Wednesday Wheels GCFSB Project: 2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Variant Part 1

While we all want to have a classic, sporty German car in our lives, the reality of daily driver duty often falls onto less exotic cars. Several years ago I purchased a 1999 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T GLS to do just that; it replaced a 97 Golf as my daily driver, and I enjoyed over 100,000 miles behind the wheel. Unlike the reputation these cars have gained, I found my Passat to be very reliable – it never once left me stranded or failed to start, it could get 36 mpg if I didn’t get too deep into the throttle, and it was comfortable, quick and fun to drive. After a year of company car duty, the time had come for me to purchase another daily driver, and my immediate thought was that I wanted another Passat.

The search began, and it wasn’t very easy. There are two classes of Passats; devoted owners that keep their cars in great condition, and wrecks that will bankrupt you trying just to pass emissions. But in general the wagon versions were better kept than the sedans; likely a testament to their high sticker prices. It’s hard to fathom, but in 2002 my current car’s sticker price was over $26,000 – more than a brand new Passat will set you back today. As such, the Variants seem to be better kept than the sedans in general, and that was certainly the case when I finally found the car to buy. Priced higher in the market, it was a one-owner 100,000 mile Ink Blue model with grey leather. A GLS spec, it came with many nicer features and alloys, but wasn’t the wood-lined V6 luxury model. The single owner had been meticulous and had every record from new. It was the first time I had ever bought a car like this, and it was clearly worth the premium.

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Wednesday Wheels Project: BBS RS Refresh Part 2: Cleaning and Centers

A few weeks ago, I started up my BBS RS Refresh post with work on the centercaps. The time had come to do some work on the rest of the wheels; in this case, although overall the wheels were certainly in serviceable shape they needed a good cleaning. In addition, the center “waffles” seemed to bear the brunt of the years of brake dust; two had given up the ghost completely and had nearly no paint on them. But before I got there, the wheels needed a good cleaning. In particular, the backs of the wheels had years of material buildup. I’m not sure why having clean backs to wheels is at all important to me, but I really like having clean wheels – front and back. Over the years, I’ve tried many different ways to get the crud off, from scraping to chemicals, and worn down my nails in the process. I wish I had known the ways I’ve found now, because it would have saved me a lot of time and effort.

The answer was staring me in the face, though I guess I didn’t know it. One of my favorite race cars of all time was the 1992 Audi V8 DTM, and it was sponsored by Sonax – a company that produced some impressive wheel cleaners, according to the reviews I looked up. I took the plunge and ordered a bottle. The product is pretty amazing; you spray it on, and as it reacts with metal deposits in the caked on brake dust it changes from a bright green towards a wine-color.

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Wednesday Wheels Project: BBS RS Refresh Part 1: Center Caps

Some time ago, I picked up a set of BBS RS wheels for my Audi Coupe GT. I’ve always been a big fan of BBS wheels, and of course by 1980s standards, the RS is the Holy Grail of road wheels. They have an accompanying price to go along with their desirability, however, as most clean sets will easily set you back over $1,000 dollars. When you factor in the number of sets that are available in the Audi Coupe’s 4x108mm bolt pattern, there just aren’t many options. However, SPG SAABS had the same bolt pattern and were available with 15×7 BBS RSs from the factory. What I was able to track down was a set of just those wheels, in original and un-modified shape. That was a plus to me, because I’m honestly not a fan of the overly polished or crazy colored BBSs, so finding an original set what great. Unfortunately, that meant they also had 25 years of wear on them, and in many areas – especially the center caps – they looked quite tired. I mulled over what to do for years, between sourcing replacements, having the wheels refinished, or just trying it myself. And to be honest, although there were many “DIY” BBS RS rebuild threads, I wanted to see if I could refresh these overall clean RSs that just needed some love without pulling them apart. So over the next few weeks I’ll do my best to chronicle the cleanup. I started with the center caps, replete with peeling, pitted and corroded clearcoat:

