JBugs Video Series

VW Type 3 Engine Removal:

Video Overview:

Vehicle engines can be tricky at times, especially if they wont turn over. If you are rebuilding an engine or just simply need to work on the engine outside the vehicle, removing it safely is a big step. Follow along as we walk you through how to safely disconnect and remove your engine using the correct tools and technique. This is a great DIY project to keep your Type 3 running smoothly and safely.

Products in this Video:

Video Tips:

Tools you will need:

8mm Wrench
13mm Wrench
17mm Wrench
Flat Head Screwdriver
Phillips Screwdriver
Fuel Line Plug
3/8 Drive Ratchet
13mm Socket
17mm Socket
Ratchet Strap
Jack Stands (18" or taller stands are recommended)
Jack (20" lift height recommended)
Wheel Chocks
Block of Wood

Video Transcript:

Hello Sam here with JBugs.com. In this video we are going to remove the engine from a 1971 VW Type 3 Squareback. The original fuel injection has been removed, along with the heater boxes, so this removal will be slightly different than a car with all the original equipment. Just the same this will give you a general idea of the process of removing a Type 3 engine.


We start by disconnecting the negative battery cable. Then head to the rear to open the rear hatch and engine lid. An 8mm wrench is used to loosen the barrel nut bolt and remove the accelerator cable from the carburetor linkage. While the wrench is handy you can remove the nuts on the generator DF and D positive electrical terminals and remove the wires there.


With a flat head screwdriver the ground wire of the generator can now be removed, and the fuel hose can be disconnected and plugged off to prevent fuel leaking. Then the rear air intake bellows clamp can be removed, and the bellows can be pulled off the engine intake and tucked into the body.


At the coil the power wire from the main harness is disconnected, along with the wire going to the reverse light switch. Then remove the oil pressure switch wire, and all the engine wiring can be pulled up and cleared of the engine. If you aren't familiar with the engine wiring, make sure to label the wires before you remove them.


The engine dipstick needs to be pulled out so the dipstick tube can be removed by loosening the clamp with a Phillips screwdriver. With a 17mm wrench the starter bolt nut is removed. So that we can access the opposite side bolt we remove the front engine tin. The tin here wasn't bolted in, but will typically require a flathead screwdriver at the left and right rear corners of the engine. Now the upper left engine bolt can be removed with a 3/8" drive ratchet, and a 17 mm socket along with the wrench. We will later remove the air cleaners in the meantime they will help prevent anything from falling into the engine while were still working on it.


Now the rear of the car can be jacked up and set on jack stands. Another jack stand is set underneath the transmission and a ratchet strap is attached to the left and right shock towers and routed underneath the transmission to support it later. Now underneath the engine, the lower left and right engine nuts are removed with a 3/8" drive ratchet, and a 17mm socket. Then the left and right rear engine cross brake bracket nuts and bolts are removed, with a 3/8" drive ratchet, 13mm socket and a 13mm wrench. From the top of the engine the cross brace to body mounts can be removed with the same 13mm ratchet and wrench.


Back under the engine, if you a using a rolling engine dolly, remove the heater channels with a flathead screwdriver. Ours were only bolted to the case and not to the cylinder shrouds so this was a little bit easier. Now a jack can be placed under the engine sump, we had to use a wooden block as our jack couldn't lift quite high enough. An assistant can reach into the engine compartment from above and pull the engine back until it is clear of the transmission. When the engine is clear of the transmission it can be lowered all the way down, and in our case, once it's in the dolly we lift the engine up slightly, remove the wooden block and set the engine into the dolly.


The jacks slid out, and if the back of the car is high enough, the engine can be rolled out clear of the car. Otherwise jack the car up high enough, and roll the engine out. With the engine now clear of the car the job is done. The car can be jacked up, jack stands removed, and the car set down. Our engine is now out. Next up for our Type 3 series, we will be removing the engine tin accessories, and in the meantime stop by JBugs.com for all your vintage Volkswagen needs.