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Andy

Turbo Squareback - 20 year refresh

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Andy

My Polo history started in 1999 when I'd learnt to drive in this, back when 6Ns were a bit too new to be rusty with knackered gearboxes. Still, at 12 months old it was plenty old enough to be on its second set of alloys under warranty due to corrosion...

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As any self-respecting 17 year old knows sharing a car with your Mum is NOT cool - so I’d been looking for a Mk2 breadvan, but the local ones were all 1 litre; expensive; knackered; or all three. Whilst on holiday on the Isle of Wight the old man spotted a Mk3 1.3CL in the classifieds bit of the local paper – part-ex to clear at a Shitroen dealer. £1250 later it was mine.

Looked like this once I’d added a set of 13”x6” BBS RAs and fitted a Mk2 Golf CL front splitter - back in 2000 those splitters were the obligatory Club Polo modification:

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It stayed that way for just over a year, ‘til I got bored of the 55 lame horses and threw a Polo GT (3F) injection system on it in the mistaken belief that it’d turn it into a fast car. It didn’t (especially without the GT cam and gearbox!), though it did manage 75bhp at flywheel on a dyno day when genuine GTs were doing 85bhp and CLs 60bhp.

With my first year at uni to deal with I had some serious liver-bashing to do, so didn’t worry about the Polo too much ‘til I got a summer job. Summer jobs mean money, so with a bit of coin behind me it was time for a G40 conversion:

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Those of you who've been in Pololand as long as me might recognise Paul Borthwick in the above photo. And here's Yoof (when he really was a Yoof) giving me a helping hand:

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The car stayed that way for a while, ‘til I put a chip and pulley on it at a rolling road day and melted a piston on the way home. It was an expensive way to learn what pinking was and the damage it can cause, and a valuable lesson in trusting your own instincts rather than advice from the other end of a 'phone!

Eventually it got one of the first 1341cc rebuilds done at PSD and was used for development of the "1341cc" camshaft they found was needed to combat the 9:1CR and stop it from pinking on a normal chip. I bought lots of goodies along the way, and played with nitrous on a 3F lump whilst the PY was being rebuilt. Once the PY was done, we whacked a 100bhp shot of gas on the 3F as a last hurrah and melted the rings to the pistons - then drove it home.

The destruction continued – the PY lump killed numerous gearboxes, including diffs...

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....and 5th gear sets...

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...so in my final year at uni I bought a Mk2 Coupe S that was cheaper than a replacement G40 'box. Got fed up with the lack of power quickly, so flogged it for a profit and bought a G40 ‘box. The sills were fibreglass anyway, but I still miss it!

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Drove it to Belgium for VW Mania 2005:

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Poor quality video of it chasing a Boxster S (38m:42s) abroad here - unfortunately the camera car only had an AFH in it so couldn't keep up:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8227698405759365404

Experimented with 'alternative' fuels:

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And generally all was good. I then got my first job after graduating in summer 2005, and started adding more and more tuning goodies to the G40'd motor. This meant lots of grunt, but peak power at high rpm. The lader used to get frequent rebuilds, and it was during one of these that this happened:

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A slut lader was built with a scroll that consisted mainly of JB weld, but it made shit boost and I decided to look elsewhere for power. So at the end of 2006 in the back garden I started a K03 turbo conversion.

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At the time it'd become a popular conversion in Germany, but no-one else had used a K03 in the UK. Rumour suggested that Jabbasport had tried it some years previous, and had declared it a crock of shit.

However, John Marchant was putting one on his long-term Mk1 G40 turbo project and Steve Pitt of Pitstop Developments was interested in developing a G40 turbo kit using his ‘tin-can’ G40, mine and John’s cars. Spurred on by the turbo'ing success of Mark Hunter several years previous and others giving it a go, I bought a cheapo K03 and got stuck in.

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By now everyone knows you have to fit a 6psi boost switch and Newman 'turbo' cam to get a K03 running nicely - but back then that was new ground. I got the car driving with a PY camshaft and it was crap, so switched to a 3F item used by the Germans as a poor man's turbo cam. It too was crap.

However, t'internet suggested that ze Germans were using Schrick 268° cams intended for the Polo GT to good effect with the K03. After a chat with Steve Pitt, he’d found the same with the 3F cam – so by the time I drove the car down for mapping he’d had a couple of Newman cams made up. One went in John’s car, the other in mine.

