Revised B4 MFA conversion article

RIP TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 16, 2000
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
TDI
'15 GSW SE 6MT, '01 Golf GLS 5MT, '96 Passat variant
jonhohlf said:
I was under the understanding that a scangauge also didn't work with a BK ecu, is this correct?
BK ECM is OBD-D, not OBD-II, and so apparently not compatable with Scangauge.
 
Last edited:

RIP TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 16, 2000
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
TDI
'15 GSW SE 6MT, '01 Golf GLS 5MT, '96 Passat variant
therabbittree said:
The Scan guage seems to hook into the obd II port.. so you drive around with the port connected at all times or what?.. seems like you can't drive with the scan gauage and vag com connected at eth same time... etc ..any more info with the B4 TDI and the Scan Gauge?
thanks
Deo
Correct, Scangauge cannot be and should not be connected at the same time as VAG-COM.

What do you mean by "any more info..."?
 

therabbittree

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 20, 1999
Location
Red Hook, NY USA
TDI
B4 passat, 2000 Golf, 2003 Allroad tdi
how do you like it with your B4? .. I ordered one ..but a little nervous trying to drive the car with the b4 obd port on the dash and a plug in it for a while etc.. I feel like im gonna clip it with my hand or something as the plug seems to be in the way even with the vag com ..has any one moved the obd port so it was not exposed to hands and feet or knees on there vws?..the b4s and a3s have it in the dash, a4's under dash but near your feet and when you wear 13 size boots its easy to clip it with the vagcom when its in the port..my eurovan is under the steering wheel and it has gottenaclocked before with my knees.. etc..
So that was the concern.
thanks
Deo
 

therabbittree

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 20, 1999
Location
Red Hook, NY USA
TDI
B4 passat, 2000 Golf, 2003 Allroad tdi
I went to my local dealer and wanted to buy a new cluster with the correct mileage already programed by their vw parts warehouse.. well my dealer says the parts warehouse can't do it.. and I would have just put a sticker on the door jam!!! They wanted $465.. So then I send my old cluster to BBA in Mass for rebuild. They said they can't repair it, as it has a part that is unavailable that broke?.. Oh well, so I'm back looking for a dealer that can get a new cluster that has the mileage set..or a vw dealer parts warehouse that will do the mileage , and or that my dealer can order thru... any places /ideas?
Thanks,
Deo
 

RIP TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 16, 2000
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
TDI
'15 GSW SE 6MT, '01 Golf GLS 5MT, '96 Passat variant
Most of the larger rebuilders (including, I believe, BBA) can reset mileage.

Its been a few years since I verified that my dealer's warehouse was able to reset mileage (at no charge); maybe none of them do anymore.
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
idi: 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
I'm back.

The VR6 to TDI car conversion I performed used a shortened version of the cluster conversion method on page 1. I'm using a BK ECU (OBD-D) in my car. This earlier, non-OBDII, controller does not check for the operation of the glow plug LED in the cluster, so I never bothered to add a glow plug indicator to the GLX cluster. I merely re-located the TDI wiring harness MIL wire from it's separate 28 socket connector to the location in the main 28 socket connector from where it can operate the MIL in the GLX cluster. I then added a glow plug indicator to the glow plug relay to show full pre- and post-start (not just ECU minimum pre-) glow period.
That was fine for months, but now Mass. has instituted an OBDII check of 1997 and newer diesels that it had not performed in the past. The original BK ECU controller from the 1996 (exempt from OBDII) donor does not communicate with the inspection station's OBDII reader and 'fails' for non-communication.
I can use a 'smoke fix' GQ ECU because that version is OBDII, but then the glow plug indicator lamp I never installed to that half of the ECU's two glow plug circuits will cause a fault. So I have to go back and finally install the cluster's far right lamp, add the resistors, remove the TDI MIL wire from the GLX mil lamp, re-connect the TDI glow indicator wire to that lamp and exchange in the black TDI instrument 'mask' for correct glow and MIL icons at the lamps.
Should have done it right to start with....

The required 820 ohm resistor I was able to obtain from Radio Shack, but I had to buy it in a package with four spares, plus another 495 assorted resistors.:eek: The only 820 ohm resistors were available in a 'variety pack' of 500! Oh, well, the 1500 ohm resistor (and 9 spares of that size) was included.

I didn't purchase new LED as I don't know the voltage requirement. I'll attempt to measure this value for edited inclusion into the details on the first post. I'll transfer the LED from the TDI cluster I retained for just such an eventuality.
 

