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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old December 16th, 2006, 20:53   #46
Chris Bell
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...install a pulse adaptor for the tach and use the tach face & surround from a TDI cluster.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 12:12   #47
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Hi all,

I just wanted to bring this back up because I have an A3 and was interested in doing an MFA conversion myself, especially now that I have a donor GLX with all the trappings. There's little to no info about MFA for the A3 Jetta so I'd like to contribute some info:

Last night I was doing some fooling around with my TDI cluster and a GLX cluster. Reading from Chris' posts it seems that you need to wire up a MIL light. I'd just like to say that I think those of us with A3's may be in luck.

Please correct me if I am wrong but here is what I did:

I took apart the GLX cluster completely (by the way it is a U.S. GLX VR6 Automatic tranny cluster), put my TDI gauge face onto it, then put the red needles on top. After assembling everything back together, and putting it into the car, everything worked and lit up normally as expected! The speedo worked, all the lights came on, including the CEL light, and turned off after starting the car, like normal. The glow plug light came on for a few seconds as normal as well. All I had to do, was put a bulb into the CEL light spot. However the tach was completely off, as expected, as it is an unmodified cluster.

For FURTHER testing of the MIL/CEL light, I removed Relay 109 (power to the ECU), and after turning on ignition, the CEL light no longer comes on. Not even for a bulb test, as normal.

I didn't really go any further into it, testing any CEL's, I could have purposely tripped some but it's too cold out to work right now. I also didn't test the MFA because I don't have the stalk installed.

In conclusion, the fact that the MIL light worked fine should indicate that no soldering is required on the cluster for us A3 folk. Feel free to chime in for those that have successfully and completely done this on an A3.

In the end I went back to my stock TDI cluster because I don't really need the MFA, and I don't want to go into wiring up a pulse thingamajig. I also didn't want to deal with Fahrenheit and Miles (I'm Canadian). I kept the red needles though

Here's some pics:



Clusters side by side.

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Old January 17th, 2007, 12:21   #48
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One more thing for the A3's. If you transfer the TDI face onto the GLX cluster, you HAVE to move the digital readout peice and the digital transfer film stuff (the clock and odometer displays) from the GLX face into the TDI face. Without doing this you will get garbled text on the odometer and clock.

When you do this, it will also be a good time to take out the green light filter and put in some blue stuff, if you want to change odo and clock colors .
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Old January 17th, 2007, 15:07   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codeblue
One more thing for the A3's. If you transfer the TDI face onto the GLX cluster, you HAVE to move the digital readout peice and the digital transfer film stuff (the clock and odometer displays) from the GLX face into the TDI face. Without doing this you will get garbled text on the odometer and clock.
That shouldn't be. Was the GLX cluster a late ('97/'98) one? I didn't have that problem (with a late cluster). There are some issues with an early A3 cluster in a TDI, but those are primarily warning light circuit mismatches. You may have had a bad GLX cluster.

Also, refer to my post #42 on the 3rd page of this thread for details on the additional wiring that needs to be added.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 15:21   #50
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Also, on A3s it isn't necessary to use the pulse frequency adaptor. Unlike B4 clusters, A3 clusters can be reprogrammed for number of cylinders and country code. This solves both your tach problem and your unit of measurement issue (and the stored odometer value can be changed at the same time). I believe that using this method, the tach will read correctly using the GLX tach face, not the TDI face. It may be possible that entering the TDI's "program version" code into the GLX cluster in addition to the changing the number of cylinders code will allow correct tach reading with the TDI tach face, but I can't confirm that. If that didn't work, the pulse adaptor would solve the problem.

Last edited by Chris Bell; January 18th, 2007 at 11:55.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 15:27   #51
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The clusters in the A3s are diagnostic capable?

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Old January 17th, 2007, 15:47   #52
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No. On A3s, the reprogramming is done with a chip editor.