With it mapped and running 15psi of boost it was time to hit the strip again:

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Had a go at Shakespeare County as well as the Pod:

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The best I managed was a 14.0s at 99mph. With Duncan (another Pod regular with a G60’d G40) also hitting 14.0s I decided to up my game – more boost was required, which seemed like a good excuse to bolt on an Emerald ECU as I didn’t have Digifant mapping gear at the time:

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Miraculously, it started first time:

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That takes it up to the beginning of 2008, where other things started to get in the way of pissing around with Polos. It stayed on the road over the next few years (just!) and got used whenever I could – had an outing to the Pod where I managed a 13.6s 1/4 mile in 2010, only a couple of years late! (Pic shows it at the Pod in 2011, but it's got tyre smoke in it so looks cooler...)

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Two changes of job and two house moves later it was time to prepare to give it some loving! New gaff came with a decent garage – this pic was after gallons of weedkiller and some serious mowing of weeds:

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This is what 17 tonnes of gravel looks like:

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BTW – gravel is shite for driveways, but it is cheap and tidied things up nicely to keep the missus happy:

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So time to get inside the garage, and turn this:

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…into this:

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Spent ages also putting in electrics and lights etc. as well, so it's now fairly civilised in there - if not a hell of a lot messier!

Got distracted by the 2011 CP RR day:

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And by the 2011 CP trackday:

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More to follow....

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MaxGT

Very interesting read, very funny too :lol:

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erixtar1992

Great write up mate! Liking it on the cheeky alloys at the end!

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B-shaw

Awesome!

Love the story behind it, especially that you found it on the IOW lol

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Karl

I feel all nostalgic now, as I remember a fair chunk of that!

I look forward to the coming updates!

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harris.racing

Love this mate haha, it's like our chat the other week fully documented :) good to see all the bits

From the past too!

You & Pete when it starts on the emerald hahah

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Jake

Top read to start my Friday with :)

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MaxGT
Love this mate haha, it's like our chat the other week fully documented :) good to see all the bits

From the past too!

You & Pete when it starts on the emerald hahah

"Booooost!"

"Turbo"

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Andy

Right, these updates are being done somewhat retrospectively, but hopefully it'll still make sense! With the car approaching its 20th birthday, and duties as wedding car looming, it was time for a refresh. The plan was to get it painted throughout March, giving me plenty of time to get it back together for my June wedding. As ever, timing slips - but that was the plan, so I got stuck into stripping it down.

When I did the Emerald conversion, I adapted a donor GT loom for the plugs and made up a working harness. The plan was always to cut n shut this to get harness lengths correct, before remaking it with new connector housings and pins. However, 4 years later the new wires crimped/soldered onto donor connectors are still there, and even more embarassingly it's still unwrapped. I blame relocation, changes of job and a house purchase that turned into a DIY SOS project, but either way the harness is shite. This will change, but first step is to remove what's there:

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Bumper and cooling packs removed - had been planning on getting a brand new bumper iron, but given how much choppage is going on it'll be a scrappy job I think to find one that's not got holes in:

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Looms, ECU and other odds n sods removed. This is a good view of the GT throttle body and modified elbow I fitted with Emerald - gives a bigger orifice than a G40 throttle body, and also the throttle potentiometer required for the Emerald K3 ECU. I've got a nice ally elbow to go on for the rebuild, but for now my plastic welding's held up to 22psi just fine:

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Pulling the interior out:

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Unbolting dash - note pikey black chocolate block used to wire up the gauges! On rebuild this will all be redone with the new loom, but for now it's given me indicative harness lengths and routing to work from:

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Motor out:

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Crusty battery tray - original stud is long gone, and one skin is pretty flakey. Other is solid, so I'd drilled through to pikey a temporary stud in. Got through a couple of MOTs, but last year the tester wasn't too impressed with how securely (or otherwise!) the battery was fitted. Suffice to say this was a catalyst for getting my finger out for welding and paint:

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Another shot of the crusty battery tray - note uber crusty bit behind brake servo:

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Engine on a stand ready for a tidy-up and check over. A lightened flywheel I've been hoarding for a few years will finally go on, and I've got a few different rocker covers to try. For now it can sit there out the way:

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Also was doing some R&D for PPP. An ever-growing ARB collection in the quest to marry Stage 3 subframe and ARB. I want to keep full suspension travel and full steering lock with standard wheel offsets though, which severely limits the options as the front-end package of an 86C chassis simply wasn't designed to accomodate wishbones and ARB. Once the car's back together I'll revisit this one, but I think it's unlikely we'll ever offer a PPP kit as there'll be too much car/component-specific modification going on.

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Mclovin

"orifice" :lol:

Love this car andy and its nice to hear the story behind it too :thumbsup:

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KiZ

A great read, whats missing is all the help that youve given others in those years mate- I appreciate what you did for me when i couldnt get my eaton running right, but reading thread after thread on here and on ClubG40 and seeing your posts helping everyone along is fantastic.

To that end mate if your running short on time to get this done for your wedding theres gunna be a few people you can rely on to help you anytime!!!!!

