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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Great thread and build!

Couple of comments/questions:
1. FYI, the 2006 SE (Special Edition) came without seat heaters, so there are available black buttons for the dash for sure! Edit: link to these here: Blind Cover - Sabre (Black) - Priced Each
- THANK YOU, I am ordering these!

2. Nice score on the pole positions...drooling here! Any issues removing the interior trim to get to the headliner? I worry all those clips are going to break...
- NO issues thank god, I went very slow and did my best to pull in the correct directions. Lost a couple clips but did not break anything.

3. Curious as to why you've kept the little shark fin antenna so far. There are delete plugs available and you can save some weight there too (not much).
- Didnt think of deleting this, we do still use FM radio from time to time so I didnt see the need. Perhaps down the road should we delete more things.

4. Doing the A/C diagnostics, you can monitor engine coolant temp "live" on the A/C screen, seems like you have a bad thermostat (i have same issue and will be replacing soon)
- See below, I might try this in the future.

Keep it up! Love the car. Luis
-Thanks and sorry for taking forever to get back to this! Did follow you on IG though :)
I stopped updating this thread - need to get back to it for sure. Will summarize here and work on a better update with pics.

  • Installed TT 260/264 cams, ended up messing up the actuator housing during install and had to source a new/used one. Terrible sound on start up
  • Got my cluster rebuilt at a local vendor who specializes in VAG stuff, the new screen looks perfect!
  • Had custom SS cat-back exhaust welded up for the car, it is a resonated straight pipe and is LOUD. Sounds incredible but is definitely not for the faint of heart.
  • Deleted the entire A/C system: Comp, Condensor, lines, new belt.
  • Full rear bulb refresh, still getting a phantom brake light warning though (I think I need to check the taillight wiring)
  • Full brake bleed using MOtul5.1 before WITW-'21
  • Took the car to WITW'21!
  • Had to replace the Fan Control module, the car was turning on without the key in the ignition. Some sort of internal short in the module was bridging the Switched B+ circuit with the Constant, and causing the entire car to "power up" without the key. It happened the night I got from from the 12hr drive at tail of the Dragon. Talk about luck. Took me nearly 2 weeks to isolate and identify this was the cause. New OEM FCM went in and the problem was solved.

What's Next?:
Car is not getting driven much and will get the LB's back on for whatever short winter drives we put it through. I think the next big thing I will do is a 6spd swap. At WITW this year, the trans started making lots of noise after some highway miles. and the 1-2-3-4-5-6 in the dash started flashing at me. I think the trans went into some sort of limp mode. It never happened again, but for the rest of the trip and ever since, the car has felt really sluggish. No codes in the dsg or anything, but just feels lazy.

For the mods and weight reduction the car has, it should be faster. Don't get me wrong, I know im dealing with an NA VR6 so im not expecting a 12sec car here, but I think my trans is on its way out and pulling back power via tq management or power is being lost in the process. Nothing to prove this theory other than the car car barely pull away from stock R32's. With tune, cams, full exhaust, intake, and a really well cared for car, also about 300+ lbs of weight reduction most of which being unsprung. Something doesnt add up. I will get the car dyno'd before I commit to the swap, but if anyone has any ideas on what could be preventing this car from being a bit faster please share. I have tried a lot of sensors, diagnostics, air filter/fuel filter, etc. Nothing seems to make it feel as free as a mk4 r32 feels.

Anyway, I need to start researching whats involved with a 02M 6speed swap and maybe start that this winter if time and $$ allows. My assumptions is I can use R32 and TT225 parts to make it work, but im sure its more complicated than that.
 

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Anyway, I need to start researching whats involved with a 02M 6speed swap and maybe start that this winter if time and $$ allows. My assumptions is I can use R32 and TT225 parts to make it work, but im sure its more complicated than that.
Love what you've built so far. Please keep this thread updated with that information. I'm in the process of looking for a TT. In the end, I want a 3.6 VR6 and manual transmission, but I seem to remember people saying at one point that doing a VR6 swap to a 225 was easier/cheaper than doing a manual swap to a 3.2 DSG car.
 
