Anybody have Mighty Mite Pictures?

Recovry4x4

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Gary, I know I'm interrupting here but the little boogers have an air cooled V4. Body is aluminum too. Its no problem to drive with a rear wheel/tire removed. They are cute and cool too.
 
Hey no interuption Kenny. I am actually learning something else here. I need to know more about these. I have heard the term Mighty Mite many times but I didn't know exactly what it was. I thought it was another endearing term for the M151 Mutt. Didn't know there was a whole other animal out there.

Aluminum body? Hey no rusto. Air Cooled V4? Really!
When were they built? How rare are they?

Oh I'm dead meat now, I just gotta have one to go in the back of my Deuce.
 

Recovry4x4

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They were built in and around 1962 I believe. Built for USMC by American Motors I think. There are 2 versions, the M422 and the M422A1 which is slightly longer. They have a wild 4 wheel independent suspension. There also exists a special version of the M416 trailer that has the magnesium M422 wheels. If you have access to MV Magazine, there's a place in Tracy City TN that had bunches and sold them in lots. Doubt that they have many left if any. It was formerly Sam Werner's but now is called Ottocraft. Pretty sure Same Werner sold it to Otto Bailey. Thats all I can think of right now. IIRC they barely weight 1000#. I view them as a streetable mule, thats how small they are.
 

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"Confusion breeds discussion which breeds knowledge which breeds confidence which breeds friendship!"

Polverone: Yes, that is a 1966 Chevrolet C-10 in the background that my Dad restored. See attached picture.

Ok guys, lets see if we can get some correct information on the Mighty Mite...

Official nomenclature:
Truck, Utility: 1/4-Ton, 4X4, Lightweight, M422 (2320-546-3099)

The mighty mite was designed by Mid-America Research Corporation. AMC built 3,922 M422 and M422A1 from 1959 through 1962 for the U.S. Marine Corps. Approximately 1200 of these were M422, the remaining production was the M422A1, which is identical except for being 6" longer. This length was added to the cargo area behind the front seats.

I have had two mites, a short one which I sold, and the A1 that I still have. My A1 weighs about 1,750 pounds ready to go. They have a riveted aluminum body on a steel frame, just like the HMMWV. No rust on the body, but aluminum corrodes and can be a pain to work with if you don't have the right equipment. After 40+ years they can corrode between panels where they are riveted together and pop all the heads off of the rivets. They you have to disassemble the body and rivet it together again. The steel frames can rust out too, look closely before buying.

They are capable of driving with either rear tire removed. That being said, they did not come from the factory with a spare tire. Spare tire kits were later produced and added to the rear of some vehicles. Somewhere I have a picture of one of the prototypes driving over a bunch of railroad ties with one rear wheel removed.

Mites also have no provision for a gas can carrier. Instead, it has a functional tailgate, assuming the spare tire MWO was not installed. The have no conventional rear seat as you would think of for a jeep, but two small folding back rests on the tops of the rear fenders (Hold on tight!).

They are powered by a 108 CID AMC V-4 air cooled engine developing 55 hp. It is an interesting engine that has chrome lined cylinders instead of steel sleeves and uses no head gaskets! They do have a pretty good power to weight ratio which means surprising performance for a military 1/4 ton. That engine is backed by a combination 4 speed synchronized transmission and single speed synchronized (shift on the fly) 2 or 4 wheel drive transfer case. It has an aluminum housing and the whole assembly is a New Process model 4300. Power is then transmitted through two positive traction differentials. It has differential mounted brakes. They have an interesting four wheel independent suspension design. It is trailing arm on the rear, leading arm on the front, and uses longitudinal 1/4 elliptic leaf springs. It is the only M-Series 1/4 ton to retain the 6.00-16 NDT tires like were used on G503 vehicles. (Other M-Series jeeps used 7.00-16 NDCC tires.)

Another interesting fact is that it is rated to carry 850 pounds off road, while all other standard GI 1/4 tons (even the M151) were rated at 800. They have a top speed of 55 MPH. They are fairly rare vehicles now. I would venture to say there are only a few hundred left out there in running and driving shape. There is a lot of misinformation out there about mites. Some places (Like the link posted above by "Guest") say they have plastic U-Joints, for example. BS! The truth is that they are very well designed and made and cost more than $5,000 each when the contract was signed in 1959. They are equipped with a standard M-Series 24 volt electrical system. Being a USMC contract, they came from the factory with all deep water fording equipment installed except for the pipes. (That is standard for USMC contract vehicles.)

On to M416 trailers...
There are three basic cargo models of the M416. The M416, M416A1, and M416B1. The M416 is the standard trailer as it is known. The A1 is a standard M416 with the exception of being equipped with surge brakes. The M416B1 was the only production mighty mite trailer and is hard to find in complete and original shape now. The early M416B1s use early magnesium M151 wheels. Later models have steel mighty mite wheels (all mite wheels are steel). They have other modifications including USMC lifting rings and can holders in front of the fenders which originally held aluminum USMC water cans made by CONCO. Have you ever noticed the M416 series of trailers have a two position lunette eye? The top position is for use when towing behind a M151. The lower position is so that it will sit level behind a mite. There was also an experimental aluminum trailer for the mite, the XM585E7. I believe that seven were built and I know at least one survives today. Jim Gilmore has it.

A few words about Tracy City, Otto Bailey, and Sam Werner:
Otto Bailey and Sam Werner are both located in Tracy City, TN. I have been to both places and seen both of their owners. They are located on two separate properties and I believe that they are two separate operations. I can't see Mr. Werner selling out to Mr. Bailey. When I as there, Mr. Werner still had mites, Mr. Bailey did not. They are both very nice people, especially Mr. Werner.

If you are intersted in meeting other mite owners, check out the M422 yahoo group at:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/M422/
105 members as of today. I am the moderator.

If you've read this far I'm sure you have other things to look at, so I'll end it here. Don't get me started on 4 cylinder mules or gama goats...

Joe

BTW Recovry4x4: My mule is longer than my mite, and it's the long wheelbase version!!!
 

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cbvet

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Mighty Mite

Great to see some interest starting to come out on the Mighty Mite!
Ours is still in the various bags, buckets, bags it came in. I'm looking forward to working on it, but we want to get the Stude M35 on the road first.
And I need to get the addition on my pole barn................

You know, in the'70's I traded all my cars & trucks for guns, as the guns took up a LOT less room.
Now I live out in the woods, so I'm trading & selling guns to get military vehicles.
I'm 59 years old. At just what point do I have to grow up?
Eric Wendt
Knox, Indiana
 
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