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#314703 - 06/10/2008 02:50 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
It's been about 6 months, so it's time for me to install an empeg in a new car. This is my new 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI... a rare commodity in the US. I installed the empeg by running it in into the aux input of an Alpine CDA-9885. XM radio and Garmin Nuvi 760 was also integrated. A full gallery of the install can be seen here, but I have included some of the more interesting pics below. Enjoy!




The original stereo


There's a lot of space in there.


A whole mess of wires and boxes need to be stuffed in there.


Getting there...


The red is good.

_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#314705 - 06/10/2008 03:41 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI [Re: robricc]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3398
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
Very nice install. It's cool to see new installs happening now and again.
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~ John

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#314711 - 06/10/2008 11:56 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI [Re: JBjorgen]
sein
old hand

Registered: 07/01/2005
Posts: 883
Loc: Sector ZZ9pZa
Nice car Rob, and good looking install too!
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Hussein

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#314718 - 06/10/2008 14:09 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI [Re: robricc]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
Rob, you are by far the most prolific empeg installer. wink
Another job well done!
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10101311 (20GB- backup empeg)
10101466 (2x60GB, Eutronix/GreenLights Blue) (Stolen!)

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#314719 - 06/10/2008 14:46 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI [Re: Robotic]
Ian Whelan
new poster

Registered: 20/09/2004
Posts: 10
That install came out pretty well, but the photos don't show well enough how much wiring and little control boxes we had to stuff into the dash. The lot of boxes including the Garmin VIB-11, the XM tuner, the XM to alpine box, and a few other small boxes. The harness is pretty well compressed into there, even with the large amount of space behind the original stereo. It was pretty painless compared to some installs though.



Edited by Ian Whelan (06/10/2008 14:47)
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-Ian

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#315956 - 05/11/2008 23:54 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI [Re: Ian Whelan]
FireFox31
pooh-bah

Registered: 19/09/2002
Posts: 2491
Loc: East Coast, USA
Nice install. Two headunits are always better than one.

No red buttons?
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FireFox31
110gig MKIIa (30+80), Eutronix lights, 32 meg stacked RAM, Filener orange gel lens, Greenlights Lit Buttons green set

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#316317 - 13/11/2008 19:54 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: robricc]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA

It turns out that the Alpine head unit was a supreme piece of garbage. So bad infact, that I decided to go through the pain of taking this install apart to replace the head unit. The Alpine CDA-9885 was replaced with a Kenwood KDC-MP538U as pictured. I settled on the Kenwood because some online retailers claimed the illumination was switchable from blue to red. This is not the case. Some modification is in order.

Aside from the illumination not being switchable, it's simply too bright. On the whole, this is a much better head unit than the Alpine which frequently locked-up. The illumination is just a bit too much for me.


This is the display board of the Kenwood. I added bits of theatrical lighting gel to cover up the bright blue LEDs. I was going to try and match the color of the VW gauges, but I ultimately decided to use the darkest blue we had to cut down on the brightness.


A closer look at the gel application. The LEDs are super-tiny. You can see an exposed one labled D1 and D2 on the board. D1 is actually a red LED used for the triangle in the Kenwood logo. It's not too bright and can stay as-is. D2 is a blue LED that has yet to be covered. The gel is held on with GE Silicon II.

You can also see some LEDs on the top and bottom of the VFD. I will not be covering these because you can disable them in the head unit's menu system. I will never turn them on because they're just too gaudy for me.


A view of the XM screen on the newly-red Kenwood VFD. The information one the display is highly customizable. I went for a pretty minimalist set of information/effects.


Empeg feeding the Kenwood in AUX mode.


Overview in daylight.


Overview at night.


Closeup at night.
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#316318 - 13/11/2008 20:17 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: robricc]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
That looks pretty nice. Did you just put a gel in front of the Kenwood's VFD in order to get it to be red?
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Bitt Faulk

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#316320 - 13/11/2008 21:23 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: wfaulk]
sein
old hand

Registered: 07/01/2005
Posts: 883
Loc: Sector ZZ9pZa
Nice! Always love modified stuff, and the Kenwood looks good with the gel, especially at night.
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Hussein

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#316331 - 14/11/2008 00:17 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: wfaulk]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Originally Posted By: wfaulk
That looks pretty nice. Did you just put a gel in front of the Kenwood's VFD in order to get it to be red?

Thanks! Yeah, I just cut some red gel for the VFD. There is a purple tint on the plastic "lens" that can't be removed. I assume this tint is responsible for making the VFD appear white. During the day, the non-lit portion of the VFD has this tint. At night you can't see it.
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#316334 - 14/11/2008 00:25 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: sein]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Originally Posted By: sein
Nice! Always love modified stuff, and the Kenwood looks good with the gel, especially at night.

Thanks. If the Alpine worked well, I would have just left it alone. Actually, if the lighting on the Kenwood wasn't so bright, I would have left that alone too. But now that I modified it a bit, I couldn't be more pleased. The Kenwood's VFD really compliments the empeg well and the red gel is almost a perfect match to the stock red empeg lens.

I think I can finally put down my dashboard pry tools for a while.
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#316357 - 14/11/2008 13:09 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: robricc]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13498
Loc: Canada
I think it's amazing that you've managed to combine such gaudy colours into a whole that looks rather sharp, both day & night. Well done! (again!)

