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Author: Subject: Wisdom needed- tin top axle beam corrosion
tegwin

posted on 22/5/22 at 09:53 PM Reply With Quote
Wisdom needed- tin top axle beam corrosion

My trusty 2001 polo is (over)due an MoT. Thought Iíd have a look over it today and found a couple of holes in the rear axle/beam.

I last had it off 12 years ago to replace the bushes. At the time I scraped it down and painted it with chassis paint. All that paint is now peeling off with fairly large chunks of surface corrosionÖ an entire gusset is now missing and there are holes.

Itís clearly a vital safety part of the car. Not sure I can get a new one any more there are very few of these cars in scrapyards now.

Could I get away with cleaning this up and welding extra plates on the weaker areas?

Only concern is that Iím not entirely sure how thick some of the remaining metal isÖ


The rest of the car is acceptable, Iíd say itís got another 3 years in it before corrosion becomes an issue elsewhere.


What do people recon?

Sorry photos are rubbish. Will clean it up and get some more.

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ReMan

posted on 22/5/22 at 11:14 PM Reply With Quote
You can get new and refurbed ones of these. Its quite a common thing, not just VW's

Edited to say , quite a few decent 2nd hand ones on the bay too

[Edited on 22/5/22 by ReMan]





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obfripper

posted on 22/5/22 at 11:17 PM Reply With Quote
It looks like you have a 6n polo, new axles are available for the 9n, but not for the 6n afaik.

I would get the axle blasted and see what remains, and how severe the pitting is before making a decision on repair.

I have replaced several 9n and 1j golf axles where the tube has badly pitted close to the weld and cracked/sheared off, at this point they are beyond easy repair.

Dave

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tegwin

posted on 23/5/22 at 06:53 AM Reply With Quote
Itís a 6n2 gti axle which unlike the standard 6n2 has disk brakes. Itís pretty rare. None of the refurb companies Iíve spoken to have these in their systems any more.

There are two on eBay at the moment but both look suspiciously crusty. They are also a fair distance away. Might be worth a punt if they are a bit better.

Will clean this one up a bit and see what is what.





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daviep

posted on 23/5/22 at 09:51 AM Reply With Quote
Have you considered getting a good drum brake axle and transplanting the stub axles fron your axle. Looks like it would be relatively straight forward?





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tegwin

posted on 23/5/22 at 09:52 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by daviep
Have you considered getting a good drum brake axle and transplanting the stub axles fron your axle. Looks like it would be relatively straight forward?


I don't think the standard 6n2 and the GTI axle is the same. Otherwise yes that would make sense.





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nick205

posted on 23/5/22 at 10:24 AM Reply With Quote
All for the home mending and keeping things going, but I have to ask if the rest of the Polo is worth enough to plough much time, effort and money into keeping it on the road?

If the rear axle beam's in that condition is the front subframe similar?

Is there much body corrosion, particularly in the sills, inner wings and floor pan?

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tegwin

posted on 23/5/22 at 10:28 AM Reply With Quote
Oddly enough the rest of the car is nowhere near as bad as the rear beam.

Yes the corrosion is starting to creep in elsewhere but I don't think its quite worth scrapping it yet. The shell and sills are pretty much perfect in condition.

Its a fun car to drive and with current car prices it just doesn't make sense to replace. Perhaps in 1-2 years time.

Its a hard one, this was the first car I bought and I still really enjoy driving it. Its got enough power and noise to really have fun on twisty B roads without being illegally fast. Some more modern VW's and Audis I have owned are so quiet and numb you can be doing over a tonne and not really feel it, which takes away from the experience for me. Plus I don't want a million touch screens...

[Edited on 23/5/22 by tegwin]





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Mr Whippy

posted on 23/5/22 at 11:38 AM Reply With Quote
Personally I'd have no issues replacing any of the fabricated plating. The only part I'd not touch is the beam since that is flexing. I've certainly seen worse as these rust due to not having the salt washed off after winter. I took my Fiesta beam off which is almost identical, cleaned it and repainted with Hammerite before coating it with underseal. While it's off it's worth changing out the bushes and brake hoses. Check the springs too as they tend to corrode, then snap.
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nick205

posted on 23/5/22 at 02:43 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tegwin
Oddly enough the rest of the car is nowhere near as bad as the rear beam.

Yes the corrosion is starting to creep in elsewhere but I don't think its quite worth scrapping it yet. The shell and sills are pretty much perfect in condition.

Its a fun car to drive and with current car prices it just doesn't make sense to replace. Perhaps in 1-2 years time.

Its a hard one, this was the first car I bought and I still really enjoy driving it. Its got enough power and noise to really have fun on twisty B roads without being illegally fast. Some more modern VW's and Audis I have owned are so quiet and numb you can be doing over a tonne and not really feel it, which takes away from the experience for me. Plus I don't want a million touch screens...

[Edited on 23/5/22 by tegwin]



I know that feeling weel - still my car of choice is a Peugeot 205 GTI. Yes they'll break the speed limit if you make them, but there's so much fun in them without having to go to that limit.

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tegwin

posted on 23/5/22 at 05:20 PM Reply With Quote
Balls!!!

