Peter's Bolwell Mk7 ~ B7/334K
Last update 16th September
, After approx 16 years of ownership we have sold the Mk7.
It has now gone back to Victoria (Australia)
First a brief history of the Australian made,
The first prototype was on the road in 1967. Production by the Bolwell
company stopped around 1971 after about 400 Mk7's. (No one seems to know
exactly how many cars were made. Apparently there was a fire in the factory
at some stage and a lot of records were lost.)
The Mk7 had its own backbone chassis made from folded sheet steel similar to a Lotus Elan (I'm told) and was designed to use the front cross
member and suspension from a General Motors Holden model HR (1966). A shortened
rack & pinion steering assembly from a BMC Austin 1800 was used instead
of the Holden steering box. The Mk7 was designed to use the engine and rear
axle assembly (modified to three link with coilover spring/shock assembly
on the early models and a four link with the top two arms angled out from
the centre of the diff housing on the later models) from the Holden HR as
The engine, called the Holden L6, was a 6 cylinder inline, pushrod engine.
The capacity ranged over its production life from 138 cu inch to 202 cu
inch. The original Mk7 had a Triumph 2000 4speed gearbox because at the time
Holden only had a 3 speed. It wasn't long after that that a 4speed became
available from Holden.
A couple of years ago someone sent an e-mail to the Bolwell Car Club
web site trying to find out some info about a Mk7 that this blokes step
father had built in the early 1970's.
The enquiry was forwarded to me as the car had been a NSW car. The
car club web master didn't realise it, but the car was mine. The person
who sent the e-mail had included a return e-mail address but it turn out
to incorrect. By the time I discovered this the webmaster had deleted the
original e-mail from his PC. So I have been unable to contact this person.
Untill recently I had thought I had lost the original files in a system
crash I had had but I found them again by accident recently. If the person
who sent the request sees this, please contact me. The pics below are from
The Bolwell gets a heart...
an early Torana Colour...
The morning after completion,
after a collision which wrote of a Holden Ute
A brief history of our involvement with our Bolwell Mk7
We first became aware of the car in early 1991 when it was advertised
in the Trading Post. At the time we were not interested in it as we
already had a Mk7 in the shed awaiting restoration. It was advertised again
around early September and, as it was in Buderim, Qld, near where we were
going for a holiday, Debbie said "I'm going to find out about this car, as
I can't see our car being on the road in the near future" so to cut
a long story short, we spoke to the owner and when we were up there on our
holidays we went and had a look, and both fell in love with the car, Debbie
at first sight, It took a ride and a drive to hook me.
We returned home, called the owner and settled on a price. A couple of
days later we flew back to Qld, finalised the sale, and then drove it home.
14 hours and approx 1100klm's in a Mk7 is an experience, particulary when
the passenger is 5 months pregnant. What a trip, unknown, untried car. rough
ride, hot, smelly, cramped, my first long drive in a Mk7. What a buzz, We
loved it. Although, after having discovered the real condition of most of
the car I'm amazed it made it .
The car originally had a front crossmember and suspension from a
HK Holden fitted which is about 60mm wider in the track than the HR Holden
cross member the Bolwell was originally designed for. This meant the wheels
protruded past the edge of the guards. The guards had then been flared using
lots of plastic body filler. A shortened Austin 1800 rack was mounted on
brackets that were too light and at the wrong height, so the rack was constantly
twisting & flexing as the suspension worked. This also caused the car
to suffer badly from bump steer which made driving on uneven roads
an interesting procedure to say the least .
The car had had extensive body work done to it in
the past, (early to mid eighties Iv'e been told.) consisting of a Bolwell
Nagari nose, Kamm tail, Hatch, Fabric sunroof, Door handles moved from doors
and concealed in holes in body, Flared guards and wide bulge on bonnet. The
interior was also retrimed at the same time. An aluminium fuel tank was fitted
as well. The car was painted a dark metalic grey.
