JBugs Video Series

1971 VW Super Beetle - Steering Component Removal:

Video Overview:

We’re ready to pull the body from the pan of our 1971 Super Beetle Restoration project but, as we have a Super Beetle, there are a few steering and suspension components that need to be disconnected. We’ll cover the disassembly of these last few items and by the end of this video we will finally be ready to remove the body from the pan.

Vehicle prep: 0:56
Steering column removal: 1:01
Steering component removal prep: 1:28
Steering dampener removal: 2:16
Tie rod end removal: 2:54
Idler arm removal: 4:03
Steering box removal: 4:13

Video Tips:

Tools used in this video:

Jack Stands
Wheel Chocks
14mm Wrench (x2)
Adjustable Wrench
Rubber Mallet
1/2" Impact Driver
1/2" Drive Ratchet
1/2" Drive 15mm Socket
1/2" Drive 17mm Socket
Rubber Mallet
1/2" Impact Driver
1/2" Drive Ratchet
1/2" Drive 15mm Socket
1/2" Drive 17mm Socket
1/2" Drive 19mm Socket
Small Flat Blade Screwdriver
Vice Grips
11mm Wrench
19mm Wrench
Impact Driver
3/8" Bit Adapter
3/8" Drive 6" Extension
3/8" Drive 14mm Socket
Side Cutters
Sledge Hammer
Pry Bar

Video Transcript:

Hello! I'm Sam with JBugs.com
In our last few videos, we removed our dashboard 
and cleaned out the trunk of our 1971 Super Beetle. 
We're just about ready to split the body from the pan 
but before we do, we need to get the steering components removed from the body. We probably sound redundant but save all the hardware until the car is reassembled.
We start in the trunk and remove the lock bolt from the upper steering joint. 
We use a flat chisel and an adjustable wrench to open up the steering joint clamp, 
so we can remove the steering column. Inside the car, we use a rubber mallet to tap the steering column free and remove it from the car. Then we chalk the rear wheels, jack up the front of the car, set it on jack stands, and remove the front wheels.
At the front left side, we remove the speedometer cable clip from the grease cap 
and pull the cable from the car. We cut the top portion in our last video so we're able to pull it free from the bottom. If you didn't cut your cable, the cable has to be pulled out from the top side. 
We also pull the master cylinder wiring from the car 
and disconnect the brake fluid feed lines from the master cylinder. Up in the trunk, the metal brake fluid lines are pulled up and out of the car. 
Next, we pull the brake line clips at the front 
and unthread the brake hoses, at either side, from the metal brake lines. 
Back in the trunk, the upper strut mount nuts are removed 
and both strut assemblies are pushed out of the body.
Towards the rear of the spare tire well, there is a large metal cap. 
It's pried out so we can access and remove the steering dampener bolt 
and disconnect the dampener from the chassis. 
For safekeeping, we thread the bolt back in place 
and press the cap back in place back into the body. 
Back to the front left side, the cotter pin for the center tie rod to the steering pitman arm is removed 
and the nut is loosened. We thread the nut back on a few threads as we will use it later when we remove the tie rod end. The steering dampener bolt is unthreaded from the pitman arm and the dampener is removed.
Now we can try and remove the tie rod end and after numerous hits to the pitman arm, 
and the tie rod nut, with a sledgehammer it doesn't budge. We spray some penetrating lube on the joint and we'll come back to it in a moment. The same process is done at the right side where the center tie rod attaches to the idler arm. We'll note that a pickle fork is the ideal tool for removing the tie rods if you don't care about the rubber boots. We don't have any rubber boots to worry about but we don't have a pickle fork either.
Back at the left side, we hit the pitman arm and the nut again 
until finally, the tie rod pops free. The nut is unthreaded and we can remove the tie rod end from the pitman arm. At the right side, we try again to get the tie rod to pop free with a sledgehammer. Still, no luck. 
An assistant helps by prying up on the tie rod while we continue to hit the idler arm 
and eventually, the tie rod end pops free. 
Note that even with a pickle fork, sometimes these alternative methods will still be needed 
to free stubborn tie rods or ball joints.
With the center tie rod disconnected, 
we remove the three bolts for the idler arm and it drops free from the body. 
On the left side, the three bolts for the steering box are removed 
and the steering box and steering shaft are dropped out of the body. We're finally ready to remove the body from the pan. That's going to be in our next video though.
Thanks for watching!
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