Cable Throttle Cruise Control:

In Subarus with cable throttle engines and cruise control, the cruise control is a separate system, not part if the engine management. Over the years / models Subaru used 4 different cable throttle cruise control systems:

  • Mitsubishi
  • Jideco manifold vacuum
  • Jideco vacuum pump
  • Jideco electronic

All of them can be used in VW conversions. We do the wiring work for all of the Jideco systems for use in VW T25/T3/Vanagon models, and make parts for mounting some (vacuum systems) or all (electronic system) of their hardware in the VW. The Mitsubish system is very uncommon, only used in high spec early ’90’s Legacies and SVX’s.

Because of the way the cruise control wiring is tangled around the engine management in a Subaru, and because large parts of it need extending to the front of the VW, we don’t use any of the original Subaru cruise control wiring, instead making the harness from scratch using all new parts (with the possible exception of one or two connectors, for which the housings get re-used, as they’re not available new). We can add cruise control to your cable throttle Subaru engine management if the donor car didn’t originally have it while we’re doing your engine management wiring work. This could either be as the complete cruise control system, or just add out cruise control harness connector so you can add cruise control at a later date. We have options on whether you use the original separate on off switch and control stalk, or can upgrade to a far neater ‘combination stalk’ which has the on off switch and set and on / off LED’s built in.

This is a typical set of cruise control parts, for the more common Jideco electronic system, with our ‘combination stalk’ and new pedal switches options. Note everything but the actuator and cruise control ECU is provided by us with these options. The actuator and ECU are not included as standard as must customer using cruise control already have them:

Subaru Cruise Control controls in a VW – standard Subaru switches:

As standard our cruise control wiring for any of the Jideco cruise control systems includes parts to mount the stalk from the Subaru steering wheel in the VW upper column shroud, and the on / off switch / light from the Subaru dash in either a spare slot in the dash instrument cluster or in the heated seat switch slot, like this:

If the on / off switch light from your Subaru dash does not look like to one shown above, you’ll need to swap it for this type. The on / off switch / light deom some Forester dashes is very different , and not suitable. Or you could go for out Combinatuion Stalk option:

Subaru Cruise Control controls in a VW – standard Subaru switches:

Some late model Foresters with cable throttle engines and cruise control used a combined stalk and on off switch, which is much neater. Visibly, these look just like the stalk in a ‘drive by wire’ throttle model, but the circuit inside them is very different. They are relatively uncommon, so we make them from the ‘drive by wire’ version by replacing the internal circuit with one compatible with cable throttle cruise control. While the stalks are being modified, we also take this ‘all in one’ approach further by building the cruise control ‘on’* and ‘set’ LED’s, which were in the instrument cluster in the Subaru, into the stalk too (the LED(s) are not shown below). This gives the neatest possible installation in a VW, with just the one stalk, which fits in either upper column shroud type:

RJES optional Combination Stalk – lights and on off in stalk, fits any upper column shroud

*Not all of the cruise control systems have a cruise control on light – some only have the set light, in which case we only install the one LED in a combination stalk.

A template is included for marking out the hole to cut into the upper column shroud.

Note the cable throttle cruise control products shown here are not a system which you can buy to install in a Subaru powered VW which was wired by someone else, or which was wired by us without the option of fitting the cruise control socket for later use. This is because power supply wiring, diagnostics and vehicle speed signal all come from the main Subaru engine management harness, via a socked which we fit do the separate cruise control harness plugs in. We don’t build this into out harnesses as standard, as most customers would never use it. Instead fitting the cruise control socket either comes with these cruise control options, or as a separate option without any other cruise control parts so it can be added later if required.
If we did your engine management wiring work, and you later decide you want to add cruise control, we can fit the necessary socket and wiring, but will need the chassis part of your Subaru engine management wiring back to do so.

