6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit

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6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby Der Finne. » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:02 pm

These instructions are for retrofitting a multifunction steering wheel (MFSW) to a standard non-GTI Polo 6R. For a GTI the retrofit is a lot less complicated, see here.

NB: I live in Finland where cars are left-hand-drive, so all pics and instructions apply to an LHD car. An RHD car can very probably be retrofitted in a similar fashion, but there might be an easier/cleverer place to connect one of the extra wires in an RHD car. More on this further down these instructions.

You can retrofit a standard Polo MFSW with just the buttons on the left spoke, or you can use a flat-bottom MFSW from a Golf/Scirocco that has the buttons on both spokes. Or, if you have a standard Polo with the DSG gearbox, then retrofit a Polo GTI MFSW with the gearchange paddles and those will work too! (I can't provide coding help for the latter, but I know it can be done.)

Please note these restrictions and requirements:
- the airbag from a basic round buttonless steering wheel of a standard non-GTI Polo DOES NOT PHYSICALLY FIT into a MFSW of either shape! Therefore you must also get a new airbag and airbag wiring loom suitable for the MFSW.
- two extra wires must be added to the car's electrical system
- software coding (using e.g. VCDS) is needed to get the MFSW buttons and horn to function

One of the extra wires needed is for the LIN bus that the SW button control module needs to "talk" with other systems of the car. This wire runs from the airbag slip ring / stalk switch connector (T41, pin 10) behind the steering wheel. It's other end goes to the Central Electronics Control Module box J519 (white connector T73b, pin 17).

The other extra wire brings continuous +12V to the steering wheel, and runs from the airbag slip ring / stalk switch connector (T41, pin 9). The other end is originally connected to the fusebox, fourth fuse (SB4, 2A) from the left in the upper row. Unfortunately in my case that position was empty, didn't ven have the"claws" that hold a fuse. So I had to find an alternative place to connect the other end of that wire to. The easiest place (in an LHD car at least) is the light switch connector's pin 15.

All clear? Oh well, that's quite alright. Let's begin anyway:

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Parts, tools and accessories needed, for example:
- MFSW with buttons
- buttons control module with appropriate wiring
- airbag suitable for MFSW
- airbag wiring loom (5K0 971 584 A) with connector for buttons control module
- repair wire (000 979 009 E) with pins suitable for slip ring / stalk switch connector
- 0.35...0.5sqmm wire to extend repair wire
- shrink tubing to insulate wire connections
- Torx screwdriver T20 (and optionally T25)
- Torx bit T55
- torque wrench
- tools to make electrical connections (soldering iron, cutting pliers etc.)
- bandage, tranquilisers...

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Disconnect the battery earth cable (-).

Insulate the end of the loose cable so that it doesn't conduct electricity, should it for any reason touch the battery minus pole. Before moving on to remove the airbag, wait for at least 15 minutes for any electrical charges in the car's component to discharge.

Sit in the car and touch the metallic door lock counterpiece on the B-pillar, to discharge any electrical charging you might have stored in your clothing. This is to rule out even the remotest theoretical possibility that the potential difference could make the airbag go bang.

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Turn the steering wheel 90 degrees from the straight-ahead position.

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Use a mirror to see a hole on the back of the stering wheel. In that hole you can see one of the airbag retaining loops.

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Use a flathead screwdriver to lever the retaining loop around the stud on the steering wheel. Simultaneously, pull from the edge of the airbag towards you.

Next, turn the steering wheel 180 degrees and undo the retaining loop on the other side. Then the airbag is free (apart from the wiring).

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Hold the airbag in your other hand to prevent it hanging from the wiring. Undo the yellow connector that goes to the slip ring. Pull the white locking piece towards you to free the connector.

Store the old airbag in a safe place WITH THE VW LOGO UP! If stored the other way up, should the airbag ignite for some reason, you have a potentially lethal projectile!

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Undo the steering wheel mounting bolt. If you don't have the special 12-star bit, a regular six-star Torx bit (T55) will do just fine.

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Turn the wheels and steering wheel back to straight-ahead position. Always a good practice to mark the position of the steering wheel in relation to the end of the steering axle, even if you weren't to mount the same wheel back on this car.

