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Kieran's R32 Project DSG.

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#361 Kieran P

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 06:53 PM

Finally got the reverse lights working as since fitting he DSG gearbox the reverse lights never worked, due to the car the gearbox came from used the CAN BUS to control the lights.


I started off by trying to go high tech by trying to program a Arduino to sniff the CAN BUS for the reverse signal. Struggled with decoding the signals no the CAN BUS so gave up.

Next attempt was to try and pick up a signal from the shifter, the shifter has magnets on the moving parts and magnetic sensors on the PCB. As the shifter is moved between P, R, N, D, S the magnets trigger the sensors.


I found the output of one of the sensors would turn on when the shifter was put into reverse. The plan was to use the signal to operate a relay. All went well until I shorted something on the shifter which resulted in he car being immobilised in the middle of the drive for a week while I sourced a new shifter.


Using my blown up shifter as a test bed I built a small circuit which used a optical sensor to operate the reverse lights relay.



The sensor works by sending an infrared beam out which is picked up by a detector when it passes over a reflective surface. To make the reflective surface I glued some foil to the shifter mechanism.


Sensor in place on shifter




To wire the circuit into the car I decided I wanted to use the correct colour coded wire for power and control signal to the reverse lights relay. I dug out the remains of the TT wiring loom that I got when I began the conversion.


While I was looking for the wire colours I needed, a “helper” came over for a look



After deciding he didn’t know anything about VW electrics and not liking the taste of loom tape and PVC wire he wondered off.



Mounted the circuit in a small box with a 9 pin D type connector so it can be removed if there are any problems with it later on.


Foil reflector on shifter in car


Optical sensor mounted and wiring secured to existing wiring



Box mounted on relay plate



Working reverse lights for first time in nearly 3 years :funky:



Also got the head lining sorted, I found a supplier on ebay that did the matching fabric, only downside is it is foam backed so not easy to stick to the backing board. A pleat had to be sewn into the fabric so it could be held up against the backing board.



Colour match is close enough it’s too noticeable.


Its better than the old water stained fabric that was peeling off the backing board.





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#362 Franko180


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Posted 03 September 2018 - 11:52 PM

Nice job on the reverse signal. I remember the old-ish video from VR6 specialists where they briefly mentioned having to solve issues with CAN Bus systems for reverse lights and other items on an R36 conversion into a MK4.

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#363 CitizenKane


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Posted 07 September 2018 - 11:55 AM

How have I not seen this thread before? Lovely car and glad to see you’re still enjoying it after all these years.

#364 northpole


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Posted 07 September 2018 - 03:21 PM

you should get a proper circuit board made mate.. that way you can make that box smaller and tuck it away easier... that is once you are certain it works as you intended... 

#365 Kieran P

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 06:02 PM

How have I not seen this thread before? Lovely car and glad to see you’re still enjoying it after all these years.


Thanks it's turned in to a long term hobby/project :)



you should get a proper circuit board made mate.. that way you can make that box smaller and tuck it away easier... that is once you are certain it works as you intended... 


I’m probably going to do a redesign which will allow a down size. At the moment when I go from Park to Drive the reverse lights flash as the selector goes P-R-N-D-S.

I'm thinking of using something like PIC 12Fxxx device as they are in a small 8 pin microcontroller so I can program it to have a delay e.g. if the reverse is selected for less than 2 seconds = no reverse lights, if more than 2 seconds = reverse lights on.

The plan is to get it small enough to fit in a standard relay body.

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#366 jwrb



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Posted 10 September 2018 - 09:54 AM

you could probably fit a small arduino into a relay 53' housing if needed. I know you can get some damned small board these days

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#367 Kieran P

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 05:01 PM

It’s been a while since I last updated this as I haven’t done much to the car since the last update, just been driving and enjoying it.

Last year I got the steering wheel refurbished in nappa leather, went from this:



To this:




While checking the car over for the MOT I decided the front and rear subframes and suspension could do with some attention as over the last couple of years it’s all starting to look very rusty.