Digital Corpus

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 14, 2008
Location
Ontario, California
TDI
'97 B4 w/ 236K mi body, 46K mi soul
Correct Cluster

I found a few clusters on ebay. The sellers couldn't identify the part number on them. The cheapest one I picked up has a PN of 3AO-919-930G. I don't see this cluster under the valid clusters. Seller claimed it came from a '96 VR6 and trim unspecified. Which Passat does this belong to?
 

jonhohlf

Active member
Joined
Aug 21, 2006
Location
La Crosse, WI
TDI
96 Passat TDI Wagon
Digital Corpus said:
I found a few clusters on ebay. The sellers couldn't identify the part number on them. The cheapest one I picked up has a PN of 3AO-919-930G. I don't see this cluster under the valid clusters. Seller claimed it came from a '96 VR6 and trim unspecified. Which Passat does this belong to?
That is the part number of the cluster that I used for my MFA conversion. According to the individual I bought mine from, it was out of a 97 Passat VR6 Automatic.
 

Digital Corpus

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 14, 2008
Location
Ontario, California
TDI
'97 B4 w/ 236K mi body, 46K mi soul
Okay. I figured it was an automatic. So I do have to use a pulse freq. adapter. Because of that I can put a my original tach face on instead and I should be fine, correct?
 

94x

TDIClub Enthusiast, Vendor
Joined
Nov 16, 2006
Location
Westfield, Massachusetts
TDI
2002 CTD w/12 valve, 2003 GTI w/ALH
On one of my TDI/GLX swaps I retained the auto 96 GLX cluster and covered the auto indicator with the TDI tach face. To correct the tach, I used the Digital Dakota tach interface set to 3 cyl input, 6 cyl output to compensate for the TDI's "wide sweep" tach.

Lug_Nut, the 5mm yellow LEDs are available at Radio Shack part# 276-0021, same size and brightness as stock.
 

jonhohlf

Active member
Joined
Aug 21, 2006
Location
La Crosse, WI
TDI
96 Passat TDI Wagon
Digital Corpus said:
Okay. I figured it was an automatic. So I do have to use a pulse freq. adapter. Because of that I can put a my original tach face on instead and I should be fine, correct?
That is exactly what I did, after switching the tach face, there is no sign of the auto gear indicator, and the tach face fits perfectly over the gear indicator. even forgot that it was there till I looked up the part number again to see the number of the cluster that I used.

And, yes, you do need to use a pulse frequency adapter. Bought mine on e-bay for $75 with shipping included.
 

Digital Corpus

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 14, 2008
Location
Ontario, California
TDI
'97 B4 w/ 236K mi body, 46K mi soul
WOW!!! Dealers are expensive. I have a local one who wants a pretty penny for the required items to complete a MFA conversion. Here is what they quoted me.

357-907-968 SO HOUSING 0 1 30.40 30.40
357-972-741 101CF2 SEAL 0 2 3.50 7.00
1H0-953-634 SO HOUSING 0 1 5.50 5.50
357-972-752 SO HOUSING 0 1 20.66 20.66
1H0-919-563 SO SENDER 0 1 30.40 30.40
000-979-133 103AD1 WIRE SET 0 6 8.80 52.80

I'm in southern California. Who should I talk to to get all of this for much cheaper?
 
Last edited:

yetimus

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Sep 13, 2004
Location
Indiana
TDI
Former owner :-(
Digital Corpus said:
...Who should I talk to to get all of this for much cheaper?
Salvage yard!!! I've been considering this mod for a while now and I decided to take a stroll through my local U-pull-it salvage yard to see if there may be any donor cars available. Sure enough, a 97 GLX was sitting there with MFA intact.

So I went home to get my tools - 30 minutes and $32 later, here's my loot!


If you can find a salvage yard donor car, you can snag the oil and air temp sensors as well as the MFA switch wiring saving you that much $$ and fabrication. Bonus - you can be a little heavy-handed in disassembling things on the donor so you'll know how it all comes apart once it's time to work on your own ride. Extra bonus - I even snagged a spare Relay 109 to keep in the console for a spare!:D

Oh yeah, I also snagged a used SGI-8 on ebay for $45. So I should only have about $90 in this when all is said and done. Huge thanks to Chris for all your work documenting this mod! Can't wait to get started!
 

yetimus

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Sep 13, 2004
Location
Indiana
TDI
Former owner :-(
Another successful conversion!

