It was good to get back to the Ghia this weekend after being sidelined for a couple of weeks by a bout of appendicitis. The weather was unusually warm, perfect for lying under an old car and scraping 45 years of gunk off of a leaky transmission.
There's no easy way to do it, but it has to be done. The main leak was from the rear transmission shaft seal. It was easy to spot once the engine was out.
It's been many years since I've replaced one of these seals, and I had forgotten what a chore it is to get the old seal out. I spent the better part of a morning trying every screwdriver, pry bar, pliers and church key I could find with no success. I consulted the VW Workshop Manual, which of course suggested factory tool VW 681. VW's engineers never met a task they couldn't design a special tool for. 600-series tools were intended to be made locally, so I found the plans on the great Workshop Equipment for Local Manufacture site.
It's a really simple tool, so I decided to go ahead and make one instead of running out to spend money on some other tool that may or may not have done the job. I had some 1/8 in. steel bar stock on hand. It was a simple cutting and filing job.
I improvised a little on the handle to minimize the amount of cutting. The plans also call for tapering the hook to a sharp point and tempering the steel, but I decided to take my chances without going to the trouble. Once I had it finished it took all of about 20 seconds to pull the old seal out. Almost too easy.