PLEASE: atleast read the first page
Most of the answers are right here
Read this thread, atleast the first 10 pages before starting the project.
Quote, originally posted by lamune » Hey I just (finally) finished this mod. I wanted to share a couple of notes and points based on this really awesome thread.
First, I think this mod is fairly moderate in complexity, but if you have no experience troubleshooting electrical problems (and by owning a VW you should be an expert in no time) and you don't know how an ignition system works, I would advise extreme caution in proceeding. You can kill your ECU and/or ICM pretty easily.
For those who think they can bypass the ICM and run the coils from the ECU and/or use relays...etc...for the love of God don't even attempt it. I can tell you it won't work and if you're lucky you won't blow up your ECU.
I took this mod further than that, though, which I will get into later. First, I think it's wise to use a ballast resistor when doing this mod. The reason being is that the primary resistance of the MSD coil is about half that of the stock coil. This means that the MSD coil requires twice as much current to drive than stock. Now, combine this with the fact that contrary to popular belief the coils are "on" most of the time and fired by switching them "off".. you can see my point. This is probably why some folks have seen their resistors go up in smoke when switching the ignition on but not starting the engine.
Ideally you should put a .7 ohm resistor between +12 and EACH coil to precisely match the resistance component of each coil. I measured the stock coil at 1.4 ohms and the MSD at .7 ohms. Having one resistor is tricky because as I mentioned before the coils are on at the same time and that makes the circuitry a little more dynamic and complex. However, I think any ballast resistor is better than none. And please DO NOT use those Radio Shack ceramic resistors- use a REAL ballast resistor!
'98 GTI VR6 with "Mullet"-style ignition
Quote, originally posted by cubix » The following people are running this project (this list is totally not complete)
AJ - Cubix - 97 VR6 N/A, stock gap, no resistor
Walt- vaporado- 1991 Corrado VR swap was N/A, .050" gap, no resistor
Lenny - itb76 - 98 GTI VR6 - NA, nearly stock engine - stock NGK plugs, stock gap, no resistor
Tony - xxxfattonyxxx - 98 VR6 N/A, .045" gap, no resistor
Ryan - Ryan Sickles - 2000 AFP VR6, N/A, Nearly Stock, .035'' gap, no resistor
Quote, originally posted by Ryan Sickles » Think now would be a good time to say this, but there's more than enough amperage in these coils to kill you, so
be extremely cautious! I've watched my brother get shocked at his
hand and it arc'd out through his knee & past the bumper to the
Here is a compilation of the works of dozens of VR6 owners who got tired of replacing their shotty 10kv OEM coil packs with the same part.
ONLY post relative information, questions, concerns and other information pertanant to the conversation
The people doing this project are regular people and not professional developers, so PLEASE, no flaming, no putting down of the project and no negative comments.
There is nothing worse then putting all this work into creating a viable ign. system and getting hit with a bunch of people who say it doesn't make a difference.
If you don't agree with this project, don't do it.
DO NOT POST ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THE SALE of ANY parts
-If you are looking for information on parts, please, utilize the PM
Using the GM Coil
Wiring Information Page 19 at the bottem
My personal choice for the replacement was using 3 MSD coils to replace the oem coil pack (NOT the icm)
Part numbers are
For the full custom look
MSD 8224 Coil, dual post HEI used on GM models
MSD 3311 HEI crimp ends
MSD 31199 Custom 8 cyl wire set, these have straight plug boots
For the new, much easier project
3xMSD 8224 Coil, dual post HEI used on GM models
The wires and mount are availible from James @ Fourseasontuning.com!
The MSD coil interface module #8870.
You do not NEED to use a resistor - If you decide to, you need a 1ohm ballast resistor from an auto parts store, such as summitracing, jegs, etc.
Does anyone have my ICM readings on hand? My only copy was posted on the original thread
Found this in my email.
Quote, originally posted by M511Y VR6 »
When I first wired up my jegs coils I quickly ran in to a problem. It turns out I fried my ICM and I was only running on 4 of 6 cylinders. I replaced the ICM and since then it has been all systems go. I think the problem may have come from one of my wires grounding out. I made my second coil pack mount out of plactic so it is now almost impossible for a nother grounding problem to come up. Even though it is made of plastic, the mount is still very sturdy. I wonder if this problem has happened to any one else on here.
Oh, One more thing. When I got it all fixed and running my enging would bog down as if I had a governer set at 30 miles an hour. I got a t-body CEL and thought I might need a nw t-body. Turnes out it just needed to be reset and I did this by unpluging the negative terminal for 30 minutes, turning the key as if I was starting the car, then resting the key in the on position. At that point I reconected the battery and I heard a pop coming from the T-body. Then it started recalibrating and the car has been running great ever since. I just wanted to put this info up if anyone else ran in to this problem.
Best of luck.
Quote, originally posted by onebdgti » Was just wondering if it matters wich side of the coil you put the psitive or negative?
Also what did you all find out what was causing the setup to fry coils?
So far all of the info has been grateful.
The coils are NOT side dependant, however, just to keep things together you can use + on the left and - on the right, we've also been discussing the possibility of stringing the positive sides together, so 15 to coil 1 to coil 2 to coil 3, just to keep it close to oem construction, but I have no results on that.
My personal ICM failures were due to ICM failure, once the ICM was replaced, I was good to go!
