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Mint with hole rescue


Marm Toastsmith
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Unlike most of my bangers this is currently a project, not a runner, so it deserves its own thread.

Mentioned previously I was kindly offered this sweet little Polo when the owner sadly passed away. It's a car I've known for a good few years  - and I kind of always knew I'd end up having it, but I hadn't imagined it would be under such sad circumstances.

The previous owner was a careful, conscientious gent who barely drove it. I've got a few bills which demonstrate that it has been cared for, and the MOT history shows how little use it's had.

I viewed it a few weeks ago in its former London home - mossy and mouldy, not run for perhaps a couple of years, battery dead but it rolled ok and started from jump leads - first turn of the key. Exhaust was very noisy and coolant level low but there was no rust I could see - given the state of most late 90s Polo sills I thought it had to be saved. Plus it's a good colour, falls into the cheap tax band, and rare-ish badermatic flavour as favoured by Mrs Marm.

So arranged delivery courtesy of @worldofceri / @Inspector Morose which went very smoothly. Thanks!

Here it is as it arrived. You might be able to work out from the photos why the exhaust was so noisy.

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Very satisfying to wash... although it'll need a more thorough going over. A little bit of water got in, not surprising given the mould, although it seemed dry enough inside when I first viewed it and had a quick feel of the carpets. Will have a look for blocked drain holes.

See photos for rusty bits. Very little so far. Not sure why so many are upside down today. They look fine until I upload them...

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13 minutes ago, Minimad5 said:

cTek - Does this need to see a small amount of voltage before it kicks in 'smart charger' style ?  , if so try piggy backing it with a slave battery to confuse / wake up the charger.

Thanks, good idea. Or maybe could try trickle charging it from an old school charger first? Would be good to avoid replacing it, in the short term at least.

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I bought one of these, probably over ten years ago now, same colour, same number of doors, same engine and gearbox…… bonnet had pealed back to white primer so we painted that and the bumper in our workshop. Chucked a cam belt and service kit through it and flogged it on. Good little car, but I can’t remember the reg number. 

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6 hours ago, marm said:

Thanks, good idea. Or maybe could try trickle charging it from an old school charger first? Would be good to avoid replacing it, in the short term at least.

Modern smart chargers are wank on a battery with less than 10 volt in them. Try an old charger first, but given how long it's been stood  don't get too optimistic.

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6 hours ago, marm said:

Thanks, good idea. Or maybe could try trickle charging it from an old school charger first? Would be good to avoid replacing it, in the short term at least.

My CTEK wouldn't charge my 205 battery when I'd left the ignition on until i used another battery in parallel to give it a kick start. Worth a go.

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Once it had been charging for half an hour or so the voltage settled down to about 13V, with the current increasing. I disconnected the Selmar and the battery showed just over 11V. I let it settle for a bit before connecting the Ctek which is now happily charging on a "reconditioning" cycle. Fingers crossed!

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36 minutes ago, Timewaster said:

Has the exhaust been chopped by cat theives? 

I think that's the only logical explanation. Well spotted. When I went to have a look I was too hungover to properly crawl underneath it. And given where it was parked it was pretty impressive "work" by the theives.

I'm wondering whether I can get away with bodging it with a pipe/sleeve. MOT man probably says no. But a quick search on eBay turned up plenty of aftermarket jobs for about £50 so I'm not too upset about it.

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Right... the battery seems to have charged - it's made it to the "recon" phase of the cycle so presumably has reached the required voltage. Whether the battery's going to work as a long term prospect I doubt but it will hopefully start the car...which obviously I'm itching to do.

Any advice on preventative work to be done before I start it? Bearing in mind that 2 weeks ago I just fired it up from jump leads with no prep (other than checking the oil) and it seemed to run OK. Fuel could be pretty old, at least 2 years - is this likely to cause any problems or is it OK to run it through if it fires up OK? Worth adding some Redex or similar? I think the tank is fairly full, otherwise I would just add some fresh stuff...

