My Beetle Restoration

Removing Headlights, Taillights, Antenna, and Wiper Arms

by on Sep.18, 2010, under Disassembly

I removed the headlights assemblies, the front turn signal assemblies, the antenna posts, and the windshield wipers arms today.

The chrome headlight ring on the passenger side will likely need to be replaced as it has a crimp in it. Depending on the pitting of the chrome, I may have to replace both of them. Both of the headlight mounting screws and spacers will be replaced as well as the all of the seals. I will have to take the assemblies apart and see if anything else needs to be replaced. The visible parts of the headlight housings will need to be primed and repainted.


The front turn signal lenses are fractured and will be replaced. The chrome housings are moderately pitted and I’m not yet sure if it’s worth having them re-chromed. I’ll have to wait and see just how many other parts are candidates for re-chroming rather than replacing and see if it will be worth the time to prep them. If any of the chromed parts are too pitted, they require too much work to fill in the pits and smooth out the surfaces. Then even after they are chromed, they many times just don’t look as good as the reproductions. The seals, of course, will be replaced.


Both taillight housings were removed before I received the car, but were included. The passenger side rear fender was replaced by the previous owner and the bracket was never installed on it. He did give me the old fender which still had the bracket installed on it. The housings are in excellent shape (and not missing!) and the mounting brackets seem fine. The only issue I can see now is with the lenses. The original snowflake lenses have a few cracks in them and I don’t know how much the cracks will show. Original replacements will be very costly and difficult to find and the reproductions I have seen don’t quite look like the originals. The seals will be replaced.


I will need to purchase a double-post antenna. The antenna that came with it is in bad shape and is a single post anyway. The other mounting post from an earlier double-post antenna was still occupying the bottom hole.


The windshield wiper arms may be in good enough condition to clean up and polish. At $20-$25 each for acceptable reproductions, I will try to polish them first.


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