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Discussion Starter #1
I'm finally getting the Passat set up to tow some stuff: small utility trailer for lawn care jobs (to pay for my car and gadget habits) and a small vintage popup for camping. I've got the DaLan hitch on order.

I've already done some minor upgrades to address braking (pads, rotors, and fluid), power (chip), engine oil heat/abuse (AutoRX, always full-synthetic oil, and oversize filter), and ATF heat/abuse (ATF fluid and filter change with plans to go to Redline D4). Koni shocks and 1BE springs are on the to-do list as well.

I also plan to install a B&M stacked plate ATF cooler which brings up a previously discussed topic. Has anyone installed an ATF cooler yet? I know there were a couple folks with plans to. I'd like to know how it is plumbed: do you unscrew an existing hose from the radiator and use adapters/fittings in the kit to mate up to those or do you have to cut and splice metal or rubber hoses?

Also, for the trailer wiring harness, how have you guys done that? There are convertors that adapt systems like ours with separate turn signals and brake lights to the combo single bulb for both turn and tail/stop that most trailers have. These power the trailer lights through the Passat lighting circuit. Has anybody had issues doing it this way? There's also the type of convertors/isolators that are basically a set of relays such that the Passat lighting circuitry in essence provides the signal/trigger voltage but the power to run the trailer lights comes from a separate feed from the battery. This also protects the Passat lighting circuits from a short on the trailer. Even though it costs a little more and requires more work, I think this is the route I plan to take. With heavy gauge wire, the battery feed could also be used to source 12V to the trailer for battery charging, 3-way fridge running, etc while on the road.

Any input from those of you who've been down this road before?

Thanks,
Matt
 

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mtrostel said:
I'm finally getting the Passat set up to tow some stuff: small utility trailer for lawn care jobs (to pay for my car and gadget habits) and a small vintage popup for camping. I've got the DaLan hitch on order.

I've already done some minor upgrades to address braking (pads, rotors, and fluid), power (chip), engine oil heat/abuse (AutoRX, always full-synthetic oil, and oversize filter), and ATF heat/abuse (ATF fluid and filter change with plans to go to Redline D4). Koni shocks and 1BE springs are on the to-do list as well.

I also plan to install a B&M stacked plate ATF cooler which brings up a previously discussed topic. Has anyone installed an ATF cooler yet? I know there were a couple folks with plans to. I'd like to know how it is plumbed: do you unscrew an existing hose from the radiator and use adapters/fittings in the kit to mate up to those or do you have to cut and splice metal or rubber hoses?

Also, for the trailer wiring harness, how have you guys done that? There are convertors that adapt systems like ours with separate turn signals and brake lights to the combo single bulb for both turn and tail/stop that most trailers have. These power the trailer lights through the Passat lighting circuit. Has anybody had issues doing it this way? There's also the type of convertors/isolators that are basically a set of relays such that the Passat lighting circuitry in essence provides the signal/trigger voltage but the power to run the trailer lights comes from a separate feed from the battery. This also protects the Passat lighting circuits from a short on the trailer. Even though it costs a little more and requires more work, I think this is the route I plan to take. With heavy gauge wire, the battery feed could also be used to source 12V to the trailer for battery charging, 3-way fridge running, etc while on the road.

Any input from those of you who've been down this road before?

Thanks,
Matt
Been there, done that. I wrote the hitch install article in the info forum.

You really, really need to use the powered trailer light converter. Get the one that also auto-protects itself for shorts. Its a little more expensive, but worth it. I shorted my first one out.

The wiring in the Passat is fairly thin and should not be used to support additional lights.

I pulled out the back panel of the trunk and connected into the OE harness with schotchlok connectors. I ran a wire (with fuse) from the constant power wire under the dash to the rear to power the converter. Originally, I just hung the wiring out the trunk when I used it. Now, I took a round 4 wire bulkhead connector and put it in the bottom of the rear bumper. From there I use the male part ofthe round 4 wire and attach a couple of feet of 4 wire flat wire to it. Now, I just store the short wire in the trunk. A very clean installation.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the hitch install writeup. It may be a little different for my variant but it will come on handy.

