How to Set the Points on a 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle

by John Stevens J.D.
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yellow car image by JoLin from

Whereas modern cars are equipped with a pointless electronic ignition system, the 1973 VW Supper Beetle was equipped with a single set of ignition points located underneath the distributor cap. The electrical current produced by the engine jumps the gap between the points when their tips open. Over time, the point tips wear down and the gap increases. For this reason, the points must be periodically adjusted to maintain the proper point gap.

Step 1

Remove the screws that secure the distributor cap to the top of the distributor and lift the cap off of the distributor, taking care not to disturb the spark plug wires, to reveal the rotor and the points.

Step 2

Lift the rotor off of the center of the distributor.

Step 3

Rotate the large bolt in the center of the crankshaft pulley at the bottom of the engine in a clockwise direction with a wrench to turn the engine. Turn the engine until the points open to their extreme open position.

Step 4

Insert the blade of a feeler gauge into the opening of the points. The distance must be 0.016 inches.

Step 5

Adjust the points if necessary. Loosen the point's locking screw with a screwdriver and open the points until the distance between the point's tips is 0.016 inches as measured with a feeler gauge, then tighten the locking screw.

Step 6

Press the rotor onto the rotor shaft in the center of the distributor.

Step 7

Lower the distributor cap onto the distributor.

Step 8

Tighten the distributor cap's securing screws with a screwdriver.

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