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    Thread: Another MKII Cluster into a Cabriolet Thread

    1. Member
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      02-10-2009 01:30 AM #1
      The original title that I came up with for this thread was "you don't want to do this but if you insist, here's how I did it". Seemed too long a title but it was a pain in the behind so be advised.

      Beside what is covered in this thread, be prepared for something(s) to not work. Here's a thread pleading for help for problems that took days to solve http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=4238386
      First issue is that the two clusters,while similar, are not the same. The lower locating pins sit farther back on the MKII cluster, the upper tabs are at a different angle, the MKII is taller and the Cabby cluster is wider.

      First(actually first you need to pull everything off of your dash to get the old cluster out) I tried just seting the new cluster in place which has been discussed in other threads. Even before you can try that part of the left side of the steering column support must be cut away.

      I used a Dremmel with a cut off wheel to do this and a grinding stone to smooth the sharp edges.
      Since the wiring shows in this picture, this is a good time to discuss it. The Cabby has a single main plug and a smaller plug with a single wire. Both plugs can be pried open with a small screwdriver. With them opened you can remove the wires without damaging the connectors. The MKII CE1 cluster has two plugs, one white and one black. The individual wire connectors are held into the plug with little barbs that are punched into the connector body. If you push the barb flat with the connector body you can pull the connector out of the plug. This is a different connector but it shows the same style barb:

      If you bend the barb back out you can push the connector back into the plug and it will hold in place. You won't have to do much of this as the MKII plugs come wired just the way you need with one exception. The Yellow wire and the blue/black need to be swapped. They are back to back on the black plug. The Cabriolet(mine's an 87) color code is the same(except the above) as a Scirocco or German MKII. US and Mexican made use a differnt color code so you have to rely on the positions of the wires in the plugs as described in the VW current flow diagrams. I had a German cluster so the colors matched up. If I had a US or other, I would use the Scirocco current flow to find the wire positions. I didn't want to cut my Cabby harness so I needed MKII plugs with 3-5" of wire pigtails. I soldered a female "bullet connector" to each wire of the MKII plug. The removed connectors from the Cabby plug will fit snugly into the bullet connectors. If you have the easy set-up, just plug them color to color, otherwise use the Bentley. I secured the plug together connections by covering each with heat shrink tubing. You can see the finished product in the above picture.
      I didn't like the idea of letting the cluster just sit in place so first I tried attaching little tabs to the corner screws which hold the back of the cluster onto the body. Then I zip-tied the tabs to the Cabriolet cluster supports. This sort of worked but it was hard to know how much to snug up the ties with the bezel off. Finally, I decided to see if I could modify the Cabby support brackets to hold the MKII cluster. Those brackets are held to the back side of the dash with three screws each.
      What I did was start with a hard file folder. Starting with the Cabby cluster, I traced a circle on the folder the size of the lower pin and cut out the hole. Stuck the pin in the hole, traced the upper mount and cut it out. Finally stuck both parts through the holes and traced the front border of the case.


      Then you do the same with the MKII cluster. Cut out the MKII cluster diagram.
      Take the support bracket and trace it's position on the Cabriolet diagram.

      Lay the cut out MKII diagram over the Cabby's and align the tops and fronts. Trace the MKII support positions on the Cabby diagram.


      Cut out the lower MKII hole position in the Cabby diagram, trace the MKII hole onto the Cabby bracket and cut out the hole.

      I marked the hole center, drilled progressively larger holes and finished it with a dremel stone.
      To get the upper attaching point to line up better, you need to bevel the back side of the MKII tabs with a dremel cut-off wheel.

      you also need to turn the holes in the tabs into slots the allow for the narrower MKII cluster. In addition I had to grind off the lower left hand front corner of the MKII cluster for clearance to the center attaching point of the left support bracket. Also, if you look back to the picture without a cluster, you'll see where I trimmed that center attaching point for clearance. You'll have to fine tune this yourself. The more clearance you provide, the more you can center the cluster in the Cabby bezel.
      One last thing that I forgot to mention is that you need to cut off the top center attaching point frrom the MKII case with a dremel for clearance to the dash.

