Operation Mighty Mite Miracle

Steel Soldiers is supported by:

ODFever

Madness Takes Its Toll...
Steel Soldiers Supporter
2,004
5
38
Location
Orlando, FL
M422

We bought my wife’s Mighty Mite, Jeannie, nearly a dozen years ago. The previous owners never finished the mechanical restoration. She has many issues that need to be addressed and repaired. Unfortunately, I have neither the time nor expertise to give her all of the TLC that will bring her to fully operational condition. At one time she started and stopped, but the batteries never charged. The front and rear wiring harness is missing. The bearing on the squirrel cage fan housing is shot. The brakes need to be gone through again. The clutch needs to be checked. The shift forks need to be inspected and possibly replaced. She is an important member of my vehicular family, and I feel bad that I’ve neglected her for so long. I trailered her over 100 miles to a good friend and fellow SS member’s house on Saturday 7/16. (See http://www.steelsoldiers.com/showth...done-to-your-CUCV-today-lately-Part-2/page104 Post #4140 for pictures of how I single handedly loaded her on the trailer). He is my Mighty Mite Medic. He did a body-off frame-up restoration on his M422. It is IMMACULATE!!! He knows these unique and special vehicles like the back of his hand. Jeannie needs love and attention. My goal at the end of the mechanical restoration is to turn on the power, set the choke, start her up, and drive her away. That to me will be an absolute miracle, and is the reason I titled this thread as such. I’m so thankful that Jeannie will be well taken care of.

We cleared out room in the garage (the Operating Room) to begin surgery. The MM Medic decided to tackle the issues with the engine first. We removed the front clip with a 7/16” ratchet and a Philips screwdriver. We tied the oil filter housing to the top of the engine so it wouldn’t stress the rubber lines. There’s no wiring harness connecting the headlights or the horn, so there was nothing to disconnect. We ran into our first obstacle with the cooling fan shroud. The screws that hold it onto the back plate are straight slot, and haven’t been touched in nearly 56 years. There ALWAYS has to be one that’s stubborn; naturally it’s the one that’s hardest to access (on the very bottom of the shroud and slightly tucked behind the front frame cross member). The Medic sharpened a chisel and a ball peen hammer to break the screw free. Problem solved. Removing the top cooling shroud was the next challenge. One of the screws wouldn’t come out. I used a flat blade screwdriver to pry it up while the Medic pressed down hard to unscrew it. We freed up enough of the screw to cut it off with the Dremel. What we discovered under the shroud took us both by surprise. A four legged creature, probably rat or mouse, took up residence and built a nest on top of the driver side rear cylinder. Thankfully it was long gone. I’m a bit concerned about this, as I drove the Mite a bit over the years never knowing about the nest. I’ve never had the cooling shrouds off. I hope there’s no engine damage from the cooling fins being blocked by the nest. We cleaned up the oil cooler with a toothbrush, WD-40, and carburetor cleaner. It was FILTHY. After that, we stopped for the day.

I plan on putting in as much sweat equity into the restoration as time allows so I can learn about this rare vehicle. I’m not sure when my next thread update will be, as the Mite is so far away. Stay tuned.
 
Last edited:

ODFever

Madness Takes Its Toll...
Steel Soldiers Supporter
2,004
5
38
Location
Orlando, FL
I ordered the following parts from Amazon:
4 of Champion (573) XMJ20 Industrial Spark Plug
WIX Filters - 51004 Heavy Duty Cartridge Fuel Metal Canister, Pack of 1
Gates 7280 V-Belt
Walker Products 15398A Carburetor Kit (for a 1961 Ford Falcon Holley single bbl)
Gates 7328 V-Belt

I need new battery terminals. I ordered an 8 pack from FleaBay for $24.
I ordered a new idler pulley from Surplus Jeep Parts.

Jeannie has the wrong choke cable. Eventually, she will have a replacement cable installed in the correct location.
She needs some metal components fabricated. There is no place to put the hood prop. There are only two brackets holding the fan shroud on. She needs a third one built. She needs a piece of angle aluminum fabricated into a battery hold down.
 

