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Had a rotten experience so I'm leaving this here, that someone else has an easier time getting the information.

I had to replace a busted coil connector shell (coil-on-plug, coil-pack, coil pack connector).

If you're replacing the ignition coil pack connector shell, and you can't get the pins to fit in the connector, here's the story: You have the wrong connector shell.

(lots of keywords for the search engine there)

All the videos and posts say this is a complete-cake, easy, 15-minute job. Got the replacement shell from the dealer, and first noticed that the little purple-y retaining clip wasn't quite the same as the original (which has a little "flag"-like tab in it). Uh-oh...

I got the pins out of the old connector with some cheap pin retraction tools from China ($8.00 eBay). I've done this kind of work on electronics before, so I'd had practice, and it's not a new concept for me.

I opened the wire conduit around the coil pack area (an adventure all its own), and got the old shell off the old pins, looked at the wire order, to make sure I got 'em back in right.

I started to put the pins into the new connector shell, and this is where the trouble started. 2 hours of everything I could think of to seat the pins, including various tools for pushing and pulling, silicone lube, whatever. Thought about getting out my hobby files (but didn't). Couldn't get pins to slide more than 3/4 of the way in. Shined a flashlight through the connector, and the slots sure looked smaller than the pins.

Another 45 minutes scouring the internet, and I found half an answer on a Passat forum: The dealer had sold me 1J0 973 724 WHICH IS THE WRONG PART, AND THE PINS DON'T FIT IT. That part number is for a Lambda probe connector shell. You could be forgiven for thinking the shells were identical - they look exactly the same outside, but for the part number and the missing "flag" on the retainer clip.

THE CORRECT PART, WHICH THE PINS WILL FIT is 4B0 973 724 - and with this shell, the job is, indeed, 15 minutes and cake.

Borrowed the wife's car, ran down to the dealer, and they did an even exchange (with apology) on the shell, came back and was done and running in short order.

Hope you find this rapidly, and that you get the parts thing sorted out. Even better: you find it before you go to the dealer, and insist on the appropriate 4B0 973 724 shell (or whatever the appropriate shell is for your ride - this is appropriate for my 2007 MkV GTI, but other models may have something else - the important thing is to insist the dealer not substitute the incorrect shell for your application).

A tip on getting these off WITHOUT breaking them (much better): two-steps, no tool required.

  1. Push the plug firmly ON to the mating coil-pack connector to release the tension on the locking mechanism.
  2. Pull the connector, using your thumb to first pull on the closest-to-the-wires plastic tab/loop/whatever that thing is called. Might help to support and lift the underside of the connector with the index finger as you pull the tab with the thumb.

Step 2 lifts the internal locking mechanism in the wire-side connector off the tab on the mating connector. Works easy once you know the trick. Don't be tempted to use metal tools on the thing.

HTH,

DC
 
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