The quest for the highest spec A2 1.2 eco limousine..

motosport

Member
Hi everyone,

As the title says, I have recently bought a 1.2 TDI and decided to turn it into a high spec and modern little hyper miler. I have owned a couple of 1.4 TDI's over the last few years, both of them in very high spec with almost all factory options, but after moving to Copenhagen I started to miss having an A2 with auto gearbox. I also feel that the 1.2 3L version is a future classic, both for its outstanding fuel economy and also because its the A2 model that was produced in the least numbers. So I started to look for a nice example with not to many kilometers on it.

There are actually quite a few A2 3L cars here in Denmark because they received a big tax discount when new due to exceptional fuel economy, but they are almost all the true 3L versions without aircon, split rear seats and other nice options, so I started looking in Germany for a better optioned car. In May this year I found a really nice one with climate control, fog lights, black interior, beautiful light blue color, full Audi service history, only 143K kms AND a tow hook, which I ended up buying.

After a service, new brakes and new front wheel bearings she was ready for the road, and I started thinking about upgrades. First one was a trip to a well renowned specialist in the Lupo/A2 3L cars who fitted cruise control and performed a remap with focus on torque, driveability and fuel economy. So now she has 90bhp and feels very nippy while still able to cruise at 110 km/h while only using 3 liters per km..

Next up was swapping the heated leather/alcantara sport seats from my silver 1.4 TDI into the new car before selling the silver one, so now I had both power and comfort in my 1.2.

Time to wind back time about 18 month, when I initially contacted Tom (Timmus) to ask him if he would do some upgrades to my A2 in the form of adding RNS-E and a MFSW if I came over to visit him at some stage. Tom agreed to help out and I started collecting parts for the upgrades and had them sent over to Tom so he could ensure they would fit in my car. Time went as we both struggled to find a date where I could come to UK and in the mean time I also added a few more upgrades I would like him to do. This went on all the way up till now and my silver A2 1.4 TDI had now been replaced by the new light blue 1.2 TDI 3L.

So I asked Tom if he could do these planned upgrades to the 1.2 instead which he was happy to do after getting confirmation that my new car did have full DIS, fog lights and canbus. So now my upgrade plans really took off and I decided to try and make my car the highest spec 1.2 3L, as well as give it a more modern feel. So by July my list of upgrades for Tom to perform had grown to:

- RNS-E
- MFSW
- Fully integrated Bluetooth
- SDS (speech dialogue System)
- New color DIS (if he could have one ready in time)
- Komfort blinker.

I also managed to convince Tom to fly to Copenhagen instead of me driving to UK, so this past Tuesday evening he arrived with a big suitcase packed full of goodies. But before he got here, he had spent many many hours over the last year to develop solutions to make a modern MFSW work in a 15 year old A2, to make it communicate with the RNS-E AND to make both work with the new color DIS, all in a seamless and perfectly integrated way as if it was in a new Audi car. So we were both a bit excited about how it would go and if all his hard work would pay off by the time he got here.

After a good nights sleep Tom was ready to work his magic on my little A2. He was happy to perform his work under the carport, but the weather forecast said pissing rain and windy conditions, so I cleared my little garage of bikes and put the A2 in there instead so he could work in dry and warm conditions which we later would be very thankful for.

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Car inside ready for a big face lift.

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Tom setting up on the work bench and getting ready.

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Tom's home made magic box aka "The Gizmo" which allows him to test all components on the bench top.

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Starting to unpack all the goodies. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of everything spread out, but there was a lot, all 20 kgs of it.

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The RNS-E in as new condition.

More to follow..
 

Colin 540

A2OC Donor
Tom ( timmus ) the A2 guru.
Met him a few times for work on my A2.
His knowledge is legendary as others can confirm.



Sent from my SM-J320FN using Tapatalk
 

timmus

A2OC Donor
Ooo, I'm looking forward to seeing how this thread develops. Obviously I know what options I added and what the final product looks like, but it'll be good to see the photos. I barely had a chance to appreciate Alex's 1.2TDI before I was back at the airport.

Wow, great read but I am amazed at how young Tom is...............having never met him I thought he would be in his 50s at least.
When I meet A2OC members for the first time, this is what I hear most often. Everyone expects me to be older than I am, possibly because of the way I write or because I was born middle-aged! At the time of writing, I'm 32. :)

Glad to see Tom has gone international. A very interesting read.
Indeed, this was my first international retrofitting mission. Getting through airport security with all my electronics was quite a process! :p

Tom ( timmus ) the A2 guru. His knowledge is legendary as others can confirm.
Thank you, Colin.

