Installing caster shims! hoo boy!

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    Michael Davis


    Installing  caster shims on my Duchess. Here is the process.

    remove grille. Nope. Jacked up bolts on the headlight mounts.

    loosen grill enough to raise it to allow access to top torsion tube bolts. loosen bolts.

    loosen lower bolts. not easy as a steel skid plate is in the way, and is held on by the torsion tube bolts. ⊙Be careful not to back the bottom bolts all the out and let them fall out of their place….too late. They fell out.

    Put shims in place. Put lower bolts back in. No. Too short due to shims and previously mentioned skid plate mount.! No sweat, I have longer bolts!

    Remove lower bolts. Nope! Skid plate frame work prevents this.

    Remove skid plate. Unbolt bottom half of skid plate from top half to allow skid plate to be lowered. Nope! Skid plate bolted to bumper.

    Remove bumper.

    Remove upper torsion tube bolts but first, remove previously inserted shims and re install lower bolts so tubes wont completely fall off when I remove upper bolts.

    Drop skid plate slightly, clearing the upper bolt holes and reinstall bolts. loosen lower bolts and remove skid plate. Remove short bolts, install shims and longer bolts, withe lower skid plate mount.

    Reinstall skid plate and install upper mount bolts.

    Lower grill into place and bolt it up.

    Remove headlight from pivot cup.  Cut jacked up bolt off and install new one because of course the jacked up bolt can neither be tightened or loosened.

    So see, nothing to it.

    And of course, all of the fasteners and bolts and screws that held the grill in place were all of top quality and of standard metric sizes and came apart as smoothly as any finely engineered piece of machinery should…..yeh right!

    Paul Mossberg



    And if that Duchess had been assembled per the factory assembly manual, you would also have had a bunch of rivets to drill out.

    Next time you want to pull your Duchess apart, write to me first! Or take a look through the Duchess VW assembly manual (in our library) to see how it all went together.

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    Michael Davis


    Thanks Paul. No rivets in the grill, but several rivets held the body in place to a metal frame work around the grill opening. It would have been an easy job save the stinking headlight bolt on the passenger side.

    My next challenge is a total rewire. I’m not going to save a thing, except for the pig tails from the individual light sockets. The wiring in there now is a big bird’s nest! I will be running individual wires, not a premade harness.  I am actually looking forward to this project! Nice and neat and uniform wiring.

    edward ericson


    People who like rewiring a car impress me.

    Michael Davis


    The VW wiring is extremely basic. No electronic gizmos, no safety circuits, no relays unless you want one for the headlight dimmer, and the voltage regulator is very basic. Just one flasher module. Ground circuits can be a bit of a challenge, with the fibreglass body, but patience and plenty of quality wire will clear that hurdle.

    Now a modern car? Forget that!!!

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