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Converting an early Mk1/2 handbrake to late/Mk2F

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This is a quick how to guide to converting a Mk1 or early Mk2 Polo to the later handbrake mech. This is so you can fit the larger Mk2F injection tank, which fouls on the early handbrake brackets.

First of all you need to cut into the underside to give clearance for the tank and remove the stud/securing bracket for the early mechanism:


This shows the bracket that I found fouled the late cable securing bracket on the rear axle. The stud and the floorpan it attaches to needs to be removed as well while fitting the tank. Easier to spot when doing it.

As for the handbrake mech itself, they are both a double skin that is spot welded to the underside.

Here's the donor part (you only need the tunnel for the template and you can just drill out the spot welds from the donor shell):


You drill out the spot welds (there's about 12 in the late one, few less on the early one) with a cobalt spot weld drill bit (~8mm).

Make a template from the late tunnel so you can cut out the shape for the new lever into your early tunnel:


Then once you have the two skins removed, you can start to fit the later one to your early chassis. Grind off the surface so that it will sit flush with the tunnel.

Push it roughly into place, and mark out where to drill holes so that you can plug weld them. You can seam weld the part in, but I think that is overkill.

Once the holes for the welds are drilled, use a jack and block of wood to push it into place from underneath.




Now that it is in place you can weld it in, mine has 12 welds in total. Then use seam sealant underneath to prevent any water ingress between the two surfaces.


Now just paint any bare metal, you can grind the welds off inside if you're picky (it will be beneath the carpet). Also get some stone chip and get some nice coverage on the underside where the new piece is.


(stone chip pic here)

You may need to trim to get access to the handle bolts:


Bit of white grease on the handle won't hurt:


Then it's just a simple case of bolting the handle in, fitting the cable and adjusting!

Hope this is of use to people.

Edited by Narrow_Lane

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So the only donor panel I need is around the handbrake itself? The bracket near the beam in your first photo just comes off yeah?

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