Not long after we got the car the brake master cylinder started leaking
past so I removed it for repair . It turned out that the master cylinder
was off an XYor XW Ford Falcon for which a repair kit was around $120 . As
I had a brand new Holden master cylinder in the shed I decided to change
over to it . This turned out to be a lot more complicated than expected as
when I removed the pedal box (this was a large job on it's own as the steering
column is part of the pedal box and it was quite hard to remove the unit
from the car.) to change the master cylinder holding bolts from vertical
to horizontal I discovered that I had to modify the pedal box to accept the
Holden master cylinder . I also found that the pivot pin for the pedals was
bent and the bushes were worn out . In the end I rebushed the pedals and
fitted adjustable pushrods as well as modifying the pedal box so that the
pedals can be removed without taking the pedal box out of the car . I also
discovered that the clutch master cylinder was missing the circlip that held
all the internals in with the result that when the clutch was released the
first "O" ring came out of the end of the cylinder . I had thought
for some time that the clutch felt a bit funny . I also rebushed the steering
column while I was at it.
After driving the car for several months the rear main oil seal started
leaking badly so I decided to pull the engine out and do a quick rebuild.
This soon developed into a new cam, gears & lifters , new rings &
big ends, A reco'ed, hi comp head , full gasket set and flashy new paint
. The engine should really have been rebored but finance at the time didn't
run to that sort of expense.
As the HK front end's bushes were worn out, I decided to toss it
out and fit a complete front suspension assembly from a Holden, UC Torana
while I had the engine out . This involved a lot of fabrication work to
the chassis but was well worth the effort as the UC front end eliminated
the bump steer problem.
Curing the bumpsteer problems in the front highlighted the need to do some
modification to the rear suspension. After putting up with it for a year or
so I finally decided to take the body off the chassis and fix the rear end
properly. I changed the way the rear control arms were attached to the diff
and the chassis to give better control of the diff housing and I also modified
the chassis at the rear of the tunnel to give more downwards vertical travel
for the tailshaft. This was so I could get a bit more total rear suspension
I also constructed a frame from RHS tube under the floor on both sides of
the car that was attached to the chassis. This enabled the seats to be firmly
fixed to the chassis instead of just bolted through the fibreglass. I also redesigned the handbrake system so that it actually worked. Once reassembled I at last had a car that was fun to drive.
I drove it around for the next 5 years or so until the body had deteriorated
to a point where it was starting to be embarrassing. After much discussion,
(as we knew that once we started it would take a lot of time and work,)
we decided to take the car off the road and do a complete rebuild which
would involve a lot of repairs and modification to the body.
The rebuild plan was to
Replace the body filler flares with new std ones.
Remove the fabric sunroof and fill the hole.
Build a new, redesigned firewall with room to fit an airconditioner.
Fit a 5 speed gearbox.
Repair 25 years worth of stress cracks and badly repaired crash damage
Rewire, repaint and retrim.
Sounds easy, but as seems to be the way with this sort of thing, once
you start, you keep finding things that need fixing/modifying or things
that, while they are ok the way they are, they would be a lot better if
they were modified as well. Other things keep taking your time as well.
So as of Feb 2001 after almost 4 years I'm into the tedious task of
fairing the body.
In pic below there is a large oval shaped patch between the front edge
of the flare and the edge of the headlight nacelle.(outlined in red) This
is some old crash damage. This area was solid body filler approx 20mm thick.
No fibreglass at all except for one small bit of woven roving on the inside.
I ground the filler down to about 6 mm on the inside and then laminated
over it. Then I ground down the outside and laminated that as well.
The pic above was taken when I had the body upside down. You can see
the old damage that had been poorly repaired. There are several different
layers of filler and fibreglass visible. (different colours) I ground out
suspect materials, repaired the damage and then covered the whole area
with several layers of fibreglass.
11th April 2001
Since the last page I have managed to get a bit more done. I have put
a coat of spray filler on the roof and hatch and started to sand it back.
( I'm using a polyester based product called "Reface". It is made by U-Pol.
So far I'm very happy with it. It is comparable in price to other brands
but is available in 1 litre cans at around $30AUS/litre instead of 4 litre
cans. This makes it a bit easier on the budget but more importantly you
don't have as large a quantity sitting on the shelf waiting to be used.)
I have also spent a lot of time fitting up the insides of the doors
and getting the window regulators working.
