Technical Index

~ Beetle

by Bill C.

Following is the basic procedure for removing the engine from a VW Beetle. With few modifications, it can be used on other models.

As you are aware, the air-cooled VW engine is removed by lowering it out of the chassis and also raising the chassis high enough to slide the engine out the rear. So, one of the most important objectives is getting the body raised high enough and proper parts removed from the engine to allow the most clearance. Keep that in mind when selecting a work area, jacks, etc.

     "Roll Around" Hydraulic Floor Jack (minimum of 1, preferably 2)
     2 Jack Stands
     4 Wheel Chocks
     5/16" End Wrench
     8mm End Wrench
     10mm End Wrench or socket and ratchet (if removing hood)
     17mm End Wrench
     19 or 21mm End Wrench (for Generator/Alternator pulley nut)
     Slotted Screwdriv

1. Disconnect BATTERY negative cable.
2. Remove AIR CLEANER (for extra clearance).
3. Remove THROTTLE CABLE from carb.
4. Remove REAR TIN (aka BREASTPLATE) & UPPER HEATER HOSES (for extra clearance).
5. Disconnect ENGINE WIRES from:
     Backup Lights (in-line fuse)
     Alternator or Generator
     Electric Choke
     Oil Pressure Sending Unit
     +12 VDC @ Coil
     Other (depending on after market equipment/add-ons)

6. Remove alternator/generator PULLEY & belt (for extra clearance).
8. Place JACK under engine at oil STRAINER PLATE and raise until both rear wheels are off the ground.
9. SAFETY! Place 2 JACK STANDS, one at left & right, each under the rear torsion bar plates, now lower the body onto jack stands and REMOVE JACK.
10. Working under each side of the engine, disconnect the HEATER CONTROL CABLES (5/16" box end wrench works well); slide the rubber HEATER HOSES off the heat exchanger OUTLETS (aka J-TUBES).

WARNING: GASOLINE SPILLAGE likely. Have a couple golf-tees handy.

11. Disconnect FLEXIBLE FUEL LINE from METAL FUEL LINE (driver's side, near clutch) and PLUG ends with something like GOLF-TEEs.
12. Place floor jack back under engine strainer plate and raise just enough to support weight of engine in preparation for next step.
13. 17mm end wrench: Remove 2 UPPER & 2 LOWER ENGINE MOUNTING NUTS.

NOTE:  The lower ones are just inboard of the ends of the "Y". The upper ones are accessed from the engine side of the fire wall. (The upper one on the passenger side is on the end of the upper starter bolt.

--- Removal ---

14. -If using 2 floor jacks, (might need an extra set of hands here) place the second jack under the rear of the tunnel to RAISE THE BODY (rear) as high as possible. NOW, SIMULTANEOUISLY raise BOTH jacks (make sure the wheels are chocked) to raise the body while supporting the engine.
-If using only 1 floor jack, RAISE the engine (and body) as high as possible.
15. RESET the JACK STANDS (Height) to support the body.
16. Grasping the exhaust pipe(s) "jiggle" the engine rearward, while adjusting the engine jack height until the transmission input shaft clears the clutch
17. Remove the THOTTLE CABLE from the engine shroud.
18. Maneuvering the engine, slowly, carefully lower the engine to the floor.

WARNING:  Be careful not to snag the engine compartment seal (rubber) with alternator/generator shaft.

19. After engine (on jack) is fully lowered, slide jack out. Then, slide engine out from under body.

---Procedure Complete ---