Additional clocks allow better control of engine performance parameters. They are mainly useful in sports cars, but anyone can use them 🙂
In this post I will try to present most of what I think are interesting indicators for showing additional data such as boost, pressure, temperatures, etc.
- 1 VDO clocks from VW Beetle / Scirocco
- 1.1 Presentation
- 1.2 Pros and cons of the clocks from the Scirocco/Beetle
- 1.3 Installation of clocks from Beetle/Scirocco in Polo 6R
- 1.4 Versions available
- 1.5 Price of additional VDO clocks
- 2 Segmented display from P3 Gauges
- 3 Touchscreen display from CANchecked
- 4 The display from Vector Technik
- 5 Universal indicator gauges
VDO clocks from VW Beetle / Scirocco
If the MFA+ instrument cluster isn’t enough you can always throw in additional gauges from a VW Beetle or Scirocco. They provide information on oil temperature, boost pressure (boost) and time (stopwatch and clock). They operate over CAN, with some ECUs there is a problem with boost, as not every ECU sends boost pressure information over CAN in the same way. With the newer ECUs from the 2.0 TSI and 2.0 TDI engines, this problem does not occur.
In order to mount the gauges, the dashboard has to be little drilled. In addition, the shape of the Polo’s dashboard forces the installation at a slight incline, but this is not a major disadvantage, as it keeps the clocks facing the driver.
Photos of several panels (the differences are in the dials and pointers):
Pros and cons of the clocks from the Scirocco/Beetle
- OEM – VDO factory solution
- the Beetle version has dials and hands similar in appearance to those of the Polo 6R meter
- cost / availability – hard to find at a reasonable price
- you have to make a hole in the dashboard, without proper carving it cannot be fixed in the Polo
- pressure doesn’t work with all engine controllers (sometimes an ECU upgrade is needed, sometimes an engine change)
Installation of clocks from Beetle/Scirocco in Polo 6R
The installation process is brilliantly illustrated in the video below:
There are a number of versions available – with red and blue hands and with different dials.
Below is a list of most of them:
1K8919527– Scirocco, red needles, pre-facelift
1K8919527B– Scirocco, blue needles 25.05.2015>> – 29.05.2016
1K8919527D– Scirocco, red needles,
1K8919527E– Scirocco, blue needles, facelift
5C5919527B– Beetle, >>30.06.2013
5C5919527C– Beetle USA, >>30.06.2013
5C5919527E– Beetle, 01.07.2013>>
5C5919527F– Beetle, USA, 13.07.2015>>
5C5919527G– Beetle, USA, 01.07.2013>> – 12.07.2015
5C5919527J– Beetle, facelift, version with yellow dials (DUNE), 07.12.2015>>
5C5919527P– Beetle, R-Line, facelift
5C5919527Q– Beetle, USA
5C5919527T– Beetle, facelift, version with yellow dials (DUNE), 07.12.2015>>
5C5919527AB– Beetle, facelift, version with yellow dials (DUNE), USA 07.12.2015>>
For this we still need a housing:
1K88572001QB– top cover, satin black / Scirocco
1K8857192A1QB– lower cover, satin black / Scirocco
5C585720081U– top cover, Beetle
5C5857192D81U– lower cover, Beetle
To connect, we need a pin plug:
6R0972930– connector for additional instruments
N90764701– pins for the additional instruments connector (5 pieces are needed)
Normally, the instruments with the cover and bottom base are sold together under the number e.g. 1K8919527, but car parts resellers usually take this apart into small parts and sell everything separately….
Price of additional VDO clocks
The price depends on the dealers, on allegro used clocks can usually be found for 1200-1500 PLN, in the past they were available even for 300-600 PLN. Additional clocks are not quite a common product, and when they are displayed at a cool price they spread like hot cakes.
Segmented display from P3 Gauges
A simple segmented display to be placed at the bottom of the air intake grille, manufactured by P3 Gauges from USA.
The display comes in two versions: a newer one for the OBD2 connector and an older, fully analogue version.
The older version requires a harness to be connected to the engine supercharger and all other analogue sensors, so I will omit it completely in this description.
