DSG Airbox and Intake Duct

A very small number of European market .:R32's had Volkswagen's DSG gearbox available as an option. The .:R32 was the first VAG Group production car fitted with this innovative gearbox as far as I can ascertain, pre-dating the Audi TT fitment. Volkswagen fitted these cars with a larger MAF sensor housing (the same one as fitted to US market cars). The larger MAF engines are easily identified by the ribbed top cover on the airbox (air cleaner assembly). In addition to this larger MAF, the DSG versions also had a much larger air intake snorkel supplying air from the front of the car to the airbox. The flexible pipe between the MAF and the throttle body is also suitably larger where it connects to the MAF. The throttle body itself is unaltered and is identical in either fitment.

It is important to note that you cannot just fit the larger MAF to your engine with this modification. The ECU programming has to be modified to account for the different air flow signal of the larger MAF. There are chiptuning companies that can do this required modification. This does not, however, prevent you from using the larger intake snorkel from the DSG and using your existing MAF assembly ;-)

You have a couple of different ways to install this modification:

Re-use your existing airbox and modify the inlet hole in the lower half to match the larger snorkel. There is a rubber seal around the original inlet. This part is not available separately. If you cut your existing hole bigger, then you will have to devise some way of sealing the pipe to stop hot engine bay air entering the airbox.

Purchase a new complete DSG airbox assembly and use the new lower half to mate with the DSG snorkel. You then use your existing stock top half to keep your original MAF. I went with this method because I intended to have the engine rechipped to match the larger MAF at a later date. At this time I can simply replace the airbox top half with the larger version and install the matching MAF and flexible intake pipe to the throttle body.


Remove battery and battery box.

Remove airbox top - I left the top connected to the MAF and the flexible intake tube as I would be using this top again. That spring clamp is difficult to remove if you don't have the right tool. I just hooked the whole thing up with a wire to keep it out of the way.

To remove the top of the airbox from bottom half, just undo the two phillips screws at rear and unhook front edge.

Unbolt lower airbox and remove - two 10 mm nuts

Remove two parts of intake duct that screw onto radiator support (4 Phillips screws) - the one behind the headlight pulls straight up, the one to its left behind radiator grill inlet just pulls straight back towards rear of car.

Unbolt snorkel from inner guard - 10 mm nut

Now you need to poke out the centre of the three clips (split rivets) that hold the ducting under the headlight. Poking out the centre pin relieves the tension on the expanding clip so you can remove them. If you are very careful, you can retrieve the centre dowel piece, so then you won't need to buy new clips. You can observe their approximate location by referencing the holes in the new ducting piece. The lower one can only be accessed from underneath the car as it is directly behind a very large piece of wiring conduit. You will need to remove the lower plastic undertray to be able to reach up. Slide the large wiring plug out of its holder against the inner guard to provide clearance for the ducting to be removed. The ducting pulls straight back with a bit of manouvering.

Clip in new duct with three clips. The bottom one needs access from underneath again. Replace wiring plug in it's holder on inner guard. Now attach new snorkel to headlight duct and loosely over the stud on inner guard - there is no way it will fit in later.

There is another stud on the inner guard which had a round plastic clip fitted on it - I had to totally remove the clip to get the duct to lay down properly. It just unscrews off of the stud. The earth strap passed through this clip but was not held tightly or anything. Its function seems to be to stop the earth strap rubbing on the inner guard metal. I have secured the earth strap off the inner guard with a tie-wrap. As the stud sits up close to the snorkel I placed some vacuum hose over the stud to stop any rubbing as well.

Re-attach battery box rear piece.

Offer lower airbox to snorkel, push airbox over end of snorkel and secure airbox and snorkel - it helps if the airbox is still separated at this time, as you can then gain access to assist the pipe in from the inside of the airbox.

Replace battery and clip the fuse box etc back on (do not reconnect terminals until everything is finished).

Re-attach top of airbox. Replace radiator grill inlet duct piece and then the piece behind headlight. Tighten up everything and reconnect battery.

Enjoy your new DSG air intake :-)

Parts List

Please read the attached notes carefully for each part to decide whether you will need them for your car. All the components are required to maximize the airflow supplied to the airbox.

1J0 805 965 E B41    Slide valve. This is the piece behind the headlight with the adjuster holes for the headlights.

The DSG version is bulged out more to give greater airflow behind the headlight.
Note: If you have OEM Xenons fitted ex-factory, then you should already have the correct piece.

1J0 805 962 G B41    Intake air duct. This piece goes under the headlight and has the larger outlet to match the DSG snorkel.

3 x N 038 550 1         Split Rivet. Required to secure the above duct.

You will be able to re-use your existing ones if you don't lose any of them in the nether regions of the engine bay when you remove them.

1J0 129 609 G            Intake snorkel

1J0 129 607 AK          Airbox. As noted above, you may wish to modify your existing airbox for the larger intake pipe.

1J0 129 607 CC          Airbox - Cold Climate Version

This airbox has a pressure relief flap and a dividing piece inside the lower half in case the air intake is blocked with snow etc. US market standard airbox has a similar setup. This version may no longer be available new from Volkswagen, but is noted for information purposes.

Measured Improvement

I don't have any "dyno" results, but I did some VAGCOM logs before and after installation. Please note, the quoted readings were taken using the stock European size MAF housing.

Preliminary roadtest with stock intake setup gave a maximum of 187.03 g/s @ 6240 rpm (16 degrees Celsius ambient temperature).

After fitting DSG airbox and intake achieved 192.42 g/s at same rpm.

The maximum reading was 194.36 g/s @ 6400 (same run)

Same tank of fuel, (same air filter element by the way), same ambient temperature 16 degrees, same piece of road.

All logs were run at WOT in second gear.

The overall intake noise is a bit deeper.

Overall, I would say it certainly feels a little crisper in response. It's not a quantum jump by any means, such as adding a chip, but definitely a noticeable gain in performance compared to the standard setup.

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