Sam gets a little interior housekeeping done and then finishes up installing new drop spindles and disc brakes.


JBugs Video Blog

Watch the video to see Sam finish up our drop spindle disc brake conversion.

Starting where we left off in our last video we get the interior of the 1967 Sunroof Beetle cleaned out a bit more in preparation for more work to come. Then we continue to work on installing our new drop spindle disc brake conversion kit. We press out and the old ball joints before pressing in new replacements into the original control arms. The control arms are installed along with new shocks, and finally the disc brakes and drop spindles. With this our 1967 Beetle will sit a little lower and most importantly will have better stopping power for a safer driving experience!

Video Transcript

All right since I can't do any more work on the front end I'm going to clean out the interior.

Cause it's pretty yucky in here.


The pop outs open. That's cool. Got all the old headliner out for the most part. That door pillar wind lace piece needs to come out still. But now I can get to all the wiring when I go through and pull all new wiring through here. Seat out and, and fairly cleaned out. So ready for the next step which will be ball joints, probably tomorrow, and put the rest of that drop spindle disc brake kit on guys.

All right, we're back for day two. I got my ball joint cup kit that I picked up for my Jeep years ago in Moab when I had to replace a ball joint. It was just better to buy a kit and have tools because tools are cool. We've got a press. We've got some old floppy ball joints. Let's press these guys out.

I got some of it out now I got to get that out. This is when standard sockets are handy cause nobody ever uses standard sockets. That old ball joint is now out. Bye-bye.

We need to save that guy. I can't get this guy broken free from this with what I have here. If I had a plate where I could actually hold this thing like that and then push that down I could get this thing broken free. But at this point, with what I have in hand, I can't. And I'm not going to let something like this hold me up so off with the old, in with the aftermarket EMPI ones. These are directional since we have these little alignments right here. Some of the ball joints are not directional so you got to keep an eye on that. A lot of them nowadays actually are not. But this is an upper ball joint. It's going to install from bottom. It's going to install this way here. And we're going to make certain to point our alignment notches forward back or front to rear. We can kind of see an old indicator right there and right there of what that was before.

That's one ball joint installed.

And another one. These guys install rubber in first. Again alignment, we can see our old indicator right there from that's where that guy used to sit.

Ready to go and I must say these OCAP ball joints install quite nicely.

All right, now that we got new ball joints pressed in. Our original seals at the beam are actually still in really good shape. The grease and the arms and everything else on here are obviously clean and in really good shape so we're just going to jiggle those guys back in place. And just so you can see, I'm not doing anything funky. Just like so. Just like so. Tighten our grub screws. Tighten our set screws. Then we can put our new spindle in place.

Click, click, click, click. That's the German torque spec of good and tight.

Oh I forgot to show this guy right here. When I do go to put new shocks on, see how that guy is much smaller than that guy? That's because this is the old sleeve from an old shock. It needs to come off.

All right, so new spindle. Good and tight. All right, now camber washer. Original washer because otherwise the bolt will just fall through that big old hole. We've got this wonderful tool. Now you can see what that adjuster is for. Move it that way. That way. We'll get as much caster as possible. Right about there works for me. And now we tighten this back up.

Click, click, click, click.

Now we can put on our tie rod. All right from here, now we can go through and bearings seals etc, etc, etc, etc. I guess I could also put a shock on right now too. Let's do that, why not.

That guy, it's got to get out. Usually all it takes is a pair of vice grips and hammer. Sometimes it takes a torch. Oh that's free already. That's a good start.

Click, click. Good and rough. Good enough.

All right, I'm going to go do the other side just like.

Just like so.

All right, laugh at me as I try to install an original sway bar with original clamps.

All right we're back at our press again. Going to press our bearings in. Now, I don't have bearing race presses, but I do have a lot of sockets.

Looking inside you can see that it's square all the way around. Now we've got our races for our bearings pressed in. We can pack our bearings. Although I did that kind of backwards. Let's grab a big old dab of grease and squeeze it into all the orifices. And that bearing is now packed full of grease. Grease is cheap; bearings are expensive. Just pack some more in it, like so. Let's do another one. One new wheel seal, another new wheel seal and these guys are ready to put on the car.

