JBugs Video Series
1971 VW Super Beetle - Decklid Installation:
With the engine back in our 1971 Super Beetle we can install the deck lid. Installing the engine lid cover isn’t as difficult as installing the hood as it isn’t nearly as big. The brackets and hinges take a little bit more work though as there are numerous adjustments. Follow along as our tech gets our lid installed along with the deck lid latch and license light assembly.
Tools used in this video:
3/8” Drive Ratchet
3/8” Drive 10mm Socket
#2 Philips Screwdriver
1/4” Nut Driver
1/4” Drive 8mm Socket
Small Flat Blade Screwdriver
Other Parts Used:
Heat & Glue Butt Splices
Open Barrel Terminal Ends
Inline ATC Fuse Holder
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and we can finally shut the lid on our engine.
Our 1971 Super Beetle project is nearing completion and with
the engine installed in our last video, we can now get the decklid
We start by sliding the decklid hinge threaded plates into the body at either side.
Then, the decklid brackets can be installed with the reinforcement plate sitting over the top of the bracket.
Bolts are set into the ends of the bracket and threaded in loosely to the body at either side.
Then the bolts on the side of the threaded brackets are threaded in loosely.
Once the three screws of both brackets are threaded in, the
brackets are pushed all the way towards the front of the car and the
bolts are tightened.
Now, the decklid spring can be installed onto the decklid.
There are a few different springs used through the years.
Later model, dual pivot springs like ours install at the upper
two holes on the decklid with the spring coiled towards the outside of
Just as there are a few different springs, there are a few different ways to install the decklid and the spring.
I set the long end of the spring in place at the body tab and
then push the decklid down into place with the hinges on the back side
of the brackets.
The tension of the spring will hold the decklid in place while we grab the bolts.
The hinge bolts are threaded in loosely and with the decklid
set in roughly the middle of the adjustment, all the bolts are snugged
We close the decklid very cautiously as we don't want to chip or scratch the paint if we're out of alignment.
With the decklid closed, we can see that we need to shift it
to the left a little bit and it needs to come up a little bit on the
We loosen the bolts on the right side hinge, slide the decklid up, and then tighten them back down.
We close the decklid again and we're happy with the fit across the top.
Now, we can work on shifting the decklid to the left.
We loosen the decklid brackets, slide the decklid to the left,
and then tighten the bolts and close the decklid once more to check the
The gap at the top is even and the body lines on either side are even so we can move on and install the decklid latch.
With a new seal set in place on the latch, it's set in place
into the opening on the decklid, and the three screws are threaded into
place from the bottom side.
We close the decklid to check the operation of the latch and
after pressing the lid down a few times, with a very firm press, it
Pushing the button and the lid at the same time opens the latch so we'll move onto the license plate light.
As the decklid stop and seals break in, the latch will work more easily.
We start by installing our original bulb holder into the
license plate assembly, followed by a new seal and lens, which are
screwed down into the license light housing.
A new light assembly seal is installed and the wires for the license light are fed through the seal.
We make sure there is a gap between the seal and the mounting
studs so we can install the license plate bracket which slides in
Then, the wires for the light are fed through the opening.
The tab for the license plate bracket is set into the large
hole on the decklid and the license light assembly is set into place.
Washers and nuts are installed on the studs, tightened down,
and the license plate wires are looped around the decklid tab.
To finish, we'll get the license light harness run up to the decklid and connected to the light.
To run the harness through the lid, we have to remove the male terminal ends from their shroud.
We use a small flat blade screwdriver to depress the lock tabs so we can pull the terminals out.
The wires are then routed through the opening at the top edge of the decklid and through the brace.
The ends are reinstalled back into the terminal shroud and the license plate wires are plugged into the harness.
The grey wire from the light is plugged into the grey wire
from the shroud and the brown wire is plugged into the brown wire in the
We open and close the decklid to make sure the harness doesn't get caught on anything.
We turn on the headlights to make sure the lights come on and we'll call it a day.
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