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1981 Polo LX Resto


shipleym701

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shipleym701

Hi all.

Been on here for a year or so and have done a few little bits and pieces since I was 18.

I've got more and more ambitious each time and so this is the most I've ever attempted.

Had a wicked time with my old Beetle and so wanted to go as early as possible, at the same time though i hate aircooled engines so it was gunna be a Mk1 of some sort. Looked into Mk1 golfs as they are clearly awesome and there are a few easily available to buy and modify.

This and the fact that there are already 2 Mk1 golfs in my household and 4 in my friendship group i realised this wasnt the way to go.

So seeing as i have a Mk3 polo at the moment and love the go-kart nature of it i started looking for Mk1 polos.

I wasnt very serious at this point and it was a definate pipedream so just kept an eye out on ebay and the forums occasionally checking out what was available, then a really solid looking one came up on here and the Mk1 polo website. It was the right price , near had MOT so easy to transport and solid.

Couldnt really ask for more so i headed down to see it and it was exactly as advertised, completely rust free minus a tiny hole in the battery tray. The engine seemed ok but was planning to change this anyway so it was far from a priority. So it looked like this in the advert (I'm guessing most of you saw it anyway):

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Got it home and cracked on with the resto.

I have a few ideas in terms of plans but dont want to spoil it and give it all away do i!? :-D

I've not done anything this major before so any and all advice is welcome!

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Right so no updates for a few weeks but I have been busy with it. Unfortunately, I was charging through the jobs so quickly that I didnt take as many pictures as I would have liked! was planning t

Hey, I own this now and its coming along quite nicely despite taking a while, any previous owners still active for some questions on it?  The owner I bought it from was an absolute tard who'd too

shipleym701

Started stripping it down and cleaining not got many pics as a pretty boring job!

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Got started with the real work:

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So engine out.. cue epic arch gap!

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shipleym701

Scummy doesnt even start to describe the engine bay.

Seems there had been a constant oil leak down the engine bay, then road grit ontop of it, then filth, then more oil etc etc.

This really did take a long time to clean.

Got hardcore on the traffic film remover and went through a shit load of scourers.

Multiple jet washes in the cold and wet.

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The bonnet and wing needed repainting and the door has a dent that needs sorting and therefore repainting as well.

Pretty sure that i wouldnt have been able to get any sort of paint match seeing as one would be worn as fuck and the other would be fresh paint.

So decided to attempt my first ever respray. As i said before i have done a couple of engine swaps, plenty of car repairs and the standard suspension/alloys modifications. Time to step up to the big leages! :lol:

I'm not expecting the finish to be showstandard, it would be loads less effort to just pay someone to do it.

And from the amount of mistakes i expect to make it probably wont be a great deal cheaper to do it myself.

But I've got a scene in my head i plan to recreate.. its me sitting in the sun at a show, cold beer in one hand and chatting with mates listening to music, then i look around and see my car and know that I have done everything on it to the best of my abilities. Might sound weird but thats the plan!

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shipleym701

Did the tiny bit of welding that needed doing:

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My shitty phone cant really show the welding.

Took the worst wing off and started to prep for paint... its a long process so the next updates for the next few months will be very samey!

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After enough time and effort:

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For some reason there are no pics of the bonnet but its also back to the primer now as well.

I've decided to respray the engine bay as well but not gunna bother with smoothing it. I want it to look as OG as possible and I've heard stories of the filler cracking due to the fact that the engine is mounted to the chassis and not to a subframe. Either way its not being smoothed its just gunna have a respray.

so the prep started for this. It seems that as there are no smooth lines or surfaces its going to take a really long time! Oh well, I'm expecting this resto to last another year or two anyways as i want it done properly and I want to do as much of it myself as possible!

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shipleym701

Some of the engine bay been done...

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and the other side so you can see the difference between them:

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Which brings us round to today. Done the wing ready for the next stage of paint and prep so thought id crack on with repairing and prepping the door.

Loooong way to go still but not a lot else to do on the winter evenings! lol.

And here is my attempt to sort the "i have no door" issue!

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How depressing that about 4 months of hard work has culminated in about 7 photos and 1 forum page of updates! :shock:

But thats what its all about i suppose!

Must thank Tim (prev owner) as well, good to know there are still genuine and honest car enthusiasts still about. This post would probably be twice as long if i listed all the extra bits that were with the car (NOS speedo being the gem!) and to say that the car was as described in the advert would be an understatement!)

Feel free to comment (especially in the paint department! :lol:)

Edited by shipleym701
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Will be watching this with interest mate. Especially the painting.