Some more grease. Pack it in there. Bearing, thrust washer, new jam nut reverse threaded.

Pardon me while I wash my hands again.

The handy dandy slick spanner 8603 with a spot for a jam nut. The original ones, apparently. Not the aftermarket ones. Oh well, we tried.

Get that guy through there. Just like that. And you know what, I don't even see if this thing spun. Doesn't seem like it. All right, after disconnecting in the cable from the speedometer the cable itself works just fine. It might be the speedometer that's locked up, but either way she works. Or rather, the cable works, speedometer not so sure. Multi-purpose glad nut socket. I don't know if I got a cotter pin here, but I'll find one. All right with that done, I'm going to go do the other side uh and then I'll work on the calipers. Bye.

Did you catch it? I almost forgot to tighten this guy, didn't I. That would have been no bueno. That's better.

I just had a second thought regarding the slick spanner and perhaps maybe because my bolt was too loose, but even with the bolt tight it doesn't fit over these aftermarket axle nuts. And that's no knock on air cooled or the slick spanner. I've known Pete for many, many years. He designs and builds and demands quality so whereas this thing fits the camber adjuster like a glove, this is cut out for an original axle nut. This is not. So if you have one of these tools and you want it to fit this. I would say just grind one of these aftermarket nuts down to the point where that fits and then that is an effective tool even on the aftermarket ones. Once the aftermarket ones are made to original tolerances like the slick spanner.

All right, we're ready to install our calipers, but before we do we want to clean off any and all oils and grease from our brake rotors. Now we've got two calipers. Let's say you in you mix them up and you don't know which one is which. Well if we were to bolt this one on the bleeder is at the top of the piston like we can see right here. So this is the correct one. Now I can tell you this personal experience on these brake rotors a lot of times to bleed it because the bleeder is in the position it’s in, I will actually unbolt the caliper from the bracket and rotate it up and over so that the bleeder is actually at the top. So that makes bleeding the brakes later a lot easier, uh so do quick bleed screws. I highly recommend them.

All right a little tighter than I'd like. Show you what I'm talking about see that gap, lack of a gap there, and big gap here. Well that's why we've got these washers of varying thicknesses. That one's considerably thinner than that one is and because of the distance of the gap on this side compared to here I'm probably going to end up running two of the thick shims in between the spindle and the caliper to move the caliper closer to the rotor. This is just aftermarket parts. This is a caliper, an original to something. They've just come up with a custom rotor and a custom spindle to make them suit. And this is just what we have to deal with when we're dealing with aftermarket products that come from all over the world. Make sure that your spacers are the same thickness and then the fun part is getting them in place.

And if the pads weren't in the way you could see daylight right through there. Now we've got an even gap here and here. Now we'll get the brake hose installed. It’d be a lot easier if I could see. I'm just blind nowadays. There we go. That's better all right. All right this side is done. I got to do all this on the other side now. Bye.

With that, we can put some fenders back in with two bolts only at this point. And put the wheels and tires back on the car and put the car on the ground.

It could be lower, but it ain't.

All right, 28 and a quarter we were before. Now we're sitting at about 26 and 3/8. Now keep in mind that there's no fuel in the front or no fuel tank in the front anymore. Yesterday the car had a full interior, not a full interior, but had a rear seat back rest, had a driver's seat and a whole bunch of dirt and debris inside. Today it doesn't. Watch this gap here. If I was to just get in the car. Should settle a little bit in time. And again, once we get a full interior in there and a gas tank full of fuel I think it's going to work well. But you know what it's missing, well besides a cotter pin for the speedometer cable, is some hubcaps. Some VW German hubcaps.

A much better stance on this car. Lowered in the front. Visually, just a touch. Once we get a bumper and a fuel tank and whatnot it'll help out a lot. I don't want to go any lower anyway. I've owned cars that have scraped reflectors off the ground. I was young and now I'm old. That low is not that comfortable. This height still should be able to get a tow bar underneath there if the worst should to happen and yeah that works for me. What do you guys think?

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