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Date:         Fri, 31 Mar 2000 21:01:53 -0800
Reply-To:     David Marshall <vanagon@VOLKSWAGEN.ORG>
Sender:       Vanagon Mailing List <>
From:         David Marshall <vanagon@VOLKSWAGEN.ORG>
Subject:      1988 Jetta Tachometer installed into 1984 Westie - SUCCESS!
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Installing the 1988 Jetta Tachometer into my 84 Westie took about 4 hours but I think it was worth it and looking back at it, it was relatively simple.

Parts that you will need: - Golf / Jetta instrument panel with a tachometer that has both COOLANT and GAS gauges, some only have the GAS gauge so make sure you get the right one before you buy it! - Small bolts and nuts - Small lengths of wire - Crimp on "eyes" - Piece of plastic

Tools needed: - Small wrench - Soldering iron - Screw Driver - Sharp razor knife - Crimper

Procedure: - Carefully remove the plastic circuit board from the Jetta tachometer - the contacts for the gauges are small nuts and the center of the tachometer is a plug. Remove the tachometer from the panel via the four corner screws.

- Remove the clock or blank plate from the vanagon instrument cluster.

- Test fit the tachometer in the vanagon cluster. You will notice that it doesn't quite fit as the plastic on the tachometer has a ridge that will prevent it from snugly fitting into the opening. Remove this ridge and trim along the outside edge where the tachometer meets up with the side of the Vanagon instrument cluster. What you want to aim for is the two out side screw holes in the tach aligning with the tapped holes on the vanagon instrument cluster.

- Once the tachometer is secured you will notice that the inner screw holes do no align with the vanagons instrument cluster's holes. This is where you should drill holes in a piece of plastic that will align up with these vacant holes. This piece of plastic should go over the top of the edge of the tachometer to hold the inner half in place.

- Now that the tachometer is firmly attached it is time to do the electrical work. The holes on the Vanagon's printer circuit board does not line up with the gauges on the tachometer. I over came this by using small lengths of wire with "eyes" crimped on either end. I used small bolts and nuts to fasten one eye to the PCB and the other end of the wire to the gauge. When I was done I used some hockey tape (cloth electrical tape is the same) to cover the gauges to ensure that there would be no short circuits with the PCB.

- The hardest part of the whole swap was determining what leads were what in the tachometer. On the 85 thru 89 tachometers there is a plug where pin one is ground, pin two is blank, pin three is 12V and pin four is the signal from pin #1 on the coil. I removed the connector from the Jetta PCB and soldered some 22 gauge wires to the connector and attached them to the proper location. Double check that I am correct with an Ohm meter first!

Pros of the this tachometer install: - Correct red line for my inline four conversion - max indicated RPM is 7000. - Will work with WBX or I4 engines. - The tachometer cost me $40 CAD from the local wrecking yard - a lot cheaper than any after market one! Plus I got the speedometer for free. - The VDO tachometer looks like it belongs there - no ugly tach hanging off the side of my dash. - Jetta gas and coolant gauges are the same as my 84 Westie.

Cons: - Not exactly "plug and play". - A little "mickey mouse" looking when the instrument panel cover is off. - The Jetta circle is a little bigger than the Vanagon opening; the gauge is just a hair off center towards the top by 1 to 2mm.

Disclaimer: There are two types of Jetta tachs 85-89 and 90-92, the above is for the 85-89. Some Vanagons have different calibrations for the gauges. Refer to the Bentley manual to see if your gauges have the same inputs. This is what I did and it worked for me. I make to warranty that this will work for you, proceed at your own risk, your mileage may vary, not exactly as shown on TV etc etc etc

-- David Marshall - - Quesnel, BC, Canada -- -- 78 VW Rabbit, 80 VW Caddy, 84 VW Westie, 85 VW Cabriolet -- -- 87 Audi 5000 Quattro, 88 2.0L VW Syncro Double Cab -- -- David's Volkswagen Home Page -- -- Fast Forward Autobahn Sport Tuning -- -- (pmail) or (list) --

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