'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

1962-1965 Datsun L320 and NL320 forums - The truck that started it all in the US. All 320-specific topics and discussion can be found here.
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difrangia
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Car: 1978 Datsun 620 'Longbed', 1964 NL320, 1961 FIAT 500D, 1964 Type 113 Beetle, 79 Ford Festiva
Location: Oklahoma

'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:11 pm

I'm in the process of documenting the rebuild on our 64 NL320 and decided to start a thread and share a few photos. 'Mighty Mouse' came to live with us just over a year ago. He was a pretty straight survivor with an approximate 20 year old repaint. He had the original motor with a loose lower end and I puttered him around town not putting too much pressure on for the past year just evaluating the condition of all systems. Early on I knew that the engine needed attention and started accumulating the goodies needed for a complete engine rebuild.

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Speeding on ahead Getting ready for power unit extraction a few days before Thanksgiving 2014.

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On the operating table.

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My world is coming apart.

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I'm leaving out a lot of stuff in this first post. Ready for paint a few days ago.

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And painted with pieces hung together for a nice visual.

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As I said, I'm simplifying and speeding this up as an initial post. I'll be back to fill in some of the steps leading up to this.

Later steve


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Li'l Truckie
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and many more Datsuns from 48hp to over 500hp
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby Li'l Truckie » Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:00 pm

Very nice. I'd sure like some more information on that carburetor setup, wow-wee :cool: ! Might have to put this on my J13 motor for my grandiose '62 320 SSS rebuild, well someday maybe.

Keep us posted.

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difrangia
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:53 pm

Lil Truckie, It's a Weber 32/36 with electric choke. I'll have to look at it to see the exact model. It is a used carb with not a lot of use on it that I bought for the 620. Same carb is used on the little 1200's but I believe it should be jetted down. I'll be studying that and acquiring another for the E1 with proper jetting. I haven't decided whether I'll get a manual choke and hook it up like original to the dash control or cave-in and go with electric choke. Be careful if buying a Weber. There are knock-offs out there. The real Webers are made in Spain and will have a white choke heater housing. The carbs sold by Redline are genuine Spanish manufacture.

The adapter under the carb is the 620 adapter and it fits right on. The carb is turned around backward relative to what they are run on the L-Series motor. This will be a necessity as the choke, whether it is manual or electric, will interfere with the rocker cover by about 1 1/2" or so. It just wont fit mounted like it is supposed to mount. A longer throttle cable and probably choke cable (if going manual choke) will need to be made up. Computer's messing up. More later.

Steve

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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby AZhitman » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:38 am

Steve, this is awesome. I'm a fellow NL owner ('63), and will be embarking on a nut & bolt restoration on her before too long.

I'm really glad you decided to share with us - Looking forward to more updates and details!

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difrangia
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:40 am

I've spent what seems like a metric ton of $$ on this project over the past year, gathering all the trinkets for engine rebuild, and change from column to floor shift. Included in the 'money pit' is about $1000 for chrome. I redid the major chrome trim items while enjoying the little NL for about ten months. Here's Items that went for chrome:

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And a photo of the grille after the chrome guy's magic:

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The front bumper looked like it had been re-chromed, maybe, 15-20 years ago. Back bumper needed some TLC in the area of straightening & filling. I was lucky in locating a shop in driving distance (100 miles) that does beautiful work at a reasonable price. Oklahoma is known for the casinos that the Indian Tribes (Native Americans) operate, and every time that I've been to the chrome shop, there are slot machine parts all over the place. He does a lot of work for the casinos. I guess the smokin', drinkin', sloberin' gamblers are rough on the chrome on the machines ??? I still have a 64 grille in the chrome shop for a surprise aspect to this little truck. I'll post more on that later.

Steve

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difrangia
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:02 pm

I took nearly forty parts from the engine and engine compartment to High Performance Coatings/Jet-Hot in Oklahoma City for the aluminum/ceramic high-temperature coating. It's mainly for exhaust systems but looks good on everything. Looks like polished aluminum and the exhaust manifold will look as good in ten years as the day it is put on. Here's a sample:

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Exhaust manifold coated inside and out. The coating sheds heat and looks good forever. About $180 for the manifold:

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Took several cams and set of lifters to Wilhoite Camshafts in OKC and had reground with .035 added lift and bottom of the lifters re-faced. They do beautiful work. David will re-heat treat if needed and he re-parkerizes the cams. Here's the evidence:

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Got all the pistons installed today with a little lube, that is, lube for my noggin:

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difrangia
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:25 pm

Just to show a stage in the re-furb, here's the block after it was torn down, Gunk Gelled, and car washed. There was enough original paint on the block for a spectragraph scan to mix some paint. Here's the block and manifolds after clean-up:

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I told the paint guy at the auto parts store to mix a colour a couple shades lighter that the scan on the block. He came up with an International Harvester colour and jacked it a bit to get the colour on the photos of the block in previous post. Here's the label with PPG code:

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When I did the air cleaner on the 620 'Lil Hustler' I found a patch on the underside of the Cleaner housing that was big enough for a scan. When I painted it, I masked the area that was scanned and left it for future car-nut generations. The same paint will be used on the original 320 air cleaner which I'll use, whatever carb I end up using. here's the finished 620 cleaner:

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The air cleaner scan came up with a Skoda (Czech car) that needed a little tinting. Here's the label for the air cleaner housing paint:

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More later:

Steve

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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby AZhitman » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:54 pm

You just might be my hero.