Cheers,

Tom
 
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timmus

A2OC Donor
Sorry guys but what is a komfortblinker?
One momentary tap on the indicator stalk results in the indicators flashing three times. It's hugely convenient for coming off roundabouts, changing lanes on the motorway, etc. It's a feature of more modern Audis and VWs that can be retrofitted to the A2.

Cheers,

Tom
 

Kleynie

A2OC Donor
One momentary tap on the indicator stalk results in the indicators flashing three times. It's hugely convenient for coming off roundabouts, changing lanes on the motorway, etc. It's a feature of more modern Audis and VWs that can be retrofitted to the A2.

Cheers,

Tom
Thank you. I have this on my BMW.
 

motosport

Member
Ooo, I'm looking forward to seeing how this thread develops. Obviously I know what options I added and what the final product looks like, but it'll be good to see the photos. I barely had a chance to appreciate Alex's 1.2TDI before I was back at the airport. :p
Thanks for joining in Tom, and please do add your own information and comments along the way, as I am sure I will miss stuff or not get all the details quite right. Hopefully this can be an inspiration for others too, so its important that everything is correct and present.. :)

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More goodies being unpacked and laid out, and we were soon running out of table space..

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In order to make all these modern upgrades work, Tom had to make many custom built wiring harnesses, including several ones for the MFSW. All in OEM quality, looks and function.

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This custom built harness is for the RNS-E, which also has the added benefit of tidying up everything behind the head unit as well as making removal and installation easier.

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More custom made harness, but Tom will have to chime in and tell what its for, as I can't remember.. :confused: Note the very special and expensive A2 removal tools in the top left corner, essential when working on the instrument cluster..!!

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First job was to remove the original instrument cluster and plug in the new (second hand) cluster which Tom had fitted the new color DIS into, just to see if would work. Tom had the color DIS cluster installed in his own car to make sure everything was working as intended before coming to Denmark, but he had not had the option to test it in a 1.2 3L car with its different gear box. So we took the car out for a quick test drive with the new cluster just plugged in, and everything worked to Tom's satisfaction.

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Back in the garage the color DIS cluster was removed again and put back on the work bench. The color DIS option works on an exchange basis as Tom had already installed the new color DIS screen onto another cluster (this is a quite complicated process). He then transfer all the stored information from the cars original cluster onto the color DIS cluster, such as mileage, trip info, coding etc. In my case the clock faces also needed swapping to retain the metric speedo as well as the additional warning symbols thats particular for the 1.2 TDI.

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How the color DIS cluster looks without the clock faces while being tested on the work bench with Tom's magic Gizmo box.. :D The 1.2 cars have a green "ECO" symbol signifying whether the car is running in the default 45hp mode or, when turned off, is running in the full 61hp mode (or 90hp in my case) along with some other differences. But no matter what Tom tried, he could simply not make this work on the new cluster, but it doesn't really matter much to me anyway, as its easy to feel and notice the difference between the two modes. So in my opinion, its a very small price to pay in exchange for all the other amazing features of the color DIS, and this obviously only affects 1.2 TDI cars.

More to come..
 

motosport

Member
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After transferring the data from my original cluster to the new one and swapping over the clock faces, Tom did the final calibration of the needles before the new color DIS cluster could back into the car.

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But before that it was time for Tom to do some soldering. In order for the color DIS to show boost pressure it needs a hard wire from the ECU to read the signal if I understand it correctly. (Tom can explain it in details) Furthermore Tom had also built in a USB plug into the new cluster and run a cable to anywhere I wanted it, so future software upgrades is as easy as plugging that USB cable into my laptop, no need for removing the cluster. In the end I chose to have the USB cable under the floor pan next to the ECU, so its out of the way but can be accessed in 20 seconds.

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The business side of the new color DIS cluster. It takes a brave man (or very experienced) to put a soldering iron to that board and install the color DIS display. The white cable running down the middle to back plate is the USB port for easy future software upgrades, or simply loading up a picture as your favorite DIS background image..!

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Toms soldering skills are second to none and he cuts no corners whatsoever in order to ensure factory looks and reliability, and every cable loom is neatly wrapped with OEM fabric tape and zip tied to the existing loom.

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The steering wheel is from a 2015 Audi A1 with the single stage airbag. This was the biggest challenge for Tom to make work in the A2 as I wanted all the buttons, functions and illumination to work as designed. One of the issues was, that the two button clusters on either side of the steering wheel had to be swapped for a slightly different type to make them work in the A2. Custom looms had to be made and a controller of some sort had to be designed. I will let Tom elaborate on the exact details, challenges and solutions, but he spent many many hours on making this work, but should now be an option he can offer other A2 owners.

