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I have been trying for several hours to remove the airbag from my girlfriend's Beetle, but have not had any luck. I removed the gauge cluster to give me more room to pry with various sizes of screwdrivers, Allen keys, and other misc. things that fit. I have the Chilton's manual for the car and it says to just insert and pry, but it is not clear whether I am supposed to be prying the post that comes through, or somehow getting under that to pry on the clip itself. I can easily get to where I have contact with the post, and I can feel it move in and out as I push on the steering wheel near the horn buttons, and I have tried prying them in several directions, but I can't find any way to get past that to the clip. Is the tool(JC1000) designed to get around the post to get to the clip? Has anybody done this project who is still around? I read a few threads on here, but they were several years old. Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Unfortunately VW decided to affix the airbag with spring clips holding posts inside the wheel itself accessible only from the back side. My car is a Mustang, and for that you are right, it is a simple procedure, but these Beetles seem to be quite stubborn. Thanks, though.
 

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I went thru the same hell.
You have to get the tool to Exactly touch the tip of the post and you have to apply quite a bit of force ( the spring in the post "clamp" is pretty strong).
Doing that thru a blind hole at an angle, and you slip off before the post is pushed out of the clamp.

I eventually used a box cutter to make slits in the rubber/plastic cover on the back that covers the posts ,big enough to see thru to the posts once you open the slit.
And then used a large blade screwdriver thru the slit and pushed down on the post from the side.
The cover kind of self heals in that its flexible enough, but you can still see the slit if your looking for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm thinking about just tearing up the boot and buying a replacement wheel once I'm done. I'm amazed how frustrating those stupid pins are. The guy in that video makes it look easy, but I've read that the ones in the other VW's are not the same as in the Beetle. Is that true?
 

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I think that they are all the same for Mk 4's. There are clips that have to be pushed toward the center of the wheel to release them. You have to keep the tool pressed away from the center to get under the clip as you insert the tool, then force the clip toward the center.
 

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I'm thinking about just tearing up the boot and buying a replacement wheel once I'm done. I'm amazed how frustrating those stupid pins are. The guy in that video makes it look easy, but I've read that the ones in the other VW's are not the same as in the Beetle. Is that true?
I had to learn the hard way that one important factor is the lenght of the tool you insert, make the (bent flat screwdriver blade) go in by exacely 59mm and then it all goes relatively well, deeper and the whole thing is impossible as the hole it drops into will inhibit full movement.

Second tip - if one side comes away easily, then the other is trouble, then push first side back in, get the other one first.

Tom
 

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I have been fighting this problem for quite a while like some of you. I even got that blue tool I seen on one of the videos with no luck. Mine is a 98 beetle and I think there is a difference on this car from the other models. I read somewhere that the plastic\foam cover was a bad design on the 98 models. That they were made too thick.
What I read also was that at the dealerships when they couldn't get them off they would demolish the steering wheel and just replace it. Don't know if that is true, but I felt the same way! I need to remove that steering wheel one way are another.I took a lawn mower spark plug removal socket and cut some slits across and kinda bent them a little to cut away that plastic cover by turning it with a screw driver so I can get to the clips. Hope it works. Will keep you all posted
 

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I couldn't get mine out; so, i broke down and bought the factory vw airbag removal tool. This tool has a unique "boring" tool; which removes the factory foam, that can obstruct access to the retaining clips. Once it is removed; all subsequent removal attempts are much easier.

The tool is sold through snapon fir $76 but you can get online cheaper:

New Beetle Airbag Removal Tool
Model:JC1000

The SE Tools VW1325

http://www.setools.com/index.php/products/oem-aftermarket-tools/vw1325-vw-airbag-removal-kit-detail

https://www.google.com/search?q=SE+Tools+VW1325&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari


Description
The SE Tools VW1325 - Airbag Removal Kit makes it easier to remove newer model VW Beetle airbags. When the new VW Beetle was reintroduced, the access hole to the airbag spring release was compromised by foam, thereby prohibiting easy removal of the airbag. The VW technician is no longer required to destroy the steering wheel in order to access the airbag. SE Tools developed a foam coring tool to cut access to the airbag spring release. SE Tools then designed a spring release tool for an exact fit. The Shaw Family has an 80-year tradition of manufacturing quality specialty mechanics' hand tools in Michigan. You will see from the online catalog that they manufacture a variety of non-powered mechanics' hand tools. They offer tools that repair, inspect and reach and retrieve. They manufacture hand tools for the automotive, security and aerospace industries. They have been operating as a private-brand manufacturer for many customers in Europe, Canada and the USA. They also sell their tools with the "Made in USA" brand to their other customers. Customizing their tools to meet your specific needs is a capability we are proud to promote. They are interested in broadening their business base and making new friends in many new countries.
 
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