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K-Series Gbs Zero


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My rather lovely neighbour sorted out cleaning up my spare cylinder head ready to go off to old Rhocar member, Dave Andrews, for some porting tomorrow. I stripped it down and then he's chemically cleaned it. Should make it a bit neater for Dave, and save me a few pennies.




The rear panel is now finalised. I'll be honest, I'm not perfectly happy with it as the sides seem to have creased a little while being bolted up, but the crease is behind the wheelarch so I'm hoping at it is bolted up it kinda straightens up. Marked out the arches. I was hoping to get the wheel central and the curve following the profile of the body panel, but this seems impossible without the arch extending below the chassis either at the front or at the back, and just looking weird.




As you guys had pointed out, the bottom folded panel of the rear section was indeed riveted wrong and needed raising up to meet the chassis, so I got this job out of the way too. No real hardship as the rivet hols are behind the wheel arch anyway. I would say, if you're building it up, rivet it along the bottom just to hold it together, and bank on drilling them out and lining it up properly when it's on the car - just don't bother putting quite so many is as me :)




The usual beading around the arch goes in place, fairly well understood process I think - cut a sawtooth pattern into it to allow it to curve around the arch. I then sikaflex'd it onto the arch. The good thing about sikaflex is you don't have to worry too much about getting it everywhere because once it's dried it's just rubber - you can peel it off, you can slice it neat with a sharp stanley blade - so it's real easy to work with but sticks things together like *bleep* to a blanket.


Had to sort out the gearlevel as my old one was too short. So I've picked up a quickshift off ebay for just under £50 that'll do the job... the gearknob is just plonked on the top so yes, it looks wonky :D




Radiator-wise it's more of the same sure-fire solutions - an early Polo/VW Derby radiator. Quite a thick core, 380x320mm width/height, but will need some bracketry making up for it - but that's no hardship. It needed some cuts out of the standard radiator mount to clear the temperature switch but at £60 it's a nice cost effective, modern rad.




And I fitted the fuel filler from CBS too, which was a 15 minute job with a drill and a dremel with a routing bit on it, thankfully.... there is nothing more to this than you'd expect really. Fit the hose on the tank, mark the back of the panel, then use the cork gasket as a mask for where needs removing. Mark it, drill it through with a small drill bit all the way around, then use the dremel with a router bit on it to open it out. Round file it nice and smooth, then fit your filler. The hose needs trimming by a good inch.




Soldering on with lots of little jobs now....

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Just dropped the head off with the main man, Dave Andrews, for him to work his magic. He looks well, lost a few pounds since the old RH days! Really clear he knows his stuff (for anyone who ever doubted it). We talked K-series heads. He showed me first-hand how he hardness-tests them and then showed me the peening of the fire ring that he performs, and why - with a jeweller-style magnifying eye cup you can really see the porosity "pits" on those K-series heads. Boy, he's a busy man, he's got quite a bit of work :) !!


Was really good nattering to him after all those years though...

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I bought some of this from CBS while I was getting my fuel filler....




I am going to snip a strip of it off, spray it in white and then use it on the bonnet as we'd discussed before, cutting a slot in the bonnet and then underneath using some ally panel to form an enclosure around the heater matrix that butts up underneath the bonnet panel - I can use some generous chassis foam as padding to 'seal' between the two. I'm going to give this a try as my first port of call but like you suggest, dreading cutting the bonnet slot :) out with the dremel again I suspect. Idea was that the louvre, once stuck on, will cover any nastiness from the cutting job.


I see what you're saying about the low pressure, but then I've seen many a production car pull air from this area too so I suspect the fan will manage to pull in whatever it needs.


I agree with your points about tubing air in from elsewhere - not exactly pretty having loads of runs of pipe in your engine bay :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Radiator fitted (a very early Polo rad); needed some minor bracketry making but nothing major. Rad was £60 from my local friendly motor factor, brand new. It needs shifting over and some clearance chopping in the left-hand bracket to clear the temperature switch for the fan.





Just checked it clears the nosecone, which it does (thank goodness; I measured it enough times)... then I started making a cardboard template to mask off the edges and get full airflow through the radiator. Waiting on some sheet aluminium to turn up so I'll leave that for another post.


Finalised the wings on the right hand side. The back is a bit of a disappointment and needs the panel tapping flat from the inside, but initially looked like this. The wing is fine, but there is a slight kink in the rear panel that's occurred since bolting it up. It seems like the back has in some way sagged down, or the front arches have raised up. But it's not so noticeable as it's mainly behind the arch....




Did the front arches too, which are pretty straightforward. Marked up first, drilled and rivnut'd the brackets, then affixed some thin chassis foam and bolted up with domed stainless hex bolts (for obvious IVA and cosmetic reasons).





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Guest ali2992

great build thread, really informative! what polo was that from? I'm thinking of a 1.9 diesel radiator, haven't measured it up properly yet though

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great build thread, really informative! what polo was that from? I'm thinking of a 1.9 diesel radiator, haven't measured it up properly yet though


I can inform you the 1.9 diesel won't fit. I know this because it's what I had in my old Exmo :D


You're after the 380x320 core radiator (about 470x320 overall dimensions), typically referred to on forums as the VW302 part number rad.