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Wednesday Wheels: Custom ordered 17×7 Corrado Speedlines

There aren’t many times that I’d seriously consider buying a set of wheels and building a car around them, but this may be one of those times. One of the best looking wheel designs in Volkswagen history was certainly when they handed the reigns over to Speedline to make the Corrado VR6 wheels. Unlike the typical BBS mesh wheels we had gotten on performance Volkswagens for some time, Speedline made a race-inspired chunky 5 spoke that was just perfect. Every time I see a Corrado, like yesterday’s Supercharged VR6 Corrado, I always miss the Speedline wheels when they’ve been replaced. Of course, they were only 15″ wheels, and the Corrado does look better with slightly larger designs. Some enterprising individuals therefore took it upon themselves to commission Speedline to do a special build of a 17″ version of the Corrado wheels. Sound crazy? Crazy wonderful!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992-1995 Volkswagen Corrado Speedline 17″ Wheels on eBay

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Wednesday Wheels: Abt Sportline A4/A9 3 piece wheels

I’ve always been a big fan of the Speedline-built Abt wheels. For whatever reason, I just think they fit perfectly on Audis. In particular, I think these would look just perfect on a mid-90s S4/S6 or later A4 – maybe in a pinch even on a Ur-Quattro. The three piece, five spoken design is classic:

Year: 2006
Model: Abt A4/A9 3 piece
Diameter: 17″
Width: 8″
Bolt Pattern: 5×112
Offset: ET 35
Condition: Used
Tires: Not Included
Price: $2,500 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Abt Sportline A4 wheels on eBay

Very Rare ABT Wheels.
ABT A4 (Same as A9)
8×17 5×112 ET35
Good overall condition. Come as pictured.

While it’s true these are quite rare wheels, I just can’t see the pricing being in line with the condition presented. I mean, if you’re going to ask over top dollar for wheels, you could at least clean the backs and throw a coat of wax on the wheels! The fronts also need some work and there is no mention if the centercaps are included or if the wheels are straight; a few too many questions at the ask price in my mind. However, they’re a rare set of neat wheels, perfect for Audi fitment!

-Carter

Wednesday Wheels: Audi/Mercedes/VW BBS RKII

Like today’s earlier Audi BBS Calitos, this set of wheels was originally intended to fit an Audi but will also work on Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen models. Also like the earlier wheels, these RKIIs were a popular 2-piece design. Most of these when used typically have a fair amount of lip damage but these appear to be in great shape:

Year: All 5 x 112
Model: BBS RKII
Diameter: 17″
Width: 8″
Bolt Pattern: 5 x 112
Offset: ET 35
Condition: Used
Tires: Not Included
Price: $1,000 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: BBS RKII wheels on eBay

I have a used set of 5 BBS RKII (RK503)2 piece wheels complete with centercaps, but no lug bolts are included. These BBS wheels do have some minor curbage, but overall in good useable condition, see pictures. These wheels can certainly be used “as is” but for the perfectionist these wheels will need to be professionally refinished. These wheels have the green bore centric rings for VW/Audi 57mm. If you plan to use these on a Mercedes you will need to purchase the correct 66.5 bore centric rings. If the Buy it Now option is used, I will include UPS Ground shipping to the lower 48 states. Please text me at 949-370-95 zero zero should you have any questions. Thanks, Jeff

As a double-bonus, there are five wheels included and free shipping if the Buy-It-Now is selected! At $200/wheel, that’s a hell of a deal for any buyer looking for a period-correct look late 90s to mid 2000s. The hyper-silver BBS used looks great on these wheels, the centercaps are stealthy and the two piece look really suits B5 Audis well, amongst others. This is a great budget way to dress up your ride!

