We are back with part 2 of the Polo Project, last time we left off with the colour changing from purple to battleship grey, so now to the meaty stuff! First off it was around this stage in the build Olly decided it was going to be a track build so that meant he would need some more power. That’s where this 16V 1.6 GTI lump comes in, It’s been lifted from a 6n2 polo and has 125BHP which when mated with a sub 800KG car should be quite potent.
There was also the job of replacing the stock dash with one from a 6n2 along with the wiring harness for the engine, ECU, clock cluster and some ancillaries. Added into that was also the need to replace the pedal box. The reasons for the full loom change was the need to go fly-by-wire for the throttle, this had a knock on effect that a new loom would also require the old clocks been replaced with 6n2 variants. In turn this meant the dash from a 6n2 been installed due to the 6n2 clocks not fitting in the old polo dash.
So on to the old 1.4 8v engine coming out, along with the gearbox and drive shafts. The gearbox would be mated to the new 1.6 GTI lump, even so it was designed to be used on the 1.4, the idea being that the box has short ratios in so acceleration will be up but top speed will be compromised. Thankfully the Polo gearboxes are interchangeable between engines so no modifications were needed to make her fit.
With the old engine out, now was time for the 1.6 GTI lump to come in, along with its wrapped exhaust manifold. The engine uses the same engine mounts and pick up points so the swap is a quite simple install compared to some engine swaps. Before installing the engine the gearbox will be fitted as this is where one of the engine pick up points is located.
Once the engine was secure back in the engine bay, its onto the tedious job of putting the new loom in. Both the interior loom and engine bay loom were replaced as this engine was a more modern design and relied more heavily on the use of electronics. Once the loom was in place the few remaining parts of the engine were put in, including the exhaust and downpipe, and cone filter.
This just left refitting the body panels on the outside, that had been removed to help in the process of swapping the engines. Once the upper front cross member and slam panel had been replaced the radiator can be secured back in with all hoses attached and the cooling system bleed, along with the headlights getting reinstalled and wired up and the bodywork bolted back into place.
And there you have it, the engine swap is complete, all bodywork is back on. Drive shafts were fastened into the front hubs, wheels put back on, fuel lines plumbed in, battery connected all she needed was firing up.
Well that is once the interior was all sorted. The new interior loom was installed, along with ECU, fly-by-wire throttle pedal, pedal box (brake and clutch), steering column, new clocks and new dash. Just needs a seat and steering wheel and she is ready to drive…. well maybe not quite yet.
Images: Olly Button
Words: Matt Tiplady