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Lupo Gti, Recaros, bags, Exip Mega...

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Yeah, so another moonsilver Lupo gti from Finland. Nothing really special done with it, engine tweaked with cams, Bastuck catback exhaust and custom software with 150 bhp. Not sure about the torque, but if I remember right it makes 165 Nm. I have to check that out from dyno papers, if I still have them.

Suspension has some V-Maxx coilovers with rear adjusting collars removed and some threads left up front. Im going to shorten the rear springs to get lower. Bags are not an option with this car.

Wheels are two piece 15 inch Oz Turbos widened to 8 and 8.5 inch, wrapped with 185/45 Nangangs at the moment. I also have some bbs rm’s waiting for her and Oz’s are going to get some wider lips and polish next summer. But more about that later.

At the moment she is waiting for better weather and I’m driving my daily over the winter. So there is time to think what I want to do. I’ve been thinking about some mk4 Recaro seats, but couldn’t find any yet. So far I’ve removed backseats and pretty much torn the interior apart. Front bumper is going to be smoothed out too.

I did some mods to my cluster few days ago, and it came up really nice. I’m going to make a write up about it later after I’ve gone through my photos.



Edited by Mr.Badbrains

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Great car, great pic's!

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Just finished this cluster mod a week ago. Probably the best thing i've done so far to Lupo. I did'nt like that old dim blue backlight so I replaced the smd leds on cluster circuit board to brighter white and red on needles and lcd screens.

lupocluster by L Myyry, on Flickr

Some soldering is required, but very simple job to do.

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^ Double that, it looks more modern! You changed only the clock leds, or the ones in the headunit and heating controls as well?

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Yes I have some more photos to come. Need some time to go through them.

^ Double that, it looks more modern! You changed only the clock leds, or the ones in the headunit and heating controls as well?

I have manual controls, no climatronic. So only the ones on cluster.

Nice. Don´t like invertet displays?



Well, to be honest, I forgot to buy polarize foil or whatever it's called. But then maby I like it more that way. Yours looks cool as well though.

Blue turnsignal indicators would be cool as well, but I dont now for sure what our law says about that.

Edited by Mr.Badbrains

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Ok, here is the write up I promised.

There were some pictures of really nice looking white/red backlit cluster on German Lupo forum, but I couldn’t find any diy on this, so I figured out how to do it, and made my own diy.

I found out that it is possible to change the LEDs in the cluster circuit board. Since there are no actual bulbs in there but small smd LEDs, some soldering is required. My car is a 2001 Lupo Gti, so some things are different on non Gti ones. So keep that in mind.

I don’t take responsibility if you mess up your car by following this diy. So far everything is working fine on my car, but there is always a risk to break something.

Also, I didn’t invent this mod; it’s been done on mk4´s, Lupos etc. for many years. I just couldn’t find too much info on it.

It takes some time (I did mine in about 2 hours) but I am really happy with the results. Even if you have zero soldering experience I think you can do this.

Here is the list of tools and supplies needed:

  • #20 torx key for dash
  • a small hex key (or the actual proper tool) for taking the cluster apart
  • small flathead screwdrivers
  • tweezers or small pliers
  • a decent soldering iron
  • solder
  • 10 pcs of (white) “side view” LEDs for cluster backlight
  • 3 pcs of (red) “side view” LEDs for LCD screens
  • 6 pcs of (red) “plcc-2” LEDs for needle backlight
  • 4 pcs of (white) “plcc-2” LEDs for clock backlight

First of all disconnect the battery cables from your battery like always when you mess up with car electronics. Just the negative cable could be enough but I did both just to be sure.

To remove the cluster, there is one screw underneath the upper cluster cover. Remove that and a little yank towards steering wheel should do the trick to take out the first part of the cover.

Below upper cover, there are 3 screws and three tabs keeping the second part attached. Remove screws and carefully take of the second part of the cover.

Cluster itself comes of very easily. Two screws and just lift it up. Release connectors by prying that purple clip until it clicks. Connectors should now come off with ease. Don’t force them or you will break something.

Flip the cluster over and unscrew 7 screws. Those are 5 point torx but I used a small hex key.


Grab the circuit board and lift it up.



Take off the rev and speedo needles by pulling up or rotating counterclockwise.


Take off rev and speedo faces by prying with fingernails or gently with 2 screwdrivers on both sides.


Pry up temp and fuel gauge needles.


Separate the clock by prying the connector on both sides with 2 small screwdrivers.


Take off the lcd screen frames and screens by pushing tabs against each other from below.



Needles on the clock will just snap off. Then the mechanism can be pulled of the frame.


This is what you should have on your hands now. You can see the LEDs soldered on circuit board. The ones circled with blue are the main backlights (I replaced with white). Ones circled with black are the needle backlights (I replaced with red). Ones circled with red are lcd screen backlights (I replaced with red).


There are two kinds of smd´s as you can see. The smaller ones are “plcc-2” type and bigger ones are “side view” type. You can probably find these from eBay.

At this point it’s just desolder and solder. I marked my old LEDs with marker to keep track which ones I had done. Keep an eye on the orientation of the LEDs, and solder them same way around like the old ones were. Note that they will work just one way. There is a small cutout on a corner of each of the LEDs to help you.

When ready, assemble everything in reverse order. Test that everything works as supposed and enjoy your new, a lot modern looking cluster.

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Top write up, this should be moved to the how to section!

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It's been freezing cold lately so i've been working on stuff I can do indoors.

Both of Lupos doors microswitches were death already when I bought the car. Interior light didn’t work when I opened a door and alarm would come on if I didn’t put my key in the ignition fast enough.

It’s a common problem on mk4 based VWs and it’s an easy fix. One could buy a new door lock module or just replace the microswitch.

As the stealers want 120 quid for that locking module, and a new, weather resistance switch costs a fiver, I did just the switches.

Original switches are made by burgess, but I couldn’t find any so I bought some Cherry switches from local electric supplier. Those are just little taller than originals and wiring comes out from other side, so I had to cut some room for them.



I used some industrial clue to attach them in place, but little screws could be better.




Works like a charm now.

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I love the touch on the instrument clock, so so smart!!! Might have to do that myself!

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