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#316363 - 14/11/2008 13:27 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: mlord]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
To be fair, I think the main work was done by VW designers. But Rob did do an excellent job matching it!
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Bitt Faulk

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#316368 - 14/11/2008 13:54 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13498
Loc: Canada
Mmm.. did you also try it with blue buttons on the empeg, to match the head unit?

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#318025 - 12/01/2009 11:11 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: robricc]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3450
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
Originally Posted By: robricc
Originally Posted By: wfaulk
That looks pretty nice. Did you just put a gel in front of the Kenwood's VFD in order to get it to be red?

Thanks! Yeah, I just cut some red gel for the VFD. There is a purple tint on the plastic "lens" that can't be removed. I assume this tint is responsible for making the VFD appear white. During the day, the non-lit portion of the VFD has this tint. At night you can't see it.


I'm slightly amazed that people are still using VFDs - I thought all the head unit guys had moved to other (not necessarily better...) technology. Looks like a Noritake one too!

Hugo

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#318428 - 24/01/2009 03:34 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: mlord]
FireFox31
pooh-bah

Registered: 19/09/2002
Posts: 2491
Loc: East Coast, USA
Nice modification! Yes, you certainly need blue buttons. Or if it's the subtlety you're after, how about dark blue buttons.....
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FireFox31
110gig MKIIa (30+80), Eutronix lights, 32 meg stacked RAM, Filener orange gel lens, Greenlights Lit Buttons green set

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#329858 - 05/02/2010 21:34 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: FireFox31]
siberia37
old hand

Registered: 09/01/2002
Posts: 702
Loc: Tacoma,WA
I wish I could find a TDI- here on the West Coast getting one is like trying to find Sasquatch. Dealers are even marking them up above sticker price. I wish Ford would get there act together and start importing the Diesel Focus.

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#329884 - 07/02/2010 02:48 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: siberia37]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
It was the same crap when I was buying this car. I went to AZ to pick it up because the dealer had one in stock and was charging sticker when others weren't. The car now has 50,000 miles on it without any major problems. It has never been to a VW dealer because I do my own maintenance and nothing has ever broke. Well... conveniently there is a check engine light now that the warranty period is over. Turns out some sensor in the exhaust flap is giving false readings. The condition is not dire, so I'm taking my time deciding if I want to change it or let a shop deal with it.

Still... it's one of the best cars I've ever had. Good power, fantastic fuel economy, and good build quality.
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#329967 - 10/02/2010 21:15 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: robricc]
siberia37
old hand

Registered: 09/01/2002
Posts: 702
Loc: Tacoma,WA
Originally Posted By: robricc
It was the same crap when I was buying this car. I went to AZ to pick it up because the dealer had one in stock and was charging sticker when others weren't. The car now has 50,000 miles on it without any major problems. It has never been to a VW dealer because I do my own maintenance and nothing has ever broke. Well... conveniently there is a check engine light now that the warranty period is over. Turns out some sensor in the exhaust flap is giving false readings. The condition is not dire, so I'm taking my time deciding if I want to change it or let a shop deal with it.

Still... it's one of the best cars I've ever had. Good power, fantastic fuel economy, and good build quality.


I am picking up a used 2005 Golf TDI today with 50,000 miles on it. Did you do your own transmission service at 40,000 or does the 2010 not need this anymore? It looks like you need a special tool (VAG-COM) to do it so I probably won't attempt it myself.

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#329970 - 10/02/2010 23:52 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: siberia37]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
The DSG in my 2009 has a different service interval. I'll probably take the car to my mechanic for the service though. I do have a VAG-COM, but not some of the other tools needed.

Congrats on the Golf.
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#330646 - 28/02/2010 19:14 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: robricc]
nathan27
new poster

Registered: 02/10/2007
Posts: 1
How are you connecting the empeg to the other head unit? Are you using the RCA outputs or going through the speaker outputs on the cradle?

I got a '03 Passat recently and would like to set it up similar to yours, but I don't want to run another amp if I don't have to.

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#330672 - 01/03/2010 13:07 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: nathan27]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
The front left & right RCA outputs of the empeg are run into the AUX input on the Kenwood head unit.
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#331422 - 25/03/2010 14:40 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: robricc]
shrifty
new poster

Registered: 25/03/2010
Posts: 1
Hi Rob, I ran into the same issue regarding the exhaust flap last year in November at around 40K miles. I have an 09 TDI sedan. The dealership said that the part is not covered under warranty and will cost around $500 to fix. I spoke with another Jetta TDI owner with around 40K as well who ran into this. If possible, it was recommended to just clean the part instead of replacing. Hopefully this doesn't need to be replaced every 40 - 50K....

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#332264 - 21/04/2010 16:41 Re: 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI (take 2) [Re: robricc]
srhodes
enthusiast

Registered: 30/01/2000
Posts: 262
Loc: Derbyshire, UK
That looks really good.

I'm assuming you're just using the aux in on the Kenwood. Is that from phono on the empeg to 3.5mm jack or something more sophisticated?


Edited by srhodes (21/04/2010 16:46)
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Steve

2x80GB Mk II with Illuminated buttons

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