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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKVII-Mk7 Golf family including Golf Wagon (~ 2015 +)

VW MKVII-Mk7 Golf family including Golf Wagon (~ 2015 +) Discussions area for the Mk7 (2015+) Golf and Golf Wagon TDIs based on the MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform.

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Old April 3rd, 2019, 15:12   #1
Nuje
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Default Retrofit Active Info Display / Virtual Cockpit

There are a few threads existing out there on other forums that go over the steps involved with getting VW's Active Info Display (AID) (aka, virtual cockpit, digital dashboard) into cars that didn't come from the factory that way, but I had a lot of trouble getting specific answers for my situation due to the following:
  • TDI
  • Pre-2016 (came with MIB1 from the factory)
  • Canadian (wasn't sure that made much difference)
  • Most of the retrofitters doing this seems to be in Europe or Southeast Asia

So, here’s what I was able to piece together, and get a successful outcome, thanks to bbusato at the Ross-tech forum, along with a few others there, the vortex, and golfmk7; Aaron at CascadeGerman.com for the hardware; and a tech at my local VW dealership who was willing to dive into this and troubleshoot a whole pile of stuff that is so totally not in their training manuals or seminars.

Step 1: MIB1—>MIB2
Best I can tell, this is a must-have. No way you can get the AID in your car unless it has the MIB2 head unit installed and integrated.
I went with a hacked unit from APG.org.pl in Poland (and eBay, albeit, Polish eBay); if you piece together your own system from wrecks or OEM and get MIB2 working in your car in some other way, I would assume that the rest of the process would be pretty much the same.

So, starting point was here:


Step 2: AID Install Parts List
  • AID Cluster itself (5G1 920 791 A) - special-ordered from CascadeGerman.com
  • Bezel / trim piece that surrounds AID (5G0 857 189 B AAH) - the “AAH” apparently is the color - piano/gloss black in my case
  • MOST splitter cable - I needed a splitter because the Fender Premium in my Highline (SEL) outputs audio to the amplifier under the driver seat via a MOST bus (bus = connector/pathway); if your stereo (non-premium audio, I would think) just uses straight paired wires to output sound directly to the speakers, then you would not need a splitter, but could get by with just a straight MOST connector cable; either way, you’re gonna need to get a signal over the MOST cable from your MIB2 head unit to the back of the new AID cluster
  • Various plastic pry tools
  • VW stereo removal “keys”

Step 3: Take stuff apart.
There are plenty of threads and videos showing how to take apart the dash and remove the MIB head unit from the glove box; pretty straightforward process, provided you have the right tools. Specifically, you’ll need those VW stereo removal keys (2 of them) to get the MIB head unit out and the display (4 needed; might be able to get by with just two, but why?)

Do it on a warm-ish day so that the plastic isn’t brittle, particularly with the trim piece around the centre vent stack and the trim/bezel around the old instrument cluster, as there are some clips there which are stubborn.

…but that’s nothing compared to how rigidly the instrument cluster is held in there. There are two T25 screws at the bottom of the cluster (behind the little plastic trim piece that covers the top of the steering column; it just pulls straight out), and then there are four spring-clips that hold (and by “hold”, I mean “like a death grip!”) the display in there.


There was no way I could pull the cluster out with just my hands, and I was fearful that any more pressure would start snapping things. I got past that by jamming long, skinny flathead screwdriver blades into the spring-clips on the RH side, and it pulled out pretty easily.


The LH side was a bit more challenging as the angle of access was more difficult, but I managed that as well. Putting everything back together, I put some bicycle chain wax lube on the tabs that go into the spring clips, just in case I ever have to take that sucker out again (hopefully not).

Your typical VW instrument cluster connector is on the LH back side of the instrument cluster - flip up the little lever which pushes the connector out of the cluster.

Step 4:
Fish the MOST cable from the back of the MIB2 head unit out the back of the glove compartment, toward the cluster; you pull it behind the display (the only reason you need to remove the display), then into the hole where the cluster will be; the cable I got had about 2” of extra length to it (not a lot), so don’t be too fancy with the path you take with that MOST cable - try to make as straight a line with it as possible.




Step 5: “Installation is the reverse of removal”
And actually, it is. One of the few things I’ve done on the car where putting everything back together goes much faster than taking it apart.

But…

(Step 6)
If you install the cluster at this point, it’ll light up, but you probably won’t be able to power on the car (with my KESSY, nothing but the radio would power on); if you have an insertable key, maybe you get ACC power, but you certainly won’t be able to drive.


So, with the old cluster resting in place (not clipped in), head down to your friendly neighbourhood VW dealer because removing Component Protection (CP), adapting keys, pairing the cluster immobilizer with ECU, etc. requires talking to VW’s servers back in der Fatherland.
(I don’t know that all dealers will do this; I know the guys at my shop quite well, so they worked with me on this, recognizing that it’s not “official” service, and I got to watch the whole process - quite fascinating, actually.)

