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Mk1 Volkswagen Wheels

VW Golf / Rabbit, Cabriolet / Cabby, Jetta, Caddy, Scirocco
Wheels Index Page - 13" OEM Wheels - 14" OEM Wheels - 15" OEM Wheels - Non OEM Wheels - Tire FAQs


[ click to enlarge ]

Black center cap
Part # 321 601 171A

OEM Mk1 Volkswagen Wheels





The wheels on Mk1 Volkswagens in North American came in a variety of different offsets and widths, but only 2 sizes. 13 inch and 14 inch.
This includes Everything from the first 1975 Rabbit, to the last 1993 Cabriolet.
Our friends overseas were fortunate enough to get 15 inch Le Castellet and Estoril wheels on later Cabriolets, but the largest wheel the US market ever saw on a Mk1 VW was 14 inch.

Base model Mk1s had steel wheels, with small, plastic hubcaps that typically covered little more than the exposed hub at the center of the wheel. See picture, at right.
The higher end "Deluxe" models came with larger, chrome hubcaps that covered the lug bolts.
The higher end models also came with chrome trim rings that clipped onto the steel wheel's outer edge, to brighten things up. See below:



All Mk1 models shared the same (above) steel wheel (in various widths and offsets, with different combinations of caps and trim rings) up through 1981, when the Jetta and Cabriolet got a new, 6 hole steel wheel.
The Rabbit and Caddy both continued using the same steel wheel, up until the Rabbit's discontinuation in 1984.
It should be noted that the Rabbit and Caddy still had a number of options for aluminum wheels, but only a single steel wheel.

In 1982, the Jetta and Cabriolet received a second 6 hole steel wheel in the line of choices.
1982 was also the Scirocco's lucky year, when it began sharing both of the Jetta and Cabriolet's newfound 6 hole steel wheels.

Volkswagen took their time getting creative in the aluminum wheel department, as well.
All Mk1s shared the same narrow, 12 spoke, manhole-cover-style aluminum wheel, until 1981 when other wheels were introduced.
Below, is the lightest wheel that Volkswagen ever made, weighing in at 12.12 lbs.


In 1985, when the Rabbit Convertible became the "Cabriolet," Volkswagen released a number of different style steel wheels.

All Mk1 Volkswagens were 4x100 lug pattern, with a 57.1mm OD hub, which means the wheels are all interchangeable, from the first 1975 rabbit, to the last 1993 Cabriolet.

4x100 means there are 4 lug holes, and they're 100 mm (roughly 4 inches) apart from each other.
Wheels from other 4x100 Volkswagens will fit Mk1s, as well, but the later, 4 lug beetle wheels will not fit, they're 4x130.

If you're unsure of the lug pattern, simply measure it, as seen here:

There are a number of companies who make adapters for numerous different applications.

Stock Honda wheels will not fit Mk1s without modification. The lug pattern is the same, (4x100) but the center bore of the wheel is too slightly smaller (56.1 mm vs 57.1 mm) than a Volkswagen wheel.
4 lug Mazda wheels have an even smaller center bore, but are also 4x100, and will fit with modification.
Most machine shops will be able to enlarge the center hole of a wheel for a reasonable price.
People have used grinders and hole saws to enlarge the holes themselves, but I wouldn't recommend it, unless you know what you're doing.

Most after market wheels made for Hondas, and other 4x100 cars will fit Mk1 VWs, as a company will typically make one size center bore for each lug pattern, so they'll fit a range of different vehicles.

If you have a set of wheels with a larger than 57.1 mm bore, you can pick up some hubcentric rings to make them fit your Mk1 properly.
If you run a wheel with a larger center bore, your car may shake, or "hop" at high speeds. Hubcentric rings will solve this issue.
Using lug studs with nuts, rather than the stock bolts will help, but it's still a good idea to use a proper sized wheel, or get hubcentric rings to fit your car. It will drive smoother and be safer.

If you are planning to use studs, rather than bolts, I recommend the press-in style, rather than the threaded type. The threaded studs tend to back themselves out when you loosen the wheel, and may not get seated again properly, when you tighten them back up. A number of people have had their wheels fall off because of this issue, so be careful.

Click here for a list of cars that share the same wheel pattern as Mk1s.



There are 3 main styles of Lug bolts, that should be used according to your wheel.

The stock Volkswagen lug bolts have a rounded, or "ball" seat. Both the steel and aluminum wheels use the ball seat, The aluminum lug bolts are just longer, and the seat are is slightly different.
You should always use the proper seated lug to match your wheel, so the lug can properly contact as much of the wheel as possible.
See the picture below, for reference.


It's possible for lug bolts to be too short, which puts stress on your hub, and the lug. It's also possible for bolts to be too long, and come into contact with the inner components of your drum brake, making it difficult, or impossible for the car to roll.

If you're unsure the width of a wheel, it's typically listed near the lug holes, in the center. It's on the front of some wheels, and on the back of others. Typically it will read in the following format: 6Jx14
This means the wheel is 6 inches wide, and 14 inches tall. If there's no size listed on the wheel, you can measure it for yourself, with a tape measure or ruler, as seen below:


Keep in mind that there are other factors, such as ride height, tire size, and offset that may prevent a wheel from fitting your car.

Click here to learn about wheel offsets.

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Contributed By: Lucky on Tuesday, June 03 [ Rate this article ]

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