So here comes a photo DIY of assembling and installing the MSD coils in place of the OE coilpack.
What better way to start with then the materials, Wires/bracket from fourseasontuning.com, coils from summitracing.com. With the wires from fourseasontuning, you no longer need to buy a universal wire set and measure/cut/crimp on your own connectors.
As you can see, I have 3 MSD 8224 coils.
Quick continuity check on the bracket, making sure there won’t be a grounding issue.
In spirit of other DIYers, here is my home brew bracket that was originally used in the project.
Here’s my lovely engine, first step is to remove the OE wires
Sometimes, the coil end of the wires gets stuck to the coil pack. An easy way that I’ve found to remove them w/o risk of damage is to use a wrench to drive it out from the back, ensuring nothing sticks
Next, pull the wires off of the plug, using either the plastic puller, or a metal one, DO NOT PULL THE WIRE ITSELF!!!
Here is a pic with the wires removed
As you can see, this was done on the rare 80 degree day, I didn’t even bother putting shoes on… next day there’s 4 inchs of ice…
Remove the 4 6mm allen key bolts from the corners of the coil pack to remove it
So here we have the coil pack and bolts
As you can see, I have cut down some of the bolts ¾” to compensate for the eventual separation of the coil from the ICM
Pry off the plastic nut guard by prying up on the lower part, then sliding the shield up and off
And here is what you have. Remove each of the 4 nuts/washers
Next, flip the coil pack up-side-down, and remove the bottom plate via 2 Phillips screws
This allows the ICM to be removed. Note, the ICM is ONE PIECE with the bottom plate, do not try to separate it, you will destroy it.
Now remove the 6 star screws hold the coil pack to the metal spacer
And you should have the coil pack separated into 3 main components
Screw the ICM/plate back on to the metal spacer via 2 Phillips screws
Another view of the ICM w/spacer, each post is labeled on the bottom of the post with a number indicating 15 for +12v (goes to each coil), 2/5, ¾. 1/6
Here is a after shot of the ICM side of my harness. The harness is a 6 pin connector, the top row of wires I’ve spliced together into 1 single wire, alternatively you can just as easily solder 3 wires on to the 15 post. The harness is 12g wire. I have installed the 1 ohm resistor using spade connectors for easy replacement/bypass. The series goes, Wire/Male Spade/Female spade/Resistor/Male spade/female spade/wire. This way, if it blew for some reason on the road, I could just as easily pull it, and bypass the connection.
And here is a shot of the resistor
On the coil end, there are two main ways you can attach the wires. One is a small spade connector, if you get the right size, when you push it in enough, it’ll almost click itself into place. Another method is to take a small dremel bit, and widen the plastic around the connection enough to put the wire into it and solder it in place. I ave both because originally I had all three soldered, but the number of times I’ve had to replace the 1/6 coil because of an unknowingly fault ICM I switched to a spade connection. After attaching the wires, I would recommend putting some hot glue or other non conductive adheasive on it.
As you can see, green yellow and brown I’ve put on what would be the left side of the coil (they are up side down) as the +12v, it doesn’t matter which side you are using, I just wanted to keep it in order and the same for all 3.
Since my old bracket didn’t have spaces to run the wire, and my new one does, I just cut the leads and ran the wires properly. In turn I will use spade connectors to rewire them.
Here they are attached to the bracket
And some pictures of the wiring being attached
Final coil wiring result with spade connectors.
Next I labeled the coils with a small marker, 1/6, ¾, 2/5. In reality, it doesn’t matter which coils you put where, it all depends on the wiring on the ICM, but to allow the spark plug wires to be run properly, and keep things simple for myself, I mimicked the style of the coil pack. If you look on the top of a coil pack, you’ll notice the posts are labeled with the cylinder number.
I wired the green (+) wire to post 15 on the ICM, and then ran the colored (-) wires to the corresponding posts. I stripped a fair amount of wire and twisted the wires through the slots in the post, then dropped some solder on it, followed by some electrical tape.
Now it’s time to mount it. For my MKIII, I had to pull the brake booster hose, and then re run it under the bracket after the coils were screwed in. It’s a little awkward because of the weight and holding the icm/spacer at the same time, but if you get the top screw in that is closest to you, the rest are simple.
When putting the wires in, adding some dielectric grease to the insides helps prevent them from getting stuck, I put it on both sides of the wire.
Here is the first shot of the set up. *note, I did not finish running the spark plug wires, I just wanted to make sure to get it working before I went back for the details.
I like to start by clearing the ecu. I do this because the MSD coils will be able to burn the F/A mixture better, so I want the ecu to learn the new stats from the beginning. First disconnect the negative, and then the positive side of the battery
Next, make a contact between both battery cables for at least 30 seconds. This drains the remaining power and completely discharges the system.
And that’s it! Put on the positive terminal, then the negative, and turn the key to the ‘ON’ position (but not started) for a few minutes. *You can avoid the alarm going off if you ensure the hood sensor by the coolant bottle is unplugged.
Once the throttle body finishes clicking around, turn the car off, then start it and let it run for a few minutes on its own while it recompiles the fuel map. After that, start driving!
Check out what happens when you have a bad ICM
Introducing, the first version of the Coil Pack Alternative Troubleshooting guide.
This might now solve your problem completely, but it should get you on the right path.
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