I'm on the end of a pm mate if you need anything

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cheys03
To that end mate if your running short on time to get this done for your wedding theres gunna be a few people you can rely on to help you anytime!!!!!

I'm on the end of a pm mate if you need anything

+1. I make a mean cuppa

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KiZ
+1. I make a mean cuppa

HE DOES!

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Andy

Thanks for the kind offers guys!

Will see what happens, it's 2 weeks to the big day and currently still in the spray booth - and a pile of parts are on back order with VW and VW Heritage. I have a decent Plan B, in that the old man's lending me his 485bhp Jensen FF for the weekend.

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harris.racing

Dude we'll build it in an evening as soon as its back!

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K03

I can just about use a screwdriver :lol:

Love it Andy. Always amazes me your car. has the original 'sleeper' look going on.

Out of interest, Does it make much difference to oil pressure/levels having the oil cooler where it is? Mines in the same place and even with the correct oil level in, it can set the buzzer off when the thermo plate opens!!!

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Tav

This is like a history of whats what in boosted Polo's over the last 12 years...just missing out the not so successful Eaton endeavors of others.

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K03

EATONS :x

dont you go ruining things :lol:

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Andy

Was supposed to be collecting the car today, but for various reasons it's been left at the bodyshop and will most likely stay there 'til I'm back from honeymoon. Anyway, time for an update on the build thread as I've still got lots of the strip-down to cover!

There were loads of rusty fittings and brackets to clean up to decided to give this technique a go: http://www.rickswoodshopcreations.com/Misc...ust_Removal.htm. Some of the fellow car bodgers at work had been using it successfully, and it worked okay for me - will go into detail on another update though.

Yoof tearing the dash out:

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Done, wiring tied back out the way for access to weld up the battery tray:

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Rest of the front end removed, along with lots of odds n sods like oil cooler; exhaust; cables etc. Subframe comes in handy for holding the front end together without a front bumper iron:

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Also threw on a pair of old steelies on the front so that the Compos didn't end up metallic mint! The rest of my old steelies had ended up on various other people's cars, so on went the spare and a wheel scrounged from mark_crox - thanks Mark!

Removed rear bumper and lights, no major horrors uncovered:

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Spent ages stripping down the tailgate, including removing all the harnessing and washer hose from it. De-pinned the vehicle harness end of the rear wiper motor harness to facilitate threading it all through the tiny holes in the tailgate. A few crusty bits, but on the whole not too bad for 20 years old. What these photos don't show is the rust that was on the seam behind the wiper motor which would later ring the death toll for this tailgate:

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Tore all the badges, numberplate etc. off the tailgate leaving it naked. There's a really significant difference between the exposed paint that's faded and the stuff that's been protected by trim etc. but this photo doesn't really show it too well.

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Took all the door cards off and removed the back seats for cleaning. Removing the driver's side rear door card enables you to see the pipe of doom. Remarkably mine's pretty solid! Will be investigating and treating that before putting it all back together though.

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Andy

Took the rubbing strips off both sides, managed to get the fixings off pretty much complete so at least they're re-usable.

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Removed the wheel arch liners (no pics as my hands were minging), but thanks to several ripped CV boots; oil leaks and my pikey inner arch oil breather vent the fixings were all mint and came out really easily.

With them out the way I removed the aerial. This will be staying - often thought I'd get it smoothed and fit a beesting, but I think the comedy telescopic item adds to the sleeper effect.

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Pulled off the remaining bits that I'm removing under bonnet - am leaving the brakes and steering rack fitted so we could get the car up my drive and onto the trailer easily. Fuel lines are plugged up and tied out the way, servo has a cork in it and spent ages removing all the random little clips lying around.

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Bonnet catch off:

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VIN plate removed:

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There's a few more bits of car AIDs I found under the bonnet. They passed the screwdriver stabbing test, so hopefully it'll be reet.

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Pulled a few more bits of interior out, pushed it up the drive and winched it onto Yoof's trailer:

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MaxGT

She's filthy :shock::unibrow:

I've seen the photo's of it after the spray job, looks lovely!

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Le catweasel

What a brilliant read - i love this car 8-)

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Andy

It better be done for Polo Show - was supposed to be done by mid-April at the latest so I could use it for my wedding this coming weekend! Now it'll be collected when I'm back from honeymoon and I'll have to mission the rebuild with Yoofy to get it to Polo Show. Might not be very presentable under the bonnet by then though!

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erixtar1992

congrats on the wedding btw!

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genesisGT

oh just found this! good to see her getting some more polo love, always liked your squareback Andy, thats why i got mine. 8-):thumbsup:

need some respray photos up after your honeymoon - congratulations by the way.

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