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We now offer a variety of flywheel shims.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Starting in 1986 with the introduction of the 2.1 liter water boxer, the #1 main bearing (at the flywheel end) was redesigned as a three-piece system: the bearing itself and an inner and outer thrust washer. On these engines, VW originally used a larger OD (outside diameter) shim against the thrust washer on the flywheel side and a retaining ring that was held in by the flywheel seal. Contrary to popular belief, this larger shim is not an “oil slinger," or anything of the sort. The only reason the 2.1 liter engines have this larger OD shim is to keep the thrust washer in place when the flywheel is removed. We do not offer this larger OD shim or the retainer that holds it in place—these two items are typically re-used. If, for whatever reason, either the large OD shim and/or retainer needs be replaced, it is OK to use a small OD shim instead and delete the retainer, and simply be careful the thrust washer stays in place during assembly. A light coat of grease between the thrust washer and engine block works well.
For more information, please read our Crankshaft End Play Shims article.