Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Golf 7.3 Sport Seat Upgrade : Comfortline to Sportsline GTE GTD GTI R

Upgrading Golf 7.3 Comfort Seats to GTE Sports Seat 


I have never like the Golf 7 Comfort Seats ! They look and feel is just not what I like. Compare to my 2009 GTI Mk5, the seats are just too plain. The local leather is also far from what factory provide like on the Passat B8. 

I wanted to upgrade to the sport seats from the GTI but the red threading and pattern would make the car interior look funny.  My next choice is to go for the GTD which is beige and would blend nicely into my interior. In Europe the trend of people to buy the GTI/GTD is choosing the base trim which is the famous VW Tartan design. Very difficult to find leather or higher material used sport seat in good condition and RHD.  

I decided to go for the GTE blue tartan design.  Found a seller in Europe selling parts from scrapped test vehicles.  They are not in used scrapped car business but deals in exporting/scrapping of test vehicles from Volkswagen. Ordered from their web site in good faith and crossed fingers. After about two weeks, the seats arrived. Collected them from the forwarder in Changi Air Cargo Terminal. 

How to fit this into my little Golf ?


I went with my car stripped of the rear seats and passenger seat as it is impossible to fit all the GTE seats into my little Golf 7.3 . I stripped the pallet at the terminal and fitted the other seats and carried the driver's seat back. 

Packaging was professionally done by the supplier ! 

Packed nicely and tightly....little chance of damages.

They even shipped the LHD central console which I have to throw away as it would not fit . Only retrieve the arm rest and some parts. 


As it is German law that all safety equipment cannot be sold as used, the seats came without seat belts or airbags. Believe me, it is a real PAIN swapping the seat airbags from my original seats to the GTE seats. Totally PITA ! Nevertheless, I got to learn about seat removal and disassembly plus airbag replacement. 

Rear seat...see the seat belt...it is cut ! You cannot use this broken belt. Have to swap over from the original seat. Another PITA operation. 

Temporary fit...no seat belt buckle ! 
Removed the buckle and airbag from the original seats. Practising on the original seat makes perfect fitting the airbags onto the new GTE seats. Yet, still a lot of back breaking work. 


Not for the faint hearted to do this ! 



Sliding in the airbag module needs almost total removal of the seat fabric cover ! 

The front passenger presence detector is also missing. The detector would warn the driver to have the passenger put on the seat belt. On the LHD version, the front passenger detector is on the right seat which is what the driver is sitting on.  The presence detector is a big contact mat placed "inside" the seat cushion.  So, it is not possible to remove the presence detector mat from the right side seat and put it onto the left side seat since it is not removeable.  So the only option is to swap the entire seat cushion from left to right.  I decided that it is just too much work just for the presence detection to remind the front passenger to put on the seat belt. I deleted the option for the seat belt reminder for the passenger seat.

The rear seat came with side airbags. A feature not even found on our latest GTI/R Golf 7.5 . The cost would go up when this option is added and thus not viable as a selling feature. However, as mentioned all the safety apparatus have been deleted in Germany. The side bolster which contain the airbag had it's side airbag deleted. Only the bolster can be used to add comfort to the rear seating position. Instead of the regular plastic trim which is obviously very hard, the soft cushioned side panel/bolster is a welcomed edition.....said my rear seat passengers ! 

The plastic side panel 

The "cushion" panel replacing the original plastic trim

On the left side. Added comfort welcomed by rear passengers

Only a "Airbag" for a smarter appearance. It have been deleted.

The rear side airbag installation requires a new trim to be fitted. The two trims are side by side.....the newer trim on left. 
The side trim replacement required. Left is for airbag !

When fitted, the space is for the bolster "side airbag"
Also took the opportunity to replace the rear passenger centre seat belt.  The original was intentionally cut by the German side as a preventive measure so that safety item cannot be reused. We swap the original belt mechanism from the old seat to the new.  The means that double the work to remove and reinstall is required.  Removing the rear seat centre belt mechanism is no easy task. Not for the faint heart as lots of dismantling of the entire rear seat back rest is necessary.  

The new back rest with the swapped belt installed. 

The perfectly functioning rear seat belt. What a pity !


Thursday, 12 July 2018

2014 Touareg DSG / Auto Shifter Upgrade

Upgrade of DSG/Auto Shifter : Joystick to SomethingBetter

The customer was not happy with the simple shifter found on his R-Line 2014 Touareg.  I think it is because his original shifter is found on almost all VW cars ranging from Polo to Passat.  Can't blame him. I am all for him ! 

Upgraded it to this latest "neutral" shifter from Audi ! I must say I am also impressed by it.  I would have chosen this had I not already upgraded mine to the RS design. 

He had wanted one from the GTI or R Golf model but I discouraged him against it. These shifter boot are made from leatherite ( fake artificial leather ) of the poorest quality. It is shame but it is true. So expensive car but the shifter boot use poor quality "vinyl" like leatherite.  They would eventually rot as most vinyl would after several years exposed to the elments. 