Beers are on me when/if we ever meet up.

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difrangia
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:10 pm

The E1 motore build is coming along pretty good. Nailed down the oil pan & timing cover today, so the bottom end is sealed up; as in short block. Also hung the floor shift trany on and set the throwout up. Also have the slave cylinder ready to assemble.

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Over the last couple weeks I've been working heavy-duty on getting together a package of stainless hardware for all the stuff that shows except where strength is an issue. Bout ready to roll it over right-side-up and start assembling the upper stuff.

Received a care package from Victoria British today and it's like Christmas in February. here's the head with the VB stuff setting on for photo. The cover is 1960 MGA. Under the 'Datsun 1200' tag is a cast-in MG logo. This is what it'll look like when assembled on the lower end:

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More to come.

Steve

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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby AZhitman » Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:08 pm

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

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difrangia
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:16 pm

The oil & timing pans went on for final time today

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All stainless hardware and installed with 'Never-Sieze'. The oblong washers are 35 cent 18-8 stainless fender washers from Lowes that are cut down.

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The rest of the stainless came from Ebay. What you really have to be careful is internal and external stainless threads together. They have a tendancy to gall and you can't get them apart. There are only one or two places where this will occur on this build. I'm counting on the 'Never-Sieze' compound.

Trany adapter plate is on and Flywheel will be nailed down tomorrow. Then the front mounts will get final assembly and she'll be right-side-up again.

Steve

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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby AZhitman » Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:19 am

Brilliant idea on the pan tabs. Looks amazing.

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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby Li'l Truckie » Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:38 am

Steve,

Looking great. I like the idea of cutting down the washers for the pan and timing cover over the kit from VB.

Just want to confirm that you have already put in the distributor drive cog since you have sealed up the pan.

Thanks,
Andy

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difrangia
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:12 am

Sure thing, Andy, The distributor drive shaft is in and clocked as the shop manual shows.

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difrangia
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:23 am

Shoulda put in the previous post; it takes 28 washers to do the pan & timing. Got the 1/4 SS fender washers that are 1 1/4" O.D. Four washers on the timing need to be drilled out for the 5/16 bolts. Used 7/64" thick round washer and a lock washer between bolt head and oblong washer. Looks like a good & flat pulldown. 1/4" bolts are 3/4" length and three were had 3/16" cut off for the engine front plate. The 3/4" bolts are perfect length and pretty much come up flush with the top edge of the thru-holes on the block bottom flange on both sides.

Steve

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Li'l Truckie
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and many more Datsuns from 48hp to over 500hp
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby Li'l Truckie » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:56 am

The distributor drive shaft is in and clocked as the shop manual shows
Okay, that's what I thought. I will still get with you when I hit this point as I had to take a few steps back - ie research and locate new con-rod bolts and then the machine shop put the rear camshaft plug in to far so have to remove and install a new one.

Hope to get on mine next week - working on papers and reading and then reading some more.

Thanks for the bit on the washers....tracking stainless steel.

Andy

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difrangia
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:06 pm

Got the flywheel locked down today and flipped her over and couldn't resist a quick-&-dirty fit-up for dreaming inspiration (daytime and night time):

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You saw it here; first.

Steve

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Li'l Truckie
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1 x '62 PL 320 - parts :(
1 x '60 PLG-222
and many more Datsuns from 48hp to over 500hp
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby Li'l Truckie » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:06 pm

Wow Steve, totally awesome. Thanks for the great pictures.

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difrangia
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:26 pm

It doesn't really look like a lot of progress, but a lot is going on under the radar. Took this one of the left side this afternoon:

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The cylinder head is just sitting on the block for the photo. The starter, distributor, alternator, and cylinder head are high on the agenda for the next few weeks.

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difrangia
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:52 pm

I've been working on all the little stuff that hangs on the engine and contributes to it's success. Latest pic as of yesterday afternoon.

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Might be getting 'between a rock & a hard spot' on the starter. I have one old correct starter that is not in so good condition. Looks like this:

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If someone knows where I can source one of these starters, I'd appreciate a heads-up.

Steve

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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby AZhitman » Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:29 pm

I'd just have it rehabbed by a local starter / alternator shop. Refinishing the exterior isn't a big job.

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and many more Datsuns from 48hp to over 500hp
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby Li'l Truckie » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:19 pm

Hey Steve,

What exactly do you need for you starter?

