TDI Auto to manual swap - OttoStadt MotorWerks
02M/02Q shift fork upgrade
December 28, 2015
Ottostadt projects

Ottostadt projects

(Initially a tech article posted by me on TDIClub forums which can be read here)

I was contracted by a client to convert a TDI automatic Golf to 5 speed manual, the transmission had failed and the cost of replacement was too high compared to converting the car to manual – which I did!

I don’t think this is really a DIY swap (although I’m sure the more hands on of you could do it hands down with a bit of time) but I just did one of these and I wanted to report on the things to watch out for and to let you know what was involved.

Car was a 2006 MK4 Golf TDI PD with a 5 speed automatic and ESP ABS (which is rare), was converted to manual. The list below could apply to ALH cars also BTW.

Parts/Tools needed:
* VCDS/VAGCom to recode/diagnose the install
* Wiring diagram
* Manual transmission with matching shift linkage
* Clutch kit including flywheel
* Manual starter and preferably starter to battery wire
* Manual transmission bracket to mount and bolts
* Manual transmission mount
* Manual transmission VSS (vehicle speed sensor) sensor and pigtail
* Manual transmission reverse switch and pigtail
* All bolts for manual transmission bellhousing including starter bolts (all different on a PD 5 speed auto – some might be the same on an ALH)
* Master and slave cylinder and line along with rubber hose from brake master to clutch master
* Manual P/S high pressure line (could be done without but would look/fit like poo) and oil
* Manual brake pedal (and special tool to disconnect the brake booster rod from it)
* Clutch pedal assembly (with bracket to connect the assembly to the brake pedal/gas pedal cluster) with nuts (M8) and clutch pedal return spring/stopper
* MK4 TDI/2.0L axles
* Passenger side heat shield/bolts for axle if you’re like me and want it to look OE.
* Downpipe gasket and exhaust sleeve (if yours if rusty) the downpipe will need to be removed to replace the auto shift linkage to manual
* ECM terminals to add VSS signal/clutch signal to ECM (more on this later)
* Clutch switch (for starter interlock) and connector pigtail
* Clutch switch (for cruise control) and connector pigtail
* Clutch interlock relay (#53 relay)
* Shift boot/clamp and plastic ring at bottom of boot (to hold boot to the car’s plastic trim)
* Manual instrument cluster or open the cluster up and put a piece of electrical tape over the PRNDS display window

*** Probably other stuff, I’ll edit later on if I remember something

Obviously the auto transmission has to be removed along with the drive plate, the downpipe needs to come off and the heatshield removed to gain access to the shift linkage. Swap over the shift linkage for the manual and reinstall exhaust.

Install the clutch kit and reinstall manual transmission along with the matching bolts.

Replace the P/S line of the automatic for the manual along with the transmission mount (3 bolt mount on the automatic, 2 bolts on the manual with different spacing)

Now inside remove and discard the cable from the auto shift linkage going to steering column (just a clip on the lock housing) this cable prevents you from removing the key if not in Park.

Disconnect the brake pedal from the booster (special tool required for this – you can make your own with a u-bolt bracket cut in half) once disconnected remove the bolt for the pedal and slide it down, reinstall the manual transmission brake pedal (i had to loose the booster to give me enough space to put it back on) clip the pedal back to the booster

You’ll see that there is a piece of carpet that you can just remove and studs to install the manual transmission pedal cluster will be shown, a plug for the master cylinder can just be pushed out and you’re ready to install the master/pedal. Install the master cylinder/line and slave to transmission and connect the rubber hose of the clutch master to the nipple on the brake master cylinder reservoir (just cut the end of the nipple and oil will flow to the clutch master) – bleed clutch – VW procedure is 10 pumps and then use pressure bleeder to bleed until no air is left.

Now comes the fun part, making the electrical side of it work 

The Parking/reverse interlock relay prevents the 12+ signal from going to the starter unless the car is in Park, look at the wiring diagram, the same plug/wires can be used but one with will need to be grounded, install the #53 relay in exchange of the 175 relay that is on the car now.

You will need to splice in the clutch switch to relay #53 to prevent the car from starting unless the clutch pedal is depressed – Safety concern – this needs to be done!

You can use the existing auto tranny wiring to send the reverse light switch signal for the reverse lights to come on when the reverse in engaged, there’s power at the selector wiring harness and the reverse wire can be use to create your own pigtail with the reverse connector. The wire is intercepted by relay 175 – you will need to splice 2 wires together to get the power going to the reverse lights.

You have to create your own VSS signal harness, it gets it’s power/ground from the T14 connector on the driver’s side next to the battery, the signal is then needed by the cluster and the ECM – cluster to show your speed and ECM for cruise control to work.

And lastly the clutch switch (for cruise control) needs to be wired in to the ECM so it knows to kick off cruise control when the clutch is engaged – Safety concern – this needs to be put on ! It provides a 12v+ to the ECM when you press in the clutch, you can check if you wired it right with VCDS in MVB 006. You will need to use a ignition (12v switched) signal.

Code your ECM to manual (VCDS will show you the correct number to input) you will get faults for low and heat coolant glow plugs relays (which you don’t have since the car was auto and never had them) a good tuner (like Malone Tuning) will be able to erase those faults for you out of the ECM’s memory. You will need the ECM to be coded to manual if you want the cruise control working properly, the ECM will not use the clutch switch in cruise control if not coded to manual.

I personally chose to leave the TCM in place because there is power going to it, put someone with time could manually remove the wires (part of the ECM wiring harness) out and really make this a clean install, you would also need to figure out which fuse give power to the TCM (but I think there isn’t a fuse JUST for the TCM)

In my case this car was also throwing a “ECM incorrectly coded” fault in ABS (which I suspect is because this car as a rare ESP equipped ABS module), I’m currently working with Ross-Tech to find a coding to make it go away, the ABS does work though even with that fault – it does light up the ABS MIL light though.

Confirm the reverse light work (should work only with key on), car SHOULD NOT start unless the clutch pedal is depressed and the cruise control should work/disengage when the clutch pedal is depressed – you now have a properly working manual transmission equipped car