ignitor that all fits within the distributor. I have used this set up with great success. http://www.pertronix.com

Pete Lesler: my TDM states a range of .03 to .04. A better measurement is to use the dwell angle of 38 degrees +3 or -1 degree.

I checked the numbers for my 250SLs' coil it is: 0 221 102 036. The resistor number is 4718 and now that it is clean, I see it is reddish, brownish, orange-ish in colour. Do you know what resistance it is? The distributor is the 051 cast iron unit. The numbers certainly don't match any that you quoted. Given that my car is number 114 of the 250 sl's, is it possible that my car is configured the same as a 230SL? If it is, is it a correct coil/resistor combination?

Joe: yes, the 051 was the last distributor used in the 230-SL during production, then used in the 250-SL also. My Bosch catalog also shows it being used in the early 280-SL's with NON-transistorized ignition. The coil number as you stated was 0 221 102 036 with this distributor and NON-transistorized ignition. Primary resistance built in this coil was 1.7 to 2.1 ohms. The porceline inline resistor (Beru # WZ 09) was 0.85-0.95 ohms. this information is out of my 1975 Bosch catalog. The numbers in previous posts(below) were from the Mercedes Technical Data book. These #0221-102-006 & #0221-102-0330 appear to be later replacement coils which are not listed in the 1975 Bosch catalog. I must assume that the #0221-102-036 is no longer in production? Thanks for the clarification on this. The other numbers appear to be later replacement coils. Yes it we will have to work on a good chart to clearify all these combinations once and for all.

After all I have read on this list about the different distributors I am grateful and now think I know why I am having so much trouble. My 68-250 SL has the 051 aluminum replacement distributor that burns thru a set of points in about 4000 miles. (I have to readjust them ever 1500 miles). I understand this distributor is for use with the transistorized units on 280's but my 250 is not transistorized and that extra voltage is probably what is killing the points. My question is this: Does anyone know which points and condenser combination would be able to handle the full 12-14 volts and still fit the 051 Distributor? It does have a ballast resistor, but I have not measured the resistance of it. Any suggestions?

Pete: I have installed this distributor on my 67 250SL almost 20 years ago, I think maybe I have installed three sets of points over that period of time. Obviously you probably are using the wrong points, or other components. My car is in storage right now, but I can tell you it used early V-8 points from the factory. It used the stock ballast resitor which was I believe .9 ohms resistance. It should have the early black non transistorized coil. This distributor was not designed for the transistorized ignition, but as a replacement for early distributors.There was a post some time ago on this, perhaps someone can dig it out. Don't give up on that distributor yet.

Joe: I am beginning to understand that the #009 distributor can be used for both the electronic and standard ignitions as long as the correct condenser, points and coil are used. Of course the transistor box is also used with the transistorized factory ignition. For the NON transistorized ignition a coil with internal resistance of 1.7 to 2.1 ohm is specified Bosch #0221-102-036 coil, with porceline ballast resistor of .85 to .95 ohms (the factory coils used in the later transistorized 113's will cause problems in a non-transistorized ignition!). Dan, it sounds like Pete has the exact combination you need in your #009 distributorfor your NON-transistorized 113 ignition. I am sitting here with a box of distributors, a pile of catalogs and a fairly extensive ignition component chart I have compiled. I will try to iron this out once and for all this week end and post a summary.

Pete: as soon as I can get to my car, I will post the contents of the Distributor. I can tell you that it has the original .9 ohm ballast resitor and uses a different cap than the earlier distributor, as well as early V-8 points, which seem to last a really long time. As I said, it was installedin 1983-4, and I believe I may have only replaced poonts 2-3 times over that span of time. I just looked up original MB part numbers: The Ballast resistor is 000-158-0845, cap part number is 000-158-3502, (Bosch part number 1235422194), and the points should be 000-158-3690. I do not have the correct part number for the rotor, but use the one deisgned for non transitorzed ignitions and with the aluminum distributor. I have found out that the Bosch distributor 0-231-185-009 is the recommended replacement for the 051 distributor. The Bosch points part number equivalent to the 000-158-3690 is: 1 237 013 142. I have not come up with a part number for the Condensor, however, the original condensor part number for the 051 distributor crosses to the Bosch 1 237 330 067, so this may be the correct condensor.

Joe: my catalogues concure with what you have stated, the #009 aluminum housing distributor is the recommended replacement. As we realize the #009 distributor does not use the points or condenser configuration originally used on these 113 cars, thus lots of confusion. I have also found that these distributors #009 or #051 can be set up for either transistorized or non-transistorized ignitions depending on what points, condensors, resistors and coils are used. The key here is to use the correct parts. Points, condensers, coils and resistors should be matched. Thanks for the info. Yours is one good set-up for the #009 distributor with non-transistorized ignition.


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