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I decided to make a topic about the restoration of Sugga #443, considering it might be interesting and (maybe) usefull for anyone restoring their own vehicle or just thinking about doing it. I'll post it on 2 forums (german and swedish) as I think it is good to be followed by most Sugga owners. It would be nice if other restorations would be made 'public' by depicting the process.

Car was purchased from UK (Tring) in a poor state, albeit complete (without radios). It was not in working order, having a broken manifold and beeing very rusty as british weather took a toe on it.
I decided to go for and try to put it back on the road, despite the amount of work that layed ahead.










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Braking apart is a funny job - it goes fast, and curiosity gets rewarded.

Organising is key to success - do not start without  bearing a good scheme in mind :



You will nead at least (and this is absolute minimum) 4 times the space of the vehicle (10 x 6 meters). Minimum !



Besides the usual keys/spanners (I suggest buy a new set for the job) there are two tools without nothing is possible:

- a hoist capable to lift the body off the chassis high enough to take it out

- an IMPACT SCREWDRIVER (do not start without it, it will be needed in minute one)



Get as many as you can and store and labell everything you take off the vehicle. Prior that take many pictures from different angles of all parts before removal, otherwise you'll end up asking for those to fellow Sugga owners. Even if these look normal on the vehicle, you'll forget in a couple of days where they go.

Store in boxes all screws you take out beside the parts - when you'll buy new ones, you'll know number, type, length and where they go.



It will take about 5 days / 4 men to brake it apart (considerind one's only job is to take pictures and labell/store everything).

Chassis can be carried by 4 men. Body require more.






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Sandblasting is a tricky operation. It has to be done paciently. Or with dry-ice.

Do it with sand, hurry, and heat exhausted due to friction sand/nozzle will deform all thin metal sheet. Nio problem with chassis or other solid parts, though.

So it either has to be done keeping the nozzle further away from metal sheet (resulting in a long lasting job) or use dry-ice and get it done faster. 


I'll start by attaching images of Sugga parts packed in a van for transportation.

It's called TETRIS-3D.



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Check the doors outer faces - this is result of hurrying. In my case these had to be replaced anyway as beeing very rusty.











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It poped out (as expected I have to say) the Sugga body was in a 'teabag' state.

This is one moment you feel like throwing everything away and go hide somewhere far...

One happy man - the bodyshop owner....











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I've posted more than enough pictures, not to annoy everyone but this is one oportunity to see what's 'underneath'. To see how a Sugga looks like to bare skin.


The places where it was mostly deteriorated are:

- door pillars

- trunk

This is where one Sugga owner should look and care after.











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Brilliant, I'm in awe.

Keep doing your thing and describe as best you can. It will surely help others; Maybe me most of all.

Please be kind and include where you find spare and new parts, seals and strips etc. :)

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Well, having said so, body was send to bodyshop, and I forgot a while about it...

Ok. Let's see: what have we here ?

A bunch of parts - engine, gearbox, transfer case, axles, drive shafts, not to mention all bits and pieces nicelly labelled in boxes. So what to start with ?

Have to mention rush was to commence work on the body as this is usually the most time-consumer.

Where to start ? With what's in the way and seams easyer in order to clear space and put restored parts in the back.

Gearbox we thought (I say we as I wasn't at any time alone in this, beeing helped by a friend of mine and later on by a very skilfull old-school mechanic).

I have to mention there was always a delay between starting a job and putting all together due to ordering parts. Logistics proved to be the most difficult part in this restoration. If you think mechanics or metal sheet work is difficult, think twice ! Operations ofenetly overlapped, and work was started on other assemblies while parts were ordered and shipped. It was at all times a struggle to move assemblies (do you have an ideea of how heavy the axles are ?) and get space for work. Therefore, we thought, let's start the easy bits, finish them and clear the way.


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Thanks for the good words guys !


So, next:




First thing opened of the whole Sugga was the gearbox. It's within reach, and it opens just by unscrewing the bolts on top. Curiosity won the game, and there we found ourselves looking inside - it's red !!!!  Finally something not green !


But gears had seen better days. I guess due to the large bunch of recruits learning how to double clutch over the years. Decision was to replace worn gears.


Gears and gaskets were purchased from ALTYCO PARTS AB, bearings and oil seals from a local supplier by comparing dimensions and codes.


This is a straight forward job. It's easy and you do not have to be a skilfull mechanic to do it. It is also described in DEL2, page 56 (unfortunatelly for us, in swedish...).

It takes about 4 houres to complete and all needed is brute force of a hydraulic press.


Paper gaskets - they are available in most cases (ALTYCO) but we soon found out it's cheaper and better to make those by copying the original. Sheets of gasket paper, cartboard, rubber, composite are available (EBAY).

By the way, paper gaskets purchased from ALTYCO for the axles differentials do not fit !

Mention also, in most cases we used silicone on both sides of paper gasket too.


Job done !






