The VW Part Numbering System

by Jim Adney


The VW part numbering system is extremely logical and was designed to help make it easy to assign new part numbers as well as remember old ones. Each part number consists of nine digits divided into three groups of three. You may find it helpful to think of them in the following way: TCS-MSS-###.

T stands for the Type of car that the part was first designed for, so it would be a 1 for a Beetle, 2 for a Bus, or a 3 for a Type III.

C stands for Chassis, so for a squareback this would be a 6, while notches and fastys got a 1 here, and Type 3 Ghias got a 4. If the part was the same on all the type IIIs this digit is a 1.

S stands for Side, odd numbers were for the left side, even on the right. If there was no handedness involved S = 1.

So, if you look through the Type III parts lists you will find that there are more parts that start with 311 than any other number.

The second group of three digits describes the portion or logical division of the car that the part was used on. All the VW chassis types used the same divisions.

M stands for Main group number. All the parts of a car are divided into 10 Main groups numbered from 1 to 0. The 10 main groups are described in the list at the bottom of this page.

SS stands for Subgroup number. This leaves the possibility of dividing each Main group into as many as 100 Subgroups although most main groups had many fewer than that. The subgroups for each main group are also shown in the list at the bottom of this page. Note that subgroup 98 was always for repair kits for that main group.

The last three digits were just assigned in sequence from 001 on up. Where possible, these numbers were kept unique to a certain kind of part. Thus a 113-105-271 is a beetle flywheel, 211-105-271 is a bus flywheel, and a 311-105-271 is a type III flywheel.

As a final addition, most part numbers will have some letters at the end. These signify variations over time. The first part will have no suffix, the next will have an "A", then B, C,... Z, AA, AB,.... There are also color and size code suffixes that are needed for some parts, but I'm not going to get into that here. Sometimes a later suffix will superceed an earlier one, but this is not generally true; you need the parts list to tell for sure.

As a guide to understanding the part numbers I have put together a listing of the main and sub-group numbers as used on the Type IIIs.

It is useful to know that when these parts are sorted in a listing at a dealer or parts house, they will be sorted first by MSS, then by ###, and finally by TCS. This may seem a bit awkward, but once you see it and understand what it does, it will seem natural.

This list includes the main group, each subgroup, and the parts list illustration numbers(s) that apply to them.

1 ENGINE
	00 replacement engines			1
	01 crankcase, studs			2
	01 cylinders, cylinder heads		3
	05 crankshaft, rods, bearings		4
	07 pistons				5
	09 camshaft, valves			6
	15 oil pump				7
	15 oil filler				8
	17 oil cooler				9
	19 air cooling				10
	19 engine cover plates			11
	19 cooling air control			12
	22 fuel pump, fuel lines		13
	29 carburetor 32 PHN			14
	29 carburetor 32 PDSIT			15
	29 air cleaner and intake manifold for single carb engine	16
	29 air cleaner for twin carb and fuel injection engine		17
	29 intake manifold for twin carb engine				18
	29 linkage for twin carb engine					19
	29 EGR for injection engine					20
	29 intake manifold for injection engine				21
	33 fuel pump & computer for injection engine			22
	33 cold start valve for injection engine			23
	33 deceleration valve for injection engine			24
	41 clutch				25
	99 engine securing parts		26
	98 repair kits				--
2 FUEL TANK & EXHAUST
	01 fuel tank				27
	01 activated charcoal container		28
	51 mufflers, damper pipes		29
	55 heat exchangers			30
	55 warm air ducting			31
	59 fresh air ventilation		32
	61 Eberspaecher stationary heater	33	M119	            --315  048 101
	61 Eberspaecher stationary heater	34	M119	315  000 001--315  220 883
	61 Eberspaecher stationary heater	35-1,-2	M246	316  000 001--319  500 000
	61 heater booster			36	M60	319  108 900--319  500 000
	61 Eberspacher stationary heater	37-1,-2	M246	310 2000 001--310 2500 000
	61 Eberspacher stationary heater	38-1,-2	M60	311 2000 001--311 2500 000
	61 Eberspacher stationary heater	39-1,-2	M60	312 2000 001--
	98 repair kits				--
3 TRANSMISSION
	00 replacement transmissions		40
	01 transmission case			40
	11 gears, shafts			41
	21 transmission case, (AT)		42
	23 clutches & torque converter, (AT)	43
	25 valve body, oil strainer		44
	98 repair kits				--
4 FRONT AXLE & STEERING
	01 front axle beam			45
	05 front suspension			46
	11 front torsion bars			47
	13 front shock absorbers		47
	15 steering gear			48
	15 steering wheel & column		49
	15 steering drop arm & damper		50
	98 repair kits				--
5 REAR AXLE
	01 swing axle, equalizer spring		51
	01 double joint axle			52
	01 rear wheel, hub, brake drum		53
	07 rear axle housing (AT)		54
	11 rear suspension			55
	13 rear shock absorbers			55
	17 differential				56
	19 differential (AT)			57
	98 repair kits				--
6 BRAKES
	01 road wheels				58
	09 shoes and backing plates		59
	11 master cylinders			60
	11 wheel cylinders			61
	11 reservoir & lines			62-1, -2
	11 front brake lines			63
	11 rear brake lines			64
	15 disk brake calipers			65
	98 repair kits				--
7 LEVERS & PEDALS
	00 frame				66
	05 frame head				66
	07 bumpers				67
	11 hand controls			68
	13 hand controls (AT)			69
	21 pedal cluster			70
	23 pedal cluster (AT)			70
	98 repair kits				--
8 BODY
	05 front section			72
	09 quarter panels			73
	13 rear section				74-1, -2
	17 roof					75
	19 fresh air fan			76
	21 front fenders			77
	21 rear fenders				A77
	23 front hood				78
	27 rear hood & door			79
	31 doors				80
	37 door components			80
	45 windowglass and weatherstrip		81
	47 quarter window parts			81
	53 moldings				82
	57 instrument panel fittings		83
	57 mirror, visor, grab handles		84
	57 safety belt				85
	63 linings and floor coverings		86
	67 trim panels & headliner		87
	77 steel sliding roof			88
	81 front seat				89
	81 front seat backrest			90
	85 rear seat				91
	98 repair kits				--
9 ELECTRICAL
	03 generator				92
	05 distributor				93
	05 coil, ignition switch		94
	11 starter				95
	19 gauges				96
	37 fuse box, connectors			97
	41 head, fog, & back-up lamps		98
	43 license plate lamp			99
	45 tail lights				100
	47 interior light			101
	49 side marker light			102
	51 horn					103
	53 flashing indicator, front
	   installation parts for trailer operation	104
	53 turn signal switch			105
	55 windshield wiper parts		106
	55 windshield washer unit		107
	55 windshield wiper motor		108
	57 speedometer & cable			109
	71 wiring harnesses			110
	-- grommets				111
	71 connectors				112
	-- heatable rear window			113
	-- seat belt warning system		113
	98 repair kits				--
0 MISCELLANEOUS
This article may be freely reproduced and distributed as long as this copyright notice and attribution is included.

© Jim Adney 7/04, jadney at vwtype3.org


 Back to Library  Back to Identification