Editors note: Jay, you’ve outdone yourself with this one. The ’67 Beetle community around the world thanks you for your in depth knowledge of these great old cars. Let’s all take a moment to shine our timing lights in the direction of Garland, TX.
It occurred to me a few years ago that in the case of parts failures for my 1967 Beetle, I had few spare parts to call upon. I began in earnest to collect—first, only major parts which might fail and be more costly to replace down-the-road. Soon, I was examining possibilities for more parts. Eventually, I had collected so many parts that my inventory, if you could call it that—was in terrible disarray! Parts were crammed here and there on shelves.
Neva offered to help me. She sat with a clip board as I unloaded the shelves and began to reassemble the parts in a meaningful manner. Neva noted each part, numbering and naming each, including which shelf it called home. Soon, we had the job done—shelves and a large lateral filing cabinet.
My next operation was to transfer all to my computer. I called the file: VW Inventory. Now, I easily could locate any part which I had saved. Later, I went through the Inventory and rearranged in groupings of related parts, including condition (new, restored, used) and number of units of each part.
I had it in the back of my mind to restore and inventory a Pedal Cluster for my Beetle. I placed a Cluster on my work bench to remind me. On an opportune day, I scavenged every Cluster which I could find in my storage area. Now, the task was to sort to find appropriate examples to restore. I decided to restore two, since we also have a 1968 Karmann Ghia Coupe—which takes the same Cluster.
This discussion concerns only left-hand drive vehicles. There are extra components for the right-hand drive clusters.
When considering the Clusters, I had to note the condition of the Housings—that’s what I call the base unit to which the Pedals affix. The Housings are of cast aluminum. Over the years, moisture accumulates at the low spot where the Housing bolts to the tunnel. Corrosion and pitting occur, rendering many Housings unsuitable for reuse. This shows the importance of good rubber seals all around the car—to prevent moisture infiltration.
Right away, I discovered that I had two different Cluster Housings in my stash. Both styles bear the same VW Part Number: 113-721-109A. I checked my own Beetle and decided to use the example which corresponded to its Cluster Housing configuration. The difference can be seen in comparative Photograph # 1. Note the Accelerator Pedal Stop protrusion in the right hand example.
At this time, I have no information concerning this Stop. Since it is on the Cluster Housing in my mid-year ’67 Bug, I am going to restore both Clusters which have the Stop.
Checking with David Brown of Pennsylvania, I learned that the supposed Housing Part Number, is, in reality, simply a “casting reference number”—not the true Part Number. When the Housing has been assembled, as in photograph #2, with the steel Brake Pedal Tubular Shaft and the Bushings, it assumes a VW Part Number: 113-721-071A/113-721-071C. The 113-721-071A occurs prior to Chassis 119-421-031.
I did an unofficial polling of owners of 19-1967 Beetles, asking about the Housings—whether the “arm” was present or absent. The result was that 15 have the “arm” and 4 do not. What conclusion can we draw from such a limited survey?—probably nothing except to say that either type of Housing is okay to use. There is no known deficiency for using the one without the “arm” and no known advantage for using the one with the “arm”. My feeling is that no one should be “penalized” for using one or the other. Whew—I’m glad that I said that! LOL
In photograph #3 you can see further differences between the two types of Housings.
The Housing is a cast aluminum piece with an inserted steel tube which serves, on its inner surface, as the guide for the Clutch Pedal Cross-Shaft. The inner part of this steel tube is graced with bushings—two of them. These bushings are placed at either end of the steel tube where they bear the “weight” of usage. Between the bushings, there is space for lubricant.
The steel tube is bored at either end for the bushings—or (alternate style) simply a steel tube of the proper inner diameter with a bushing pressed in at either end.
The left end (outer surface) of the steel tube serves as the Brake Pedal Shaft. The Brake Pedal is composed of 7 pieces welded or pressed together. Two of those pieces, seen in photograph #4, are the 2 split bushings. Some Brake Pedal Bushings have split nylon inserts upon which the Cross-Shaft rides directly. I have not been able to determine why some have the nylon inserts and others do not.
Once the Brake Pedal, then the Clutch Pedal, have been installed onto the Cluster Housing and the Clutch Pedal has been pinned to the Cross-Shaft, it is difficult to lubricate the bushings of the Housing or of the Brake Pedal.
In my perusal of Pedal Clusters in my stash, I discovered one Brake Pedal which had a neat hole through the steel of the Brake Pedal Housing. Clearly this was a hole into which lubricant could be introduced to the Brake Pedal Bushings. I told David Brown about this. He explained that there was a not uncommon practice of drilling a hole there for the purpose of lubricating dry Brake Pedal bushings. Sure enough, when I removed the Brake Pedal from the Housing Steel Shaft—there was the mark of a mechanic’s drill bit—when his drill bit went through the Brake Pedal housing, it left a small indentation into the steel Housing Shaft, as seen in photograph #5.
