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VW Beetle Link Pin Spindle Rebuild:

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Disassembling and Reassembling VW Link Pin Spindles


Working on your VW's link pin spindles might seem challenging, but with the right tools and some DIY spirit, you can tackle this job at home. We'll walk you through the process step by step, so let's get started.

Tools Needed:

Bench Vise
6" 1/2" Drive Extension
12" 1/2" Drive Extension
6" 3/8" Drive Extension
Various 1/2" Drive Sockets**
Various 3/8" Drive Sockets**
Closed End Wrench
Flat Metal File
VW 224 King Pin Reamer Tool
Angle Grinder

Please Note: The tools we used were not the ideal tools used for this job, but did get the job done. Short of the specialized reamer, all the other tools used are common hand tools that you most likely have in your garage.

**Sockets used for the outer diameter size not nut size

Step 1: Disassembly

  • Secure one of the spindles in a bench vise with the spindle carrier facing upwards.

  • Use extensions and sockets, or suitable substitutes, to tap out the upper and lower link pin bushings from the spindle carrier. Apply force until the bushings are removed.

  • Ensure that the grease inside the carrier is cleaned out thoroughly.

  • Clamp the spindle upside down in the vise to access the king pin.

  • Use a six-inch extension, a closed-end wrench as a guide, and a hammer to strike the king pin repeatedly until it begins to move. Note that you may need substantial force for this step.

  • Continue tapping until the king pin is nearly out, and then use a 12-inch extension to drive it out completely.

  • Slide or tap the spindle out of the carrier in the direction of the grooves on the carrier.

  • Remove the dust cap, nylon bushing, alignment washer, and spindle as a unit. Keep the washer and spindle if you plan to reuse them, but the cap and bushing should be discarded.

Link Pin Spindle Rebuild Pic 1 Link Pin Spindle Rebuild Pic 2 Link Pin Spindle Rebuild Pic 3

Step 2: Disassemble the Other Spindle

  • Follow the same method to disassemble the second spindle assembly.

  • Step 3: Clean and Prepare

  • Clean both spindle carriers further to prepare them for reassembly.

  • Step 4: Installing New King Pin Bushings

    • Secure one spindle carrier vertically in the bench vise with the bottom side up.

    • Drop a new king pin bushing into place.

    • Use the extension and socket that you used earlier to remove the old bushings to tap the new bushing into the carrier. Tap it just slightly past the bottom edge.

    • Flip the spindle carrier over and use a flat file to make the bushing flush with the carrier. Be cautious not to file down the steel carrier.

    • Repeat this process for the top bushing as well.

    Link Pin Spindle Rebuild Pic 4 Link Pin Spindle Rebuild Pic 5 Link Pin Spindle Rebuild Pic 6

    Step 5: Notch the Bushing

    • With the spindle still flipped over, use the narrow end of the flat file to notch the bushing to match the carrier's shape.

    Step 6: Reaming the Bushings

    • Insert the VW 224 king pin reamer tool through the upper bushing, aligning it with the lower bushing.

    • Spin the reamer by using a crescent wrench while applying light pressure. This step ensures that the bushings are properly aligned and smooth.

    • Clean away any shavings from the spindle carrier thoroughly.

    • Clamp the spindle carrier upright in the vise, using a socket below to prevent it from sliding.

    • Ensure the flat side of the brace on the carrier is facing toward the chassis.

    • Tap the original alignment washer over the pin on the new disc brake drop spindle.

    • Place a new greased nylon bushing followed by a new dust cap.

    • Ensure that the angle on the brace for the carrier has the flat side toward the chassis, while the angled side faces the spindle.

    • Position the steering arm for the spindle on the opposite side of the carrier brace.

    • Grease the upper and lower bushings.

    • Slide the spindle into the carrier, following the notches in the carrier.

    • Drop a new greased king pin through the top hole of the carrier.

    • Ensure that the grease ports are aligned, pointing forward.

    • Tap the pin into place using a significant amount of force, going through the upper carrier, spindle, and lower carrier.

    • Continue tapping until the pin is nearly flush with the upper king pin bushing.

    Link Pin Spindle Rebuild Pic 7 Link Pin Spindle Rebuild Pic 9 Link Pin Spindle Rebuild Pic 10

    Step 7: Link Pin Bushings Installation

    • Secure the assembly in the bench vise, and position the spindle carrier so you can tap in the link pin bushings.

    • Use a socket that fits for the lower bushing, ensuring the grease hole points toward the king pin.

    • Begin with a slightly smaller socket to tap the new greased bushing almost flush with the carrier.

    • Switch to a slightly larger socket to ensure the bushing is installed flush with the carrier.

    • Repeat the same process for the top bushing. Use caution when tapping the top bushing due to limited clearance.

    Link Pin Spindle Rebuild Pic 11

    Step 8: Double Check Spindle Operation

    • Rotate both spindles in the carrier and ensure they stop against the steering stop at the front of the carrier.

    • If clearance issues arise, use an angle grinder to adjust the spindle to prevent contact with the steering stop.

    Step 9: Final Touches

    • Paint the assembled spindles, and once dry, they'll be ready for installation on the trailing arms.


    That's it! You've successfully disassembled and reassembled your VW link pin spindles. For the next steps in the process and more valuable Volkswagen maintenance tips, stay tuned for our upcoming videos. In the meantime, remember to visit JBugs.com for all your vintage Volkswagen parts and accessories.