My 3500s project - future daily drive


Active Member
After much searching ebay, car and classic etc i finally have my very own P6- a 3500s in Monza red with a black interior.

The car was being sold by a brother and sister - it was thier fathers pride and joy, and after he passed away it sat in its garage for around 10 years. The last time it was MOT'd was back in 2002.

The base unit seemed to be in good condition, and the interior looked good too. I was unable to see it running as after sitting dry for such a long time the carbs leaked massively but the engine was not a concern as we have had rv8's for a few years now, and I've rebuilt one in the past.

A deal was struck and I agreed to collect the following saturday.

Last Thursday Dad and I went round to see if we could get the old girl started- after swapping the carbs for a spare set we had and changing the points it fired up- excellent!

Plan had been to then drive the vehicle onto the car trailer Saturday morning, however this was not to be as the clutch pedal is currently seized solid. :shock: Failed/Corroded cylinder/s perhaps?

Anyway, here are some pictures, getting it started...

Dad tinkering:

90 provides a power boost:

Engine bay shot - nice leads:

General interior shot:

How we left it on Thursday:

So after the slowest day ever on Friday waiting for Saturday to come, the day finally arrived. Dad and I went to collect the car trailer from the South London Trailer Centre in Mitcham- however it wasnt ready as the previous hirer had not returned it yet! The guys at SLTC were excellent and gave us the trailer free for the entire weekend due to the inconvenience, and also made up a number plate for the trailer to suit the 110 free of charge, result!

More pics:

Towed out onto the road with the 110 and ready to roll onto trailer:

Dad sorts out the straps while Mum looks on and I get ready to release the handbrake :shock:

Half on, had to be winched on the rest of the way:


Quick peek underneath:

The drive home around the M25 was uneventful, and with the help of my parents neighbours we got onto their drive- I hoovered it and gave it a thorough wash down:

Paintwork looks good in the pics, but from being under a cover for so long it has blistered on the boot lid quite badly, and so looks pock-marked.

So things that need doing are:

Fix clutch
New radiator
Possibly a new heater matrix or pipework - when you run the engine the passenger footwell fills with coolant, or that seems to be what is happening.
Fluid changes
General check over of everything, especially brakes.
Swap heads for later ones, I have spare 14 bolt heads from a range rover, and some 10 bolters from a Disco. Not sure what to do- am leaning toward 14 bolts with composite gaskets to drop compression slightly.
New wheels and tyres - some vitesse ones would be good, need to keep my eyes peeled.

I will be busy over the next few weeks! :D
Looks like a really handsome project! Is that a stainless steel exhaust under there?
Shame it wasn't the 101 pulling the trailer - that would have been a sight to see. :D
I saw this on ebay, and thought it looked like a very promising project! Glad that it's gone to such a good, and enthusiastic home! I'm sure you'll get the car roadworthy very quickly, and find that it's a great daily drive! I look forward to seeing the project progress!


Active Member
A nice project, the loading pic, about to release the handbrake, looks like you are about to embark in a LandRover jump :LOL:



Active Member
Thanks for all the kind replies - yes that is a stainless exhaust you spy under there :D

The car came with a folder full of paperwork, including all the original handbook etc, three BL passports, loads of MOT certificates and various receipts for work including the exhaust and also a partial restoration of the vehicle at the tail end of the 80's.

Unfortunately with the car being at my parents (some 25 miles away) I can really only get over there at weekends when the wife is busy, or after work as it is kind of on the way home from the office for me. I am at a wedding this weekend up North too! Am literally itching to get stuck in. :p

Need to have it roadworthy by mid July as we will be attending our yearly University reunion down in Exeter, can't wait to show it off then!
Welcome :)

Looks a good car - similar colour to my S1 V8, which appears to have exactly the same exhaust. I've always found my exhaust makes a slightly too subtle, almost disappointing noise.

Hope you enjoy it!
Nice looking project you have there.

Fingers crossed you will be back on the road in short order.

BTW nice Forward Control its keeping company with....... :D
Small (but significant) update - it now moves!

Dropped round to the parents after work and Dad and I set about seeing what was going on with the clutch.

We drained the reservoir, disconnected the pipework from the master cylinder and tried the pedal, not only did it move but it pumped fluid out too.

So thats a working Master then. Good! :D

Then moved onto the slave- the fluid line was only finger tight, someone has obviously had a look at it in the past I reckon.

Removed the cylinder from the bellhousing- when undoing the bolts it felt like the cylinder was under tension and I was right when the second bolt undid the cylinder popped off with a bang and landed in the gravel.

Heres what it looked like:

So I cleaned it up with some petrol:

But the piston was stuck fast. A quick poke with Dads 10 Tonne press and plenty of lube sorted that. We pushed it in just a couple of millimetres, then we used the centre of a big pop rivet fed down the fluid port to allow us to tap it back out with a hammer.

We repeated this process of pushing it in a bit, out again, in again, out again each time cleaning the bore with a bit of scotchbrite. Eventually it was moving freely and I fired the piston out with some compressed air.

The bore was not great, but not totally shot so in order to allow us to move the car about the drive we thought we would just clean everything up, reassemble and see what happened...

Refitted, bled it through and now it works like a charm. I will be adding a slave cylinder or at least a rebuild kit to my shopping list though. The fluid that came out was totally opaque and mustard coloured.

Second on the list was bypassing the heater matrix in order to allow the engine to be run without it. This was done in 5 mins, simple!

Then I had some fun testing all the exterior lights, radio, map light, washer pump etc - they all work. Another result...

All in all a very productive evening. :LOL:


Active Member
Right, time for an update.

