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- Type: Press-in windshield
- Glass: FW332 (industry part number)
- Seal, with molding groove: 171845121A (VW part number); WCR332 (industry part number)
- Seal, without molding groove: 171845121 (VW part number); WBL332 (industry part number)
The "chrome" windshield trim: NLA from USA Volkswagen dealers, but available through
Mk1 Autohaus, VW Heritage, Parts Place Inc (item #9136), Mid-America Motorworks,
etc. (VW part #255853305). The 255 part number is for a Vanagon; one piece is enough
to do one Cabriolet windshield. To make your life a bit easier, use this tool to
install your new windshield "chrome".
1990-1993 (USA models):
- Type: Glue-in windshield
- Glass: FW659 (industry part number); 155845011K (glass with seal; NLA; VW part number;
USA); 155845011L (glass with seal; NLA; VW part number; Europe)
- Seal: unavailable; you can have the glass ordered, but you'll be required to use
a universal seal (it's wiser to switch to the press-in version; see note below)
Note: The glue-in windshield for USA Cabriolets equipped with airbags is no longer
available as of February 2012. These cars must now use the press-in seal and windshield
for the 1980-1989 Cabriolets. Be aware, that the rubber beading must also be permanently
removed from the windshield frame before the new glass/seal is installed. This will
result, however, in a small gap between the new seal and the vinyl/cloth A-pillar
covering. This gap is merely aesthetic; it will have no structural detriment.
All 1979-1993 Cabriolets can interchange their bumpers with each other.
Removing the bumpers
Disconnect the front turn signal wires from their harness connectors. Remove the
4 bolts holding the bumper brackets to the frame, two bolts per left and right side
(rear bolts are accessed inside the trunk; front bolts are accessed from under the
car -- one left side bolt also holds the horn bracket in place). Clipper kit bumpers:
Remove the screws and/or rivets in the fender flare area. Bumpers weigh approximately
50 pounds each; be prepared to hold/catch the bumpers as the bolts are loosened and
There are two types of Euro bumpers: small metal bumpers (a smaller, lighter version
of the USA bumpers) and plastic-over-metal bumpers . RPI, Concept1, Oldskool Industries,
Rabbit Parts, etc. sell these Euro bumpers. The black plastic bumpers can be painted
to match the car. If you order the plastic bumpers be sure to request that they
include the fender mounting clips and check to see if the lights are included.
Note 1: You cannot use the USA bumper bolts. You will need to purchase M8x1.25x25
hex bolts as well as matching washers (best to use one larger washer with one smaller
Note 2: Euro bumpers use bulb #1156. Be aware that most stock light housings that
come with the bumpers are not dual-filament/dual-contact which means the lights have
to be wired as running lights or turn signals, not both. If you wish to have the
running/turn light combo, you'll need to order light housings for Euro bumpers that
come with "city lights". Furthermore, the stock USA bumper lights will not fit Euro
bumpers without modification.
Mk2 bumpers can be installed on your Cabriolet, but it will take some modifying to
make them fit properly. Additionally, there are two bumper styles used on the Mk2
Golfs: "small" bumpers and "big" bumpers; click here for more details.
"Clipper kit" is the phrase used to describe the factory body kit installed on 1988-1993
Cabriolets. Click here for a Clipper anatomy lesson.
Can the Clipper kit be installed on 1979-1987 Cabriolets? Yes; you will need the
following parts to complete the transformation:
- Front and rear bumpers with brackets and light assemblies
- Front and rear bumper covers with in-tact holders
- Front spoiler
- Fender flares/fender arches
- Side skirts
- Hardware for installing all of the above
- optional: Dual-round headlight grille with lights and clips
Can the aluminum/chrome bumpers from the 1980-1987 Cabriolets be installed on the
1988+ Cabriolets? Yes, it is a direct swap once the Clipper kit is removed. You
will need the bumper brackets from the 1980-1987 cars in addition to the bumpers.
Optional: 1984-1987 fender flares (it is highly recommended that these flares be
installed so that the car looks "finished").
Aftermarket body kits
Various aftermarket body kits & accessories were/are available for Cabriolets.
Available used, if you can find them:
1979-1987 Cabriolet Grille
The grille on these cars is called a single-round grille. The single-round grille
from '79-'87 Cabriolets can be installed on '88-'93 Cabriolets. Contrary to popular
belief, it is simply plug-and-play as far as the electrical goes; however, the wires
for the former inner lights may need to be capped or taped off. No additional wiring
should be necessary due to the outer dual-round grille lights being pre-wired as
both hi- and low-beam (you may need to purchase dual-filament headlights to complete
the swap). Additionally, the inner lights on the dual-round grille, in stock form,
are wired into the hi-beam wires and, therefore, only turn on when the hi-beam switch
is activated; doing this swap will eliminate a pair of hi-beam lights. If you are
doing this swap and haven't added relays to your headlight wiring, it's highly advised
that you do so to gain better lighting out of your single-rounds.
There is also what is known as the Hella grille insert which is the same as a '79-'87
grille except it has lights in the center section. This grille came stock on some
Cabriolets in Europe. If installing this grille on A/C-equipped cars, the A/C condenser
will most likely need to be relocated or removed.
