JBugs Video Series

VW Beetle Transmission Installation:

Video Overview:

Installing a swing axle transmission takes some work but isn't very complicated. No special tools are needed, just a jack, some stands and some basic tools. We're installing new transmission mounts along with a rear transmission strap to secure the transmission to the chassis.

Video Tips:

The tools you will need are:

Wheel Chocks
Jack Stands
8mm Wrench
10mm Wrench
13mm Wrench
17mm Wrench
19mm Wrench
Socket Driver
Brass Hammer
Side Cutters
1/4" Drive Ratchet
3/8" Drive Ratchet
1/2" Drive Ratchet
3" 3/8 Drive Extension
6" 3/8 Drive Extension
Adjustable Needle Nose Pliers
Pocket Knife
8mm Socket
13mm Socket
14mm Socket
15mm Socket
17mm Socket
19mm Socket
27mm Socket
36mm Socket
17mm Transaxle Drain Plug Socket
Flat Head Screwdriver
Safety Wire

Chemicals Used:
85W90 Gear Oil With Pump
Brake Cleaner

Video Transcript:

I'm Sam with JBugs.com. We're just about ready to install the transmission back into the 1963 Resto Custom Beetle. We will be replacing the original rubber mounts with stock replacements and for some added security, we will also be installing an EMPI padded rear transmission support kit.


Before we put the transmission back into the car, we will install a new starter bushing and that all begins at the work bench. A new bushing is slid over a socket extension and another extension is attached and used to guide the bushing into place into the transmission. A hammer is used to tap the bushing and seat it in place in the transmission.


Next, then new front transmission mount is bolted to the transmission along with a new chassis ground strap and the new nose cone boot is slid onto the nose cone. Two new rear transmission mounts are installed and loosely bolted inside the bell housing and the transmission is now ready to install.


At the car, which is jacked up and sitting on stands, the stock rear transmission carrier is removed to make way for the EMPI support. A new trans mount sleeve is installed onto the nose cone mount, at the chassis. The transmission is set on a jack and lifted into place onto the chassis. The nose cone mount is guided into place, the ground strap is placed over the left stud, and nuts are threaded on and tightened down.


Now the clutch cable is routed through the transmission guide followed by the Bowden tube. The clutch cable seal is slid over the cable onto the Bowden tube and the clutch cable is attached to the throw-out arm on the transmission. This is all done with tension held onto the clutch cable so that the clutch pedal does not fall.


The new rear transmission carrier is bolted to the chassis, the rear transmission mounts are bolted to the carrier, and the nuts for the mounts inside the bell housing are tightened.


Inside the car a new EMPI urethane transmission coupler is bolted to the shift rod and shift selector. The grub screws are tightened and safety wired to the coupler around the shift rod. The access plate is set back onto the chassis and the set screw is reinstalled.


The left and right axle tubes are bolted to the spring plates, the brake rotors are reinstalled, the nuts are tightened down and the cotter pins are installed on both sides. The rear shocks are bolted in place to the axles. The brake calipers and brake lines are routed in place along the axle tubes and installed along with the brake hose clips. The parking brake cables are installed onto the calipers and inside the cables are tightened at the handle.


Next, we will test fit the EMPI padded rear transmission strap around the bell housing. [We] can see that the rubber pad will have to be trimmed along the firewall seal. The firewall seal was also cut away where the strap will sit and the rubber pad is trimmed at the back edge so it can sit in place on the bell housing and not sit passed the back edge of the transmission. The strap is set in place over the transmission and bolted to the rear carrier and will help hold the transmission in place when we put a more powerful engine in the car later.


A new throw out bearing is installed onto the cross shaft with new clips. For good measure, we drain the old transmission fluid out by removing the drain plug. Once the transmission is drained, the plug is threaded back into place and the fill plug is unthreaded. Fresh 85W90 gear oil is pumped in until the oil starts to seep out of the fill hole. The fill plug is threaded back into place and our transmission is ready to accept an engine.


Our 1963 Resto Custom Beetle is just about ready to head to the body shop but it may be the star of a video or two more before it's painted. While you await our next video, shift your favorite web surfing device over to JBugs.com for all your vintage Volkswagen transmission parts and accessories.