Plan is to:

Clean and repaint wishbones & subframe

Replace all the bushes with SuperPro

Replace all the nuts, bolts and fixings

Replace bottom ball joints, track rod ends & drop links

Repair/replace anything else I find


Just before the lockdown I made a start.


As the car will be laid up for a while, I wanted to keep it ventilated as over the winter there was a water leak through a panel which the engine and gearbox wiring loom passes through. The leak is fixed but there is still some dampness in the carpet.

To get some air movement I used the pollen filter as a template


Made a panel with a fan which fits in the pollen filter housing and blows air through the heater ducts.


Fitted in place of pollen filter


The fan runs from the battery which is kept topped up by a maintainer/charger.


Next job was to get the car up on blocks so I can get trolley jacks underneath so I can put axle stands under the jacking points on the sills.



First job before starting on the subframe is the release the hub bolts so I can remove the driveshafts, the hub bolts are torqued to 250nm +90 degrees so tight and then some!

M16 hub bolt



Started with an extending wheel brace bar which I managed to snap.



Also tried a T bar and jack handle but ended up bending the bar so I treated myself to a DEWALT DCF899N in the hope the 950Nm would get the bolt to budge.



Unfortunatly i didn't so I ended up buying a  24” Halfords breaker bar which did the trick.



Result, hub bolt freed up, probably should have just bought the breaker bar in the first place.



As the car will be on axle stands for a while, I got some sill protectors, they have a slot in the top for the pinch weld of the sill to sit in



The other side has a reses that sits on the top of the axle stand



The new impact driver made short work of most of the bolts, but some were seized and rusty which required the application of fire and WD40 to free up.

Track rod ends, drop links, bottom ball joints freed up and removed Brake disk and caliper.




Success, subframe removed




Subframe stripped down


The rear bushes were powerflex, and were about 14 years old, I had to cut one side off to get them out of the wishbone.


The front bushes were the originals, so getting on for 16 years old!


Started attacking the wishbones with a wire brush in the grinder



Getting there



After a lot of wire brushing, they look like this:



And with a coat of paint they look as good as new



The wheel bearing carriers got the same treatment and ended up looking like this:




As a finishing touch I got the hubs and brackets for the 18Z calipers plated to stop them rusting.





The rough finish on the brackets is where the rust was chemically removed to get down to clean metal.


I have got as far as I can as i have to wait until the local VW dealer parts counter opens up so I can order more parts.

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#368 Aidymk4v520v


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Posted 03 May 2020 - 09:01 AM

Awesome r32 fella just read this from start to finish.

Sent from my COL-L29 using Tapatalk

#369 Kieran P

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 07:54 PM

Awesome r32 fella just read this from start to finish.

Sent from my COL-L29 using Tapatalk

Thanks :Y:


Finally, been able to make some progress.

Got the driveshafts cleaned up and repainted.



New wheel bearings and the hubs pressed into the hub/bearing carrier



New left and right ABS sensors



ABS sensor fitted with stainless steel bolts, which may have been polished (just because I could :P )



Now the VW dealers are starting to open up I was able to order all the parts I need to put the car back together.


On the table:

Left/right track rod ends

Left/right brake hoses

Top mounts & bearings

Drop links

Nuts & bolts for fixing wishbones to subframe

Anti-roll bar bolts

Steering rack bolts

Dog bone mount bolts

The can at the back is OE underseal


Also splashed out on a new subframe


It worked out a little bit more cost wise than refurbishing the original subframe. The bonded aluminium/rubber bushes (either side at top in picture) are around £50 each x4 (upper and lower), so nearly £200 in bushes alone.

I thought by the time I have paid for original subframe be sand blasted and powder coated the new subframe wasn’t much more at £560 and it comes with new bushes.

To make sure the new subframe stays looking good I have given it a couple of coats of eastwood chassis paint


Before fitting it will get a coat of Bilt Hamber Dynax S-50 wax inside and out for extra protection.

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