September 12, 2004

Steering Wheel and Seat Removal

In this post, we were wondering about these strange bolts that were holding the steering column bracket. Mike put out and inquiry on Google Groups, and got an answer. They are called "breakaway bolts". Here's the response:

That column uses break-off bolts. Basically, when it was first
installed, it had a bolt head on it, with a thin shank. When the bolts
are tightened, the heads shear off, leaving a thief no easy way of
removing the column. Unfortunately, it also means that you can't
easily remove them either. You''ll have to drill them out to remove
them. Or, drill a hole in the head, then use an Ez-Out to remove them.

We also found out that this is non-stock for this year.

Anyway, Mike tried to drill out the bolts, but found that the seats were in the way. So, out they go. We decided to consult the Chilton's book on this. Here is what they said:

1. If the vehicle is a 1972 model with a seat belt warning buzzer, unplug the electrical connector.

Ours is a 1966, don't have to worry about that

2. Raise the adjustment lever and slide the seat forward until its runner contacts the leaf-spring stop.

We raised the lever, but the seat refused to budge

3. Depress the leaf-spring stop with a screwdriver, raise the adjustment lever and slide the seat forward about 1 1/2 inches.

The only thing getting depressed around here, is us, the seat is not budging.

4. Reach under the seat and detach the tension spring.

Even though we weren't at that stage yet, Mike decided to see if he could find a tension spring. There wasn't one.

5. Slide the seat forward, life it off the tracks and remove it.

Seat is still not budging.

Well, we figured these seats have been stuck in this position for awhile, so Mike thought that maybe he could brace himself against the back seat and push the drivers seat forward, until it contacts the leaf-spring stop mentioned in step 2. So, while I pushed the lever, Mike pushed the seat:

And, it didn't make contact with anything. In fact, it slid completely forward off the track. And, this was while my hand was still on the lever!

So, we decide to do the same with the passenger seat. This was a little bit more difficult for Mike, since he wasn't wearing shoes. Since I was, I got drafted for the job. I maneuvered my way into the rear and shoved the seat with my feet while Mike held the lever. It didn't move. So, I positioned myself to where my feet were resting on the metal part of the seat and shoved again. This one too, moved all the way forward:

I feel like that scene in Police Academy where Hightower took the back seat out of the Honda so he could drive it.

So, this is how it looks now, with the seats gone:

And, here are the ugly seats:


Now, Mike had enough room so he could drill holes into the bolts enough so he could use the E-Z out.

So, he places himself into an uncomfortable position and starts to drill out the bolts:

Once the holes are deep enough, he can now use the E-Z out to remove the bolts:

Fortunately, they came out without a hitch. The steering column dropped away from under the dash:

With the column free from the inside, we will now try to unfasten it from the outside, so it can be removed completely. I had been spraying the bolts in the linkage with WD-40.

When I went to put a socket on the bolt though, it wouldn't fit. There was a brace on the bolt. That is there to keep the bolt from vibrating off over time. (You can see if in the following image):

I used a screwdriver to pry it away on one side, and left it on the other side to keep the bolt from moving when I removed it:

This is how it looked after the bolt was removed:

So now, there was nothing holding the steering column, it should just pull right out. Fat chance! It took a lesson from the seats and wasn't moving. Probably since it's been in there for over 30 years. Looking at how it's set up, we decided to remove the bracket where it is connected to the gasket. Obviously, it will be too wide to fit through the hole in the dash, but we figured that we could pound out the piece with a hammer once it's clear of the bracket. I sprayed the end with WD-40. And, I also sprayed all the bolts on the assembly:

Oh, and fortunately for us, whoever removed the original bracket that held the steering wheel column to the dash didn't through it out. We found the original bracket and the gasket under the seats:

Posted by Valkyre at 11:13 PM

August 18, 2004

Speedometer Cable Removal

Before I removed the speedometer cable, I wanted to consult the Hayne's manual before I attempted anything. According to the directions, it looked relatively easy:

Here's what they say:

1. On pre-1973 models and 1973 and later non-Super Beetle models, open the front hood and remove the protective cover from the instrument panel.

Ours didn't have a protective cover

2. On 1973 and later Super Beetle models and convertibles, remove the instrument panel switch cluster (see Section 10).

Didn't have to worry about this, ours is a 1966

3. Working from the luggage compartment side on all pre-1973 models and 1973 and later non-Super Beetle models, or through the hole for the switch cluster on 1973 and later Super Beetle models and convertibles, unscrew the threaded fitting that attaches the speedometer cable to the speedometer assembly.

