Restauration History of 7732 EXPAG 8617



Vehicle arrived in Townsville January 06 purchased sight unseen from numerous photographs from the previous owner in Sydney some 2500km away.

Vehicle arrived on a car transported and was not driveable pushed under the car port where the restoration would take place.

The vehicle was completely striped down and I mean completely. My plan of attack was restore the vehicle in some form of a chronological order starting with the chassis which was bent, cracked on both sides at the engine mounts are and a small amount of rust needed cutting out near the brake pedal pivot shaft. The chassis was grit blasted under coated and duly repaired using a modern jig used for straightening chassis's.

Having done that all of the metal work was cleaned  blasted and undercoated. I then repaired the back axle mounts which the springs are bolted to. The front axle was also bent and needed straightening. Crack testing of the front stub axles revealed hair line cracks these were duly removed and replaced with new ones in a machine shop. ( I know my limitations) The axle mounting bolts some of which were snapped off were cut off and then placed in a lathe where the hexagon part was re drilled and tapped with grade 8 HT bolts fitted. The bolts tighten up into the hexagon from underneath.

The chassis was placed on stands levelled and the angle iron frame bolted to it. Now to start on the body. All of the body timbers were replaced using both New Guinea Rose Wood and pre cut wheel arch timbers from the US. The timber frame was built up using bits and pieces I had salvaged from the strip down as patterns making new parts out of the Rose Wood. and fixing it to the chassis and angle iron back frame, having repaired the metal body panels and made two new front quarter panels the panels were duly fitted to the frame and chassis. Satisfied with the fit measurements were taken and marks made on the chassis and the body was then removed.

The chassis and running gear was given a top coat of black paint.

The running gear (back and front axles) were then fastened back onto the new springs and hung on the chassis, all new bearings, and seals fitted with the brakes cylinders sleeved, brake shoes relined and the brake drums machined to match the shoes.

The front mudguards were then repaired, metal replaced and panel beated. A new radiator shell was fitted and the radiator re-cored. These were then mounted on the chassis together with the body and the bonnet fitted. When satisfied with the fit the arduous job of preparing the body for the paint shop began. Filling minor dents sanding back until finally satisfied with the finish then a coat of high build primer, next came the job of flatting back prior to paint with two-pack in a purpose built spray booth.

With the body ready for painting now was the time to start on the engine and gearbox, gearbox first, not much to do here after examination only replaces a couple of thrust washers and a complete set of bearings. The clutch, clutch plate and thro-out bearing were brand new

The engine was a different matter, the block dad been bored out to 1500cc, with about 1/8 on an in being taken of the head. The cam shaft was a complete mess together with the cam followers and tappets. Drastic action was called for, the engine was re-sleeved bringing it back to standard, the cam shaft was replaced together with cam followers and pushrods, all new valves both inlet and exhaust together with new springs and tappets were fitted ( I have no idea of the compression ratio) new water pump and crank shaft pulley fitted. The crank shaft was in excellent condition and standard size. The SU carburettors were over size so the correct size second hand ones were purchased.

Now for the electrics, new wiring harness fitted, fuel pump, dynamo, starter motor and control box all need to be repaired together with the gauges.

The next stage was to take the body panels to the spray booth to be painted by my mate. This took a complete morning where upon return they were placed out of harms way.

The wiring harness together with the brake lines were fitted to the chassis, the brakes bled, engine, gearbox and radiator fitted. Now for the body, the instruments were fitted into the dashboard and the dash board wiring harness fitted, the dashboard was then fitted into the vehicle.

The newly chromed bits (lights etc) were fitted and tested and the engine fired up.

New wheels and tyres fitted almost ready to go.

There is not one part, component, piece of the vehicle that has not been either replaced, repaired or refurbished at some stage. Ever part of the vehicle at some stage in the restoration has been repaired, I even had to make the fuel tank restraining straps after I had cut the rust out of the bottom of the fuel tank.

Modifications: (safety reasons)
Datsun steering box
Direction indicators
LED illuminated rear stop and tail light. (only one light fitted in AUS)
Moss engine Oil seal rear of crank and lip seal in front
Water temp gauge fitted

I hope this is not to long but it is a brief description of what was needed to bring 7732 back to pristine condition.

David Thoumine
The proud owner /custodian of 7732