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This involved lots of cleaning (with diesel) and degreasing.

Once this is done parts can be put back together.


Friction plate and pressure bearing were purchased from ALTYCO. Same for the plate rivets.

Friction plate received was superior in quality than original (probably not a NOS - new old spare, but build from more modern materials).


Rivets seamed to be a problem as are made of a yellowish (brass ?) alloy. We made a tool for punching (did I mention for a restoration like this you'll need help from a lathe operator ?), and start mounting the plate. Ended up braking few rivets. These are brackable and need to be softened before punched. We knew copper is easy to soften by heating until it turns white and then fast submerge in cold water (and I suggest always do so before replacing a copper washer on the car), but brass ? It turned out it has to be heated and left for cooling at room temperature. After we did this, clutch plate was a joke to mount.


Interesting is that replacement pressure bearing we got from ALTYCO had a different position of one mounting hole (see pictures). If remember well we replaced the bearing in the original mounting plate.










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Here we did (almost) nothing.

Bearings seamed in good shape - no noise, smooth turning, still tight.

Checked the oil and there were no metal scrapings, and, as much as we could see, gears were ok.

Very little oil leak.


Therefore all we did was to replace the oil seals (local store) and buy new rubber mounting bushes (ALTYCO).

Fill up with oil and to storage it went...


You can see how easy is to change the oil seals - these are just under the caps. Unscrew, change, screw back.


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Drive shafts were in good condition too.

Universal joints showed no sign of wear, same with the slide body.

Cleaning, degreasing, paint job, greasing.



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Well, this one was hard. First of all due to theis shear weight. Until one tries to move an axle, you have no ideea how heavy they are. Especially the front one ! My guess is front axle is the heaviest single component of the vehicle after the engine. Therefore moving them around proved to be a pain in the ***. Seccondly, because the oil seal in front axle is so difficult to mount. Basically all components have to be removed. Seal is to be mounted through the differential using a special tool. It was the one only operation in all mechanical restoration I asked a 'specialised' 4x4 service to perform. And they did it wrong. 


The story:



Axles were removed from the chassis and sandblasted. They shown leaks around differential caps and at the wheel hub (front one). By taking out the shaft one can notice the oil seal (front axle) is sitting on a larger section (see picts) inside the axle and can be remove only through the differential. Ok, I said - I'll sandblast them, paint them, take them to a service garage where they will replace the oil seal before mounting the axles on the chassis.










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While the 4x4 'specialists' were working on the axles, I had time to take some pictures of the differentials. These are quality components ! Just have a look at how these are build !


Serviceing included:

- front axle: oil seals, bearings

- rear axle: oil seals (bearings were in very good shape)


Work was performed with axles off the chassis, therefore no brake lines, vacuum...









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Well, after using the car for a while (time passed since serviceing and car was completed), front axle started leaking again through the hub.

Disaster - this means something wrong with the oil seal !!!


Oil seal had to be changed (again) in the front axle. Any ideea what this means ?  No ?  Well, we thought we can access the differential just by removing the front drive shaft, but, hell no !, there is no room to get the differential out, as it won't clear the oil bath. Axle has to be removed from the vehicle. :huh:


- front drive shaft was removed

- brake lines removed and (some) brake fluid lost

- vacuum hoses removed

- front leaf springs unbolted

- car suspended on jacks just after the leaf spring rear mount

- axle removed (remember this is heavy !) :wacko:

- wheel removed

- brake cylinders removed

- all hub assembly removed

- differential removed

- axle shafts removed

- oil seal replaced


- reverse all operations + brake fluid topped and brake sistem air cleaned

THIS WAS A 2 DAY FULL JOB / 2 MEN !!! all for a stupid wrong mount of the oil seal !


What went wrong / mistakes:

1. Seal was placed wihout using the special tool needed - you can't perform this job properly without it

2. Use of a seal which did inot have a solid metal housing

3. By using the car, seal came off from its place allowing oil to pour along the axle shaft, thinning the grease in the joint and finally leaking through the hub - have a look at the 2 shafts - one with thinned greas, one with normal grease !


What to do:

- make yourself a tool - see image 18 (last one) - there is a metal tool looking like a cylinder in the left lower corner

- seal has to be put on it (it has same OD outside diameter as the ID inside diameter of the seal)

- tool has then to be placed inside the differential housing and bolted on a very long bolt passed through the axle end

- pull this long bolt out untill seal reaches its place and press it there (using a nut and spanner)

- use a solid metal housing seal to withstand pressure applied when squeezed in its place


Please, if you have leaking hubs needing oil seal replacement, do the job yourself to make sure it's correctly done !

Remember the vintage image attached - this is the job they performed.








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This is not relevant, more important is how long would have taken the restoration, should I had been working continously.

My guess is 3 month. Full time job.

Time gets easily expanded by waiting for shipped parts to arrive, for spare time, for a sunny day, and so on.

Told you - logistics !

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