I just bought a Mk3.5 Cabrio, and I love it! I had a few questions regarding it's overhaul for my ownership
This is going to be a fun adventure, it's certainly a departure from my "old" Mk2
Here's my Jetta...
And the new addition (sorry, it's in pieces now, this was the first fillup)...
I was wondering if they ever had a 2.0l cluster with MFA. I'm really interested in getting MFA in my car, I have a 3.5 cluster now but I'm not afraid to swap parts around to get it to work, that's easy. I just need a 4 cyl cluster with MFA for accurate MPG etc, if they ever made one.
I was also wondering if anyone had access to Euro wiring diagrams... specifically, I am a details guy and it just BUGS me that the ABS light is all the way over in it's own place, when my cluster has a perfectly good ABS light going unused. I am not afraid to wire it, I just want to see the OEM way they do it (I assume it's from Europe because I don't recall ever seeing a US Mk3 with the ABS light in cluster?).
Also, I know this is a Cabby-specific question (I already asked over there), but power folding mirrors... my rear window switch has a power folding mirror icon in the center button (where the lockout would normally go). This seems to be a 3.5 thing as it lights up red, and apparently all Mk3 cabbys got a useless lockout button (every other 3.5 I've seen has a non-pushable blank). Anyone know of any sources, or ANY info at all, on power folding mirrors?
Other mod plans are to get rid of the DRLs, switch the always-on mirror heaters to the defroster power, maybe joey mod the headlights (if I'm feeling adventurous), maybe black rub strips... what do people use to paint those?
Last edited by VDub2625; 03-10-2012 at 06:19 PM.
There are no 2.0's with MFA, so you are pretty much screwed there.
US mk3's have an ABS light in the cluster (borrowed from DJR's site)
Not sure what your trying to accomplish though? Do you have an ABS light next to the headlight switch and want to get rid of it and just have the cluster one?
I've also never seen that power folding mirrors button before...unless i've just been oblivious to it. I'll check my cousins mk3.5 cabby tomorrow I wonder if it's there.
Getting rid of the DRL's is easy. Take out the headlight switch, unplug the harness, and cover the biggest pin (labeled TFL) on the switch with electrical tape and plug it back it. BOOM, no more DRL's.
As far as the painting stuff goes, most people go with truck bed liner spray, as it gives a 'textured' look to it. Personally I think it's ugly especially on a 3.5. I say get yourself a Bentley manual and take care of everything maintenance related first, then worry about mods.
Sucks about the MFA stupid decontenting with GTIs and crap. They started that with the later mk2s, I should have known. I wonder if the ABA ECU has a mpg feed out, since it's motronic like the VR6... Then, potentially, I could use a VR6 MFA maybe.
I really like that pic, very helpful. I was going to ask what different icon strips there were. Those are the only choices in the USA right? How about abroad? (I know about the ecomatic, but that's not really easily obtainable lol).
Yes, I want to use the abs light in the cluster instead of the side area. I know which wire to use, I just wanted to see OEM cars with that light in use (never seem in in the USA, so I assumed it was European, which is why I wanted euro wiring diagrams). I have all the Mk3.5 wiring diagrams, it's not in there, or any other Mk3 diagrams in the USA I can see.
I have looked at the wiring, there seems to be a drl relay I can remove, might be specific too Mk3.5. There also is a relay to keep the low beam on with the high (since it's a Mk4 headlight).
You may be right, I haven't decided yet on painting, especially on silver.But the po cut the side marker bulb holders out, and the front rub strip had holes, so I could fill them and paint myself easily. Not sure, I'll save that decision for later. But thanks for the bedliner idea.
Last edited by VDub2625; 02-27-2012 at 02:59 AM.
Don't get your hopes up for any MK3 folding mirrors. The Owners manual for our 3.5 Cabrio shows a picture of the folding mirror button and next to it, it says " this button does nothing" . (early 99 build date)
Haha, mine is a 99 too, no side repeaters. I have the owner's manual but when i browsed quickly (the overall dash shot), it didn't show the icon. I didn't look at the power window section.
They made this button for something, somewhere... maybe they PLANNED to give it power folders but never finished beyond designing the button?
I took the bumper off the other day and it did suffer a hit on the front. The front bumper was ziptied on, and this was underneath:
The only damage seems to have been the cover (which was replaced), and a few bits of metal that were bent (but nothing structural), the bumper rebar has never even been off (paint marks are clean). So maybe it was a parking barrier or something low.
Have i mentioned this is on the back window?
Haven't decided if it's staying :p
Had a good day today! GAP came and I replaced the ****ty auto adjust clutch cable with a manual one. I was afraid that maybe it actually WAS the clutch, and got nervous because it "felt" the same sitting in the driveway. But then right as I drove to work, I felt the clutch on the floor. Now to adjust it it's not riding the pp and throwout anymore, and the clutch feels almost new!
Also went to the junkyard yesterday and picked up these:
No good shape boots where I went I was against the contrast at first, but the door handles I'm used to now and I really like it. The switches were so easy to just drop the Mk3.5 lighting into, so anyone looking for red, and can't find the right color 3.5 switches, it's easy to change your own. On a side note, tan door handles and green lit window switches and tan console for sale
I already changed the carpet behind the back seat rest to black (OEM, the rear shelf carpet is black but as you can see in the back window pic above, the seat is tan. I replaced that with all black so the only tan is the leather). Now I'm debating black speaker pockets, and kick panels... I lucked out because this car's interior is tan but has a black headliner (black for black, tan for tan, from the factory). I think I'm going to take the hint and go full two-tone with OEM parts, I'm just debating how to do it. I actually got some receipts with the car, and the top was replaced at 685 miles, under warranty, because of "a 1-inch tear close to the bottom of the C pillar", lol, so I think that's when it got it.
I also changed some more wiring. Now, the fogs can stay on with the highs (it was an almost-stupid 2 second mod, move the fog light power wire and relay to the fuse box, and remove the original fog relay socket and fuse from above the block). I also moved the DRL wire from the headlight low beam to the fog. So now it's like a new car, with a sort of dedicated light for DRL. I might even, in the future, disable the OEM fogs entirely, and get some for the bumper grilles, using the OEM fogs exclusively as DRL (with a low power bulb and cut out reflector). Can decide that when I do the joey mod, if I go THAT way too
Also at the junkyard i picked up an MFA stalk and wiring to the fuse box. I already modified the cluster harness to accept MFA (as well as to utilize all the warning lights). I tried wiring the ABS light to the ABS warning light wire (Yellow/Red), and the light just remains grounded constantly I would put the ignition on, and both ABS lights would light, and the one to the left turns out and the one wired directly to the wire does not. Any ideas maybe?
Last edited by VDub2625; 03-07-2012 at 11:04 PM.
Any ideas on how to get the airbag out? THe service program says it's held in with clips but i can't see them, the holes look like they house metal bolt heads but they don't fit any hex socket I have.
The airbag is held in by one clip on each side. They're incredibly annoying, stupid mk4 design. You would have to insert a small flat screwdriver into the hole and move the spring-loaded clip/tab whatever you want to call it. If you turn the wheel to the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions, you might be able to stick your head beneath/behind the wheel and see the clips. Move the clips inwards towards the center of the wheel hub while pulling gently on the airbag and it should pop off.
Last weekend I was wrestling with the same thing. One side popped right off, the other side took an hour. The standard mk3 hex key was so much easier.
Talk to Jamie (the brit), he probably has European wiring diagrams for the cars if anyone does (on this side of the pond, at least).
...and get stubby mirrors (via Jamie as well) from a 2001 Polo, they'll adapt directly to your bases and you can have MK 3.5 Stubby mirrors for a fraction of what they cost new (or even used on here). I did a DIY if you are interested, it's in the MK III forum somewhere, just search for my username...
I'll see if Jaime has anything, and maybe I'll grab some parts off of him he actually hosts my website in my signature, A2Resource (shameless plug!).
The ABS light is going to be more of a project than I anticipated... maybe it's from a Polo or SEAT or something, because, at least with my ABS controller, it seems the warning light line gets 12v initially with key on, then switches to ground (which makes the cluster light come on since it's ground-switched). Just like I can't really use the rear fog indicator because all mk3 rear fog headlight switches have the indicator built in (though, maybe I can mod mine for a second click stop, and wire that warning light up...). If I swap to plus I'm definitely getting GLX brake pads to use that wear indicator too A look at some Polo diagrams should help.
Good info on the stubbys, but I'm fine with my large mirrors. This car has the worst rear visibility of anything I've driven. I can barely see with how big the mirrors are already!
I realized after the pic above that the hood was crooked. I'm not sure why. I brought the passenger side down a smidge and it's all lined up now. It's weird to see factory paint marks on every nut and bolt because they haven't been touched before. I'm not used to that
I attempted to swap the tail lights to the European layout as that will be important for the rear fog mod later (US driver side is tail-tail-brake, Euro is brake-tail-rear fog), it seemed a lot easier to do than my Mk2. Turns out the tail light housing actually won't allow a 21w bulb to fit in the outer position, so I'll have to dremel the opening a tad bit bigger.
I also have this odd marbles-in-the-transmission noise when I hit 3500 in second, and only in that scenario. I'm going to try a fluid change to see if that clears it up, if not, I have a fresh rebuilt 020 in the Mk2. Gotta put that $ to good use!
I thought maybe it was from the accident (the grille not lining up as it's clipped to the bumper), but the bumper cover was replaced, and the rebar and rad support were untouched. I just loosened the passenger hood bolts, and slid it forward about 1/8". The hood-fender lines are now perfect. Make sure to keep the height in the same place, or it'll be higher or lower than the fender at the A pillar.
Oh, I'm looking into plus suspension swaps, just because. Are there any differences between a VR6 and ABA subframe? To get plus with the bigger brakes, all I'll need is rear axle (complete), front control arms, knuckles, brakes, axles, and tie rod ends?
So i found out today that I have no rear sway bar, which i guess is good for a softer chassis anyway (body roll is ok because it is preferable to chassis flex, haha). I also found out that 3.5s came stock with Mk4 rear aluminum calipers. Score, one less upgrade I have to do! I am going to look into Mk4 rear stub axles, as I like the beefier wheel bearing design, so that could be a junkyard score.
I'm thinking i can find a decent 96+ GLX in the junkyard, and pick up the control arms/spindles/axles all as one unit, and get the 11.3" brake upgrade. But, I have noticed VR6s only came with ZF steering racks, 4 cylinder only with TRW. What kind of issues am I going to run into, tie rod-wise? It seems they are exclusive to the type of rack, but I would imagine VR6 ones are longer? Or are they not?
Last edited by VDub2625; 03-10-2012 at 01:01 PM.
Wouldn't be complete without this:
haha it's nothing serious though, I washed the engine and it misfired like a mother****er on my ride to dry it off. it actually lasted about 5 minutes before the CEL came on. I assume it just needs to re-set readiness now. I've not driven 100 miles yet.
Speaking of the engine...
All nice and shiny I've never had the pleasure of working on such an untouched VW before. I believe it has the original spark plugs and wires. All the white on the VC is actually the factory oil protectant. The vc is clean and shiny underneath. It's on the airbox and plug wires (must be original) and everything else too. The gas pedal adjuster was still painted down, as are the brake hoses (meaning they were sealed at the factory and are still all original). The belts haven't even been done. Time for a service!
I took the opportunity to (like I do with all my new cars) pop everything off and have a look-see. The fender liners had sand, leaves etc caked 2" deep behind them, luckily there was minimal damage 9driver side is fine, pass. side has some rust forming at the bottom of the fender, but I can pop it off and touch that up with some POR-15, like I plan on doing with any rust spots I find).
Awwwwwwwwww yeahhhhhhhhhhh. The wheel wells still shine like new after a simple wipe with a sponge.
I did find out that the car likely suffered at least 2 different front end hits, one which caused the fenders to be replaced (the bumper must have scratched/dented the fronts of the fenders, because the hood is original). You could never tell from outside though. Where they meet up with the door frame, has no coating inside. I actually kinda prefer it like that, I may take them off and POR-15 in the crevices where you can't see.
Last edited by VDub2625; 03-15-2012 at 09:41 AM.
Have you replaced the timing belt and tensioner yet?
The 3.5s have a hydralic tensioner that are known to fail.
When we bought ours (100000 miles) the tensioner was so bad I was able to take the belt off by hand without releasing the tensioner at all.
When you get around to the timing belt replacment go with the older style cam tensioner.
So... much... sand... I had fistfuls of sand and leaves behind the front wheel liners, and tons trapped around the gas tank. Seems like the PO drove it on a beach. I always go crazy cleaning around under every car anyway. As I was taking the rr wheel off, the suspension dropped. I popped off the cap and this is what I saw...
The other side was installed correctly. Just seems they forgot to put the upper rubber bushing on first, they put the cup and bolt on without it lol. It was an easy fix.
Oh and some dude totally signed my car when he built it!
It's written in the undercoating!
Full tune-up the other day!
Everything went pretty smooth... it's so nice to work on such a clean car!
Took a bit to figure out how to loosen the ps pump (it's a bit different from a Mk2), but I got it eventually. There is one 5/8th bolt holding the top swing point (so that's not original), and I assume there's supposed to be two? Or is it just one long bolt?
The trans fluid went in fine, it still feels a bit notchy and the syncros make themselves known, but not as bad as before.
I did have a problem with the t-belt. I couldn't get the crank pulleys off. I tried PB blaster, but it just felt like it wasn't budging at all, and I don't want to break it. my friend suggested an impacter, I have an electric one but no 6mm in 1/2 drive. So I will have to buy an adapter. I also found out that my passenger side frame rail mount is nearly torn in two, so I'll do that at the same time. I actually wanted to keep the auto tensioner, but it is expensive. I figured, these engines aren't interference so I'm sure I could keep the old one until it goes.
My spark plugs, I think, were OEM. The wires definitely were. The rotor tip was black and pitted like woah, as was the inside of the cap, and the plug ends (plastic was really dry rotted). The spark plug gap was tremendous. I kept the pre-gapped size, as I hear that's what the Bentley prescribes, and they should wear bigger anyway. .7mm, or .028 inches. I checked the gap of the ones I took out... I fit the .025 shim in there, with the .024... and the .022. So the old plugs were worn to .071! I'm really surprised it even ran!
Water. mk3 engine bay. NEVER NEVER NEVER MIX. No matter how much you think you may water proof things, you didn't, and cannot.
Light amount of solvent (not soap) on a rag. Wipe down. Let flash off. Looks like you power washed without power washing.
Had an awesome day at the junkyard today! There was a '95 and '02 Cabrio side by side. Spent 3 hours with them! Picked these up:
3 position headlight switch (lights green but I'll see what I can do to fix that)
blue stitching DE ebrake boot
wheel liner (passenger side, mine is a little messed up)
black side trim
extra Mk3.5 instrument cluster
sound deadening vapor barriers (late Mk3.5 specific)
truck escape handle (also late Mk3.5 specific)
other odds n ends
Just installed the side trim... it looks great! I need to fix the broken clips (d'oh) but here it is!
I really like the look of the unpainted side trim and painted bumper strips. I may get some rubber bumper strips eventually, but like the side trim, I'd like to have both options on hand to switch it up if I need to.
Last edited by VDub2625; 04-13-2012 at 07:38 PM.
Haha, it is quite low already (I can't get anything but the stock jack under it), but I might just drop it a bit for Dustoff.
So, I'm in the process of replacing my vapor barriers (late Mk3.5 actually is also a sound deadener), and the anal retentive person that I am, I washed inside the doors with some good ol' soap and water. I wasn't too afraid of the electronics, as everything was disconnected and the power window controller is pretty well sealed.
But, I did something. Or, maybe this happened before, because I noticed on the ride to the hardware store before I even took anything apart, the driver's power window lost one-touch up (but still had down), which is how the rears normally operate (this happened after I un- and re-plugged the door jamb connector). So, fast forward to after I washed inside the door, I used the key to lock the doors/play with the auto-down feature, and something interesting happened... the driver's window went down first, then the other three together. I kinda like this feature, though it'd be more useful on a hardtop and not a convertible. Now the window seems to be switching back and forth between normal and this mode. I don't know what caused it, or how to fix it.
But, I was also looking at the window diagrams for all Mk3s, and I found something called the "comfort" circuit on all regular Mk3s (except Cabrios). Any idea what it might be? Pin 2 of all the window controllers connect to each other, and have a spare connector under the dash, that the diagrams don't show hooked up to anything, but it's labelled as the 'comfort' circuit). Any clue? I don't think it's the auto-down feature in a Mk3, since the lock and unlock switches connect directly to the window controllers.
here's a generic pinout, it's pretty much the same for all windows:
01 Ground Brown
02 ("comfort", Mk3) Black/Green
03 From Local Door Switch Green/White
05 Door Open Contact Brown/Yellow
06 Ground (passenger front), child lock 12v (rear) Brown or Brown/Black
07 15 power Black/Yellow
08 Lock Switch Open Green/Red
11 From Driver Switch (various colors)
14 Lock Switch Closed Gray/Red
15 30 power Red/Yellow
If the "comfort" circuit does indeed lower all the windows, I'd LOVE to wire it to the useless child lock button in my Cabrio, and have one-button touch operation of all the windows
The rears are wired a bit different, I'm wondering if there's a wiring trick I can use to get one-touch up and down in the rear.
Good progress , but don't beleive what you hear about the ABA being non interference, it's about a 50/50 chance you'll bend valves if the timing belt goes.
Interesting. I am airing on the side of caution, but I'm only just before 100k and the belt looks good. I plan to do it before hitting 100.
It's got a small stutter at idle, even after the new plugs. No misfire codes but also only high 20s mpg. I'm thinking maybe coil, but it's early yet. Could gave been stressed by the bad plugs. I facer a junkyard unit kicking around. Also have a VR coil, might try that for fun. Is it an upgrade? It's bigger, lol.
I've driven it 3000 miles in a month
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