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DIY: Virtual Cockpit Retrofit MK7 (aliexpress version)

Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
The Greater Boston Metropolitan Area
Car(s)
2019 Golf R
Don't mean to necrobump (okay, yes I do) ... but I installed this in my 2019 GLI a couple weeks ago. It's pretty great with a few quirks. As OP noted, the screen mirroring from your phone is rather useless, especially if you want audio -- but I wanted to point out that it's just an HDMI cable so you can plug basically anything into it ... including, in my case, a RasperryPi4b running MagicMirror2. I power it off a USB add-a-circuit stuffed in the circuit panel, it connects to my iPhone as a hotspot for internet access, and to the car stereo via bluetooth for audio out which is FAR superior to the digital console's FM transmitter.

With The RPi in there, I can now customize the digital cockpit display to be anything I want ... right now it's just Magic Mirror showing me a calendar and the weather forecast, and streaming backgrounds from Reddit's /r/wallpapers sub. In theory, I can connect it to the ODBII port and write my own custom gauges, or add a GPS module to the RPi and have a live map display on the dash at all times. Possibilities are limitless... but this ain't bad for the 20 minutes of effort I put into it.

View attachment 289350

When I had mine, I tried plugging an SNES Mini into the HDMI port and it didn't work :(
 
Location
All AROUND
Car(s)
MK VII 7R
So im looking into getting this for my 17' R.

Can some confirm these :

1- I have ACC, will the digital dash show the relevant information when in use.

2- i have factor Dynaudio setup, will this interfere with the audio quality or the setup generally?

3- My car is ACP/AA factory enabled, will it show the relevant information when in use, like spotify, Map, YTM etc.
 

bobloblawGTI

Autocross Champion
Location
DC
Car(s)
19 GTI SE 6MT
So im looking into getting this for my 17' R.

Can some confirm these :

1- I have ACC, will the digital dash show the relevant information when in use.

2- i have factor Dynaudio setup, will this interfere with the audio quality or the setup generally?

3- My car is ACP/AA factory enabled, will it show the relevant information when in use, like spotify, Map, YTM etc.
1. Yes.
2. Can't necessarily speak for Dynaudio, but there's no issues with the Fender audio/amp in our NAR cars.
3. No unfortunately there's no way to get any info from AppConnect (CarPlay/Android Auto) into the cluster as far as I'm aware.

[EDIT] I didn't see which thread this was and thought it was for the OEM one. Pretty sure all the above still applies but can't speak definitively to any of it since I've never done an Ali cluster before. Defer to @Acadia18 on all things Zhong :)
 
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Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
The Greater Boston Metropolitan Area
Car(s)
2019 Golf R
The AliExpress clusters don't show anything additional that's not already there on the OEM one. They're basically just a fancy way to show what the OEM ones do.

They do offer phone screen mirroring, but trust me when I say it is more of a gimmick than anything and not really useful.
 
Location
All AROUND
Car(s)
MK VII 7R
The AliExpress clusters don't show anything additional that's not already there on the OEM one. They're basically just a fancy way to show what the OEM ones do.

They do offer phone screen mirroring, but trust me when I say it is more of a gimmick than anything and not really useful.

Thanks guys, it looks like ACC is not supported, just got a message from the seller, a deal breaker TBH otherwise could have been a good alternative to 1.5K OE option.
 

Cuzoe

Autocross Champion
Location
Los Angeles
Obviously not worth the risk if the seller says otherwise, but interesting that the only picture they have shows ACC and lane assist info 🤔.

Picture screenshot from the link in the OP...
Screenshot_20231123-010051.png
 

Guro

New member
Location
Montenegro
Car(s)
Golf7
hi guys,

I have in plan by the summer to order virtual cockpit from ali....
I saw the installation procedure, but i have another question. this device have android on it? so i can install GPS software like sygic on it??? wifi?
 

FixIt

Ready to race!
Location
Virginia
Car(s)
MK7.5 GTI
Thanks guys, it looks like ACC is not supported, just got a message from the seller, a deal breaker TBH otherwise could have been a good alternative to 1.5K OE option.
I just picked up a digital cluster from AliExpress for my MK7.5 GTI which has ACC and all the goodies. I can confirm that all driver assist functions are fully working with the new cluster. It also includes the audi-style single dial in the center.

I do have to say that immediately following the install, none of these features were working but after I went for a short ride, they all started working. I did not do the 'reset' prior to installation. As a matter of fact, I didn't have instructions in the box but pieced things together by watching YouTube videos.

It had a 2mph deviation from the actual speed, however there is a calibration option that corrects that easily. The mirror option works and it is a conversation starter, but I agree not too much real world use.

It also has a cool race mode with 0-60 counter, configurable background etc. My car also came with park assist and even that feature works in the new dash. The only button on my steering wheel that doesn't do anything anymore is the left side button that would bring up the center LCD menu where you can enable/disable driver assist options. However the new dash provides access to this menu through a different setting, just as convenient but just not with that button.

I just installed the dash today so these are my findings so far.

I added a few images to show which cluster I picked as well as from my result.
 

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JTM88

Autocross Champion
Location
Broken Arrow, OK
Car(s)
2016 GTI
I just picked up a digital cluster from AliExpress for my MK7.5 GTI which has ACC and all the goodies. I can confirm that all driver assist functions are fully working with the new cluster. It also includes the audi-style single dial in the center.

I do have to say that immediately following the install, none of these features were working but after I went for a short ride, they all started working. I did not do the 'reset' prior to installation. As a matter of fact, I didn't have instructions in the box but pieced things together by watching YouTube videos.

It had a 2mph deviation from the actual speed, however there is a calibration option that corrects that easily. The mirror option works and it is a conversation starter, but I agree not too much real world use.

It also has a cool race mode with 0-60 counter, configurable background etc. My car also came with park assist and even that feature works in the new dash. The only button on my steering wheel that doesn't do anything anymore is the left side button that would bring up the center LCD menu where you can enable/disable driver assist options. However the new dash provides access to this menu through a different setting, just as convenient but just not with that button.

I just installed the dash today so these are my findings so far.

I added a few images to show which cluster I picked as well as from my result.
Do you have a link to it?
 

FixIt

Ready to race!
Location
Virginia
Car(s)
MK7.5 GTI
Do you have a link to it?
I'll try to grab it in a browser, on my mobile it keeps redirecting me to the app which doesn't show the link. I also found the same cluster on eBay as well. I have the link for that here and look up the (same) one on AliExpress later on today:

H t t p s : / / w w w . ebay . com/itm/314793067717?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=7rghkm8lr4c&sssrc=4429486&ssuid=Aiyzd6f5TBy&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

Price on AliEpress was $429 and after tax and shipping $510. They shipped with DHL and it only took 4 days to arrive, amazingly.
I hope the link is allowed here. I added a few spaces just in case it is parsed out and apologize in advance in case it is not allowed to be posted.
 

FixIt

Ready to race!
Location
Virginia
Car(s)
MK7.5 GTI
Looks like this one

Just found this amazing item on AliExpress. Check it out! $424.00 52% Off | 12.3'' Digital Virtual Cockpit Instrument Cluster Dashboard Panel For VW Golf 6 7 MK7 MK6 Passat B7 B8 CC Tiguan Scirocco Jetta
https://a.aliexpress.com/_mt6A402
Yes it looks like that one, I think most of these clusters are the same brand, some provide better information than others and prices vary a bit. When I purchased the cluster, the seller asked to send a picture of my old analog cluster and only sent the digital dash after confirming it would be compatible. I'll dig up the link to the one I bought.
 
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