The windows run at angle to the inner door panel and I had a lot of
problems trying to get the regulators to work properly. I eventually cut
the regulator frame in half along a line through the centre of the gear
teeth where they mesh, made a couple of bent joiners and welded the frame
back together with the gears meshing at an angle. Its not quite as smooth
as before but its not what you call a high speed gear train. Now the lifting
arm runs at the same angle as the window and the axis of the winder handle
is at 90deg to the inner door panel.
At the moment I'm using some 5mm thick grey pvc sheet as a window template.
I took a couple of photo's of the linkage from the external door handle
to the actual door catch, but unfortunately my idiot proof, auto everything
camera failed me and all I ended up with was a blur. (maybe it was me ,
not the camera).
20th July 2001
Since the last update I've spent a lot of time building an airconditioner
for the Bolwell. There is only very limited space to fit an evaporator/heater/fan
unit so a small unit was required. I had a heater fan unit from a Toyota
Land Cruiser Troop carrier or a Toyota Coaster bus (I'm not sure which
it came from) and a evaporator unit which I picked up from the local recycling
centre for $5.00. These two units still wouldn't fit in the space I had
so I started looking around for a smaller unit. I finally found one on
the net which would have been a perfect fit. It was the Mini space saver
from Vintage-air in the USA. The unit was $399 US but by the time I converted
that to Aussie $, had it shipped out here and paid the import duties
and Goods & Services Tax it put the price up to around $1600 Aus. A
bit more than I was prepared to pay so I started looking at the units I
had again. After much thinking I finally mounted the evaporator to the
heater at an angle and cut a piece out of the firewall to enable me to
get the unit back as far as I could in the top of the passenger side foot
I had to make a special plenum chamber for the ducts to attach to the
front of the evaporator.I made a mould from Urathane foam and cardboard
tubes, them laid up over that with fibreglass. Once it had cured I just
broke the foam up to get it out.
I have also made up the ducts under the dash for the vents and demistor.
There wasn't enough room for a demistor outlet from a production car so
I used a piece of 40mm PVC pipe and a tee piece which I fixed to the under
side of the dash using a couple of self tapping screws. I then drilled
a lot of 7 mm dia holes through the dash and into the pipe. I plugged the
ends of the tube and and joined the pipe to the outlet with flexible hose.
I've also managed to finish fairing the airdam in and put a coat of
reface on it as well as finished fairing the doors and refaced them too.
13th September 2001
I haven't put a lot of time in on the car recently so I haven't done
much. I have been working on fitting up the battery and making panels in
the rear of the car in preparation for trimming (upholstery). I have also
made a new fuel filler pipe.
The battery is a tight fit in the space I have. I will be fitting a
sealed one so I wont have the caps on the top. In the pic you can see where
I have removed one of the caps so I could use this battery to get the setup
correct. (next to the RHS post) The battery compartment will be sealed
from the cabin with a vent going to atmosphere in the top of the rear hatch
This is the passenger side rear panels. The one with the speaker hole
is fixed and the other with the fuel filler pipe coming though it is removable.
The space behind will be used for tools & jack etc.
This is looking into the rear from the drivers side. The two panels
held in with masking tape are removable to allow access to the hatch lock
etc. The angle of the photo makes them look larger on one side than the
other though they are similar sizes.
I went to a swap meet near home a month or so ago and picked up a pair
of old, very tatty looking Recaro seats for $100 aus (approx $50 US) for
the pair. They both needed repairs to the frame and re trimming but for
that sort of money they were a bargain. After stripping the covers off,
the drivers side one looked like it might have been in a crash at some
stage. The bottom frame had been broken and poorly repaired and the back
had a twist in it and a lot of dents down one side. Only took me a couple
of hours to fix it up though. With the low roof on the car I have had to
bolt the seats directly to the floor with no runners. So there is no foreward
and back adjustment. Its good for my wife and I though and that's all that
In this pic I have already repaired the bottom of the seat, and I just
sat the covers back on for the photo. I hadn't stripped the back at that
I have also been working on the dash panel. I was hoping to fit some
gauges from a production car but because of the limited room available
I have finally resorted to buying aftermarket ones.
I hope to buy the gauges in the next few weeks. I'm going to use gauges
from VDO Australia which are about $1000 AUS cheaper than buying from overseas.
