JBugs Video Series

1971 VW Super Beetle - Front End Wrap Up:

1971 VW Super Beetle - Front End Wrap Up

Video Overview:

With our body, hood, deck lid and fenders all color sanded and polished, we can continue the assembly of our 1971 Super Beetle front end. We’ll install the front fenders, headlights and rings. Then we’ll cover setting up and installing an aftermarket turn signal bumper before we get it installed to finish up the front end. Follow along as our tech covers the installation and gets our VW one step closer to completion!


Video Tips:

Tools used in this video:
3/8” Ratchet with 13mm Socket
Impact Driver with 13mm Socket
3” & 6” 3/8” Extensions
Side Cutters
Philips Screwdriver
Drill with Philips Screwdriver Bit
Battery Jump Box
Wire Stripers
Terminal Crimping Pliers
Flat Blade Screwdriver
13mm Wrench

Other Parts Used:
1/4” Female Terminal Ends
Ring Terminal Ends
Kamei Front Spoiler

Video Transcript:

Hi! I'm Sam with JBugs.com

We just got the front end put together on our Super Beetle, come see if we bumped into any problems.
Now that the paint on our 1971 Super Beetle has been wet sanded and polished, we're going to get the front end put together.
We start with the front of the car jacked up on stands with the front wheels removed.
We begin by checking the fitment and alignment of our fender beading.
We're using German-made beading and we note that the long tail of the beading points towards the running board.
Since we have a Super Beetle, the pre-cut fender beading will only line up with the first few bolts.
The notches don't line up with the last four so we know we'll have to cut the beading when we're installing it.
Next, we'll get our fender loosely bolted in place.
To help the fender beading slide in, silicone spray is used between the fender and the body.
Then, we can set the fender beading in place and we work from the front towards the back
aligning the edge of the bead with the fender and then tightening the bolts as we go.
We trim the fender beading for the bolts, as needed, with a pair of side cutters and continue bolting the fender to the car to hold the beading in place.
When we get to the last bolt, the long tail of the fender beading gets looped around the bottom of the fender and tucked in on the backside.
Then the last bolt can be tightened down to hold it in place.
We'll note that installing the running board later, may require us to loosen the last few bolts of the fender.
For now, though, we'll get to installing some generic wiring grommets at the back of the headlight buckets and we'll feed the headlight wires through them.
Headlight bucket drain tubes are installed in the bottom of the buckets.
Then, we'll install the headlight wire sockets onto the wires.
The wires insert into the back of the wire sockets and we'll note the small locking tabs on the wire terminals.
They sit towards the inside of the socket to align with the small notches at the base of the socket.
The white wire installs at the left slot, the yellow wire installs at the top slot, and the brown wire installs at the right slot.
Once both wire sockets are installed, we can install out new Hella headlights that come with removable H4 bulbs.
We opted to remove the stock halogen bulbs and installed some well-rated LED lights, from everyone's favorite jungle retailer.
We install the lights into our original headlight assemblies, using the same ones that we originally test fit when we fit our new fenders, but of course, the assemblies have been cleaned up and painted.
Once the assemblies are in, the headlight rings are installed, the spacing is checked, and the screws are tightened down.
With the fenders and headlights now installed, we'll move over to a table where we'll get our new front turn signal bumper prepared.
The turn signal bumpers are common in Mexico and we really like the look as it eliminates the turn signal assemblies from the top of the fender.
As the turn signal assemblies are made for the Mexican market, we're guessing that they have different bulbs available as the bulb holders don't correctly fit an 1157 bulb.
An 1157- or a dual filament bulb- has offset pins to align the contacts on the bottom.
That way, the dim filament, and the bright filament touch the correct contacts and wires in the turn signal assembly.
With a battery jump box, we can show the difference in brightness of the two contacts.
In the turn signal assembly, the pin cutouts are offset so the bulb can go in either way with a bit of force as the upper pin doesn't really align with anything.
We have our lens removed and we have our bulb installed, one way that it can go in, to check the wiring which is similar to standard VW with the exception that the ground wire is green.
The white and the black wires are used for the running light and the turn signal.
By hooking up the white wire, our low filament turns on, and hooking up the black wire, our high filament turns on.
This is exactly what we want as it's the same as the taillight sub-harnesses.
If we were to remove the bulb and spin it around in the assembly, the wiring would be reversed.
With the bulb installed, the wiring verified, and the lens still off, we'll get the assembly installed into our bumper.
We guide the wiring harness through the front of the bumper with the harness towards the center.
Then, the two bosses for the screws in the back of the assembly are lined up and pushed through the holes on the tabs on the bumper.
The tabs may need to be bent a bit so they line up correctly.
Now we can install the lens and as we screw it in place, the bosses spread out to hold the assembly to the bumper.
Once both assemblies are in place, we test the wiring to make sure we have the bulbs in place correctly and now we can install the bumper on the car.
New bumper bracket seals are installed into the fenders and turn signal bumper-specific brackets are slid through them.
The brackets are loosely bolted in place and note that they only use two bolts per side not three like the standard brackets.
Once both brackets are in place, we set the bumper over them and install a bolt at either side through the bottom of the bumper into the bracket and we loosely thread it on with nuts and washers on the backside.
The turn signal wiring is fed through the bumper bracket seals.
To avoid drilling more holes in the trunk, we cut the ends of the wires off and feed the wires through the headlight wire tubes.
In the trunk, new terminal ends are crimped on in place then the wires are plugged into the turn signal harness following the factory coloring.
The white wire connects to the white running light wire with its tracer and the black wire to the other black wire with its tracer.
The green wire, with a ring terminal, is attached to the body with the headlight wire ground screw.
Once both sides are hooked up, we can turn on the key to test the lights.
All the running, hazard, turn signal, low, and high beams work correctly.
We'll finish up the installation of the bumper by installing the bumper bolts through the front of the bumper loosely, like all the other hardware.
A front spoiler, which we sourced out of Europe, is installed.
Then we check the gaps and the alignment of the bumper before tightening down all the hardware and bolting the horn onto the drivers' side bracket.

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