Monday, 4 March 2019

Tiguan Comfortline 2019 AID Digital Instrument Cluster Upgrade

4 March 2019 : Tiguan 2019 Advance Info Display cluster upgrade aka Virtual Cockpit Display

A brand new 150 km one day old Tiguan replaced the original analogue instrument cluster with the R-Line Digital Advanced Information Display cluster. 

We indent order these items and replaced it for the owner who is overjoyed with the new display.  He had owned two VW previously and is literally tired of the old analogue instrument cluster. 

The original set up

New trims are required for the AID 

Bare Analogue cluster 

Striping out the air-con duct trims as one piece
(not an easy task)

New vs Newer

AID vs Analogue 

AID Virtual Cockpit Cluster in place

First Time Switched On !

Coding and programming 

Task Completed

First Start ! All Done ! 

The Virtual Cockpit aka Advanced Info Display is the best eye candy plus functional information for the driver. 

The best mod ever ! Highly recommended for most MQB cars ! 

Friday, 21 December 2018

CBX 2018 Beetle 1.2 Head Unit Upgrade : MIB2 Composition Media with Reverse Camera

CBX Upgrade of Head Unit : Beetle 1.2 TSi 

A customer have purchased one of the last unit of the 2018 Volkswagen Beetle 1.2TSi. 

The Beetle 1.2 is considered a Comfort Line model with modest equipment. Customer wanted a reverse camera for the wife and a bluetooth telephone for himself. As such an upgrade of the base head unit from Colour Media to Composition Media is required. 

The PQ MIB2 Composition Media unit comes with everything incorporated such as Bluetooth, Voice Command, App Connect etc. 

We also installed the original Beetle VW emblem camera onto the vehicle. 

Customer is totally satisfied with the upgrade.

The Composition Media installed
(picture taken with Night Mode on my new Huawei Mate20X)

The original Beetle emblem camera displayed on the MIB2
(same picture but with normal none flash mode)
Peeping out from the VW rear emblem latch handle in reverse

Saturday, 1 December 2018

New Tiguan Lane Assist and Side Assist Retrofit

Tiguan New 2018 Retrofitting Lane Assist and Side Assist 

My old customer who had his 2008 CC retrofitted with Lane Assist and Side Assist years back, came knocking on my door. He got himself a brand new Rline 2.0 AWD Tiguan 2018. After 6 months of pure form original ownership, he got bored and decide to get back to his roots. 

His R Line Tiguan is already very well spec at factory. It has Adaptive Cruise Control which is only available on this model not even found on the top of the line Arteon 2.0 AWD ! Surprising but it is true. It has also Head Up Display but I find it of little use since the Digital Cluster aka Advanced Info Display is right in front of him displaying all the details required in various form. Why do you need a HUD ? Nice to have I would guess but IMHO, it is not necessary. 

As usual, retrofitting the Lane Assist requires his brand new flawless windscreen to be replaced. This is inevitable. 

Brand new windscreen for Lane Assist 

The special holder for the camera, rain sensor and rear mirror

Out with the old and in with the new ! 
New screen with the Lane Assist camera peeping out 
Lane Assist camera hides behind the new housing cover

Original rear mirror is reused. The new housing hides the camera.
 ( the wires are for the event camera - only place for the wires )

Next, we installed the Side Assist aka Rear Assist aka Rear Traffic Assist aka Lane Change Assist aka Rear Traffic Alert. So many names but only one function. 

Removal of the bumper is necessary to install the two radar sensors and run the wiring harness into the cabin. 

Factory prepared mounting position. 

Securing the radar sensor with bolts and nuts.

Factory prepared sound deflective material on the bumper for the radar sensors on both sides. 
Insulate against unwanted disturbance from other sources. 

The wiring harness is run thru the door harness to the mirrors

The mirror is partially dismantled to install
the LED warning indicator & housing cover

Three new options are added : Lane, Side and Rear Traffic

Calibration of the Lane Assist Camera

Lane Assist in operation ! Road Speed is seen by camera
and display on cluster and radio display panel

Speed Limit and Lane Assist /ACC also shown
on Head Up Display

Monday, 12 November 2018

Heater Seat Retrofitting on Golf 7 : Is it viable ?