Pull the steering wheel free from the splines on the steering axle.

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Now you can see the airbag slip ring that makes all the electrical connections to the steering wheel. Avoid spinning the slip ring, otherwise you might lose its central position, which could lead to the ribbon cable getting destroyed the next time you turn the steering to full lock. Use tape to "lock" the slip ring to this central position.

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Lock the steering wheel height adjustment to its lowest position. Pull out the trim piece under the instrument panel, it's held with three clips.

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Push the steering column upper trim half from both sides as shown to unclip it from the lower trim half.

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The upper trim half should pop up as shown.

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The front end of the upper half remains still "hinged" to the lower half. Free the upper half from the lower half completely by "un-hinging" the front end (just lift up).

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Remove the lower trim half: Undo the mounting screws (T20) on both sides, accessible from above.

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One more mounting screw (T20) beneath.

Now you can remove the lower trim half.
Last edited by Der Finne. on Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby Der Finne. » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:02 pm

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Prepare the extra wires. Pictured is the yellow VW repair wire (000 979 009 E) that has pins suitable for the slip ring / stalk switch connector on both ends. Also pictured is some red and blue wire needed to extend the repair wire. The original wire colours should be red-black for the +12V and violet-white for the LIN bus, but I couldn't be bothered to hunt those down so went for the easy-to-get-hold-of red and blue...

Cut the repair wire in half.

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Remove the insulation from the ends of the wires. Twist together the end of the repair wire half and the end of the extension wire. Solder the joint.

Do the same to the other repair wire half and extension wire.

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Slide shrink tubing over the joint and shrink using hot-air gun or similar.

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Undo the connector T41 at the slip ring / stalk switch. There's a locking to the connector: lift up the locking rod as indicated by the green arrow.

In the picture, the slip ring / stalk switch unit is removed from the steering column for ease of access to the connector. Should you want to do the same, just loosen the Torx screw (T25) on the metal tightening collar, and the unit can be pulled away from the steering column.

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Locking rod completely up, the connector is free to come off.

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Remove the connector cover: Prise up the locking tabs indicated by the green arrows, and simultaneously pull the cover to the direction indicated by the red arrow.

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The connector cover removed.

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Under the cover you can see the individual wire positions in the connector body. You'll need to add the ends of the repair wires to positions 9 and 10 indicated by the arrows.
- Position 9: +12V
- Position 10: LIN bus

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Push the ends of the repair wires into their designated positions. Make sure the locking tabs on the pins engage with connector body so the wires don't become loose later.

Route both new wires parallel to the existing wire looms.

Slide the connector cover back on making sure it locks into place.

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Next, connect the +12V wire to the light switch connector.

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Light switch removed and its connector exposed.

To remove the light switch, turn the knob clockwise and push. This frees a locking tab inside and enables the switch to be pulled out of the dashboard. Undo the connector from the switch.

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The required constant +12V is found at pin 15.

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Free the pin 15 from the connector body using an approriate tool, or alternatively by pushing with to lengths of suitable diameter metal wire or similar.

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The pin freed. You can see the small locking tabs you need to push down for the pin to come out.

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Connect the new wire coming from te slip ring / stalk switch unit pin 9.

I decided to solder the end of the wire around the base of the connector pin. This way there's no need to touch the original wire itself. The electrical tape is to keep the new wire in place until I've soldered it in place

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The new wire soldered to the base of the pin. Try to make the join as thin as possible, otherwise you may have trouble getting the pin to fit back into the connector body. Be careful not to destroy the dashboard with the hot soldering iron!

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The new wire in place. Shrink tubing and a wire tie used to secure the new wire.
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6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby Der Finne. » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:02 pm

So far it's all been easy peasy! Next it gets more than a bit fiddly as we connect the LIN bus wire. Some inhuman working positions are required, as well as the patience of a cow and the hands of a gynechologist. This is also where the bandages and tranquilisers can become handy... ;)

The original wire for the LIN bus is found at the Central Electronics Control Module (CECM). On LHD cars this module is situated inside the dashboard above the driver's footwell. The module should be visible by peeking under the dashboard, there should be two large connectors (a black and a white) connected to it.

