in MK7 GTI/R
Table of Contents
Applies to 02q/02m/02j bottom mount units.
Last updated: August 17. 2023
We receive a lot of questions about this install, so we are writing out the general steps required for install. This tutorial does not include every tool and individual step you will need to do. This is meant to be a general overview of the process.
The first Coolerworx tower install in an MK7 that we are aware of was completed by Frank @ EPG Tuned. He was a great resource when we installed a shifter in our 2015 GTI. Our install was completed in April 2021, and daily driven since. We have not had any issues missing gears, money shifting, or having to adjust any of the linkage after the initial install.
We recommend using an adjustable short shifter linkage on the transmission end (Diesel Geek, DAP). That makes the adjustment process after install easier to find all gears. And you might as well swap to an APR cast linkage bracket on the trans while you are at it.
Install of this shifter requires removal of these parts:
Battery & Tray
Mid section of exhaust
Plastic cladding on the underbody
Heat shielding on underbody
Climate control trim panels
Shift linkage on transmission
1. Jack up the car.
Put in park, apply Ebrake. Chock wheels, or support with cribbing.
Remove the downpipe and mid section of the exhaust. The rear section can remain in place.
2. Removing the axle shield is helpful to provide clearance for the catalytic converter to slide down and rotate through the subframe cradle.
3. Remove the plastic cladding on the bottom of the car. Rotate these nuts until the panel releases. The nut will stay captured in the cladding panel.
4. Remove the heat shielding. These clips can be difficult to remove. They are press fit into place. You can attempt to rotate them to remove, but we have better luck prying them with a steel trim tool. Once removed they can be tapped with a hammer to flatten the tabs back out for reinstall later.
5. Remove the intake, battery, battery tray, and shifter linkage on the transmission.
BE CAREFUL LOOSENING THE TOP NUT ON THE SHIFTER!
If you are swapping the shifter link bracket, remove the OEM one now as well.
6. Remove the torx screws along each the side of the console.
7. Remove the climate control trim panel. pull it away from the dash gently, work across the bottom edge to release all the tabs, then begin working out the top edge tabs.
8. Remove the lower cubby. Open the lid, remove the rubber pad, pull it up, and towards the shifter boot to release the tabs.
9. Unplug the two connectors to release the cubby.
10. Remove the head unit trim. Start at the bottom and gently begin pulling out the tabs along each edge. This can be left partially removed. Popping out the bottom edge gives us more room to pivot out the console.
11. Remove the ebrake boot (if applicable). It is retained by clips. The handle is glued onto the shaft, and the button retained with a clip on the bottom of the shaft. Also remove this metal clip that supports the console.
12. Remove the trim in front of the ebrake. (if applicable). It is retained by clips.
13. Remove the shift boot. It just has clips holding it into the console. The boot, and chrome ring will pull out together. You will also need to clip the ring that holds the boot onto the shifter stalk.
Then remove the two bolts that retain the button panels to the console. They are now visible with the lower cubby removed. Unplug the connectors for the buttons.
14. Remove the bolts on the back of the console. Pry off these covers, and remove the bolts. These are easier to access from the back seat.
15. Remove the rear trim on the console. Slide the console lid forward, grab the top edge of this trim, lift up and back.
Then remove the torx bolts holding the console to the floor.
16. Slide both seats all the way back. Tape around the ebrake handle to protect the gloss trim (if you didnt remove it in an earlier step).
Start by lifting the back of the console up, once it begins to separate below the head unit, try to slide it towards the back of the car, then lift out. If you have a manual e-brake handle, it will need to be pulled completely back to allow enough room to remove.
17. Console out, now we can remove the rear seat heat/air duct that runs under the console. This wont be reused.
Then remove the 4 bolts holding the OEM shift tower in place.
18. The OEM tower and cables should now be freed from the car and can be pulled out from below. Be careful removing the cables, guide them out around the heat shielding along the firewall.
19. Pry the tabs back on the OEM shifter to remove the bottom panel.
Pull the cables off the linkage.
20. Press the larger eyelet onto the Coolerworx shifter center link. Some grease should be used here to prevent squeeking.