While Peter Marr was rebuilding his Mark 7 he published a very informative website on his progress, the pages of this website are reproduced here.

He also started a section on his Nagari B8/113, which is included at the bottom of this page.

WELCOME
to
Peter's Bolwell Mk7 ~ B7/334K
rebuild page.

Last update 16th September  2008







Update, 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,
Bolwell Mk7.

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 well.


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.



Early Days
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 that e-mail.

Delivery Day...

The Bolwell gets a heart...

Possibly an early Torana Colour...

The morning after completion,

after a collision which wrote of a Holden Ute

Born again...




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 travel.

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 etc.
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 well.


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. Works well.



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 housing.


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 matters.


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 stage.

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 dash.
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 bay.
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.









31st March
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 in.




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 steering shaft.


This shows part of the brake pipes and steering shaft


Windscreen washer tank inside guard


Aircon ducting





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 engine later.



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 bay.


(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.








May 2003

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.



This is 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 the problem.

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.






Nagari

16/12/2003

The Nagari we have purchased is car number B8/113 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 fitted.

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 atthe 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.


24/4/04

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 ball joints.

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 for $25.

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 trip.
Still have a lot of things to do to it but I will take my time with them.

Regards
Peter
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