I'm working on a solution for a certain large, square German vehicle and wanted to bounce this off of the electronics gurus. Might also be helpful down the road for those who might want to do a tiptronic Boxster trans in their 914s.
So...the challenge for me is that there are only a couple of automatic transmissions that are pointed in the right direction to use in the Vanagon and only one that can handle more than ~150 hp for a significant period of time. That would be the 911 tiptronic. My initial thought was to use a 964/993 trans which does not have a key driven immobilizer. Looking through the wiring diagrams I THINK I can figure out a way to run it with the stock TCU.
But then I found the Megashift trans controller:
IF (big if) I am reading the directions right, it appears you need the shift solenoid configuration (probably more stuff too), and then it should be fairly easy to control.
So the questions are:
1. How easy/hard do you think this would be? Seems like you program the solenoid shift config for each gear, kick down, a few other settings like idle increase, etc?
2. Since the security logic for the immobilizer is not associated with the trans itself, do you think this fully bypasses the immobilizer? Seems like it but I know very little about the tiptronic box.
3. Is there another stock automatic TCU from a VW or Audi that could be adapted to run this? EDIT: The Passat TCU MIGHT WORK. Same trans model #...ZF5HP19...
If we can make this work it could be a great thing for those wanting/needing an automatic solution. I'll give it a shot if the feedback is good.
VW/Audi/Boxster is going to have relatively the same strength 5 speed tips. The VW version in the passats is a dime a dozen and the audi's fairly common as well.
The immobilizer is typically in the ECU and the dash, I am not aware of one in the TCU but I can ask.
You might want to give someone like JH Motorsports a call and discuss it with their tech. They might be able to trick a stock TCU into doing what you want it to do, as they reprogram them for firmer and later shift points per the customers needs.
Thanks Andrew! Totally agree for a 914 I'd go Passat. Same trans really. Unfortunately with the Vanagon there is only one trans that I can use since the engine points out the back. What do you think about using a Passat 1.8T TCU on it? I guess I just compare the solenoid configurations. Holy crap are my eyes tired from staring at wiring diagrams! I think you're right on the immobilizer. As long as I don't use a TCU that is actually part of an immobilizer system like the 996 I think we're good.
This is what you have to buy with the later cars:
Chipped key and everything. No thanks! Everything before that is much less complex. Just have to find out what year the Passat changed over. Probably early 2000's
The 1.8t is actually a pretty cool swap for the Vanagon. I could find an automatic Passat parts car and use the TCU that comes with it. Wiring would be a lot easier. Just need the pig tail from the Porsche trans end. Then I keep the trans for a possible later project!
Thanks for the insight on JH Motorsports! They could do my ECU as well. Need to wash out several codes on the 1.8t to keep it from having a CEL, plus chip it to add some HP.
Maybe this helps...996 tiptronic uses a Mercedes valve pack which can be controlled by this aftermarket controller.
Swedish guy putting a 1.9 diesel in an old buss with a tiptronic gearbox.
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That's awesome thank you!
Another good one! I'll need them either way if I do a 1.8t.
I traded emails with the guy who sells the controllers Falcor posted and learned (by accident) that there were two tiptronics used on the 996. All years of turbos and ALL 2002 and newer tip cars used the Mercedes trans. Prior to that the ZF5HP19 was used. Allegedly the Mercedes trans is "the best tiptronic ever made". The dilemma here is that the Passat controller MIGHT actually control the ZF trans, but the one that has a really nice ready-made system is the Mercedes trans. Mike Bellis also reminded me I want a 1999 or older TCU if I use a stock one. Seems like the safe money is the Mercedes trans and the $700 (shipped) TCU all wired up and ready to go.
Anyone HAPPEN TO HAVE a ZF tiptronic trans (Boxster or 996) just laying around that I could wire a Passat TCU to? Doubt it .
So the 1.8T SHOULD bolt right up to either of these right? I assume so since there is a guy on The Samba installing a 1.8t into a Boxster.
Great feedback. I figured you would jump in when I said "1.8t" Andrew! Really leaning towards the Mercedes 996 trans. I want an auto but a used Vanagon trans just is not strong enough for 220ish HP. They were not designed for that much HP, so I wouldn't expect them to. A very well rebuilt Vanagon trans is $2300 exchange, so more like $3500 to my door. I can get a later 996 trans for ~$1500, plus that plug and play controller ($700), a shifter (couple hundred), longer cable ($50ish), I'm in the $2500 range after I break a couple things for a trans that is more versatile.
On the ECU there are a few references on The Samba for how to defeat the ECU and delete the codes I don't need. Sounds like your guy is similar. The AEB is the easiest to install wiring-wise, it just has slightly lower stock HP and a taller intake so it doesn't fit as well as the later 1.8t. Easily tuned as you know. It has no immobilizer as far as I know. The later one fits like a glove in the engine bay like it was designed to go there. I like Falcor's idea of using an early ECU! Wonder if the intakes are exchange-able .
My brain is totally exhausted.
I think I might just go for that $700 plug and play deal...thanks Mats for the info. The guy who builds them confirmed it would plug right in to the Mercedes 996 tip trans. How nice would it be not to chase all the wires on diagrams and cut down a harness? Certainly worth a couple hundred bucks. Although the unit is $700, buying a stock harness and TCU for an older trans would run about $500.
Yes the good news is this is the Mercedes tip, not the ZF. For a Van I think either would be fine but you know how think.... eventually I'll want to make it fast .
Love that first gen Scirocco! I'm getting to the age where I realize I'm not going to own every car I want to. Even just in the VW marque. Problem is I don't ever want to sell them any more so now I have too many cars!
Hope the 6 resto/refresh is going well Stephen!
Refresh on the -6 is moving forward, lots of parts ordered, and waiting on me to get time to install. Sent a few items out for the Pros at PMB and Tangerine to do their handy work on. It saddens me how rusty the mechanical bits are on that car. I need to post and update to the build.
As far as owning every VW you might want, I have a true short list with several that I have owned in the past and wished I never sold.
Karmann Ghia Coupe Sold
MK2 Scirocco Sold
Would love to get an MK1
Would love a Corrado
And a Type 3 Notch
And I would also like a MK1 Puma
I have owned and own several TDIs, still miss my MK3 TDI, lighter than the MK4, and just as much power.
Now for the twist,
All water cooled stuff would be swapped to TDI, all air cooled stuff would be swapped to Subaru. I would love to do a Ghia Coupe with WRX STI drivetrain. Including the rear diff flipped over and run up front. Yes that Makes an AWD Karmann Ghia
I am getting to the age I want to get cars all back together, so the -6, then the EG swap, then something else off the above list. But if a V10 TDI found its way home I would have to keep the VW it came in.
Don't get me started on Audi's or Porsches I want to own....
That's a nice list. I've owned quite a few VW's but would still like to have a 412 wagon, early fastback, late square, Mk 1 scirocco, bay window bus, maybe a caddy pickup. Then throw an Alfa Giulia Super sedan in there and I might be good. Doubt it though.
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