I did this earlier

4. Remove the circlip or cotter pin which secures the end of the speedometer cable to the wheel bearing dust cap (see illustration)

I don't have the illustration. I do, however, have a picture I took of the cotter pin on our wheel bearing dust cap:

I used a pair of pliers and it was no problem removing the cotter pin. Since it is easily replaced, I didn't mind it getting mangled.

5. Working from the back side of the wheel, pull the cable out of the steering knuckle.

Easier said than done. That thing has been in there for 30+ years. It didn't want to budge. A slight tap on the part that was sticking out from the dust cap helped dislodge it, so I could pull it out.

6. On pre-1973 models and 1973 and later non-Super Beetle models, pull the cable out of the guide channel, through the grommet in the vehicle body and out through the luggage compartment. On 1973 and later Super Beetles and convertibles, pull the cable through the hole in the dash.

Once I got it cleared of the steering knuckle, the rest was no problem:

The rest of the steps are for re-installing the cable. We don't need that right now.

While I was at it, I sprayed the bolts on the steering linkage. The one that's circled will be removed, so that we can take out the steering column.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:34 PM

August 11, 2004

Removing the Hood

In the last entry, we didn't want to remove the hood until we removed the bracket that was holding both the steering column and the 6 volt fuse. The bolts seemed to be held on by 10mm square nuts. However, even with several days of spraying WD-40, the square "nuts" didn't budge.

Maybe they aren't supposed to. It could be like the fenders where they are welded onto the body. So what's the problem? The bolts on the other side. You get to them underneath the ignition switch that is mounted to the column:

There is no way to get a wrench around them, nor are there any slots for screwdrivers:


So, how do we remove them? We don't have any idea..... Since it's obvious that anyone walking by will not be able to remove the bracket, we left it as it is, until we figure it out. I did , however, remove the 6 volt fuse. That was just clipped on.

Now, it was just a matter of removing 4 bolts from the hood hinges. And, this is how it now looks with the hood removed.

Next, we will start to remove the interior. But, before we do that, I am considering removing the speedometer cable:

It looks like I will have to remove the wheel hub to gain access to it:

Posted by Valkyre at 11:39 PM

August 02, 2004

Removing More Things From Under the Hood

Before we removed the hood, there are still a few more things that need to be taken out. I started by removing the gas gauge:

This was relatively easy, as the bolt holding it on was only finger tight. After I removed the bolt, the bracket came free and I removed the gauge from behind:

Now, we are left with yet another empty hole on the dash:

This is what the dash looks like so far, from the inside, with everything removed:

Next, I wanted to remove the fuse panel:

I disconnected all the wires that were connected to it. Then, I pushed the tab, that's over on the right, to the side. This is the only thing that it holding in the fuse panel. Once I slid it to the right, the fuse panel was free to slide out:


I wanted to remove the bracket that is holding in the 6 volt fuse:

This is tied in with the steering column from the inside. I looked at the column, under the dash, and the other end of the bolts were smooth, similar to carriage bolts. The nuts are what I circled in red. They are flat and square. And, they need a 10mm box end wrench to be removed. Unfortunately, neither Mike, nor I, could find the 10mm wrench. This will have to wait until we find it.

In the meantime, I decided to remove the glovebox door. It was only being held on by four phillips head screws:

Now, we have yet another hold in the dash:

Since I was removing things from the dash, I decided to remove the ignition switch. I needed to remove the wires that were connected to it from the back:

Then, from inside the car, it's only a matter of removing on phillips head screw located under the dash:

After that, the whole assembly pulled out:

While I was at it, I decided to prepare to remove the "non=stock" steering wheel. Eventually, the whole steering column will be removed. I took off the horn button first:

This is where we are at now:

And, again, I sprayed the hood bolts with good ol' WD-40. I also hit the two bolts that needed the 10mm wrench, which we couldn't find. When we do find, or buy, the wrench, this will make them easier to remove.

Posted by Valkyre at 10:16 PM

July 29, 2004

Preparing to Remove the Hood

Before we remove the hood, we want to remove a lot of the things from the front compartment. Things that could get damaged when exposed to the elements, or stolen. Basically, we want the front compartment completely stripped. First thing to remove is the air compressor for the windshield washer:

Removing this was pretty easy. I saw that it had these little plastic "blisters" that were imbedded into holes in the body. I used a screwdriver to gently pry it out. It came out intact.