-Carter

Wednesday Wheels: Audi BBS Calitos

As I’ve said in previous posts, Audi went from very few wheel choices to some of the best on the market in just a few short years. Audi, like other German automotive companies, took full advantage of the knowledge of BBS, and several of their high end models have sported BBS wheels as a result. The A3 was one of the benefactors of this, with the quite good looking “Calito” 2 piece wheels. Today there is a new set on Ebay for sale:

Year: All 5 x 112
Model: BBS Calitos
Diameter: 18″
Width: 8″
Bolt Pattern: 5 x 112
Offset: ET 48
Condition: Used
Tires: Not Included
Price: $1,000 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Audi BBS Calito wheels on eBay

OEM alloy split rims manufactured from AUDI in conjuction with BBS.
The rims are packed inside large boxes with the logo of AUDI.
Four rims into four large boxes.
I bought these for my car (Audi A3) but last year sold car and did not have the chance to use these.

5×112

ET 48 OFFSET

I ship to Europe. Customers from US or Canada message me first.

The shipping cost you see is not the real one.

Shipping + handling + insurance to Europe would cost around 250 euros providing track id to check your order shipping status.

I want to sell these rims ASAP so I am opened to all best offers here!

The 5×112 bolt pattern is shared with Mercedes and later Volkswagens, so if you wanted to swap these onto a non-Audi just check the offset to make sure it’ll work; but as the A3 shares a platform with the Golf, these are a direct bolt-on to both Mk.5 and 6 Golf and Jettas as well as Passats. Whatever they end up on, they’ll look good on a budget!

-Carter

Wednesday Wheels: Volkswagen Steel Wheel Refinishing 101

509

If you live anywhere with poor weather and road conditions over the winter, you’ve probably already started thinking about swapping on your winter wheels. When I purchased my current Passat, it came with a spare set of steel wheels with horrible Tire Rack issued hub caps. From previous Volkswagen steel wheel ownership, I knew that getting OEM hubcaps was an expensive option; at the same time, I always loved the Corrado steel wheel option that many swap onto early cars. I decided to try to make my own set of “steelies”, and after some research found the materials and paint I needed – I also found some rare factory option Tiguan steel wheel centercaps that I thought would give a different Euro look to the family wagon. So for a change of pace, here’s a writeup of how I refinished the wheels and some products to do it with – if you need steel wheels to start, the picture above links to a steel wheel auction and they’re pretty plentiful at low prices.

509

I started by doing a light sanding of the wheels. The lips of the wheels had some corrosion from the retaining clips of the hubcaps, and while I didn’t get all of it I removed most. Afterwards I utilized a surface prep cleaning solution to clean and remove grim, grease and sanding particulate. Since my wheels had tires mounted, I used some cardboard coupons that I was going to recycle to cover the tire. They were reusable and easier than using tape. I simply overlapped them and slipped them into the bead of the tire as shown. I decided to use a self-etching primer to give the silver paint (which is more expensive) a good surface to bite to. I also made sure to tape up the valve stem! Once they were all primed, I moved onto the paint. Wurth paint, lacquer and surface prep is linked below:

You can paint fairly well with a rattle can if you take your time. The important aspect is to not stop and to release the trigger on the up stroke. Give time for each coat to dry properly and follow the directions on the cans. I did 3 coats of silver, then 4 coats of lacquer over it. The lacquer is more difficult to apply without pooling, so be really careful not to overspray one area. You can lightly sand in between coats to get imperfections out if you’re really picky, but make sure to re-clean the surface before the next coat and allow it to dry properly. Take your time, and the results will be close to factory:

Next step was getting the Tiguan steel wheel centercaps. I had never seen them in person on a car, only in a few images online, but I took the plunge and dropped around $80 on a set. They can be had today for about the same amount. They have a neat “Volkswagen” imprint around the lug caps and are one piece. The picture below will take you to an auction for the caps:

The end result was pretty much exactly what I was looking for. It was unique and different for steel wheels on a budget. The Tiguan caps worked perfectly and give a unique Euro flare that I still haven’t seen on another VW. Best part is they’d work on pretty much any 5×112 steel wheel, so if I find a deal on a 16″ winter steel wheel setup later, I can keep the caps and redo the wheels again:

Ultimately I used 1 can of primer, 1 can of silver, and 1 can of clear for 4 wheels. I spent about 4 hours redoing the wheels, and let them sit for about a week before mounting on the car. They held up well and although a little rust crept back through the seams, they mostly look the same a year later. Best part was that I had enough silver left over to redo the centercaps on my wife’s Subaru winter wheels which had discolored. It was actually a fun project that was easy to do and cost effective to achieve a different look!

