Volkswagen Air-Cooled 1970-1981 Repair Guide

Fenders

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION Type 1 Models



Karmann Ghia fenders are welded to the body and require special tools and skills for replacement. Fenders on other models can be replaced by any car owner.

FRONT FENDERS

See Figure 1

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: When installing the front fender, make sure to install new plastic fender beading between the fender and the body

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Use an 8mm wrench to remove the 2 nuts under the fender. Remove the turn signal/side-marker light assembly from the fender, then disconnect the light from its wires. Label the wires to ensure correct installation.
  4.  
  5. Pull the gasket for the turn signal/side-marker light assembly down through the fender.
  6.  
  7. Remove the sealed beam unit from the headlight as described in Chassis . Remove the 3 screws that hold the headlight assembly in the fender and remove the assembly.
  8.  
  9. Insert a small flat-bladed prytool into the small slot below each terminal in the sealed beam connector. Then pull the wire and terminal out of the rear of the connector.
  10.  
  11. Pull the wires and their protective hose back and out of the fender's headlight housing.
  12.  
  13. Remove the front bumper as described earlier in this section.
  14.  
  15. On left fenders, disconnect the wires from the horn, then remove the horn.
  16.  
  17. Remove the nut, bolt and washers that hold the fender to the running board. Then remove the 10 fender bolts and washers and remove the fender and beading.
  18.  

To install:
  1. Position the fender against the car body without the beading. Loosely install a bolt at the top of the fender in order to support it.
  2.  
  3. Start the remaining 7 bolts in their threads so that the fender hangs loosely on the car.
  4.  
  5. Install a new rubber spacer washer between the fender and the running board. Install, but do not tighten the nut, bolt and washers.
  6.  
  7. Using your hand, press the beading into the space between the fender and the body. Make sure the beading is even and that the notches have all slipped over the bolts.
  8.  
  9. Gradually tighten the bolts to 11 ft. lbs., checking constantly to see that the beading remains in place.
  10.  
  11. Tighten the bold that holds the fender to the running board to 11 ft. lbs.
  12.  
  13. The remainder of installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. When installing the sealed beam terminals in their connector, the yellow wire goes in the top center slot, the white wire in the left slot and the brown wire in the right slot (as seen from the front of the car, looking into the headlight).
  14.  

REAR FENDERS

See Figure 2

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: The rear fender also requires plastic beading inserted between it and the vehicle body during installation

  1. Working under the fender, use an 8mm wrench to remove the tail light nuts, then remove the tail light assembly. 4 nuts secure the tail light assembly on 1973 and later cars, 2 on 1970-72 models.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the wires from the tail light assembly and label them for correct reinstallation. Pull the wires and the rubber grommet down and out of the fender.
  4.  
  5. Remove the rear bumper, as described earlier in this section.
  6.  
  7. Remove the nut, bolt and washers that hold the fender to the running board. Then remove the 9 bolts and washers which hold the fender to the car body. Remove the old beading.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Position the fender against the car body without the beading. Loosely install a bolt at the top of the fender in order to support it.
  2.  
  3. Start the remaining 8 bolts in their threads so that the fender hangs loosely on the car.
  4.  
  5. Install a new rubber spacer washer between the fender and the running board. Install, but do not tighten the nut, bolt and washers.
  6.  
  7. Using your hand, press the beading into the space between the fender and the body. Make sure the beading is even and that the notches have all slipped over the bolts.
  8.  
  9. Gradually tighten the bolts to 11 ft. lbs., checking constantly to see that the beading remains in place.
  10.  
  11. Tighten the bold that holds the fender to the running board to 11 ft. lbs.
  12.  
  13. The remainder of installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Make certain that the tail lights, stop lights and turn signals all work properly.
  14.  

Because the fenders for 1973 and later cars have larger tail light mountings, they cannot be interchanged with the fenders of earlier models.

RUNNING BOARD

See Figure 3

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Exploded view of the mounting of the running boards used on Type 1 models

To remove the running board, remove the nuts, bolts and washers that hold the running board to the front and rear fenders. remove the two rubber spacer washers from between the fenders and the running board. Then loosen, but do not remove, the 4 bolts that hold the running board to the body.

Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Use new rubber spacer washers at the front and rear of the running board. Tighten the bolts that fasten the running board to the fenders to 11 ft. lbs. Tighten the bolts which hold the running board to the body to 7 ft. lbs.

Type 2 Models

The fenders on Type 2 models are not removable. If the fenders are damaged and need replacement, have the fenders repaired by someone qualified to do automotive body work.

Types 3 and 4 Models

The fenders can be removed and installed on the body without any cutting or welding. All fenders are held in place by bolts. Plastic beading forms a gasket between the individual fenders and the body itself.

FRONT FENDERS

See Figure 4

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Exploded view of the front fender mounting on Type 3 models

The bumper brackets pass through the front fenders. The front bumper and reinforcement bar must therefore be removed prior to removing the front fender.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the horn wire (left fender only).
  4.  
  5. Remove the tank filler flap lock and cable (right fender only).
  6.  
  7. Remove the hexagon head sheet metal screw, located under the edge of the fender just ahead of the door.
  8.  
  9. With the car door open, remove the single bolt from the door hinge pillar.
  10.  
  11. Carefully pull the front side panel trim off the body interior, then remove the bolts behind the front side panel trim.
  12.  
  13. Remove the 4th bolt underneath the instrument panel. You must take the fuse box out first when working on the left side of the car.
  14.  
  15. Remove the 9 sheet metal screws together with the flat washers and rubber washers.
  16.  

To install:
  1. Apply new D 19 sealing tape on the hinge pillar.
  2.  
  3. Install the fender loosely, using all of the bolts.
  4.  
  5. Insert the plastic beading between the fender and the body.
  6.  
  7. Align the fender properly with the body and tighten all of the bolts.
  8.  
  9. Glue the front panel trim back with D 12 trim cement.
  10.  

REAR FENDERS

See Figure 5

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Exploded view of the rear fender mounting on Type 3 Hatchback models

The rear fenders of the fastback and Squareback Sedans differ, but the mounting fastener locations are identical. The main difference in removal procedures is that all 8 upper mounting screws of the Squareback are removed from the rear luggage area. On the Type 3 Sedan, 5 screws are removed from inside the luggage area and 3 are removed from the car's interior. On both models, the rear bumper must be removed to get working clearance.

  1. Using a wooden wedge, pry the trim molding off the lower front area of the rear fender.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear seat.
  4.  
  5. Pull the beading off of the door pillar.
  6.  
  7. Remove the side trim panel from the car's interior.
  8.  

The side trim panel is different in Type 3 and Squareback Sedan models. The number of spring clips that hold the side trim panel to the inner body panel also differs. However, removal is essentially the same for both models.

  1. Remove the 2 bolts that hold the fender to the side member. The bolts are located under the front forward edge of the fender.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear light lens, then remove the entire rear light assembly. Disconnect the wires and pull them free of the fender, being careful not to damage the rubber grommets.
  4.  
  5. Remove the single bolt in the rear light assembly hole.
  6.  
  7. Remove the 2 sheet metal screws located under the rear lower edge of the fender.
  8.  
  9. Partially remove the luggage compartment lid seal from the metal band that is beside the rear light opening.
  10.  
  11. Remove the 2 fasteners located next to the rear light assembly opening.
  12.  
  13. For Squareback Sedan models, support the fender. Working from inside the rear load area, remove the 8 hexagon head sheet metal screws along the upper fender edge. Take the fender off the car.
  14.  
  15. For Type 3 Sedans, support the fender to avoid buckling it when the bolts are removed. Then remove the 3 hexagon head sheet metal screws from inside the car, next to the rear seat.
  16.  
  17. For Type 3 Sedans, remove the 5 hexagon head sheet metal screws from inside the luggage compartment, then remove the fender from the vehicle.
  18.  

To install:
  1. Check the fender seals and replace them if damaged.
  2.  
  3. Check the condition and mounting of the rubber seal around the lower part of the wheel housing. if it is damaged, replace it before installing the fender.
  4.  
  5. Attach the fender to the body loosely and insert the plastic beading between them.
  6.  
  7. Align the fender with the door and body. Tighten the bolts securely.
  8.  
  9. Install the exterior trim strip. glue the interior trim panels in position with D 12 trim cement.
  10.  

 
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