How hard is it to replace all the rubber bushings on a 1977 VW Beetle Standard?

I am replacing them all with the red urethane bushings. It's supposed to make the car handle a lot better right?
How hard is this to do? How long does it take? What special tools do I
need?
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Nothing is hard to do on a 1977 Beetle! ;-) Where are these bushings going? Probably normal tools will do along with maybe a floorjack and jackstands!
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I would farm out the press work, which means you take the arms out of the front suspension and have a machine shop press out the old bushings. The new urethane bushings can be installed by hand. Disassembly of a super beetle front end takes only an hour or two, but here's a tip: Soak EVERY fastener daily with a penetrating spray for a week or so before you get started. There is a good chance many of the fasteners on your front end were last tightened in 1977, and you want to remove and replace as many of those fasteners as possible without breaking anything. You'll need either an air hammer with a fork insert or a pickle fork to separate the tie rod ends. You can usually rent a pickle fork at the local FLAPS.
I did this job about 4 or 5 years ago on my 74 Super, and while I really like the way my car handles now(no more shimmies!) the red urethane bushings squeak. I have taken the thing apart twice and piled that 'lube' they send with the bushings in there as best as I can, and it still squeaks. It's not bad, just be ready for it. A little noise beats the hell out of a front end that shimmies and shakes. The front end is still tight, 4 years later. I changed bushings, ball joints, idler arm bushing, steering gearbox and steering dampener.
One more tip...don't use the urethane bushings on the rear spring plates if you decide to change them. Mine are already worn out, and they lasted less than a year before they started 'sagging'. When I do this job again in the near future I am going to try the rubber bushings for the spring plate. The inner diagonal arm bushings seem to be holding up okay.
If you are going to do front bushings I would suggest ball joints and strut cartridges at the same time. Might as well do it all once and not have to worry about it for a while....
Good luck with it.
Chris
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Disregard everything I said. 1977 STANDARD = beam front end. Sorry.
Chris
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add to that the only supers after 75 were convertibles.
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Joey Tribiani wrote:

I thought that was after 76? IOW, last year for supers was 76 and last year for the convertibles was 79. Also, didn't VWOA stop the standards after 75?
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I had a 1976 Standard Beetle in Green and I have seen some hardtops sold as 1977s in the USA. I guess they would have to be Standard Beetles also. 1978 and 1979 were Super Convertibles here in the USA.

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dave AKA vwdoc1 wrote:

My Baja is a '76 Standard.
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75 was last model year for super sedan. 77 was the last standard sedan here in the US... Tim Rogers can speak up and show you a picture of his purdy 77 sedan...
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Only basic tools required as far as I remember. A good floorjack. The front doesn't really have too many bushings, there's a needle bearing inside the torsion bar tubes, where the front arms ride in. Some people replace those with urethane bushings, and complain about squeaking and stiffness. I would keep the bearings, maybe just replace with new if there's reason to think they are worn.
The rear is a little trickier. You need to remove the torsion bar housing cover plate (4 bolts), and there's a rubber bushing immediately under it. But there's another one behind the flex plate, you need to mark the position of the flex plate in relation to the end of the torsion bar, to be able to mount it back on the splines in the exact same position. When removing the flex plate, you have to unload the torsion bar too. Look for instructions, the flex plate may be under a lot of tension and you can get seriously injured if you don't know what you are doing. Once you pop the flex plate off the torsion shaft, you can replace the inner rubber bushing/donut. So the rear has a total of 4 to replace.
With new donuts, the torsion bar housing cover will be a BITCH to install. You will need to use longer than stock bolts, to draw the cover in place by gradually tightening each bolt in a sequence. You will never be able to line up the bolt holes without longer bolts, the rubber donut will not allow it. It's as if it was too big. (BOT DON'T CUT IT SMALLER!). During assembly, lubricate the rubber donuts (or urethane if you so choose) with graphite or talcum powder (baby powder). Grease generally won't work because it eats rubber. Or you could try brake grease, it shouldn't harm most rubber parts.
Once the cover is in place with the longer bolts, replace each of them with the normal length bolt, one by one. (taking one out, while leaving the other 3 in place to hold the cover)
Also replace the steering damper under the gas tank and all tie rod ends, inner and outer. And since you will have the front suspension arms out, have the ball joints replaced by a shop that has a BIG press.
If your steering box has a lot of play in it, it may be too far worn to adjust the play out. If you adjust it to minimal play in the middle, it will bind as you turn the wheel in either direction.
You could also replace the front sway bar bushings/rubber mounts, if they look tired.
Spend your money on good quality parts.
Jan
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