I've read that there should be a connector behind the right-hand side lower A-pillar trim panel that also has a LIN bus wire. For RHD cars, this could be an easier place to get the LIN bus from as there'd be no need to run a wire through the crowded centre console area to the other side of the vehicle. This we'd need to do more research on!

Laying on your back on the LHS sill, undo both of the connectors coming to the CECM. There's a locking latch again on the connectors, free it by turning it down 90 degrees.

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The CECM removed. It pays off to remove it since this created just a little more space to work in. At least on LHD cars that area is a nightmare to access, on RHD cars it MIGHT be a doddle since the glovebox can be removed. I've no access to a RHD Polo so unfortunately can't say...

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The connector cover is removed by spreading the locking tabs on both sides in the direction of the green arrow, while simultaneously pulling the cover in the direction of the red arrow.

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Under the cover is the connector body with two halves. You'll need to slide the halves apart to get access to the pin 17 situated in one of the inner rows. The wire in question is violet-white in colour.

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Free the violet-white wire from the connector body position 17. It should free using roughly the same method as for the light switch connector before. Then you can remove the insulation from around the copper wire for connecting the new wire. The insulation can be removed by very very carefully cuting/carving with a small, sharp hobby knife. Being just 0.35sqmm in diameter, the wire is very delicate and easily destroyed, so be careful!

On this connector you can't solder the new wire around the base of the connector pin as it would get too thick, meaning it couldn't fit back inside the connector body. That's why you need to do the soldering further up the wire.

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Wrap the new wire coming from the slip ring / stalk switch unit pin 10 around the violet-white wire. Solder it, again careful not to damage anything with the hot soldering iron.

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Insulate the connection with shrink tubing. Don't run the tubing all the way to the pin as in the picture: I had trouble get the pin to fit into the connector body so had to cut away some of the tubing.

Slide the separated connector body halves back together, then slide the connector cover back on again making sure it locks in place.

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Now the worst is behind us, both of the wires are soldered in. You should now measure the new wires from end to end with a multimeter to check their electrical continuity is OK. If not, find out what's wrong and correct that. Provided they're OK you should now tidy the installation by taping the new wires to the existing wire loom. If you use the original VW Coroplast fabric tape you can really hide the installation to look very OEM. Or if you're lazy just secure the new wires at appropriate distances with wire ties.

Next, remount any removed components and secure their connectors. Remount the steering columns trim halves.

Now you can install the new MFSW. Make sure the front wheels are in straight-ahead position and try to align the steering wheel accordingly. Refit the steering wheel mounting bolt and first tighten it to 30Nm, then tighten it another 90 degrees. NOTE: Do NOT tighten the bolt against the steering lock! That could damage it! Keep the steering unlocked and hold against with your other hand, or have an assistant hold the wheel while you tighten the bolt.

Take the MFSW airbag and connect its loom's yellow connector to the slip ring, making sure the white locking thing locks in place. Remember to connector the black multi-connector to the steering wheel buttons' control module! Push the airbag onto the steering wheel to engage the retaining loops.

The physical side of the installation is now ready. All that remains is to reconnect the battery earth cable and move on to software coding.
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6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby Der Finne. » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:03 pm

You'll need to reconfigure the CECM to get the multifunction buttons and the horn to function.

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In VCDS, select address 09.

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Then select "Coding - 07".

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Select "Long Coding Helper".

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Find the checkbox "Multi-Function-Steering-Wheel (MFSW) installed" and check that.
For this particular CECM it was Byte 9 Bit 3.

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If you have a VW bluetooth kit that supports voice control and want to enable that feature, find the checkbox "Push-to-Talk Function via Multi-Function-Steering-Wheel (MFSW) active" and check that.
In this case it was Byte 15 Bit 0.

When you've made the required alterations, select "Exit".

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Confirm the changes by selecting "Do It!".

Next you can tell the radio it's being controlled by steering wheel buttons. I don't know if this step is strictly necessary, since after a quick test my SW buttons did control the radio even before this.

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In VCDS, select address "56 - Radio".

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And again "07 - Coding".

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And "Long Coding Helper".

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For the RCD510, Byte 3 Bit 0 is "Shortpress Steering Wheel Buttons installed". Check that.