The read-only status of B4 cluster chips apparently cannot be broached to allow this method.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 16:53   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Bell
That shouldn't be. Was the GLX cluster a late ('97/'98) one? I didn't have that problem (with a late cluster). There are some issues with an early A3 cluster in a TDI, but those are primarily warning light circuit mismatches. You may have had a bad GLX cluster.
Both clusters are 100% good and are both from 98's. I've used both of them. When I had the VR engine in the car, the MFA worked perfectly. I think I know why the text was garbled though:

For the A3 TDI cluster, I believe it was only designed to show a clock in right hand display, and a odometer in the left hand display. I noticed that when I take out the little screens, they will light up temporarily displaying all digital info (kinda like looking at a microwave screen you can see the lines where all the digital numbers light up) on the TDI screen only the digital area where the clock is will light up, with 88:88 for example. It didn't show anything else.

When I took out the screens from the GLX cluster, it lit up with the clock and little arrows along the edge of the screen (to point to the MFA descriptions above the screen)... Everything works fine once I transfer over the right screens.

Anyway, now that you say that I can change everything over to Canadian I think I may try again with setting up the MFA. The only problem is it still shows MPH on the speedo face and fahrenheit on the coolant temp face. You wouldn't happen to know anyone up here that can do "Chip reading"?

Would I have to identify what chip has to come off, or whats the deal with that?
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Old January 17th, 2007, 17:36   #54
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Huh...that's interesting. The GLX cluster displayed correctly in my A3 TDI, or at least that's how I remember it (its been a few years since I did it). Now I did have all the missing wiring in place...maybe that makes a difference, I don't know.

If you can give up the white faces, just use the TDI face plates to keep metric markings.

As to chip editing, you just send the whole cluster to the programmer. There may be experienced cluster programmers in your area but the only one I know of who has experience with VW clusters is ele28 and I think he did pretty much this same job on his own A3. The only thing I don't know is if he used the GLX or TDI tach face and whether or not he played with the program version code to accomodate the TDI tach face if it didn't read correctly after changing just the cylinder number code.
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Old April 7th, 2007, 11:38   #55
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Can you help me out here? I've been over all the articles. Can you just lay it out for a dummy like me by wire color? I pulled the switch harness with the MFA switch and just want to go by wire color to the back of the fuse panel. What pin does each wire go to? I really have read the article a dozen times at least and the update, but I'm just not understanding it.
Thanks a million,
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Old April 7th, 2007, 15:24   #56
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Do you still have the plug at the fuse block end of the switch wiring you plled? The plugs are keyed to fit only in the proper port in the fuse/relay block. With the plug it is not possible to make a misconnect.
B4 anyway. I don't know about the A3.
<edit>Or your 2002 A4.<end>
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Old April 8th, 2007, 09:23   #57
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I apologize for my unclarity. I also have a B4, 1996, and pulled a GLX cluster from a 1997. The MFA harness I only pulled out 24" of and cut off. If I pull the rest of it, will it connect directly to the fuse block? Is there a way I can just splice what I have into the fuse block? The junk yard is over an hour away, so I'd hate to have to go back, but I'm probably going to be back there in a few weeks, so I can add it to my list of stuff to get.
Thanks for the reply. The rest of the cluster works great, except for the tach, which I'm not worried about setting up to read accurately (don't really have the dough to put into the dakota box).
You guys have a great site. Keep up the good work.
Jim
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Old April 9th, 2007, 17:19   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ltigator
If I pull the rest of it, will it connect directly to the fuse block? Is there a way I can just splice what I have into the fuse block?
Yes, and,
not without the pins.

The plug at the fuse/relay block end will mate with either the TDI or VR6 block. Just splice the cut middles back together.
Without the plug to the block, or more specifically without the pin connectors to the block, you will have a difficult time locating the proper conductors. You might wish to re-read Chris' parts list for these items that you can get from a dealer rather than wait the weeks plus an hour to get back to the yard.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 06:25   #59
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I noticed that the glx cluster unmodified stops the trip odometer at 1000. Ie it will start over at 0 after 1000miles.. Is there a way to have it work liek a tdi cluster in that regard. as my '96 B4 Wagon will go over 1000 miles pretty easily.. any ideas? I am doing the cluster conversion and want to know if I can solve this at the same time.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 04:04   #60
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I forgot what year cluster I'm running ..now its been soo long ha..its a vr6 auto cluster that I didn't convert.. just threw it in temp to get a fuel guage and a speedo. The car Im taking the glx stuff from is a '97 so I guess I snag that cluster too.
thanks,
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