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Motor Pull


Everyone who owns a bug or a pre 72 bus and is serious about working on his own car should know how to pull the motor. It opens the door to nearly everything clutch related and so many other things on the motor can be done much easier with the motor out. Like drilling out that muffler stud that broke while you were removing the old muffler. We even pull the motor just to install a new generator. Believe it not the record for pulling a motor and reinstalling it completely is less than 3 minutes. Chad, Wade, and I just pulled one out in a salvage yard the other day in about 7 minutes. We lowered it out with a rope tied to the manifolds and looped over the hood brackets (they wouldn't let us bring our jack in). We weren't even hurrying. Wade just happened to notice the time. Normally at home we usually expect to spend about 30 to 40 minutes to take it out and put it back. Your first couple of times will take a little longer but it is very doable. And really makes you feel like you have braggin' rights. Here is how it goes: First get yourself a regular floor jack that will lift the car about 18 inches or more. Not one of those little $29.95 jobs that might work for an oil change or tire change. And get some sturdy jack stands.



Now place the jack between the engine and trans to lift the car. Don't lift it the complete length of the jack or the motor will be too high later.



Set your stands under the torsion bar covers.



Start by removing the fresh air heat pipes and air cleaner.



Remove the generator wires.



Remove the coil wire.



There may be other wires from the coil to the carb and back up light fuse holder. Remove these as well.  



Remove the oil pressure wire.



Tag the wires if you think you might forget where they go back.



Now loosen the accelerator cable and push it back through the tube.



Unscrew the rear pan and remove it.

The top engine mount nuts are behind the fan shroud at the upper corners of the engine case. You can barely see them. You just about have to just feel for them. On the pre 71 bugs you can remove them both from the top with a flat 17mm ratchet wrench. Sometimes you may have to have someone hold the bolt from the back side.

Now you are ready for the bottom. You will need to take a 17mm box end wrench, a pair of vise grips for the gas line (preferably needle nose), and a Phillips head screwdriver to stop it up with just to be sure. You will need to take either a 10mm or 8mm socket to unfasten the heater cable connectors depending on the model. If you have a later than 70 model you will need a 17mm socket on a 10" or longer extension and a ratchet to remove the top nut on the drivers side.



Once under the car you can remove the heat pipes by compressing them and pulling them loose.



Reach up and pull the accelerator cable out and then pinch off the gas line and stop it up with the screwdriver.



Now unfasten the heater cables.

To remove the top nut on the drivers side on the later bugs you have to reach up over the axle and along side the clutch cable with your long extension and 17mm socket. It is a little awkward.



All that is left now is the bottom nuts.



Now you can come out from under the car and put the jack under the motor with just a little tension on it.

Pull the motor back by the tail pipes. It may take a some wiggling and tugging but usually they will come right out. You may have to readjust your jack tension.

Balance the motor on the jack as you lower it down. Take it slow maybe in increments at first. Try to keep the motor tipped back so as not to catch the generator pulley on the body.



Lift the car from the rear part of the tunnel and pull the motor out from underneath.

Putting it back is just the reverse. (Now I am sounding just like the books) It really is about the same. Lining up the bottom engine studs is about the only hard spot. The best advice I can give you there is to try to be sure you are pushing it back straight and level. The other advice is to get the video and watch us do it a few times first. If enough people learn this maybe we will start to see the engine pull contest at the shows again. Who knows? You can see this done in detail in our Vol.2 Motor pull/clutch repair video available from Bug Me Video.

Rick Higgins and Crew
Bug Me Video, Inc
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