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The original Audi bluetooth module is quite a chunky solid piece but should provide many years of trouble free high quality service. Even though there is plenty of space under the floor pan for accessories and its out of sight, Tom did not cut any corners here either. He had managed to find an original hard foam pad/holder for the module, which was then secured to the floor (after meticulously cleaning everything first). The bluetooth module sits very snug and secure well protected from vibration and moisture while looking completely OEM.

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During all of this there were a few head scratching moments for Tom, one of them being that the new cluster started behaving oddly with needle bounce and lights going on and off. After some bench testing with the Gizmo where the cluster worked perfectly again, he concluded it was a low voltage issue which made sense given how many hours the car had been sitting with the ignition on by now. So a charger was plugged in to restore battery power.

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Next up was the RNS-E and first job was to install the GPS antenna on top of the instrument cluster underneath the canopy cover.

More to come..
 

Attachments

motosport

Member
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My A2 didn't have double din, so I had to convert that before Tom's arrival. Initially I bought an original A2 double din metal cage, only to realize that I would not only have to remove the dashboard to install it, but also have to cut away the existing single din plastic cage. So I searched for a complete double din dashboard for quite some time with no luck, or the few I did find were ridiculous money. So in the end I bought an A4 double din cage, cut it to fit and removed most of the single din dash cage to make room for the double din cage. The idea for that was from the German A2 forum where there's a big thread with lots of pics, so even if you don't understand German its not to difficult to understand how its done. Here is the link to the thread if anyone hasn't seen it already..

https://a2-freun.de/forum/forums/topic/8117-nachgemacht-rns-e-umbau-auf-doppel-din/?page=5

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Everything is starting to come together even there are still stuff to do. The RNS-E is plugged in and working, but as you can see I have yet to cut the front fascia down to fit into the square A2 center console.

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With most of the new upgrades plugged in and checked, including the SDS system, it was time for Tom to get his laptop out and start coding and getting everything to communicate together. That also caused a few head scratching moments, one of them being the sweet lady inside the SDS kept insisting on speaking German. But Tom got everything sorted and he could move on to the next modification.

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Knowing the A2 inside out Tom had paid attention in one of our email correspondences where I told him I had swapped my heated sport seats into the 1.2 car. And he knew that the 1.2 3L car never had the option for sport seats, and I therefore didn't have the option to plug in the adjustable lumbar support of the sport seats, only the seat heating as 1.2 already had this option. So he figured that I might want my lumbar support to work again and had made up the necessary wiring loom for it without even telling me until he was here. So it was a very pleasant surprise when he told me about this, and of course I wanted to add this option as well. So here he is installing the new loom and my lumbar support is now working again..:)

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Then it was time to install the microphone for the bluetooth. The microphone is mounted up in the interior light cluster just behind the little slats at the front, and then running the cable down the A-pillar, under the dashboard and behind the RNS-E. But my car was born with the optional Nokia phone set, so it already had a microphone installed which Tom would prefer to use, both to save time but also to keep it as OEM as possible. When he opened the passenger foot well he found the original phone module which was removed as its now obsolete. But the microphone cable was there so that was reused.

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Everything was now installed and tested, and the car assembled again ready for a test drive. But it was also very late into the evening now, close to midnight in fact. But Tom still insisted on a test drive before midnight, so out we went. Everything was working great and I was thoroughly enjoying the feel of the new steering wheel, the look and multitude of options of the new color DIS as well as the RNS-E. After a bit of driving I suddenly realized that Tom must had forgotten to install the komfortblinker as he hadn't mentioned it at all. But I tested it anyway and sure enough, a quick flick with the indicator stalk and 3 yellow flashes followed. So somehow in the middle of all the other work he had fitted the komfortblinker too. Another very convenient feature I will greatly appreciate. After half an hour driving and flicking through all the color DIS options, it was finally time to hit the bed as it was half past midnight.

More to come..
 

timmus

A2OC Donor
Thanks for joining in Tom, and please do add your own information and comments along the way...
Even though I know where this story is going, I'm still enjoying seeing all the photos and reading your write-up. I was in my own little world for most of the day and, truth be told, didn't notice you taking half of these photos! I really need a shave and a haircut!

In order to make all these modern upgrades work, Tom had to make many custom built wiring harnesses, including several ones for the MFSW. All in OEM quality, looks and function.

