My Beetle Restoration

Tag: rear fender

Removing License Plate Light Housing, License Plate, and Passenger Rear Fender

by on Sep.27, 2010, under Disassembly

Today I removed the license plate light housing, the rear license plate bracket & plate, running board bolts connecting fenders on the driver side, and started removing the rear fender on driver side side.

The license plate light housing had no wires connected to it and I didn’t see any wires laying around in the engine compartment for it. It may have been some time since the light was used. There is black paint on the lens from the last paint job in the early 80’s. It is cracked under the mounting screw, so it will be replaced.


The license plate and bracket were a little difficult to remove. Extra-log bolts were used to fasten the bracket to the engine lid and to fasten the license plate to the bracket and three of the four bolts were heavily rusted. I managed to remove one of the bolts holding the plate to the bracket so that I could swivel it out of the way to get to the head of the bolts holding the bracket to the engine lid. One came out easily, but the other would turn a few times and completely lock up. I cut the excess threads off with a cut-off disk and was then able to remove it. The home-made bracket, by the way, was constructed from a 1971 Minnesota license plate.


At some point, someone hand-painted “Putt-Putt” on the right side of the engine lid. Maybe the same person who painted “Tonka” on the driver side door?


On the rear fender on the driver side side, I was able to remove five bolts, snapped the head off on one bolt (at bottom of fender & rear apron), and was unable to turn 3 of the bolts (the two bottom bolts on the front side and the 3rd one from the bottom on the rear side). Well, technically, I could turn the bottom bolt on the front side, but there is so little metal left in that area I didn’t want to tear it all out to get the bolt removed. I may just grind the head off. I spayed the remaining bolts with penetrating oil and I’ll come back to this fender later.

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