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Mighty Mouse Engine Rebuild & Upgrades


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I do have the starter pictured in the classified. On teardown, I found that one area of the brush end had moisture damage, as in two brush springs are corroded, thinned, and weak and the end of one of the field coils is missing a portion of its insulation wrapping. This may be items that a competent starter rebuilder can address??


I'd feel better if I could come up with another starter or at least parts, whether I go through the unit or have a shop do it.

I have a shop here that is world class. If you need their info, let me know.

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No, Wayno, not the starter with the remote solenoid and gear assembly on the extended armeture shaft. I need the starter with the incorporated solenoid. I'm at work and cant attach Photobucket image with the equipment we have here. I can add a photo of what I'm looking for this afternoon or here's link to the classified with several photos:




I believe that this starter was used on the 320 floor shift and the pushrod engined 520's and at least some of the 410/411 sedans. There were two different floor-shift tranys used on the 520's and I believe that this starter was used on both.



OK, I forgot about you using a 520 transmission, I have read this thread, but need to re-read it I guess, as when you pulled the engine/transmission, you had the type of starter that I posted a photo of.


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  yes, i'm using the 320 and very early 520 top-loader trany. From what I've learned so far, the starter that I listed a classified for will work with the early or late pushrod engine floor-shift transmissions (top-loader and bottom-pan transmissions).


I didn't try to run the starter before I dis-assembled it. The outside didn't look too bad; pretty much what a 45-50 year old starter is supposed to look like. The gear assembly unit had some surface rust and the armature didn't rotate by hand as freely as I thought it should, judging by my previous experience. So I decided to go ahead and dis-assemble it. I have acquired a new solenoid, gear unit, and brushes. We had a good local starter/alternator/generator shop locally (pretty small town) till a couple years ago when the owner died. I may search up a shop in the Tulsa area or somewhere between here an there. I'd still like to acquire another starter first though. I won't be really getting under-the-gun for another couple of weeks.



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  I'm almost positive that if it looks like the one in my classified and came off a J13 and the dimensions are compatible with the classified stated dimensions, it will work. Maybe even fork-truck?? It is the only mid-late 60's starter with the solenoid between the top starter mounting bolt and the block that I've been able to find.


  The online 520 parts manual lists one starter for the J13, regardless of transmission. I'll take a chance on starter or parts if it looks like my starter and the dimensions match.



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There have been 2 1968 Datsun 520s in the local wrecking yards around here recently, both had the bottom access to the gears and were unlike the 1966 transmission.

It looks like the one closest to me is gone now, but the other one that is 50 miles away is still there, although I cannot recall if it even had an engine now.

The thing is that you don't know if what you have will work, correct, as there are other starters that are slightly different, I have two slightly different starters here myself, but the noses on them are different heights, one is 2 3/8ths, while the other is 1 7/8ths, and they are set in the plate differently also.

Did you ever bolt the starter up to your engine?

Do you have a photo of the plate you used like in the photo below?


More to the point, do you have a photo of this area?


What I am getting at here is what flywheel you used compared to the plate you used, here are 2 different starters that are clocked differently, and are set in the plate differently(deeper for likely a smaller flywheel).



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Starter on the right looks like the one that I have that fits the adapter plate and has the correct nose length to allow meshing with the flywheel ring gear. There are a couple of good photos of the starter mounted on the engine in the lower quarter of the fourth page of this thread (posts 71 & 76). The engine is upside down in most of the photos. The same starter is mounted in the photos with the engine right side up on the fifth page of this thread (post 89).

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Steve I struck out today with Gen Star and the other 320 was old style.


Wayno I ran into the starter clock position and the nose cone depth difference on the L motors.  the difference were 4 speed  versus automatic transmission.


I put a call in to a wrecking yard in Payson AZ that had a 67 520.  I should here back tomorrow.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been several weeks since my last progress update. I've been hammering on a number of items toward the early-mid May fire-off target. I finished the distributor refurbishment this morning. The starter that had me in a dither a week or two ago has been overcome. The questionable 'only' starter that I had came out really well and cranks the short-block over like a champ.








And so, here's the right side of the little E1 currently.








Mighty Mouse is just sitting over there with a big smile on his face. Got a couple of great days weather couple days ago and took the FIAT out for some cruisin'. Mighty Mouse knows his time is right around the corner.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Took the weekend off from 'Datsun Fever' and got several small garden spots ready for planting and cooked off a batch of beer. Split the 10gal batch in half and did one half as sorghum/oatmeal stout. Moved it to second fermentation today and had to sample both brews. Gonna be good.


May be a bit off topic, but I'm gonna sneak it in; calling it inspirational lubrication for the mind.



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Beer is a good all purpose lubricant to help stimulate motor functions in the upper neurons of the flux capacitor. I think I'll have two.


Whisky is not allowed in my shop. Nothing would get done.


Whiskey, it's over there on the shelf with the oils & other automotive lubricants.


Seems the best most memorable work is done with the influence of some form of shop lubricant:




Good weekend !! Got the E-1 assembly off the bench and onto the run-in cart:




Still be about a month to first 'fire-in-the-hole' start-up.


Lil' woman just called me in for supper. Best Rabbit noodle soup I've ever had !!




Happy Easter, Y'all.



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A ruby red ragtop with popouts! Cool.

The Bug wasn't born a ragtop. I acquired it in 1987 and within a year or two developed an insatiable lust for a Type 117 'Ragtop'. Couldn't find one local enough or affordable enough and got a lead on a top clip at the Tulsa OK vW club show. One of the members who was some kind of manager at Spraker VW in Tulsa had the top stored in the compressor room at the dealership. After a short stint of wheelin' & dealin' the top relocated south to my place.


My dad had worked in all phases of auto repair from the 1940's to the 1970's. I'd seen him work with a peck hammer, dolly, and body file and use lead in the pre-Bondo days. I've seen and helped him build a nice car from three or four bad wrecks using almost no new parts. Those days are long gone.  Anyhow we drilled the spotwelds out of the drip rail and I built a tool to unfold the rail, exposing the top cap on the car and the clip. saw cuts through the outer shell in the front and back pillars and 'presto-chango' the little Deluxe sedan was reborn as a Type 117 Ragtop sedan. 1963 was the last year for the cloth sunroof and 1964 was the first year for the metal sliding sunroof, so the top is from an earlier car. Windows got bigger and post sizes smaller in 1965.


The Bug is on it's third engine since I've owned it. It's just a senior family member now. These photos were taken in Spring 1990 when we were doing the transformation.









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You are going to run a carbide burr over the sharp edges in the combustion chamber, right? Any sharp edges inside the combustion chamber aid in detonation. Even if you hit it with sandpaper, that would be better than nothing.


You just reminded me. I have an old Sunnen valve grinder sitting at a friend's house for the past ten years. If I don't get it soon, he'll probably move...

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Odd we have similar taste in old cars. 25 years ago i grafted in a ragtop to a 61. Not as extensive as yours. I cut a huge hole and spot welded 1" overlap. The rear was 4" to accommodate the big holes. Car is still running around north Everett somewhere,,,





Now i need to get back to my NL!!!

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Love those old 'towel bar bumper' bugs; in particular 64 & earlier, with the smaller windows. You can almost talk to them; and they'll kinda talk back.


I know; I could use therapy.


Just finished another tumbler of 'therapy', so I'm working on it.


Time to settle in for the nite.


As for Datsun update; got the head together and sitting back on the E-1. About ready to start hangin' the last of the little stuff on it.


Update coning soon.



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