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    Thread: The Rabbit TDI Project Part 4: Wiring

    1. 04-22-2003 12:56 PM #1
      The Rabbit TDI Project
      Part 4: Wiring 1

      Or: a snake pit of 12 Volts

      The mystery and the magic of the TDI engine comes from the electronic control of everything.
      The nightmare and confusion of the TDI engine comes from the electronic control of everything.

      If you can read the bently wiring diagrams, you can make it all work.

      Or make most of it work...

      Or at least make some of it work...

      Once the old engine was out, I removed the dash and dug into the fusebox.
      After careful review of the Rabbit wiring diagram (8 pages) and prolonged study of
      the TDI engine wiring diagram (13 pages) and the G/J standard equipment diagrams (20 pages), I hacked up the wiring of the Rabbit. Let no wire go unsnipped.
      I removed all of the wiring associated with the old engine, and the other stuff that was unneeded. (seatbelt warning buzzer and such...)

      This is the pile left on the floor after a good chop session:

      I mounted the ECU on a stand in the raintray just to the passenger side of the interior fan.

      A few new holes were drilled to pass the wires thru the raintray into the engine compartment.

      For the wiring going to the engine compartment, I mounted a hobby box in the driver's side of the raintray, and drilled thru into the interior.

      The Westmoreland Rabbit fuseboxes are quite nice and easy to work on. The wires simply unclip, or clip in. As a result, all of my new fuses are part of the old fusebox. For the new relays I used VW oem relay receivers that snap into the clips on the top of the fusebox.

      There are a lot of wires to run.

      In my case, I didn't get the interior portion of the harness with the engine, so all of that stuff I had to fabricate from scratch. The hobby box/wire passthru is also where I joined my new interior harness to the engine/ecu harness.

      Due to my relocation of some sensors I ended up pulling one of the ecu harnesses almost completely apart. Oh joy and bliss...

      The 1.8T guys can always run a standalone engine management system.
      There is no such system for a modern diesel. I suppose I could've gone with a mechanical fuel pump, but where is the fun in that?

      summary: lots of wiring

      Stay tuned...


      Part 1: Introduction
      Part 2: Installing the Engine
      Part 3: Transmission
      Part 4: Wiring 1
      Part 5: Speedometer and Cluster
      Part 6: ImmobilizerIII
      Part 7: Drive By Wire
      Part 8: Intercooler
      Part 9: Intake and Exhaust
      part 10: MFA and Cruise Control
      Part 11: The Dash
      Part 12: The Little Things
      Part 13: The End (for now)
      Part 14: 6spd transmission and brake upgrades
      One Year Later
      Dyno results
      Who Needs a VR6
      TDI Rabbit
      Last edited by MrDave; 02-16-2015 at 04:32 AM. Reason: VWV messed up links and formatting

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    3. 04-23-2003 07:57 AM #2
      This is the part I've been waiting for Dave. I really got a chuckle out of the wire labeled with a big "?" in one of the pics above. Probably had a few of those, eh?
      Hey, what's a "hobby box"? Sounds like something I could use for an efi project I have coming up, but I'm not familiar with the term????
      Insert drivel here.....

    4. 04-23-2003 11:10 AM #3

      Yeah, didn't notice that question mark in the picture. There were a few stray wires.
      Hobby box - project box, small plastic box from an electronic supply store, generally used as an enclosure for an electronics project


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    6. 04-23-2003 05:11 PM #4
      I just did that like a month ago with my 1.8t .... stand alone is for wussys and race car people ...... the real men wire it !!!!!!!!!! I cant wait to see this project finished

    7. Member efritsch's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 21st, 2002
      Kelowna B.C.
      2004 Golf 2L, 1992 Passat Syncro Wagon, 1987 Fox Wagon (Project)
      04-29-2003 03:12 AM #5
      Oh dear lord, what have I gotten myself into? I'm currently in the middle of swaping a 2.8L V6 from an A6 into my 1987 Fox Wagon. The motor fits and is in the car. The wiring is next. Oh dear.
      Mr.Dave, I may be e-mailing you in the future for help on this one.
      Quote Originally Posted by 90quattrocoupe
      I am old enough that I only have to be nice when I want to.

    8. 04-30-2003 08:03 AM #6
      efritsch, that too sounds like a very unique project that would undoubtedly offer phenomenal results when finished. got any pics of the motor in the car? I'd love to see it. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

      Modified by Andrew Stauffer at 4:04 AM 4-30-2003
      Insert drivel here.....

    9. Member
      Join Date
      Aug 31st, 1999
      confluence, Snake/Clearwater
      Rolls Rice yalu cloud, pink 59 DeSoto with leopard-skin seat covers
      02-07-2004 01:23 PM #7
      What did you do with the wiring that went to the AC receiver dryer in the donor car?
      Did you:
      a. cut it off and leave it;
      b. connect the two wires together; or
      c. something else?
      While I don't know for certain, the receiver dryer probably sends a signal to the computer when the AC is working. The computer then might boost the idle speed.
      I'll appreciateany info you're willing to share.

    10. 02-07-2004 03:49 PM #8

      I didn't have AC in the Rabbit originally, and I decided not to retrofit it.
      The compressor wiring on the engine harness is just hanging loose, unplugged.
      The wiring from the ECU to the interior harness that I didn't use are just isolated/taped off.
      The ECU has no issues or DTCs regarding the lack of AC.


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