JBugs Video Series

1971 VW Super Beetle - Trailing Arm Installation:

Video Overview:

We’re about midway through rebuilding the chassis of our 1971 Euro Look Super Beetle. In this portion of our series we’ll reinstall our painted rear suspension components. We install new axle bearings and spacers into the trailing arms before installing the rest of the rear suspension and brake parts. Follow along and enjoy as our chassis comes together.

Vehicle Prep: 0:50
Spring plate installation: 1:04
Trailing arm installation: 1:24
Stub axle installation: 2:24
Brake caliper bracket installation: 3:30
Brake rotor & caliper Installation: 3:53
Parking brake cable installation: 4:28

Video Tips:

Tools used in this video:

1/2" Impact Driver
1/2" Drive 15mm Socket
1/2" Drive 19mm Socket
1/2" Drive 17mm Deep Well Socket
1/2" Drive 36mm Socket
Snap Ring Pliers
Needle Nose Pliers
Axle Removal Tool
3/8" Drive Ratchet
3/8" Impact Driver
3/8" Drive 14mm Socket
3/8" Drive 15mm Socket
3/8" Drive 17mm Socket
Torque Multiplier
10mm Wrenches
19mm Wrench
Small Flat Blade Screwdriver
Cheater Bar

Chemmicals Used:

Bearing Grease
Brake Cleaner

Video Transcript:

Hi! Sam here with JBugs.com
We're rebuilding the chassis of our 1971 Super Beetle, while the body is out of the way. 
We have our rear suspension components cleaned up and ready to install. 
We've covered most of this in our rear suspension and our rear disc brake conversion videos, 
so we're going to be glossing over some of those aspects while concentrating on the trailing arm-specific information.
We start by greasing up and installing the innerspring plate bushings, 
and slide the spring plate in place, noting our scribe marks. 
The outer bushing is greased up and installed, 
followed by the spring plate cover, which is bolted in place to the chassis.
Then, we can install new urethane pivot bushings into both sides of the trailing arm, 
press the inner sleeve into place, and then grease the outer diameter of the bushings and the inner diameter of the sleeve. The trailing arm is set in place into the chassis and the spring plate. 
Then, the original pivot bolt washers are set in place on the outside edge of the trailing arm, 
before the pivot bolt is threaded into the chassis and tightened down. 
The spring plate to trailing arm hardware is installed, 
and while pressing the trailing arm all the way forward in the slots, the hardware is all tightened down. 
We install the low profile urethane bump stop, 
and then we tighten the I.R.S. pivot bolt with the help of a cheater bar. 
Once the bolt is tight, we use a hammer and a punch to peen the mounting flange at the chassis 
to prevent the bolt from backing out.
Next, we get to work on the stub axle and bearings 
and begin by packing the inner bearing with grease. I use a plastic bag with a handful of grease, and the bearing inside and then squeeze around the bearing. The bearing is set in place into the trailing arm and tapped in using a hammer and a ball joint cup. 
Once the bearing is fully seated, the inner snap ring is installed, 
and tapped with a hammer and punch to make sure it is seated in place.
Then, the inner wheel seal is installed and tapped into place with a ball joint cup as well 
to make sure it is hammered in evenly. We pack a bit more grease into the seal and bearing. 
Then, we install a new bearing spacer on the original stub axle 
noting that the concave portion faces the CV flange. The axle is slid into the trailing arm and tapped into place. Then, we pack more grease on the axle and into the trailing arm before installing a new center bearing spacer. 
The outer two-piece axle bearing is packed with grease in our bag, 
and then slid into the trailing arm and tapped into place gently.
We follow the bearing with a new outer O-ring, 
then we install a new outer wheel seal into the bearing cap, and coat the paper gasket with a thin layer of grease. 
The new outer bearing spacer, with the tapered end facing out, 
the brake caliper bracket, and bearing cap gasket, are set in place. Then, the bolts are inserted and tightened down.
Next, we make sure the pads are installed properly in our freshly painted brake calipers 
before we install the brake rotor, axle spacer, and nut. The nut is tightened but not torqued down. 
Now, we can check the fitment of our brake caliper, 
and we can see now that with the new axle spacers in the rotor it's not hitting the caliper like it was when we first installed the disc brake conversion kit. 
The axle nut is torqued down, 
and a cotter pin is installed and bent over to prevent the axle nut from coming off.
The parking brake cable is installed into the caliper and the cable is routed around the bump stop. 
The whole process is repeated on the opposite side of the chassis in the same manner. 
We tighten the parking brake cables 
and check that the parking brakes operate correctly with the new cable routing.
We'll take a break here until our next video where we will get all new stainless steel brake hard lines installed onto our chassis, so stay tuned for that.
In the mean time, click the like button below, follow us if you haven't already, 
and when you need parts for your vintage Volkswagen, head over to JBugs.com