I needed several new parts in order to complete my two Cluster restorations. I contacted one of my favorite suppliers. The first part which I named to the salesman was the Clutch Pedal Cross-Shaft. I was given the surprise of my life! I was told that their manufacturer had improperly drilled the pin hole in all of the Cross-Shafts, rendering them useless. The salesman directed me elsewhere.
I called a local foreign car parts provider and was told that they had two in stock and could order more. I grabbed a used Cross-Shaft and headed to the store. We compared the used Shaft with both new ones on the counter. One brand had an exaggerated hook—very strange. I rejected that one. The other one was plated, which I thought would be great—it would inhibit rust. Price was right. I brought it home and tried to insert it into the Cluster Housing—it would not fit. It was too large in diameter. I tried to install it into the Clutch Pedal—again, too large.
My next plan of action took me to thesamba.com where I subsequently located two new, correct Cross-Shafts.
Taking a clue from my VW mechanic, Barry Blythe, I “customized” the Cross-Shafts. The hook portion of the Cross-Shaft is simply a stamped piece of steel. See photograph #6. The process results in sharp edges on the down side of the stamping. I was directed to use small files to remove those sharp edges on the inner part of the hook so that they would not prematurely wear the eye of the clutch cable over years of shifting.
As well, I dressed where the pin hole had been drilled. The drilling process can leave a little raised portion around the opening on either side.
I also purchased a few other necessary new parts: The Accelerator Pedal Return Spring, the Brake Pedal Return Spring, a new Accelerator Pedal Axis Pin and a new Clutch Pedal Pedal-to-Shaft Pin. The cost of these new parts is minimal. While the Assembly is being restored, it is imperative to ensure that all critical parts are either restored or new.
When removing the Clutch Pedal Pin, use a flat-ended punch just smaller in diameter than the pin itself so that the edges of the Pin hole will not be damaged. And…so that the pin will not be expanded. Photograph #7 depicts the areas of concern and tools to be used. Using a pointed punch tends to expand the pin end, making it difficult, if not impossible, to remove the pin. You may find that a good amount of effort will be necessary to drive the Pin from its lodging. It may be necessary to take the Cluster to a shop where there are air tools for the purpose. Time and moisture often take a toll upon the Cluster. If it is necessary to take the Cluster to a shop, at the same time, have the rest of the Assembly disassembled.
If you do not have media blasting equipment, the same shop may offer that service. I recommend plugging both ends of the Housing Tube when media-blasting so that the Bushings will not be damaged. The same holds true for the Brake Pedal Bushings.
A couple of pointers here: After the blasting has been completed, get to the priming-painting as soon as possible. The bared metal will flash-rust rapidly. Also, use a primer and a finish paint that are compatible. This usually means using products from the same company.
Early into year 1967, the Clutch Pedal was fitted with a Stop, consisting of a clamp, a bolt, washer and nut and a “rubber bit” called the “tampon buffer” which serves as the bump-stop when the Clutch Pedal is fully depressed against the firewall. Photograph #8 illustrates this stop. We assume that with the advent of the new 12 volt flywheel and pressure plate-clutch, it was possible to damage the pressure plate by depressing the Clutch Pedal too far. The Clutch Pedal Stop was added to alleviate this potential problem. Apparently this had not been a problem with the ’66 and earlier vehicles with the 6 volt clutch arrangement.
I had some conversation with Dave Brown and with Barry Blythe regarding this operation and we agree that the possibility exists for “over-extending”. Apparently VW engineers also thought so.
Photograph #9 shows an assembled 6-piece Bump-Stop.
The rubber Bump-Stop no longer is available, apparently. Efforts to obtain new Stops have proved futile. I continue to look into this and will let the VW Public know when/if I discover a source. Until then, Stops can be fabricated from rubber and will serve well. View photograph #10 to see a completed Clutch Pedal with the Bump-Stop installed.
Probably the most common problem with the Pedal Cluster is with the Clutch Pedal. Where the Clutch Pedal pins to the Cross-Shaft proves to be a weakened area. Although the Bump-Stop provides some relief to foot pressure, constant use eventually results in fatigue and cracking as seen in photograph #11.
When a crack results, the Clutch Pedal moves though its arc but does not fully move the Cross-Shaft. The result is that the Cross-Shaft cannot pull the Clutch Cable to disengage the Clutch. Grinding of gears attracts the attention of the driver. Photograph #12 shows how one VW owner attempted to repair the crack without removing the Pedal Cluster. Not a pretty sight! Maybe that’s why the Cluster landed in my storage shed!
I believe that if the Cluster were to be removed, the damaged Clutch Pedal could be clamped and welded. However, a weld with the Pedal still attached to the Cross-Shaft more than likely is going to result in permanent damage to the Cluster. It is best, in such a case, to bite the bullet and remove the Cluster, removing the Clutch Pedal and doing a proper repair.
Possibly as late as 1969-1970, the Clutch Pedal was modified to accept a permanent Bump-Stop. Rather than having a two-piece clamp and the Rubber Bump-Stop, this revised Stop consists of a single piece of formed metal, pressure welded at the appropriate location on the Clutch Pedal stem—where the former removable Bump-Stop was positioned. The end that bumps the firewall is bent into a J shape which clearly can be seen in Photograph #13. This modification eliminated 5 of the 6 parts needed when the Rubber Bump-Stop was used. Economy was the name of the game for Volkswagen!
