JBugs Video Series

1971 VW Super Beetle - Steering Column Installation:

Video Overview:

We got the front steering and suspension bolted on to our 1971 Super Beetle in our last video, now we will get the steering column reassembled so we can turn the front wheels. Follow along with our tech as he covers the assembly and installation.

Steering column reassembly: 0:49
Ignition switch reassembly: 2:15
Ignition switch assembly installation: 3:12
Steering column installation: 3:33

Video Tips:

Tools used in this video:

Rubber Mallet
Snap Ring Pliers
Small Flat Head Screwdriver
3mm Allen Wrench
8mm Allen Wrench
3/8" Drive Ratchet
3/8" Drive Extension
3/8" Drive 13mm Socket
3/8" Drive 14mm Socket
14mm Wrench

Video Transcript:

Hello! I'm Sam with JBugs.com
We just finished up installing all the front steering, suspension, and brakes on our Euro Look Super Beetle. 
To finish up the steering, we're going to get the steering column rebuilt and reinstalled.
I disassembled, cleaned, and painted the column at home 
and now at our bench, we start the reassembly by installing the greased lower steering shaft needle bearing into the column tube. Then we slide the steering shaft in to make sure the bearing is seated and the lower tube seal is pushed onto the end of the tube to keep the bearing in place. 
The shaft is removed and then the column tube is pushed into the upper steering column housing. 
The tube needs to be pressed in until the notches for the steering lock in the tube, and the housing, line up. 
The spring-loaded lock sticks through the housing and inserts into the lock groove on the shaft when the ignition key is removed.
Next, we'll install the original steering column bushing 
and the upper steering column bearing onto the shaft, and tap the bearing into place onto the bushing. 
The shaft is slid back into the housing, 
we pull off the lower boot for a moment, slide on the upper steering column boot, and then reinstall the lower boot. 
The snap ring for the upper bearing is installed and seated with a mallet and small screwdriver. 
The steering shaft spacer is slid over the shaft and held in place with a circlip. 
Then, for safekeeping, we temporarily install the steering wheel nut and washer. 
The clamp bolt for the upper column housing is threaded into place.
Then we get to work on assembling the ignition switch assembly. 
First, we install the lock cylinder into the housing lining up the index groove and then sliding down the cylinder into place. Turning the key back and forth, while pushing the cylinder down, aligns the ignition lock with the steering lock. We test the operation with the key and the cylinder to make sure everything is seated and then we can install the ignition switch.
After unthreading the VERY small set screw from the housing, 
the new switch can be installed. 
We make sure that the lock assembly is indexed to line up with the switch by turning the key as needed. 
Then, we push the switch into the assembly 
making sure that the hole in the switch lines up with the hole in the housing. 
The set screw is threaded in and then we test the operation of the switch. Then, slide the assembly down into the column housing, wires first.
Once the lock assembly is in place, we remove the key 
and turn the steering shaft to lock the assembly. 
The lock assembly trim plate is set into the housing and the new allen screws are threaded in 
to hold it and the lock assembly in place. At the car, the steering column is slid in place under the dash. 
Then in the trunk, 
we slide the original backing plate from the steering column boot in place. 
As we mentioned in our last video, the boot is not really needed, 
but we do like to keep the plate in place here as a dust shield.
The steering column is lined up with the steering shaft 
making sure that the alignment grooves for the set bolt line up and the shaft is tapped in place. 
We turn the shaft so we can install the bolt 
and then turn it again so we can install and tighten the nut. Inside the car, under the dash, the column housing bolts are threaded in to hold the housing in place. We don't tighten them down all the way as we are going to have to drop the column later when we install the dash. 
We remove the steering wheel nut and washer 
and slide on a temporary steering wheel we had lying around. 
Then, we install the nut and washer. 
The front of the car is finally lowered back down to the ground and we can get on to the next step. 
Until then, make sure to click the like button below, follow us if you haven't already, and when you need parts or accessories for your vintage VW, steer over to JBugs.com.