Here is a step-by-step guide to installing MSD coil packs on your VR6 engine.
Update: This is now my car… I’ve been driving it daily with MSD ignition since the spring of 2013.
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 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, 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!