JBugs Video Series

VW Beetle Link Pin Drop Spindle Installation:

Video Overview:

Whether you're installing new drop spindles or have rebuilt your own, proper installation of spindles is a crucial step for driving safety. Follow along as we walk you through all the steps needed to be taken for proper link pin drop spindle installation.

Video Tips:

Tools you will need:

Framing Square
Spring Clamp
Digital Caliper
15mm Wrench
2- 17mm Wrenches

Video Transcript:

Hello I'm Sam with JBugs.com. In our last video we showed you how to rebuild your link pin spindles and with the paint dry on our assemblies, we can now install them on our 1963 Resto Custom Beetle.


At our front beam we clamp a framing square to the flat edge of the lower control arm, so we can check the offset at the upper control arm. With the square sitting next to the upper control arm, we can see that we have a gap of 7mm. Checking a VW link pin shim chart for 1960 and later models, we can see that we use three shims between the spindle carrier and the trailing arm on the upper and lower pins. The remaining five shims will be installed on the outside of the pin before the pin goes through the carrier. Eight shims must be used on each pin. The shims between the arm and the spindle are used to accommodate the offset of the control arms. The other shims are used as spacers for the length of the pin. 1959 and earlier cars will need to reuse eight of the original shims as they use 10 shims per link pin.


Due to some damage on the carriers near the link pin boxes, it's easier for us to install the shims onto the carrier first at both the inner and outer, upper and lower positions. Then the link pins are greased and slid through the spindle carrier. They're followed by the O-ring seals, making sure that the O-rings are slid all the way past the helical groove on the link pins all the way down to the shims. This will prevent the O-rings from being pinched and splitting when the pins are pushed through the carrier.


The grease caps are slid over the pins noting that there is a notch and a dish in the cap that both sit towards the trailing arms. Lift the assembly into place and slide the lower link pin into the lower trailing arm. Push up on the lower trailing arm and slide the upper link pin into the upper trailing arm. Make sure the grease caps are aligned with the notches on the trailing arms. Push the entire assembly into the trailing arms. Slide the lock bolts through the holes at the back edges of the trailing arms. Rotating the link pin with a wrench may be necessary to get the bolt to pass through the trailing arm. Install the lock washers and nuts on the trailing arm lock down bolts and thread them down but do not tighten them fully yet.


Rotate the link pin wrench one way or the other and you'll see the pin move in and out of the spindle. Rotate the pin so that it pulls in tightening the pin through the trailing arm. The pin should be tightened to the point where there is no play in and out on the spindle assembly but the spindle and control arms can still move up and down. With the pin tightened, the lock bolt on the trailing arm can be tightened fully. Tighten the other link pin using the same method.


The whole process is repeated on the opposite side of the car where we had an offset of 6.5mm. So five shims are installed on the back of the upper pin and three shims are used between the carrier and the trailing arm. For the lower pin four shims are installed at the back and four shims are used between the carrier and the trailing arm.


With the spindles installed a grease gun is used at the upper and lower zerk fittings to lubricate the king and link fittings. Pump the grease into the fittings until the grease seeps out of the joints, and then wipe off the excess grease. With that done we're ready to install the wide five disc brake rotors, calipers, and the remaining front suspension and steering components which will all be covered in our next video. Until then stop by JBugs.com for all your vintage Volkswagen parts and accessories.