1988-1993 Cabriolet Grille
The grille on these cars is called a dual-round grille. The dual-round grille from
'88-'93 Cabriolets can be installed on '79-'87 Cabriolets. In most instances, it
may be necessary to add wires and/or to add relays to make the inner lights work.
The inner lights, in stock form, are wired into the hi-beam wires and, therefore,
only turn on when the hi-beam switch is activated; additionally, they are not fog
lights!. The outer lights are both hi- and lo-beam.
NOTE: Grilles for A2 chassis Volkswagens (1985-1992 Golfs/Jettas) will not fit your
Red Grille Trim
To replace the chrome grille trim on a single-round grille with red like the Euro
GTI's have, remove the trim from the grille pieces and paint it (GTI color is Mars
Red), apply red 1/4" pin striping to the grille, or source OEM red trim from Europe.
Aftermarket badgeless grilles (including all-chrome versions) are also available
at many of the aftermarket retailers found on the Parts page. They are available
in both single-round and dual-round versions.
Spoilers & Other Accessories
Front Valance Spoilers
Most commonly used is a "duckbill" spoiler and there are 2 types: the smaller, 1-piece
spoiler and the bigger, deeper and often 2-piece GTI "duckbill" spoiler can be found
at many online aftermarket suppliers found on the Parts page. Both spoilers snap
into the 5 holes at the bottom of the front valance utilizing clips which are usually
sold separately from the spoiler (you can also use bolts, washers and nuts in place
of the clips); the spoiler clips are the same as the grille clips.
Small duckbill spoiler: 171805903
Mounting clips: 171853695A
Large 2-piece duckbill spoiler: 171805903B (left), 171805904B (right)
M5x18 bolt: N0141324
5.3x15x1.6 washer: N0116653
B5x11x0.5 spring washer: N0122253
M5 hex nut: N01100517
Kamei (#KM44047, single-round version)
Kamei (#KM44048, dual-round version)
A heckblende is a filler panel for the trunk lid. Most, if not all, are made for
the hatchbacks, but can be adapted to fit the convertibles. Some light up, others
do not. Available with various inscriptions (Rabbit, Golf, etc.) and in smoked form.
Side-marker Lights (North America)
No aftermarket or OEM smoked or clear side-marker lights exist. Update: Clear side-markers
are available, but you'll need your gold card. Apparently, the Mercedes G-Wagon
(W463) came with the same side-markers (both being made by ULO) and clear versions
are available (these will require wire connections)... for a hefty price. Thank
you to Danny for this discovery! Update #2: Clear and smoked (yes, smoked!) lenses,
by themselves, are available at Express Body Parts, Inc. (these are plug-and-play).
Part numbers for the OEM side-marker light mounting hardware:
Plastic nut: N-905-353-01 (2 required per lens)
Screw: N-013-964-4 (2 required per lens)
Aftermarket Tail Lights
Installing the square Rabbit/GTI headlights on your Cabriolet requires more work
than simply swapping the headlights. You'll need the fenders and bumper from said
Rabbit along with the grille components, lamps and the corresponding radiator support.
You can also install the square headlight grille from a '79/'80 Rabbit, but it too
is not a straight swap: the radiator support/front valance will have to be altered
(the grille is slightly taller), or the matching support will have to be swapped
Click here for examples.
OEM side trim is not available new. You will need to source it used from online
sources (like eBay) or your local junkyards.
Removing & Installing Side Trim
- Beginning at one end, place your forefingers along the bottom edge and your thumbs
along the top edge of the trim.
- Pull the bottom edge of the trim out and up.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 along the trim piece until it is completely removed.
Installation of the trim is reverse of removal, with larger edge being on the bottom
(chrome rocker trim: wide edge goes on bottom).
A roof rack, made by Votex, was available for purchase through the dealer; however,
it is no longer available new. Click here to see a picture of it. You can try searching
for one of these racks on UK eBay or German eBay (search for Golf cabrio gepäcktrager).
You can also search other online sources in the USA, but the rack is extremely rare
States-side. The OEM part number for this rack is 155071126A.
Thule also made an aftermarket rack that simply clamps to the car, unlike the Votex
model that requires drilling into the A- and B-pillars.
Badges & Decals
Where to buy them: Salvage yards, on-line auction houses like eBay, or other suppliers
(see Parts page); dealers can still order some of the badges/emblems.
Collector's Edition badges are no longer available. Etienne Aigner decals are no
longer available in North America; however, the decals (along with Classicline badges
and Sportline decals) are now available for purchase from Volkswagen's (German) Classic
Parts web site, or you can contact me for a print-ready image to take to your local
Click here for a list of part numbers and price list. Those listed as "NLA" are
no longer available new. If new seals cannot be found, you will have to source used
Where to buy seals, new: Vintage Rubber, Mk1 Autohaus, World Impex, and other online
OEM parts suppliers, in addition to your local VW dealer.
For convertible top seal information, please go to the Convertible Top page.
Karmann Coachworks added structural reinforcements to the Cabriolet, which can be
seen in this image (shaded areas).
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