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HOW TO: VW Wiring Hack (convert your car to Euro/MACH headlights .... with pictures!)

63193 Views 90 Replies 37 Participants Last post by  ViperCheekz
***updated October 12, 2017 to move all pictures from photobuket to flickr***

While there is the OFOC how-to, which I used to initially wire my car, it is a daunting task to a lot of people. I decided to cut my harness back apart, and rewire it so I could document the process.

Parts needed:

6 VW wire leads (you cut each one in half, so you will end up with 12 to use) -- Part Number 000-979-133 (get from VW dealer)
2 VW Plugs -- part number 1JO-973-735 (get from VW dealer)

2 15A fuses
Electrical tape
Wire cutters and strippers
10mm wrench

To do the splicing, you ether need

Butt Connectors (heat shrink connectors are a plus)
Soldering iron and solder

And obviously, a set of new headlights (MACHs, ST170s, Chrome Euro Facelifts, Hella DynaBeams, etc [anything with Euro/VW plugs needed])

Start by removing your headlights. All of these bolts are 10mm

There might be a bolt here

There will be a bolt here

And here

There is also a bolt on the bottom of the headlight. You need to jack your car up to get to it. I didn't get a picture of it because I never put that bolt back in, so I didn't have to take it out.

Now, get your VW plugs and leads. Cut each wire lead in half. When you look at the plug, there are numbers on the front of it. Put a lead in spots 1,2,3,4,6, and 8.

Next, put the orange rubber grommet in the plug if it isn't already there

Then slide the purple retaining clip in

Now you're ready to start wiring.

Grab the stock headlight plug, and use some wire snips to cut each wire.

Hold the plug you just cut off, and look for the numbers where the wires come out

Now you need to get this wiring diagram out.

**NOTE: I reference the colors present in my wiring harness. I have a 2002 SVT. If you have a different year or model, there is a very good chance that your wire colors are different than mine. However, I still reference my colors to help get the point across**

On your plug you cut off the car, find the wire in spot 6.That is your high beams. Make note of the color combo of the wire (mine was GREEN AND BLACK). On your piece of paper with the wiring diagram, write "high beams --- GREEN AND BLACK --- PIN 1".

Now look at your stock plug again, and look at the wire coming out of spot 7. Make note of the wire color (mine was GREEN AND ORANGE). On your wiring diagram, write "low beams -- GREEN AND ORANGE -- PIN 2".

And then you have one more wire, the black one. That is your GROUND. On your wiring diagram, write "ground -- BLACK -- PIN 6".

At this point, you need to get out your wire strippers and strip all three of your wires where you cut your plug off the car, as well as all the wires on the VW plug.

Also, you need to get out your splicing supplies. You can use butt connectors, heat shrink butt connectors, and soldering. It's your call. I used heat shrink butt connectors. I bought them at WalMart.

On the VW plug, there are numbers too

Now get your wiring diagram out, and find the wire on the VW plug coming out of spot 6. Connect that to your BLACK wire.

Next, get the wire coming out of spot 2 on the VW plug. Connect that to the correct color wire from the car that you wrote down on your wiring diagram. Mine was GREEN AND ORANGE..

Next, get the wiring coming out of spot 1 on the VW plug. Connect that to the appropriate wire on the car. Mine was GREEN AND BLACK.

Crimp them down

Now it is time to deal with getting the blinkers and city/running light hooked up to the VW harness.

Cut off the plug , but make sure you leave enough room to get in there and strip the end as well as get in there and crimp.

Now look at the plug you just cut off

The wire in the middle goes to pin 3 on the VW harness

The black wire goes to pin 8 on the VW harness

The last remaining wire goes to pin 4 on the VW harness

Make a note of this on your wiring diagram, which color wire goes to which pin on the VW harness

Now you need to make the extension so you can reach the VW harness. Get 3 different color wires. I put them through some heat shrink

Strip the ends

Crimp the butt connectors to the ends, and use a lighter or a heat gun to heat up the heatshrink that is one the butt connectors so it shrinks. Also, as it shrinks it melts the glue to get a weathertight seal.

