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1st gear woes, continued…

This is an update to the last post I made 1st gear woes and a transmission rebuild. The trans is still in the beetle, we have had some setbacks due to busy schedules and an axle bolt that was especially troublesome.

The engine is currently out and went smoother than I was expecting. My research paid off and was well worth the time. While the engine is out I picked up a new flywheel, clutch kit and related seals/shims. We needed a breaker bar with extension to get off the gland nut from the flywheel. This is expected since its supposed to be torqued to 253ft lbs for my setup. The flywheel was a bit chewed up due to the starter coming loose at one point. It was also missing some flywheel shims so glad did all that work. I still need to remove the engine tins and get them cleaned up and repainted black. I have the missing engine tins on hand as well as new bolts/nuts purchased. Its cooling should be a bit better with all its tins installed and should look pretty nice.

I also took the opportunity to replace the engine bay seals. They were pretty much gone and what remained was so brittle. The rails the seals go into were pretty beat up and required a lot of reforming to get corrected. I used a flat head screwdriver for most of the reforming the channels. Getting the remaining material out of the rails took a while and a lot of manual digging with picks and flat head. I tried sliding them into the channel with some grease but they were too beat up for that to work except on the rear channels. The front I used the flat head to pry the seal into the channel, it took a while but turned out great.

The bigger issue we had was the passenger side rear axle nut. We broke 3 breaker bars trying to get it off. We tried a regiment PB Blaster and wire brushing every other day over a week and then tried and failed with a 4th breaker bar to get it off. We stopped just before breaking the 4th bar. What did the trick was taking a propane torch to heat up the bolt for 5 minutes and then the bolt let loose easily. Drums are now removed and the next step is removing the swing axles. If all goes well that’s what we will be doing tomorrow.

The goal tomorrow is swing axle removal as well as dropping the trans out. If we don’t run into any issues this should be doable. But we have not removed the trans from this vehicle before so who knows what we will find. I’m sure learning this platform fast, getting real a intimate understanding of this car which is really nice.