VW Polo/Derby, from the 80's. It looks to be this one actually :-




Damn, that's cheap, should have bought it there!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tickled away, did the other rear arch (just a repeat of before)... my order of ally sheet turned up so I can start working on panelling out the back, but only after I got the nosecone finished.


A big requirement for me is to make sure the cooling works. And as I think we all know, it's very important that all that air coming into the nosecone flows through the radiator, rather than around it. Hence some sort of baffle plate....




Worked it off a cardboard template, obviously, lots of in and out of the nosecone, snipping bits off until it was a snug fit over the rad.




None of this particularly hard, just time consuming. Fits onto the radiator front, and I've put some chassis foam onto the back edges to try and provide a little bit of 'seal' up the sides of the rad matrix. Should keep the majority of the air passing through the rad....

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Got the rear lights done yesterday. Masking tape and pencil to mark off the position. They need to be at least 350mm off the floor, which isn't a problem on these types of car, but I measured and marked the low point on the arches just to be clear - I'm well clear of it. Don't forget to settle the suspension if you're measuring with a plan to being very close to it - but really, why would you? Just give yourself plenty of space above that low point just to be extra safe. Car would look odd with lights that low anyway :)




Obviously use a spirit level to get them straight, and measure up from the inside of the arch to get them to match either side. Drill from the gelcoat side, and use a blunted bit rather than a fresh one. You need a hole for the wires too, of course, which I drilled after taking that photo...




I then used some long stainless M4 cap bolts to hold them on.


I then set about on the reverse and fog lights, measuring up and marking the centreline of the car, leaving space for a number plate and marking them either side - also ensuring access behind them isn't a problem.




Now what I've done here is used the bench grinder to take down the plastic to an angle, so that these sit vertical (or rather, pointing slightly down) rather than pointing up, which would be an IVA fail on the fog light specifically. I've actually got to do a bit more adjusting since the photo was taken, after bolting them up they came up a bit, so I need to take a bit more material off and possibly pack out the top edge. The bulge from the lense back will probably need some clearance cutting in the panel, but I really don't fancy/like those support brackets. They need to be a minimum of 250mm off the ground which is no problem on the zero, you can pretty much stick them anywhere as you can't get them that low! But keep them at least 100mm separation from the light clusters.


Finally, I stumbled on the opportunity for some shiney goodies... they won't be going into the car until the winter, when I do the cylinder head work, but they give me something to stare and coo at :D...




TTV lightened flywheel and a 3J Driveline plate diff....

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  • 1 month later...



Ha, had you - I'm still here :)


Yes, it's been a quiet two months. There was busy work, there was a holiday and then there was a little 'venture' that's been swallowing up my time, coupled with the chasing of numerous exhaust places only to finally give up and resign myself that no-one wants to take my money, so ended up - as usual - doing the *bleep*ing thing yourself.


So exhaust system has been the main focus.


Silencer is a local one from Techcraft in Warwick - Anthony Lane is a great chap and knows his onions, and I've had a few bits of them in the past for the other car. His silencers are stainless, repackable, a good size and well respected in the race community so I figured being local it was a safe bet, so picked up a silencer from him a few weeks back...




Wrapped it up to protect it, obviously, we don't want that lovely stainless getting all grubby and scratched, then got the silencer hanging in the right place by resting it on whatever I could find that was the right size... I actually dropped it down a bit after taking this...




Started at the manifold end, had planned the system out on paper first and ordered all the bits from Matt Simpson at Simspon Exhausts; dealt with him many a time, again, a guy you can trust to just get it done. Fit the bend tube, mark it perpendicular to the body, then remove and cut.




Then needed a small kink just in front of the silencer to bring the line of the main pipe correct down the side of the body. The silencer is quite long so it actually passes the bend in the bodywork; this does mean the pipe won't be parallel to the body but I'm not that fussed really - I'd rather have an effective quality silencer than some short thing that just ends up pissing everyone off, me included.


One thing you don't want to do is clamp up stainless tube, particularly when it's only 1.5mm thick, so use a socket of suitable size to hold it while you work on it, or at least clamp it very, very gently!




It was then just a case of bring it all together, tacking in a few short lengths to the ends of the cat converter, with a sleeved section on the front of it with enough room for the lambda boss - vertical in the top to avoid moisture settling into the sensor. The system is sleeved between silencer and cat, and in front of the cat, to enable replacement of the cat should it fail and need replacing. Honest. That's my thinking behind it.




Few hours later, and with a much blunter hacksaw (and judicious use of the bench grinder), presto, a tacked-up system....




I'll remove the system and take it to a friend-of-a-friend to finish off, as I don't have any stainless wire (and his welding is superlative)...

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Quick update today really, a days worth of work but not much to show for it :) prepped the sump ready to give to the same guy who's finishing off the exhaust system for me, so he can chop it and shorten it. Problem is it needs to be braced so that it doesn't lose it's shape once chopped, so I knocked up a re-enforced plate to be a dummy engine block that it bolts to... nothing pretty (it doesn't need to be). Kept it clamped to an old chopping board while it was welded up, to make sure it stays flat.




Will drop these off tomorrow and then get cracking on the central wiring loom next; last big job!

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