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Unofficial disclaimer: First, this is a long write-up. Second, I do not condone any interior modifications that may put you at a greater risk of injury. This DIY involves removing several braces from the low dash that may keep your knees from entering the dash if you are dumb enough not to wear a seatbelt. If you take these parts out and have a frontal impact you may very well end up with your knees in the dash and likely be killed from the subsequent infection that will develop from the cuts. Lastly, I do not believe that you should do any work at all on your VW. Any work should be done by a VW dealership and a certified VW tech.

I wanted a little more storage space in my GTi and it turns out that our Passat Wagon has one of those nifty dash cubbies under the headlight switch. I thought it was the bee's knees so I decided to install one in the GTi. Got the parts from ECS without issue and quickly. It is not a terribly complicated job but it does demand a patient approach; there are many small clips and fancy materials that would like pretty bad with scratches.
There was already a very nice DIY for the MkV done by 'scotaku' back in 2006 (http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2539128) and then several others since that can be referenced in the MkV forum. Rather than reinvent the wheel here, I am just going to post an overview of the process with pictures of the more hairy parts and discuss a few differences between the MkV and MkVI install.
The objective:
Remove the left lower dash trim on the driver’s side (LHD car) and replace it with a dash trim piece containing the ‘cubby’. I found it helpful to have a friend for a couple extra eyes and smaller hands, but you could hammer this out solo without a problem.
Parts needed:
1. Dash Cubby (PN-5K1857919D)
2. Optional – adhesive felt to line cubby
3. Masking tape
4. Good flashlight(s)
5. T-20 and T-30 driver / socket

6. Ratchet with at least a 6” extension 

7. Regular screwdriver
(at least 8” total length)
8. 10mm ratcheting box wrench
Step 1. Prepare and inspect the parts:

Here are the two components that come with PN 5K1857919D:

I choose to line my cubby with adhesive-backed black felt so that I would not have any rattles or jingles from whatever the contents. This was quick work with some white paper for templates and an exacto knife for trimming.

Step 2. Remove dash panel:
Compare the new panel to the old one that is in place. It becomes clear that the mounting points on the new trim panel are different, but exactly the same as the MkV. There are 4 T-20 screws and 3 clips holding the dash panel in place. The clips are in the fuse-box recess on the left side.

First remove the HL switch and the T-20 screw in the HL switch recess:

Then along the bottom of the panel there are 2 T-20 screws in addition to the footwell light bracket with one T-20:

Once these are out you need to remove the fuse panel door, which is the flat panel shown below. Insert a small tip into the recess cut into the panel and work it all around the perimeter until to pops off. Here is the panel:

With the panel off you will see 3-4 clips that are holding the panel on; remove these and save for later. The last screw is a difficult one to get at and requires that you remove the center portion of the gauge cluster. I found this part very unnerving. To get a look at the screw, drop the steering wheel and pull it all of the way out. Then grasp the vinyl connected to the center of the gauge cluster and the top of the steering wheel and pull it over a bit to peak behind it. You should see a T-20 sitting there. To get a better sight on it we actually removed the black/chrome insert on the top of the dash panel. To do this, there is a long tab on the left of the black/chrome trim piece. Use a pick and push the tab through the slot and the edge of the piece will be free. The other attachment point is a metal clip that can be pulled straight out. With the dress-up piece off, you can see the screw pretty well:

However, to get this last screw out you must take out the center of the gauge cluster – no way around it. So, take a nice sip of beer and grasp one side of the cluster. Pull firmly straight out. There are 2 metal clips on each side that fasten it in place. This takes some balls but trust me that it will come out before breaking in half. Here is one side of the cluster after it was pulled off:

Here is a photo of the center of the cluster after it has been removed showing the 2 midline clips:

Now you have just enough room to get that T-20 out. Protect your gauge bezel with some mask and remove with a T-20 driver:

Once you drop the panel you will have to disconnect the interior light rheostat:

Step 3. Remove structural brackets:
This is the difficult part of this install because one of the brackets has a bolt that is rather difficult to get at. Another issue is if it is a good idea to take out metal brackets from your dash? You can read about this ad nauseam in some of the MkV threads but the bottom line is that there are 3 brackets that are present on cars without the cubby. Interestingly, these are supposedly for preventing your knees from going into the dash, yet there is no replacement for them on cars that come from the factory with the cubby. Once the dash panel is off the brackets are very obvious as they are the only ones in the area.
There are 3 brackets to take out and one of them is very, very unpleasant to get at. These brackets are identical to those shown in the other DIYs for the MkVs. Here they are (removed):

The silver bracket spans under the steering wheel and is most difficult to remove without taking off the right lower dash trim (which I didn’t do). We used the 10 mm ratchet to sneak up under there and remove the bolt. It was a long, slow, arduous process but it eventually comes out. I also pulled off the clip so that it wouldn’t rattle in the future. Here is a shot of the wrench up under the lower right dash trim and actually turning the bolt:

The other two brackets are very easy to remove as their bolts are clearly exposed. Here is the largest bracket that covers some relays under the dash. They can be removed with a T-20 or a 10 mm ratchet. You can see it top dead center:


Finally here is the small “L” shaped bracket that crosses into the area of the fuse box:

Step 4. Install new dash trim and cubby door:
Once these brackets are removed, the lower dash piece can be installed, and the cubby door clipped on and closed. The new mounting points for the dash piece are clear and already had clips on them. Installing the parts is a snap after those brackets are out. When you are done, you have some extra space in a convenient location.