Have you considered roller painting it? A mate of mine did it with a roller and he's managed to get a great finish.

Good luck.

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yaaaay its gone to a good owner :) i was thinking about buying this polo but mine popped up a bit closer to home

good luck with it all dude :D

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shipleym701
Will be watching this with interest mate. Especially the painting.

Have you considered roller painting it? A mate of mine did it with a roller and he's managed to get a great finish.

Good luck.

Cheers mate, happy to be the guinea pig with the paint!

I was thinking roller painting... thing is I'm going to go the same colour so wanted to get some really good paint that is as OG as possible.

Would you not need some specific roller paint to make that work?

You got any pics of your mates car as well?

yaaaay its gone to a good owner :) i was thinking about buying this polo but mine popped up a bit closer to home

good luck with it all dude :D

You havnt seen it finished yet... still plenty of time to fuck it up! :lol:

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shipleym701

Right... scraping the barrel of updates but want to make it look like I've been busy busy!

Started stripping the door ready to sand it all back for the repair and paint.

First undid the small screw on the right to lever out the handle.

Then took off the allen key bolts holding the main lock onto the door.

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This is the rod that goes from the inside door mechanism to actually open the door itself at the shutter end... this pic is basically for me so i remember how it goes back together!

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And the door pin mech...

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Undid the screw at the top of the triangle window and did the same at the bottom of the same mini pillar. (all with the window wound down)

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Pulled the piece of glass out and peeled all the rubbers from around the window. Then the window will just pop straight out now that there is loads more room to manouver.

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So thats the door stripped... was looking at the damage and it doesnt look pretty.

Does anyone happen to know how best to attack this bugger?

The dents can carefully bashed out from the other side I'm guessing but that puncture looks like it may be a right bitch... any advice on this very welcome!

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And thats it for tonight! Peace out!

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The dents can carefully bashed out from the other side I'm guessing but that puncture looks like it may be a right bitch... any advice on this very welcome!

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that dent was originally huge before it was popped out so the metal will most prob have stretched, so i would imagine that trying to bash the dent out will make it pop outwards to far, then back inwards too far and so on, to get it perfect would be very difficult me thinks.. put up a wanted thread on the mk1polo forum, I'm sure someone will have a spare door in good nik, other than that, i am no help to you :lol:

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shipleym701

Haha cheers mate... i thought that might be more of a problem than a skim of filler!

I've put an add up now and not in any real rush so hopefully thatl turn something up.

Got cracking with the other door this weekend while i wait. No pics except a display of how much my door taping has improved! Almost a shame to be only a 2 door as I've got so damn good! :lol:

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I'll be following with interest, good on yer for spending time & money on a mk1. Looks like a really good, solid shell to start with too. Always liked the run-out models (the LX was a limited run to finish off mk1 production) and they are getting very rare too. Does it still have the silver faced dash and are you going to replace the LX graphics after you repaint it?

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shipleym701

Cheers for the support mate! Much appreceated!

Yeah i knew the LXs were pretty rare. If you have any more information about the differences then that would be great. Having previously had a Mk3 i just knew that i wanted a Mk1... i dont really know that much about them to be honest.

It came with the Polo handbook but it doesnt actually list the LX as a model!

I think its got the silver fronted dash yeah but it has had some chunks cut out of it. I was going to replace it but i didnt know that it was a special item. I suppose it will be nigh on impossible to find another LX dash.

The decals I'm undecided on to be honest. I live opposite a sign maker so i got him to measure, picture and get a whole load of colour matches sorted so that when its resprayed i will deffo have the chance to get them re-made.

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I have a Derby CLS which was the other runout model, again there was nothing in the handbook about the model at all, and the logbook says its a Derby 'S'. There is a brochure just for the LX model, keep a look on eBay as they do turn up occasionally.

For the extras, you should have Metallic paint (bit far gone now!) LX graphics, H4 Headlamps and Chrome hubcaps. Apparently the LX was based on the Polo 'N'. The Derby CLS also has the silver dash, I would be tempted to replace the dash and paint it silver to match the LX item. I like the plan on the decals, I still need to do the same for the CLS graphics as they finish the car off really well.

Good luck with it all anyway...

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shipleym701
Where can you get the decals then boys? I'm looking for some OEM mk2 items

Good resto so far, keep it up!

Cheers!

I'm not actually getting them from anywhere.

Just any good printers/graphic designers with something to copy will be able to do it.

I just took my wing over before stripping it and he measured the letters, matched the fonts on the ones he had and sketched out the ones he didnt.

