Albertronics 123/ VW-R-V Ignition


123 VW-R-V



The 123/VW-R-V Distributor can be used in all Type ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’ VW Aircooled Vehicles Requiring Vacuum Advance

Albertronics 123/VW-R-V Ignition was developed in co-operation with VW Aircooled experts for use in vehicles requiring Vacuum Advance. In addition, however, this model can be installed to the Beetle, Karmann Ghia and Buggy without vacuum advance, it can also be installed in the Porsche 356 and 912 models.

Features of the 123/VW-R-V electronic ignition

With a switch you can easily choose the advance-curve that is specified for your specific engine. The unit offers a built-in LED for easy static timing and several different advance-curves. 
It also offers: 
– Automatic dwell 
– Spark balancing 
– Automatic power-cut after 1 second 
– etc. etc.

Please note the following about the Albertronics 123/VW-R-V Ignition

When you’ll need a Albertronics 123 Ignition without vacuum advance, please order a 123/VW-R

Please read the Installation Manual carefully. It contains the specifications of the 123-ignition system, as well as a step-by-step description of the installation procedure. The installation instructions also contain a cross-reference between the original Bosch number and the setting of the Albertronics 123/VW-R-V Ignition, as well as a list which links VW engine numbers to the required setting of the 123 ignition.

Coil and spark plugs

Although used coils all look alike, they should be viewed with suspicion since one cannot tell from the outside whether, and how often they were exposed to overheating in the past. Installing the 123 ignition system will ensure that the coil will never be overheated again in future. We recommend the Bosch Blue Coil.

Installation instructions for the ‘123 ignition’ VW performance distributor

STEP 1: Find the static timing point

On the old distributor, note the position of the ignition wire to the number one cylinder.
Remove the distributor cap and turn the engine in its normal direction so that the rotor almost
points to the number one cylinder position. Now carefully turn the engine further until the
static timing point
( check the ‘technical data’ ) is indicated on the pulley.
The engine is now at the static timing point, near the end of the compression stroke for the
number one cylinder.

STEP 2: Out with the old, in with the new

You may wish to verify that the correct advance curve has been selected in your ‘123’ : using a
5mm Allen wrench remove the hexagonal plug in the bottom face of the housing. Inside the
hole you’ll find a 16 position rotary switch. ( ‘0’ to ‘F’ )
Check the technical data for the proper setting. Select the curve of your choice ; re-insert the
plug and tighten securely.
Now remove the spark plug wires and coil wire from the old distributor-cap and remove the
old cap. Disconnect the points wire from the coil. Unscrew the hold down nut at the base of
the distributor and pull the old unit out.

Now remove the distributor-cap from the ‘VW performance distributor 123’ and carefully insert the ‘123’ in the hole,
turning the rotor until the drive gears mate and the unit falls into place. Rotate the housing of
the ‘VW performance distributor 123’ so that the cables come out conveniently. If necessary, the drive gear can be
repositioned on the shaft to accommodate a different rotational position. To do this, remove
the ‘VW performance distributor 123’ and carefully remove the retaining spring from the drive gear, then use a small punch
to tap out the pin and re-assemble at an angle more suitable to your needs.

STEP 3: Static timing the ‘VW performance distributor 123’

Connect the red wire to the BAT-terminal of the coil, according to the schematic. For now, do
NOT connect the black wire. Turn on the ignition.
Slowly turn the housing of the ‘123’ in a counter-clockwise direction, until the green LED just
lights up. The LED shines through one of the four holes in the aluminium disc below the
rotor. While turning, also press the rotor in a counter-clockwise direction, to remove any free
play in the drive gear. Finally, tighten the ‘123’ securely, as it is also the electrical ground of
the ‘VW performance distributor 123’.
Turn off the ignition.

STEP 4: Finish the wiring

Connect the black wire to the RUP-terminal of the coil, according to the schematic.
Connect the spark plug leads in the proper sequence to the cap, starting with the wire for the
number one cylinder at the position pointed to by the rotor of the ‘123’.
Also connect the high voltage wire from the coil to the centre position of the cap. Attach the
cap to the distributor. Keep the red and black wire well away from the high voltage leads and
away from moving parts, using tie-wraps or other suitable means.
Connect the vacuum-tube from the carburettor to the ignition (only for a 123\VW-R-V)

STEP 5: Start and test drive

You can now start your engine. If you have worked accurately, your ignition should be
adjusted well enough to take a test drive. To achieve ultimate accuracy a fine adjustment using
a stroboscope should be performed. ( check the dynamic timing data in ‘technical data’ )
Disconnect the vacuum-tube whilst fine-tuning. Enjoy your 123 ignition!


Do NOT disconnect ANY electric wire, when the engine is running. This is bad practice
when using high-tech electronic systems, such as the 123 ignition.
Sparks are much stronger with a 123 ignition : use good quality sparkplug leads, and a good
coil. The primary resistance should not be lower then 1 ohm.
Resistor-core silicone ignition-leads are the better choice!
Mistrust old coils : they all look alike, but you can’t see if they have been overheated
many times! Buy a new one, now you know that this will not be overheated anymore…
Replace the cap and rotor every 30.000 km. Here is the ordering info

For further advice or information please Contact Dan now