So once I got it home I made a quick assessment of what it needed.
The crash damage to the rear was a little a bit worse than I expected. So the first thing I needed was a bootlid. Quick scout about on couple of Facebook pages yielded this:
For £30 only 5 miles from my house with the added bonus of smoothed badge pin holes! Score!
Couple of shallow dents and a little bit of surface rust needed to be dealt with
Then I needed to decide what to do about paint. I had hoped that the car would come good with a bit of a polish and some localised repairs, but when I picked it up all hopes of that flew out the window.
It was/is never going to be a minter. The bodywork has loads of rust spots, some filler repairs and localised rot. So another plan had to be formulated. I knew what I wanted to do and its something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Searching this forum and reading a few threads, asking a couple of people for advice and I knew it was going to happen!
A pretty dull colour choice but at least the door shuts etc won’t stand out to badly.
So got the bootlid painted, in a tent in the back garden.
The tools I chose for straightening were a sturdy fence post and a massive hammer.......
Do photos of the process but I'm sure you can imagine. First round got me here
Close but not quite. Another couple of rounds got me where I wanted to be.
So old tailgate removed
and new one fitted
Not perfect but a big improvement.
At the same time I bought a replacement wing for the one that had been rat looked and gave it the same treatment
Simce themn I've bought some wheels for cheap again off a local facebook group and wrapped them in some 185/50/14" tyres
Made some interior improvements in the way of my wooden mountney, a JDM style Gearknob and some Corrado front seats.77
I have a plan for the rest of the interior.
So this is how it stands at the moment. Half way through sorting the rest of the bodywork.
As you can see I'm working on the drive so the weather has held me back recently. Imminent plans are to get the rest of the car painted and to fit the lowering kit I have for it and the Coupe S arches that are apparently en route. Then I can tootle around in it for the rest of the year as I tidy some bits up on it.
The future plans for it involve a better powerplant, gearbox, brakes and some handling upgrades.
Eventually I would like to go through it and replace the sills which have been MOT patched, the wheel arches, the rear panel and the front panel to get it mint.
Looks smart, and a dam site better than when you picked it up. Gone from destined to be scrapped to destined to be enjoyed
It's a funny one. It's only got 62k on it and has obviously been looked after (recent timing belt, water pump, brakes, fuel tank, exhaust) but it also has some bodges and pretty poor damage repairs and some rust, but the normal Polo grot spots are solid.
If I can give it another few years on the road I'll be happy.
1966 Fiat 1500 fast road/race conversion 1967 Porsche 912 1968 Fiat 124 Spider 1973 Range Rover Suffix B 1993 Series one Discovery 200TDI 1997 Jaguar XJ6 3.2 sport 2001 P38 Range Rover 2.5 TD Brace of Triumph bikes
Well in a complete turnabout the weather this afternoon was excellent.
So I thought it was a good opportunity to take care of some much needed maintenance on the Polo instead of fun modifications.
The plan was a coolant flush, new thermostat and an oil and filter change.
Some of Euro Car Parts finest cheap rubbish purchased: Bonus in the fact that the lad behind the counter put it through on a local taxi firms account so I got a massive discount!
So off out I went and drained and flushed the coolant. It was mega rusty and obviously needed changing:
Expansion tank was minging so I purchased a replacement. Only £7.50 so I thought it was worth it
What I don't have photo's of is the 2 hours of pure frustration as I tried to get the thermostat housing to seal and repeatedly failed! One of the screws won't tighten. Bumhats!. I think the housing may be cracked. So I decided to remove the housing. Undid all the pipes, only to find one of the bolts holding it onto the block rounded! Bumhats! So I'll use nuts bolts and washers to clamp it all together and solve the issues. Have a look through the odds and sods tin. Nowt suitable Bumhats!. So looks like its going to have to sit and wait until I can get some suitable nuts, bolts and washers.
Quite disappointed as I had planned on going for a run to enjoy this weather and get some decent photo's.
So the last update left me with a leaking thermostat.
As mentioned I had planned to use nuts, bolts and washers to try and get a seal. That failed miserably. So I decided the best way forward was to replace the housing. Fortunately a secondhand but unused one had come up for sale on one of the Polo faceache pages for dirt cheap and I had bought it “just in case”.
So time to fit it! Easy enough……or not.
Turns out that the lower allen head bolt, you know the one that you can’t really see and have to loosen by touch, had been rounded off. BUMHATS!
I tried for about 90 mins before admiting defeat and heading for Machine Mart! Plan was to buy a rail of torx bits for my socket wrench. Only they didn’t have any in the right size (1/2”). So I bought a cheap wrench some extensions and the torx bits. About £22.
But when this happened the feeling was priceless:
So new thermostat fitted to the housing and the housing attached to the car: (thats actually when I was trying the nuts and bolts method but meh)
Filled it up with pinkness: And no leaks YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!
Then fitted all new sensors (ecu temp, temp gauge and fan switch)
Fired it up and no temp gauge. BUMHATS! The thermostat was working though so I took it out to the practice for my little brothers wedding:
and one with shlomping ’s wedding car in the background:
And due to weddings thats where I had to leave it for a little while.
So with a couple of weddings to go to and preparing best mans speech etc for one of them, meant that the MOT prep kind of got left by the wayside.
Thats left me with an impending MOT (runs out the 22nd) and wanting to go to a show (The Polo Social) at the weekend. Hmmmm better pull my finger out.
First thing I want to get done is to replace the NSF strut due to this:
Spring cup has rotted through. Got a replacement, which is all cleaned up and painted, just need to remove this one and swap over the shock absorber and spring etc.
So TRE bolt loosened, came straight off with not problems. I was pleased: (excuse the dust on the lens)
Then I used my new ball joint splitter for the first time:
Its well worth the £8
Then time to undo the bottom pinch bolt for the TCA: BUMHATS! Not a massive issue as I have the one on the new strut and this strut is scrap anyway.
Time to try and remove the TCA. Only this time my new ball joint splitter won’t fit. 20 mins later and this is as far as I could get it to move:
I tried using a breaker bar and standing on it, smacking it with a hammer, using a pipe over the breaker bar.
In reality I need a hammer on ball joint splitter. So thats what I plan on buying tomorrow and a chisel to spread it a bit.
Not wanting to be defeated I decided to try and sort the temp gauge. Quick look and it appears that ECP have given me the wrong sensor (surprise, surprise). Fortunately I kept the old one which was working when removed. So i refitted it with new O ring and replaced the retaining clips for both the ECU temp sensor and the gauge sensor as they old ones were looking a bit past their best:
And this is how I left the car for this evening:
I’ll buy the tools tomorrow and hopefully work will resume on Wednesday evening after work and I'll finish it on Thursday.
Ideally want to try and get it MOT’d on Friday! The strut is the main stumbling block. The only other issues that are massively apparent are the wiper blades being crap and the rear lights being intermittent, but bending the contacts up will sort them.
Have you got a bit of bar or scaffold pole? A sturdy long piece of metal.
Place the end of the rod or bar on the knuckle of the LCA where the ball joint passes through and curse word it like a lunatic. I know you've said you've hit it like this with a hammer, but sometimes under an arch it is fairly restricted for getting a man like swing.
If you put a rod or bar (I have a long bit of 1" stainless bar for this exact purpose) it takes your contact point outside the confines of the wheel arch and you really can go full on bonkers at it and in turn the joint should split.
I have had over the years every type of ball joint splitter, now I just go all cave man on it smash the granny out of it with a bar and I've yet to loose the fight!
Just have a good aim, otherwise you'll end up with a nice dent somewhere you don't want it or a broken bone.