Andy

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difrangia
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:43 am

Truckie,
On opening the starter that I have I discovered that about half of the brush end of the starter had been in water or accumulated moisture at one time. Two of the brush springs are corroded, thinned down and weak compared to the other two. One end of one of the field coils was evidently soaked at one time as the insulation wrap is deteriorated to the point of missing. I haven't cleaned it up or looked close enough to see how the winding enamel looks. I'm sure a good motor shop could ressurect the winding and might be able to supply a colse eenough replacement spring. If I can come up with another starter or two or parts, I'll either go ahead and do it myself or take it to a shop.

I also realize that a shop would have the growler and other equipment to test the armeture and coils properly. I would like to take them enough parts to build a good one.

steve

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and many more Datsuns from 48hp to over 500hp
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby Li'l Truckie » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:05 pm

Okay,

Brushes - the exact brushes are available. A good shop might have them or can get them. Worse case is the go with a slight oversized brush and file to fit. Hunt Electric did this for my generator.

Brush springs - have not had this problem...yet. A good shop should be able to tell you what might fit from something else. I'll look in the VB catalog and make a few calls. Something BMC/Lucas should be very close, if not an exact fit, but do not know if VB/MM sell just the spring.

Armature and Windings - ooh, can be very expensive if these are bad. I've been told there is really nothing to fix. It just a straight up replacement and only one place here in KCKS/KCMO does this. This was for my generator and voltage regulator and not a starter, but I think this might still apply.

May not be the desired course of action, but the Lucas starter from VB/MM for the MGA,B , Midget and AH Sprite is a perfect fit. The more expensive gear reduction starter also works.

Andy

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Li'l Truckie
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Car: 3 x '65 PL 320
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1 x '62 PL 320 - parts :(
1 x '60 PLG-222
and many more Datsuns from 48hp to over 500hp
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby Li'l Truckie » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:17 pm

How about these for springs, they look close and go to "small import cars"

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Starter-Brush-S ... 9c&vxp=mtr

This guy looks to be more user friendly and you might be able to do one stop shopping with him -

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lucas-Starter-B ... 55&vxp=mtr

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difrangia
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Sat Mar 21, 2015 4:21 pm

I've been slackin' a bit as far as posting, but a lot has been goinng on in the background. Seems like at last post I was up against the wall on the questionable starter. Well I got it all cleaned up and re-done. A thing or two inside still don't meet up to standards, but the starter churns the shortblock over briskly.

Before
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After
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Got the EI distributor re-done & stabbed today. Pretty much have everything on the right side done now. Not a lot on the left side, mainly fuel pump. Then it's the head and manifolds. We're definitely getting there. Here's some right side pics:

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Mighty Mouse is just sittin' over there on the other side of the shop 'grinnin' like a possum eatin' caca'. We got a couple of days of super weather last week and I took the 61 FIAT out for a little jaunt. Mighty Mouse knows his time is right around the corner.

Image

More coming.

steve

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difrangia
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Car: 1978 Datsun 620 'Longbed', 1964 NL320, 1961 FIAT 500D, 1964 Type 113 Beetle, 79 Ford Festiva
Location: Oklahoma

Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Sat Mar 21, 2015 4:22 pm

I liked the way that came out so I went back out and took an overhead shot.

Image

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Li'l Truckie
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Car: 3 x '65 PL 320
1 x '64 PL 320
1 x '63 PL 320
1 x '62 PL 320 - parts :(
1 x '60 PLG-222
and many more Datsuns from 48hp to over 500hp
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby Li'l Truckie » Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:25 am

Steve,

Looking real good. Quick question - where did you get the alternator arm and mount? Did you fabricate them yourself?

Andy

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difrangia
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Car: 1978 Datsun 620 'Longbed', 1964 NL320, 1961 FIAT 500D, 1964 Type 113 Beetle, 79 Ford Festiva
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Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby difrangia » Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:55 pm

Yeah, Andy, I put something together from scraps I had around the shop. My intention has been to use as many ancillary items on this build that are common to the 1978 'Lil Hustler' pickup so as to be able to keep backup spares on the shelf that will service both pickups. I did up the mount to fit the alternator on the 620. There are about half dozen items that will be going to the ceramic coater prior to the E1 going back into the 320. I'll get some good pics of the bracket when it is off the engine and post. I do have drawings for the main pieces of the mount and could send if you or someone is interested.

Image

Image

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Li'l Truckie
Posts: 558
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:28 am
Car: 3 x '65 PL 320
1 x '64 PL 320
1 x '63 PL 320
1 x '62 PL 320 - parts :(
1 x '60 PLG-222
and many more Datsuns from 48hp to over 500hp
Location: Leavenworth, KS

Re: 'Mighty Mouse' 320 Pickup Gets a New Motor & Upgrades

Postby Li'l Truckie » Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:25 pm

Steve,

Thanks for the update. I'll start to look for 620 parts on eBay, for that rainy day when my generators finally give out.

Mount, adjusting arm, and hardware look great and totally professional. Can't wait to see them back on after you get them coated.

Andy


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