So far a lot of my time has been taking up with taking apart and cleaning, here we go again……
Now that the chassis is back in the garage I can strip it down full ready to clean, finish welding and paint. So out with the camera again and time to take lots of detailed photos. This time I’m taking off the gearbox but due to being a swing axel type, i really mean, time to take the whole back end off.
This is a first for me because in my last beetle I avoided the task due to being intimidated by other people’s attitudes to major work around gearboxes but this time I’m biting the bullet and it’s coming out!
I set myself an afternoon to do this (good thing I had an afternoon off work, with the kids at school, very rare occurrence). My first task was to pull out all the cables from the chassis so out came the throttle and clutch cables through the front hole by the pedals. Then the brake cables from the handbrake mount to the drums and then what was left of the heater cables, which went in the bin. The other cables I greased and wrapped up in bin liners so I don’t have to spend out for new ones if I don’t have to. I left the handbrake cables attached to the drums for now but still wrapped them up.
The next task was to remove the remaining brake pipes which were pretty straight forward but another HINT : have lots of pots with lids to put stuff and label. The brake pipe clips I’ll be reusing so they came off carefully and since the car has been sat for some time the rest of the pipes undid with a pair of spanners.
Next the gear linkage was unbolted from the panel in front of the gearbox, a quick cut of the wire locking and the bolt was free. I refitted the bolt as soon as the linkage was split so I didn’t lose it.
Next I marked the positions of the axels against the rear spring plates and took more photos so I can at least get some geometry back to the car when rebuilt but I think, for me, this might be a pointless exercise due to the major changes I will be doing to the back end, so when all is done I’ll be checking the wheel alignment before going back on to the road anyway.
Time to unbolt. It’s a bit tricky getting some of the bolts out on the axels but three bolts either side were out in a matter of minutes. Then the gearbox mountings were unbolted, I left the rear support beam in place but it’s easier to remove the two large bolts and drag the whole thing out with the gearbox. The gearbox needed a little lift to get out but it then wheeled out on the rear wheels. It’s a bit trick to manoeuvre like this and it take up lots of room so I drained the gearbox oil and then stood it on some foam matting on its input shaft. I’ll take the axels apart at a later date due to running out of time.