JBugs Video Series

1971 VW Super Beetle - Running Board, Rear Fender, & Decklid Removal:

Video Overview:

We’re about midway through pulling apart our 1971 Super Beetle and we continue the tear down by removing the rear fenders, running boards and decklid. We’ll also strip down most of the wiring from the engine compartment and rear end of the car all in preparation for paint and body. We discover a rusted through heater channel on one side so that will entail more work but we’ll cover that later.

Vehicle prep: 0:55
Running board removal: 1:30
Rear fender disassembly: 2:10
Rear fender removal: 2:33
Decklid disassembly: 3:03
Decklid removal: 3:30
Engine compartment disassembly: 3:49


Video Tips:

Tools used in this video:

Impact Driver
1/4" Drive Extension
3/8" Drive Extension
1/4" Bit Adapter
3/8" Drive Ratchet
3" Extension
8mm Socket
10mm Socket
13mm Socket
13mm Wrench
Side Cutters
#2 Phillips Screwdriver Bit
Flat Blade Screw Driver

Video Transcript:

Hi! Sam here with JBugs.com
We're in the midst of disassembling out 1971 Euro Look Super Beetle to get it ready for bodywork. 
In our last video, we pulled the original front fenders and test fit some aftermarket replacements. 
For the rear of the car, 
since we plan on reusing the original rear fenders and decklid, all we'll be doing is pulling the parts off.
Since we'll also be removing the running boards, we start by jacking up the sides of the car 
and setting the front and the rear on jack stands. 
We pull off the rear wheels and we'll note again; 
take pictures of any of the wires or other parts you aren't completely familiar with to make assembly easier in the future. 
Also, save all the hardware you've removed, 
and whenever possible, attach the hardware back to whichever part it belongs to. 
Another tip for removing parts from the exterior of the car 
is to spray penetrating oil on the hardware you'll be removing a day or two before. It will make removing the hardware much easier.
We start at the back of the running board and remove the bolt that attaches the running board to the rear fender. 
The four bolts, underneath the running board, are unthreaded 
and the running board is removed to reveal a relatively solid heater channel. 
There is some rust at the quarter panel that will have to be cut out and patched, 
but at least this heater channel doesn't have to be replaced. 
The opposite side running board is removed and reveals a number of holes and rust throughout. 
This heater channel could be possibly patched 
but the right way to repair this much rust, we'll be replacing the heater channel completely. Do you want to see a video on that? Answer in the comments below.
The rear fender tear-down begins by removing the taillight lens 
and the bulb holder so we can disconnect the taillight wires. 
The wires are pushed through the fender and the two taillight housing nuts 
on the bottom side are unthreaded and the housing is removed. The bumper bracket bolts are unbolted from the body and the rear bumper is removed.
All the fender bolts are unthreaded and the fender is removed from the car. 
There's minimal damage to the fender and other than a few small cracks at the bottom, the fender is in great shape. We will repair the cracks, do the necessary bodywork and we're definitely going to be reusing this fender. The opposite side fender is removed in the same manner. It all goes well other than the very last body nut at the apron, which spun loose while the bolt was being removed.
We continue the tear-down of the rear of the car with the decklid open. 
We can remove the license light lens, 
the bulb holder, and its wiring. 
The three nuts on the bottom side of the license light holder are unthreaded 
and the holder is removed. The decklid emblem is gently pried up from the decklid, at all three clips. It's in good enough shape to be reused. 
The decklid latch is removed by unthreading the three screws 
and then we remove the two bolts at either decklid hinge. 
The safest way to pull the decklid is by holding it firmly at either side 
and then rotating it to one side to release the spring tension. The bolts for both decklid brackets are unthreaded so the brackets and the nut plates can be removed.
On the left side of the engine compartment, the emissions diaphragm is removed. 
The numerous metal tabs, that hold the engine firewall tarboard in place, are straightened 
with a pair of side cutters and a flat blade screwdriver. Once all the tabs are straightened out, the rear tarboard is removed, along with some of the wiring. 
Most of the remaining wires in the engine compartment are pulled out 
and cut away from the car since we'll be replacing it all after the car is painted.
The right side tarboard had already been removed so we can access the wires that go behind it. 
The body tabs for the left side are pried up so we can remove the left side tarboard. We continue removing and cutting back the wires down to the main harness itself. We will leave this section of wiring as we'll use it to pull the new harness through the body later. With that, the rear tear-down of our Beetle is fairly complete. 
In our next few videos, the tear-down will continue where we will cover tearing down the interior, 
and removing the dash and all of its components. 
Then we'll get into the trunk and continue cleaning and disassembling the car 
down to the bare body before we finally pull the body off of the chassis.
Thanks for watching!
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