I'm hoping to set the gauges into the dash so they look more like properly
designed dash than just a heap of round gauges stuck through holes in the
I don't have any pics of the dash yet.
11th January 2002
Since I last updated these pages I have been doing a few other jobs
around home so haven't managed as much on the car as I would like.
On the car I have fitted a centre rib, with housings for lights, to
the inside of the roof. It runs from the top of the windscreen back to
the top of the rear hatch opening. I have also smoothed the surface of
the inside of the roof so that the headlining can be glued directly to
the inside of the roof. Unfortunately the photo's I took don't show the
detail very well.
I have also made a start on the trim panels for the doors. I used 3mm
thick MDF for the main flat area, and laminated the top piece where it
goes over the top of the door.
I ground a chamfer on the MDF from the top edge back for about 50-60mm.
I then primed it and screwed it in place on the door after using masking
tape and PVA on the area of the door that I wanted to laminate onto. I
then laminated onto it. Once it had cured it came off the door easily.
When it is trimmed it will fit in place on the top of the door and be clipped
to the door using std door trim clips.
I have also fitted up a different set of headlight/washer/wiper switches.
I'm using a set off an Australian assembled Datsun 200B. Had to cut
most of the top cover away but it fits in fairly neatly.
I have also been doing a lot of fiddly jobs that aren't worth taking
pics of, such as making permanent brackets for the aircon unit, fitting
up the headlights and trim rings, fitting door switches for interior lights,
fitting up the throttle and choke cables and heater controls.
I have bought my new VDO gauges and started to make the dash panel.
(took a lot of photos of this but now I can't find them).
I have just spent the last week on the car. I removed the engine+g/box
to enable me to get into the engine bay to finish it off. I have fitted
up the bonnet catches. Used a set of latches from www.southcoipsg.com
They are designed for electrical type cabinets but they have turned out
to be ideal for my application. They are not locks but you have to use
a special key to turn them. All the lockable ones I have seen are not really
suitable for use where they are exposed to the weather. The Southco latches
don't have any springs or tumblers for the water to interfere with.
The rest of the week I have spent filling and sanding in the engine
I put a coat of U-Pol, Reface spray filler on yesterday and spent
most of today rubbing it back.
30th March 2002
Since my last update I have been rubbing the body back and priming it.
Up until today the car hasn't really looked much different.
Today I managed to get the first coat of colour in the engine bay and
on the nose. Now it looks like I am getting somewhere.
Still has to be rubbed back and more paint put on.
Managed to get the first coat of colour on the rest of the body today.
28th September 2002
Since my last update I've started to put the car back together. Up until
now it has been a slow process as I have had a few other projects that
have been taking most of my spare time. I should be able to put more time
in on the Bolwell now though.
The next three pictures are of the car outside of the shed for the first
time in about 5 years. Certainly looks a lot different to when it went
I put the tails lights in for this shot to see what they looked like
from a distance. I hadn't been able to get far enough away from them for
a good look before now. The lights are the rear bumper lights from a current
model Suzuki Grand Vitara 4wd and/or Suzuki Jimny 4wd.
I've started putting things like the windscreen wiper assembly, pedal
box and the aircon and ducting in. I have also stripped, painted, kitted
and reassembled the front brakes. Fitted them + front springs & shocks.
Fitted a new bush and new boots to the steering rack. Refitted the rack.
Have kitted the brake master cylinder and fitted to car. I stripped the
clutch master cylinder down only to discover that I should have stripped
it when I first pulled the car to bits. I had intended to do it and the
brakes at the time but forgot about them. I was lucky with the brakes,
they were ok. The clutch master cylinder had a bit of corrosion in
it. I bought a replacement cylinder only to discover the design had been
changed slightly. It was now made from cast iron and discharge port spigot
on the new one was about 16 mm longer than the old one. This meant I couldn't
get a pipe into it. I eventually had my old one sleeved by a company in
Wollongong called Brakemart .
Their service was excellent. I sent an e-mail asking for a price about
9:30 pm and they called me about 8:30 the next morning. I posted my cylinder
off on Monday and had it back the following Monday, sleeved, kitted and
reassembled. I should add here that Brakemart is a couple of hundred klm's
away from me. The price including freight worked out to be about $10 more
than a new cylinder.
