Daniel Wing wagons at tops-tele.com
Thu Jul 23 03:36:38 PDT 2009

Well, after 9 years, I am giving up my car and leaving the fold. The  
economics of clunking my car (which cost me only $6,000 nine years ago  
but has cost plenty to fix since then) are compelling. Not just the  
$4,500 and the likely $1,300 tax credit, but the list of things that  
would need to be done to the car before winter if I continue to run  
the car.

Tire Rack tells me that the bolt pattern for the Jetta TDI I am  
getting on Friday or next week (the clunker program is just getting  
started on July 24 but I have a deposit in on the car) is the same as  
the 200Q20V. I am hoping the Jetta brakes are small enough for me to  
fit either my steelies or my stock aluminum wheels so I can run  
whatever winter 15" tire width and ratio will match the overall  
diameter of the Jetta tires.

When I have run the steelies I have done so with a thin (about 1/4")  
aluminum spacer to get the wheels to clear the front brakes. The  
steelies don't have quite enough native offset to clear without the  
spacers. Now I am trying to decide which wheels to keep, steel or  
aluminum. The aluminum wheels are probably more delicate, but none are  
bent, that I know. (The advantage of higher profile tires on a country  
car like mine is that the wheels don't take such a beating.) Also,  
they come with a hubcap, and the steelies do not-- so I have to  
slather grease on the hubs to ward off salt. After 8 years, the  
steelies are also starting to rust.

If I could, I would keep all the wheels-- the all-season tires on the  
stock wheels have very little wear. However, I can't clunk the car  
with no tires and wheels! (I can't clunk it without the eurolights,  
either-- damn!)

Do any of you know whether: I can fit these wheels on the Jetta?  
Whether the extra offset of the aluminum wheels is desirable or  
undesirable in that application? What would you do (Given that the car  
is now toast, of course.)

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