Updated: 22-May-17

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General Info






Troubleshooting






DIY Guides & Tips






Photos of Cabriolets with:


G60 Sebring Wheels

Corrado Steel Wheels

BBS Mahle Wheels

Bottlecap Wheels


Brakes & Wheels


Brakes

Stock, Factory Braking System

  • Dual diagonal circuits with power-assisted 9.4" front discs and 7.1" self-adjusting rear drums
  • Front disc brakes were vented from 1984 onward
  • Mechanical rear wheel parking brake



Anti-lock Brakes (ABS)

The 1979-1993 Cabriolets do not have ABS brakes!



Replacing Rear Drum Brakes

Anytime you do work to the rear brakes, do only one side at a time!  This allows you to use the other side as a reference to ensure that everything is put back together properly.  In case you removed both sides, here are reference images:

Actual Drum Brake

Exploded Diagram of Drum Brake



Swapping Rear Drum Brakes for Discs

A popular brake upgrade is replacing the rear drum brakes with discs.  Click here for a how-to.


Front Disc Brakes

Anti-rattle clips:

Part #191615269A (left upper; right lower)

Part #191615270A (right upper; left lower)


Complete clip set available at NAPA (part #ATM DK1048).


Brake Booster

A replacement check valve for the brake booster line has been found: AC Delco/GM part #90304535.  Click here for further details.


Hard Brake Pedal

If the brake pedal is extremely hard to push and the engine idles fast (or, dies at a stop), this is indicative of a leaking/broken brake booster vacuum hose.

Tires

Tire Pressure

Minimum psi/bar: what the factory recommends (should be on the driver's side door jamb decal).

Maximum psi/bar: what the tire sidewall states.



Tire Size (original factory size)

13" wheel: 175/70/13

14" wheel: 185/60/14

15" wheel: 195/50/15


Tire Brands (original equipment)

Continental

Goodyear

Michelin

Pirelli

Uniroyal


Tire & Wheel Size Conversion Calculators

Tire, wheel and offset calculator/comparer

Tire/wheel size options

Tire/wheel size options vs. speedometer accuracy


Wheels

Stock Factory Wheels

Click here for the 6-page factory wheel guide.


Stock wheel sizes:

5J x 13  ET45

5½J x 13  ET38

6J x 14  ET38

6J x 15  ET38


All stock Cabriolet wheels have a bolt pattern of 4x100 and center bore of 57.1mm.



Best Wheel Size

The general consensus is that wheels 15" and smaller are best for these cars.  Click here for The Highway Collective's take on what sizes look good on any A1 chassis Volkswagen, including the Cabriolets... while being rather amusing, it does speak the truth.  Refer to the next section for additional wheel/tire/offset information.



Lost Silverstone ("teardrop") Center Cap Key

If your original key has been lost, head to your local auto parts store and buy an 8mm triple-square bit.



Wheel Names

Most folks are unaware that many Volkswagen alloy wheel names derive from the car racing world, including those used on Cabriolets.

Avus: Named after the AVUS racing circuit near Berlin, Germany.

Estoril: Autódromo do Estoril, a race course in Estoril, Portugal.

Hockenheim: Named after Hockenheimring, a race course near the town of Hockenheim in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Le Castellet: Circuit Paul Ricard, a racing circuit located near the southern France town of Le Castellet.

Silverstone: Named after the race track in Northampton in central England.

Zandvoort: Circuit Park Zandvoort, a racing circuit near the coastal city of Zandvoort in the northern part of the Netherlands.

Zolder: Named after the racing circuit in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium.

Wheel/Tire/Offset Sizes That Will Work

Wheel Sizes

Offsets

Tire Sizes

Notes

5J x 13

45

175/70/13


5½J x 13

38

175/70/13

175/80/13


6J x 13

35, 38

185/60/13

205/60/13


6J x 14

35, 38

175/65/14

185/60/14

195/45/14

195/55/14

195/60/14


6½J x 13

0

195/60/13


6½J x 14

30

185/50/14

185/60/14

195/45/14


6J x 15

38

165/45/15

185/55/15

195/50/15


6½J x 15

33

205/50/15


7J x 14

25

185/55/14

185/60/14

195/45/14

195/55/14

195/60/14

225/40/14


7J x 15

15**, 20, 24, 25, 28*, 35*

165/45/15

195/45/15

195/50/15

205/50/15

* Spacers may be required for the rears; grinding down the calipers and/or fender rolling may also be required for the fronts.


** Without any modifications, wheels/tires may sit beyond the fender flares (aka "poke").

7J x 16

20**, 35*, 40*

185/50/16

195/40/16

205/40/16

205/45/16

7½J x 16

35*



7J x 17

40*



__J x 17+



May cause rubbing, especially with lowered suspension; ride quality will be reduced.

8+J x __



May require fender rolling and/or spacers in order to fit, especially if lowering the suspension; depending on offset, may also result in poke.

All Cabriolets have an OEM bolt pattern of 4x100.


Notes:

  • Lowering the suspension plays a role in what wheel & tire sizes you choose.  Keep the aspect ratio close to stock to minimize rubbing. Examples:
  • 16" wheels + 205 tires + lowering 1.25" = rubbing.
  • 16" wheels + 195 tires + lowering 1.25" = no rubbing.
  • As you increase the wheel size from stock, decrease the tire sidewall size:
  • 6J x14: 185/60/14
  • 6J x 15: 195/50/15
  • 6J x 16: 195/40/16