Only on the higher end models, VW would use real leather, such as this R-Line Touareg. The look, feel and even smell is different. Small things to some but big things to others. 


Compare this "leather" look alike against the original Touareg shifter
The difference is obvious to the trained eyes.

The original Joystick shifter ( note : real leather boot ! ) 


We opted for the Audi design which is neutral ( no wording or insignia ). Pure quality. The fit was perfect ! 

Short and Sassy ! 

A Million $$$ Look and Feel ! 

Chiobu Shifter ! 


Cost to convert is about S$750 all included.  Worth every cent spent ! 


Saturday, 21 April 2018

Golf 7.5 Upgrade to Cruise Control CCS and V3 Self Parking OPS 1.0TSi

Golf 1.0 TSi Upgrades : Cruise Control and V3.5 Self Parking OPS

The 1.0 TSi is pretty basic....in fact, it is pretty bare ! 


Upgraded his steering wheel to a new Multi Function Control type from the Highline model and added the Cruise Control option on his car. Now cruising down the highway at the legal speed would not be easier. The chances of over speeding and ending up with a speeding ticket would be almost none existence. 

Discarded the Plain Jane Steering

Replaced with the Highline Steering Wheel
(Airbag from his original plain Jane steering is re-used)

Cruise Control CCS set at 80 kph or desired speed


This Golf 7.5 customer have decided that he need a decent parking system on his car. The locally fitted two sensor rear beepers are not sufficient to provide safe reversing of his brand new Golf 1.0 TSi. Installed the latest V3.0 Optical Parking System OPS with 12 sensors all round his vehicle. This would allow the vehicle to perform self automatic parking for both parallel and reverse parking.  


Installed the V3.0 OPS Self Parking with 12 sensors
360 degrees all round information for the car ! 

Self Parking for Parallel/Reverse can
be done automatically ...( the wife would luv it ! )

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Lane Departure Golf 7 : Rear Traffic Alert , Side Assist , Blind Spot Sensor

Driver Assist : Lane Departure with OPS Self Parking and Rear Traffic Assist

Retrofitted the new V4.0 Park Pilot/Park Assist on the Golf 7. A necessary tool for the spoiled driver like myself. 

There is a new Rear Traffic Assist function which works with the Lane Departure Assist. As described by Volkswagen here

The Rear Traffic Alert assists the driver, within the system’s limits, when reversing out of a parking space. Sensors in the rear bumper enable the system to monitor the lateral area behind the vehicle much earlier than the driver. If another vehicle is getting too close, an audible warning alerts the driver to the critical situation. If the driver fails to respond, the system can mitigate the potential consequences of an accident or prevent the accident in the best-case scenario by means of brake intervention where a collision is imminent.


The Rear Traffic Alert is available in combination with Blind Spot sensor or Side Assist.
Retrofitting the Lane Departure requires removal of the rear bumper to fit the sensors. The entire wing mirrors also need to be dismantled and broken down to run the connecting cable to the new mirror glass LED indicator. 

Installed the rear radar unit for the Lane Departure System

The mirror assy dismantled completely to run the additional wire set for the Lane Departure Warning LED on the mirror
During initial engine start up, the warning light would light
up as a checking procedure for the Lane Departure System

Additional control options on the HU 

Normal front OPS manual activation

The Rear Traffic Sensors reacting

The 360 deg sensor is a bonus plus to the rear camera.

Improvement have been made to the new Park Pilot Park Assist system V3.0 on the Golf 7. Unlike the V2.0 system found originally on my Passat B7, the newer system automatically triggers the display when in slow traffic situation or when in the car park around corners close to objects. This option can be controlled via the Discovery Pro screen. 

Thursday, 15 February 2018

RCD 330 340 G Plus Upgrading or MIB PQ Radio Upgrade ?

Upgrading Standard RCD510 RNS510 to RCD330 / RCD340 G Plus (downgrade) or MIB PQ upgrade ? 


Following the discontinuation of the RCD and RNS radios in 2014, Volkswagen have introduced the newer MIB/MIB2 PQ radio since 2015. This is a transition radio for all the PQ chassis models such as Polo, Jetta, Tiguan, Sharan and Passat. There are two models available in Singapore since 2015 on the Jetta, Tiguan and Sharan. 

Composition Media MIB for PQ cars ( single SD card slot )

Discover Media with Navigation MIB for PQ cars ( dual SD Card slots )

The App Connect feature on newer radio is a tempting option to upgrade from the old RCD 310 510 or RNS510 to the newer MIB radio which have this feature as standard. The USB/Aux connector is separately mounted compared to the Chinese RCD330/340. 

I find that the MIB radio are pretty neat. It react much faster than the old RCD/RNS radio that we have. The screen display is much brighter, sharper, clearer than the old LED screen of old. The radio icons can be selected to from your own jpeg files. 

One major disadvantage of the Discover Media which actually replaces RNS510, the DVD play have been deleted. In place, the App Connect suppose to allow you to play video or online video via the handphone using Mirror Link. This is hacked though. 

