Pertronix; Wire Chaffing
No doubt, one of the best and cheapest upgrades you can do to your VW is to upgrade the points & condenser to a fully electronic pointless ignition module. Around $70 or so, you get perfect dwell that never changes and ignition timing that, to steal a line from the Ron-Co Rotisserie salesman, "You set it and forget it". There are two basic units available out there made by Pertronix and Compufire. I'm partial to the Compufire unit but basically other than layout, they both work the same and are dead reliable.
What I've noticed on several Pertronix ignition modules lately is that the wires inside the distributor cap tend to chafe onto the rotor as the motor runs. this can soon lead to wearing away of the wire cover exposing the copper core. The bare wire begins to spark and eventually wears through the wire leaving you dead on the side of the road. Not good considering one of these modules is supposed to be a lifetime part.
The reason this happens is if the two wire leads get pulled, they will easily slide through the rubber grommet where they pass through the distributor body and pull taunt at the module. Since the module is on the other side of the distributor body the wires get pulled onto the rotor and begin to chafe.
What I do to stop this from ever happening again is to use a plastic zip tie to hold the wires away from the rotor. Problem solved. If you're running a Pertronix module, check yours and be sure you don't have this problem yourself.
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Revised: June 19, 2008 .