Iíve had another look at the thing this eve. Took my chipping hammer for a walk all over it and found a significant lack of metalÖ. I think this is beyond sensible repair 😭😥🫣

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obfripper

posted on 23/5/22 at 05:38 PM Reply With Quote
Yep, unless you're going use it to design/build a jig and totally rebuild/remake, that axle is toast.

Good second hand is the best option now, but as you say the gti spec axle is pretty rare, iirc there were several seat ibiza cupra models that share a disc braked axle, i'm not 100% sure that the geometry is identical though.

Dave

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perksy

posted on 23/5/22 at 07:13 PM Reply With Quote
Think that's scrap and even if it was repairable its a safety critical item

Good secondhand one next step?

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tegwin

posted on 23/5/22 at 07:31 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by perksy
Think that's scrap and even if it was repairable its a safety critical item

Good secondhand one next step?


Agreed!

Yes the hunt beginsÖ. Concerned that the two on eBay may fall apart of i scraped off the paint Ö. Urghh





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nick205

posted on 24/5/22 at 07:31 AM Reply With Quote
A 2nd hand replacement beam seems the best first option.

Failling that (much as it pains me to say it) it may be time to replace the car.

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Mr Whippy

posted on 24/5/22 at 11:27 AM Reply With Quote
Considering this is a kit car/self build site, is it not possible to fabricate a new beam perhaps using the current one to create a wooden alignment jig?

Once you have the jig, just cut off all the plate metal leaving just the hubs and torsion beam, bolt it onto the jig and start fabricating but this time making it a sealed unit so it cant rust out. I'd use 2mm plate and a length of steel pipe for the arms, probably the same diameter that is used for holding the bushes.

[Edited on 24/5/22 by Mr Whippy]

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gremlin1234

posted on 24/5/22 at 12:50 PM Reply With Quote
our friends at clubpolo have a 'sticky' post about the changes involved fitting disks to the drum beam.

https://www.clubpolo.co.uk/topic/183803-how-to-convert-6n6n2-to-rear-discs/

unfortunately most of the the images don't work, even if you are a member:-(
but the text is good and shows you could get a 6n2 drum beam and convert it with the bits you have.

[Edited on 24/5/22 by gremlin1234]

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tegwin

posted on 26/5/22 at 11:25 AM Reply With Quote
Isn't it weird how fate seems to strike...

I happened upon a guy on facebook that lives an hour from me. He has a little unit and breaks only 6n2 GTI's... He has quite an impressive stash of stuff. Managed to get a better front subframe, hoping he will have a rear beam next week. One could spend an awful lot replacing all the little bits on the car that have got mildly damaged over the years...


This is very quickly going to degrade into a full blown restoration isnt it...





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Slimy38

posted on 26/5/22 at 12:43 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tegwin
Isn't it weird how fate seems to strike...

I happened upon a guy on facebook that lives an hour from me. He has a little unit and breaks only 6n2 GTI's... He has quite an impressive stash of stuff. Managed to get a better front subframe, hoping he will have a rear beam next week. One could spend an awful lot replacing all the little bits on the car that have got mildly damaged over the years...


This is very quickly going to degrade into a full blown restoration isnt it...


That's how my brother in law started with his 91 Astra GSi, it didn't take long to go from 'that will be enough to get through the MOT' to 'yes wife I'm working on the car AGAIN this weekend'...

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Mr Whippy

posted on 26/5/22 at 04:00 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tegwin
Isn't it weird how fate seems to strike...


This is very quickly going to degrade into a full blown restoration isnt it...


Yip that's what happened to my Fiesta, clutch started slipping, next thing the suspension and engine were out and the thing up on stands for a over year! way too easy to get carried away... Mind you I did find quite a few serious issues and whole underside was cleaned and treated. But still have some more things to sort out I think it is in our nature to go overboard

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motorcycle_mayhem

posted on 27/5/22 at 08:34 AM Reply With Quote



Yip that's what happened to my Fiesta, clutch started slipping, next thing the suspension and engine were out and the thing up on stands for a over year! way too easy to get carried away... Mind you I did find quite a few serious issues and whole underside was cleaned and treated. But still have some more things to sort out I think it is in our nature to go overboard

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'Overboard' has been the nature all my life. Best one yet for me was the..... just weld in a new footwell.... (1967 Land Rover). 5 Years later, one Trigger's Broom. Worth it financially? Definitely not (again, a recurring thing), but a helluva lot of blood, sweat, burns, fun and personal satisfaction, you can't compare that to other folk's money worshipping lifestyle. Life is short, whatever lights your candle.

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tegwin

posted on 27/5/22 at 08:57 AM Reply With Quote
Made some more progress last night...

Pulled the front sub frame off... same issue here... full of 'oles!

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Minor irritation is that the subframe bolts into sliding "captive" nuts inside the chassis leg... One of the little buggers was rusted solid so just spins and won't undo.. So a hacksaw had to be deployed...

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So the next challenge is going to be to carefully open up the chassis leg to replace the captive nut





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Mr Whippy

posted on 27/5/22 at 03:31 PM Reply With Quote
could you not weld a nut onto a large washer and then open the hole enough to then weld onto the washer (leaving a bolt in the nut to stop splatter damaging the thread) as that might be an easier way?

Rusty subframes seem to be a plague these days. My Volvo had it's hot dip galvanised from the factory, it's spotless.

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