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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have installed the European OEM LED tail lights in my GTI. Lacking specific instructions and a DIY, I had to figure out how to do it using information on the 'Tex, my Bentley manual, and some help from Rich at Oempl.us.
Since a specific DIY does not yet exist, I thought I would share the information I used to install my taillights. The installation can be divided into three parts. The first is removal and installation of the new lights. The second is wiring and the third is coding using VAG-Com. Please note that I removed the rear fog light lens and did not enable the rear fog function.
Removal of the Old and Installation of the New
There is no need to reinvent the wheel. My lights came with instructions from Oempl.us that were more than adequate.
Wiring
The European wiring harness has 4 wires (Turn, Brake, Parking, Return/Common) running from the central electronics control module (J519) to each of the taillights. The US wiring harness only has 3 wires (Turn, Brake, Return/Common). To get the LED's to function properly, you need to provide a signal to the 4th pin. I know of two ways to do this. One results in a "bulb out" message on the MFD and the other (adding a 4th wire) does not. I'll cover both below:
The pin configurations at the taillights are:
Stock Left (Driver's side)
1. Not used
2. Black/white (turn signal)
3. Black/red (brake light)
4. Brown (common/return)
Stock Right (Passenger side)
1. Brown (common/return)
2. Black/purple (brake light)
3. Black/green (turn signal)
4. Not used
The wires need to be moved in the connector using the method described in the Jetta LED DIY instructions (Thanks to those who wrote the Jetta DIY http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif )
LED Left (Driver's side)
1. Black/white (turn signal)
2. Black/red (brake light)
3. New Wire (Parking light)
4. Brown (common/return)
LED Right (Passenger side)
1. Brown (common/return)
2. New Wire (Parking light)
3. Black/purple (brake light)
4. Black/green (turn signal)
The new wire should be VW part 000 979 141 (I have been told that wire 000 979 151 works better, but I have not verified this). This VW wire has a connector on each end. This allows you to cut the wire in half to have a pigtail for each side.
The two new wires need a signal to activate the parking lights. The first choice is to splice wires 2 and 3 together as shown in the R32 taillight DIY. The lights will work just fine if you do this (after VAG-Com changes), but you will have an error message in the MFD that you won't be able to clear.
The second method is to run two new wires, one to each side, from the central electronics controller (J519) to the taillights. To do this, you need access to the central electronics controller. I found the Jetta rear foglight DIY to have better instructions than my Bentley manual. To connect the wires to the central electronics controller, you will need VW part 000 979 025. This wire works just like the one for the taillights. Cut this wire in half and install the wire for the left (Driver's) side to connector C, terminal 10. Install the wire for the right (passenger's) side to connector B, terminal 9. (Thanks to oripaamoni for this information http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif )
You must then run wires from these pigtails to the pigtails in the back. One suggestion for routing the wires is to read the GTI sub DIY for routing ideas. I used the instructions in my Bentley manual for removing the trim, as I thought they were a little better.
VAG-Com Instructions
Once you have connected wires to all four pins and reinstalled the connectors into the taillight housing you are ready to recode your central electronics module. This coding appears all over the Jetta LED threads, so I don't know who to credit for this information. Using a VAG-Com, you need to make the following changes to the Central Electronics Module (09).
Change Bytes 9 through 13 from 14 00 00 00 14 to 0A 00 00 0F 00
Change Byte 18 by unchecking the cold diagnostic bits 1, 3 and 5
Change Byte 19 by unchecking the cold diagnostics bits 2 and 3
Hopefully this helps, but as always YMMV.


Modified by jimb at 12:58 PM 1-9-2009
 

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Re: OEM LED Installation (jimb)

Did you run the 2 new wires down 1 side (both on the drivers side?) and then across in the hatch area or one on each side (ie left down left side, right down right side). It wouldn't make a big difference unless it is easier to remove the hatch area trim than it is to run the right side wire behind the center console and glove box.


Modified by rickerbr at 9:57 PM 7-25-2007
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: OEM LED Installation (rickerbr)

I ran both wires down the driver's side of the car. I did this because I thought it would be easier than going through the dash.
There are already wires running down the driver's side of the car, so I just followed the existing wire bundle. In addition to the door sills and back seat cushion, I had to remove the two pieces of trim along the sides of the rear seat. This allowed me to take the exact same path as the factory wiring for the driver's side taillight. For the passenger's side, I routed the wire from the left to the right side in the area under and behind the rear seat cushion. I then routed my wire along the same path as the factory wiring to the passenger side taillight.
 