I just finished up putting everything back together and it's all 100% functional! Great job on the writeup, Chris. This probably isn't a job you're going to finish in an afternoon unless you've done it before, but I'm really pleased with the results. For those of us with non-OBDII ECUs this is a great alternative to Scanguage. My car is suddenly 15000 miles 'younger' according to the new odometer.:cool:



To anyone who is considering this mod, just take your time and follow the how-to to the letter. I only ran into a few minor snags, the most annoying being soldering in the new MIL LED. The existing LEDs in the cluster each have one prong that is slightly longer than the other. The new LED from Radio Shack also had one prong slightly longer than the other. No brainer, just match them up, right? WRONG! I reassembled the whole cluster, pulled off the MAF sensor plug to generate a code - no MIL! Disassembled the whole cluster again and checked each LED with 3V only to find my new LED installed with wrong polarity. Unsoldered it again and reversed polarity and now it works. Note: do not test existing LEDs in the cluster with more than 3VDC. I applied 9V to the 'trunk open" LED and it went POP! Fortunately, it's not used on the wagon!

I also had to make a second trip to the salvage yard because the first oil temp sensor I removed from the donor car was actually a pressure switch. The temp sensor is much smaller than the pressure switch (14mm wrench vs 24mm wrench to remove).

For the Unleaded Fuel Only label, I bought some self adhesive shipping labels and created a text box in Microsoft Word with Arial bold font with white text on a gray background. I didn't get a perfect match on the gray background color, but the flash of the camera makes it look more noticable than it actually is.

Thanks again to all those who contributed to this thread!
 

RIP TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 16, 2000
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
TDI
'15 GSW SE 6MT, '01 Golf GLS 5MT, '96 Passat variant
yetimus said:
For those of us with non-OBDII ECUs this is a great alternative to Scanguage.
I have both and I have to say the Scanguage is so superior in every way except for the non-stock appearance that the only thing I read on the MFA is outside temperature! In 2000, when I originally figured out the conversion, the Scangauge was only a gleam in an engineer's eye, otherwise I wouldn't have done it. For the sake of folks with BK ECMs, at least, I'm glad I did.
 

JimJamie

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2006
Location
north eastern MA
TDI
'13 Passat 6 sp. 57k mi. VW fairing kit all around.
If I don't care about the MFA upgrade do I still need to remove the steering wheel to get the cluster out? My cluster went on a very cold day last month. I'd just like to swap it out w/something that get the guages going.
 

RIP TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 16, 2000
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
TDI
'15 GSW SE 6MT, '01 Golf GLS 5MT, '96 Passat variant
Because wheel removal is so painless and because you have so little "wiggle room" with the wheel in place, it doesn't really pay to not remove it.
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
idi: 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
I concur. The wheel can be lowered as far as possible to make room, but the tendency is to scuff the soft plastic bezel lens on the wheel rim during extraction leaving a permanent mar that will forever remind you, each and every time you look at the spedometer, that you saved all of 5 minutes.
 

JimJamie

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2006
Location
north eastern MA
TDI
'13 Passat 6 sp. 57k mi. VW fairing kit all around.
Cluster removal

I had no touble getting the cluster out between the dashboard and steering wheel. Not sure why I had so much room.

The only hard part was disconnecting a purple 16 pin plug from the right side of the panel cover, just above the key switch. What is that? It shows a graphic of an engine with a lighting bolt through it.

Also to the right of that there is a cap with a wire attached to it which goes into the firewall. What is that?

And to the right of that a round slotted hole, like a mini vent. What does that do?

On the back of the cluster was a paper printout from the factory. All gibberish to me.
 

JimJamie

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2006
Location
north eastern MA
TDI
'13 Passat 6 sp. 57k mi. VW fairing kit all around.
Cluster removal

I'll be sending it to BBA-Reman. They said they could fix it for $150, plus about $30 in shipping charges.
 

