Helpful Tips & Info

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 and installed it on my Jetta. For three years it was my daily driver until I sold it to buy a W8 Passat wagon due to family growth. The ignition system was trouble free. Fast forward to 2012, when I purchased the 1992 Golf that is in the videos on this site. The MSD ignition package was installed and I’ve been driving it every day since February 2013. It’s been going strong through 40 degrees below zero, blizzards, sleet, rain, and heat. I’ve never replaced a coil.

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 called “VR6 Coilpack Atlernative” (yes, I know it’s spelled wrong…): 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 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, a complete stainless hardware kit is available.

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.

For now, have a look at the installation guide in the top right corner.

Thanks for visiting!

60 Replies to “Helpful Tips & Info”

    1. Hi Tyler, thanks for your note. I still need to do some final costing for the wires… are you interested in the plug wires or the wires for hooking up the coils to the control module?


    1. Thanks for your comments. I haven’t done dyno testing before and after… the cable by itself is useless without the MSD distributors though.

  1. hey bro i have a 2000 jetta vr6, will it work for it?? and whats the serial number for the msd cuz i couldnt find it anywere. how many extra horses will i have after the whole instalation?? thanx

    1. Hi Frank. Yes, this bracket will work on your ’00 VR6. Search for MSD part number 8224. I haven’t done dyno testing, so unfortunately I don’t have any before/after numbers. You will at least notice much better throttle response.
      Thanks for your note.


    1. There are lots of people on using the MSD coilpacks without a resistor with success. It will work on any 12 valve VR6 engine. Your ’95 would have a 12v from the factory.

  2. Hi! I wanna buy the full kit how long would the shipping take if im from toronto.? Or do you have any contacts here? Or distributer in canada?

  3. Hi there, just wondering if the full kit comes pre-wired and ready for installation, bar the removal of the lower assembly ofcourse? I’m also from australia so could you email a shipping price aswell 🙂

    1. Hi Ben
      If you get the kit with the wiring kit, the terminals are crimped. It does not come with spark plug wires though.

  4. Hey I want to buy your kit, the only thing missing in this kit it’s the spark plug wires right?? If so which wires would you recommend, I have a vr6 12v with a stage 1 turbo. Thank you

    1. Hi Eddy. I just added the option to purchase Taylor 8mm spark plug wires. Check out the Bracket+Coils+Wiring kit, down at the bottom.

  5. hey so if i order everything including the 8mm wires and the grey terminal things i don’t need to buy any thing else correct

  6. I have ordered new wires they r Bosch before I new I needed new coil.
    do I need to send those back to have the 8224 to work properly

    1. Hi Paul
      You should be able to use those wires; you’ll probably just have to get the spark plug boots/ terminals to match the MSD coils.

  7. hello man! I want to get one BRACKET COILS & WIRING + the six MSD boots and terminals. What is the shipping cost to Puerto Rico?

  8. my new gti has been run’n like crap since i picked it up. i have been look’n for a replacement coil pack and found diff. coils. but this set up looks promising and sick. so how many coins would this game cost to play but with little effort “plug and play.” oh, i got the thicker wires that don’t fit in the plastic, would i have to cut them? thanx

    1. Hi, thanks for your note. The cost depends on which parts you’re after… check out the bracket, coils, and wiring kit for $259 or the bracket alone for $59 if you have coils already. The only “work” you’re going to have to do is to crimp the MSD terminals to your spark plug wires.

      Thanks again

  9. hey dude i bought a complete coil and wiring plus bracket , just wondering how long it takes to ship , i’m in Toronto .

          1. Hey the coil pack and bracket kit just came in today. I have to say the bracket is very high quality made, very very impressed with it, I’ll tell you how much hp extra I make with this up grade. thanks very much

  10. Hi there,
    I just wanted to know if the bolt hole with the brass bushing, between the (sparkplug wire) terminals should be grounded?

    And just to confirm, I can use either slot for + and – side on the coil, right?

    Thank you,

    1. Thanks for your note. The only ground needed is one of the two terminals on the bottom. You’re correct; pick a side for power and the other is ground, and keep it consistent on all three coils.


  11. helloow i have a 97 jetta vr6 its the obd2 will this msd fit on my jetta?? and how cn i get it pink like in the video? tnk u

    1. Hi! Yes, this will work great on your Jetta. I’m not sure why it looks pink in the video but the MSD coils only come in red. It’s a nice red though.

  12. Any particular reason why the bracket doesnt’t/shouldn’t be attached to the base of the stock pack/ICM that is used? It’s a pain to get everything lined up and wired with the base flopping around.

    1. Sorry Sam, I’m not sure I completely understand what you mean. You could wire the icm to the MSD coils with it on your bench, then bolt that assembly to the block. Is that what you mean? Anything that makes the installation easier should be fine as long as nothing is compromised. Thanks for your question.

      1. I wasn’t being totally clear. The base of the stock pack that holds the ICM as well as the spacer are retained for use with the bracket and new coils. The base and spacer attach to each other with the two small screws at each end, but this assembly doesn’t attach to the bracket at all except when you bolt the whole thing to the block. Any reason why I cant drill a hole in the new bracket to catch the crossbars of the spacer with a small machine screw so the whole thing is one piece ready to be bolted to the block? My concern is grounding or shorting but it seems like the bracket is touching the spacer all the way around so whats the difference? Thanks.

  13. Hey there DW, Just wondering how these kits perform in wet weather? Also, will factory plug wires work or will the boots on the msd side be too small to fit the terminals?


    1. Hi Shawn, thanks for your comment. I have a mkii vr with my MSD kit that’s been my daily driver for about a year now. It’s been through rain, snow, heat, and just about everything in between. I have never had one issue with the kit. I don’t use anything extra from what is available on my site – no resistors, no special electronics. I don’t even use the rubber grommets that come with the coils. I’m using the VW plug wires, with my plugs gapped to about .045″. You need to install MSD terminals on the coil side to click on to the coil towers.

      Thanks again

  14. Hi there! I was just wondering if this coil pack upgrade will work for a ’96 passat glx? I can’t see why it wouldn’t but I’m not sure if it uses a different ICM or not.. Any insight would be helpful!

  15. Is there an alternative to the way the wires fit into the factory coil pack piece this is a pain in the ass having them fall off every 3weeks

  16. Can I install these coil packs on my obd1 1993 Corrado VR6 with a distributor ignition system? I currently have a techtonics ecm chip for stock cams.

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