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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This DIY article covers the shifter components and console components. This may be more DIY than many would be willing to undertake. However it is an interesting study of the shifter top components and how one could potentially bury additional wiring underneath the console. There may be some interesting modifications one could make as well.

The incentive for this project was to replace the Shifter Cover - the rubberized slider and associated housing. I had left a car wash token on the shifter area; the token slid under the display portion and became lodged in the cover 'roller' area. With this obstruction, the rubber slider became jammed. Having this happen just on the Saturday before Rally, I had the VW shop literally rip out the rubber cover. Simply a cosmetic issue to fix afterward I expected.



Shifter Cover with magnetic sensor

As it turns out, there is a magnetic sensor on the portion ripped out. This sensor lines up with a flexible circuit board floating just under the display. Without the sensor, the MFD Shifter display would show PNRD in inverse orange, with No Tip or Sport mode available. The workaround until I returned - start the car in neutral. That oddly cleared the system and provided full functionality needed to navigate the trails. A replacement cover was ordered to be installed on return.



Cover, and Cover with floating Circuit Board attached at plug location. Note cover accommodates left and right drive positions.

The dealer did not have a good idea on this repair and loosely estimated four hours. On return from rally, I checked out the Bentley manuals to discover how much work would be involved in replacement. On review, I noted the components were mostly clipped, with very few tools needed to complete the task. Since I also wanted to replace a console chrome trim piece that had been thrashed, and also hide some ham / computer cables inside the console, I decided this was an easy evening project.

In addition to lifting the console and disassembling the shifter 'stack', I also disarmed the alarm (all open) then disconnected the battery (-) terminal before unplugging controls. The battery is under the driver's seat and requires a triple-square drive tool to remove the bolts on the front of the seat. Once removed, the seat tilts up and then its just going into the battery box for (-) removal.



Console Removal. Plugs connect to 12v adaptors, transfer case/diff controls, keyless, and air suspension controls (if so equipped).


For removing the console, you'll need to remove the soft container under the arm-rest, then remove the two bolts just behind the drink holders. An excellent modifications guide here gives good photos of this area. Then just carefully and slowly lift the console starting forward from the 'ashtray' and working back. You'll have to lift each clip.

The shifter handle was the primary gotcha for me. Its easy to remove - pry off the brushed aluminum or wood face plate on the handle, then remove the exposed slip that friction lock the handle to the stem. Here's the gotcha - there is a special tool that comes with new handles to keep the thumb button 'out' for later installation. I didnt have this tool, requiring a 1/2 hour repair bill from the dealer later on; The vehicle can be driven by manipulating the shifter stalk. If all you are doing is lifting the console, you should have no need to remove the handle.

But I kept going.... we'll now show a series of photos starting from full disassembly back up.



The full console and shifter top components disassembled.




The naked shifter. Any deeper and you begin getting into linkages. Not something to touch.




A bushing element attached to the top of the shifter. Small screws connect, be careful not to lose any!




The shifter cover attached with simple clips.




The floating circuit board placed above the shifter cover and attached by its connector plug. One interesting idea would be to replace the LED's with an alternate (blue?) color. Someone handy with a electronics and surface-mount solder technique can do these LED color changes if so inclined. You probably would need to take care regarding warranty issues.




The display clipped onto the cover. Almost complete.





Insulation repacked around assembly minimizes noise.


At this point you could modify the center console components... add a wood grain center console, bury wiring, add keyless, whatever.

Note I am not a professional mechanic so always this is do-at-your-own-risk. Most of this was done following the Bentley manuals.

Hope you enjoyed this exploration of the shifter! I welcome any additional thoughts on this process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

The battery is under the driver's seat and requires a triple-square drive tool to remove the bolts on the front of the seat. Once removed, the seat tilts up and then its just going into the battery box for (-)
I need to add - you'll need to remove the rail molding behind the drivers seat to allow tilt up. I'll post a DIY on this next time I go under the seat - unless someone would like to beat me to that... heartlily welcome it since battery disconnection is important for many deeper mods / repairs. You can also tap it with a fused line for high-amp accessories, there is empty fuse slot ready to go.
 

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If you plan on changing out the LEDs, you will also have to change out the bias (current limiting) resistors, since most likely, the forward voltage drop of the new LEDs will not match the current ones. If you're still interested in doing the mod, PM me the close-up of the circuit board and I'll tell you which resistors to change out. I'll assume that the circuit board is working on 5V, but that would need to be verified on your end.
 

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Plan on possibly removing my shifter cover in hopes of restoring the ability to remove the key from the dash. Right now the shifter lock button won't pop out. Thought it could be related to the magnetic sensor since all i get now is PRND. If I remove the shifter handle, what was/is the key to holding the lock button in the proper position when it comes time to reassemble?
 

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Nice, just what I was looking for. In my case my 17month old son, decided he was going to drop a quarter in the rubber unit, had same problems.... where did you end up getting the parts from?
Thx
 

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My guess is the files were formerly hosted somewhere and they expired or something, unless OP has backup or someone saved the pics we may be outta luck. Mine's going to the (non-VW) dealer I bought it from to have an issue with the manual shift mode addressed and I had pointed them to this, and another, thread.
 

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Any similar threads with same or similar pictures? I am unable to shift out of Park. I suspect its the magnet alignment. PCB under the shifter stick looks good but who knows if there is a break in one of the circuits
 

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Any similar threads with same or similar pictures? I am unable to shift out of Park. I suspect its the magnet alignment. PCB under the shifter stick looks good but who knows if there is a break in one of the circuits
Had the same problem a while back, turned out to be a coin that had slipped out of the coin tray and fell down jaming the shift lock
 

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So my shifter in my 05 V8 won't let me into sport mode and the rubber is torn/jammed/broken and I believe is one of the magnetic sensing deals(though I don't entirely understand the mechanism) but I need a new part. Does anyone have the name of the part or a part number for this? I need to order something after some more investigating but I don't have the proper terminology.

Does it matter if I don't have keyless start or that I have the EAS?
Still trying to get a handle on what I need to do and buy.
Thanks
 
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