Next, I removed the brake master cylinder. Before I removed it, though, I disconnected the brake fluid hose that runs to it. This was held on by a metal strap that was riveted on one side. I removed the blot from the other side, which loosened the strap enough to slip the master cylinder out.

Next up is the ashtray. Here is a view of it from the front compartment:

All it involved was removing two screws:

I used the ashtray to store the screws that held it in, and the window knobs from inside. I figured that they would be safe in there.

Next thing I removed was the speedometer. Again, it was accessible from the front compartment:

The speedometer cable needed to be removed first. That was relatively easy. The threaded part that was holding it on, was not on too tight, so it was easy to undo:

Next, I tried to remove the bulbs. Some of the wires came out with the bulbs intact. Other wires came out leaving the bulbs behind in the speedometer assembly. I will get to those later. Then, I just needed to remove two screws. Now, it is out:

Next to come off are the windshield wipers:

I removed the bolts that hold them on, and then gently lifted each wiper assembly off of the shaft:

With the wiper assemblies off, I could now removed the motor assembly from underneath:

I put the bolts that held the wiper blade assemblies back onto the motor assembly, so they wouldn't get lost.

There are still some items which need to be removed before the front lid can be taken off, but, I sprayed the bolts with WD-40, to loosen the bolts for when the time comes:

Posted by Valkyre at 12:07 AM

May 26, 2004

Front Fender Removal

Now it's time to remove the front fenders. After three different days of hitting the fender bolts with WD-40, it was time for them to come off. Before I started unbolting them, I wanted to remove the clamps on the headlight wires first. Since, there was no way they were going to fit through the holes in the headlight buckets:

So, I dragged out my trusty wire cutters again and cut off anything that would not fit through the hole in the fender:

This is what I ended up with:

After I pulled the wires through, it's time to remove the fender bolts. Here's where I screwed up. When I was spraying the bolt heads with WD-40, I should have been spraying the other side too. The threads that were accessible from inside the trunk. The bolts were threaded through the fenders, but didn't have nuts on the other side. No, on the other side were flat oblong shaped, threaded washer things that were welded to the inside of the trunk. There may be technical names for them, but they escape us right now. If we ever figure out the name, we will edit this post. Anyway, I dragged out the trusty compressor yet again and fastened the air impact socket wrench onto the end. All the bolts on the front fenders were 13mm. So, I hit the first bolt on the passenger side fender. This was located at the very front. When I hit it with the impact wrench, it turned and turned and turned and turned. But, the bolt wasn't coming undone. No, the little welded washer thing had detached from the car on the other side. So, I moved onto the other bolts which came undone. Now, I had a fender hanging on by one bolt:

So, I moved onto the other side. One bolt wouldn't budge and another one ended up with the washer thing detached. A third was near the floorpan of the driver's side, which was so rotted out, that it pulled out, bolt, washer thingy and all.

So, after trying everything we could think of to get the flat washer things off, we decided to hit the threads of the stubborn bolts with WD-40 from inside the trunk. And, we let them soak for a day. So, here's what we were left with:

Since we are most likely going to replace all the bolts. We decided to hit the one bolt on the passenger side with the good old reciprocating saw:

After about half a minute, the saw cut through the bolt and the passenger side fender gave way.

One the other side, one of the stubborn bolts gave way finally. But, the other two were constantly turning because one was still attached to one of those washer things that was constantly turning and the other was near the lower driver's side in the rotted metal. But, Mike noticed that the higher one was also mounted in rotted out metal and managed to just pull the fender off with the bolts still attached. He stuck his finger in the rotted out hole to show how badly it was rusted:

This is the hole down near the driver's side floor pan:

Mike also pulled away the nearly 40 year old rotten fender welt, which will obviously be replaced:

So, this is where we are now:

Posted by Valkyre at 09:26 PM

May 16, 2004

Rear Fender Removal

Before it got too dark, I decided to remove the rear fenders. I had hit the bolts several times with WD-40 over several days, so, I was hoping that they would be ready to come off. I also decided to cheat and use the air compressor, along with Mike's air socket wrench:

Not only were the fenders missing bolts, the bolts were different sizes. Some were 12mm, and some were 13. On each fender, the first "bolt" near the running boards were actually a nut fastened onto a stud. One the passenger side, I put the air wrench on the nut and pressed the handle. There was a lot of noise, and suddenly, I had a sheared off stud with a bolt still attached in my hand. It turns out that I had set the wrench to tighten, not loosen. It had two settings, "F" and "R". I figured "R" must have meant "reverse" and that would be the setting to remove the bolts. Wrong! So, the stud on the passenger side will have to be re-attached in the future.