Step 7:
Let the VW tech do what he do.

The tech at my VW dealer was great - the kind of guy who took his 2007 Audi A4 and made it into a TDI…just ‘cause it seemed like it’d be a fun project - and he was as excited to see how(if?) this would work as I was.
(Aside: by far, this was the part of the process that made me the most apprehensive, and that I had the most questions that I couldn't get solid answers on. Being that I have a "hacked" MIB2 unit in my car - a car that VW's servers say should not (and maybe CANnot) have MIB2 installed, what was going to happen when the VW servers scanned my car's modules and saw something so..."wrong"? The MIB2 (module 5F) ships from APG with some coding so that it's "hidden" from scans by default; I have to go into the "Green Engineering Menu" (GEM in some forums) to enable it so that I can make the changes listed below. I wasn't sure whether to leave it "exposed" or not - would all of the VW ODIS coding and Component Protection over-rides totally mess up my MIB2 - in which case I'm trying to get remote troubleshooting from Poland - yikes! Or would it leave it alone? I did get one answer from a forum user in the UK who'd done this on his 2014 TDI (same deal - from APG), and he said he'd left his "open", with no issues, so I figured I'd take that chance, too. And as it turned out, same - no issues.)
The big hurdle here is that VW’s servers know for a certainty that my VIN was never supposed to have MIB2, let alone a AID, so as soon as we got past the IMMO and key pairing (probably half an hour), there were component protection blocks (that’s my interpretation anyway) on probably half a dozen modules in the car - ABS, CAN Gateway, ESC / Steering, front assist, etc. (basically, everything in red here, from what I remember).


I asked if I’d just be able to clear those with VCDS and he said “Reeeeeally don’t think so.” Some “Basic Settings” stuff had to be done (which I’m sure VCDS could’ve handled), but there were a bunch more that required the tech’s login to VW’s servers to do some “hard” over-rides.

I was there for 2.5 hours, which is a bit longer than what I’ve read other people experienced, but certainly within reason for a process for which there’s absolutely zero documentation.

Step 8: Drive home with your new AID!!
…pull out the VCDS, and commence to do some coding. (Of course, you could also let the VW tech do all of this stuff with ODIS, but at $2/minute, I’m more than happy to do it at home).

Shout-out again to bbusato for figuring most of this stuff out.

Module 17 (Instruments) - CODING - Long Coding Helper
Byte 2, Bit 0-2: Fuel Tank - Variant 2 as that gave the longest range in my “distance to empty”. Might have to adjust that - see how it seems to jive with my actual DTE.

Byte 2, Bit 3-6: 50 Model: Variant A (this sets what your car looks like in the instrument cluster - 50 is a wagon)

Byte 12: Check the box for Bit 2 - "Alternative Dimming Function active"

Close the long coding helper, save the coding - should be accepted nice and easy.


Module 17 (Instruments) - ADAPTATIONS
IDE02489-Display depiction; adapt from Version 1 to Version 2
(apparently, this enables NAV in the AID screen)

ENG153766-Tube_version; adapt from variant_0 to variant_2
(This determines the look of the instrument cluster dials and fonts - again, I might play around with this to see what I like)
Then head over to…

Module 5F (Information Electr.) - ADAPTATIONS
ENG122230-ENG142097-Dashboard_Display_Configuration-ability_switch_nav_maps; (make sure this is OFF; bbusato had this as adapting to ON, but with that setting, I had no maps in the AID; changing it back to OFF gave me maps in the AID)

ENG122230-ENG122343-Dashboard_Display_Configuration-call_picture; adapt from OFF to ON

ENG122230-ENG127501-Dashboard_Display_Configuration-fastlist_most; adapt from OFF to ON

ENG122230-ENG122338-Dashboard_Display_Configuration-navigation_map_compression_mode; adapt from RLE to H264

ENG122230-ENG127005-Dashboard_Display_Configuration-navigation_map_transmission_mode; adapt from OFF to MOST_streaming

and...

Last edited by Nuje; April 4th, 2019 at 08:43.
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Old April 3rd, 2019, 15:55   #2
Nuje
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And that, my friends...is it.

We finish up looking like this:
And that...is it! (the pics below are hyperlinked to short (<6sec.) non-YouTube videos of startup and shutdown sequence).


(No - I didn't take a photo while driving 260km/h; that's the needle sweep at start-up).


Last edited by Nuje; April 3rd, 2019 at 22:54.
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Old April 4th, 2019, 07:23   #3
ESmith813
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Impressive work!



