UPDATE: Vent Gauges Fitted

I'm going to be a little different with this mod in that I want to describe the motivation to build up an article that may be interesting and overall help understand why its done, how its done and why its done a particular way rather than simply.

Also reading this will let the rest of the pictures load! :o)

This is a new mod but what are the reasons behind it and why would someone do it? What is a mod and what insight can I give to you?

Driven by the desire to be different or individual or you see a failing and believe you can make a useful improvement. Perhaps an aesthetic improvement, perhaps a logical improvement, perhaps no improvement but just for fun.

This one started with hearing about damage to engines running lean and the investigation into how to check and diagnose. Whilst logging on a Laptop with Vagcom will reveal many symptoms, it requires effort to set up and equipment like a laptop, you may have already been doing damage if you haven't spotted the problem early.

The importance and benefits of monitoring have been highlighted numerous times by the forums and problems people have encountered. Checking boost is one of the more important parameters in a turbocharged car and was achieved by installing a boost gauge, subsequently a number of reported engine failures have raised awareness of how important engine function monitoring really is. An Air/Fuel Ratio meter has been suggested, voltage monitoring, Oil pressure etc..etc...

There are many options to consider boost being the first one for most turbo car owners. For me the  need to monitor a function is never simple choice of fitting any old gauge as I want to integrate into the car and at the same time I want keep certain functionality.

Integration both aesthetically, lighting and minimum loss of functionality are all important and can make some mods take weeks to perfect because the research and effort required to find the perfect combination that meets all your requirements can be huge.

There are always mistakes and perhaps better ways of doing things but so long as you take some time to plan and research others efforts you can eliminate most pitfalls that you may come accross.

My boost gauge is red digit digital, the TT dash illumination is also red themed hence red had to be the main colour of my gauge or red and white to go with the Dash dials.

First I considered the mounting, the TT has little options unless you want to buy a pillar or dash pod, these were the less attractive options to me....

The dash and A-Pillar options looked a little to "add-on", the vent gauges are ok, but they are a compromise on vent functionality, something I use a lot.

However I don't smoke! the ashtray is pretty useless to me and taking up space that could be useful. It represents an area furthest from line of sight for gauges but of the evils to pick from it is the lesser.

Enter this:-
This is a custom gauge holder designed to replace the ashtray in a TT.

Scott Morrow

Scott provides this mount and everything to fit it, its machined to take 52mm gauges, the centre space can accommodate a logo but I wasn't happy. The space was crying out for so much more.

I researched for some simple voltmeters and found some DATEL products and ordered one...

It was the wrong one, I wanted red digits and got an LCD.
But why waste it? I didn't. :o)

I installed the gauge into the battery cover so I can monitor the battery whenever the bonnet is up.

I ordered the correct one and planned its installation.

I needed the right gauges in 52mm and needle gauges don't really do it for me , I have been tainted by the accuracy of digital boost pressure from my boost gauge so went in search of digital dials.

I eventually found exactly what I wanted and I mean exactly.... :o)


and not from Autometer! But from.... who are the uk distributor for gauges.

I think these are fantastic gauges and the quality is superb, built to order you can choose between green blue and red displays and black/silver bezels AND Black/White Face.

This find was very satisfying I was over the moon because for my requirements they were a perfect fit. They also specialise in NOS requirements in their gauges if you are interested.

Both Turbobits and Dan at Dynotune have given me superb customer service and I really mean top class.

I chose the Wideband Air/fuel Ratio and the Exhaust Gas Temperature gauge from their range.

When they arrived I was even happier to see the Wideband Lambda uses a VAG part so replacement will be easier.

You get a Wideband controller, Lambda, EGT sensor, I also bought a weld on bung for the Lambda and the EGT has a special jubilee clip to hold the sensor in your exhaust.

The built quality is excellent, a very fine threaded ring rotates from behind to clamp the gauge to a surround

This is was the plan forming...

But I'd be losing my ashtray and cigar lighter.  This could not happen things like my tyre inflator, mobile phone charger and any other accessory would suffer with no way of powering them.

A little thought and came to my rescue...again...with a pop out cigar lighter.

Now I have all the bits various stages can begin, first it was preparation of the voltmeter location.

I carefully masked and worked out the location for the voltmeter, I then drilled a lot of holes along the rectangle ... finally I got scared and took it to an engineering company to finish the hole off for me!

Next there is preparation for the install.
The holes were slightly larger than the gauges and although it allowed for adjustment I was concerned that if they loosened then the could rattle. I wrapped the gauge body with a few circles of rubber band

which helped them seat nicely and fill out any space.

Cables were tidied up and a pair of LED lights added to provide the under dash illumination.

Installing involved taking the car apart....sometimes in the rain there is no other way!


Knee braces removed

The ashtray is removed by opening it, undoing the one screw shown
Then pull the whole assembly towards the back of the car and it should then drop down.

The Cigar Lighter and illumination looms can be disconnected, the loom path is also convenient for the gauge loom to be routed.

A wire and connector were tapped into the existing cigar lighter loom

This eventually connected to another connector for the new Cigar lighter socket I installed into the drivers lower dash.  

The gauge pod was offered up and holes drilled into the area behind the knee brace and into the pod body, Scott supplied a drill bit, tap and die so once the holes were there all that was needed was to cut a thread into the pod.

The scuttle panel cover was removed, after removing the front rubber, releasing the windscreen wiper arms; the panel should lift off the glass at 90 degrees to it, a tongue and groove type of fitting holds it down.

Above the fuse box is a box held down by 2 10mm speed nuts, the gauge cables can be routed out through this, silicone was used to seal any gaps around cables to ensure water protection.

At the same time I fitted an ignition switched relay and fuse to power the gauges.

From this point I left the EGT Sensor box and the Lambda cable ready and waiting in this location.

I reached a point where I could power things up although there would be no sensible readings.

The next bit is too hard for me so I commissioned AmD to do this bit.......fitting the sensors....

Starting from this.....

The AmD team drilled the holes...

Welded the welds....

And finished the install with a really neat job and the great thing is using a VW part lambda...
... It fits into the OEM connector box under the car like it was made to go there!

All done!

THE END RESULT is the Starship Enterprise looks fan-tabby-tastic!