I have also made up new brake pipes for the front and fitted up the
This shows part of the brake pipes and steering shaft
Windscreen washer tank inside guard
5th January 2003
Over the last couple of months I have been putting a lot of time
in on the car in an effort to have it going by Easter. I have fitted up
the door windows and regulators, fitted up the internal and external door
handles and the door locks.
Also fitted up the internal door trim backing panels and the door lights.
Wired up the door lights and cabin lights, started wiring the tail lights.
I also gave the engine a clean up and a new coat of paint. The engine
could do with a rebuild but its still okay for the moment. At this point
I just want to get the car going and will worry about building up a good
Today, (Sun 5th Jan 2003) we refitted the engine to the car. No
major dramas but took us a couple of hours as the paint on the engine is
still a bit soft and we also didn't want to mark the paint in the engine
(Above) Not quite in
(Above) Other side
A nice EFI Twin cam six would look good in here. Unfortunately all the
ones available in Australia are too tall to fit without an unsightly bulge
down 2/3's of the bonnet.
18th February 2003
I have done most of the wiring on the car, still have to wire
the dash panel. I'm using a Datsun 200B headlight/wiper switch block (because
it fits the dash better than anything else I have found) What a strange
setup for the headlights. (at least for an amateur like me) I eventually
got them working using a collection of relays. No smoke came out
when I eventually powered up the system and everything worked. I was pretty
pleased about that. The wiring took a lot longer than I thought it would
though. All the terminals are soldered and have heat shrink fitted.
26th February 2003
I got the car back from the trimmer last week. Looks very nice. The
trimmer did a very good job at a fair price.
Eastside Kustom Trim at East Maitland NSW . 02 49343990
I had the car trim done with mid grey velour on the roof, dark grey
velour on the doors and the sides of the seats, dark grey vinyl on the
sides of the tunnel and in the rear and black carpet.
The inserts in the seats are a mix of dark grey, black and yellow.
Since getting the car back from the trimmer I have fitted the windscreen
and rear side windows, and finished wiring the dash.
Still have to fit the rear window.
Still have a lot of minor things to do but I'm hoping to try and start
the engine this weekend.
March 25 2003
Managed to get the engine going a couple of weeks ago and drove the
car up and down the driveway a few times.
Still had a lot of odds and ends to attend to. I have put a bit of
time into it over the last few weeks getting it ready for registration.
Took it to get it weighed last Friday afternoon (21/3/03) It was the
first time I have driven it on the road for almost 6 years. Didn't feel
too bad, though with all the new bushes in the steering, the steering is
a little bit tight. Still very hot in the cabin so finishing the air con
is a priority now.
Got back from the weighbridge to find oil running off the bottom of
the car everywhere. Turned out the PCV valve had jammed and the engine
had pumped a lot of oil out of the dipstick and all over the engine bay.
I spent the next couple of hours wiping oil from the car.
Saturday morning, with new PCV valve in place, saw me heading off for
the big registration inspection. Turned out to be a bit anticlimantic.
The inspector had a look at the car, checked the numbers, checked it mechanically
and electrically, took it for a drive and tested the brakes and then filled
in the paperwork.
From there it was off to the Roads and Traffic Authority to hand over
some more money. 15 mins of paperwork and it was all done.
On the road again. I still have a few things to finish but at
least now after all this time its once more drivable.
Since my last update a lot has happened.
I managed to get the car to a point where I was confident that it would
make it down to the Snowy mountains at Easter.
Even though I ran out of time and so didn't finish the centre
console or the timber dash facia.
The car made it to Jindabyne and back without any major problems. We
had a great trip and caught up with a lot of other Bolwell nuts who we
hadn't seen for a few years. Really enjoyed touring around the great roads
in the Snowy mountains.
Following a Nagari south of Sydney, despite the clouds
we didn't get a lot of rain.
the same Nagari,
shot through the passenger side rear view mirror.
A couple of small problems have
shown up since I have been driving the car.
One was in the steering. There is a support bush in the middle of the
steering shaft right next to the engine.I had made it out of phospher bronze.