Retrofitting Heater Seats on Volkswagen Golf 7.3

Is the heater seat useful in tropical hot Singapore ? I guess it is not in most cases. However for those with back ache or injuries or old tired backbones, the comfort of heat applied to the back whilst driving is a comfortable thing that only some can appreciate. 

Ladies during their "days" also love the heater seat soothing comfort for those cranky pain. My lady passengers swear by them. 

Many of the Volkswagen Trendline, Comfortline and even some Highline models do not have the heater seats fitted at factory anymore. These were common options on earlier models in the Volkswagen range but due to cost ( keeping OMV low ), VCS have deleted this option for most of the baseline models.  

Have received many inquiries about the retrofit of the seat heaters. I had made a study on the possibility of the work. Here are my findings : 

1. The heater element is not supplied as a separate part. This mean that you cannot buy the heater coil or element and replace it when it is faulty aka shorted or burned. 

2. The heater element is supplied as part of the cushion aka it is built inside the foam for the seat and back rest.  This mean that if your original heater is damaged, you need to replace the respective foam padding....i.e. seat foam or back rest foam. 

3. The heating function is performed by the Central Electric Module which is a common part in all VW cars. However, there are many variants. If the car is not originally fitted with the seat heating, the CEM supplied would be a low variant which does not have the necessary circuit to support the heating element function. 

4. The control of the heater seat is done via the Climatronic Control module. The seat icon can be seen on both side of the controller.  A new Climatronic module is needed if retrofit is to be done. 

5. Programming of the new Climatronic module is needed to enable the heater function. No additional wiring is required between the modules. 

6. Power to the CEM for the heaters is supplied from Fuse # 27 on the glove box fuse box. The fuse is supplied with 12 volt power but no wiring to the CEM. A good gauge wire need to be added from the fuse box to the CEM connector. 

In conclusion, it would be a costly exercise to retrofit the heater seat considering the above requirements. No a viable task unless it a die-die requirement for the heater seat to be available. 

My 2015 Golf Mk VII did not come with the heater seats much to my disappointment when I first purchased it. Seems that even on the EQP version, the heater have been deleted. 

I have replaced my seats with the GTE seats from Germany. They came with heaters. I had also replaced the CEM on my Golf when I upgraded to the Golf R Headlights . So, all I need was the wiring to connect the seats to the CEM and a new Climatronic controller. 

Retrofitting the GTE which have heater as standard

Entry or Mid level models have the heater seat omitted 

CBX retrofitted electric heater seat on Golf 7.3

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Comfort Line Passat B8 Upgrade Active Information Display

AID Upgrade for Passat Comfort Line

Mr. Ho have seen my work in the web and have earmarked his Comfortline Passat B8 upgrades.  For his first project when his car's odometer is only 368 km old, he embarked on the Advanced Information Display AID and an emblem reverse camera. 

Removed the surrounding bezel of the original cluster

Installed the AID cluster for the first time on the Comfortline B8

Switch on before pairing

After online pairing of the AID

After 2 hours....all is working and original mileage programmed.

Added the radio icons for Mr. Ho

Enabled LowLine Reverse Camera

Completed Job ! A happy customer !
Next project ! Dynaudio for his B8 Passat under review. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Optical Parking System OPS on New Touran : V4

New Touran Retrofitting OPS V4 Optical Parking System ; Self Parking

The new Touran High Line does not come with VW Self Parking OPS aka Optical Parking System V4. This latest version is found on all the High Line models such as Tiguan Rline, Passat Exclusive, etc. Strangely, this option is not on the Passat Highline or RLine but only on the Exclusive. 

After the installation, the customer is able to do the self parking of the Touran. A feature that the wife loves 101% . 

This customer indented his Touran special from VW and have it equipped with the Lane Change Assist aka Side Assist.  This option automatically compliment the OPS V4 with Blind Spot Assist. 

The Lane Change/Side Assist radar behind the rear bumper

Arrangement was done by his sales person not to install the ugly two sensor reversing warning alert fitted at VW PDI center in Tuas. That save the bumper from having extra two holes which are the wrong size. The 12 sensors of the V4 OPS was fitted on the front and rear bumpers in their original positions. 

