Friday, April 30, 2010

Swing axle cars

The transaxle must be removed complete with axle tubes. The job is much more complicated and long­winded than on later cars, and so careful consideration should be given whether to replace the gearbox with a reconditioned unit as a matter of course during a full restoration, when the car will be stripped down completely and the task can be accomplished more easily while the bodyshell is off the chassis.
Chock the front wheels, apply the handbrake and place the car in gear, then remove the hub caps and slacken the hub nuts using preferably a burst-proof hexagonal socket and a very long lever! Slacken the wheel bolts. Disengage the handbrake and select neutral gear. Remove the oval cover plate at the rear top of the spine chassis, and remove the 8 mm square sel5ptor rod coupling bolt, which may be wired, then raise the rear of the car and support it on axle stands.
Remove the roadwheels and the hub nuts. Slacken the brake adjusters and remove the drums. then strip the brake components (as detailed in the section headed 'Brakes'), using clamps on the lengths of flexible hose to cut leakage of fluid.
Slacken the clutch cable nut and disconnect it from the clutch operating arm.
Use a sharp chisel or centre punch to make a mark on the trailing arm next to the mark on the hub casing to allow accurate rebuilding, then unbolt the hub from the trailing arm and pull the axle shaft away. Undo the lower damper nut and bnit and pull this away from the hub casing. Support the transaxle and remove the four nuts at the front, followed by the two large nuts at the rear. The transaxle, axle shafts and hub assemblies can now be pulled rearwards and lowered.
When re-fitting. offer and bolt the transaAe into position before tackling the axle shafts. Ensure that the mark which you made on the trailing arm aligns with the hub casing mark, otherwise, the rear tracking will be out, causing accelerated tyre wear and adversely affecting road-holding. There is a special tool which clamps to the torsion tube and to the swing axle shaft to correctly position the latter. If you are unsure that the spring plate is correctly positioned, then take the car to a VAG workshop or Beetle specialist and have the job done properly.

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