What would you say was your total cost for this project if you don't mind sharing?
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Old April 4th, 2019, 08:03   #4
MattRabbit
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Wow, nice! I'm hopeful for a day when swapping MIB2 into a car won't be so stupid expensive and difficult. It's something that shouldn't be rocket science that's made incredibly difficult.



That looks great, btw! You're going to wind up with a unicorn there if you aren't careful!
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Old April 4th, 2019, 08:36   #5
Nuje
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESmith813 View Post
Impressive work!
What would you say was your total cost for this project if you don't mind sharing?
MIB2 conversion from APG in Poland was just under $2K USD. That's pretty much plug-and-play; had to do one simple little VCDS tweak because I stuck with the MIB1 amplifier.

Parts for the AID came to around $1200USD.

2.5 hours labor at the VW dealer.

Last edited by Nuje; April 4th, 2019 at 08:40.
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Old April 4th, 2019, 08:37   #6
Nuje
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattRabbit View Post
You're going to wind up with a unicorn there if you aren't careful!
Wait 'til you see the folding mirrors that just arrived yesterday.
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Old April 4th, 2019, 19:50   #7
Cuzoe
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I think folding mirrors are my favorite mod so far. MIB II being a very close second. The AID is beautiful thoooo... Now to convince myself I need it.

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Old April 4th, 2019, 20:31   #8
Nuje
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Dude - you need it; you know you do!!
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Old April 5th, 2019, 06:35   #9
Cuzoe
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I just installed Osram full LED headlights, justified as a safety upgrade. Is the AID safer than the standard cluster? If the answer is yes, then I have no choice, haha.

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Old April 6th, 2019, 10:53   #10
adjat84th
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Over $3k...oof! I couldn't do it. That's a nice turbo, clutch, and tuning.
That certainly is awesome though. A friend of mine has an Atlas and I love that display.
Can you get performance gauges/info on it?
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Old April 6th, 2019, 12:02   #11
Nuje
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adjat84th View Post
Over $3k...oof! I couldn't do it. That's a nice turbo, clutch, and tuning.
I did consider that aspect actually, but here's the thing I've noticed with the performance upgrades on my Mk4 - I put all of that extra power and torque to use maybe 1% of my driving time (probably much less), so, while it's nice to have it when I want it, it's mostly dormant as I'm driving 120km/h down the freeway.

Whereas with the AID and MIB2 and larger display - I get to enjoy that literally 100% of the time I'm driving.

As for Performance Monitor, I haven't figured out a way (or if there's a way) to get that showing up on the AID, but it does show up on the MIB2 head unit (although it doesn't read the coolant or oil temp sensors properly).
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Old April 6th, 2019, 18:15   #12
Cuzoe
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I started sourcing the parts to do this after looking at your pictures over and over again for the last couple days. I don't know if anybody else here is even looking to do this but I'm seeing the display for 20% off MSRP at the usual online vendors (Ecstuning, DAP) and even at my local dealership. Just over $900 shipped.

I have a Golf S and as far as I can tell there's no brushed "aluminum" AID bezel. Expensive option is replacing all the trim. Cheaper but possibly more annoying option is getting the bezel wrapped to match my current trim, which I like because it doesn't really show dust or fingerprints. I'll have to go into the interior forum on GolfMk7 and see if someone has found a vinyl that matches well.

Question Nuje... Do you think the AID is worth it if I don't have Nav? When I did the MIB 2 retrofit I did verify that my car has the right connectors and a GPS antenna installed but I would need to replace the glove box unit and have all my features activated. I got an okay deal on the non-nav unit on eBay so I wouldn't feel too bad replacing it. But it does mean spending more money. Here in Los Angeles I like Google Maps' ability to suggest new routes based on rapidly changing traffic conditions.

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Old April 6th, 2019, 18:48   #13
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I would say "yes" on whether or not the AID is worth it without NAV - without hesitation! Kinda like (going back ~25 years): Is a color computer monitor worth it, even if I'm not a hardcore gamer?

Every time I get in the car, whether I have the NAV showing in the cluster or not, I'm delighted.

(On pricing, you can give Aaron at Cascade German a call - if prices have come down on the hardware, he can usually meet or beat.)
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Old April 6th, 2019, 20:14   #14
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Eurozone tuning actually has brand new MIB 2 nav units for $300. Used eBay units are around the same price so that's an easy choice. Next problem... if I have a Nav unit I want the Nav button beside my screen... and if I'm getting a new screen I may as well get the larger 8" matte screen.

To be fair the 8" screen is something I was interested in already so I won't consider it extra money due to the AID. Which means I won't blame that expense on you, haha. I'll have to reach out to Cascade.

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Old April 6th, 2019, 20:46   #15
Nuje
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Just to be sure - you've read up on what's involved with swapping in a MIB2 unit...? It's not a straight-up plug-and-play.

This thread at GolfMk7.com probably outlines options and process as well as anything else.
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