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Author Topic: Gen 3 Steering Rack (MK6/Scirocco) into MK5  (Read 396 times)

Offline Pudding

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Gen 3 Steering Rack (MK6/Scirocco) into MK5
« on: October 22, 2021, 03:31:17 pm »
I thought I'd create a sticky for this as it comes up often, and will continue to crop up the older these cars get.

This info is based on a manual GTI with a standard non-MFSW steering wheel.  If you have a MK6 MFSW fitted there may be some extra software steps to do, but that's covered in a separate thread in the sticky section.

Background

Two flavours of steering rack were fitted to the MK5 during its production cycle.  Gen 1 and Gen 2.  Gen 1 was pretty much unfit for purpose from the get go, so most cars should now be on Gen 2, either under warranty, factory fitted or replacement later on.  Whilst Gen 2 suffered way less from the red light of expense on the dash, it does suffer from mechanical wear which causes the infamous clunk of irritation over bumps.

Gen 3, along with an uprated wiring harness, was fitted to several VAG vehicles from 09 onwards, the most common one being 1K0 909 144 J.  There a couple of other part numbers, and a TTRS/RS3 specific one (which I believe is Servotronic) but to keep it simple, I'll just focus on the common one.

Gen 1 and Gen 2 are no longer available, and neither are parts for them.  If you need a new steering rack, Gen 3 is the only choice you have.

Gen 3 Differences

Gen 1 and Gen 2 use the MK5's steering column slip ring to measure steering angle/thrust. Gen 3 has an internal thrust sensor. This means some software changes are required, which I will go into further down. Gen 3, for some bizarre reason, dropped one of the mounting holes, so attach to the subframe with only 3 bolts.  As mentioned above, Gen 3 also requires a different wiring harness.

Hardware & Fitment

1 x rack, usually 1K0 909 144 J - Usually cheap from Ebay.  £500ish from a refurb company.  Insane ££s from VW.
1 x Wiring harness - V1K2971111AJ - £102+VAT
New subframe and rack bolts as they're torque to yield.

Ebay and refurb rack suppliers usually include tie rods, but if not, transfer them over from your old rack.  Some ebay racks also come with the harness, just check with the seller none of the connectors have been chopped off.

In terms of fitment, it's a standard process I won't delve into too deeply as the internet has a lot of info on that.  Suffice to say, it's a subframe down job unfortunately, and an alignment will be required afterwards. It all bolts in perfectly and only using 3 bolts doesn't affect anything.

When it comes to choosing a rack, it's preferable to get one from a similar car, i.e. from a MK6 GTI, Golf 6 R, Scirocco R etc.  The reason for this is because of the 'Steering Characteristic', which is vehicle specific.  Several cars may use the same part number rack, but the software for the motor controller varies enormously across the different cars. I will go into that more in Software - Part 2.

Software - Part 1

NOTE: VCDS is required for this.

OK, so you've shoved your Gen 3 rack in.  Now what?  Well, I mentioned the Gen 3 rack has it's own angle/thrust sensor, so firstly we need to turn that off and tell the steering motor controller (J500) to use the slip ring instead.

Using these settings will shift the steering light on the dash and the communication error with J500 in the ABS module.







And this will shift the J500 implausible signal fault code in the ABS module.  DSR nudges the steering slightly if the car detects something funky going on that requires your attention.  TBH, I've never felt it, but it must be enabled to get rid of the fault code.



Turn the ignition off, start the car, do the usual steering calibration -  left to right full lock, drive forwards and a quick road test until the orange dash light goes off.

That should be the basics done and the car is ready to drive.

Whilst you're in there, you might want to turn this on as it works really well.  As well as helping with torque steer, it also helps keep the steering straight in heavy cross winds.



Software - Part 2

Now this is where it all gets convoluted and quite messy, but isn't strictly necessary if you are happy with how the steering feels post fitment. If you are happy with it, the below can be ignored  :happy2:  But if you're interested, read on.....

The mess I am referring to, is of course the Steering Characteristic, or Steering Profile/Curve as some folk call it.  This is the flavour of firmware uploaded to the rack to govern the amount of power assistance.

Most of the time, what ever characteristic is already in the Gen 3 rack you've bought just works and may not feel any different to Gen 1/2.

If the steering is too light, too heavy, vague/weak self centering or too linear for your tastes, you may want to change it.

If you do want a different profile, it's not a bad idea to establish which one is already in the rack, just in case you already have a 'Sports' one!