Cheers!



Modified by JTwGTI at 10:36 PM 1-27-2010
 

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Re: (absoluteczech)

Would LOVE to put my garage door opener in there, but this DIY looks a little intimidating.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: (Stein)

^
The pictures always make it look more scary than it really it is. Honest! Pulling off the gauge cluster is the only part that evokes fear and anxiety. The brackets just p*ss you off.
 

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Nice DIY. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif I saw that dash cubby on OEMPlus and wanted to do it...but I got to say that it does look intimidating...
 

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Re: DIY - OEM Dash Cubby Installation (JTwGTI)

I love your disclaimers.

I'll need this someday ... I think this is going on my mod list.
 

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Re: DIY - OEM Dash Cubby Installation (JTwGTI)

JTwGTI, you ROCK!!!
Another sticky here - WINNAR! http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif

PS: This good for Golf too, right?


Modified by RogueTDI at 11:29 PM 1-27-2010
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: DIY - OEM Dash Cubby Installation (RogueTDI)

Quote, originally posted by RogueTDI »

PS: This good for Golf too, right?

It should be. From what I can tell the PN for all of the golf lower dash pieces is the same, so it should be a good fit. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: DIY - OEM Dash Cubby Installation (RIP-335)

Quote, originally posted by RIP-335 »

now I want to do it... http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif

Go for it. That little extra space has proven to be really convenient, plus if you have a normal sized head, you'll finally have a place to put your shades.
 

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Re: DIY - OEM Dash Cubby Installation (JTwGTI)

1) What's wrong with built-in shade holder in the headliner?
2) Wonder how knee protection in crash is affected...

Not dissin' - I love this and will probably do it. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Bump for new owners!
 

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1) What's wrong with built-in shade holder in the headliner?
Yours actually fit? Mine don't even come close to fitting comfortably. I can jam the thing shut with my sunglasses awkwardly inside there, but I don't think it would open back up. My fiancee's fit there just fine though.
 

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This is my first post here and I really do appreciate this write up...
thanks JTwGTI !!:thumbup::thumbup: and thanks for the links to previous write-ups. :)

My sister-in-law came over and said she needed help putting in this dash mod and ECS Tuning where she bought it told her it would just snap in place....no worries right? No instructions included.

I got everything apart but couldn't figure out how to get the headlight switch out. Push and turn right...how simple, but I would have never figured that one out. :banghead:

One thing different is I pulled the gauges to get at the top screw...it would have been easier if I knew I could lower the steering column. :banghead: Since it isn't my car, I didn't know until I saw the lever later in the dismantling process. :what:

It went in great and I have to kid my sis-in-law because it wasn't as big as she thought it would be.

Thanks again for the write-up and the links :beer::beer::beer:
 

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1) What's wrong with built-in shade holder in the headliner?
2) Wonder how knee protection in crash is affected...

Not dissin' - I love this and will probably do it. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
My regular eyeglasses will fit in barely. A pair of Oakleys? Not going to happen - major FAIL for VW. Go copy Honda on this one - my old Accord and wife's current TSX has a much better setup. I'd love to install the cubbie - will think about it and maybe try it after the dieselgeek install. That is, of course, after I get my GTI back from the dealer where she's patiently waiting for a water pump. Which apparently must be on a slow boat from China................
 

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re: Removing Instrument Cluster Lower Trim

So, take a nice sip of beer and grasp one side of the cluster. Pull firmly straight out. There are 2 metal clips on each side that fasten it in place. This takes some balls but trust me that it will come out before breaking in half.
I pulled mine out today. It was really in there for good.
So I grabbed it and pulled for the 15th time, and really-really pulled it, and it finally popped out. AND it broke both of the gauge aluminum trim rings on my 2010 JSW. :banghead:

Called the dealer and was informed that the trim rings can only be ordered with the entire cluster plastics for a cool $500 :eek:

And the worst part is that the last screw that was covered by the trim cover is angled differently and I wasn't able to get to it, so no mod done...
Until I get the time to go back in and remove the instrument cluster...


If anyone knows a better way to get to this screw, please let me know.
I was thinking that it may be able to pop out the screw with its corresponding threaded insert piece, but not sure.
 
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