JBugs Video Series

VW Super Beetle Engine Removal:

VW Super Beetle Engine Removal

Video Overview:

We're kicking off our 1971 Super Beetle restoration project with an engine removal. Diagnosing an engine problem is much easier when you can see all around the engine so follow along as we walk you through how to safely remove an engine out of your classic VW Beetle.

Products in this Video:

Video Tips:

Tools you will need:

8mm Wrench
17mm Wrench
3/8" Drive Ratchet
1/2" Drive Ratchet
3" Extensions
6" Extensions
17mm Sockets
Vice Grips
Wheel Chocks
Flat Head Screwdriver
Philips Screwdriver
Jack Stands

Video Transcript:

Hi, Sam here with JBugs.com. Today, our 1971 Super Beetle restoration begins by pulling the engine to find out why it won't turn over. We're guessing that something dropped into the intake and found its way into a cylinder. Hopefully it isn't a snapped crankshaft, but that is unlikely as there isn't much end play on the crank. Either way, to find out why, we have to pull the engine out and get it taken apart.


There isn't a battery in our car to disconnect, so we start with our deck lid open and disconnect the vacuum hoses from our carburetor and remove the air cleaner. Next, if you aren't familiar with Volkswagen engine wiring, label every wire so you know where to hook it back up later. The wiring at the generator is removed and the harness is pulled up away from the engine along with the wire from the coil and the oil pressure switch.


The accelerator cable is disconnected from the carburetor and the cable is pushed back into the fan shroud. The reverse light harness wasn't hooked up, it would have gone to the coil, but it was still in place near the coil so it was pulled up and away from the engine. The clamps for the heater hoses, at the fan shroud, are loosened and the hoses are removed.


The left and right pre-heater pipe tins are removed so the rear engine tin can be removed. The spark plug wires are pulled in from the edge of the engine to make sure they won't be pinched when the engine is dropped. You could also simply pull out the spark plug wires as well to ensure that. The upper right engine nut, behind the fan shroud, is loosened but our nut wouldn't come loose as the starter bolt kept spinning. So we chalk the front wheels and jacked up the rear end of the car, set it on jack stands placed under the torsion housing.


Underneath the engine, the heater box cables are disconnected from the heater boxes and the heater hoses to the car are disconnected from the heater boxes. The accelerator cable is pulled clear of the back of the engine and the fuel line is disconnected from the steel fuel line at the rear engine tin. There isn't any fuel in our car so we don't need to worry about the fuel leaking but have a plug ready for your line if there is fuel in your system.


Next, the lower two engine nuts at the bottom of the transmission are un-threaded from the engine and the troublesome D-bolt on the starter is held with a pair of vice grips, while another person loosens the upper right engine nut from behind the fan shroud. The upper right engine bolt was then loosened and removed from the engine and our engine can now be pulled out and dropped. A jack is positioned underneath the engine sump plate and the engine is jacked up slightly and pulled back a bit from the transmission. Removing the engine is a balancing act of pulling the engine back a little and dropping the engine a little and then pulling it back until it is clear of the apron and the lower engine studs are clear of the transmission. With the engine finally backed out of the transmission far enough, the engine is dropped down and into a rolling engine dolly. Then, the jack was re-positioned underneath the middle of the chassis of the car and the back of the car is jacked up, until the engine can be rolled out from underneath the car.


The jack stands can be removed and the car can be lowered back down to the ground and with the engine out it will be degreased and cleaned, then we'll get the engine mounted to an engine stand and start the disassembly. That process will be covered in an upcoming video. In the meantime, head over to JBugs.com for all your vintage Volkswagen parts and accessories.