Once everything got hot while driving, this bush nipped up a bit thus causing
the steering to get a little bit tight. Not enough to be dangerous, but
enough to be tiring to drive. I have since replaced this bush with one
made from teflon with a lot more clearance on the shaft. I have also reduced
the rack to pinion preload on the steering rack. This has solved
Another problem I have is the clutch. Originally the clutch fluid pipe
from the master cylinder was 1/4" OD. When I replumbed the pipework I made
the new clutch line from 3/16"od pipe. I didn't think it would make any
difference but it appears that I was mistaken. The clutch doesn't work
very fast and I think its because the smaller dia pipe is not letting enough
fluid through. I intend to fit new larger dia pipe in the near future.
Hopefully this will solve this little problem.
I will be pulling the engine out soon to get it rebuilt. I didn't have
time earlier in the year and I also wanted to be able to drive the car
to see if any problems developed with the engine, gear box etc. The rear
main seal on the engine has started leaking badly so its time for the rebuild.
I will also be fitting some heat insulation to the inside of the chassis
to try and reduce the amount of heat soaking through into the cabin. The
air con, whilst it is working fine, is having trouble coping with
the amount of heat in the cabin.
I also intend to wrap the exhaust pipe with insulation as well. Hopefully
these mods will make the car a bit move enjoyable to drive.
The Nagari we have purchased is car number
with a build date of 4/1974
The car is a coupe and is almost totally original, with 41,000 miles
on it. It has been sitting in a shed for the last 13 odd years. It was
last regoed in 1990. I'm not sure when it was last started.
It is a 302 Cleveland, factory air con and 5 original wheels.
The paint needs to be redone and there are a few bits of stress here and
there but apart from that it is in surprisingly good condition.
It appears to have been driven into the shed and just left there. It
still had water in the radiator (unfortunately) and screen washer. It has
an original tyre fitment label in the glovebox and a Dulon paint label
next to the build plate in the engine bay. It has never even had a radio
We bought it with the intension of just putting it in the shed, and
finishing all the little bits and pieces on the Mk7 before Easter 2004.
After having a closer look at it though it turned out to be in a lot better
condition than we had first thought.
I decided to have a closer look at the engine the day after we got it
home to see how much work would be required to get it running. I flushed
the block and radiator and changed the oil and filter. It looked fairly
clean in the rocker covers so I decided to see if it would turn over by
hand. Managed to turn it over ok so thought I would go for the big one.
I put some fuel in and disconnected the fuel line at
carb, Pulled the coil lead off and hooked up a battery and tried to crank
it over. That's when I discovered the ignition switch had passed its use
by date. Now I've never been a car thief in a previous life, but it still
only took me a few minutes to work out the wiring and hot wire it. It cranked
over okay and the oil pressure started to come up. Soon as I had fuel I
reinstalled the fuel line and coil lead. Hit it again and after a couple
more minutes it still had not fired so I thought I suppose I should really
check the points, spark etc. ( These modern EFI cars really make you forget
things when you get back on an old engine). Had spark but was a bit weak,
checked the points to find they had closed up to about .012". Reset them
to .020" and then had a better spark. Tried it again and it gave a few
kicks but just wouldn't make it. I then decided to get really serious and
gave it a snort of acetone down the carb. Hit it again and it fired up
first go, ran on a varying number of cylinders for a while before settling
down to a nice smooth idle. ( I should point that at this stage I hadn't
even pulled any plugs out). Ran it for a little while till the thermo fans
blew a fuse (20 amp so I think there is a small problem there).
I really didn't think it would start so easily so now we are going to
see if we can get it regoed and bring it to Easter.
Well, Easter 2004 has been and gone and after a lot of time and work
I managed to get the Nagari going and registered.
I rebuilt the brake and clutch hydraulic systems as they had seized.
Again I called on the services of Brakemart
to sleeve and kit the master cylinders and clutch slave cylinder for me.
Great service. I also fitted new rear wheel cylinders and changed the front
calipers to a set of alloy units off an XF model Ford Falcon. These calipers
bolt straight on to the earlier model uprights and have the same size piston.
They each weigh 2.5 Kg less than the old cast iron calipers.