-Carter

Wednesday Wheels: Wheels for the People from Volkswagen

Although Volkswagen may have come from humble roots and it’s lack of wheel choices through the 1980s showed it, recent generations of the people’s car have had many options to match their climbing price tags. Indeed, whereas Volkswagen had yet to equip a car with 16″ wheels in the year 1999, the more recent offerings have really set Volkswagen apart from the competition with good looks, aggressive style and a markedly upscale feel. I’ll start with the Passat CC 17″ wheels known as “Spa”:

Year: 2010
Model: VW CC “Spa”
Diameter: 17″
Width: 8″
Bolt Pattern: 5 x 112
Offset: ET 41
Condition: New
Tires: Not Included
Price: $ 699 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Volkswagen CC wheels on eBay

17″ VW PASSAT FACTORY OEM WHEELS!!

BLACK SEMI GLOSS POWDER COAT WHEELS!!

Please call with any fitment questions

these alloy new black semi-gloss wheel set (4) is nice as they get!! ORIGINAL WHEELS w/ CENTER CAPS included!

just look at the pictures….these wheels are BRAND NEW powder coated semi gloss black and in stunning shape!

you will receive FOUR wheels and also ( 4 ) caps oem as pictured

PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK FOR FITMENT

CONDITION: new semi gloss wheels with caps as pictured

BUY IT NOW NO BIDDING NO WAITING SHIPS OUT INMEDIATELY

LOCAL PICK UP IS WELCOMED ON THIS ITEM

QUESTION CALL US 949-922-4847

PLEASE ASK ANY QUESTIONS BEFORE BUYING.

PAYMENT: PayPal

California residents charge 8.00% tax

SHIPPING AND HANDLING:

FREE SHIPPING ONLY TO THE LOWER 48

(WHEN APPLICABLE)

I can’t say that I like black wheels or the CC all that much, but 700$ for some brand new OEM wheels including centercaps is a pretty stellar deal. These would certainly dress up any of the Passat or later Golf/Rabbit/Jetta models. Not a fan of black and looking for something a little bigger? How about my favorites, the R32 “Omanyt”:

Year: 2008
Model: VW Omanyt
Diameter: 18″
Width: 7.5″
Bolt Pattern: 5 x 112
Offset: ET 51
Condition: Used
Tires: Included Continental Extreme Contact 225-40-18
Price: $1,150 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Volkswagen Omanyt wheels on eBay

Pictures show a complete set of 4 wheels and tires. These wheels are the original Omanyts from the 2008 Golf R32. Only 5,000 made. Very limited and unique wheels. I am selling both the rims and the tires together. The tires are brand new, with about 400 miles on them now. The tires are Falken 612’s 225/40/18. These wheels go for about $454 each. You can find their retail price in the ECS TUNING website under OEM Alloy wheels and check their price to confirm, I’m unable to post link as ebay doesn’t allow it, but you can go check for yourself.

18 x 7.5

5×112

The price of $1150 is for all 4 wheels (including tires).

