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Mighty Mouse Engine Rebuild & Upgrades


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Hey, Guys,

I will have a closer look at those bushings and all the front suspension when I'm back on it in the shop. the front end seems to be pretty snug, but if anything seems to need attention, I'll tend to it while fitting the new brake system up. At any rate, it'll be a lot cleaner to finagle with. If any of it comes apart, it'll go into the blast cabinet and get a proper priming and painting before re-assembly. New Monroe shocks are on the bench for mod & assembly also. The Mouse is gonna stop and go like a champ when he prowls the roadways again.



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Let me guess. The lower shock bushing is too wide to fit into the tabs on the control arm?


I cut the stock tabs off and weld on new tabs so you don't have to worry about that fitment issue in the future. 620 shocks will now work as they are the same length.


Yes, the shocks that I have (researched on Ratsun) have lower loops that are about 1/4" too wide. I have the old and new shocks (Monroe 32206) on the bench but haven't yet looked at what I intend to do to fit them in. It's either modify the shocks or the mounting clevis on the lower suspension arm.



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  • 1 month later...

It's been a month or so since last post, but stuff has still been moving forward on Mighty Mouse. It's a busy time of year for me and a number of other projects have been vying for a spot on the agenda. At any rate, the basic chores required to get the front disc brakes on have been receiving attention. Master cylinders are mounted and things were starting to get crowded in the MC area so I broke down and directed a little attention to the big hole in the firewall with the strreing column sticking out of it. I kicked it around a bit and came up with this for a mast jacket:




Polyplank (look it up on net) packing foam and polished aluminum. The parts:






Retaining strap in place:




Foam plug in place:




Side view of the plug and some X-Acto fun making it:










OK. Here's the CAD drawing that I worked up to cut the pieces out:




If anyone wants to make one or something like it (add another smaller cutout and extend the lower piece for column shift) print this off and enlarge/reduce the size on the printer till the scale is right size and you've got patterns. As you can see in the photos I just cut the patterns out and used spray contact cement for craft projects to stick it to the raw materials. Then just clean the pattern off to install. I put the aluminum parts to the buffing wheel and added a coat of wax prior to install.


Should have some new brake line Oics in a week or so.



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If you want, pm me, I'll send you my email and you can email me the CAD file.  I'll turn it into a pdf and host it on my site.   Then you can post a link to it here or where ever you want.  I'll also send you a copy of the pdf you can email direct to who ever.


Which CAD are you using?  The ones I use have a pdf option under the "save as".....you just have to expand the file type to see it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve been trying to get back on Mighty Mouse but several other projects and honey-doo’s have scrouged in on my spare time. Seems that there's just not ever enough time. Thought I was about through in the engineroom and ready to get on the front disc install, then realized I still needed to address the rubber inner fender skirts or dust shields that help keep road grime under the fender and out of the engine and underhood goodies. I was able to salvage about 80% of the original left shield and started developing a pattern from it several says ago. What I had was about to explode with seveal big tears so I stapled it back into near original flat configuration using plastic film (Hi-tech name for freezer baggies). Then I digitized the outline and holes and developed a CAD drawing.

  I wanted to work this into a full-size PDF so that other owners who might be interested could print out a template and make a set for their truk. The skirt takes a 12" X 24" piece of material, so I determined that it'd take four 8 1/2 X 11 printer pages pasted together  to get the final template. Here's what the beat up original skirt, the template, and the Re-Pop skirt look like:







Here's the Re-Pop skirt fit-up on the right side:





And on the left side:




I used 1/16" neoprene to make up the trial skirt and I'm quite pleased with it. Neoprene is good to 200-220F. This might be pushing it on underhood temperatures. Santoprene goes to 300F and is a good bit more expensive. Have we any rubber/plastic people who might be able to suggest a good affordable material to make these from? An old inner tube would be better than nothing.


A couple of clippings with a pair of scissors when the skirt is installed at the horn bracket and steering box in the front and the shifter belcrank bracket at the left rear (US trucks) will be needed to custom fit to the individual truck. This allows the same pattern to work for both sides. Maybe another little snick at the rear battery tray gusset.

OK, member Conner has helped me with hosting the PDF file which is printable so anyone here could make their own template and then skirts. Thanks Conner. Here’s the link to the PDF.




My original stamped mounting tabs in the inner fender wells are in good shape. If they are broke off or rusted away, attach with a #6 or #8 screw and washer through the hole in skirt and in one of the punched mounting tab slots.



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  • 1 month later...

