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    Thread: The Rabbit TDI Project Part 11: the dash

    1. 06-08-2003 05:21 PM #1
      The Rabbit TDI Project
      Part 11: the dash
      Or: big round peg, small square hole

      The IMMO system in the ECU required that I use the A4 cluster with the
      IMMO system built in.

      The upside is that I get to use those cool backlit blue gauges,
      the downside is that the cluster is huge and there is no reasonable way
      to fit that into a Westmoreland dash.

      As a bit of pre-history, I don't like US built cars. I don't understand
      the 70's and 80's thing of putting the switch for the headlights on a
      pull type switch. One of the first things I did when I bought the truck
      was to remove the pull type switch, and in it's place I put the flip switch
      like in the A1 Jetta and Scirocco II. Worked quite well.

      But then when it came to fitting the A4 cluster into the westmoreland dash,
      there wasn't enough room for the headlight switch. I moved it to a blank section
      below the cluster opening.

      There isn't much left of the dash, most of the plastic in the opening was
      cut away so the cluster would fit. I tried many times to fit the full cluster,
      front plastic and all, but there was no way I could make it work. Too high,
      too low, can't see the gauges, looks aweful. Hmmm....

      Think outside the box, be the spoon.

      Hmmm... these A4 gauges are in the same layout as the gauges in an Audi TT.
      Probably just a different front plate. What if I made my own front plate?

      Pulled the front cover off the gauges, sat with a caliper and my CAD program,
      and drew the layout of the gauges. Printed 1:1 on the big plotter at work,
      and played around.

      I ended up taking my CAD drawings to a custom metal shop, they programmed their
      machine, and punched out some 1/4" plate for me. A great number of hours later,
      I had a workable solution for my instrument cluster.

      The dashplate as delivered:

      Preliminary fitting:

      The cluster setup is made of 5 layers. The cluster itself,
      two 1/4" clusterplates/spacers, a 1/4" piece of plexi, and finally
      the top dashplate.

      While I had the dash out of the truck, I dyed the vinyl black.

      For the first few weeks of having the truck running, I didn't have the full dashplate
      done, so made a quick one out of plexiglass. Sorry, no pictures.

      I also installed a whack of VDO gauges. What's the point of a fancy engine if you don't
      know what's going on?

      EGT, boost, tranny oil temp, voltage, oil pressure, engine oil temp.

      So, when it all comes togeather, it doesn't look too bad:

      Summary: cluster, dash and gauges

      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 03:17 AM. Reason: messed up formatting

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    3. Member Trevahhhh's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 5th, 2002
      Houston, TX
      65 Jaguar E type. 69 Benelli road racer
      06-09-2003 12:54 AM #2
      that is awesome man .... personally i would have covered it in leather or painted it black to give it a factory look but that is a really god idea .. keep up the good work

    4. Member
      Join Date
      Nov 9th, 2000
      San Diego
      92 SLC, 90 GLI
      06-10-2003 05:01 PM #3
      Great Job and awesome write ups! Guys like you keep the old bunnys going [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

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    6. Member
      Join Date
      Dec 20th, 2001
      Portland, OR
      85 turbo diesel & 05 R6
      06-11-2003 11:31 AM #4
      good stuff man. food for though for sure.
      i love where you mount yer Vag-com.

    7. Member blinkinbanana's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 14th, 2000
      Mahwah, NJ
      '04 R32, '08 R32, '10 GTI
      06-11-2003 11:34 AM #5
      Just curious if you ran lights in that sucka and if you put in some sort of plastic to cover the gauges. Looks awesome though. Good job on the cut out.
      IATSE Local 52
      AASI lvl 3
      USASA lvl 1

    8. 06-11-2003 01:27 PM #6
      Quote, originally posted by blinkinbanana »
      Just curious if you ran lights in that sucka and if you put in some sort of plastic to cover the gauges. Looks awesome though. Good job on the cut out.

      There's 1/4" plexiglass covering the gauges.
      The gauges are backlit in blue, like the A4 cars.

    9. Member gtifly's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 3rd, 2002
      Amityville Colorado
      92 GTI 16v Vortech V1, 84 GTI 1.8t, 78 Rabbit 1.8, 75 Rabbit, 72 Porsche 911
      06-11-2003 03:59 PM #7
      Excellent write up......I was wondering how visible the speedo and tach are, since their a bit farther apart than on other clusters. What diameter is your steering wheel too?

      PVW 3/12 Friends In Low Places

    10. 06-11-2003 06:36 PM #8
      Quote, originally posted by gtifly »
      I was wondering how visible the speedo and tach are, since their a bit farther apart than on other clusters. What diameter is your steering wheel too?

      The steering wheel is the stock diameter, but the grip is huge.
      Oddly enough, it came from a Hyundai...
      As for the gauges, from where I sit, the steering wheel blocks
      the upper outer limits. So typically: 15-2500 rpm.
      This shot is with the camera at chest level:


    11. Member
      Join Date
      Jun 17th, 1999
      West Michigan, USA
      1998 Jetta VR6 (bone stock daily driver), 1982 twin screw Cabriolet, 94 Mazda B3000 4x4
      06-11-2003 07:33 PM #9
      Very nice! [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    12. Former Advertiser Mike's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 22nd, 1999
      07-01-2003 11:23 PM #10
      Loos great to me! Good work!! I personally love the aluminum!

    13. Member G60ING's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 27th, 2000
      Annapolis Area MD
      2010 3.6 4-Motion CC, 1990 G60/TDI/R36 Corrado
      11-13-2006 11:17 PM #11
      Does your fuel gauge read correctly? If so what sending unit are you using? Did you have to use any resistors?

    14. 11-14-2006 10:00 PM #12
      Very original, and nicely done.

    15. Member
      Join Date
      Sep 20th, 2007
      1972 911T
      02-16-2015 02:45 AM #13
      way to **** all this **** up vwvortex rubes. cant even use the archives anymore.

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