Timing light for the 2.1

Hi all, going through the tools I have for longer trips. One I tend not to carry at the moment is a timing light. I have a nice Bosch one, but it is quite bulky. Just wondering if there is a simple road side check for timing without a timing light?
I know of the old T2 (when it still had points), it was a simple check based on the points opening. Doing it this way if required was close enough if you ever had to.
Just not sure how you do this on a WBX?

Changing timing by the side of the road is a very unlikely event, so I want to avoid a bulky timing light.

On another note, the timing light I have was for the old distributors with points, it has a timing light, voltage check, dwell angle and RPM.
As there are no points in the Syncro, the dwell angle is redundant for the Syncro. But without connecting that wire, I do not get RPM? Anyone know enough about these timing lights if I can still get it to show RPM? It’s nice to have that in the engine bay for tuning, but without the connection for dwell angle it does not show RPM.


Do you really need a timing light to carry? Why would the timing change?

Thanks Phil, I guess there is no real need. In the T2 I never carried one until I could not longer get decent points and it needed regular checking. The only thing I could think of in the T3 would be if the hall sender packed it in and needed replacing. That said it’s just as easy to carry a distributor pre-set.

Sorry I did not get back to you on your list also, had a few drama’s here to deal with. Now I’m trying to get the syncro ready for a short trip away! I’ll get back to you shortly.


Agree, those hall senders are a significant problem. But to fix them you need to take the cog drive off the base which really needs a vice and a suitably sized drift to get the pin out.

Would be a difficult job on the side of the road without suitable tools…

I assume that is to fit the T4 hall sender? I bought one, but have not needed to fit it yet!

Yes Richard.

To get the sender out and new one in the base of the shaft needs to be detached via removing the pin and this it all slides up and out. Very painful process.But not too difficult when done in a garage with a vice.



Thanks Scott. Yes I agree, I have rebuilt a few Beetle and T2 Kombi distributors, easy in a workshop but not simple on the roadside. I had read about the swapped over location for the T4 sender, but never really looked into the process. Makes sense to swap the shaft so the distributor sits in it’s normal orientation.
I do remember on a trip away in the T2, one of the springs on the mechanical advance snapped and got jammed inside, the whole distributor was pushed out by the drive gear! Always happens miles from nowhere. Took a while to figure out what had happened, but luckily I has a spare distributor!.