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My Overdue 1600-2!



blog-0701014001391267547.jpgEdit: I have moved this over from the archive section. This post was originally from December 2010, but I thought it was worth keeping. I found it very interesting to go back over my original plans for the car and see how they have changed. Will post some current updates shortly.



This build thread is long overdue, but I've been too busy enjoying the car over the summer to "waste time" writing about it! Now she's in hibernation for the winter (I live in MN, USA) I have a bit more spare time and have started to do some more major repairs.

I was an avid FAQ reader for about a year before buying her, spending time researching and learning, and waiting for the right car to come up. I specifically wanted an early car in great condition and the wait paid off.


She's a polaris 1600-2, built for the US market on 12/17/1968, but registered as a '69 with the DMV. Spent the majority of her life in CA, before moving later in life to OH, MD and CT, and is no stranger to the FAQ. She's in very good shape body-wise, virtually rust free, and looks to have been well cared for for most of her life. She's not concours by any stretch, but in great condition with some nicely chosen mods for drivability. PO had spent both time and money working out some kinks, particularly an overheating issue and an engine/trans out engine bay freshening by the nice chaps at SCR in CT while the Korman engine was fitted.


Stewardship passed from another FAQer, Brian (elementalmf) to me after he dropped her off at the DAS shipping terminal in CT on 1/30/2010. It took over two weeks for her to make it to MN, and it was an anxious two weeks for me. The shipping by DAS, although protracted, went without a hitch or any drama.


Specs when I received here:


  • Korman stage 1 engine
  • 2 liter
  • 320i block
  • Piano top pistons
  • 1.8i head
  • Head ported and polished
  • Ireland Engineering 292 cam
  • Bosch black coil, ignition wires and plugs
  • Dual Weber 40DCOE (Italian)
  • Carter GP60504 electric fuel pump (30GPH @ 4PSI)
  • Custom front light bar by SCR (front bumper delete)
  • Hella Comet 500 driving lights
  • Euro turn signals
  • Bilstein Sport shocks (front only)
  • Eibach springs
  • 14x6 Panasport Superlights
  • Battery relocated to trunk
  • TEP rear strut brace and battery holder
  • Aftermarket high visibility LED brake light
  • LED brake light bulbs
  • Thermostatically controlled auxiliary electric "pusher" fan, with relay and fuse
  • Ireland Engineering aluminum radiator
  • Tinted windows
  • Momo steering wheel
  • Momo gear shift knob
  • Engine bay refurbishment recently performed by SCR (engine/transmission removed)
  • Getrag 245 5-speed transmission
  • Lightened Korman flywheel
  • Recaro seats
  • Instrument cluster clock replaced with tachometer
  • 3:64 diff (open) to replace long-neck original
  • Rolled front fenders
  • 250MM rear brake upgrade


Although not perfect, I've had many months of virtually trouble free motoring. She's used for pleasure driving and the occasional trip to work. The trouble is I seem to do A LOT of pleasure driving now! Small issues to date include:


  • While tidying engine bay of loose wires I removed a fried, crispy and clearly useless wire which happened to be the alternator ground. She ran for maybe another 200 miles before the battery gave out and I realized my mistake. Easy fix.
  • The speedo cable was snagging on a frosty morning, bouncing the speedo needle so much it snapped off. Fiddly fix.
  • Only major flaw found so far was one of the ball joints being held on by one bolt instead of three (see pic).


Here's what I've done:


  • Door lock mechanism refurb (grommets, corn kernels, lube, etc)
  • 185/60R-14 Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1
  • Hawk street/sport front pads
  • Replaced front wheel bearings
  • Some new trim, window winders, rear license plate lamps, etc
  • Wheels refinished in body colour with polished lip
  • Installed Ireland Engineering race/street step header
  • Replaced rear shocks
  • Installed 3-point retractable seat belts
  • Installed missing windscreen washer system
  • Swapped Hella Comet 500's for chrome Hella 160's
  • Replaced electric fuel pump
  • Removed exterior decals (sorry Brian!)
  • ...and replaced the missing ball joint bolts


She is currently looking rather forlorn in the garage, arse in the air sitting on the proverbial piece of 4x4 with no rear drive train/subframe. The maintenance project over the winter includes (primarily thanks to IE's black Friday sale):


  • Subframe/trailing arms/output shafts/diff blast and paint
  • Replace all rear subframe and suspension bushings with OE/urethane mix
  • Replace differential seals
  • Ireland Engineering Brembo aluminum single line front BBK
  • Ireland Engineering rear disk conversion
  • Ireland Engineering front/rear sway bars
  • Ireland Engineering stainless exhaust
  • Replace front strut mounts


2011 will also see the following:


  • Overhaul of carbs
  • ITG air filter or similar (I hate the look of the booster bangin' pod filters)
  • Relocate electric fuel pump to rear, install relay and inertia cutoff switch (and fuel pressure gauge?)
  • Install relays for driving lights, dual Hella horns to replace the single anemic OE Bosch unit, eventual H4s
  • Replace all front bushings with OE/urethane mix
  • Replace door seals
  • Door panel refurb (Aardvark's board/mylar) and maybe other interior fixes
  • Install voltmeter and oil temp/pressure gauges


Beyond paint and renewing trim the exterior won’t be changing as I love the look already. As you can see, not much effort being put into extra HP in this round of repairs, but that's ok for now as I'm in it for the long haul. In fact, by replacing the red painted existing calipers with a front BBK, I think I'm actually losing HP... ;) Go faster mods will happen in good time, but for now it’s all about reliability, safety, and fixing 42 years (birthday today!) of rubber rot.


She arrived with a trunk full of parts, neatly boxed:



Old straight-through exhaust coming off:



Ireland header going on:



Korman blue:



Ah, fresh paint!






Current interior, not too shabby, driver quality:




New interior panels to go in in 2011:



New bearings:



This can't be safe...



New rear shocks:





Speedo repair:



Red caliper... instant HP gain:



42 years of rubber rot:




Dropped rear subframe:



Arse in the air:





The exterior pics are from the PO in '09 as I have not taken any yet, but the grimy pics are all mine. Hope you enjoy the thread and I look forward, someday, to being able to maybe contribute to the FAQ instead of being just consumer all your experience and wisdom!








Edited by stuff
remove spurious images


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