‘Drive by Wire’ Throttle Cruise Control

Everything about installing a ‘drive by wire’ Subaru engine into a VW is additional work and cost for no gain at all, with one possible exception. That exception is if you also want to use the Subaru cruise control in the VW. Because of the way ‘drive by wire’ throttles work, a lot of the hardware needed for cruise control is already there in a model without it (throttle actuator, brake and clutch pedal switches, and an ECU connected to all of them, etc). Therefore to add cruise control to a ‘drive by wire’ model, far less wiring and additional parts are needed than with cable throttle engines.

Our cruise control option when doing the engine management wiring work for your ‘drive by wire’ model includes simplified modification to the customers original stalk (we just add the LED’s to it), the stalk mounting parts, and the stalk wiring. It is therefore considerably cheaper to add cruise control to a ‘drive by wire’ engine in a VW than it is with a cable throttle engine in a VW (but the engine management wiring work for the ‘drive by wire’ models costs more in the first place).

Subaru Cruise Control in a VW FAQ:

Subaru used the following four different cruise control systems on the cable throttle engines:

  1. Vacuum actuator, manifold vacuum. Hardware manufactured by Jideco and Unisia. Used in the SVX and some early ‘90’s Legacies. This system can probably be used in T25 / T3 / Vanagon conversions.
  2. Vacuum actuator, manifold vacuum via a non return valve and vacuum reservoir.  Manufactured by Mitsubishi. The actuator looks like a mini brake servo with a metal casing, and has the solenoid control valves built in. Used from about MY93-96. This system can be used in T25 / T3 / Vanagon conversions, but we don’t make any parts to mount the hardware in VW’s.
  3. Vacuum actuator, electric vacuum pump.  Manufactured by Jideco. This system uses an engine bay mounted electric vacuum pump / valve, connected to a remote vacuum actuator with a hose. This is similar to the Hella system that VW used in the T25/T3/Vanagon and many later VW’s and models from other manufacturers. Used from about MY97-99. This system can be used in T25 / T3 / Vanagon conversions.
  4. Electric actuator. Manufactured by Jideco. This system is simpler and neater than either of the vacuum systems. Used from about MY00-07. This system can be used in T25 / T3 / Vanagon conversions. However, not all of the cruise control ECU’s for this application can be used in VW applications. Those which cannot have to be swapped for other part numbers – they’re usually inexpensive, and sometimes we have them in stock. If you’re adding cruise control to an engine from a car which didn’t originally have cruise control, we recommend you use this system. Parts are easier to find, and it has the desirable speed increment / decrement function which systems 1 and 2, above, did not. The hardware needed from the donor Subaru for the Jideco electric actuator system is as shown below:
4. Jideco electric actuator Subaru cruise control hardware

Subaru cruise control is designed to work between 25 mph and 90 mph (40 – 145 km/h). This is not the same between manufacturers, but there usually is a minimum. The minimum speed may not be exactly the same in a Subaru powered VW. Because of the way that the vehicle speed signal is created in a Subaru powered VW’s, the signal may not correspond to exactly the same vehicle speeds as it did in the Subaru. For the engine management, this does not matter (within reason), as long as the signal stops at zero speed and varies in proportion to speed. For Subaru cruise control in a VW, the signal does not have to exactly match the speeds it represented in the Subaru, but it may need to be closer to correct than if it were only being used by the engine management. Usually it is close enough, but this depends on your application, as shown below:

Subaru Cruise Control in VW Minimum Speed Examples:
Subaru 4025
2wd185/82 r1448.830.3
2wd195/50 r1458.336.3
2wd225/50 r 1748.930.4
Syncro185/82 r1424.415.2
Syncro235/85 r1619.912.4

The accuracy of the speed signal depends on tyre rolling radius (2WD) or final drive ratio and tyre rolling radius (Syncro). If not, a speed signal calibrator will be required. In a Syncro the speed signal is less likely to be accurate enough, so a speed signal calibrator is more likely to be required.

