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About AlexGrantUK

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  • Birthday 04/01/1983

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  1. Polo GT-G40

    Thanks! I'm always chuffed to hear I've inspired people to build stuff - never the intention obviously but nice to hear! We've already got car issues. Nice problem to have I guess, but we've always got my car and my wife's, plus at least one or two test cars at the house. I don't need more, haha!
  2. Polo GT-G40

    Thanks! Yeah, it's a nice feeling to get it where I want it to be. It's quick - and feels faster than it is, which is what you want - it corners and stops properly, because it's light can do a track day without scrubbing all the tread off a set of tyres, it's quiet and comfortable enough for me to use for work (just as well, as that's a useful opportunity to get it out of the garage) and nothing rubs or scuffs. I've spent a long time getting the balance right, I'm keen not to tip the apple cart now. It's a great weekend car. The trouble is, I do want a new project. A second project, I'm not selling this one. But everything I want is silly money at the moment.
  3. Polo GT-G40

    After a quiet winter, what better a way to blow out all of the cobwebs than a track day? I spent Thursday at Castle Combe, at a bring-your-own-car track day for motoring journalists, and man it's made me remember why I love this stupid little car. The weather wasn't ideal for the first few laps - on a fast track with hardly any run-off, that's an interesting way to learn the layout - but it dried up late morning and I got some hot laps in that afternoon which were amazing. Interesting seeing how it fared since I downgraded the spec slightly too. Oil temperatures weren't too scary without the oil cooler - 95°C was the highest I saw - the clutch (now a standard one) didn't struggle, and I prefer the slight bit of roll I get on the front end with the soft springs. If anything, it seems to have made it grip better than it did before, you can really throw it into a corner and it just pulls itself out of the other side. Mine wasn't the only G40 there, either: Must use this car more often...
  4. Polo GT-G40

    Funny thing, reaching the point where it's done. Nothing changed in terms of spec, just putting miles on it. Sneaky appearance in PVW this month though:
  5. Polo GT-G40

    Haven't updated this for ages! Flew through its MoT in September, so I rewarded it with a few weeks of hard work getting me around for work. Ahhhh man that was fun. Picked up some lights to match the indicators, haven't got around to fitting them yet. Pondering re-fitting the clears at the front... I've also discovered the answer to a question I didn't want answered. When the engine went in ten years ago I didn't get around to fitting the oil catch can - I routed the breather into a hole in the chassis leg and left it. This hasn't leaked a drop, but I've always wondered how long it would take to find a way out. It took ten years. I guess going from intermittent use to regular driving loosened it up a bit, but it found a way to get into the inner arch and poo me did it make a mess. So I stopped using it while waiting for a slot at the garage to get it serviced and have a catch can fitted. Here it is... first pic of the bay since the cast iron manifold went back under the bonnet. The catch can is tucked in beneath the boost hoses above the gearbox. It's a neat installation, too. The mess left by the oil getting out has left a patch at the far end of the garage, next to a spot underneath the engine caused by a small leak from the oil temperature sender T-piece. So I backed it into the garage to check for leaks (so that there'd be clean concrete under the engine) and... back to normal service. Not a drop. This makes me happy. Final jobs now, I'm upgrading the foglight wiring loom and removing the oil cooler to see what temperatures are like without it. Boring stuff, really, compared to what's happening in most build threads. But all necessary.
  6. Polo GT-G40

    Orange on red is a no brainer, it works brilliantly! Worth a try anyway. It's a Polo Performance Parts manifold - accept no substitutes haha! I'm after £350 for it, not sure if I'm supposed to be discussing selling parts in a gallery thread (go easy on me, mods).
  7. Polo GT-G40

    Took it to Retro Rides last weekend, which meant I had an opportunity to get a pic of it after a wash. Ambers are growing on me...
  8. Polo GT-G40

    Well it now has orange repeaters. So the whole "not changing anything" idea isn't quite working out haha! Besides, someone has their eye on it already. I'm sure once he's old enough he'll find something he can change:
  9. Polo GT-G40

    I think that's fairly standard haha! I'm just putting the brakes on it now, it needs a full stop or I'll keep on spending cash on little bits. Still undecided on the ambers... but side repeaters are going on this week. We'll see.
  10. Polo GT-G40

