Replacing the rivets in an 020 transmission in NOT an OPTION.
With rebuild experiance dating back to the late '80s the 020 (also know as an 02K) 5 speed VW transmission found in Rabbit, Golf, Jetta, Scirocco, Pick Up, etc. from about '84 to '99 has a serious failure rate due to the rivets found in the differential. Its hard to say but over the years about 50% to 60% of all the rebuilds we have done were caused by rivet failure. "GOOGLE" these key words and you hear the same story over and over again--"VW rivet issue" or similar. The rivets last between 80-120K in most cases. Then they break or shear off. Once broken they tumble around the inside of the transmission. They usually break a few gears (especially the ring & pinion) as they make their way around the transmission. In most cases the rivets find their way out of the case. It usually pops a hole in the bellhousing and contaminates the clutch while ruining the transmission. The only cure is a bolt kit. We won't send an '84 and newer transmission out without one. No exceptions. Its not so much a matter of "if" but "when" will a rivet let loose.

There are 8 rivets, 2 with "ears" and 6 "flat". The eared rivets are most likely to break, however they all fail. In fact in the past month (prior to this post) we have seen 2 "DFQ/CHE" transmissions with all 8 rivets sheared off!
There are two missing on the left and three missing on the right. Both transmissions (DFQ/CHE) were not rebuildable. You can see the damage on the "ears" from tumbling rivet heads.

Here is the net result-Broken Cases.