The newer version is able to display a lot of data using the OBD2 diagnostic connector, so it is simpler to connect and has more options (which is why it is more expensive)
It allows you to display most of the things available over CAN read from OBD2, and you can also connect external sensors (e.g. oil pressure sensor, etc.).
Right/left control is via small buttons above the segmented display, next to which we also have an LED visualisation of the scale/progress in red or blue.
The panel is available in two versions: with red lights (for the standard instrument cluster in the Polo) and with blue lights (matching the blue pointers from the R WRC Street speedometer):
The display is sold without a vent grille; we have to convert it ourselves to install it. When ordering the product, you receive the panel itself in the version of your choice + cabling:
A couple of videos of the panel demonstration (in other cars than the Polo 6R, but the operation is the same):
Installation instructions for display P3 Gauges
A video with marking instructions showing the shortcuts that display on the panel:
Advantages and disadvantages of the P3 Gauges V3 OBD2 panel
- blends in aesthetically with the interior, the colour of the LEDs can be matched to the colour of the hands on the main instrument cluster
- we get a simple segmented display and few LEDs – for the price, they could have done better and put in anything better
- for the MFA+ instrument cluster of the Polo 6R, the digits of the segment display don’t match visually
- they don’t supply the plastic with the vent grille and you have to carve it yourself, possibility of damaging your own grille if you are not very careful
- the control with two small buttons above the display must not be the most comfortable, it can be difficult to operate them while driving
- only simple data can be displayed, parameter names are greatly simplified due to the fact that a segment display like that of a cheap calculator is used
- high shipping price (cheapest $57), on top of which you have to bear in mind additional charges such as customs/taxes etc. as the product is shipped from the USA.
From July 2021, regulations from the e-commerce VAT package apply across the European Union – making parcels from outside the EU cost more….
The price for such a simple display is quite high, plus shipping costs from the USA.
Not so long ago you could buy this panel for about 1300 PLN (without duty), at the time of writing this message the product with shipping to Poland costs 1814 PLN
Touchscreen display from CANchecked
An interesting and reasonably simple display that we can drop in P&P instead of the vent grille. It has quite a few options for configuring the data displayed on the screen. As previousl one, it works with CAN data (after OBD2) and optionally with additional external sensors)
We get the display together with adapters for mounting in the 6R/6C air vents. The quality of the 3D printing is not the best, which can be seen especially on the back and sides, but this does not interfere strongly with the use itself. After all, this is a German product, so aesthetics are not in the foreground here 😉
And here you can see the ‘german quality’ of 3D printing:
Pros and cons of the CANchecked panel
- the angle of the display can be conveniently adjusted – as can the factory air vent grille
- plenty of options to customise the way information is displayed on the screen using a dedicated PC program
- despite the fact that the product is German, a lot of information can be found in English, and the manufacturer itself uploads a lot of tutorials on YouTube
- on facebook you can find an english-language group for editing the information on the panel (a group dedicated to Toyota Yaris, but the settings are the same)
- the panel is touch-sensitive, but the transitions between screens leave a lot to be desired – animations could be smoother/faster (fortunately this is often not changed and everyone stays with one)
- the cable for connecting to the computer has a Micro USB connector instead of the commonly used USB-C
- 3D printing of poor quality – compared to products printed from pa12 in Poland, the adapters and the back of the screen are made worse than the initial prototype here.
- you have to buy on the German-language site (checkout etc. only in German)
Installation instructions for display CANchecked
CANchecked panel price
The price of the CANchecked panel is €499.00, at the time I’m writing this it is approximately 2 225 PLN.
The display from Vector Technik
A fairly sophisticated touchscreen display that was originally developed under the grille from the Golf 7. For the Polo 6R, it can be converted based on the one from the Golf 7, and there are sometimes versions typically available under the Polo 6R/6C.
There are quite a few options, the screen is touchscreen so operation should be quite comfortable. The colour scheme is solid – in shades of blue with black – nice in theory, but for a VW interior it doesn’t quite fit….
However the manufacturer is totally lost with the Polo versions, once stating that it will fit the 6R, then writing that it is only for the 6C, or only in GTI, and finally that it can be for the 6R, but you need to install it locally (in Germany)….
I initially wanted to buy it for my VW Polo, but seeing how the manufacturer doesn’t embrace it I preferred not to take the risk. The price is too high to order it for testing and then throw it into a corner – the pro version (without the need to buy separate subscriptions in addition) costs €700.