Cruise control is more sensitive than the engine management to a speed signal which does not match not the speeds Subaru intended because cruise control has a minimum speed which it will not work below (40 kph / 25 mph). If the inaccuracy means the speed signal says ’25 mph’ at a higher actual vehicle speed – the sort of speed that you would typically use cruise control, this can be annoying if it prevents you using cruise control until a higher than normal speed, but is easily solved by adding a speed signal calibrator.

As standard, no, for a few reasons. The ways the multi-function switches inside Subaru and VW cruise control stalks is very different. The switches in the Subaru stalk are multiplexed to so the minimum number of wires going to the steering wheel are needed, and VW’s unusual use of a 2 position slide switch for on / off (and mechanical interlocking of the switch functions on later models). Also, as well as being super rare, the VW cruise control stalk is not designed to be easily dismantled. These combine to mean it is not practical to modify the VW cruise control stalks to make them compatible. The same applies to the Golf MFA switch – it is not practical to modify to control Subaru (or VW) cruise control for the same reasons.

Yes, but not directly. The ‘drive by wire’ throttle Subaru engines have the cruise control on / off switch combined into the end of the stalk, However, electrically they function very differently to the stalks used in the Jideco cable throttle systems. However, unlike the VW T25/T3/Vanagon cruise control stalk, the Subaru cruise control stalks with the on /off button in the end are dismantleable. We can recycle the housings and switch mechanism from this later combined Subaru stalk, and replace all of the internal electronics to make it functionally identical to the stalks for the Jideco cable throttle cruise control systems, except with the cruise control on / off button at the end of the stalk.

This is by far the neatest way to install the Jideco cable throttle cruise control systems into the T25/T3/Vanagon, but requires a stalk which was not in the Subaru engine donor, which then has to be modified. We also make the mounting parts for this stalk in the VW steering column, and it firs after cutting one hole in the VW column shroud moulding, but no other modifications to VW parts.

The T25 / T3 / Vanagon has relatively ‘normal’ pedals, in that the entire pedal system is inside the passenger cabin, like Subaru’s and most other modern vehicles. This means that the pedal switch system doesn’t need to be weather proof. All bay and split screen buses have pedal systems which are mostly outside the passenger cabin, under the floor, with just the arms supporting the pedal pads coming inside the cabin through holes in the floor. There is no way to neatly mount the pedal switches for cruise control inside, in the dry. Switches could be mounted under the floor near the pedal pivot shafts, but this would require weatherproof switches (IP67 minimum). If all of the earlier bus models used the same pedal arrangement, developing a neat, well engineered weatherproof pedal switch arrangement for them would be worthwhile. However, the German built bay window bus models alone used 6 different pedal system designs. As cruise control is a relatively niche requirement for VW engine conversion customers, the effort to develop numerous weatherproof pedal switch systems is hard to justify.

Combine this with having seen examples of customers attempting to build pedal switch systems for pre T25 / T3 / Vanagon models which are entirely unsuitable (typically non weatherproof despite our explaining up front that they have to be IP67 or better), we don’t want anything to do with cruise control systems in VW’s which there is any possibility of the customer installing them in an unsuitable way. For the same reason we won’t Supply Subaru cruise control systems for your VW conversion which are incomplete. For example, with no pedal switch parts included, as the customer want to fit their own. We either supply the wiring complete with the pedal switch connectors and brackets to suit specific combinations of switches or not at all. This is due or having seen too many bodged brake and clutch pedal switch arrangements, where whoever came up with them clearly doesn’t understand (or care) why the pedal switches are so important. They’re part of a critical safety system in any model with cruise control and / or a drive by wire throttle, so should be fitted in an OEM-like way. No missing them out, or ‘creating’ their functions with relays because you don’t have the right type of switch, etc., both of which are not uncommon.

