Rear Disk Brakes

08-11-2011: Earlier this year I needed to renew my tires. I wanted to bring the rims to the shop, and not the entire car. So, I had to put my car on other wheels. I still have 3 standard wheels lying in the shed, and I have a space saver as spare wheel. This space saver is a standard rim made smaller.

But I discovered the standard wheels don’t clear the caliper! Frown So, if I have a flat tire in the rear, the spare wheel wouldn’t fit. I’ld have to put the spare in the front and the front tire in the back. Not very handy.

I had to buy a set of 25 mm spacers:

25 mm spacers


And now it fits:

space saver wheel on


The other side with the space saver:

Space saver on

Looks weird, doesn’t it? Smile


This is now the space between the rim and the caliper:

space between caliper and rim


A nice gap between them!

So, be aware, if you want to go this route, you’ll need spacers if you want to use standard rims.





  1. I really like the website. Very informative. Great work on the car. My question is about the calipers. What year golf did they come from or are they all the same.

    • Hi Heath,
      I don’t know for which year they are. I just searched for rear brake calipers for a VW Golf IV.
      I assumed they were all the same… but I am not sure if they are.


  2. Hey Gerrelt,
    Thanks for the reply. I ended up going with 08 beetle calipers. They fit on the empi brackets perfectly. I would like to change the brackets to something with the same 0 offset as the empi brackets so I could buy the pads at the local parts store. Maybe Passat. Not sure. The 08 beetle calipers are much better than the empi calipers. The empis were thin and were flexing which caused the outer pad to not make up fully with the disc and was causing much noise and vibration. Next i’m going to add wildwood calipers to the front. I have the brackets orderd now. I’ll have a video up on youtube soon on the brake conversion. Ringo774. Thanks for the reply. Later

    • Yeah, I’ve read that before, the empi calipers aren’t very good apparently.
      And that’s the exact reason I used the Golf calipers too. Now I can get brakepads from the local parts store.
      I will check out your youtube channel!

  3. Hello Gerrelt,
    Thanks for this site, it is very useful. After reading it, I am doing the same rear disc brake conversion. I have one question: the Passat caliper brackets are from what YEAR of Passat? I ask because in the US, the Passat B3 was from 1988-1996, but I believe in Europe they used “Typ 3B” for 1998-2006. So it is very confusing: 3B or B3. If you know the year of the Passat the brackets came off, that would help me greatly. Thanks! -Matt in Virginia

  4. Perfect, thank you. I was working from the same (confusing) Wikipedia page. May I ask, how do you like the brake performance with this setup? And what brakes do you have in the front? My plan is to put Wilwood 4-piston calipers in front. My pedal assembly has separate master cylinders for front and rear,so I should be able to balance the front/rear brake bias by sizing the master cylinders correctly. -Matt

    • I really like this setup. I’ve got a firm pedal and good braking performance.
      In the front I have the standard VW beetle disk brakes and calipers, and I am using a standard (19mm, if I remember correctly) super beetle master cylinder.

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