JBugs Video Series

1971 VW Super Beetle - Axle & Rear Truss Bar Installation:

Video Overview:

We’re finishing up the last few things we can on our 1971 Super Beetle chassis while the body is out of the way. We’re prepping and installing new CV Joint Axle Assemblies and we’re going to mock up our rear truss bar in this video. Follow along as we finish up the chassis, all in preparation for the body to be set in place!

Stub axle prep: 0:54
Stub axle installation: 1:43
Truss bar prep: 2:03
Truss bar installation: 2:21

Video Tips:

Tools used in this video:

Flat Blade Screwdriver
Impact Driver
3/8" Drive Extension
3/8" Drive 8mm Hex Driver
3/8" Drive 19mm Socket
19mm Wrenches

Video Transcript:

Hello! Sam here with JBugs.com
We're finishing all the work we can on our 1971 Super Beetle chassis, while the body is out of the way. 
In our last few videos, we installed the transmission, rear suspension, rear brakes and installed all the hard brake lines.
We have a few more things to do before we set the body in place, 
and we start at the workbench with the drive axle assembly. The half shafts come pre-assembled and partially packed with grease. 
We need to pack the joint fully so we use a hammer and screwdriver to tap off the CV boot flange, 
and pulling back the boot, we can double-check that the boot is packed. 
The axle assemblies include grease and we squeeze some more into the boot, 
and the rest goes into the outside edge of the CV joint. 
The boot and flange are pulled back up to the CV, 
and then we use the packing bag to seal off the end of the CV as best as possible. 
The axle shaft is pushed into and then pulled out of the CV joint to pack the grease into the joint. 
The process is the same for all the joints, on both axles.
Once the CV's are packed, 
we install the bolts along with the torque distribution washer that comes with the axles. 
Then at the chassis, two bolts are threaded into the CV joint flanges on the stub axle 
and the transmission. More new bolts and the remaining washers are installed. Once they are all threaded in, they are all tightened down. The process is the same for both sides.
Next up, we're going to get our rear truss bar pre-installed. 
Some of you may have noticed, in our previous video, the extra tab on our frame horns. 
We welded them on since we knew we would be installing the truss bar. 
Normally, the tabs are bolted to the frame horns behind the transmission cross brace.
We start the install by bolting the rear shocks in place to the trailing arms, 
making sure the spacers are installed at either side of the shocks. At the top mounts, longer upper shock bolts are installed through the shock towers and the shocks. The crossbar end links are slid onto the bolts with the tabs pointing towards the center of the car. 
The nuts are threaded on loosely. 
Then, we can set the crossbar in place.
It has left and right-handed Heim joints, 
and jamb nuts at either end which are bolted to the crossbar end links. The end link bolts are tightened down. 
Then the crossbar is adjusted so that the end links are pulled in towards the center of the car, 
and the tabs at the crossbar are pointed towards the frame horns. Then, the upper shock bolts and the jamb nuts for the Heim's joints are tightened down. Both the vertical supports have left and right-hand Heim ends, like the crossbar.
They are bolted in place to the tabs at either frame horn 
and at the crossbar. The bolts are tightened and the supports are adjusted. 
The left side support is shortened until we feel resistance, 
and the right side is lengthened until we feel resistance and all the jamb nuts are tightened. 
Adjusting the supports this way helps counteract the torque that the engine puts on the chassis, 
and helps prevent chassis flex at the frame horns and shock towers. 
Of course, we're going to have to drop all this down 
and remove the shocks and end links when we set the body in place, 
but we wanted to get everything mocked up beforehand.
That will be coming up in our next video so stay tuned.
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