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Adventures in Polo restoration....


AveryCates

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AveryCates

On a snowy day back in 2009 I managed to crash my wifes 6N into a raised bus stop curb, as you can imagine the results were impressive. Passenger side wheel at 45 degrees to the drivers and the steering wheel was upside down, we scrapped the car as a result. This wasn't a rash decision, lots of advisories on the previous MOT....oh and it was Cat C'ed a couple of years earlier when we were in a 4 car shunt in standing traffic. Boot lip pushed in 3 - 4 inches and front serverely deformed....we patched it up for £20 and kept driving! Car was brought for £1500 and we got £1100 payout, plus sold some parts....not bad for a car we had owned for 4 years at the time with 100k on the clock.

So we ended up getting a sensible car, an 06 Honda Accord diesel...was the sport edition!

And while we drove that around I picked up this....

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And turned it into this...(Build thread here)

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At the start of the month I decided that the car had cost more than enough and that I should probably think about replacing my wifes Polo 6 years later.....especially since Mini parts are so expensive and you can still find a Polo at a scrap yard! In the 5 years I owned the car it had been driven 1500 miles and cost me half a years salary, which is a sobering thought as I am far from being on minimum wage.

For the grand total of £200 I brought a 149k mile 1997 R reg 999cc Polo L

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Currently I am stripping down the car, seeing what work needs doing and parts i need to source

So far it needs...

  • Both rear arches repaired
  • New rear valance
  • underseal stripping off, rusty treating and reapplying
  • Various rust patches repairing
  • A full respray
  • replacement carpets and retrimmed front seats
  • Engine reconditioning (probably gearbox too)

And probably a whole host of other things....but its a project.

My plan is to keep the car pretty much standard, yes there will be a few modifications and fancys details added to the car along the way. I am a man I like shiny things and power, but at a glance i want it to appear standard.

I will add photos and updates as I make progress.....which will be slow as I work away from home. I am giving myself a year to get it MOT'ed.

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On a snowy day back in 2009 I managed to crash my wifes 6N into a raised bus stop curb, as you can imagine the results were impressive. Passenger side wheel at 45 degrees to the drivers and the steeri

Just collected my latest batch of plating, shiny as ever! And I have dropped the wheels off to be refurbished, hopefully be ready in about 2 weeks! Sent from my HTC One A9s using Tapatalk

Hindsight is a wonderful thing....but you can only piss with the cock you got!

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AveryCates

So all the body work is off the car now….

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At some point in its past the car has had a front and rear collision, both bumper crash/strengthening bars are dented. The front bumper has also been bodged and one of the fixing holes torn apart. The front grille surround was also broken and some of the grille catches to.

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While removing the rear wiper motor the nut holding it to the boot lid sheared the thread…result I am going to have to source another one!!

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I placed an order for some new panels last week and this is what arrived today…..

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New Panels

Front Bumper

Front bumper lower section

Rear Valance

Grille and Surround

Front and rear bumper crash/strengthening bar

Rear arch repair panels

I also did a bit of shopping for parts

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New Parts

Front and Rear Bearings

Disc brakes and Pads

Drums

Engine mounts

Full set of Powerflex bushings + camber bolts

Track rod ends

Pollen filter

Rear number plate lights

The shopping list for engine parts is on the way, currently looking into what kind of uprated cam options I have and exhaust.

I have also set about cleaning up the panels in preparation for when it goes to the body shop to be sprayed. Wings kinda before and after….

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Also a lovely picture showing the state of the underseal…

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Poor state of the rear arches

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Rear silencer heat shield. Completely corroded away at the mounting points, looks like I am going to have to try and source myself a replacement. When this car is finished I think it’s going to technically be a new car!!

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Passenger door bottom…I hope it’s only cosmetic.

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I am trying to give myself OCD when it comes to labels for nuts, bolts and other fixings. With the Mini I just took it apart and then looked at the piles of bits and then thought it would have been helpful to sort them…..so to stop that headache I have done this with every fixing that has come off.

 

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And that’s it for now, I go away for 6 weeks with work in the next few days. I am going to remove the exhaust before I go, but not sure I will have much time for anything else.

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AveryCates

Well work is delayed, so i took out the interior (except the dash) this afternoon, and i found 17p!!

The only thing i broke were a few carpet clips and a side piece from the passengers seat, this is practically a win for me....i can be pretty heavy handed.

So took the cam cover off to find some loverly mayo under there, I am going to assume the worst and say the head gasket is gone. But i guess it could just as easily be condensation as the car has sat for a long time and not been used or ran except to move it around the 10 foot (thats what people up here call the rear access to the garden/garages...because it 10 foot wide, the people of hull as very literal). there is no white smoke at any point when driving the car.

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VdoubleU

If the side piece for the seat is the bit I'm thinking of they pretty much come broken out of the factory :lol:

Your sills seem solid! Which is very rare for a 6n.

Think we're the only people restoring a 6n and not slamming it with wide wheels.

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AveryCates

If the side piece for the seat is the bit I'm thinking of they pretty much come broken out of the factory :lol:

Your sills seem solid! Which is very rare for a 6n.

Think we're the only people restoring a 6n and not slamming it with wide wheels.

Yeah its the wrap around bit with the little pocket in, the drivers side one was already broken!

The sills aren't that good near to the rear drivers side arch, has a hole the size a £2 coin ( will take pictures tomorrow, was covered in interior filth by the end of today), but I am surprised by the rest of it as well. But then again the last thing I restored was a Mini, i don't think a single panel didn't get some kind of attention.

