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    Thread: MKIV Ignition Coil Wiring Harness Replacement ---- DIY

    1. Member swishersweets59's Avatar
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      06-13-2010 05:55 PM #1
      MKIV Ignition Coil Harness Full Replacement ---- DIY

      EDIT 3-12-2011
      For 2002 automatic transmission vehicles the following alterations will need to be made to your new harness before installation.
      • The speed sensor connector will not be used (Connector will heat-shield bag). Cut and tape back the wire where it branches out from the rest of the harness
      • Pins 2 and 3 that go to the 14-pin connector will not be used, only pin 7 on the connector will be replaced. Cut these and tape them back as you see fit.


      EDIT 10-9-2011
      For 2001 automatic transmission vehicles
      • The speed sensor connector is used and replaces the current sensor.
      • Remove male terminals from cavities 2, 3 and 7 of the 14 pin connector.
      • Insert terminals 2, 3 and 7 into cavities 2, 3 and 7 of the 14 pin connector.
      • Reinstall the 14-pin connector.


      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      I just did this modification myself and I found it very hard to find any information pertaining to how exactly to go about this process and had particular trouble with the connector pins and removing the wire terminals that were necessary to remove the old wire harness and install the new one.
      Regardless I spent a very long time trying to find info about the two separate connectors that need to be accessed and ended up being able to fabricate a small little tool for the tiny pins and bought two other wire picks to release the slightly larger ones.

      LEGAL: Please know that I am not responsible for any damages or items that you may accidently alter during this process. I am simply trying to help out those that want to do this themselves but just haven’t been able to find all the information they need to feel comfortable to do it themselves.

      Thank you and I hope this helps everyone out. Now let’s get started.


      Tools you will need:
      Coil Pack Wiring Harness Replacement (http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/Igni...arness/ES7679/)
      Phillips Screwdriver
      10mm socket wrench
      Terminal extractor picks
      ECS Tuning
      YOU WANT THIS KIT IF YOU WANT TO CUT DOWN ON YOUR INSTALL TIME AND CURSE WORDS
      (http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/ES11414/ES11414/)
      OR
      NAPA
      http://www.napaonline.com/Search/Results.aspx?Ntt=725168&Ntk=Keyword&Nty=1&N=0 (Pictured below)


      Fabricated extractor pick (Made from two small safety pins taped together)


      Magnifying glass
      Lots of electrical tape or heat resistant wrap (3M self-fusing tape has been suggested)


      Getting Started
      Before we start make sure you have your radio code if you are using an OEM radio as this will be needed after you reconnect the battery.

      Remove both engine covers using a Phillips screwdriver and pull off your battery cover as well.


      Let’s start with removing the battery. Using your 10mm socket remove both terminals from the battery and lift out of the car.

      Next let’s remove the air box, which requires a 10mm socket along with a Phillips screwdriver. Remove the two bolts holding in the air box and then loosen the clamp on the larger hose next to the MAF.



      Make sure to remove the MAF connector clip as well and put it up out of the way. At this point it just takes a little bit of maneuvering to pull the box up and out. As you remove the air box you’ll notice another hose connected to the left side. Simply pinch the connectors and move it out of the way as well.


      You’ll want to cover the MAF sensor with something so as to avoid dust and other objects from getting inside it while it is off your car. I use a latex glove fitted over the opening.


      Now it is possible to remove the battery tray that was exposed when you removed your battery. This requires the removal of four bolts using your 10mm socket.


      Now remove the vacuum air duct from the left fender by removing one 10 mm bolt with your socket.


      Now remove the engine harness cable duct by releasing the bottom two clips and two other set leading up to the rain tray. (I just used my Volkswagen key to release the tabs worked like a charm.) You can disconnect the lone connector that is exposed when you remove the cover as well.




      Now you will need to remove your wiper arms and the rain tray. I will include an attached article on how to do this from an ECU install DIY as I don’t want to take that whole thing off again. If you have any problems with it feel free to message me and I will help out as best as I can.

      http://www.scribd.com/doc/5875768/Vo...Removal-How-to

      Okay, now that you have access to all the wires you are going to need to work with this is where it can get tricky and where I myself had the most trouble.

      Begin by locating the two connectors located inside the left fender wall right next to where the battery sits. Once you have removed and disconnected these from their holder on the wall you want to grab the connector pictured below.


      You will need to first remove the cover off the back of the connecter which just requires releasing a few tabs to reveal the wires and then release the secondary locks by sliding a small screwdriver (one from an eyeglass kit works well) into the two slots on both the top and bottom of the connector pictured above.