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Love what you've built so far. Please keep this thread updated with that information. I'm in the process of looking for a TT. In the end, I want a 3.6 VR6 and manual transmission, but I seem to remember people saying at one point that doing a VR6 swap to a 225 was easier/cheaper than doing a manual swap to a 3.2 DSG car.
Thanks for the kind words.

I remember reading that too (somewhere) but I just cant for the life of me substantiate it. It saves you the coding of the ecu/modules (from DSG to manual) and installing pedals, clutch stuff, and shifter. but adds complexity of running a 3.2 engine file and swapping over to the VR6 engine parts. You STILL need a vr6 02m/02Y as the TT225's bell housing is for a 4cyl. So It doesn't save much on the sourcing side. Then the hoses, exhaust parts, mounts, wiring etc that comes with the engine swap. To me the 3.2 tt is the better starting point, unless you have a CHEAP TT225 ready for a swap and a full front clip from an R. Unless there is something I am missing with the harness and coding.

I have started the search for the R32 transmission, and options are limited/expensive - but I think Im getting somewhere! I will defintely do a write up on this swap that hopefully outlines what needs to be done in case someone else ends up going down this path.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Some backlogged updates (pics of my list above)

First - the custom catback:
Built by Hochman Fabrication in Wheeling IL. Beautiful work and the sound is unlike any VR I've heard. Vibrant muffler/resonator, all 2.5". It is very amplifying, likely from the Y-split at the back. They also converted the midpipe connection to VBand so no more OEM sleeve clamp. With the car no longer subject to daily duty, we decided to turn up the volume a bit. It is definitely loud, but with the headers and cams, the sound is very clean and dynamic and has a lot of range to play with. There is drone however, so one day I might add a muffler to the rear or some small bullet mufflers after the split. I want to see how it sounds when the manual swap is complete.






Wookies Prep:
  • Cams and A/C Delete parts
  • Amber sidemarker conversion :D
  • New gauge cluster/rebuild, with fresh LCD screen
  • New OEM 3rd brake light (this was on sale from ECS so I scooped up some NOS parts)
  • Deleted rear TowHook adapter
  • Cleaned up engine bay plastics (note the MK2 TT coil harness cover strip)

















Couple shots from WITW-'21







 

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I remember reading that too (somewhere) but I just cant for the life of me substantiate it. It saves you the coding of the ecu/modules (from DSG to manual) and installing pedals, clutch stuff, and shifter. but adds complexity of running a 3.2 engine file and swapping over to the VR6 engine parts. You STILL need a vr6 02m/02Y as the TT225's bell housing is for a 4cyl. So It doesn't save much on the sourcing side. Then the hoses, exhaust parts, mounts, wiring etc that comes with the engine swap. To me the 3.2 tt is the better starting point, unless you have a CHEAP TT225 ready for a swap and a full front clip from an R. Unless there is something I am missing with the harness and coding.

I have started the search for the R32 transmission, and options are limited/expensive - but I think Im getting somewhere! I will defintely do a write up on this swap that hopefully outlines what needs to be done in case someone else ends up going down this path.
Being logically, I totally agree with you and feel that it SHOULD be the easiest way to go. To add, I feel the VR6 cars are often better taken care or and I'm likely to find a nicer base to start from. I missed out on a green on green 225 car a friend sold recently. He didn't know I wanted it. :(
 
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
2022 Update, I have decided to embark on the manual conversion! You can reference some initial photo's here (MK1 VR6 3.2 Manual Conversion.) if you are interested. I will be dumping things here before I make a complete write-up on the swap, its process, cost, and learnings. Initial list of parts for the swap though -

GQV Code MK4 R32 Trans and Bevel Box (VR6 02M all-wheel-drive)
MK4 R32 Starter, Front Axles, axle shield, bevel box bracket
MK4 R32/AUdiTT225 Starter
6MT TT Gas, Brake, clutch pedals and associated switches, wiring, hydraulic system
TT Manual Shifter Box, Cables.
HPA ShortShifter and DieselGeek 02M bushing and cable upgrades
Manual TT ECU from the UK w/ coding changes
Interior Shifter Trim pieces/bracketry from a TT225 manual

