What are the distributor numbers and firing order?
When working on the distributor, cap, rotor, spark plugs, and/or spark plug wires, you will notice nothing is labeled. Also, you will eventually find out that the cylinder and distributor numbers do not follow the same pattern, which you would think is the logical solution. Here's a simple diagram to keep things straight:
This applies to all wasserboxer (waterboxer or WBX) Vanagon engines. Please note the reference to the front of the vehicle and not the front of the engine. Keep things simple, front is front.
Another thing to keep in mind - a common slang term for the distributor is "dizzy" or simply "diz". You will see this used a lot in forums, etc.
Printing off the above diagram and storing it in an easy-access spot is a good idea. I know some people that even tape it in the engine bay, like on top of the air filter box. I DO NOT recommend this for a number of reasons. If you go this route, just make sure you keep it away from any heat source! Keeping it in the glovebox seems like a good, safe place to me.
Another item that's closely related to the distributor is cylinder identification. Here's a diagram for that:
For more info on cylinder identification, CLICK HERE. If you want both of the above diagrams together, here's a couple more quick reference guides that combine the two. Obviously, pick the one that makes the most sense to you: