updates: i'll redo this one of these years. search on this page for "gray" and you'll find instructions on how to do the backlighting.
ok, this is a work in progress, so please bear with me as i make modifications until i get it to the point where i like it. i actually have yet to finish the install; the backlight hasn't been wired yet. but i'll give it a shot for now, and i'll make it better as time permits. if you want to put this on another website, please let me know beforehand. i don't have any problems with it, i just want to know where this is going out to (cuz if there is some error, i want to be able to fix it and let people know).
first and foremost, i am NOT a mechanic, so check your instructions before doing any work. these are a supplement to the instructions to help you figure out how to install it (i'm a visual learner, and pictures are always a good thing).
i actually was not supposed to install this unit. my 2002.5 jetta has the front curtain airbags in the a-pillar. after searching on the vortex for a while, i found half the people said it should be fine, and half said 'no way, you're crazy'. well, i am crazy so i installed it.
i won't be responsible for any damages done by using this set up. if you think it's not safe, then don't do this install. frankly, i have only seen pictures of the airbag safely deployed. i haven't seen any actual examples of problems (ie, someone that had an airbag deploy with the gauge pod and was injured by it).
note: i may use the term tube and hose and line interchangeably for the vacuum tube routing from the fpr to the gauge. sorry bout that, i'll fix it later.
ok. i'll start getting to the good stuff now.
first--prepare the car for working on it. park it on a flat area, engage the parking brake, make sure the engine is cool, yadda yadda, the usual stuff.
next DISCONNECT THE BATTERY on the negative terminal. very important if you are crazy like me and have the airbag. i REALLY didn't want this deploying into my face. make sure you have your radio code before you do this, cuz nothing sucks more than having a non functioning radio. make sure the terminal can't move back onto the battery terminal (there is a little plastic post where it fits nicely, see the pic for where it is).
now it is time to remove the a-pillar. make sure your hands are clean as oil and dirt refuse to come off of this fabric.
separate it starting at the top and start popping off the clips. this was where i made a mistake. on the airbag units, the top clip is very different. some people call the clips these b*tch clips; this is for a reason. the top clip is not going to come out with out some special effort, so just release one or two clips in the middle of the pillar. also visible in this picture is the airbag right next to my hand.
ok, this is the part that is hard to explain. if you look at this blurry picture carefully, you'll see two components, one green and one gray (the top of the car is on the left). on the gray piece there is a metal clip. this is the b*tch clip. before you can disengage the top clip, you must slide this piece out of the way.
this is the clip after i removed it so you can see what it looks like. when it is positioned in the car, the top right corner is pointing towards the roof of the car (following the angle of the a-pillar of course).
this is how i removed the clip. i cut a coat hanger and used a piece of it to slide the clip up and out of the way. it's annoying to do, but just work at it and eventually you'll succeed. the clip will be bent out of shape. this is a fact that i've seen on another thread. you must replace it as this clip holds the pillar in place when the airbag deploys. if it's not in good shape, then it'll go flying out. not good. i'll buy one from the stealership first chance i get.
now the rest of the pillar should come out easily (figuratively speaking). just pull hard, you won't break anything (well, i creased mine before i realized about that top clip, so you can kind of see the crease going underneath the airbag badge going down the length of the pillar. oh well, i'll deal with it later...).
ok, now that that is out of the way, the fun stuff will happen. this is a mechanical boost gauge, so you must run a vacuum line from the engine to the back of the gauge. the grommet you will use is located along the firewall. in the first picture, you can see the relationship between the grommet and the n75 valve. in the second picture, you can see a zoomed out shot with me pointing where it goes (kinda pointing, my hand is holding the line up and out of the way of the picture. remove the rubber grommet (just pull on it) and poke a hole through it with an awl. now, feed the line through the hole. i was installing this with a friend of mine, and he figured out a good technique for doing this. take needle nosed pliers, and stick them through the hole in the rubber grommet piece. put the end of the tube over the jaws of the pliers, and pull it through the hole. just figure out you're own way to do this.
before you push the line through the firewall, you have to remove the panel above where the pedals are (inside the car). there are several torx screws along the bottom of the lower dash, and once these are removed the panel will come right out. this picture is looking up above the pedals (yes, those are audi tt pedals, and yes, i have an automatic though i REALLY wish it was stick. oh well.) you can see where the tube (hose, whatever) goes through the firewall. push through enough of the tube such that in the engine bay the line will reach the intake manifold with a little room to spare. the 42dd line is longer than you need, which is always a good thing. once you have the hose where you like it, replace the rubber grommet through the firewall.
this part of the install is pretty annoying. now we have to put the vacuum line in the correct location for the gauge. poke a hole in the end of the line and push a coat hanger through the hole you just made.
now, push the coat hanger up back in the corner of the car so that it ends up near the bottom of the a-pillar (above where the dead pedal is kind of). the line will only route in one place, so you should be able to find it. you can see where to reach in this picture (kind of).
darn it, this shot is blurry. crap. this was supposed to show where exactly it's routed. you might be able to figure it out if you look at your car carefully. the bronze-collored line is the coat hanger, and the white unit is some sort of wiring harness located at the bottom of the a-pillar. sorry for the badness of this shot...
bingo, the vacuum line is in position!
i still have to add parts on routing the line through the dash, attaching the line to the gauge, attaching the line to the fpr line, attaching the boost gauge to the a-pillar, and reinstalling it. ugh. i still haven't replaced my b*tch clip (now it has been several months and it still hasnt happened).
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me how this sounds. i really want to clarify it as much as possible. thanks in advance for your help!
some more pictures:
Modified by bigmak at 4:42 PM 6-7-2006