As cruise control is a system which takes over control of the engine’s throttle, it is always designed very carefully to only do so when it should, and is designed to be failsafe, usually by having redundant safety systems built in to ensure that it always releases the throttle when it should. The pedal switches are a critical part of this, as they ensure the cruise control disengages as soon as you touch the brake or clutch pedal. Without them, the throttle would remain open after you have pressed the brake or clutch pedal, either interfering with gear changes, or even limiting deceleration while braking. Do not every bypass the brake and / or clutch pedal switches!

are a part of each of the Subaru cable throttle cruise control systems:

System Manufacturer:UnisiaMitsubishiJidecoJideco
Actuator type:manifold vacuummanifold vacuumelectric vacuum pumpelectric motor (no vacuum)
Used (European Subaru models, approximate):MY92-97 (SVX)MY93-96MY97-99MY00-03 (L) MY00-07 (I,F)
Wiring harnessYYYY
On/ Off SwitchYYYY
Steering wheel stalkYYYY
Clutch pedal switch *YYYY
Brake pedal switchNYYY
Vacuum reservoir?YNN
Non return valve?YNN
Actuator / valve block / cable (looks like a miniature brake servo)NYNN
Vacuum pump / valve blockNNYN
Vacuum actuator / cableYNYN
Electric actuator / cableNNNY

* If your cruise control system is from an automatic model you will need to source a clutch pedal switch to use it in a manual VW, or we can supply one if doing your cruise control wiring work.

You can use any of the following as the clutch pedal switch:

  1. Subaru clutch pedal switch 83281AA000. This switch has a blue socket. The near identical looking Subaru switches with black or brown sockets are not suitable. This is the switch you should already have if your Subaru cruise control came from a manual model.
  2. Subaru brake pedal switch 83370AA001. This is another of the 4 terminal brake pedal switches, as used on the brake pedal in all models with cruise control (only).
  3. VW clutch / brake pedal switch / valve 811 907 343 B, as used in all T25 / T3 / Vanagon models with cruise control, various other VW and Audi models with cruise control, and various non VW models which used the same Hella cruise control system (e.g. various Rover / Range Rover)
  4. We stock another switch which is functionally identical to Subaru 83370AA001, but from another vehicle, and far more readily available and better priced. This can be used as either the brake or clutch pedal switch in VW conversions. If we’re doing your cruise control wiring work and you don’t have enough pedal switches, we add these at extra cost (they’re not expensive and come with all the necessary installation parts) because we won’t supply the cruise control systems incomplete.

If you have the pedal switches but don’t send them with the wiring, we need to know which of the above switches you will be using so we can fit the correct connector(s) to the harness and include the correct pedal switch bracket(s).

Yes. We can ass cruise control to any cable throttle Subaru engine management system while doing your engine management wiwing work, regardless of whether the original donor car has cruise control. You’ll have to source the necessary cruise control hardware from another Subaru, or sometimes we have some of it in stock.

You can use whichever you can most easily source all of the hardware for. However, we recommend using the Jideco electric system, as the hardware for them is more readily available (cruise control became standard in more models, or a more common option in later models), it’s a slightly neater system (no vacuum plumbing required), and we include the brackets to mount all of the necessary hardware in the VW engine compartment (with either of the vacuum systems, you’ll need to make your own actuator / vacuum pump mounting brackets, and also come up with your own control stalk mounting arrangement if you use the Mitsubishi manifold vacuum system).

Yes, but we’ll need your Subaru engine management wiring harness back. The ECU end of it will have to be partially dismantled so the cruise control power supply wiring can be added and a connector added for the cruise control harness to plug into, unless you requested we add this at the time of the engine management wiring work, anticipating fitting cruise control in the future.

Yes, as long as your donor Subaru had cruise control. Cruise control is a much simpler system in models with ‘drive by wire’ throttles – it’s basically just an additional switch (the cruise control stalk, which included the on / off switch in these models) and software in the ECU. As with the cable throttle cruise control systems, you may need a speed signal calibrator if the speed signal is not a close-ish match to the speed that they system expects to see. You will also have to fit the ‘cruise control on’ LED in your dash somewhere, as this was originally part of the Subaru instrument cluster.