So, after a combination of air-socket wrench on some bolts, and regular hand wrenching on some others, I managed to remove all the bolts:

The fender was still being held on by the wires running to the tail lights. Since we will be replacing the wiring harness, I just cut off the clips that were attached to the ends of the wires:

Now, the wires could be slipped through the hole and the fender removed:

After going through the same process on the other fender, this is how the car now looks with the fenders removed:

And, these are the two fenders, which we have the paint stripped off, sandblasted and treated with rust neutralizer, before they get primed:

For now, I am going to leave the tail light housings on the fenders. I figure that will prevent them from getting lost.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:19 PM

November 24, 2003

Tire and Running Board Removal

Maybe I should just make that running board removal, only.... The lug nuts on the front wheel would not budge:

Fortunately, Mike's birthday was on the 18th. I had bought him a box containing some air tools:

The box had four air tools, an air-impact wrench, a paint spray gun, ratchet wrench and an air hammer. So, we dragged out the trusty air compressor:

Mike hooked up the air wrench:

And started in on the lug nuts:

Except, they wouldn't budge.....

We may need to rent an air wrench with a higher torque capacity. In the meanwhile, I have been spraying the bolts with WD-40, in hopes that that might help loosen them.

So the day wasn't a complete waste, I decided to remove the running boards:

These were some el-cheapos that were put on quite recently, so I figured they would be easy to remove. I got to use Mike's new ratchet wrench on the bolts. They came off easily and I was able to remove both sides:

Posted by Valkyre at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2003

Preparing to Remove the Gas Tank

It is preferred that the gas tank be empty before it gets removed. But, not everyone has that option. Before we could remove the gas tank, we need to drain the gas. That involves putting the bug up on jack stands. So, before we did that, we first blocked the rear wheels, so the car wouldn't roll backwards while it's being lifted:

Then, we rolled out the floor jack and started lifting the car:

When it was at the height we wanted, the jack stands were placed underneath:

After the stands were placed under the axle, the car was lowered:

This shows on where the jack is supporting the axle:

Now, the car is securely raised. Mike gave it a good shaking, it is not going to fall:

Unfortunately, in order to drain the gas, we needed a drain hose to run from the fuel outlet to our gas can. That may have to wait until next weekend.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:09 PM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2003

Headlight Bulb Removal

I've been too busy lately to work on the bug. I still haven't got around to removing the gas tank. But, in the meantime, I thought I could show how one removes the headlight bulbs from the headlight "buckets":

You need to remove these spring clips. There are three of them in each assembly:

The book says that you can use your thumbs to remove the clips. They also warn you to be careful, as the clips are under tension. Mike (Paladin) used pliers. Much simpler:

Once you have the headlight removed, you now have the glass cover assembly, with the turn signal bulb still attached. These will be stored away in a safe place:

Posted by Valkyre at 11:38 PM | Comments (1)

September 28, 2003

Front Reflectors

Today was supposed to be the day that we removed the gas tank, but it turned out that we were both a little too busy, so that will have to wait. So, I removed the front reflectors instead.

What I thought were rubber gaskets underneath the reflectors, were actually a wire conduit assembly. You can see the one on the left is relatively intact. The one on the right had already fallen apart and the wires were actually slicing through the conduit. The wires run through it from under the fender from where they leave the pan. There is a similar one for the headlights. These will be replaced with new ones.

Here is the front now, with the reflectors removed:

Posted by Valkyre at 04:04 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2003

The Things You Find Out....

...When you start to remove parts of your car....

I will start from the beginning. I decided to remove the tail light assemblies today:

The red plastic lenses are held in by two long screws. Unfortunately, the tail light lens on the left side was missing one of the screws. As you can see below, the lenses on our bug are in pretty bad shape:

We were planning to replace them with the European lenses that have the amber turn signal.

