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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've taken the bold step of replacing my 2001 New Beetle's heater core. Probably one of the more challenging repairs you can set out to do. (and I've replaced the transmission)

I'm at the reassembly stage on the driver's side, reattaching the steering column when this part fell to the floor and I don't know where it came from. I took a lot of pictures as I disassembled but obviously this thing wasn't in any of the views.

It looks like some sort of manual adjustment / tension device. The splined nut is reverse thread, the big flat washer base has a notch hammered into it, there seems to be a spring clip inside the reversed thread shaft

So far none of my manuals or google have helped figure out what this is for. Also, as this is a 14 year old car, it's not impossible for this to be from something else all together, lost in the car and only now with this massive disassembling has the item been found. That it has no part number on it, is left hand thread and a spring clip in the middle make it feel very unVW.



Here it is next to a 13mm wrench for scale, though I suspect if you know what this part is, this is reference is irrelevant.


And here is the part with the splined section unscrewed



Other notes:
Reverse threads are not that common in use, so it must be attached to something that turns - and the spring clip inside the center suggest it fits on a pole or shaft.

The splined section suggests either manual adjustment (like a knob) or it inserts into a larger pipe or tube. If it did insert into something else there doesn't appear to be any artifacts, grease or dirt in the groves. The secondary circumferential grooves in the splines is typical of a part that allows for an oil to circulate. If this was just a manual adjustment knob it doesn't make much sense to make it more ornate.

The stamped notch in the base plate is very deliberate too, like it keeps the base from spinning.
BTW - if you want to see the Facebook page for this car - check out Saving Beetle Joose
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Found where it goes

If I had to describe this, it's a self adjusting cross member spacer.

Upon closer inspection, I found a plastic retainer it fits inside.

The bolt inserts into the washer, the spring clip gives it tension and the normal clockwise rotation of the bolt causes the counter clockwise threads to expand the spacer.



 
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