Question: I just bought a 1973 super beetle. It looks good and is said to run good. The only thing is the key is lost. So I will have to change the ignition cylinder out. I know that the steering wheel will have to come off. And then the turn signal comes off. After this it gets sort of fuzzy what to do next. I really want to hear this thing run. Can you help?
Answer: I haven't done this repair, but the lock has to come off the steering column. Then there is a hole in the side of the ignition switch. Push a thin punch (or very stiff wire) in there, and the lock should release. There is some note about having to drill certain models with out the hole. I don't think that applies to the 1973 standard Beetle.
The process may be more involved if you are doing the cylinder, rather than just the switch part.
The shop manual has details of this repair. I've reviewed the shop manual online at:
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