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I’d start it and just let it tick over for a period of time and get it up to temperature. No revving the butt off it. It will allow you to see if coolant pipes are healthy and if the thermostat is stuck open/closed and the cooling fan works. Also any coolant/oil mixing. A few blips of the throttle and maintaining 2-3000 rpm once warm will also help identify any ignition problems of ahow leaks

If all is well and good a full fluids & filter change should be next thing on the cards along with a check on the spark plugs and other ignition components. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I forgot to bring the camera, but I had a play this morning...

Passenger footwell full of rainwater... but then I did leave the windows open...(to "air it out")...mopped up as best as possible.

Topped up coolant and refitted battery. It started first turn of the key, ran fine, fairly quickly up to temperature with cooling fan kicking in as expected, no sign of overheating. I wonder if the battery will start it next time...

Drove it up and down the drive, tested the electrics, everything seems to work.

Bit of mayo on the oil filler cap - I'm hoping it's just condensation.

Coolant level dropped after running for a bit. No sign of leaks. Bit of a mystery why it was low in the first place.

Hoovered out the interior and wiped down the steering wheel. Has removed the worst of the mold/mildew and it's now not totally grim to sit in. Will add some pics - it's looking fairly smart by my standards, but will get more cleaning/TLC - it deserves it.

TL:DR - it lives!

Next job: order a replacement cat and book it in for an MOT ASAP

Actually I should probably chase the logbook first...

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  • 2 months later...

Right...lack of progress down to work/weather/kids/covid/life, but let's get back to this.

After being left for a while (to absolutely nobody's surprise) the battery went totally flat (again refusing to charge  with the smart charger). 

Bought a new battery in the ECP black friday sale. Another Bosch no less. Boshed it in - all good - started first turn again.

It also (unsurprisingly) filled up with more rain. Sunroof drains seem OK (not blocked) but will have a better look. Water is concentrated on passenger side, there are signs of long term water ingress where the headlining meets the A pillar where the drains run... Welcome input on what to check next. I started taking the trim off the A pillar but then decided not to bother as it seemed clips were breaking.

Anyway having done the sum total of pretty much F all to it i did the only sensible thing and booked it in for an MOT. Dropped it off this evening for a test tomorrow. It drove quite nicely although I was inclined not to press the accelerator pedal very hard as it is so bloody noisy. So it was quite slow. Brakes and steering OK though. I hope they don't take offence at the state of it. Made apologies. Fingers crossed.

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36 minutes ago, marm said:

It also (unsurprisingly) filled up with more rain. Sunroof drains seem OK (not blocked) but will have a better look. Water is concentrated on passenger side, there are signs of long term water ingress where the headlining meets the A pillar where the drains run... Welcome input on what to check next. I started taking the trim off the A pillar but then decided not to bother as it seemed clips were breaking.

I'd start by taking the rubber rain gutter trims off and seeing what's underneath... The gutter area between roof and C pillar is a common 6N/6X rust spot, which remains hidden underneath the rubber trim until it's too late.

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Is the front screen misting up.

I would take off the front scuttle under the front screen as I imagine it will be caked with compost and leaves and not draining away and also clean out the rubber drain tube.

Also maybe  related try unbolting the back of the front wheel liners on the car as it will also be full up with compost as well  and is a terrible rust trap.

 

I actually did mine yesterday on a MK3 Golf I recently bought and got half a bucket of mud out the back of the front wings.

I believe the sunroof drain tubes run down into the back of the front wings so could be blocked down there as they do on a MK4 golf.

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The scuttle in 6Ns is rarely the cause of water ingress, as it has two pretty large drains that never get blocked. Said drains lead behind the arch liners, which are drained through the tiniest of holes and are therefore a massive mud trap. A buildup of mud in that area often results in the lowermost part of the wing rusting through. For reasons that I never understood, the bottom of the A pillar rarely suffers the same fate.

The front sunroof drains don't drain in the same area in 6Ns, you can see their ends in the door jamb, by the lower corners of the screen. A squirt of WD40 and a blow through with the airline are usually enough to clear them.

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