Then got a massive colour chart out to compare... so i guess if anyone needs Polo LX ones give me a shout and il get them at the same time as mine.

Maybe if you cant find them just ask the printers what measurements they need and get someone on here to send you pics next to a ruler or something?

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shipleym701

The last couple of nights' work (the undamaged door):

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And the current state of my room! :lol: Pretty sure there is more mk1 polo in here than in the barn!

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nothing wrong with having the car indoors out of the cold with you mate!

The roller paint only comes in non-metallic paint colours I'm afriad so back the rattle can it looks like. Sorry.

that dent looks like a bit of a bugger. Stick an ad up on mk1polo.com I think there's a couple of peeps selling doors at the mo

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shipleym701

Right so thats roller paint out of the window.. balls! That seemed to be the easier route. I'm guessing rollering on a mettalic paint would look horrific?

Cheers for the heads up on Mk1polo,... have put a wanted add up but yet to have any real replys and the for sale sections is obviously fairly slow seeing as there arent too many about. Will hold on for another couple of months and if nothing turns up il have to consider a bodge repair of this one.

Still half planning to paint it with a spray gun... i know i shouldnt say it but "how hard can it be?!"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thought I'd show my face in here and finally comment on it!!

Looks like you've made far more progress than it ever did in its few years with me :lol:

To be fair I really didn't do much to it, bits and pieces to keep her ticking over and in and out of hibernation. The oil leak and associated road crap is probably the best protective layer it could have had lol

Shame to hear my flowery/laced bonnet has gone, i spent alot of time drinking beer to come up with that, a few hours trying to find the net curtain in Yoevil then about 10 minutes spraying it on the RRG10 campsite lol :-D :lol:

There's a fair few pics floating around my photobucket if you want to pinch them Marcus.

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v213/skinnylew/

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v213/skinnylew/Polo/

Retro Rides Gathering 2010

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v213/ski...2010/?start=all

Retro Rides Gathering 2011

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v213/ski...cott/?start=all

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looking good, keep it up I'll be following with interest 8-)

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Now i know where my old parts (grille and bumper) are going to be used :-) . Looking good mate, seems like a very solid shell, and nice one with the sticker reproduction, would be a shame to lose them. If mine had been as good i'd probably still have it! See you at volksworld 8-)

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shipleym701

@Skinnylew - good to see you on here mate! I did wonder if you had had a look at the thread or not and cheers for the extra pics.

Its coming together slowly - I'm hitting a brick wall with this sanding though... sweet jesus its boring! Need to wait untill the summer so it can be fun with a bevvy rather than freezing cold with numb feet!

And in regards to the drivers door - if I'm honest, when you were telling me about how angry you were about the one that you missed i thought you were just being funny or not looking hard enough (what an arogant prick i can be!). Really struggling to find one so now i fully understand your anger! :lol:

Now i know where my old parts (grille and bumper) are going to be used :-) . Looking good mate, seems like a very solid shell, and nice one with the sticker reproduction, would be a shame to lose them. If mine had been as good i'd probably still have it! See you at volksworld 8-)

Cheers mate, it is pretty solid, just hope i get the work done quick enough before it starts rotting away! that would be typical! lol

Yes mate you can see the rear bumper bend in one of skinnylews pictures so thatl be good and the grille has a couple of breaks so much needed.

Got to remember to leave space for the bits though!

And in a completely pathetic update:

Have been pumping away at the favours for the last few months so have a garage space confirmed for a week in april so hoping to make epic amount of ground then. Booking a week off to work on cars may seem strange to some but tbh i am buzzing for a chance to see some developments!!!

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  • 3 months later...
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shipleym701

Okaaaaaay.

Bit of an update but nothing spectacular!

Got the engine bay in primer now... its not smoothed off and not perfect but I realised that I set the bar in my head way too high! The plan in my head in reality would have taken years and years to finish and I just want to drive it now!!!!

So I'm a little dissapointed but it has to be done so i can enjoy it for a bit then move onto another car... at the moment I'm stuck on this one when i could be rocking another.

So pics:

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Polybushed the TCAs

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Found a holey hole:

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Chopped that out and welded in a new piece.

And here is a picture of its house!

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Need to pull my finger out and get some more done. The running gear is all ready and sitting in my other polo so shouldnt be more than a week to get that all in. And there is no rust to worry about... so in terms of getting it on the road it is basically whenever I am ready to put it all back together.

Volksword 2013 remains the deadline so I can rock it for the whole summer hopefully!

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  • 4 weeks later...

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