Thanks for the converter tip as well. Glad to know I was on the right track.

For your bulkhead connector, did you mount it to the bumper structure or the bumper cover (structure I assume)? Did you drill a hole to put the connector in or did you use a bracket to mount it to the bumper?

I'll probably keep the wire in the trunk like you did for the time being (maybe keep it in one of the side compartments). If I do an outside connector, I'll run permanent wire to it out a hole in the trunk or spare tire well. I'll go ahead and do a 7-pin connector with capability for reverse lights, electric brakes, and 12V feed and then use a 4-pin to 7-pin adapter when using a wire/pin trailer connection.

Thanks for the input,
Matt
 

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mtrostel said:
Thanks for the hitch install writeup. It may be a little different for my variant but it will come on handy.

Thanks for the converter tip as well. Glad to know I was on the right track.

For your bulkhead connector, did you mount it to the bumper structure or the bumper cover (structure I assume)? Did you drill a hole to put the connector in or did you use a bracket to mount it to the bumper?

I'll probably keep the wire in the trunk like you did for the time being (maybe keep it in one of the side compartments). If I do an outside connector, I'll run permanent wire to it out a hole in the trunk or spare tire well. I'll go ahead and do a 7-pin connector with capability for reverse lights, electric brakes, and 12V feed and then use a 4-pin to 7-pin adapter when using a wire/pin trailer connection.

Thanks for the input,
Matt
The bulkhead connnector is mounted to the urethane bumper cover, facing down. I drilled an appropriate sized hole and mounted to connector from the front side since it had a hinged cover. 4 wire round connectors do not have a wiring standard, so you just need to be consistent in your wiring. I don't think that the 7 wire round would fit where I put mine. Also, facing down, the connector assembly would probably be too low. I'd fashion some kind of bracket that I could tuck out of the way. The 7 wire round does have a wiring standard, so make sure to follow the standard.

The one error I made was mounting the connector too close to the hitch. It gets in the way a little when I put in the locking receiver pin.
 

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I'd really like to know about the feasibility of the ATF cooler.

You can see my postings on my local club board for reference:

http://www.vwdov.ca/forum/showthread.php?threadid=52802

for much discussion about the passat towing capability. Some of it I feel is opinion only. I am still searching for reliable passat towing info. I want to tow 1800 lbs.

Probably the mods you are making are the ones I'd have to consider aswell. Although, I thought the tiptronics were sealed transmissions, meaning that changing the fluid and installing an ATF cooler might be impossible.

How much are you planning to tow?
 

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vwDavid, changing the fluid is not only possible but necessary on a v6/tip. old/vs new fluid (you guess which one is the old fluid :) )


THere are some members who have sent the tip fluid out for analysis and essentialy gotten back "change it now.
 

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Hello people, this is my first post and it's a subject I am very interested in as I am getting a 13 ft fiberglass travel trailer that is 6'-6" wide and weighs 1400 pounds loaded for the road.

I have an 02 B5 Variant 4Mo. I know about installing the Dalan hitch and towing weight requirements, etc. My owners manual states 2000 pound trailer weight when it has electric brakes.

One of my questions to all you experienced B5 towers is: the transmission oil cooler, is there one there from the factory? My local dealer says this car already comes with one. Yes / No ? If so is it adequate for towing? How does one install one if the transmission is sealed and you need a titrating machine that requires a couple of hours to fill with the aid of a computer. Dealer told me this.


My second towing question to all you experienced B5 towers is: what have you done to attach side rear view mirrors. I have toyed ith the idea of saddeling side mirror bras ro protect from flying road debri but primarily to allow one of those side mirror clamp on extensions to better grip and not scratch the car's side view mirror. How have you folks resolved this problem.


Advise appreciated, thank you.


Kermit
 
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