I also decided to forgo originality for functionality in the cooling
dept. The thermos that were on the car were old and mounted in front of
the radiator. They were also drawing more than 15 amps each so I have removed
them and fitted a 406mm dia (16") Davis Craig fan behind the radiator.
I removed the steering rack, adjusted it and fitted new tie rod
ends. I also replaced the front wheel bearing seals and the lower
I also fitted a different ignition switch. The original ignition switch
was from an Australian built Mini Clubman. It is clamped to the steering
column. Opened mine up to find a small part had broken inside, a mate gave
me a spare that he had, which I opened up to find the same part had broken
in the same place. After a few phone calls I discovered that a new clubman
switch is unobtainable. Could buy a 2nd hand one for $100. No way.
I then went off to my local friendly wrecker where I compared the old
one to the switches in dozens of cars. Eventually settled on one from a
Nissan Pulsar. $5.00 no key. Took it to a locksmith who cut 3 new keys
I also bought another set of wheels for the Nagari. I don't particularly
like the original factory wheels plus they are only a 6" wide rim.
I managed to pick up a set of old 14" X 7" ROH Pro Sprints. These
are the same type of wheel that I have on my Mk7. I really think they suit
the style and age of the cars. I didn't fit these wheels straight away
as I wanted to be able to say everything was original whan I took
it for the registration inspection.
After doing all this work it was off for an "Unregistered Vehicle Inspection"
(blueslip). On the trip to the inspection station the front end was
very shaky which turned out to be the old tyres which were out of round.
Told the inspector that I had another set of wheels to go on and he was
happy with that.
The inspector had never even heard of a Bolwell Nagari let alone seen
one. He was very thorough with his inspection and only found 2 things which
he didn't like.
1) A brake light bulb had blown on the trip to the inspection station.
That was easily fixed while he waited.
2) He was concerned the rear tyres stuck out too far at the back of
the guard. (this was with original wheels fitted) He told me I would have
to fit a pair of mud flaps.
I certainly wasn't going to argue over that so I raced up the road
to the local car parts place and bought a cheap set of mudflaps which
I quickly fitted to the car. Returned to the inspection station where the
inspector was then happy to fill in the paperwork. I then had my "Blueslip"
Then it was just a case of take the paperwork to the Roads and Traffic
Authority (RTA), pay the money and get a set of plates.
I bought a new set of tyres, had them fitted to the Pro Sprints and
fitted them to the car.
After getting the car registered and driving it around for a couple
of days, the rear suspension settled a bit on one side. I replaced the
bushes in the lower control arms and also made and fitted a couple of spacers
to the top of the rear springs. This lifted the car back up.
For the trip to South Australia I decided to try and improve the seating
as the foam in the original seats had started to collapse. I ended up fitting
a pair of Recaro seats I have had for years. They are a little too wide
and make the handbrake a little difficult to release but they are a big
improvement on the original seats. I also fitted a stereo. I didn't want
to cut the door trims so I ended up fitting a small pair of speakers between
the seats. Not very good sound reproduction but good enough for now.
I ended up removing the factory air con unit from the boot and blanking
the hole into the cabin off. I didn't have time to get it working before
Easter and the Recaro seats cover the air intake grills anyway. I will
probably look at a better air con system eventually.
My wife drove the Nagari the 4000Klm round trip to Port Augusta, South
Australia,and back with one of our sons as a passenger and I drove the
Mk7 with our other son.
My wife and son deserve a special mention as it turns out the Nagari
is getting a little bit of exhaust fumes into the cabin and after a while
it becomes unpleasant to the occupants. (I'm hoping it is just a small
leak in the exhaust somewhere as that will be easy to fix.)
We also discovered on the first day that the windscreen wipers don't
work very well. Luckily we had treated the screen with rainex before we
left. Apart from these small problems the car ran faultlessly for the whole
Still have a lot of things to do to it but I will take my time with
7th July 2004
And, as proof, a couple of pictures from our trip to Port
Augusta, South Australia in April 2004
This one was taken looking in the passenger side rear
view mirror on the Mk7
Outside the motel at Port Augusta
Near Balranald, NSW Australia,
on the return trip