JBugs Video Series

VW Super Beetle Engine Tin Disassembly:

Video Overview:

In preparation for disassembling our engine to determine why it won't turn over completely our tech shows you how to remove the exhaust, engine tin and other accessories. Follow along and learn how to disassemble all the engine accessories down to the long block. Important Note! If the flange has broken during regular maintenance, drain the oil after breaking up the remaining pieces inside the engine case.

Products in this Video:

Video Tips:

The tools you will need are:

1/2" Drive Ratchet
1/4" Drive Ratchet
3/8" Drive Ratchet
3" Extension
6" Extension
10mm Socket
13mm Socket
19mm Socket
30mm Socket
10mm Deep Socket
10mm Wrench
13mm Wrench
21mm Wrench
Adjustable Wrench
Brass Hammer
Vice Grips
Adjustable Pliers
Flathead Screwdriver
Phillips Screwdriver

Video Transcript:

Hi, I'm Sam with JBugs.com. When we first obtained our 1971 Super Beetle, the engine was locked up, or more correctly, would only spin over partially. We suspect that a nut or bolt has dropped down into the cylinder, but we won't know for sure until it's disassembled.


After the engine is pulled, the oil is drained. The engine is de-greased, cleaned, and is now mounted to our engine stand. Our engine is a nearly all original 1600cc dual port doghouse unit, with all the original sheet metal in place. We start with the removal of the rear engine tin which was pulled to drop the engine from the car, but reinstalled for cleaning and storage.


The left and right pre-heat tins are unbolted from the cylinder shrouds, and the rear engine tin is unbolted from the left and right cylinder shrouds and removed. The front engine tin is unbolted from the left and right cylinder shroud and behind the fan shroud, and set aside. Next, the exhaust is removed by disconnecting the intake manifold heat riser pipe, from the rear exhaust ports at the number two and number four cylinders. The muffler-to-head-nuts are un-threaded from the same exhaust ports. The muffler to heater box clamps are removed from both heater boxes. Our clamp hardware is excessively rusted and ended up snapping while being loosened. A pair of pliers was used to twist the clamps off.


With the rusted clamps removed, we can pull the muffler off the engine and heater boxes, and throw it away. Now the heater boxes can be removed by un-threading the nuts at the number one and number three exhaust ports. The heater boxes are unscrewed from the left and right heater channel tins. The right side heater channel tin is a two piece unit to allow access to the thermostat. That square portion is unscrewed from the engine case and set aside before removing the right side heater box. The generator pulley nut is removed along with the front pulley half, so the generator belt can be removed. The pulley half and nut are reinstalled so they don't get lost.


Now, the crank pulley bolt is un-threaded which is easy to do seeing as how our engine won't turn over. A flywheel lock can be used to keep the engine from turning over. A crank pulley puller is slid in place, onto the pulley, and threaded down to the crank shaft to pull the crank pulley off. The breast plate pulley tin and left and right lower cylinder tin are removed next, by un-threading the screws at the engine case, on the left and right cylinder shrouds.


The fuel hose is removed from the carburetor, and the fuel pump, along with the inlet hose and line to the fuel pump. The spark plug wires are removed from the distributor and coil. The coil and bracket are removed from the fan shroud, along with the reverse light fuse holder bracket. Next, the distributor clamp bracket nut is un-threaded from the engine so the distributor can be pulled. We can't in our engines case but ideally whenever you're removing a distributor from an engine, spin the engine to top dead center on number one cylinder then remove the clamp and distributor together. This keeps your timing correct when you're ready to install the distributor, and helps set initial timing when installing a new distributor.


The carburetor is removed from the intake manifold, and the generator strap is loosened from the stand. The left and right intake manifold nuts are un-threaded from each head. The intake manifold center section nut is loosened at the center of the case. The intake manifold boot clamps are loosened, so the left and right intake manifolds can be removed from the heads. Next, the four bolts on the generator backing plate are un-threaded from the fan shroud, and the four nuts from the generator stand are un-threaded. The left and right fan shroud, to the cylinder shroud bolts are removed from either side of the fan shroud.


Underneath the engine, the thermostat bracket is unbolted from the bottom side of the engine case. The thermostat is unbolted from the bracket. The bracket is removed. The thermostat is un-threaded from the push rod. On the back side of the fan shroud, the bolt for the oil cooler duct is removed, along with the bolt from the fan shroud to the oil cooler bolt, and the top oil cooler duct is removed.


The exit ducting tin bolt can be un-threaded and the duct can be removed. The fan shroud can be lifted up a bit so the generator backing plate and fan can be removed, followed by the generator stand and the intake manifold center section. The two nuts for the fuel pump are un-threaded so the fuel pump can be removed, along with the fuel pump drive rod and the fuel pump flange. Our flange took a bit or persuasion with some light taps from a hammer and when the flange did come free, it was in two pieces. The piece still inside the engine will be tapped out with a screwdriver, broken up inside the case, and poured out by flipping the engine over.


VW made the flange out of plastic so that if it did break, the smaller pieces inside the engine will be relatively harmless. On the back side of the fan shroud, the thermostat return spring is unhooked from the linkage tab crossbar, and the crossbar is unclipped from the left and right fan shroud flaps. The fan shroud can be lifted up from the engine, being cautious of the thermostat rod running down, through the right cylinder head. The linkage cross bar and spring are reinstalled for safe keeping.


On the bottom side of the engine, the heater channel tins are unscrewed from the engine case, and from the left and right cylinder shrouds. Our right side screws were stubborn and one would not be removed. It came off with the cylinder tin after the tin was unscrewed from the head. The left side channel is unscrewed and removed. The oil cooler is next, which was more difficult than normal as the studs backed out of the oil cooler adapter. The engine tear-down to a long block is complete, but as we have spun this engine around a number of times on the stand, we hear something loose in the engine.


We spin it over again and remove the sump plate to find a small piece of aluminum sitting in the oil pick up. This is a prelude to what we will find in out next video, where we will pull the heads and see what really happened to our engine. Until then, head over to JBugs.com for all your vintage Volkswagen parts and accessories.