I am probably one of the older 6N owners, my other car is a 2010 WRX STi...so i don't need low, wide wheels and big engine swaps. I already have 325bhp and four wheel drive when I want to scare myself!

And there is always something pleasing about a factory standard car, that looks like it just rolled off the production line.

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AveryCates

This car clearly hasn't had an easy life!

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Holey carpets and underlay

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Rubber grommets on the floorpan have all rotted away!

And if rust makes you queasy, then look away from the drivers side rear arch of this car....that's an inside shot of the day light coming in and a shot from inside the arch.

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And bonus, at the bottom a hole!!

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AveryCates

I stripped the radiator and disconnected most of the loom this afternoon

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Also took the exhasut off...looks like no. 2 was burning a little oil!!

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AveryCates

V5 finally turned up yesterday and it had a nice little surprise on it

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I knew it had crash damage but didn't realise it was an insurance right off, but that was back in 2005 and the car was still in use until last year when the guy traded it in. Also, 12 previous owners?? thats alot. My 39 year Mini only had 6, and one of them was the guy I brought it from....he sold cars part time from behind his teeth whitening business (strange, strange man!!)

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Elijah

Lovely project and you clearly have the skills to do it well however the only question that is going through my head is why restore a 1l 6n the only reason I say this and it does surprise me to say it as I love polos in any shape size or form but if I was going to do a project I would only do it on a 1l if it had major sentimental value to me. The other thing is a friend has recently restored a base 1200 beetle to a top standard but its just a 1200 beetle and cost 10k. If it was an early coupe or gt then I can get my head around spending a fortune on it.

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AveryCates

My wifes car was a 1l, and it was her first car.....then i destroyed it in the snow, so yeah its a sentimental thing (a little bit of guilt if I am honest). We had a great time in that car and went on holidays and adventures etc when we first started dating.

I have done the classic car restoration thing and yeah 10k and the rest.....But I am hoping that I can do it for alot less and doing most of it myself.

Plus my garage is X big, so I need a car of size Y so I have room to work on it! Otherwise I would have gotten a Jetta, Golf, Nissan Skyline R33, Honda Integra DC2. And Polo parts are cheaper!!

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AveryCates

I spent yesterday removing the dash and steering column. Which was trickier than I thought it was going to be. This is what the Haynes manual says about removing the steering column >

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Cutting it out or ask a VW dealership, well I must be smarter than Mr Haynes, in this at least, as I managed to get the column off cleanly.....after a sit down, a cuppa and a ponder that is. The secret was to undo the pedal pivot bar and drop the lot so the steering column hook could be freed.

Also found yet another broken piece on the car, the steering column drop bracket this time.

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It has snapped quit cleanly and was bodged back together with a large bolt. I am quite glad I never drove the car the 30 miles back to my house when I brought it. I will see if I can get it welded back together, if not then i will have to get a replacement....

And then there is this, which is the start of the engine build.

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!

Off a Golf, 56mm diameter...so quite a bit bigger than the standard Polo item

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Looking forward to seeing how this turns out! I've been thinking if getting a 6n for a project so I'll be following this closely :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
AveryCates

according the internet (so probably incorrect).....

AUDI A3 (8L1) 1.8, SEAT LEON (1M1) 1.8 20V, SEAT TOLEDO II (1M2) 1.8 20V, SKODA OCTAVIA (1U2) 1.8, VW BORA (1J2) 1.8, VW GOLF IV (1J1) 1.8

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AveryCates

Work finished early....by 4 weeks, so I got home Sunday, I was on nights so I have basically been sleeping since I got back, but today I did a few small jobs on the Polo. Removed door locks, the drivers and passenger side windows, head lining, finally took the rest of the engine bay wiring loom out and removed the pedals.

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Also found this huge hole in behind the drivers side front wheel, i thought it was okay....then i peeled back the stone chip, which seems to have been acting like a water trap to feed the rust. Yay, more body work on the list!!

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And I have done something I said I was never going to do....an engine conversion. I have brought my self a 56k AFH engine, and will be collecting it after the weekend, along with just about every part from the donor car I can get my grubby little mits on. I have engine and gearbox, all wiring, all ancillaries, ECU and fuel pump....anything I am missing?? I will probably be replacing water pump, oil pump & chain, piston rings (after honing) and hence all bearings, full gasket replacement....again any common failures or other parts i should renew with one of these engines while it is in pieces?

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After pricing up parts for the AER engine it became apparent that, in the words of Ian Malcolm 'Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn't stop to think if they should.'

Parts are readily available (from Germany), but its the money aspect that finally swayed it for me. Alot of money, performance parts wise I was looking at around £600, then rebuild costs and tuning. I don't think I would have had much change from £2000 once it was all complete. I would have ended up with a fun engine, but it wouldn't have been pushing as much power as an swap engine and it would have been running pretty close to the edge and at the end of the day I wanted reliable power!! I would rather put the extra money in the paint work, trim and interior.

And if don't get the Jurassic Park reference then shame on you!

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AveryCates

Hindsight is a wonderful thing....but you can only piss with the cock you got!

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AveryCates

Thats the drive shafts disconnected, gear linkages and the lower engine mount, all ready to lift the engine out tomorrow....

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AveryCates

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No engine!!

It all came out nice and easily, though I had to saw the top off one of the drive shaft retaining bolts....

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AveryCates

Just got back from fetching the new engine, the car it came from was immaculate.....apart from the massive rear ender it was involved in, so I have a good feeling about the engine.

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Also picked up some Ford Galaxy rear door handles, which isn't as crazy as it sounds as they are VAG items and I am going to colour code then and install a remote cental locking system in the car. I thought it would be something a little different.

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