I wanted to create this guide to help people who want to convert their active. The topic of whether or not to convert has been addressed many times. It is really a personal decision and what you want to do with your car. I know T3 has done lots of these as has B&B so its certainly a service that people desire.
I am not writing this to promote conversion but rather to help people that are going to do the conversion avoid the many hours I spent trying to track down information, avoid spending the many dollars I spent on parts that I thought would work, and avoid the spending the time I did not trial and error to get it right.
Overall I am very happy with my conversion. I got to know the Q better by doing it and now the car handles great. I did come to respect the system and its complexity. Honestly I felt bad taking it out as I could tell that many dollars and hours where spent designing it. However in my situation I could not get it into diagnostic mode, took it to two mechanics both with real Consults and no one could figure out what was wrong with it. Without a qualified place to help me anywhere even remotely local I was left with few options.
To summarize if you can save your active do so converting is not easy or cheap. However if you do here is what I have learned I hope it helps.
Parts to buy new
Conversion kit from Joe (no springs or metal parts)$262
Parts to buy used
Used shocks and struts$450
Sell old parts-$100
Estimated time 8 – 10 hours
The simple conversion requires removing all of the Active components. Then looping the power steering pump.
Total Conversion with used power steering pump and springs
Parts to buy new
Conversion kit from Joe (no springs)$262
Non Active Belt$ 19
New Boots $100
Parts to buy used
Used springs and shocks$450
Power Steering pump$100
Power Steering Hoses $75
Trim piece without active switch$25
Sell old parts-$200
You can add a new rebuild power steering pump for $100 dollars more, I am not sure how long these last. Power steering lines from Joe are $440 by so I hope that used ones will work any input this would great
I was lucky enough to find a hardly used set of eibachs and tokikos for 450 adjust accordingly for what you want to do
A true full conversion would also include an ECU. Although I do not know the advantage to this as the “actsus” Light goes out as soon as the fuse is removed
Less cost to maintain
Ability to run lowering springs
Ability to run 17s, 18’s and up without compromising the active tuning
More availability of replacement parts
People will not like you
So I completed the conversion. It was a much bigger undertaking then I had expected and probably spend close to 20 hrs removing everything except for 3 things that identify it as an active
The active cooler, fan and duct which I will use for a transmission cooler, the ecu, and the gauge cluster.
The method that I used was the first remove the lines and follow them around the car so as not to remove anything that was non active. Then took out the valves and sensors.
I chose not to loop the pump as it is super heavy, it can be used by someone who needs it, and it leaves something in my opinion rigged. That said many people have done it and had no problems. You can used the return line to the active reservoir to do the loop.
Things that I tried that do not work
Using the Active pulley on the std pump (not even close)
Using the Hicas pulley on the std pump bolts up perfect and uses the wide belt but does not align with the harmonic balancer and would require shimming out the brackets with washers
You need all three brackets that connect to the std pump along with the bolts as they are shorter because the brackets are not as thick
You must then change the harmonic balancer, the water pump pulley and idler.
I used shrink rap and ties to tuck all the active wires into nice places where they would not be mistaken for unplugged components or get in the way of moving parts
I would not attempt this without a good air ratchet and a compressor that can run it. There are literally hundreds of bolts that need to come out.
One thing that I haven’t done is undercoat the sections where the bolts came out but would recommend doing that especially if you live somewhere that has road salt.
Below are the brackets you will need
Below are the hoses you will need
Be sure to get 4 new copper crush washers to avoid leaks!