JimJamie

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2006
Location
north eastern MA
TDI
'13 Passat 6 sp. 57k mi. VW fairing kit all around.
Cluster issue

My cluster came back from BBA Reman today. The only info said "No Fix".
According to the customer service rep the chip needed re-programming which they don't do. Not much of an explanation. I'm not sure what to do next.
 

yetimus

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Sep 13, 2004
Location
Indiana
TDI
Former owner :-(
Chris Bell said:
I have both and I have to say the Scanguage is so superior in every way except for the non-stock appearance that the only thing I read on the MFA is outside temperature! In 2000, when I originally figured out the conversion, the Scangauge was only a gleam in an engineer's eye, otherwise I wouldn't have done it. For the sake of folks with BK ECMs, at least, I'm glad I did.
Hey Chris, this little post of yours got me thinking (which, I might add, is never a good thing). I've been tinkering around with a new gizmo that provides instantaneous MPG readings like Scangauge and can be fitted to BK ECM-equipped cars (and others.) It displays instant mpg, tank mpg, and current trip mpg (resets itself after car is off for 7 minutes) as well as GPH, distance, and a few others. Read about it here. Please post any comments about the MPGuino in the original thread. A pic:

Actually, the LCD display on this thing is awfully close to the size of the MFA display inside the cluster. It would be cool to set this display directly into the MFA's place in the cluster, but I'm not quite that motivated yet.
 

JimJamie

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2006
Location
north eastern MA
TDI
'13 Passat 6 sp. 57k mi. VW fairing kit all around.
I've got a nice black TDI sheet metal guage plate so you wouldn't need to deal w/the unleaded issue on a refit. Send me a PM.
Also, what should the proper RPM be at idle? I've set mine at 700.
As I remember the temp should be about 180. Can someone verify that?
I'll verify the mph with a gps, and set the fuel guage when I run out.
Yetimus' circuit board he sold me works great. Curious that the 145,XXX reading is almost exactly 200K below mine.
I'll be getting two tie rods replaced, then selling the vehicle if anyone knows someone looking for a '96 Passat sedan.
 

JimJamie

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2006
Location
north eastern MA
TDI
'13 Passat 6 sp. 57k mi. VW fairing kit all around.
Needles

Be super careful when pushing in the needles. As Yetimus told me push in a little way, then all the way when they are correct. I pushed one in too far and it mashed against the black face. Then it was on so hard when I pullled it off it ripped out the tiny guage pin. Yipes! Haven't disassembled it yet to see if I've ruined it.
 

yetimus

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Sep 13, 2004
Location
Indiana
TDI
Former owner :-(
JimJamie said:
Be super careful when pushing in the needles. As Yetimus told me push in a little way, then all the way when they are correct. I pushed one in too far and it mashed against the black face. Then it was on so hard when I pullled it off it ripped out the tiny guage pin. Yipes! Haven't disassembled it yet to see if I've ruined it.
JJ,

Check out CB's words of wisdom in post #1
If the needles didn't come off, you now must remove them by pulling straight up without rotating. The first time you do this (you will be doing it at least twice) you may pull apart the 2-piece stepper motor casings beneath the face plates rather than pull the needles off their spindles. Don't worry, its not uncommon, but it will feel like you have broken them. Usually the casings at first become only 1/2 separated and the spindle/needle will be floating around at an angle. Just continue to pull straight up (not at the angles at which they're leaning) until they feel like they are free (Note: the needles have probably still not separated from their spindles...but the casing halves have separated). Since the face plate for the 2 gauges and speedo is one unit, you will have to finesse this a bit, trying to pull each of the 3 needles a like amount in stages. Once all casings are separated (or needles pulled from spindles...or a combination of the two), remove the 2 face plates. Pull needles off of any spindles/casings that came off as a unit with the face plates. Don't lose the rectangular spring washer installed between the spindle and the upper casing half.
Reassemble any separated stepper motor casings. Make sure that the dark grey plastic reduction gear is installed on its shaft in the center of the lower stepper motor casing. If not installed, it got pulled off when the casings were separated. Find it and reinstall it, making sure that the small pinion gear in the center faces up (the other side has a boss that is about the same size as the pinion gear, so look carefully). Now install the spindle (with integral reduction gear) into its bore. Rotate the spindle/gear so that the stop tab on the gear will fall into the free rotation (1:00 to 11:00) section of the circumferential groove located in the underside of the upper casing (rather than the 11:00 to 1:00 "stop" area) when the upper casing half is reinstalled (see Figure 3). Now install the rectangular spring washer on the spindle/gear, convex side toward the gear, oriented so that it will be located and kept from turning by the rectangular depression in the underside of the upper casing half (see Figure 3). Now install the upper casing half carefully over the spindle to reintegrate the stepper motor casing.

HTH
 

JimJamie

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2006
Location
north eastern MA
TDI
'13 Passat 6 sp. 57k mi. VW fairing kit all around.
I read that part on Saturday and fixed it.
I couldn't believe I'd broken it or fixed it!
 
Top