      Once this is done you can begin the process of removing the appropriate pins that will need to be replaced. Once you find the pin you need you will either need to use the fabricated tool or the two green handled tools I had shown before.
      Here are some examples:




      Once you have inserted either tool I pressed down on the pin from the top with an allen wrench to get the pin released enough to pull the wire out from the bottom.
      This took me several tries with the smaller pins to get the safety pins set in the holes right but just be patient and take your time and you should be okay. The key is to not get frustrated.
      Once you have removed the appropriate pins it is now time to do the same with the ECU connecter which you exposed earlier. You are going to be removing the right hand side connector by pulling on the handle on its right hand side to release it from the ECU.


      Once you have the connector off the ECU there are a couple of secondary locks you must remove. The three locks are pictured below.






      Once you have the locks removed you can then pull out the two small sets of connectors to get access to the wires you need to release.


      To remove these pins just insert a safety pin to the side of the hook in the slot as shown by the arrow. There is also one larger pin that you can use the two picks to release as well.

      The smaller pin numbers are very hard to see but are labeled on each side of the white and black housings. (use your magnifying glass) You will have to count from either side as they are only labeled on the ends. Once you have all these wires out time for some more fun.

      Now to expose your old wiring harness and begin to pull it out of the engine bay.

      First remove your vacuum reservoir from the top of your valve cover. This just needs a 10 mm socket and an allen wrench (I’m not sure of the size.)




      Now begin by unclipping the four connectors from your ignition coils. You will have to decide how to get the harness out of the car. (If you want to pull from the valve cover and out or pull the connectors down under the diverter valve and out. (I did it the second way.)

      After you unclip the connectors, you will need to remove another connector from the speed sensor (manual transmission only). This is located beneath your diverter valve and will have a heat shield around the connector’s wiring.


      The tab for the connector is on the underside and I had to jack up the car and go underneath to release it.

      Now you will need to expose all of the wires leading from the harness up to the ECU. It is very important to you make sure you keep the right wires in the correct groups as you go about this as all of the wires do start together but then start diverging to their respective locations.

      I used colored zip ties to designate the different groups of wires and it worked great keeping the wires organized.


      I unplugged some other harnesses along the way to make room for the old harness removal and the insertion of the new one.

      Now that you have the wires exposed you can begin to pull the old harness out. I just started from the ECU and threaded the wires I had removed back down the cable duct and grabbed the single connector in the duct and the other pins from the first connector along the way and routed them all the way back to the original harness.

      Once you have the old harness out the install is just the opposite. Route the new wires along the same line as the old ones and once you reach the first pin connector simply find the correct slots and slide those suckers all the way in until they lock.(verify by lightly pulling on the wire to confirm it is in fact locked in.)

      Connect the single pin connector as you go up the wire duct and then slide the five pins into their corresponding slots on the ECU. Now when replacing the white and black housings into the connector make sure to orient them in the correct direction.(the connector has numbers located above and below the housing slots.) Once again your magnifying glass will come in handy for this.

      Make sure the housing are all the way in or else its secondary locking pin will not go back into the slot.
      After you have verified that all of your connections are sound you can begin using your electrical or thermal tape to reinsulated the wires you have exposed during this process. Take your time. You don’t want other wires cracking and becoming exposed because you were in too much of a hurry to finish this up.

      After this is complete simply reattach all of the connectors that you rewired and any others you unclipped to make room and begin installing all of the items you had to remove at the beginning of this DIY.
      Thanks to everyone on the Vortex. I decided it was time for me to finally take the time and give back to the forum after it has helped me so much with repairs and modifications on my own car.
      Any questions or anything I may have missed that needs clarification please let me know and I will do my best to update and/or fix ASAP.

      Oh and treat yourself to several beers after and while doing this. You'll need them. I sure did haha.
      Last edited by swishersweets59; 01-19-2012 at 02:58 PM. Reason: DIY Update

    2. 06-13-2010 11:27 PM #2
      good info here..thanks

    3. Member Henni's Avatar
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      06-14-2010 09:31 PM #3
      very nice!

    4. Member swishersweets59's Avatar
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      06-14-2010 10:39 PM #4
      hope it helps out. let me know if you have any questions when you do yours.

    5. Member climacticmax's Avatar
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      06-15-2010 03:55 AM #5
      if only you had put this up like 4 days ago.

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      06-15-2010 06:32 AM #6
      Top stuff there mate
      1.8T nutter and UNITRONIC dealer
      5857 2.0L Ibiza CUPRA (6L) with some flavour
      Piping by FORGE, Hardware by CTS, Tuning by UNITRONIC

    7. Member s00p3rgl33ch's Avatar
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      06-24-2010 10:49 PM #7
      Great DIY bro. Wish i had read this when i did this job on my Golf.

    8. Member Andaloons's Avatar
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      06-24-2010 11:55 PM #8
      Well done!

    9. Member swishersweets59's Avatar
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      07-01-2010 09:17 PM #9
      can you recommend your own DIY for the MKIV FAQs? haha

    10. Member Henni's Avatar
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      07-02-2010 10:39 AM #10
      I will be doing this tomorrow.

    11. Member swishersweets59's Avatar
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      07-02-2010 11:39 AM #11
      Alright cool. Let me know if you have any trouble with the install. I should be around and online periodically.

    12. 07-02-2010 11:55 AM #12
      Nice write up! That looks like a complete PITA.

    13. Member swishersweets59's Avatar
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      07-02-2010 01:35 PM #13
      Oh I assure you it was!

    14. Member Henni's Avatar
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      07-04-2010 10:23 AM #14


      Great write up. It really wasn't that bad. Just VERY time consuming.

      The wiring that I pulled out had tons of breaks in the insulation all along the wires. From reading up this is a major problem w/ our 1.8T's. FU VW for not having this as a recall. Fixing the coil packs everytime won't fix this problem.....

      The main trouble I had was extracting the pins in the connectors. I found that taking a paper clip and hammering the ends down until they were very very thin, then grinding the width to fit the holes in the plugs helped greatly. (I need to buy some terminal picks...)

      I don't know about anyone else but my wiring that I bought had each of the wires numbered. If I had to eyeball it and line up the correct colors that would have taken a bit longer.

      The info really helped me to get the pins out and how to pull everything apart.

      If I had the pin extractors correct the first time around it would have not taken as long.

      This job really isn't too bad at all outside of extracting the pins in the connectors.

      The car runs a lot better. 100% difference.

      I highly suggest doing this. My 01' 1.8T 4dr GLS thanks you!!!


      Thanks again for the write up!!

    15. Member swishersweets59's Avatar
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      07-04-2010 01:27 PM #15
      Yeah the pins were the most time consuming part. I had the most trouble with the smaller pins which took me quite some time. I'd say it is very much part art part science with pin connectors.

      I'm very happy you where able to do it without any other troubles. I can definitely agree with the immediate change in performance. Our cars just plain appreciate the new harness.

      Good looking out and here you should have a beer too.

    16. Member BRES's Avatar
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      07-04-2010 06:15 PM #16
      very useful thread,
      thank you

    17. Member gtimitch's Avatar
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      07-04-2010 09:31 PM #17
      One of the best DIY threads on this topic I've seen. Great gob documenting and illustrating the steps. This should be a sticky -- but I don't think we have moderators on this forum anymore so I wouldn't know who to make the request to.

    18. Member Henni's Avatar
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      07-06-2010 02:08 PM #18
      Now what I did when I did my harness was remove the box w/ the two relays and stored them in the "water fall". The black box that is next to the "water fall" is what I have removed. (I will get pics later today when I have time.) This will make more room and clean up the engine bay a bit more also.

      It is pretty easy to do.

    19. Member swishersweets59's Avatar
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      07-06-2010 03:22 PM #19
      Sweet. Post them suckers.

    20. Member Henni's Avatar
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      07-06-2010 05:35 PM #20
      I will. I will post some pics of my old harness also.

      I am so damn stoked on how much more responsive my car is now.

      Good stuff!!

    21. Member Henni's Avatar
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      07-06-2010 11:14 PM #21
      Alright. This is what I did. (Sorry if this is a bad write up, I have had a long day)

      I got rid of the relay box next to the "waterfall".

      This:



      Split apart:



      What you need to do is remove the top of the relay box. What you will find on the inside are two relays. I am a fan of not destroying what I am removing, just in case I want to be able to put it back. On the side of the relay box (where the wires come through to the relays) there is a rubber piece that will slide out. Remove that w/ the relay tray. Once the relay tray is out, look on the sides of each relay. There are two tabs. I removed one relay at a time so I wouldn't mix them up.
      Once you remove one of the relays split the tabs on the side of the plug and it will fall out.

      In this pic my fingers are pointing to each tab.



      Open them up and the plug drops out. Do this to each. What I did was put some grease on the connections and then wrap up each relay w/ electrical tape. Putting grease on the connections will help against any water or condensation on the contacts.

      It should look like this:



      I took an x-acto knife to the rubber piece w/ the wires going through it inorder to be able to slide it down the wires. Be careful when doing this due to the wires underneath.



      Slide the rubber piece back a bit along the wires. Now you are ready to put the relays in the "waterfall".





      From here on out all you have to do is figure out how to place them inside the "waterfall" so the top cover snaps shut.

      This is how mine looked when I was fitting them in.






      and the end product.





      Sorry for such a crappy write up. I hope it helps out.
      Last edited by Henni; 07-06-2010 at 11:21 PM.

    22. Member Henni's Avatar
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      07-06-2010 11:34 PM #22
      I hope my post helped out. To anyone who does this good luck. It is 100% worth it.
      Last edited by Henni; 07-06-2010 at 11:38 PM.

