Hall sender, or whole distributor? - Robert Fleming
My Golf (mk2, GTI 8v) is showing signs of imminent hall sender failure - the engine will occasionally hiccup and immediately recover, and very occasionally die completely only to immediately restart. At the moment it's irritating rather than journey impeding, but my experience with the old Polo makes me think it will become progressively worse until it packs up completely and inconveniently. 90% certain diagnosis, but anyway...

Is it better to spend more on a brand new distributor, or skimp and save with just a new hall sender (£88 for a Hella distributor versus £32 for a presumably non-Bosch sender unit from GSF)?

Any thoughts and experiences greatfully received.

Hall sender, or whole distributor? - eMBe {P}
Personal opinion: I would replace the distributor - either buy new or get one from a scrapyard. And change the dis cap, rotor arm, and leads.
Hall sender, or whole distributor? - Adam Going (Tune-Up)
Hi Robert,

If a Hall Switch kit is available I would go for it - the distributor is unlikely to have any other serious problems. You may find that the GSF kit is indeed Bosch anyway.

Not wanting to doubt your diagnosis, as I have certainly seen these symptoms down to the Hall Switch, but have you been through everything else on the ignition side. The fuel pump relay can also cause this sort of trouble, especially if yours has the fuse mounted on top of the relay - the fuse contacts often become corroded.

Good Luck, Adam
Hall sender, or whole distributor? - Railroad
Hall sensors don't often work one minute and not the next. Generally when they go, they go.
So before you splash out on a new one, check the distributor wiring, plug, ignition module and coil for bad connections especially on the earth side.
Hall sender, or whole distributor? - Robert Fleming
I bought a hall sender kit from GSF ? they don?t list it as being suitable for my particular model of vehicle, but the guy assured me it would be ok. Main dealer doesn?t do a sender kit for a mk2 8v GTI distributor (although they do for every other mk2 Golf) ? just exchange for £100. Euro car parts online do only (Bosch) exchange for £85. When I rang Euro car parts, the guy assured me that the sender for the carb models was the same ? but at £75 for a Bosch kit hardly worth bothering with.

The £27.50 GSF kit was made by Facet, an Italian company with an English on-line catalogue. Unsurprisingly enough, they listed the kit as only suitable for carb models, and didn?t list one at all for the 8v GTI.

I took the distributor off my car and, armed with a pair of circlip pliers, set about dismantling it. Only you can?t. The only way to get it apart seems to be to drive the roll pin out that holds the drive gear to the bottom of the distributor. I didn?t fancy my chances of reusing the pin (and the kit didn?t come with a new one), so I ended up pleading incompetence and returning the hall sender kit to GSF.

There?s nothing to the distributor for a digifant Golf (and every modern car since, I imagine). No advance weights or vacuum unit. So I suppose it was made as a sealed, disposable unit. GSF have just started listing a brand new distributor for £75. Although it seems plenty of people have just knocked out the roll pin and changed the sender.

There does seem to be a fair bit of oil that has leaked up the shaft and into the body of the distributor, so it looks as if the whole thing is at least slightly knackered. Since I refitted it though, it hasn?t missed a beat.

It took 2 years and 30,000 miles between the beginning of random cut outs and complete hall sender death on the old Polo. My wallet can remain closed for a while yet still.

Thanks for the suggestions, especially Adam Going.

Rob F


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