VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
1 - 20 of 56 Posts

18,342 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After seeing there's no full write-up of an upper glovebox installation guide complete with pictures, I've decided to make one. I've been doing a lot of researching on this topic and after gathering all the necessary parts, I installed my upper glovebox today. There's been a lot of conflicting information out there as far as exactly what you need and how you go about doing it, so I'll clear things up. I wanted no airbag light lit, a functioning driver's side airbag, a working light in the glovebox, and for it to be easily reversible. Without further a due...

Completion time: 2 hours

Items needed:
Upper glovebox
Glovebox light with harness
Trunk popper with harness
Phillips and flat screwdriver
8mm socket driver
10mm socket driver
Hex Key
Hex key socket with extension (recommended)
4.7 Ohm 1/2 watt 5% tolerance resistor
Electrical tape, heatshrink tubing, soldering iron, splice connectors (recommended)

Ok here's what you start with. My car is a 1995 Jetta to which I've already added a lower glovebox several years ago.

Start by popping out the vent flaps from the side with a flat screwdriver. Close the vent, then unscrew the two screws and remove the vent.

Next remove your lower glovebox. There's 2 screws on the bottom corners, and the 3 screws inside the glovebox can be unscrewed after you get the glovebox door to hang down by pressing in the sides of the glovebox door. This picture can also be used to illustrate what part of the metal piece you would need to cut out in order to install a lower glovebox into your 1993-1996.0 that never came with a lower glovebox.

Next the airbag cover. Unscrew the screws using your 8mm socket driver.

Then the airbag cover will slide to the right and you can pop the cover straight out. I had to struggle with it a little to figure out how it works but this picture will help you.

As for tricking your airbag light not to come on, many people have said on here that you will need a vag-com to reset your airbag light. But I've changed steering wheels and airbags before and the airbag light never had to be reset. I reasoned that if I used the same procedure, the airbag light won't have to be reset this time either. So unbolt your negative terminal cable on your battery (10mm socket) and set it aside.

Next you unscrew the hex screws (2 on each side) holding the airbag in place. First I started with a hex key.

But the space was pretty tight so I got smart.

With the battery disconnected, unplug the airbag and remove it. Then unscrew the 3 screws holding the surrounding bracket in (the piece that the airbag cover clipped into).

Here was another source of confusion for me due to what I've read on here: the 2 brackets that held the airbag in place. Many have said to cut it out. But what if you ever wanted to go back to using a passenger-side airbag again? Or if you sell the car? Why not make this install reversible?

Bend the brackets back using a hammer. You just need to move it to the side a little bit to fit the glovebox.

Left side bracket moved out of the way

Both brackets moved out of the way.

Next take out your 4.7ohm 1/2 watt 5% tol resistor. I bought a pack of 10 on eBay for $1 plus $3.50 shipping. The colors are yellow purple gold gold.

Take a look at the airbag plug. Each side is labeled 1 and 2. Bend the resistor into a U shape and insert the gold side into side 1 (black wire is positive). Insert the yellow side into side 2 ( yellow wire is negative). Wrap each side of the resistor in electrical tape so the two sides don't come in contact with each other.

Then wrap the electrical tape so it holds the resistor in place and protects it from anything else it might come in contact with.

Turn the ignition on in your car and leave it on. Then hook the negative cable back up. The alarm will go off so don't be startled. It would help to have a spare set of keys in the door to turn the alarm off. Then turn the ignition back off. Now if you turn the ignition back on, you will notice the airbag light will turn on as a check and then turn back off to signal everything is ok. You've now successfully tricked your car into thinking an airbag is still there and thus the driver's side airbag should continue to function in case of an accident.

Next start working on your light. I had the original mk3 upper glovebox light but couldn't get the tab that turns the light on and off to work properly. What a bad design.

So I went with my backup plan which was a Passat B3 glovebox light that you can manually switch on and off. Add wire to lengthen the wiring harness. Solder, heatshrink, and wrap in electrical tape.

Pop off the climate control panel and unscrew the 6 screws holding it in (4 on each corner, 2 under the ash tray). I used a couple of splice connectors to make it easier to tap into the car. Connect the positive light wire (black/yellow) to the positive red/white wire coming out of the cigarette lighter. Connect the negative light wire ( orange) to the negative orange wire coming out of the cigarette lighter. (Alternately, you could connect it to a switched power source so the light won't turn on if the car is off.)

B3 light installed

B3 light turned on

Pop the trunk popper into the spot. I already have one in my center console so I didn't feel the need to wire it up also. I never use the trunk popper anyway. But I have thought about wiring it up to something fun, I just don't know what yet. A passenger-eject seat would be entertaining.

Lots of space with light! :D

Reinstall everything like you took it apart. This should be easy. Everything that you unscrewed gets screwed back in and you end up with your finished product.

Lit up in the dark

I think that's pretty much it. Enjoy :)

2013 Golf R, 2013 X5 35D, 1997 E320
21,249 Posts

Nice. I had been searching for this write up since I have been tearing down/rebuilding pretty much my whole mk3 and this was on the list. I couldn't find anything on this subject. Thanks! :thumbup:

281 Posts
Dont mean to bump a dead thread but this saved my ass. I almost did this and woulda had the airbag light on :thumbup: for the proper way to do this :beer: cheers

18,342 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Dont mean to bump a dead thread but this saved my ass. I almost did this and woulda had the airbag light on :thumbup: for the proper way to do this :beer: cheers
That's what it's here for. ;)

great write up. word to the wise be carful with your upper glove boxes the parts are pricey to replace.
Definitely. I've got a spare handle in case mine breaks and can't be repaired.

Nice! But what's the deal with the button cutout? Is that there on every upper glove box? or did you cut it? And waht about the open button? Pics?
They come with 2 cutouts. One for the light and another for the trunk pop button. On the early mk3's where these came in (1993 - early 1994), they had a different center console that didn't have the trunk button there, so it was put in the glovebox instead. At one time I also had a Golf upper glovebox in my possession (different lid, called a short-handle upper glovebox) and that had an open hole for the light and the hole for the trunk popper was closed but has slits to cut the square hole out and open it to install the trunk button if you wanted it.

P.S. I have a spare unbroken upper glovebox light and trunk popper if anyone needs it.
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.