View attachment 31322
This custom built harness is for the RNS-E, which also has the added benefit of tidying up everything behind the head unit as well as making removal and installation easier.
Absolutely. So many RNS-E retrofits that I see have a complete dog's dinner of wiring behind the unit, meaning that it's often a huge effort to get the RNS-E unit to slide back into place. By the time you've fitted a QuadLock adapter, and an adapter for the Bluetooth phone prep', and maybe an auxiliary interface for iPods, etc, everything becomes a bulky, tangled mess. So, in this case, I made a single custom wiring harness that neatly adds RNS-E, phone prep' and SDS without resulting in huge amounts of bulk being squashed into the back of the centre console.

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More custom made harness, but Tom will have to chime in and tell what its for, as I can't remember.. :confused:
That's the surprise lumbar support loom. It looks like it picked up a few dog hairs from my suitcase. :)

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With most of the new upgrades plugged in and checked, including the SDS system, it was time for Tom to get his laptop out and start coding and getting everything to communicate together. That also caused a few head scratching moments, one of them being the sweet lady inside the SDS kept insisting on speaking German. But Tom got everything sorted and he could move on to the next modification.
I really do look lost in thought there.

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Everything was now installed and tested, and the car assembled again ready for a test drive. But it was also very late into the evening now, close to midnight in fact. But Tom still insisted on a test drive before midnight, so out we went. Everything was working great and I was thoroughly enjoying the feel of the new steering wheel, the look and multitude of options of the new color DIS as well as the RNS-E. After a bit of driving I suddenly realized that Tom must had forgotten to install the komfortblinker as he hadn't mentioned it at all. But I tested it anyway and sure enough, a quick flick with the indicator stalk and 3 yellow flashes followed. So somehow in the middle of all the other work he had fitted the komfortblinker too. Another very convenient feature I will greatly appreciate. After half an hour driving and flicking through all the color DIS options, it was finally time to hit the bed as it was half past midnight.
Excellent! Again, I had no idea you took this photo. You can really appreciate the total upgrade package in this photo, as well as seeing that your car is unquestionably a 1.2 TDI with the automatic gear selector. There's still lots of added functionality that you can't see in this photo, though: Bluetooth phone prep', SDS, lumbar support and komfortblinker.

I'm now looking forward to the next episode of this thread, Alex. :)
 
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Pinkythelabrat

A2OC Donor
That is the first time I've seen the auto gearbox selector. It looks very modern and technical.

This is a lovely story.

Second the shave and haircut though!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

motosport

Member
Next morning it was time to drive Tom back to the airport after a very long and productive day. In the afternoon I started the final bit of work to complete the upgrades.

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I removed the RNS-E again and started preparing for cutting the front fascia. Wrapping the unit itself in an old T-shirt to prevent dust and debris to get inside.

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From the side.

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And finally taping the front to prevent any damage, only leaving the edges visible that needed trimming. I initially thought it would only be the two sides that needed to be trimmed, but in the end all four sides had to be cut back so they were flush with the inside edges.

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After several trial fittings and fine tuning the location of the A4 double din cage, the RNS-E was finally in position and it looks great..! Like it was meant to be there from the factory. :)

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I am very pleased with the results and it just looks SO much better.. The navigation dvd I got with the RNS-E was a burned copy, and the RNS-E was struggling to read it, so I am going to buy an original set of Audi navigation DVD's which should work much better and faster.

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And here is how it looks with all the upgrades (or the visible ones anyway) Sorry about the poor quality of pics..

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Next up is some more pics of the upgrades, with and without flash and various lighting conditions..

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More to come..
 

motosport

Member
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Next up is some random pics of the color DIS and a few of the options it can do..

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This is just some of the information the color DIS can show, and you can pick and choose as you like.. Me like..!!

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One of the most handy and valuable features of the color DIS. The option to read and clear fault codes..!

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Ahh, and that steering wheel.. It just makes the car feels like new and I truly enjoy having most controls right there at my fingertips. Or a push of a button and Miss SDS is ready to help navigate or calling wifey..

This will be my last big update with pics for the next 10 days or so, as I am going away on a work trip. But when I'm back I'll do a comprehensive review of the color DIS with lots of pics and hopefully also a video or two.. The worst thing about that work trip is actually that I won't be able to drive and enjoy my new A2 eco limousine.. Oh well, we are driving to Stockholm for some holidays at the start of October which is is 1200 km round trip, so at least I have that to look forward to.. :)

More to come in about 10 days..
 

sciroccorrado

A2OC Donor
All looks lovely, and my tongue is hanging out in jealousy :)

Having the similar A1 Legends steering wheel in my A2 I can only re-iterate what a huge improvement these wheels are on the original A2 ones, sport or SE. Even without the MFSW, but that really makes it worthwhile.
 
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