I've been on high center for a bit on the 'Mighty Mouse' endeavor. The season is changing from late Summer to Fall big time lately and I've had a number of other issues like getting the a few house items done for the weather change coming up. The semi-daily driver 64 Bug has had a couple of items needing fixing with one or two left to do. Had to get an arbor built and bout half dozen Kiwi plants set out. Still yet I've sneaked in some little things that needed to be out of the way on the 320 to get ready for the front disc install. Had to cut off the front shock mounts and fab a couple of new ones to fit the later shocks on. I'm not a welder and have never owned a machine, so I've been waiting for a competent welder to cruise over to my shop and stick the mounts and the little brake hose anchor clips on. Had a 'Mission Accomplished' on that yesterday evening. So, this morning I chipped the slag off and cleaned the areas up, got some paint on, and mounted the shocks and caliper adapters. Looks something like this:




Here's some of the shots of the shock mount fab with the old and new mounts side-by-side for comparison. I used a slice of 1 1/2" square tubing with 1/8" wall thickness which gave the proper distance between the legs of the bracket for the Monroe 32206 shocks. These should be proper for 520 up to who knows what Datsun/Nissan 2WD pickup. Also made a bushing to reduce the bolt size of the shock eye from 1/2" to 3/8".  Included is a photo of a dimensioned drawing for the shock brackets:









Seems that I've been informed that for the 320, if the front suspension is torn down and you have access to 520 lower suspension arms, they can be switched out to use the 32206 shocks without having to change the mounts. Should have more disc install photos in the next week or so. When the brakes are on & bled and the rubber inner fender skirting is on, gonna be ablut time to put the E1 back in where it belongs.


  A special thanks to Mike  @ bluehandsinc.com for developing the disc update kit. Highly recommended to put these vintage pickups more driveworthy.



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Knock-out weekend. I picked up an extra hour from the daylight saving time change and made some good progress on the 1200 Sport Truck today. I got the front bearings packed and the hubs and calipers on. Got the rubber inner fender skirting on, though I still need to touch up the securing tabs with body colour paint. Lucky me; all the mounting tabs were intact and solid:






Dinner bell rang and I went in to an Irish whisky and discover that the little woman had fixed skillet baked fresh sweet potatoes, cornmeal breaded and fried fresh okra, and skillet fried ham steaks; Damn !! I'm one of the ten richest men in the world. The other nine; they just got a lot of money.


 I'm goin' back out and run the little E1 on the stand for a while. Won't be long, it'll be back where it belongs; in the engine room of the little pickup.



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Wow how much did I enjoy this thread. I got to read the whole thing today, like a full season of a show on DVD, but I still have the season finale to look foreward too. THis is great info for when I finally attack my 1959 Datsun 1000. It has the 'C' engine which in the granddaddy to your E.


But for me that project is on the back burner. As my wife says, she doesn't mind if it sits till retirement, because it will be tough to find another, and at least I have it.

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Fisch, I remember seeing your thread on the 1000 sedan about six months ago so I went back and re-visited the thread. That's an awesome old survivor. One knockout little vehicle. Stuff like that gets me going much better than stuff that you see everywhere. Even the mega-buck muscle cars and blow-out big pickups don't interest me like something like this that you don't see in every little town that you go through. I've always been attracted to the odball vehicles whether thy're US, Euro, Oriental, or whatever. I passed our 1958 BMW 600 Limousine (Steve Earkle bubblecar) a little while before I acquired the 620 Longbed and sent the 1958 Messerschmitt KR-200 to a good new home just before I picked up the NL320. Messerschmitt; now there's an odball vehicle.


  Seems like I can never refrain from thinking: 'I wonder what kind of odd duck was the first one to buy this orphan car?'


Just collect up anything that you can find for the 1000 sedan while you're working your way toward that retirement.



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Nice job on the shock tabs. They look like OEM.


It's hard to believe that you don't have a welder though. You can get a nice Lincoln 110V MIG these days for $600.


Your personal rewards system of whisky and home cooked meals should be SOP for everyone. It's good to recognize when it's job well done, give yourself a pat on the back and call it a day.

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  • 3 weeks later...

A little more running on the E1 this afternoon. Had a small leak at the rear of the alloy MG rocker cover. Changed from the gray rubbery gasket with the hold down holes around the base to a cork gasket for the two-stud cover. Think I've got that nailed down. Planning on juicing the brakes up in the next week or so and start taking some of the stuff off the motore and getting it ready to go back in Mighty Mouse.


We have nearly four hours on the little E1 now and he's snortin' like a War-Horse itchin for battle. Here's a little video while running this afternoon:


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The frame with casters is left over from the microbrewery that we had about fifteen years ago. I'd sold off nearly all the fermenter tanks, cooking equipment, and the rest of it and was gonna build a frame/cart to mount the engine on to run it in a bit. I got to looking at the cart that I'd used to roll the spent grain around on and did some measuring and it was just perfect to mount the little E1 on.


& the rest is history.



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