    23. Member swishersweets59's Avatar
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      07-07-2010 12:06 AM #23
      Not bad at all. Thanks for adding. I might do this too. Certainly would free up some space even if it is only a little. Every bit helps.

    24. Moderator the brit's Avatar
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      08-16-2010 11:33 AM #24
      Just did this, great how-to thanks!

      What a mess the old wires were where they crossed the valve cover, and what a difference fixing them made!
      | œ Orchid Euro Importation œ |

      Currently driving or working on too many cars...
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    25. Moderator the brit's Avatar
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      08-16-2010 08:25 PM #25
      Added to the mk4 FAQs.
      | œ Orchid Euro Importation œ |

      Currently driving or working on too many cars...
      | '93 Fox 16v - PVW | '99 Greenland Polo Diesel | '89 Rallye Golf | '83 Golf GTi RHD | '75 Swallowtail |
      | '82 Caddy 1.9D | '85 VW LT Car Transporter | Mk2 Jetta Limo | '90 Jetta 8V | '96 VW LT35D | '03 SpintLT35 | '02 GTI 337 | '03 GTI 20v |
      | '09 Aprilia RS125 | '81 Kawasaki AR80 | '59 NSU Quickly | '64 Honda Cub C65 + '65 C105 | Trek Madone 7.9 | Trek Crockett 9 |

    26. 10-25-2010 02:02 AM #26
      I decided to rewire my coilpack harness and everything went smoothly and i got all the connectors in the right spot and under the right number and my car starts and runs smoothly but the when i push the gas nothing happens and i cant seem to figure out where i went wrong. Please help!

    27. Member
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      10-25-2010 06:51 AM #27
      Just curious, as to why you would want to replace this harness?

    28. Member Henni's Avatar
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      10-25-2010 09:44 AM #28
      The ground wire becomes brittle over time. The insulation becomes cracked. It will cause random miss fires. Take a look at some of the pictures you will see the broken and cracked wire.

      After I replaced mine it made a 100% difference. For now VW's answer is to replace just the coil packs, it won't solve the random miss fire problems. However there is a TSB on the coil wiring harness.

    29. 10-25-2010 01:15 PM #29
      So you dont have any info or suggestion for me for my question?

    30. 10-25-2010 01:16 PM #30
      oh and the epc light came on after i did this also

    31. n00b pmaseVW's Avatar
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      10-27-2010 11:23 AM #31
      First off, thanks for putting together this DIY. It was without a doubt helpful in my efforts. However, I have a word of caution for all of those thinking of undergoing this replacement;

      Get the Schwaben toolset (http://www.ecstuning.com/Volkswagen-...ronic/ES11414/) for removing the terminal pins from the connector housings. It will make your life much easier.

      Without it I would suggest throwing yourself down a flight of stairs first before trying to use the "saftey pin" method. Chances are you'll end up breaking things like I did. As a result of my attempts I'm now buying a new connector housing, new terminals, and soldering them. Chances are you'll end up breaking things like I did.

    32. n00b pmaseVW's Avatar
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      10-27-2010 11:30 AM #32
      Oh, and if anyone should need the 14-pin male connector



      the part number is : 1J0973837

    33. Member swishersweets59's Avatar
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      10-27-2010 01:08 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by hidalgo13 View Post
      I decided to rewire my coilpack harness and everything went smoothly and i got all the connectors in the right spot and under the right number and my car starts and runs smoothly but the when i push the gas nothing happens and i cant seem to figure out where i went wrong. Please help!
      so the car will turn on but when the gas pedal doesnt open the throttle at all? Sorry for the late response been really busy this semester.

    34. Member swishersweets59's Avatar
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      10-27-2010 01:11 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by pmaseVW View Post
      First off, thanks for putting together this DIY. It was without a doubt helpful in my efforts. However, I have a word of caution for all of those thinking of undergoing this replacement;

      Get the Schwaben toolset (http://www.ecstuning.com/Volkswagen-...ronic/ES11414/) for removing the terminal pins from the connector housings. It will make your life much easier.

      Without it I would suggest throwing yourself down a flight of stairs first before trying to use the "saftey pin" method. Chances are you'll end up breaking things like I did. As a result of my attempts I'm now buying a new connector housing, new terminals, and soldering them. Chances are you'll end up breaking things like I did.
      I am very sorry to here that you had such trouble. The only thing I can say is yes either invest in the kit or be very very patient in your removal of the pins. It seriously took me a couple hours of tinkering with the three pins needed on the 14-pin connector. I just worked very slowly and tried not to get too frustrated. Again I am very sorry to hear you had so much trouble.

    35. Member Henni's Avatar
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      10-27-2010 02:09 PM #35
      At the time ECS was out of that schwaben set. I really wish I did have it. It took me some time to pull the pins. and yes w/o those tools it is a PITA. Just takes patience.

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