The following is a DIY for swapping your DSG or Tiptronic shift knob, boot, & center plate with an OEM base and manual shift knob of your choice. The first part of these instructions are also applicable for shift knob removal projects such as the euro cup holder or A3/TT knob swap.
Variations also include just changing to an aftermarket manual knob and keeping the PRNDS plate, or to simply to swap the boot and keeping your big shiny button. To each their own, go big or go home.
If you decide to change to an alternate auto-knob it is important to note that if your shift button is on the SIDE, you must replace it with a OEM knob with a same-side button. If you’re shift button is on the FRONT, you must replace it with a OEM knob with a front-facing button.
FAQ for the haters:
This is dumb. Why didn’t you just get a manual?
This is a family car. My wife does not drive stick and I’m rarely sober enough to get behind the wheel.
OEM Shift plate
Full body Shift Boot
SPP Tip Mod
Shift knob of your choice
Trim removal tool
1.5mm Allen key
Dremel (if applicable)
1. Start by pulling off the knob’s chrome cap.
2. Pull the interior plastic piece outward until you hear it unlock (there will be an audible click)
3.Pry up the shift plate with a trim removal tool (a credit card or tapered popsicle stick will work just fine)
4. Lift the entire assembly towards the dash. Deep on the left side you will see the lighting harness. Push in the small tab and disconnect.
5. There is an open black plastic cylinder that surrounds the shaft. Pull it upwards about a .25 inch until it unlocks (you will feel/hear the click).
6. The entire assembly is no ready for removal. Clench your teeth and pull the knob upwards. You will need to apply a significant amount of force to remove it. Place aside and entertain yourself with a phallic joke by making a stupid face and saying something juvenile like “Limp Shift”.
7. Prep the shift plate & boot. I used the Edition 30 assembly to match the red stitching on my ebrake and steering wheel, but any MKV OEM plate will work.
This picture shows the Tiptronic and Manual plates side-by-side. As you can see, the 6 tabs line up perfectly but you’ll need to get rid of some interference. Remove the plastic areas marked in red using a Dremel.
9. Prep the Knob. Look at that work of art. It’s like an Italian supermodel laying naked in a bed of red suede. Grease it up and make sweet love to it.
If you go MOMO like I did, you’ll most likely have to alter both the knob’s cavity TipMod itself. Here’s how:
File down the TipMod so it tapers toward the top... (note: it's upside down in this pic)
...while at the same time widening the far end in the shift knob’s cavity...
Go slow, check the fit often, and repeat until it slides completely inside. Once it’s in, you’ll also see I drilled a single hole for one of the Momo Knob’s screws to clasp.
10. Back to the interior. Cap the end of light harness using electrical tape and tuck it away.
11. Pop the plate into place. If it doesn’t fit with ease you may need to remove more of the inside plastic towards the bottom.
12. Cover the shaft with white lithium grease for a nice smooth component. Slide on the Tip Mod knob on tighten.There are also some helpful tips found here for optimizing the fit of the Tip mod.
13.You’re done. You can now play mind games with valets and the VW service department.
After the swap you will initially rely on the instrument cluster to verify what the hell you’re doing. However, after a day or two of driving your instinct takes over will stop looking altogether since the shaft placements feel as natural as a manual.
Everything matches now. It just looks faster doesn’t it?
Modified by resnone1 at 9:33 PM 12-26-2008