In addition to the manual swap, I am using the opportunity to address some other things on this car and keep the build leveling up. I have removed the engine and trans together from the car for simplifying the transmission removal and installation, so with the engine out and the engine bay open, I have built an intensive project scope. hopefully have the car ready to go for WITW-'22

1 - Manual Conversion (duh)
2 - Timing Chain Service and Front Main Seal, Oil Pan.
3 - Wire Harness reconditioning w/ minor tuck/delete work
4 - Engine Bay fuel system AN conversion. (rail, hoses, fittings)
5 - Power Steering Res/Line rework.
6 - Engine Bay Steam Clean and Block Cleaning/Painting using POR15
7 - JXB Driveshaft carrier upgrade
8 - European Tailignts and euroswitch
9 - Fresh fluids: Oil, Trans, PS, Brake Fluid
10 - Front coil adjustment
11 - N80/LDP/N112/SAI deletes and relocations
12 - Battery Fusebox relocation
13 - Custom Cold-AIr Intake (fingers crossed on this one!)








 

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Good stuff. Looking forward to seeing this progress.
 
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Do you know what the weight difference is in the DSG vs Manual package is?
My current estimate is that the swap will net me about 80-85lbs (manual being lighter). But I have a few more items to weigh and double check.

The early DSG's like what is in the TT were much heavier than the modern units. My scale maxes out at 150lbs, and the DSG w/o the bevel box generates an error on it, so I need to find a new scale capable of more weight. Online, I was able to find some weight stats and states that the early DSG is about 205, and the bevel box is 33lbs. My bevel box is exactly that weight, so I trust the source here but alas havent weighed it myself to confirm. I will say the DSG is extremely hard to move on my dolly and lift vs the 02M Manual. Also, the DSG's DMF is only 24lbs, so depending on your manual clutch & FW you choose, can sway the results but I will be running a southbend stg2 daily with SMF, which I believe is about 21lbs, then the clutch itself. It arrives today and I am anticipating 33-35lb total weight with it. That being said, here is the breakdown!

DSG \\ 6MT (lbs)

Trans w/ Fluid : 207 \\ 105 (-102)
BevelBox: 33 \\ 31 (-2)
Front Axles: 27 \\ 29 (+2)
Starter: 8.4 \\ 7.6 (-.0.8)
Shifter w/ Cables: 9.0 \\ 8.0 (-1)
Pedals w/ Covers: 2.2 \\ 6.8 (+4.6)
DMF vs C&FW : 24 \\ 35 (+11)
Hyrdaulic Parts : -- \\ 4.0 (+4)

Total : About 84lbs reduction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Making some progress on the project - fueling, more hardware, cooling, ECU, and some wiring harness supply (injector clips, sleeving, lugs, etc.) all showed up last week, it was like Christmas morning. Clutch kit arrives today, but I should have everything I need now to get it back together (well.... except time). Was able to get all the interior wiring done for the manual swap (Clutch, Shifter, and connections for reverse, VSS and starter interlcok) and my minor wire-tuck as well so the dash cant start to come back together.

My timing chain parts also arrived, decided to do both intermediate sprockets as well, as well as the front main seal, so still need to put covers back on and pull off the crank pulley for that.



Guides did have some wear, but the car did not make excess noise during operation, so I wasn't expecting much. VCDS showed the following counts before teardown in Blocks 208 & 209. Let me know if you have any input on these or what I should expect afterward. The car has never thrown any timing codes.

208: Count 134 & -5.0*KW
209: Count 131 & -3.0*KW



 

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What are you planning on doing for the belly pan? Same pan that fits around the DSG for the manual?

The weight reduction over the front of the car is nice. I'm needing to replace the clutch and DMF on my DSG transmission. If I hadn't already bought a new mechatronic for it last time I tried to fix it I would probably go with the manual swap. This looks like a lot more part cost than the clutch and DMF though.

