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Clutchless ignition update: solved (maybe)

Ridebjj

Autocross Champion
Location
lasVegas
This is now my DIY thread for how I was able to defeat the clutch in ignition requirement for the Mk7. It has been working for me without issue since February 2020.

Total cost ~$100.
Time to install: 2 to 4 hours, possibly.
Modifications to stock equipment: Drilling two small 4mm holes in the plastic clutch pedal housing.

The concept:
The clutch in on the mk7 used a magnetic hall effect sensor to tell the computer the position of the pedal. Using a strong magnet in the right spot, you can fool the sensor into thinking the clutch is pressed.

This hack uses an electric solenoid to slide a magnet into and then back out of position when turning the car on, which fools the sensor and the ecm into thinking the clutch has been pressed and just as importantly, released. Please to observe below:


Instructions on how to use the parts, build and install is spread through this thread, but mostly begin on page 5 with the most info on page 6.
Reading the whole thread should give you all the info you need.


Parts List:
1) 3D printed Solenoid mount:
Solenoid mount @ TinkerCad

or download the attached file and change the file extension name from ".zip" to ".stl". It is NOT a zip file.

Use shapeways.com to print it in steel for about $30.

2) Solenoid with an available 1+ inch of stroke ($25)
https://www.testco-inc.com/ledex-solenoids/195207-225

3) Spring return kit ($15)
https://www.testco-inc.com/ledex-solenoids/153914-001

4) Timer delay logic module, for turning it off after car starts ($20) - optional, you can also just use a button)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HNDOCKK

5) Magnet kit
https://www.amazon.com/DIYMAG-Refrigerator-Magnets-Industrial-Whiteboard/dp/B07MV2MKD5

6) Non-magnetic m3 bolts (you can use any nuts that fit, magnetic or otherwise)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NZLTDH6/ref=cm_sw_r_apa_i_xeqMEbNX91T35

7) Some decent glue/epoxy

8) A little piece of rubber to go on the end of the solenoid plunger to which a magnet will be attached (epoxied / glued).
Below is what I used. A little rubber stopper thing from a cabinet door that I filed to have a flat top. Other people have used plastic for this. Use something non-magnetic.


9) Add a circuit for grabbing power from the fusebox behind the cubby:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013JXVG2U

10) A click switch for disabling the system (putting the car into factory mode):
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L9JWVVR




Tools List:

1)
VCDS (or maybe OBD11) to monitor the clutch position sensors during install. See video on page 5.

2) Some alligator leads for testing during install
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072174XRB

3) A soldering iron, solder, wiring shrink wrap and (optional) a multi-meter / continuity tester

4) A dremel or small drill for making the holes in the plastic clutch pedal housing. It's too cramped to get a normal sized drill in there.

Then various screwdriviers, wire cutters, hex keys, etc etc.
 

Attachments

  • solenoidmount.zip
    33.5 KB · Views: 113
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A7xogg

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Milford pa
If it keeps ur engine from ruining itself, it's worth it. I haven't even tried to wire up and test my electric magnet I bought I've just been using my magnet stick.
 

Ridebjj

Autocross Champion
Location
lasVegas
Those little neodymium magnets are very strong, and I think just as importantly, orient the field in the exact right way to trip the sensors. I tried 3 different electromagnets from small to pretty big and none of them came close to working.

If you can figure it out, you're a better man than I.
 

Ridebjj

Autocross Champion
Location
lasVegas
I don't understand the point in doing that.

Some people think cold starts with the clutch in exacerbates the thrust bearings going bad and ending up with crank walk. Especially with upgraded clutches using stronger pressure plates.

Being able to start the car without the clutch pressed would possibly mitigate that, if it's true.

I can't say if it is true, though it makes some sense. I mostly just wanted to see if it could be done.

Edit: and for another 20 bucks, it could be used as a ghetto remote start system.
 
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jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
Location
Phoenix
Car(s)
2018 SE DSG
Some people think cold starts with the clutch in exacerbates the thrust bearings going bad and ending up with crank walk. Especially with upgraded clutches using stronger pressure plates.

Being able to start the car without the clutch pressed would possibly mitigate that, if it's true.

I can't say if it is true, though it makes some sense. I mostly just wanted to see if it could be done.

Thanks for the explanation.
 

JerseyDrew77

Autocross Champion
Location
Virginia & NC
Car(s)
2016 TR GTI S 6MT
Some people think cold starts with the clutch in exacerbates the thrust bearings going bad and ending up with crank walk. Especially with upgraded clutches using stronger pressure plates.

Being able to start the car without the clutch pressed would possibly mitigate that, if it's true.

I can't say if it is true, though it makes some sense. I mostly just wanted to see if it could be done.

Edit: and for another 20 bucks, it could be used as a ghetto remote start system.

I would think/hope that if it is true, VW would address the issue and come up with a solution BUT I don't think the issue is big enough for VW to look in to it. Like you said, it's just a theory right now.
 

Ridebjj

Autocross Champion
Location
lasVegas
Quick update - have been using this for coming up on 10 days, and the last 7 using for my usual routine (as opposed to just dozens of tests in a row while sitting in the garage). That's on the order of 30 starts as part of normal use, plus 50 or so tests.

Has not yet failed to work. No faults, no codes, etc.

I installed a toggle switch in the cubby box to disable the whole thing - so that you can do a normal press of the start button without the car turning over.

If this is helping fend off crank walk, I could not say. But it is nice to be able to start the car at 6am by just sticking my arm in.

Will update again at one month, or if something new happens - like an explosion.
 

MeltedSolid

Drag Racing Champion
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Car(s)
2015 Golf, e36 328i
I'm probably missing most of the relevant conversation, but why is it important for the magnet to be removed from the sensor? What would happen if you just left it there?
 

sterkrazzy

Autocross Champion
Location
United States
Car(s)
2018 R
I wouldn't mind having this set up on my car, but I'm an idiot and would need either need a detailed write up or someone to do it for me lol

I'll be following this.
 

Ridebjj

Autocross Champion
Location
lasVegas
I'm probably missing most of the relevant conversation, but why is it important for the magnet to be removed from the sensor? What would happen if you just left it there?

Other people from before I took up the task determined that It will throw errors / codes, eventually will fail to work unless you remove the magnet and clear the codes and even when it does work, things like the cruise control or anything else that depends on the clutch position sensors will get fubared from the ecu thinking the clutch is fully depressed 100% of the time.
 

95b14

Ready to race!
Location
845 NY
Appreciate the parts list, I may still give this a go when I have more time. I’ll have to find someone that does 3D printing. Thanks for putting the time in to come up with a good solution. I miss the simplicity of cutting the plug and butt connecting the wires for the switch in my old SE-R.
 

Ridebjj

Autocross Champion
Location
lasVegas
Here's a close up of the mount. I tried to think of a way where everything could remain stock, but in the end it made the most sense to drill 2 small holes (3mm) in the clutch pedal housing.

0127202044_HDR_copy_600x800.jpg
 

Ridebjj

Autocross Champion
Location
lasVegas
Great work. The install does look like a real pain but kudos for figuring it out!

Well, like anything - it sucked ass the first time, especially with no guide / info to follow. If I had to do it again from scratch, it probably wouldn't be bad at all.
 
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