Posted with eBay Mobile

I love the Omanyts, they just look spectacular. The fluted polished edges are a nice touch you don’t notice until you’re close up. Downside is that they’re heavy – really, really heavy, and they seem to suffer a lot of curb scuffing. This set looks pretty presentable and has tires, a bonus. Rather get into something a little more rare? How about these BBS-made Phaeton “Challenge” wheels:

Year: 2006
Model: VW Challenge
Diameter: 18″
Width: 8.5″
Bolt Pattern: 5 x 112
Offset: ET 45
Condition: Used
Tires: Included (unspecified)
Price: $891.25 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Volkswagen Omanyt wheels on eBay

Model: 2004 VOLKSWAGEN PHAETON
Part Description: *****THIS ITEM SHIPS TRUCK FREIGHT. PLEASE SEE SHIPPING NOTES BELOW*****SHELF,18×8-1/2 (alloy), 7 spoke,SET OF 5 WITH NICE MATCHING TIRES. THE TIRES HAVE NORMAL WEAR AND TEAR. PLEASE BE HAPPY WITH THE CONDITION OF THESE ITEMS BEFORE ORDERING. THANK YOU.
VIN of Donor Vehicle: WVWAF63D148006854
Condition:
Stock Number: 130802

The tires don’t look grand, the wheels have some wear, but at under $1,000 I can’t say I’ve seen a set of these for less money. Like most of the Phaeton wheels they’re pretty highly sought after as a mod for the lower models. The Challenge is one of the better looking wheels on the Phaeton, but would make any Passat look the part too, with an aggressive, chunky look. Need something smaller and a little more classic? How about some new Zender Turbos?

Year: N/A
Model: Zender Turbo
Diameter: 15″
Width: 7″
Bolt Pattern: 5 x 112
Offset: ET 22
Condition: New
Tires: Not Included
Price: $1,000

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Zender Turbo wheels on VWVortex.com

I have a set of brand new (new old stock) 15×7 5X112 ET22 Zender Turbo Wheels.
Never had any tires mounted and in perfect condition.
Perfect original center caps included.
Price: $1000

Located in the Montreal area and willing to ship worldwide.
Contact: grenierjc@videotron.ca

Rare, rare, rare. These are hard wheels to come by. They’re not to everyone’s taste, true, but as a period piece they’d look fantastic on an Audi or B5 Passat. At $1,000, they even seem to be priced quite reasonably considering the market on some older tuner BMW and Porsche wheels – which range in the mid-thousands. I’m trying to get the owner of that Mars Red 20V Quattro to snap them up; I think they’re perfect for that car! Are you a TT, Mk.4 Golf or Jetta driver? There are some great options for you, too – like these New Beetle Turbo “Delta” wheels:

Year: 2002-2005
Model: VW Delta
Diameter: 17″
Width: 7″
Bolt Pattern: 5 x 100
Offset: ET 38
Condition: Used
Tires: Not Included
Price: $500 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Volkswagen Delta wheels on eBay

Part Number:

69764

Finish:

SILVER

Description:

17X7″

5X100MM BOLT PATTERN

SET OF 4 WHEELS ARE USED, IN GOOD CONDITION. SOME MINOR IMPERFECTIONS, WHICH ARE SHOWN IN THE PICTURES.

4 USED CENTER CAPS INCLUDED

PLEASE NOTE: CENTER CAP(S), LUG NUT(S), LUG NUT COVER(S), VALVE STEM(S), AND VALVE STEM SENSOR(S) IS NOT INCLUDED UNLESS SPECIFIED!!

WHEELS WILL BE SHIPPED SIGNATURE REQUIRED!!

ALL WHEELS HAVE BEEN SPIN TESTED AND ARE GUARANTEED TO SPIN STRAIGHT AND TRUE!!

I always thought these looked pretty darn cool; the reverse 5 spoke is an interesting concept and they made it work. If you squint you can even see hints of the Fuchs wheels from Porsches in this design. Whatever you put it on, you’d certainly set it apart, and the price is pretty compelling. Maybe you have a set of alloys and just need a freshen up? How about some new centercaps?

Volkswagen centercaps seem to use just enough metal to corrode and just enough plastic to fall out when you hit a big bump. They’re cheap to replace, despite what nearly every used Ebay car dealer would make you think (they never put them on!). As a finishing touch, they really can quickly clean up your wheels on a tight budget.

Which are your favorites and what would you like to see?

-Carter