Then "Exit" and confirm the changes by selecting "Do It!".

---------------------------------------

Now the necessary coding changes are ready and the horn and the buttons should function! Time to admire the fruits of the hard work:

Image
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby Joz » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:12 pm

Bloody hell, that was A LOT of work :P

I'm really impressed you took your time to post a DIY ;)
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby tt509 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:14 pm

Joz wrote:
Bloody hell, that was A LOT of work :P

I'm really impressed you took your time to post a DIY ;)

x2 well done
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby myothercarsapolo » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:57 am

top notch
i could never do that.
excellent job
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby The Sheriff » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:26 pm

amazing job !! well done. and thanks for posting this how to.
just a quick question, if i wanted to fit a flat-bottom steering wheel from a Golf/Scirocco (r line one) to a standard non-GTI Polo 6R . is it just a straight forward swap or do i need to work some magic to get the horn and airbag to work ?
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby The Sheriff » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:18 pm

anybody ?
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby Lieto » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:33 pm

- the airbag from a basic round buttonless steering wheel of a standard non-GTI Polo DOES NOT PHYSICALLY FIT into a MFSW of either shape! Therefore you must also get a new airbag and airbag wiring loom suitable for the MFSW.

Are you absolutely sure about that? I asked guys who are selling gti wheels and they told me its 50/50 chance
By just looking on it i'd say it looks like it should fit.

Compare:

GTI:
Image

My current wheel:
Image

Looks rly similar. The airbag that is.
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby Lieto » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:14 pm

for those who might be interested — airbag doesnt fit.
It does fit on polo sedan however
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby tt509 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:11 pm

8)
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby thechanz » Tue May 15, 2012 11:49 am

that is awesome, thanks for the tutorial, it is very detail. I have a standard polo moda manual gearbox model with a plain steering wheel. Do I have to have a GTI wheel to have a multifunction buttons? So then I can keep my current airbag. If not then where can I get a hold of a GTI wheel with multifunction buttons?
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby Bear807 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:10 pm

That's a lot of work, thumb up for this really awesome guide? Do you have any experience in retrofitting a midline or highline computers? A guide will be useful!
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby DarkRanger » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:39 am

First post and I'm reviving an old thread. Apologies! :oops: :oops:

However, can anybody tell me what the part number is? I have a 6R Cross Polo TDI with the RNS510 unit in, I'm retrofitting a full LCD Cluster, so want to get this to complete the package. :D
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6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby jammydodger » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:11 pm

Sorry for dragging up such an,old thread but can anyone tell me if my airbag from a plastic non-multifunction steering wheel will fit into a leather non-multifunction steering wheel... Thanks :)
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby alexperkins » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:16 pm

It will not sadly

The leather steering wheel is a different design regardless of being multifunction or not (same wheel, just has blanks)
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby jammydodger » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:19 pm

:( damn!
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby Antonio92 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:55 pm

As far as I know, the airbag DOES fit (50/50 chance) if going from a leather round non-multifunction steering wheel (Polo Advance) to a round multifunction steering wheel (Polo Sport) with ONLY left buttons. It won't fit if updating to a MFSW with left and right butons.
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby Retali » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:05 pm

I am really confused here,

Does the airbag, from a leather highline steering wheel, fit to a NO-multifunctional T5 (Gt/etc) wheel ?!

What should we guys look for in order to be certain ?!

Has anyone tried the above combination that i mention ?

Airbag from leather steering wheel to a T5 nomulti steering wheel .
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby Timbo220181 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:02 am

Guys, sorry to drag up an onld thread - I'm about to take stock of an R line Polo and the MFSW isnt an option annoyingly.....

Having spoken to parts they are about as clear as mud. Please can someone confirm which bits I need to do this retro fit?

Is it just the buttons and the cruise stalk? Obviously I have the R line flat bottomed wheel so I wont need the air-bag correct?

I seem to be getting told it cant be done in the dealerhsip, but this DIY says otherwise

Many thanks
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Re: 6R - Multifunction Steering Wheel Retrofit
Postby diskoboy » Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:25 pm

The LIN-BUS can also be found on T28a/16 (connector to the driver door LHD cars). Perhaps it's easier for some :-)
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