Volkswagen Air Cooled 1949-1969 Repair Guide

Rocker Arm and Shaft



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Fig. Fig. 1 After removing the rocker arm cover, slowly and alternately remove the rocker arm shaft nuts ...

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Fig. Fig. 2 ... then lift the rocker arm shaft off of the mounting studs

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Fig. Fig. 3 At this point the pushrods can be removed from the pushrod tubes

Before the valve rocker assembly can be reached, it is necessary to undo the clip that retains the cover plate. Prior to removing the cover plate, however, it is advisable to dust off and clean the cylinder head and cover plate; this will prevent dirt from entering the assembly. Remove the cover plate after taking off the retaining clip with a prytool. Remove the rocker arm retaining nuts, the rocker arm shaft and the rocker arms. Remove the stud seals.

Before installing the rocker arm mechanism, be sure that the parts are as clean as possible, including the inside of the cover plate. Install the stud seals and the rocker shaft, making sure that the chamfered edges of the supports are pointing outward and the slots, upward. Tighten the retaining nuts to a torque of 14-18 ft. lbs. The only type of retaining nuts which should be used are 8mm nuts of the 8G grade. These nuts are distinguishable by their copper color. Ball ends of the pushrods must be centered in the sockets of the rocker arms. In addition, to help the valves rotate during operation, the rocker arm adjusting screws should contact the tip of the valve slightly off center. After adjusting valves to their proper clearance, reinstall the cover plate with a new gasket. Be sure that the proper cover plate gasket is used. There are two types of gaskets, early and late. The late type is straight across the top edge, while the early type has a tab in the center of the top edge. After the engine has been run for a brief period, check the cover plates for oil leakage.


Remove the spring clips from the rocker arm shaft. Remove the washers, rocker arms, and bearing supports. Before installation, check the rocker arm shaft, the seats, and ball sockets (of the rocker arm adjusting screws), for wear. Loosen the adjusting screws before installing the rocker arms. Otherwise, installation is the reverse of the disassembly procedure.

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Fig. Fig. 4 When disassembling the rocker arm shafts, lay the parts out in order of removal to avoid confusion