1964 Nissan Patrol soft top restoration
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.
Last edited by RMP&O; 12-28-2012 at 08:31 AM.
New Alcan leaf spring in route. Various engine parts like new oil pump in route. Rust Bullet will be ordered soon and once that plus suspension is here work begins on the chassis.
Wonderful info you provided, I thought Patrols have never been sold in the US.
Waiting for photos
Still waiting on parts...mostly suspension stuff. I expect to have new Alcan leaf springs here in 2-3 weeks tops. After that I just need to buy a few small things for the suspension and then I can start on installing it. The body should be headed to the restoration shop within a week. I need to buy a little steel to make a new battery box but other then this that is all the frame needs. However, I am coating the inside of the frame with Rust Bullet and once done will spray it again with chassis black paint.
Pictures are forthcoming when the project is actually underway!
Patrols were sold here from 1962-1969. Total numbers sold was 2616, of that about 950 were soft tops. So this soft top Patrol is very rare and I am excited to be a part of making it live again!
Originally Posted by Shanfari
And you deserve that! There are many Patrol enthusiasts around the world, including me, but you seem to be ELITE in compare! We'll be around for any new updates
Originally Posted by RMP&O
Sending the body off the the body shop today for the restoration.
Got a bunch of Rust Bullet ordered, should be here by weeks end. Got some leaf spring hangers ordered from RuffStuff.
Still waiting on new leaf springs from Alcan.
Once Rust Bullet is here along with suspension parts I will tear into this project.
And it is about time I post some pictures!
This is what the 64 soft top looked like before I bought it in New Mexico....that is a home made hard top on it.
As it looks now, the restoration started back in 2004.
In this picture you can kind of see the funky home made rear leaf spring hangers. This is what I need to fix.
A better shot of the funky rear leaf spring hangers
And some goodies for the build....just a sample!
mint, new and original Warn hubs, these were put on by dealers for the Patrol back in the 1960s.
and the uber rare soft top frame, this one is nearly perfect!
As soon as I get the stuff I need on order I will be installing the new suspension. I am also fabrication a new battery box. The inside of the frame will be coated with Rust Bullet and then the whole chassis will get sprayed again with Rust Bullet Blackshell. At that point the frame is done and restored. I would like to rebuild the axles but that is still up in the air, new owner has not made up his mind on that yet along with the trans + t-case being rebuilt. Motor heads to the machine shop around 1st of May.
Last edited by RMP&O; 12-28-2012 at 08:33 AM.
New leaf spring showed up today from Alcan. They look killer!
Here are a few pictures of the Alcan leaf springs, these have a 2" lift in them.
The old spring in the picture is the stock rear leaf pack out of the 1977 Patrol Ute.
Both the Ute's old rear spring and the new Alcan are 48.5" eye to eye. I have not had a chance to compare to the stock front springs yet but am confident they also will match up very nicely.
Here you can see the funky home made rear leaf/shackle hangers and leaf springs currently on the 64. *EDIT* double post I know!
This hanger we were actually able to find the stock one. So NOS Nissan leaf hanger will be replacing this.
This is the stock shackle hanger (from a different truck), it measures 2.25" wide.
Rather then try to cut that one off and re-use it a new shackle hanger is being used. This sourced from RuffStuff,
And since we do not have a full set of stock shackles in good condition we will also be using RuffStuff "baby" shackles which match stock nearly perfect.
Last bit, will be using new spring plates and u-bolts from RuffStuff.
Last edited by RMP&O; 05-09-2012 at 03:01 AM.
Bumped into the body man in town today. He had most of the Patrol fresh from the sand blaster.....
Very typical on a Patrol, this is being cut out and new steel welded in.
Inside the dash...