The big downside is that the display has no tilt adjustment option and is not P&P, but requires sculpting. The only nicely done retrofit was done by the user, not the manufacturer – based on a display from a Golf 7:
The display we buy for more than 3K PLN is in a frame printed cheaply on 3D and it is up to us to paint/cover it…. The manufacturer in the demo version, instead of painting it and preparing a full grille version, finished the frame with something like budget flocking without covering the hole after the tilt adjustment knob:
The above photo is from the official manual, which can be found on the manufacturer’s website…. Vektor Technik don’t particularly pay attention to finishing and details…. (but I guess it’s normal that in DE aesthetics are usually in the background).
Vektor Technik display for Golf 7 fitted to Polo 6C (@peerformance_gti):
I couldn’t find any cool presentation with the Vektor Technik display in the Polo 6R, but as for the display in the Golf 7, it works like this:
Pros and cons of the Vector Technik panel
- speed measurement via GPS – using the integrated GNSS antenna on a 30 Hz chip with the possibility of connecting an external antenna (you can connect the one from the car which you use for navigation in the case of RNS/Discover Media).
- reading/deleting DTCs, option to change coding, service functions etc. – pretty cool options, although in practice only reading/deleting errors will be useful, as I can’t imagine changing the coding of anything other than VCDS 🙂
- smooth-running multi-touch display
- the display, depending on the height of the driver, may not be very easy to read and there is no option to adjust the tilt angle – as with CANchecked
- no P&P solution for the Polo, no non-invasive way to install this display
- practically zero support
- you have to buy on the German-language site (checkout etc. only in German), the manufacturer redirects to cf-dynamics.de
The Golf version can normally be ordered from the English version of the BAR-TEK shop: bar-tek-tuning.com.
- the manufacturer doesn’t understand the Polo version – one moment he says the display fits the Polo 6R, the next he says it doesn’t, and finally they says it will fit when you come to install it on their place….
- difficult availability – the panel for the Golf 7 is available all the time because it’s probably their main product, whereas the panel for the Polo appears and disappears, hard to order at all.
- Vector Technik logo visible at all times on screen
(I haven’t been able to find a single photo without this, so I assume it cannot be removed)
You don’t have to look too long to see that there are considerable problems with Vektortechnik’s support:
The problem with DE products in general is that usually everything is only in their language and they don’t make a special effort to have other language versions of the shop, and in turn translating with a translator is not always good. For people like me, who only know the slogan “arbeit macht frei” in , this is even more difficult….
It certainly works seamlessly with the Polo 6C, as you can see from the instagram pictures:
Installation instructions for Vector Technik display
A panel dedicated to the Polo cannot currently be found, but the last time it was available it cost €699, some 3110 PLN.
On the only website where you can buy a Vektor Technik panel for the Polo from time to time – cf-dynamics.de – there are not even any pictures of the product:
I specifically asked for these pictures several times – they were supposed to appear soon, after which the product disappeared completely from the shop….
Universal indicator gauges
There are many round universal indicators, ranging from VDO to various other aftermarket ones. Most of them can easily be fitted using ready-made adapters for the air vents, some of them even deprive us of the ventilation option 🙂
Most universal indicators are circular in shape and have a diameter in the 52-63 mm range (usually 52 or 60 mm).
Pros and cons of universal indicators
- price – in most cases (except for VDO originals) they are cheap
- having one mount, it is easy to change to another indicator in the future – the diameter just has to be the same
- they look like something out of the Fast & Furious – with an indicators like this you can immediately see that you are sitting in a racing car
- versions with a mount integrated into the ventilation grille look quite poor, often requiring improvement to bring them to a satisfactory appearance (cheap 3D printing)
- sometimes the position of the indicator in parallel with the grille makes it difficult to read from the driver’s seat
- many versions have been developed as prototypes and are resold, so that not all handles are thought through
- you have to make an effort to find an indicator with a dial and pointer similar to the design of the counter
- usually one indicator is used to display one parameter and, apart from the option to change the colour of the backlight, nothing else can be adjusted in them
Presentation of sample universal indicators
The most fitting indicators for the Polo are those from NewSouth Performance.