How to complete a DSG to manual swap in a Mk5 Jetta TDI

Mar 6, 2016
How to complete a DSG to manual swap in a Mk5 Jetta TDI
  • How to complete a DSG to manual swap in a Mk5 BRM TDI(Under Construction/Work in Progress-will update with pics, links, and more info)
    by Jon Tallent

    Difficulty: 4/5

    With proper maintenance the MK5 BRM TDI with a manual transmission can be a 500k mile car. Many have experienced failing clutch packs, DMFs, and mechatronics units with the DSG transmission. The cost the dealer charges to repair these issues can now exceed the value of the vehicle. Many still love these cars, but do not want to invest large amounts of money into a DSG transmission that can develop the same issues down the road. The manual transmissions have proven to be more reliable.

    When I decided to manual swap my 2006 MK5 Jetta BRM TDI with DSG I could not find any info online. I found many who had manual swapped MK4 TDIs and some who had manual swapped MK5 gas engine cars, but no one who had done it on a MK5 TDI. A few naysayers, that at the time I felt were more knowledgeable, told me it was not possible. When these vehicles rolled down the assembly line they had build sheets and received parts to become cars with DSG, Tiptronic, or manual transmissions. I knew it was possible and was just a matter of swapping in the correct parts.

    It is my hope that this article will help others complete this swap and keep these great cars on the road. I feel that one does not need to be a professional technician to complete this swap. If you can change a clutch and understand basic 12v DC wiring you can do this. All it takes is persistence and patience.

    Parts List
    Manual Gearbox(I used a 5-speed from a 2006 TDI, but have reason to believe 6-speed gearboxes from European TDIs and US 09-10 MK5 TDIs will work as well.)
    Clutch and Flywheel
    Clutch Fork and Bearing
    Transmission plate/shim
    Axles(Driver's side and passenger side specific to MK5 and whichever gearbox you are using)
    Transmission mount( The wishbone mounts are exactly the same between the DSG and 5-speed manual and do not need to be swapped)
    Clutch pedal with integrated switches and clutch master cylinder
    Brake pedal(you could technically use the same brake pedal-mentioned further in how to section)
    Slave Cylinder
    Hose with clamps that runs from brake master cylinder to clutch master cylinder( The brake master cylinders between auto and manual cars are exactly the same and do not need swapped)
    Line with fittings that runs from clutch master cylinder to slave cylinder
    Shifter assembly with linkage
    Starter(DSG and manual starters are different)
    Brake fluid
    Gearbox oil
    Differential oil
    Coolant(You will lose some when you disconnect and bypass the DSG trans cooler)
    Electrical wire/connectors/solder/electrical tape/shrink wrap
    Clutch pedal 4-pin electrical connector
    Reverse switch 2-pin electrical connector
    All nuts/bolts including new stretch/TTY bolts

    1. Safely raise and support the vehicle

    2. Remove lower shield, driver's side inner fender liner, battery box, and air box

    3. Remove both front wheels

    4. Remove axles

    5. Safely support the engine

    6. Remove DSG transmission. Most sources recommend removing the drivers side control arm or lowering/removing the subframe. The shortcut I found is to remove the transaxle drive flanges and the transmission will easily drop out of the bottom of the car. Each drive flange is held on by one 6mm allen bolt. Wedge a screwdriver between the flange and transmission to keep the flange from spinning when removing the allen bolt. Once the allen bolt is removed the flange will slide out of the transmission. I did not need a puller.

    7. Remove DSG flywheel and install clutch/manual trans flywheel. I had to tap the DSG DMF flywheel in a circular pattern for it to break free. Once removed this is a good time to inspect your rear main seal for leaks.

    8. Swap DSG body to trans mount with manual body to trans mount. I highly recommend using new bolts as these are TTY/stretch bolts and it could be catastrophic if they failed. For a DSG to 5-speed manual the wishbone mount is the same.