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Forgive my ignorance, jimb, as I'm in Europe and not familiar with the internals of the US light cluster.
So what I'd like to understand is which signal is used in the US light cluster (i.e. the circuit board the light bulbs are housed in) for normal running lights, i.e. when the light switched is tuned on. Maybe someone can disassemble the US light cluster and take a picture? Is the brake light signal also used for normal running lights, just at a lower voltage, so the "red circle" gets brighter when the brakes are applied? I ask because I'd like to find out if there is a way to get the LED lights working in a US legal way WITHOUT getting the fault code for "bulb out" on the MFD and WITHOUT having to run the extra two wires. Maybe a resistor could be wired in parallel to reduce the resistence (the cause for the "bulb out" light coming on?).
 

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Re: (barnstee)

Is the error message mentioned above actually what the poster above me suggests, the bulb-out warning? I imagine that it probably is due to LEDs not having the resistance that tungsten filaments do. If this is so, I recall that when a friend modified my car to UK region and changed a few other things for me, there was more than one bulb-out diagnostic check that could be disabled. Does anyone recall if it is possible to just disable those for taillights, front marker lights, and turn signals separately? If so, I plan to just disable the checks for the places I'll install LEDs. LEDs, after all, very rarely fail. I'd rather not run the additional wires.
 

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That's my guess, also: It's just a resistence thing as the wiring in the US has multiple signals on the same bulbs (if I understand correctly, the outer semi-circle carries the brake, normal running lights and the turning signal). Once you start putting the normal LEDs on it, the resistence is bound to be different, as the LEDs are wired for seperate signals for lights, brakes and blinkers. BTW, I have an R32 in Europe and recently changred from the smoked R32 rear lights to the OEM LED rear lights and I didn't have to change any wireing or recording, so the R32 signals and the LED signals are identical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: (barnstee)

Quote, originally posted by barnstee »
Forgive my ignorance, jimb, as I'm in Europe and not familiar with the internals of the US light cluster.
So what I'd like to understand is which signal is used in the US light cluster (i.e. the circuit board the light bulbs are housed in) for normal running lights, i.e. when the light switched is tuned on. Maybe someone can disassemble the US light cluster and take a picture? Is the brake light signal also used for normal running lights, just at a lower voltage, so the "red circle" gets brighter when the brakes are applied? I ask because I'd like to find out if there is a way to get the LED lights working in a US legal way WITHOUT getting the fault code for "bulb out" on the MFD and WITHOUT having to run the extra two wires. Maybe a resistor could be wired in parallel to reduce the resistance (the cause for the "bulb out" light coming on?).

I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to answer the question your asking, but here goes. The US spec. outer taillamp assembly only has two bulbs, where as the European spec. assembly has three bulbs. The clear center circle in the US assembly is just there for show and there is no bulb holder behind it even if you wanted to make it active. The remaining two bulbs each light up half of the large red outer circle. The outer half is used as a parking light, turn signal and brake light. The inner half is a parking light and brake light. The computer sends a low voltage signal to both bulbs as parking lights and higher voltage signals when the bulbs are used as brake lights or turn signal lights.
If you are in Dublin, Ireland; your car should already have the proper wiring. You still need to disable the cold diagnostics with a VAG-Com, but otherwise the lights should be plug and play on a European spec GTI. If you are in Ireland, the red fog lamp will be on the left side instead of the right side.
If you are in Dublin, Ohio; then yes you will need to run a new wire to each LED. I've spent hours trying, but was not able to come up with a VAG-Com change that fixes the problem. I do know that the bulb-out warning is not caused by the cold diagnostics. You get the error as soon as you turn on your headlights. The computer expects the rear parking lights to come on, but since they are not connected to the CEM the computer generates an error.
 

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Re: (barnstee)

You should sell your R32 lights. I'm sure someone here would buy them. I really don't understand why the US DOT allows red signals as they're often hard to distinguish from brake lights and the design for the Mk5 is really bad (just the outside half of the brake circle flashes).
I am not surprised that you don't have to recode for the amber signals since there's no reason for the pinout to be different if the cars are shipped outside NA with amber signals (
to you, VW, just give us the good stuff everyone else gets!). I am surprised if you are saying that you did not get a bulb-out warning, but since you're asking, and from what I've seen in other threads discussing this, I'm guessing that you are in fact getting that warning?
You could also wire a resistor in the proper place, that is true, but that just seems like a ridiculous hassle to me.
 

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Re: (jimb)

Quote, originally posted by jimb »
If you are in Ireland, the red fog lamp will be on the left side instead of the right side.