The new control switch panel which includes the electric tailgate button (next project for the customer)

New function on HU : Parking & Maneuvering

Control of volume and pitch for the front & rear buzzer

New feature Maneuver Braking and Rear Traffic Alert aka Blind Spot Monitoring.
The new features for the V4 OPS includes the Maneuver Braking which automatically applies the brake for the vehicle should it encounter an object during low speed moving of the vehicle. This works for front and rear sensors. 

Point to note. This feature would not work during normal driving at speed or at car park speed. It is only meant for parking manuever at low speed. 

The Blind Sport or Rear Traffic Alert is explained here on my blog 

Here is a video to give better visual and audio experience 

Monday, 8 October 2018

Dynaudio Excite Retrofit on Golf 7

Retrofitting MIB2 Dynaudio Excite MIB2 Discovery Pro : Golf 7 VII 

Update : The Dynaudio MIB Sound System is only possible for installation on vehicles with Discovery Media or Discovery Pro. The requirement for the system to be operated via Fibre Optic are restricted to these head unit systems.  

The original 8 speaker sound quality of the typical Golf 7 is pretty decent when it is equipped with the Discovery Pro head unit. The built in amp produces reasonably good quality sound thru it's 4 channel system aka 8 speakers system. 

To enhance the sound quality, Volkswagen have the specially tuned Dynaudio sound system for their cars.  The highlights of the Dynaudio system extracted from the Dynaudio website is as follow :

Features & Highlights

  • Dual voice coil subwoofer offers optimized in-car bass performance
  • Authentic replication of the Dynaudio sound experience from the home or studio into your car
  • Solid bass performance no matter which seat one is sitting in
  • Mid/bass and subwoofer integration offers a cohesive and balanced bass experience in the car
  • MOST150 digital optical connection minimizes noise on the sound signal, maintaining a clear signal from the radio or media centre to the amplifier to allow for a pure listening experience
  • Shark DSP enables impeccable timing, placing the music in the perfect position in front of the listener while maintaining all spectra of the sound
  • Automatic sound adjustment to compensate for noise sources relative to the vehicle’s speed while maintaining the sound volume; the Dynaudio sound system functions in such a manner that the volume is automatically adjusted according to the cabin conditions to remain at the same level
  • Dynaudio fine tuning optimizes the sound tuning for each specific car model, as the different Golf variants are not completely identical; Dynaudio fine sound tuning ensures an uncompromised sound tailored to each specific vehicle
  • High performance 6.5 inch diameter MSP mid/bass drivers
  • Focus features: All, driver, co-driver or rear.
Here is the link to their write up 

Retrofitting the MIB2 Excite Dynaudio10 speakers on my special edition Golf 7.3 is a tedious job. It can only be fitted to the Discover Media or Discovery Pro Head Units because of the fibre optics requirement.  The communication between the DP HU and amplifier is via the fibre optic cables. There are no hard wires between the amp and the car's gateway unlike the earlier Dynaudio systems. 

Necessary removal for running of fibre optic cable
A specially fabricated harness connects up all the speakers to the amplifier and link to the Discover Pro via a pair of fibre optics cable.  My Golf have the Advanced Info Display cluster which has the fibre optics cable already as such, we needed to modify the cable to a 3 way split configuration combing the original AID and the Dynaudio cable set. 

Specially modified 3 way split Fibre Optic harness for AID/Dynaudio/DiscoveryPro

The Excite system comprises of a 400 watts digital amplifier/sound processor, 4 base/mid door speakers, 4 treble tweeters and a 2-speaker woofer box which fits over the spare wheel cavity. ( The Passat have a 12 speakers 650 watts system ! )

The amplifier is located under the left passenger seat

Amplifier installed 

With Protective Cover

Original speakers
Dynaudio Bass/Mid Speakers 

Change the Front Tweet
Comes with the A-pillar trim assembly

Original spare wheel well before

After installing the woofer box.....spare wheel deleted.
Need the tire repair kit plus 12v air pump 

2 additional options available for Sound function 

Dynaudio Character for Soft

Dynaudio Character for Authentic

Dynaudio Character for Dynamic ( my favourite ! )

Dynaudio Character for Speech
Easy Radio News listening but not necessary
Sound Focusing Profile options

Sound Focusing Individual option

Conclusion :

The installation and online coding was a tedious process but the effort paid off with the tremendous improvement in sound quality. Music pieces that I have never sounded better and clearer before. 

A definite worthy upgrade to the sound system which is worth the work and money spent. Highly recommended !