There's 2 ways to find it:

1) In the box labeled Component you will see the text EPS_ZFLS KI. 69    3001 as per the example below, which is from my car.

The bit we're interested in is 69, which is a great number  :laugh: That is the steering characteristic uploaded to the rack.  There are LOADS of different ones!  The rest of the fluff just means Electronic Power Steering, made by ZF, KI is an abbreviation for characteristic index and at the 3001 bit at the end is the software/flash version, iirc.



And 2)

Measuring block 009.  Here we can see the characteristic curve is Normal 3, what ever that means.  My rack came from a recon supplier and to me it feels pretty good. Weighty and direct, so I haven't bothered changing it to a GTI/Sports specific curve.  I don't even know if a GTI curve is called that, or Sports or what ever, but I think Normal 3 will suit most people.



So....applying a curve is straight forward......providing you buy a new rack through VW.

The process is - You buy a Gen 3 rack from them.  New rack arrives with an SVM code.  Their VW ODIS software connects your car to VW's servers, which then cross references the vehicle VIN number to the rack part number and then downloads the curve appropriate to that vehicle. The SVM code is the most important part of this process because without it, ODIS will say bugger off, the vehicle VIN and rack p/n don't match. In other words, why do you have a MK6 rack on a MK5 VIN? This does not compute. Computer says no. 

The SVM code is essentially an over-ride to say, yes I know the parts don't match but just download it anyway. It is also essential in terms of a brand new rack because they usually ship with no profile at all, which would show as EPS_ZFLS KI 000  3001 in the 44 Steering Assist module.  Steering curve 000 is linear, and will be horrible to drive.

Applying a curve to a used/refurb supplied rack is the biggest problem, and affects the majority of us because A) no one is going to pay VW £2500 for a new rack, and B) we don't get an SVM code with a used/recon rack, so we have to hope the curve on the rack we buy works out!

If anyone knows how to get an SVM code from a rack part number, I'm all ears!

Also worth noting: with VW ODIS, we cannot manually choose a steering curve, such as Golf R (251), Scirocco R, TTRS (239) etc etc, which is annoying.  But I have read it can be done with VAS-PC, which I believe is an aftermarket hacked version of ODIS.  There's a lot of info about it on Russian websites but they don't go into much detail on how to do it.

So in summary, it's all easy apart from the steering curves bit, and the info provided will at least get you moving again with no fault codes.

If anyone has any extra info on how to update the steering curves in the aftermarket, I very much welcome it as I've read the TTRS steering curve works the best.



2007 ED30 | 2009 TDI 140

Offline LC5F

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Re: Gen 3 Steering Rack (MK6/Scirocco) into MK5
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2021, 08:36:48 pm »
Good write up Pudding - hope I don't need it!

Wish it was a bit cheaper, or I would have a punt on tone of the various sellers on Aliexpress that list VAS-PC/Odis kits between £45 and £80 - thats cable, OBD dongle and software.
One even does replacement hard drive + the rest of the kit to update the dealer spec Panasonic toughbook laptop.

Either way I wouldn't run it on a network attached PC - I would use a dedicated net book that can't connect to the web and doesn't have any personal accounts/information on it.

But that still leaves uncertainty over if the steering curves are included.

Offline Pudding

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Re: Gen 3 Steering Rack (MK6/Scirocco) into MK5
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2021, 05:51:32 pm »
Cheers.  I tried to make it not too wordy, but it's quite complicated when it comes to the steering profiles.

If you get a second hand GTI or R Gen 3, it should already have the 'Sports' profile in it.  At the end of the day, all Gen 3 racks are usuable in a MK5, it just comes down to weighting preferences.  A brand new 'virgin' rack is bought from VW is pretty much the only way to download a file legitimately as it comes with an SKC code, but even then, doing it the VAG way - you still can't choose a profile. It just downloads the file for the car's VIN.  It's all a bit shat really.

I'm not sure cloned VAS/ODIS dongles will work as they have to talk to VW's servers to download the files.  I know people have got them to work somehow but the exact details of how exactly are vague at best.



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Re: Gen 3 Steering Rack (MK6/Scirocco) into MK5
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2021, 06:39:00 pm »
You can buy a licence for a month - there are listings on ebay & Aliexpress - a lot cheaper on the latter

VW were on the ball enough to start building stuff in china, faster than most other manufacturers, they have their own domestic versions - this means pretty much everything since the Mk4 is catered for.

I would suspect that if it has to handshake to the server - to download the profile - may be the cracked software has the ability to falsify the cars details to provide a better profile to be installed.