      Modified by suburbangeorge at 10:39 PM 2-9-2009

      Modified by suburbangeorge at 11:12 PM 2-9-2009

      Modified by suburbangeorge at 11:28 PM 2-9-2009

      Modified by suburbangeorge at 11:55 PM 2-9-2009

      Modified by suburbangeorge at 11:58 PM 2-9-2009

      Modified by suburbangeorge at 12:16 AM 2-10-2009

      Modified by suburbangeorge at 12:21 AM 2-10-2009

      Modified by suburbangeorge at 12:25 AM 2-10-2009

      Modified by suburbangeorge at 12:33 AM 2-10-2009

      Modified by suburbangeorge at 12:45 AM 2-10-2009

      Modified by suburbangeorge at 12:47 AM 2-10-2009

      Modified by suburbangeorge at 12:48 AM 2-10-2009

      Modified by suburbangeorge at 12:55 AM 2-10-2009


      Modified by suburbangeorge at 12:59 AM 2-10-2009
      Last edited by suburbangeorge; 12-29-2012 at 09:40 PM.
      Classified forum rules require that you post a price. If you don't know what to ask, they suggest that you search past FS threads.

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    2. Member briano1234's Avatar
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      02-10-2009 04:24 AM #2
      Looks professionally installed..... nice job sire.

    3. Member Moljinar's Avatar
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      02-10-2009 08:19 AM #3
      Nicely Done!

    4. Member dandydanny's Avatar
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      02-10-2009 02:20 PM #4
      Awesome! I've always wondered what are the minute differences between the MK1 and MK2 clusters. I spot some MFA action as well [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

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      02-10-2009 02:33 PM #5
      MFA doesn't work yet. May be the stalk. Will find another and try it.
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    6. Member Moljinar's Avatar
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      02-10-2009 03:09 PM #6
      You don't need to use the stalk. It's simply two buttons to run thru all the functions, a 3rd button to switch modes.

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      02-10-2009 03:22 PM #7
      I saw that you did that in your thread. Was there a reason? I have half a dozen Pick n Pulls nearby so I know I can find a working one easily and I've already wired the stalk to the cluster plugs.
      Classified forum rules require that you post a price. If you don't know what to ask, they suggest that you search past FS threads.

      So, when your item sells, please don't edit out your price and description when you mark it "SOLD". Rather, edit to show selling price.

    8. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      02-10-2009 04:18 PM #8
      Quote, originally posted by suburbangeorge »
      I saw that you did that in your thread. Was there a reason? I have half a dozen Pick n Pulls nearby so I know I can find a working one easily and I've already wired the stalk to the cluster plugs.

      From another swap thread, don't know that it'll be much help:
      Quote, originally posted by 83Caddy16v »
      I have the full Scirocco 16v harness & fuse block installed in my car. This mod will be easiest if you have an A2 or Scirocco II harness installed in your Rabbit. This may also work on Cabriolets with little modification. But I think that the mod can still be performed on a stock Rabbit harness.
      It looks like there are 13-14 wires going to the two plugs in the cluster. If you can match up those wires properly and integrate the A2/S2 cluster into your Rabbit, then adding the MFA is simply adding 3 wires from the stalk, a 4th from the oil temp gauge and a 5th wire to the air temp sensor out near the bumper and a ground.
      The scirocco plugs are setup for an MFI. The slots are blank. With a few connectors and some wire we fill those slots. The information is already running through the cluster, the MFA stalk just lets you toggle and view that information.

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    9. Member Moljinar's Avatar
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      02-10-2009 04:28 PM #9
      I simply didn't want to screw around with swapping stalks which are rare around here any way. And with empty slots in the dash by the switches it was a natural.

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      02-10-2009 05:00 PM #10
      Quote, originally posted by kamzcab86 »
      From another swap thread, don't know that it'll be much help:

      That thread http://forums.vwvortex.com/zer...95039 was my original inspiration.
      Classified forum rules require that you post a price. If you don't know what to ask, they suggest that you search past FS threads.

