JBugs Video Series

VW Beetle - Firewall Tarboard Installation:

Video Overview:

Installing the heavy duty firewall tarboard in a Beetle is easy, when you know how. Follow along with our tech as he shows how some rays of sunshine make the job simple, along with some other basic tools.

Firewall Tarboard Preparation: 0:50
Engine Compartment Preparation: 1:08
Tarboard Quarter Panels Installation: 1:58
Main Tarboard Panel Installation: 2:28
Modification for Power Wire: 3:20

Video Tips:

Tools used in this video:

Needle Nose Pliers
Linemans Pliers

Video Transcript:

Hi! Sam here with JBugs.com
We had a 1966 Beetle in the shop for rewiring 
which came in during the midst of its restoration after paint and bodywork. 
The car came in without the engine or firewall tarboard in place 
and as some of the wiring for the car has to be run behind the firewall tarboard, this was ideal. Once the wiring was in place, it gave us the opportunity to show how to install our heavy-duty firewall tarboard.
The first thing we do is set the tarboards in the sun. 
The window sill next to our workbench works perfectly as it gets very warm with the morning sun. Out of the box, the panels are very rigid and prone to breaking or cracking if they are bent. However, once the panels are warm, they are very flexible and can be bent and shaped to fit.
While the tarboard warms up, we get to work in the engine compartment; 
straightening out all the tabs on the firewall and at the left and right quarter panels. A few of the tabs are missing but not enough to be an issue. 
At either side of the engine compartment, there should be two tabs across the bottom edge, 
one at the back vertical edge, and three tabs at the sides of the body.
These tabs fold over to hold the left and right quarter panels in place. 
At the firewall, there are a number of pointed tabs along with two tabs above the transmission 
to hold the firewall in place. 
Some of the tabs can be straightened out by hand 
others require the use of needle-nose pliers and a pair of lineman's pliers. 
With all the tabs straight and the tarboards warm, 
we start with the right rear quarter panel and set it in place.
The quarter panel edges are bent over with the smaller, triangular portion sitting at the bottom edge 
and the rectangular portion against the firewall. Once the panel is in place, the tabs along the edges are bent over to hold it securely. 
The panel on the left side is installed in the same way 
but the rectangular portion is pulled off to allow the wiring through. The loose piece can be set in behind the engine harness or left out.
With both the quarter panel pieces installed, we can set the main firewall piece in place. 
The firewall tarboard is wedged in the engine compartment 
and then pushed up into place, as far as possible into the body seem, at the top edge of the firewall. 
Once the bottom edge is roughly level with the two tabs above the transmission, 
it is pressed by hand against the sheet metal over the pointed tabs.
Be careful as the tabs can be sharp. 
Feel around for the tabs and press around them until the tarboard is flat across the entire firewall. Press the bottom edge of the tarboard towards the firewall, over the two tabs above the transmission. Bend the tabs over with a pair of pliers. Once the tarboard is in place, a hammer can be used to fold over all of the pointed tabs on the firewall. To finish off, a hole is cut in the firewall for the starter to voltage regulator power wire. With the tarboard installation complete, this Beetle is one step closer to being driven by its owner.
Thanks for watching!
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