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Replacing Electrical Portion of Ignition Switch (74- Beetle)
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John M.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:23 pm    Post subject: Replacing Electrical Portion of Ignition Switch (74- Beetle) Reply with quote

Just did this job on my 74 and was completely amazed at Bentley's LACK of reference to the later model ignition switch system. It's really simple once you figure out what is going on. But, try and follow any of the how-to guides and you might be left scratching your head.

First step is to remove the horn button. Then take off the steering wheel nut (24 or 27mm IIRC). I would undo the 13mm steering column bolts as well. Now pull the steering wheel off and you will expose the turn/wiper signal stalk. There are four flat head screws to remove here.

Now would be a good time to crawl under and carefully unplug the three wiring connectors at the back of the column. That is where the electrical portion of the ignition connects, as well as the turn signal and wiper plugs. Also locate and remove the 7mm allen head pinch bolt.

Carefully pull out the turn signal / wiper assembly and set it aside. It is very fragile. I was removing mine and the wiper piece just ate shit. Good luck finding a new replacement!

Anyways, you will now need to pull off the 4" white plastic sleeve attached to the steering shaft. Might need to use vice-grips or screwdrivers to pry it off. Now you can access the circlip which holds in the column bearing. Remove that circlip and put it somwhere safe.

Now, wedge a large flat-head screwdriver into the "pinched" area where the allen bolt was installed. This will help loosen the ignition assembly and make it easier to remove.

Finally, insert your ignition key and turn it so the steering lock dis-engages. While turning the key, PULL on the ignition assembly and wiggle it off the column. It may take some force so be ready. It comes off as an entire unit. Now you can easily access the small Phillips screw which holds in the electrical (plastic) portion of the switch. Don't lose that screw!

Put everything back the way it came off. I would recommend replacing the ball-bearing unit and anti-rattle bushing inside the ignition assembly while you're in there. BFY stocks the bearing + seal (package) that are actually from a Porsche...but they are just the same! When installing the bearing, I recommend sliding the anti-rattle bushing on the wheel shaft first, use a bit of WD-40 so it goes on easy. Then install the bearing in the ignition housing outside of the car. And also install the circlip/snapring before reinstalling the ignition housing. This makes it easier to get everything lined up...when beating it back onto the column.

Just thought I would share my experiences....and put this here for posterity.

1966 Beetle - Sea Blue - 1300SP
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some good advice there. I'll be printing this out.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also see the posts and pictures in this thread...


The 74 and later with the plastic housing have to be taken "off" the steering column tube to facilitate the switch change. The housing/tumbler/switch became a single unit. You will see what I mean in the pics I posted.

Posting this info in here since Glenn has this thread as one of the tech article stickies.
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ed stanley
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your post, John. I copied it also, cause I haven't had to do this in quite a while on my '74 super. I do remember when I did it, though, I pulled and pulled on the wiper switch till I figured out the windshield washer hoses were attached to it. I didn't see where you mentioned it, but those buggas have to be pulled off the wiper switch before you can pull it out.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the first step should be DISCONNECT THE BATTERY
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