JBugs Video Series

VW Super Beetle Long Block Disassembly:

Video Overview:

Video Tips:

The tools you will need are:

3/8" Drive Ratchet
1/2" Drive Ratchet
6" Extension
7/16" Socket
13mm Socket
15mm Socket
36mm Socket
13/16" Spark Plug Socket
Appropriate Sized Deep Well Socket
13mm Wrench
25mm Wrench
Brass Hammer
Flathead Screwdrivers

Video Transcript:

Sam here with JBugs.com In our last video, we discovered a piece of aluminum in the sump of our engine. That piece, along with the fact that our engine won't turn over completely, leads us to believe that something is sitting in a cylinder and has put a hole in the top of our piston.


We start by removing the spark plugs on the 1-2 side of our engine, and they come out easily as they should. The number four plug comes out as well, but the number three plug is very hard to turn. With the help of a breaker bar, we were able to un-thread the plug and discovered that the end the plug is destroyed along with the threads in the head. Neither are reusable at this point, so no harm done.


We pop off the valve cover bale on the 3-4 cylinder head and remove the valve cover, so we can un-thread the rocker assembly nuts. The rocker assembly is pulled off the head, and we can see the number three exhaust valve and spring sit up much higher than the other valves, telling us that the exhaust valve is broken. All four push rods are pulled out. All eight cylinder head nuts can be un-threaded, so the cylinder head can be pulled off, the push rod tubes coming along with it.


It's here we see the extent of the damage. The number three exhaust valve broke off and was hit by a piston a few times as there obviously a hole in the piston and numerous dents in the piston and the cylinder head.


Now knowing that we will have to at least replace the pistons and cylinders, we'll continue the tear down, removing the cylinder deflect tin. Next, the two cylinders are removed by lifting them up and away from the engine case. The crank is rotated, so that we can access the wrist pin clips on the side of the piston. The clips are removed with a pair of pliers. An appropriately-sized socket and six inch extension are used to tap the wrist pin through the piston and the connecting rod. Once the pin is clear of the rod, the piston can be removed.


The crank is rotated again, so the other cylinder can be removed using the same method. None of the cylinders, pistons, wrist pins, or clips will be reused, nor will this cylinder head - so they're all tossed. The opposite side head, cylinders, and pistons are all removed in the same manner.


Since we found the metal in our case from the broken piston and there's a large amount of end play on the crankshaft, we will probably have to dissemble our engine completely. The tear down continues by removing [the] oil pressure switch. The four nuts for the oil pump cover are removed. The two case nuts above the oil pump and the case bolt below the oil pump are loosened.


A chisel and Mj�lnir are used to tap the oil pump out of the case, using the ears on the side of the pump, alternating from side to side, so the pump does not get wedged in the case. Do not pry in between the case and the pump. A flywheel lock is bolted onto the upper engine mount, and the six pressure plate bolts are removed. The pressure plate is pulled off, and the clutch disc is pulled out.

The flywheel lock is moved to the lower engine stud, and a torque multiplier tool is used to loosen the flywheel gland nut. The torque multiplier tool negates the need for a large breaker bar and easily loosens the nut with a ratchet. With the gland nut loosened, a ratchet and socket are used to un-thread it fully. The flywheel is pulled off, the rear main seal is removed, followed by the three flywheel shims, so we can check the crankshaft and bearing end play. As we push the crank fore and aft through the case, we can see the crank and, unfortunately, the bearing move.


With the bearing moving the thrust surface on the case is worn, so the engine will have to be completely dissembled and rebuilt. This isn't what we were hoping for, but gives us the opportunity to cover rebuilding an engine. In our next video, we will complete the disassembly of the engine block and pull apart all that we can in our workshop before sending the parts out to a machine shop. Stay tuned, thanks for watching, and of course head to JBugs.com for all your vintage Volkswagen engine parts and accessories.