Upgrading VR6 ignition systems for over 13 years!
Sometime in 2005, my 1999.5 VR6 Jetta began sputtering and coughing, especially on damp days. I did a bit of research and found a few guys were using MSD ignition on their VR6s, so naturally, with my hot rod chassis parts background, I began investigating a solution to keep my car running smoothly without paying a fortune for an OEM coil pack. I designed a bracket to mount the coils nice and snug together in the same location as the original coil pack and installed it on my Jetta. For three years it was my daily driver until I sold it to buy a used W8 Passat wagon due to family growth. The ignition system was trouble free. Fast forward to 2012, when I purchased the 1992 Golf with one of the first VR6 swaps in Ontario, from what I gather. This is the car in the video. My MSD ignition package had been installed a couple years prior. It was my daily driver through 40 degrees below zero cold, blizzards, sleet, rain, and heat. I’ve never replaced a coil. [update: the Golf was sold in 2018]
It’s a widely recognized fact that the OEM VW coilpack on the 12v VR6 commonly cracks and causes misfires. If your VR6 is hesitating, sputtering, or generally not running as smooth as it used to, there’s a good chance the problem will be traced back to that coilpack. A less expensive and higher performing upgrade is to use three two-tower GM coilpacks from MSD, part #8224 in place of the VW coilpack. There are some helpful links around the Internet that make this upgrade a lot easier to understand.
To start, check out a thread on vwvortex.com called “VR6 Coilpack Atlernative” (yes, I know it’s spelled wrong…):
http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?3057180-VR6-coilpack-atlernative. There’s a whole lot of really helpful information here – it’s one of the go-to sources of information on this topic.
Another helpful thread that explains some troubleshooting methods is at gti-vr6.com:
http://gti-vr6.net/library/engine/fixing_cracked_coiled_pack.html. The “solution” on this page, though, is to fill the crack in the coilpack with epoxy. As a temporary band-aid, this will work just fine. For a long-term solution, however, replacing the coilpack is necessary. It will continue to crack.
To make installing MSD ignition on your VR6 as easy as installing an 8380 license plate frame, I've put together a complete kit with all the necessary hardware and a tidy wiring kit so you can install it in your driveway.
MSD includes little red rubber grommets with the coils. I have never installed them. They will make it difficult for your wires to insert positively into the coils. The coils bolt directly to the bracket. I have also never sealed the wires into the coils with any sort of silicone or adhesive. The male terminals will connect positively to the coils. I have never installed a resistor in the wiring either.
Sold on www.vr6coilbracket.com for over 10 years, now brought under the Welder Series product line.