Yesterday was mostly spent driving up North (well most places are North from Surrey/Hampshire) to collect some vitesse wheels I won on eBay. I figured that as I need four new tyres now I may as well bite the bullet and get wheels too, thus buying tyres only once. I was lucky and won them for £89. Cost about £25 in petrol to collect, so still not bad- two of the four tyres are good, so just need another couple.

Yes you can fit 5 wheels in a 2012 Polo- just :D

And no, I didnt make it dirty (My wife would have killed me, and she also came for the ride so witnessed loading/unloading). :LOL:

Not too shabby- need a coat of paint and polish:

So today I headed over to Mum and Dads and the following took place....

The heater matrix had already been bypassed and yet water was still being lost, although the radiator looked dry. Odd... Then I noticed that the small pipe from the top of the carbs to the rad was dripping. The was found to be perished and so was removed. However the barb on the manifold was totally crudded up and blocked. Dad and I ran a drill through it, blocked the small rad barb off and ran it up to temp leaving the manifold barb open. Sure enough- water began to dribble out thus proving that it now works as it should. The pipe was replaced. Job done.

The engine was running badly, it sounded like 4 cylinders on idle but picked up ok and sounded like an 8 when revved. I adjusted the throttle linkage as we had just clipped it back on when we swapped carbs, the passenger side was being held open at idle more than drivers side. It nows sounds like a v8 at all times. :wink:

One thing that does need investigating further is that cylinders 1 & 7 are running much cooler than the rest. Using an Infra Red thermometer gun thing pointed at the same point on each header showed that these two are about 60 degrees C cooler than the other 6. Plugs looked ok, if a little black.

Also had a nice surprise when looking at the engine number - I have a 9.25:1 engine, so I can drop my spare 10 bolt heads on with composite gaskets no problem. I had assumed it would be 10.5 and so was thinking I would have to fit some 14 bolters with composites to drop the compression in order to deal with 95RON.

I turned it around and put the front end up on the ramps, which was fun. The brakes are amazingly good and the the power steering works ok. Feels like it should go ok too! :shock:

Had a prod around and it all looks solid- we'll see what the MOT man says.

Next up was investigating what was happening to all the petrol. In a total time spent idling of probably two hours max we had consumed somethiing like 20 litres! Fuel reserve tap looked like it may be a little wet but not drenched, however the fuel pump was leaking at the union were the feed comes in. This was nipped up, leak fixed.

Then filled up with another ten litres and tried it again- no more dripping, however it wouldnt run on the reserve. Dad and I got the rear up on the ramps, and disconnected the lines and drained the tank down. I removed the reserve tap centre and we blew the lines through from rear to front with a little compressed air. I changed the reserve tap seal for a new viton one, and refitted. Fuel lines reconnected, checked for leaks - found none. Fired it up and got it off the ramps.

So things to do next are:

Set carbs up properly.
Replace the brake hoses- they look ok, but should probably be replaced.
Get the sill covers off and have a proper look at them! :roll:
Sort wheel studs and nuts - also two more tyres.
Find the source of water entering the interior. It has a canvas tarp over it at the mo so its fully dry inside, but I need to nail it down before it can be driven about.

Think thats it - until next time!


Well-Known Member
Great progress there - and those wheels were a score! The PO even sprayed the mesh grey for you 8) That underside looks promising, too.
Another small update, not much though as am now out of cash, and have 2 weeks until payday! :shock:

Got over to Weybridge Wednesday evening, weather was terrible so didnt get much done.

Cleaned up a wheel a bit, started with Scotchbrite and WD40 to remove corrosion, then wiped clean. At this point it was then obviously smooth and clean, but had a matt brushed appearance. Next step was some Autosol with a bit of soft rag. It came up pretty well after half an hour of polishing. My paper-pushers arms arent up to extended periods of polishing! I reckon if I repaint the centres, and finish the rims with Brasso they should look pretty good :)

Then the rain slowed up a bit so I set the carb throttle stops up so that it now runs without the need for the choke to be pulled out.

Then Dad and I got down to finding out where the water has been coming into the passenger footwell. We had suspected the heater matrix, but we blanked off one side and connected the mains hose to the other. No leaks there...

We started carefully testing various areas with the hose - Dad spraying and me sitting inside watching. It soon became apparent that when water was coming down from the roof and down the A-post it was getting in, so out came the drill and off came the finishers:

Seems that water is coming in down the vertical of the windscreen seal, and this drips out from the top edge of the glovebox. The seal had a lot of trapped dirt behind it, so am hoping that cleaning it out and using some kind of flexible sealer may help here?

With the bonnet up and a light dowsing on the bulkhead it was also coming in from the tunnel side:

Along the horizontal seam on the right is where it mainly seemed to be coming from, all along its length (Rubbish pic):

So looks like I will mainly be sorting these bits out, as well as doing the wheels and possibly continuing with the refurb work on my 10 bolt heads. That will basically be a decoke and polish of the valves, grinding them back in, and fitting new valve seals.

Roll on payday! Then I can sort out some wheel studs, nuts and brake hoses, as well as anything else I find along the way. :wink:


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hi Quagmire,

The lower windscreen seal that runs along the base of the screen, acts as a gutter so as to direct water away and off to the sides. When perished, water passes through and then works its way down into the footwells. If you remove the wiper arms and then the scuttle, you'll see exactly what I mean. Replacement seals are available from JRW and are of excellent quality.



Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hi Quagmire,

As you're are going to be fitting 10 bolt heads, don't forget that you'll need to obtain some additional 3/8" UNC bolts of the appropriate length, and modify one hole in the alternator bracket along with both holes in the bracket at the rear of the L/H head, so as to fit the larger diameter bolts.