Currently, it is possible to retrofit these radio onto older vehicles which were using the RCD/RNS radios however the cost is a turn off. The MIB2 Discover Media is about S$2800 retrofitted whereas the Composition Media is about $2200. 

There is a cheaper option available from China. This is the RCD 330/340 radio. These are radios made for the Chinese markets. With some compromise, it can be used nevertheless.

Chinese market version PQ MIB with built-in BT, USB App Connect as one single unit


There is only one antenna input whereas VW cars here have two antennas. 



Firstly, the radio antenna has only one input but most VW cars here have the diversity antenna set up and have two antenna inputs. The supplier would provide a 2-into-1 adapter. The reception quality is not good in my opinion. The Volkswagen diversity antenna system does not work in that way when you join up the two into one. Another compromise needed.   


2 into 1 adapter


Vehicles using the RNS-510 already fitted with reverse cameras, would have to change the camera as well. The original camera for the RNS510 is a RGB type whereas the RCD-330/340 uses the RCA Video type.  The newer MQB cars are all using this set up. A change would be inevitable. 


The adapter cable for the new camera is usually supplied. 

Another observation is that the display on the Multi Function Display panel on the instrument cluster does not support the radio/media display unlike the older RCD300/510 RNS510 radios. The steering wheel controls works though. 

The Optical Parking System originally working on the RCD/RNS radios is fortunately, transferred to the RCD330/340 radio without any issues.  

If the vehicle is fitted with Dynaudio Sound System, it would not be possible to code the RCD 330/340 to support it as they are not available in the software of the radio. This would mean that there would be permanent errors on the Radio when diagnosed by the workshop ( all 4 speakers would be open circuit error ) . The sound level would be high as such, the radio volume needs to be set low during operation. The sound is amplified by the Dyaudio sound system no doubt. This have to be compromised. 

Be advised if you are proceeding with the change of the RCD 330/340 radio on your older VW cars from the RCD300/310 RCD510 or RNS510 radios. 

Monday, 8 January 2018

Golf Mark 7.5 1.0 TSi Upgrade : Multi Function Steering Wheel

Upgrading Golf 7.5 Trendline with GTI Steering MFSW

Customer bought the newest Golf 7.5 1.0 TSi . A very basic car with the barest of equipment including a steering wheel with a horn button. There is a board computer which is controlled via the right side stalk for the wiper.

It is a Tornado Red Golf 7.5 which have a 3 cylinder 998 cc engine. Engine compartment look strange with the missing cylinder IMHO. Customer have obtained a fuel consumption figure of 20 km/litre. He upgraded the puny 205/50/R16 wheels to OZ Ultraleggera with 225/40R18. He is happy with the fuel consumption but claim that his friend obtained 25km/litre with the original set up. OMG ! 25 km/litre ? My Golf gave me at best 21km/litre on feather lite gas pedalling. 

Nevertheless, he wanted to upgrade his very plain steering to the GTI steering with RED thread. Very matching for his red Golf I have to agree. 

Gorgeous Red Golf 7.5 1.0 TSi  with the new headlights and DRL LED
Pity it did not come with the foggies. 

The new tail lights with LED but without the dynamic signal design


We managed to upgrade his steering to the GTI multi function type with cruise control and managed to upgrade his cluster from a simple board computer display to the multi function features. He can now see his radio/media details, phone data, car data, board computer data etc. The job took many hours due to the relative new car data available. 

GTI Steering with paddles, cruise control, audio/media control, phone and multi function control

Cluster upgraded with the Multi Function Display features controlled via new steering. 


End of the day, the customer was totally astonished by what he had obtain by a simple steering wheel change. We also deleted his Start/Stop feature which was pissing him off from the first day he got his car. 

Next project he have in mind....upgrade to Gesture Control 9.5" Discovery Pro2 with App Connect and Dynaudio ! Planning planning planning if his CFO approves it. 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Lane Assist R242 A5 Camera Calibration

Calibrating the Lane Assist Camera A5 R242 

The Lane Assist Camera requires calibration to the car installed.  We use a laser X-Y tool to precisely position the calibration board VAS6430 

Using a X-Y Laser to position the VAS6430 board correctly to the car

Calibration in progress using ODIS Service

After successful calibration. 

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Changing TPMS Parameter

Changing Tire Pressure Monitoring System Parameter 

We changed the tire pressure monitoring system parameter firmware to adapt to the type of tires fitted on the vehicle. This is done by uploading a new parameter file into the #65 Tire Pressure module. 


Original Setting for Normal Load is 36 PSI Front and Rear



Original Load Setting Full Load is 39/46 PSI 

After uploading the parameter file, we changed the features on the MFD Cluster and Tire Load Limit display

Option to select Load and Tyre Type 



 We input only 17" and 18" tires option for the Passat B7

Followed the original 32 psi setting for Normal Load


Input the Full Load parameter as 36/41 psi