JBugs Video Series

VW Beetle Throw Out Shaft Replacement:

Video Overview:

Whenever you are restoring a VW Beetle, or any vehicle for that matter, there are always repairs that are unplanned. For us it means more opportunities to show all you at home another repair. Follow along as we show you how to replace a transmission throw out shaft. Note: The engine must be removed in order to do this repair.

Video Tips:

Tools you will need:

Wheel Chocks
Jack Stands
8mm Wrench
15mm Wrench
Vice Grips
Sledge Hammer
3 Arm Puller
Flat Head Scerwdriver
Snap Ring Pliers

Video Transcript:

Hello, Sam here with JBugs.com. In the midst of prepping our 1963 resto custom Beetle for a new master cylinder, we decided to pull the pedal assembly in order to clean it up and swap out to a roller pedal.


We started that process by disconnecting the clutch cable from the clutch arm when we noticed that the clutch return spring was broken. This gave us an opportunity to cover the removal and installation of a clutch operating shaft and the associated bushings and parts. This repair is done with the engine out of the car as getting to the cross shaft inside the transmission would be impossible with the engine in place.


We have the front wheels chocked and the back of the car is jacked up and set up on jack stands already. Inside the bell housing, on the transmission, the throw out bearing clips are popped off the shaft and the throw out bearing is removed. The clutch cable adjustment nut is loosened from the cable with a wrench. 1966 and later models have a wing nut so no wrench is needed. Holding the cable with a pair of pliers or vice grips is usually necessary to keep the cable from twisting while removing the nut.


Next, the circlip that holds the clutch arm in place is removed with a pair of snap ring pliers. The clutch arm can now be removed from the operating shaft. Some arms will slide off with just a bit of pulling, while others like ours require some assistance. A punch, hammer, and eventually, a three arm puller were needed to pull off the clutch arm. The difficulty pulling off our clutch arm set the tone for this repair as the rest of the components took much more effort than they would normally require.


The broken clutch return spring is removed along with the metal cap and the bushing set screw is un-threaded from the transmission. Normally, the shaft could then be pushed towards the main bushing and the bushing could be pulled out. Then, the shaft can be slid out back into the transmission bell housing and out of the transmission. Our bushing was stuck, so the hammer and punch came out again and eventually, after breaking off both of the arms, we removed the shaft and then tapped out the outer bushing from the transmission


Now, the small end bushing can be slid out of the transmission and again ours took more effort than normal. We modified a distributor drive gear puller to fit inside the bushing and eventually got the bushing out. The cross shaft installation begins with a new bushing kit shown here. The original clutch cable arm and shaft cover are kept and will be installed with a new cross shaft inner bushing, outer four piece bushing, which replaces the original bronze bushing, two snap rings, a washer and a set screw.


First, the small bushing is greased slightly then pushed into place in the transmission. The larger outer bushing is greased and slid into the transmission at the opposite side and the alignment hole is lined up with the set screw. Then the set screw is threaded in partially- just flush with the edge of the bushing. The new cross shaft is prepped with a new snap ring slid onto the shaft, followed by the washer and a greased inner bushing seal. The shaft is then slid into place through the outer bushing and with a bit of pressure, pushed in far enough to clear the inner bushing boss on the transmission. Then it's pushed all the way up the outer arm.


Now, the greased inner bushing is slid onto the shaft, noting the position of the alignment hole. It is pressed and pushed all the way into the transmission using a flat head screwdriver. After rotating the shaft back and forth and tightening the bushing screw slightly to ensure it is in place, the bushing set screw is tightened and the arm is rotated to make sure there is no binding in the shaft. The outer bushing seal is greased and slid over the shaft into the bushing, followed by the metal cap and the clutch return spring. The clutch cable arm is then aligned and slipped into place onto the shaft. Then the clutch return spring is positioned onto the arm then tapped into place on the transmission. The clutch arm can be tapped onto the shaft all the way passed the snap ring groove. The snap ring can be installed with the snap ring pliers. A flat head screwdriver is used to make sure the ring is fully seated in the groove.


Finally, the inner washer and snap ring are tapped into place onto the inner groove and the installation is complete. With the clutch return spring, bushings, and cross shaft replaced, we can now get back to our intended job of cleaning up the pedal assembly and swapping out the accelerator pedal for a rotor pedal. That will be in our next video, in the meantime head over to JBugs.com for all your vintage Volkswagen parts and accessories.