    Ha! I'll be eating my words at some point I'm sure. I just can't think of anything I'd change at the moment. It's a law of diminishing returns - how much more enjoyable would it be for the cash I'd spend getting there. Everything you do to a car tips it off balance slightly, so you have to do something else and something else to put it right. If it works, why change it?
  11. Polo GT-G40

    Well, it's been a while since I updated this, so I figured I'd fill in a few gaps! I've been steadily ironing out the last few creases with this over the last year or so. So, bits I'm less keen on I've been getting rid of or tweaking to make them fit the way I use the car. With a toddler around, and a child seat which only fits an ISOFIX base, the Polo comes out only when I'm heading somewhere on my own. That means work trips, mostly, so it's insured for business use and has to be motorway friendly. Having fitted softer springs last year, and gone back to an OE clutch in the spring, I slowly came around to the idea that I preferred the quieter exhaust I used to have. I say slowly because ultimately it's cost me a bit of power, and it means I have that ugly cast iron manifold back under the bonnet, but it's lovely and refined on the motorway and most of the noise is from the supercharger now. Hot days are a reminder that air con and power steering are wonderful things, though. One very lovely stainless exhaust system now looking for a new home. Forgot to take pics with my username in shot... d'oh! I also had its descendent in on test for a week recently. Finally a good small hot hatch! I think mine rides better though, the GTI doesn't have bounce over bumps. I still reckon the Fiesta ST is more fun, too. But the interesting thing is, I think I'm finally done. It's fast, it handles properly and rides well, it's surprisingly comfortable on long trips, it's not too loud or too low to use as a normal car. It's an addictive thing to drive, and it doesn't need anything else. So... it's finished. Gulp. That took me almost 15 and a half years to say. The only question left is - amber or clear? (I've lost my amber side repeaters, if you're wondering)
  12. Polo GT-G40

    Of all the weeks to end up without a work car, this one couldn't have been better. One trip to Liverpool, one to Llandudno, mostly spent off the motorways. Wales is amazing.
  13. Polo GT-G40

    Not sure where to put this, but the Polo is currently sharing a driveway with this: Tesla Model S, in P85+ spec. Probably the best all-round electric car money can buy. In a nutshell, this has 416bhp, reaches 62mph (silently) in 4.2 seconds and offers a real-world range of 250-260 miles from a fully-charged battery. Once Tesla has its Supercharger charging network rolled out, you'll be able to claw most of that range back in half an hour. For free. Honestly, it's like nothing else on the road. One gear and peak torque available whenever you go full throttle. Quite an experience!
  14. Polo GT-G40

    I barely remember that! It's been a GT for five of the years I've had it, and a G40 for nine.
  15. Polo GT-G40

    Long time with no updates. It's been a hectic six months in at the deep end with child number one, and very little time to do much with the car unfortunately. Especially as it doesn't have ISOFIX, and our new Kia Sportage family wagon does. I can't see it getting much love on here but it's from the same brain as the Mk4 Golf, Audi TT and 2k Beetle so there is a VW connection. And it's four-wheel drive so there's potential for me to use it as a track day tow car. We'll see. What this does mean is that I've had a year where every mile I've done (pretty much) has been fun stuff, blowing the cobwebs out. I did a least make it to one show this summer, though. Over at Pembrey Circuit. With limited cash (babies are more expensive than modified cars...) I've been tying up loose ends when I get time. So things like the finally ditching that battered tinfoil air feed and replaced it with something a bit neater. And I've tidied a few loose ends. So I now have an uprated headlight loom again (which bypasses all the original wiring and gives a direct feed from the battery). It's one of the best cheap mods you can do, and means I can see at night, rather than squinting at the candlelight the headlights normally put out. I've also got a dimmer for the gauges, which means they're much nicer at night too: http://youtu.be/YZkTDwX50AI Oh yeah, and having worried that my thermostat was stuck open on my oil cooler, it turns out I've been over-cooling the engine. So I've downgraded from a 235mm, 13-row cooler to a 235mm, 7-row cooler and it's cured the problem. There's quite a size difference! Finally I've decided to soften the front end slightly, moving from 275lb, 7-inch springs to 225lb, 8-inch ones. They've settled slightly higher than before but it's made the car much easier to drive on normal roads, not only riding over bumps better but cutting bump steer too. As much as the old springs were perfect for battering around a track, I rarely have the time or money to do that at the moment so a more road-ready setup is what I want. I'm chuffed though, it's nice to have tied up a few loose ends. The car feels really well sorted, there really isn't much else that I want or need now.