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    11. 02-13-2009 01:48 AM #11
      [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

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      09-07-2010 02:17 AM #12
      Had to dig this up to forward to someone else and I figured someone else might be working at this swap.
      Classified forum rules require that you post a price. If you don't know what to ask, they suggest that you search past FS threads.

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    13. Member Moljinar's Avatar
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      09-07-2010 10:38 AM #13
      I actually went back and redid my install to modify the supports in the same manner. Not only made the cluster sit better but increased the room at the top so I could've used the original light bar at the top of the cluster.

    14. Member danderso's Avatar
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      08-19-2011 05:26 AM #14
      What about the Speedo cable which one did you use?

    15. Junior Member MFND's Avatar
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      08-19-2011 10:14 AM #15
      Thanks for this. I am about to do this with a Scirocco II cluster into an '83 Cabby. They are much more similar dimensionally, except for the mounting points. The plugs are identical, but on opposite sides of the cluster. This is good motivation.

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      08-20-2011 01:36 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by danderso View Post
      What about the Speedo cable which one did you use?
      Don't know when VW went from the "screw on" spedo connection to the "clip on". Both the new and original clusters used "clip on" in my case so it snapped right on. If your car has a counter box up near the firewall, you'll need a cable designed for the box which has the correct attachment for your speedo.
      Classified forum rules require that you post a price. If you don't know what to ask, they suggest that you search past FS threads.

      So, when your item sells, please don't edit out your price and description when you mark it "SOLD". Rather, edit to show selling price.

    17. Member
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      08-20-2011 01:41 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by MFND View Post
      Thanks for this. I am about to do this with a Scirocco II cluster into an '83 Cabby. They are much more similar dimensionally, except for the mounting points. The plugs are identical, but on opposite sides of the cluster. This is good motivation.
      Think that the '83 Cabby and the '87 Cabby used the exact same cluster. My new cluster may well have come from a Scirocco. I can't remember. Scirocco 2 and MKII Golf/Jetta used the exact same case for their clusters. I think that your install will be just like mine.
      Classified forum rules require that you post a price. If you don't know what to ask, they suggest that you search past FS threads.

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    18. Member cabrio2.0's Avatar
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      12-10-2012 02:56 AM #18
      finally able to get pics in, thanks for the write-up.





      thanks again, now to finish some more work, and button up the dash.

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      10-09-2014 04:43 PM #19
      Here's the tool that I used for wire connectors:

      Classified forum rules require that you post a price. If you don't know what to ask, they suggest that you search past FS threads.

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    20. Member deepgrooves74's Avatar
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      10-16-2014 01:07 PM #20
      Bump
      Someday I will drive this... Always something else to fix or upgrade!

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      11-20-2016 01:36 AM #21
      Been having problems with the H2O temp gauge. Had to pull the whole mess to check continuity on the wire from the cluster to the temperature sensor(last week). Wire was good. Gauge worked once initially then not. Today I pulled everything again and swapped cluster. Temp gauge now works but car is running hot. All of a sudden notice cooling fan not operating. Will find out what's up with that tomorrow if it doesn't pour. Point of this post is that once you're used to it, you can reassemble in about 20 min.
      Classified forum rules require that you post a price. If you don't know what to ask, they suggest that you search past FS threads.

      So, when your item sells, please don't edit out your price and description when you mark it "SOLD". Rather, edit to show selling price.

    22. Member briano1234's Avatar
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      11-20-2016 10:14 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by suburbangeorge View Post
      Been having problems with the H2O temp gauge. Had to pull the whole mess to check continuity on the wire from the cluster to the temperature sensor(last week). Wire was good. Gauge worked once initially then not. Today I pulled everything again and swapped cluster. Temp gauge now works but car is running hot. All of a sudden notice cooling fan not operating. Will find out what's up with that tomorrow if it doesn't pour. Point of this post is that once you're used to it, you can reassemble in about 20 min.
      Check the Faq's there is a post in there page 3 / 75 on how to diagnose and repair a flaky water gauge, seems they get cold solder joints on the wires that feed the meter.

      Fan not coming on is usually one of the Sensors, the biggie is the Radiator Fan Switch.

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