This is not exactly an "expedition" truck build. This is a restoration of a truck however that truck (aka Nissan Patrol) knows what expeditions were back in the day and still does to this day! A tid bit of info, the 60-series Nissan Patrol was the first vehicle to cross the Simpson Desert in Australia.
Not enough Patrols in this forum, not enough USA Patrols, not enough restorations of Patrols and nowhere will you find a frame off being shown of a early soft top! Any ways, enough toot'in of my horn, at least for the moment!
I sold this truck to a guy a few months ago. He has contracted me to do a restoration on the truck. We may not be doing a full frame off resto, rather we are starting with the main components and a lot of the little stuff may be left for the owner to finish on his own.
*Edit* 12-27-12: much more of the truck is being restored by us than was originally thought when this thread was started.
This is a very rare truck. Nissan only sold 2616 Patrols in the USA from 1962 to 1969 and out of that only about 950 were soft tops. Not many soft top Patrols have survived, due to the soft top they tend to die off much sooner than a hard top truck. This restoration is aiming to get the truck as close to stock as possible with very few mods. One of the only being a two-inch suspension lift.
Just a little info on this truck....
I bought it in 2003 in Silver City, New Mexico. It spent most if not all of it's life living on a ranch not far from the Mexico border. The truck was obviously used for ranch work but it appears to me it was also used for hunting. There was a number of holes drilled in the top of the dash where a 30-06 bullet fit perfectly, there was even a few 30-06 bullets still in the glove box when I got the truck. I brought the truck up here to Wyoming and not long after it had a restoration started on it. However, that restoration only got so far. Basically the truck was completely disassembled, the frame was worked on and the two largest body pieces were worked on. Besides this nothing more for the restoration has been performed. For about 8yrs I rounded up and saved all the best Patrol parts I came across. As a result there is a very large stash of very nice parts for the restoration, many are nearly impossible to find.
Here is what we have lined up so far for the restoration...
-Full body restoration, being subcontracted out and handled by a guy I know. The body is being completely restored to original condition. Extensive body owrk and fabrication performed. Final color will be a shade of green, a stock color. A new soft top canvas is being made that replicates the stock canvas but it will be tan rather then the stock OD green.
-Full engine rebuild, everything is going to be rebuilt and new. The radiator is also getting a complete rebuild. We will be going with an early original engine paint for this which is a shade of sea foam green. No real upgrades are being done to the engine. Tons of OEM & NOS parts being put into the engine.
-Full suspension rebuild and upgrade. Springs are being made by Alcan, lift will be 2". The Patrol has some home made junk rear leaf hangers and springs. I will be cutting the leaf hangers off the truck and welding new ones on. Shocks are undetermined by we are leaning towards OME. Everything is going to be new int he suspension.
-Full frame restoration. The inside of the frame will be getting treated with Rust Bullet. The battery box which is under the drivers seat will be rebuilt with new steel. Once all frame work is done it will be getting a fresh coat of Dupont Imron chassis black. The truck will be getting brand new engine and transmission mounts that are NOS.
So far that is all that is for sure. Up in the air at this time is....
-transmission & t-case rebuilds *update* 12-27-12, gear boxes + PTO winch and PTO box are at the rebuild shop.
-axle rebuilds *update* 12-27-12, axles are being fully rebuilt by myself. ETA, shortly after the new year.
-steering rebuilds *update* 12-27-12, all new drag link, tie rods, pitman arm and NOS damper. Steering box being rebuilt, ETA unknown at this time.
-interior restoration *update* 12-27-12, in the works back to original.
-PTO winch rebuilds - see above
-new wiring harness - still up in the air as of 12-27
-various little details (likely the customer will do these on his own). Unlikely much, it is looking like it will be "turn key" when we are done with it.
Right now parts are being rounded up for the engine and suspension rebuilds. In about a week the body will be going to the shop to start the restoration on it, it is looking like the body will take a couple months to complete. I will be starting in on the suspension and frame in the next 30-days or so. As mentioned we are aiming for as close to stock as possible. So original 16" wheels will be used and there will be no mods beyond the small lift.
*Update* 12-27-12: Body work is 80% or more completed. Frame is completely rebuilt and restored and done as of today, painted with three coats of DuPont Imron. Everything in suspension is new and some of it upgraded, ie 5/8" u-bolts and 3/8" spring/shackle plates. Axles getting every single bearing and seal replaced with new. Brakes are being fully rebuilt to new. All chrome replated and 40lbs of gear with new zinc/cadmium coatings. Stock 16" wheels with Michelin 7.50x16 XZLs. Complete engine rebuild coming down the pipe in 30 days or less.