How have your Raxles held up? I swapped the front right OEM axle out for one about 6 years ago... although only about 20,000 miles and 3 years of driving and it's CV boots are already showing cracks. Every other OEM CV boot from 2004 looks pristine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I hadn’t thought about the belly pan - my car never had one so thanks for the reminder haha. I’ll have to look into the part numbers to see what is compatible.

yes this conversion isn’t cheap. I’m easily over $4k right now. A mix of stuff new and used so it could be more/less depending.

my first driver-side Raxle had a cracked boot after only 1 year, Marty replaced it with a diffferent material / dimensions and it’s been fine ever since. Passenger looks fine.
 

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Do the DSG and Manual bevel boxes seal differently? I've heard of them requiring different fluid, but haven't changed mine out yet to know which to go with. I think I remember the OEM recommendation in the Bentley manual had a different part number than sites like ECS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
yes, the DSG's bevel box is separated from the transmission. You'll need gear oil for the bevel box, and dsg fluid for the transmission. Where the manuals share fluid via ports between the two parts, the DSG is sealed off. As such, the DSG bevel box has its own fill port, the manual's does not.

DSG is on the left, notice the two ports on the right side of the manual unit are absent on the DSG. The PTFE seal around the input shaft on the DSG unit as well.

 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Moving along... Over the weekend got the block stripped and painted, timing covers & oil pan on, new clutch & SMF flywheel (Southbend Stage 2 Daily), and the 02M mounted up. Also got my custom fuel rail, cleaned injectors and new water pump & lw pulley on. Slowly coming back together.



Was able to also start making progress on the engine bay. Headlight & chassis wiring are being re-routed/hidden, steam cleaned the firewall and frame rails. doing some test mounting & planning.

 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Car is about 90% back together, and am happy to report that everything powered up and the car started and got to temp! Need to fix a few small leaks from the AN fittings on both fuel & Power-steering before I can get it on the ground and on its first drive - but am feeling great that after having literally every engine sensor and ECU wire off & on, and re-arranging the harness for the manual swap and some deletes, that I have no open circuits or codes to report (always a relief). The drive will be the true test of the work and function though.

First power-up brought me this message, a good sign the ECU swap worked!


Dash back on


Manual Wheel on (no paddles)


Engine Bay as it sits at the moment for initial start/inspection. I will be tidy'ing up and routing the wiring after I know everything works. That includes running them under the rain tray and filling the holes from the wire-waterfalls with some block offs. I think I will also likely run an aftermarket swirl pot where the relays used to mount - free'ing up more space on the passenger side of the bay, and getting rid of the hoses I have running behind the motor (over the exhaust). I fabbed up new lines to go from the heater core to the coolant globe, but I think the swirl pot might look cleaner



Hoping to get some seat time and give the car a wash before we take it to wookies (in two weeks, omg) So will be updating this thread with a more thorough review of what I have done this winter.

Thanks for checking in and let me know what you think of the build!

Updated List:
1 - Manual Conversion (duh) - DONE
2 - Timing Chain Service and Front Main Seal, Oil Pan. - DONE
3 - Wire Harness reconditioning w/ minor tuck/delete work - In Progress
4 - Engine Bay fuel system AN conversion. (rail, hoses, fittings) - DONE
5 - Power Steering Res/Line rework. - DONE
6 - Engine Bay Steam Clean and Block Cleaning/Painting using POR15 - DONE
7 - JXB Driveshaft carrier upgrade - DONE
8 - European Tailignts and euroswitch - DONE & FUNCTIONAL
9 - Fresh fluids: Oil, Trans, PS, Brake Fluid - DONE
10 - Front coil adjustment - DONE
11 - N80/LDP/N112/SAI deletes and relocations - DONE
12 - Battery Fusebox relocation - In Progress
13 - Custom Cold-AIr Intake (fingers crossed on this one!) - In Progress
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Also, something not manual swap related - I did a small mod to the CSF radiator. Used some PolyProp cove trim for water resistance, cut and painted it, and then used 3M body tape to secure it against the radiator and carrier. This effectively filled the gap that deleting the AC condenser left behind and should help redirect some airflow. I also used some A/C insulating foam and packed that into the sides to fill those voids.





 
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