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1981 Polo LX Resto


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  • shipleym701


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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


Okey dokey... so this fell on the backburner in a massive way last year. Outside got cold and as I didnt walk past it regularly, I forgot all about it. Got a bit purchase happy and bought another car as well.



My original plan was to spray this myself and I had done loads of the prep work.

The more i looked into it though, the more it would have been a waste of all the work I put in if my spray skills werent up to it... and they definately were not!

So realised that I needed to get back onto this project... did a few more evenings sanding.

This quickly got boring and so stopped working on it yet again. This is when an Ebay ad was brought to my attention by a housemate. A company down in Kent were wanting to get some more profile among the VW community so I got in touch and we sorted something out. The guys were awesome, turnaround was rapid, the work is of great quality and they were incredibly motivated and upbeat. Really cannot reccommend them enough and so here is a little plug:


Give them a shout (Michael) and see what they can do becuase I would very happily use them again if I needed anything done.

Their link to the Mk1 Polo bits: http://www.kentcarbodyrepairs.co.uk/galler...oration-en.html

Got the car low loaded down there by a local guy (Chelmsford) called Nigel.

Proper nice guy who happily picked me up and dropped me and the car down to Kent. Really cheap and easygoing.


If you need something collected or delivered then give him a call!

So... enough writing, this aint no novel!

Edited by shipleym701
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phpSCOgA3AM by mbdmotors, on Flickr


phpkB8tYpAM by mbdmotors, on Flickr


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DSCF0273 by mbdmotors, on Flickr


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DSCF0267 by mbdmotors, on Flickr

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looking good now the hard bit putting it back together without rushing and spoiling something........

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  • 1 month later...

No pictures yet but got some decent bits done today... rebuilt both doors, fitted the wings properly with sealant etc.

But I have a favour to ask... can someone please post up a picture of their mk1 polo door. Specifically, the bit the window comes up out of but I want to see the outside edges (the bits circled) I labelled all mine up when I took them off so I know the right bits are on the door, but there just seems to be a large gap of about 1cm. Is this normal or am I missing something???

Thanks in advance!


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Neither of mine have a gap but both of mine are the Facelift, I'm sure my dads has more of a pronounced gap, not sure if it is that large though, I am no where near a mk1 I'm afraid, look at the photo gallery on mk1 polo.com?

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Cheers Higgo, I was wondering if the facelift ones would fit on the Mk1. Might be cheaper and easier to source?

I have had a look through a fair few forums but no one seems to take pictures of Mk1s side on... they are all front, back and then that cool, magazine style diagonal angle from the front! :lol:

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This is looking good now mate. Cant wait to see it built up. I thought it was going to be pink for a second though when i saw those pics :lol:

Dont know whether this is any use, but i have a side on pic of my old MK1, obviously cant get anything closer as i dont have it anymore :-(. Amazingly, It is still alive though, but i dont know where:


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Thanks for that.

It looks like it is actually meant to be like that. If you look at the bottom left of the window you can see the gap. the vertical seal just dissapears down into the door and the horizontal seal does not meet it properly. Hmmm, if anyone has any more then it would be great to confirm!

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Here's a pic of mine.

If i remember rightly the vertical rubber doesn't look as though it fits perfectly, the horizontal rubber is the correct width.

If you look at pics of your car before you stripped it down, your horizontal rubber looks too short!


Edited by tominator
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  • 3 weeks later...

Got a little bit done over the last couple of weekends and here are some pictures.

I am going to build the whole thing up and then start painting the odd individual part. Trying to get everything sorted first time round is difficult! So the bumper and all those sort of plastics will be painted/restored back to their prime and not stay as grey and shit as this!

So... B. E. A. Utiful morning to power through the hangover and get something done!



Wanted to get the inner seals as good as possible:



Then put the interior back in, lights front and back, rear lock mech, front and rear bumper, grill.

So now it looks like this:



Quite a few little trim bits to find just to make it perfect.

Then all the major stuff like engine, box, suspension etc etc.

Canr wait to get that stuff in. Mostly so it will actually have some stance and not just looking like a retarded duck with one leg longer than the other!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah mate.... it rolls around and everything!

PIC REQUEST: Has anyone got any pictures of how a MK1 radiator fits? That page is ripped out of my Haynes manual. I know the two nipples (hehe) locate the bottom of the rad. Is the top purely held on by the catch on rad cowling? It makes sense.. but then there are also holes in the radiator identical to the bottom... so wasnt sure if they should secure anything???

So the carbs I have ready to go on there have been running on my other car.

It runs perfectly fine but the idle hunts slightly... I never got round to looking at it because it was going to be moved across and I would look at it then.

So I take them off and two of the rubbers look like this:


Looks to be melted but it is on the inlet manifold, I have never overheated and the exhaust is way down at the bottom of the engine bay.

Any ideas?

It might be related but the bolt holding the inlet manifold had rusted up somewhere between the head/inlet manifold.

Do we think some gasses might be escaping and melted the rubber? There was some ally corrosion on that side of the head as well whereas the first two cylinders (from left to right) had perfectly clean metal?

And here are the two brothers!


Edited by shipleym701
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi guys... there are some cool pics on the way soon but for now... gear box/gear shifter rods...

Does anyone know what the deal is with the early shift rod and a late gearbox?

Are they compatable as I remember reading somewhere that there can be issues?

So its a mk3 polo gearbox and mk1 shifter rod.

Can I just swap the whole gear shifter unit from the Mk3 into the Mk1?

Help much appreciated!

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Really enjoying your build thread, great work! For the linkage there are two options,firstly you can fit the shift rod and linkage from a five speed mk2/3. Others have done this and say it works for them. I tried it, but the lever felt poor and hit my leg in 5th. The second option first recommended to me by Steve Morris is to cut the cup (at the lever end) from the mk1 shift rod and weld it to the mk2/3 rod. This gave me better shifts and retains the correct angle of the lever. I'll leave you to decide what works for you as others have suggested the cut & shut method to be unneccesary, although i've made a few of these now and no-ones complained!

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Thanks guys.

I ended up fitting the entire Mk3 kit and put up a couple of How-to guides on the forum.

I am not sure how well it worked yet. I can get all gears but reverse feels a bit odd. Havnt got the car running yet so the best way to find out will be just trying to drive it.

Yeah I noticed the difference in angle between the two shifter rods and I might have to look into the welding option but I wanted to leave that as a last resort.

Quick picture request... does anyone have a picture of their bonnet pull lever?

In other news... turns out the bodys are not the same between a Mk3 and Mk1. The exhaust is about 3 or 4 inches too long. Luckily I have a removable flexi in there so just gunna chop that down. It will actually help my exhaust hangers line up on the middle one. The rear will be out so I will have to cut the hanger off the backbox and re-weld it.

I had planned to get a custom powerflow exhaust so I am not looking forward to all this work just to MOT it and drive to powerflow!

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