Hey Jim, GTG at Schneithorst's tonight, I'm going to show the new car to the club.
In Ireland, the rear fog is on the RIGHT side as England/Ireland/Scotland are RHD countries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: (Buran)

Quote, originally posted by Buran »
Is the error message mentioned above actually what the poster above me suggests, the bulb-out warning? I imagine that it probably is due to LEDs not having the resistance that tungsten filaments do. If this is so, I recall that when a friend modified my car to UK region and changed a few other things for me, there was more than one bulb-out diagnostic check that could be disabled. Does anyone recall if it is possible to just disable those for taillights, front marker lights, and turn signals separately? If so, I plan to just disable the checks for the places I'll install LEDs. LEDs, after all, very rarely fail. I'd rather not run the additional wires.

It is a bulb out warning that comes on only after you turn on the headlights. I have tried, but so far have not found a way to disable it with a VAG-Com. You are correct that you can disable individual cold diagnostic functions for each light, but there is not a way to disable the active diagnostic function.
You should be able to just plug the LED's into your GTI without making any wiring changes and they should work. I suppose if you disable all of the cold diagnostic functions, you won't get any errors as well. The only drawback to this method is that your turn signals won't blink amber when they are activated. Since I wanted my lights to blink amber, I never tried this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: (Buran)

Quote, originally posted by Buran »

Hey Jim, GTG at Schneithorst's tonight, I'm going to show the new car to the club.
In Ireland, the rear fog is on the RIGHT side as England/Ireland/Scotland are RHD countries.

I was going to be at the GTG tonight as well. In my haste to post, I didn't give a decent explanation. For whatever reason, the OEM style LED's are only available with the fog on the left side. The supplier has not (yet?) released a version for the U.K. with the fog on the right.
 

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OK, see you there! http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
barnstee, do you know if there is an RHD version of the Hellas w/o left fog? If there is, I could ask Hella if I could get just that part. Doubtful, but worth a query.
 

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Re: OEM LED Installation (jimb)

I had the whole thing going without the additional wire you're talking about, and I have no "bulb out" message. but again I have the middle lights as the parking lights and the outer as turn signals in amber, what do you have as parking lights?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: OEM LED Installation (gti luver)

With the wiring modification, both the inner and outer circles light up as parking and brake lights (brighter of course). When I use my turn signals, the outer ring blinks amber. If the parking lights or brake lights are on, the LED's in the outer circle change from red to amber to red to amber.... Which I think is kind of cool, but then again it does not take much to impress me.
 

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Re: (Buran)

Quote, originally posted by Buran »

barnstee, do you know if there is an RHD version of the Hellas w/o left fog? If there is, I could ask Hella if I could get just that part. Doubtful, but worth a query.

No, sorry, I already asked the folks at Vortex GmbH the same question. Since I'm in Ireland, I had to chnage the wiring to the fog and reverse light because of this (basically swapping the wires).
BTW, as far as I know, it's not Hella who make the LED lights (but I can' remember the name I read on the inside of the lights).
 

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Re: (jimb)

Quote, originally posted by jimb »

I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to answer the question your asking, but here goes. The US spec. outer taillamp assembly only has two bulbs, where as the European spec. assembly has three bulbs. The clear center circle in the US assembly is just there for show and there is no bulb holder behind it even if you wanted to make it active. The remaining two bulbs each light up half of the large red outer circle. The outer half is used as a parking light, turn signal and brake light. The inner half is a parking light and brake light. The computer sends a low voltage signal to both bulbs as parking lights and higher voltage signals when the bulbs are used as brake lights or turn signal lights.
If you are in Dublin, Ireland; your car should already have the proper wiring. You still need to disable the cold diagnostics with a VAG-Com, but otherwise the lights should be plug and play on a European spec GTI. If you are in Ireland, the red fog lamp will be on the left side instead of the right side.
If you are in Dublin, Ohio; then yes you will need to run a new wire to each LED. I've spent hours trying, but was not able to come up with a VAG-Com change that fixes the problem. I do know that the bulb-out warning is not caused by the cold diagnostics. You get the error as soon as you turn on your headlights. The computer expects the rear parking lights to come on, but since they are not connected to the CEM the computer generates an error.

Thanks very much jimb for your explanation! I understand it now. I've just never seen the US spec real light from the inside.

I'm actually in Dublin, Ireland.
 

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Re: OEM LED Installation (gti luver)

Quote, originally posted by gti luver »
I had the whole thing going without the additional wire you're talking about, and I have no "bulb out" message. but again I have the middle lights as the parking lights and the outer as turn signals in amber, what do you have as parking lights?

That seems to be a reasonable compromise? Can you share your wiring with us and take a pic of what it looks like lit up, please?
 

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Re: OEM LED Installation (barnstee)

what I did is just kept the common in place and moved the other 2 pins one slot down, if I remember right on the left it was 2 to 3 and 3 to 4, and on the right it was 3 to 2 and 2 to 1, plus I used the coding that I found on the vortex to disable cold diagnostics and activate rear fog and the amber turn signal, if you need more details IM me
 
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