Having received my parts from Hillside (thank you very much!) I set out this afternoon to install the MkV LHD drivers mini-glovebox. Not finding a writeup for this little mod after running into a little trouble, I grabbed the digicam and went back to work. Here are the results!
On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd rank this one as a 4. The job may require you to be a left-handed Japanese albino midget, but I did okay. You'll need the following tools:
T-20 driver or socket
T-30 driver or socket
rachet drive wrench for sockets
socket extenstion (wobble not neccessary)
long, flat blade screwdriver
10mm boxwrench, ratcheting if you have 'em!
DISCLAIMER: This write-up was performed by a conscientious GTI owner on his own US-model 2006 VW MkV GTI. It involves the removal of three metal components and the replacement of a plastic component that may or may not be part of the structural or safety elements of his car. He makes no guarantee that his or your vehicle warranty will not be negatively affected for performing this modification. Your use of this information is done at your own risk. The author nor this forum may be held responsible for your actions in consuming this information.
[EDIT] There may be alternative bracket that restore the safety/structural qualities of the dash. The author is researching the possibilities of a retrofit from newer MkV Jettas and will post accordingly.
[Amendment 9 May 06] With my deepest thanks to bigdyno over on the GolfMkV.com forums, we've been able to confirm that the three brackets removed in this mod are not present nor replaced by anything similar in his Canadian model GTI that came with this box, standard. I now believe these three brackets may be an added US safety component for increased driver protection in an accident. But I also believe in German engineering and in driver training to avoid accidents. Please perform this mod only at your own risk and comfort level.
Meet your enemy:
Pictured are three of the most diabolical villians you never knew were hiding in your dash.
The big guy in the upper right comes out easily enough and exposes the relay panel adjacent to the fuse block. It appears this bracket is intended for easy removal for relay access. It's two smaller companions are not so easy to remove and required the articulate action of Craftsman's fine 10mm ratcheting boxwrench. More below.
What you're replacing:
This is the original lower left side of the driver's dash panel. It is attached with three T-20 coarse screws along the bottom edge, a T-20 hiding behind the lightswitch, and a single T-20 screw at the upper right adjacent to the gauge cluster covered by the steering column dust cover. It plays host to a pair of steel clipserts on its left that hold the fuse cover door in place.
What you'll end up with:
The oem mini-glovebox. The author purchased his from Hillside Imports in Portland, Oregon via their e-commerce website and is pleased to report their good customer service.
First things first, you'll need to remove the headlight selector switch. It has a different connector than earlier models but removes much the same way. With the lights off, push the selector in approximately an eighth of an inch the turn closkwise half and inch to disengage the switch prongs from the dash.
Pull the disengaged switch from the dash, unplug, and set aside in a safe place. Peek inside the opening for a look at the first of five T-20 coarse screws that attach the original dash piece.
Next, you'll need to expose the T-20 screws that attach each of the driver's lower dash pieces to the midline of the dash. Lower your steering column for better access and simply slide the center section of the lower gauge cluster bezel toward you to unclip it from the dash. You will see each of two T-20's, one on each side underneath.
Two down, three to go...
At the very bottom of the left side lower dash panel will be three more T-20's. Before removing them, pop off the fuse panel cover on the left side of the dash, facing the door. It simply pops out using the key/screwdriver access notch along it's bottom edge. Find the steel clipserts in the lower dash cover and pop them out for safekeeping. You may lose them as the lower dash comes away from the car in a moment.
Now remove each of the five T-20 screws that attach the lower left dash panel to the car. Carefully drop the panel and unplug the dimmer switch from the wiring harness.
Take the original panel to a clean workspace and compare it to your replacement panel.
First, notice that the original trim piece and dimmer need to be moved from the back of the original panel. Pop the trim out from the left by pressing the tab through the clipsert and then unhinging it from the right (looking at the inside). Cautiously unclip the dimmer rheostat from the original dash panel. Transfer both pieces to your new mini-glovebox lower dash and attach in reverse order.
Continue the comparison with the original piece. Notice the new piece attaches in three entirely new areas. Shockingly, you may already find the clipserts for these attachment points already under your dash! If not, simply slip the clipserts off the old locations and move them, flat side toward the new piece, to the corresponding new attachment points of the new piece.
Now it gets ugly...
That big ugly brute of a bracket is sitting there spoiling the fun. With him in the way, the new lower dash piece fits fine but its friendly little door has no room to close... much less attach. The bracket has to go. Hook up your T-30 and remove the five bolts below (bracket already removed for this photo):
Next, his friends have to go too. I had the assembly almost together twice, once each for the two brackets that have to come out.
The first is the tougher one. Spanning the dash under the steering column, the long bracket is attached with one T-30 bolt under the right side of the lower dash cover.
I first removed the T-20 from the top of the right side lower dash, up near the gauges.
Then I removed the two T-20s holding the bottom of the right side lower dash.
Without completely removing the lower right dash, I could reach to the lone T-30 and its clipsert to remove the longer right side bracket. It has a 10mm head which my Craftsman ratcheting boxwrench took care of neatly.
You may notice I not only removed the brackets bu the clipserts too. I do not want them creating new noises if at all possible so I've set them aside. If a T-30 bolt could be reattached, I did so on the possibility or returning the car to 'stock' in the future and recycling the original fasteners.
Finally, there is a small dogleg bracket on the extreme left of the dash. The 10mm ratcheting boxwrench also zipped this one off with a little eastern mysticism and correct alignment of the planets. Patience and luck make good tools for future mods.
These three bracket pieces may or may not be safety or structural components of the car. If you remove them to do as I have done, you assume all risks inheirent with such actions.
Reattach the drivers lower right side dash panel. All three T-20's go back in their original locations.
Go to your new drivers lower left dash cover and gently remove the clipserts for the fuse panel cover. They will get in the way when attaching the new panel and are easily inserted correctly afterwards.
Connect the wiring harness to the dimmer switch attached to the new panel.
Carefully align and attach the new piece using the two original T-20 screw locations from inside the lightswitch and next to the gauge cluster. Be sure to clip the inside lower right of the new panel into the clipsert in the dash frame. There are two guides molded into the new piece along the bottom that help the alignment come out correct; use them! Finally, recycle the the T-20 screws from the bottom edge of the original panel into the back (2) and top (1) of the mini-glovebox opening. You should have confirmed or already moved any clipserts neccessary to make a solid connection at these three points.
Insert the clipserts for the fuse panel cover.
Replace the fuse panel cover.
Replace the center section of the lower part of the instrument bezel. Tuck in the steering column dust cover if you need.
Reach up inside the mini-glovebox opening and thread the headlight switch wiring harness back through the switch opening. Reattach the lightswitch and press it back into the new dash piece until it clicks into place.
Align the mini-glovebox door to the new dash cover and press the open half of the hinge onto the rod spaces of the new dash cover. Carefully swing the door upward and click the retainers back past the dash cover to set the door in the open position.
Test the swing operation of the mini-glovebox door against the new dash...
With a bit of contorsion and some patience, you're the proud parent of an oem mini-glovebox! All your OEM+ show points are belong to Sco!
Modified by scotaku at 10:38 PM 4-5-2006
Modified by scotaku at 4:19 PM 5-9-2006