One of the things that you run into with a nearly 40 year old vehicle is that all the rubber is nearly disintegrated. You can see by the above folder just how bad the rubber gaskets are around the lenses. Not good if you want to keep moisture out.

This is how it looks with the lenses removed:

Next, I removed the reflectors, which involved removing one screw and sliding a tab out of a slot on the top:

As you can see, the wiring again is in terrible shape. Some were not even connected as I removed the reflectors. And, some wires broke at just the slightest movement. Is it any wonder that the tail lights didn't work sometimes?

This is how it looks with everything removed. So, you may be wondering about the title? If you look closely at where the lenses and reflectors used to be, you can see red paint. The original color of this bug is a dark blue. So, those had been replaced at some point. It could be that the fenders were replaced too. It's possible that this car may have been hit in the rear at some point in its life. But, we may be jumping the gun here. We will find out when the fenders are removed.

I also sprayed the last two bolts that are holding the tail lights assemblies onto the fenders. They were accessible from between the front of the rear fenders and the tires, similar to the bumper bolts.

Posted by Valkyre at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2003

One Smashed Thumb Later

Previously, "Three's the Charm" when it came to screws coming undone after three sprays of WD-40, once a day. (Except for the front license plate screws). So, I tried to remove the rear bumper brackets:

The screws for the rear bumper brackets are located under the fenders behind the tires. There should actually be three locations for the screws, but, this was a non-stock bumper, so it was being held on by only two:

I couldn't get them to budge. I called Mike out, and he was able to "break" them for me, and then I finished removing them. However, usually after you have loosened a screw, you are able to finish removing it with your fingers. These fought to the bitter end. For leverage, I was using a torque wrench to undo the bolts. On one of them, because I wasn't holding it properly, and, not paying attention, I managed to smash my thumb between the wrench handle and the car. After some rather salty language, I was able to completely remove the brackets:

Posted by Valkyre at 09:19 PM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2003

Even More Things Coming Off

Even though I had been hitting the license plate bolts for the front plate with WD-40, the screws would not budge. The first attempt twisted the blade of the el-cheapo screwdriver I was using. The second screwdriver, a little stronger, was chewing up the head of the screw. I figured that these screws were probably never turned once in 37 years and weren't going to turn now. So, the license plate will come off with the bumper:

The bumper bolts came undone just fine. There were six of them. Two, on each side, were holding the little "bumperettes". This is a shot with the bumper removed, but the brackets are still on:

To get at the brackets, the spare tire has to be moved and you can get at the screws on the inside:

This is how it looked when we removed everything:

Posted by Valkyre at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2003

More Things Removed

After several applications of WD-40, over several days, I removed the rear license plate:

After that, I removed the rear bumper. The rusty bolt gave way, no problem:

And, Mike folded it, in a feat of strength and tossed it unceremoniously into the trash:

I also sprayed the rear bumper bracket where it is fastened inside the car. Access was under the rear fenders. The passenger side was relatively easy to get access to. But, the driver's side was a little more difficult due to the truck being parked so close.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:31 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2003

More WD-40

Didn't do much today. Just sprayed both license plate brackets and the bumper bolts with more WD-40:

Mike suggested that I spray the bumper bracket bolts too. To gain access to the ones in front means that the spare tire has to be removed:

If you are observant, you will notice that that is a Pinto hubcap in the trunk, along with a set of tire chains, that don't fit and an Ahoogah horn. Along with some other junk. There will be better pictures of that disaster of wiring at the back. We purchased a new wiring harness from Rocky Mountain Motorworks. That will be installed after the car is completely stripped down.

Here is a picture of the bolts, after the spare tire is removed:

Posted by Valkyre at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2003

Just Some Little Cosmetic Changes

Unfortunately, the books I ordered are on backorder. So, I figured while we wait, we could do some other simple things. First, I wanted to remove some non-essentials:

So, the poor faded Jack-in-the-Box antenna ball was removed, along with the roofrack.

I won't be removing the bumpers right away. But, both bumpers had rusty bolts holding them on. So, I wanted to hit them with WD-40.

I sprayed the bolts on both bumpers, the bumper brackets and, I also sprayed around the bolts on the license plate frame. I will do it again tomorrow. After the third day, they should be easy to remove. This is a shot of the bolts on the front bumper after they were sprayed:

The rear bumper is not the original and will be tossed after it is removed.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)