    9. Remove exhaust from turbo to catalytic converter, and exhaust heat shield.

    10. Swap DSG shifter assembly with manual shifter assembly.

    11. Reinstall exhaust heat shield and exhaust.

    12. Remove under-dash trim. Larger people may want to remove the driver's seat to gain easier access to work underneath the dash.

    13. Install clutch pedal

    14. Swap brake pedal. If your car was built prior to November 2005 you will need to swap over your brake switch. If your car was built after November 2005 you do not need to swap the brake switch as it is mounted on the brake master cylinder and you will be using the same brake master cylinder.

    15. Reinstall under-dash trim

    16. Cut off nipple on the side of the brake master cylinder. Do not cut off all of the nipple. Leave part of the the flanged portion intact. Connect one end of hose with clamps on brake master cylinder and the other end on the clutch master cylinder.

    17. Install manual transmission.

    18. Install axles.

    19. Connect line from clutch pedal master cylinder to slave cylinder.

    20. Bleed the clutch.

    21. Connect and adjust shift linkage.

    22. Bypass DSG transmission cooler.

    23. Wire clutch pedal and reverse switch. See "wiring" section.

    24. Ensure everything is torqued to spec and all stretch/TTY bolts were replaced.

    25. Reinstall battery, battery tray, air box, lower shield, and driver's side inner fender liner.

    26. Install wheels

    27. Remove supports/ jack stands and lower car.

    28. Have a competent tuner flash the ECU to a manual or swap in a manual ECU and have a tuner bypass the immobilizer. See "coding" section.

    The MK5 5-speed manual transmission only has one electrical switch/sensor and that is the reverse switch. Unlike the MK4, the MK5 with manual transmission uses the ABS sensors to sense vehicle speed. The MK5 clutch pedal contains two switches. One is for the starter safety interlock and the other is for the cruise control.

    Clutch pedal connector
    1. Starter safety interlock-To prevent the vehicle from starting in gear the starter relay has a switched ground source. This safety mechanism is present in both the DSG and manual transmission. On the DSG this comes from the purple wire with black stripe at the DSG electrical connector. Simply grounding this wire will allow the vehicle to start. However, it will start in any gear if this is done. This can create safety issues if one forgets the clutch starter safety switch has been bypassed or an unsuspecting new driver of the vehicle is unaware. Connect this wire to one side of the clutch pedal switch and the other side to a chassis ground. This will prevent the vehicle from starting unless the clutch pedal is depressed which is normal operation for a vehicle that came factory with a manual transmission.

    (Note that the car will start and run just by completing step 1 and without completing steps 2, 3, and flashing of the ECU.)

    2. Cruise control-This step is not required for the vehicle to operate but is required for cruise control to be functional. The clutch pedal has a second switch that lets the ECU know the clutch pedal has been depressed. More on this later...

    3. Reverse switch-This step is not required for the vehicle to operate but is required for the vehicle reverse lights to function. The switch lies on top of the manual gearbox and is engaged when the shifter is placed in the reverse position. It uses a simple two wire connector. More on this later....

    Coding/ Flashing
    Unlike the MK4 platform the MK5 cannot be coded from auto to manual simply with VCDS. You will need to either have your ECU flashed to that of a manual transmission by a competent tuner or buy a manual ECU and have the immobilizer defeated. Note that this is not required for the car to run, but you will have a service engine light, traction control light, and will not have cruise control or traction control. I have so far driven 1500 miles with the original non-tuned/non-flashed ECU and have experienced zero issues besides pesky warning lights and no traction/cruise control. I assume zero risk if you go this route as the safer method is to have traction control. I plan on having my ECU flashed and will update when it is done.

    Cluster before flashing of ECU-Check engine light and traction control light due to ECU and ABS modules not recognizing the DSG as present.(Note-TPMS light is unrelated to the swap. There was a faulty TPMS sensor.)

    Final thoughts/ Conclusion

  • Loading...