If your ’67 has this permanent Bump-Stop, it is due to a broken Pedal which has been replaced with the later model. Or..the entire Cluster could have been switched to save time and effort. I see replacement Clutch Pedals for sale for about $20.00 which have no Bump-Stop. But, given the work involved with removal and replacement, I’d leave the later Pedal on the Cluster until a repair is necessary—just to be practical.
A recourse to purchasing new Pedals is to salvage Pedals or complete Pedal Cluster units from parts cars or salvage yards.
Photograph #14 demonstrates a Pedal Cluster, after cleaning and painting. I left it disassembled so that the parts and assembly order could be seen. Those of us who work at restoring our cars can fully appreciate the time and effort, as well as money, required even for smaller aspects of our 1967 beetles. Every time I shift, I will be reminded of what goes into making my Beetle fully functional and reliable.
David Brown of Pennsylvania, formerly a Volkswagen trained Parts Manager, continues to be a great source of original information. We have e-messaged back and forth and talked endlessly by phone as we examined relevant parts to the Pedal Cluster.
Barry Blythe of Texas, for over 30 years a Volkswagen engine-builder and general VW repairman, has given expert advice as we examined different aspects of the Pedal Cluster.
Doug Smith of Texas, owner of a engineering and fabrication shop, gave advice regarding blasting cabinet materials for the cleaning of parts. He helped me to obtain #10 Glass Bead for the purpose.
Geoffrey Lohmann of Texas, owner and operator of an automotive collision repair shop, provided the opportunity to clean the Pedal Cluster components for this article.
Survey Respondents were: Gary and Donna Fischer, Geoffrey Lohmann, Clyde LaGue, Ernie Radley, Bob Ebert, Ken Relethford, Tim Mossman, Tom Griffin, Richard Lee, Gary and Joy Rabins, Beth Leverman, Ron Waller, Doug Smith, Richard Marcoux, Tommy Colasuonno, Eric Shoemaker and Jay Salser.
Photographs: Neva Salser.
Pedal Cluster Components:
Cluster Housing: “casting number” 113-721-109A (two styles-same casting number))
Housing Bushings (2):
Housing Bolts (2): for fastening the Cluster to the Tunnel: KAMAX 88–17mm Head X 10mm X 1.50 Pitch Threads—shoulder approx. 7-8mm + Threaded portion approx. 22-23mm (translates to 30mm from bottom of Head to Tip of Bolt)
Housing Bolt Wave Washer (2) to use with 17mm Bolts
Accelerator Pedal: 111-721-507E
Accelerator Pedal Pad: 111/113-721-647A
Accelerator Pedal Roller Bracket: 311-721-509A
*Accelerator Roller Bracket Pin—integral to the Bracket as a unit
Accelerator Pedal Roller: 311-721-521
Accelerator Pedal Roller Bracket Shaft Washer: N 0115572
Accelerator Pedal Roller Securing Clip: 311-721-519
Accelerator Pedal Return Spring: 111-721-619
Accelerator Pedal (Gas Pedal) Pivot Pin: 111-721-525A
Brake Pedal: 131-721-141
Brake Pedal Bushings (2):
Brake Pedal Pad: 311-721-173
Brake Pedal Return Spring: 131-721-163 (’66-’79)
**Clutch Pedal: 113-721-315A
Clutch Pedal Pad: 311-721-173
Clutch Pedal Stop (2 pieces): 113-721-333
Clutch Pedal Stop Hardware (Bolt/Wave Washer/Nut)-13mm x 8mm x 1.25mm x 20mm Thread Length. Bolt can be KAMAX (50 or 56) or Dera (50).
Clutch Pedal Stop Rubber Firewall Bumper: 113-721-341(called Tampon Buffer)
Clutch Pedal Cross-Shaft with Hook: 113-721-305B (’64-’72)
Clutch Pedal-Cross-Shaft Pin: N 128341
Assembly Circlip: N 0124241
32 Parts, not including the Master Cylinder Pin and Pin Retaining Clip.
*Accelerator Pedal Roller Bracket—assembly tip: Roller fits with the VW Part# facing away from the Bracket. Install the Roller. Then, install the Washer. Then, install the Clip.
**interestingly, the Cross-Shaft does not extend to the far end of the Clutch Pedal “bushing” (the welded-in tube through which the Cross-Shaft is inserted, then pinned). This tube (or bushing) is approximately 35mm in length. Approximately 28mm of this length has been bored to the diameter of the Cross-Shaft (ID approximately 14.5mm). At the far end, 7mm is left un-bored (ID approximately 13mm). This may be to provide spacing between the Clutch Pedal and the Housing Tube.
For Fun Foto:
The Photographer had some fun while dealing with my pile of Pedal Clusters.
Your Challenge—Name Photo #15.
When you comment, submit your best name—just for fun!