Crimp the butt connectors onto the wiring from the blinker harness. When you do this, make note of which color wires are connected and write this down on your wiring diagram so you know which wires to connect to which pins on the VW plug

I made black be my ground wire, red be the blinker wire, and yellow be my city light lead.

Use your lighter or heat gun to shrink the ends of the butt connectors. At this point, you really could just leave the wires as-is. but I wrapped them in electrical tape to make it look more factory-ish

Now you're almost ready to splice them into the VW plug.

Run the wiring behind the core support

And get it ready to splice

Refer to your wiring diagram where you wrote down which wires are which, and splice them to the VW plug

My wiring went like this:

BLACK -- Pin 8
RED -- Pin 4
YELLOW -- Pin 3

Get it all properly lined up, then crimp them and use a lighter or heat gun to shrink the heat shrink and get the glue melted to create a weatherproof seal.

Once you get it all shrunk down and sealed up, like before you can either leave it be or wrap it in electrical tape. For the extra bit of protection and to make it look more factory, I wrapped it in electrical tape

And once you get it all wrapped, go back and tuck any wires you can out of sight


tucked under a bit:

Finally, go in your underhood fuse box. Replace fuses 16 & 17 with 15A fuses. The ones in it are 10A, if you leave the 10A ones in there they will blow!

Install your headlights and test out that each function works as it should (city light, blinker, high beams, low beams). It might be a good idea to plug your headlight in and test these after you crimp the connectors but before you heatshrink and tape all of the connections, that way if you mix something up you won’t have to tear it all back apart….like I did the first time I did this conversion!

Now grab a beer and enjoy the new look of your car with European-spec headlights!

I hope this was helpful!!!!!!

And as a side note, fuuuuuuuuck photobucket for what they did. I spent about an hour and a half figuring out how to download the pictures (hint, I had to visit the page for each individual picture, click "see full size" and then save it from there).
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Now see, this is a perfect write up for someone like me. What I like is the simplicity of the instructions and the pics. I have read the sticky how to write ups and always wanted pics. The instructions here are easy and basic. I definitely feel comfortable with this how to version.

Thanks to the OP for taking the time to simplify this conversion. For whatever reason I was intimidated with attempting the swap. Not anymore. With this gem in hand, I know I can do it. I would have never thought it to be so straight forward and simple.

Nice job:thumbup:

I vote this how for sticky status in the ****Everything Exterior- Mod's and How-To's**** thread! Maybe call it "SVT3658's simple Euro headlight hack".
The "plugs", NOT the "headlight socket", that came with the headlights.

Yeah, I understand what your saying here, but I am not talking about the "VW Style" plug on the back of the headlight housing. I am referring to the "Euro headlight plugs" that came with the headlights.

The picture above shows the same plugs VW would give me, so why am I buying another set of "VW Style" plugs, if I already have a set? I can just cut these and wire them up like you have in the OP.

Your reply makes it seem like I just randomly posted in this thread about wiring the Hella's without actually giving me the benefit of the doubt that I actually know what the hell I am talking about.

I apologize for not having a more specific question, so I hope the picture helps with what I'm saying about using the plugs that came with the headlights.
The Xenons come with the extra harness. It's more than an extension harness, it is what you use to run back to the real LCA sensor so the self leveling headlight function works. But if you don't want to install the rear LCA sensor (I didn't) then the harness is not at all needed. The Dynabeam extension harness plugs into the AFS box, so it is needed.

Pro, you can use the Xenon extension harness plugs. This has been brought up somewhere, but I checked the GB's first post and I must have goofed and not added the information when it became available. IIRC Tobyboom posted the info up at some point. I will add it now. Sorry for any confusion out there.
It's more than an extension harness, it is what you use to run back to the real LCA sensor so the self leveling headlight function works. But if you don't want to install the rear LCA sensor (I didn't) then the harness is not at all needed. ;)
I was not aware the extension harnesses included in the Xenon kit were for the LCA sensor. Thanks for clearing that up.
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