RodUSMC1962

New member
1,140
8
0
Location
Northwest, Indiana
If you need parts call Ron Alred, he has the entire parts inventory from the marine Corps mite sale years ago. Has most everything you will need. Great guy to work with, has about 40 trailer loads of parts.:beer:
 

ODFever

Madness Takes Its Toll...
Steel Soldiers Supporter
2,004
5
38
Location
Orlando, FL
The last time I drove Jeannie, her batteries weren't charging. Doc came down to my neck of the woods on Saturday. I gave him 1 solid state voltage regulators and 4 conventional voltage regulators, 2 spare generators, a round mirror that can used for a rear view mirror, and a few other bits and pieces. We went to a surplus store and picked up a bunch of scrap pieces of steel and aluminum. Doc is going to use the metal to make multiple missing pieces. I'm hoping he can fabricate a rear view mirror mount. I will take more pictures the next time I head to Doc's house.
 

Another Ahab

Well-known member
16,372
603
113
Location
Alexandria, VA
The last time I drove Jeannie, her batteries weren't charging. Doc came down to my neck of the woods on Saturday. I gave him 1 solid state voltage regulators and 4 conventional voltage regulators, 2 spare generators, a round mirror that can used for a rear view mirror, and a few other bits and pieces. We went to a surplus store and picked up a bunch of scrap pieces of steel and aluminum. Doc is going to use the metal to make multiple missing pieces. I'm hoping he can fabricate a rear view mirror mount. I will take more pictures the next time I head to Doc's house.
You lucky dog; you still got a surplus store in your neck of the woods!?

I can't find any around here any more, they all got "gentrified" out of the area. But I did run across one up in Baltimore the other day, gave me a little hit of nostalgia.
 

ODFever

Madness Takes Its Toll...
Steel Soldiers Supporter
2,004
5
38
Location
Orlando, FL
Doc sent me a few pictures of the work he's completed. I wish I was there helping him turn wrenches... :-(

Doc straightened the hood rod, reattached the hood rod and fabricated the new Skycraft hood rod holder. The hood is held up by the hood rod now. :)

DSCN1738.jpg
 

ODFever

Madness Takes Its Toll...
Steel Soldiers Supporter
2,004
5
38
Location
Orlando, FL
Doc said the generator looks good. He took it apart, cleaned the armature, the brushes and bearings were good. All cleaned and painted. :)

DSCN1743.jpgDSCN1739.jpg

 

ODFever

Madness Takes Its Toll...
Steel Soldiers Supporter
2,004
5
38
Location
Orlando, FL
He mounted the generator, reinstalled the heat pipes and fan pulley, and bolted the top fan housing on.

DSCN1745.jpg
 

Another Ahab

Well-known member
16,372
603
113
Location
Alexandria, VA
That rod is straight as an arrow; not a sign of any bend or crimp. Straightening a rod like that is not easy to do.

I'm wondering if he blacksmithed it (heated-and-hammered it). My hat's off; nice work!
 

ODFever

Madness Takes Its Toll...
Steel Soldiers Supporter
2,004
5
38
Location
Orlando, FL
Doc installed the new idler pulley, brackets, and belts.

DSCN1751.jpg


He cleaned up the generator harness.
DSCN1750.jpg


He discovered that the starter bracket was broken. He welded it back together, cleaned it, and painted it.
DSCN1753.jpgDSCN1752.jpg


His next project is rebuilding the carburetor.
 

ODFever

Madness Takes Its Toll...
Steel Soldiers Supporter
2,004
5
38
Location
Orlando, FL
I am so thankful that Doc is taking care of her. He is a wealth of Mighty Mite knowledge. I just wish I had time to head up to his place and turn wrenches. I've never welded anything in my life and I'd love to learn from him.
 
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website like our supporting vendors. Their ads help keep Steel Soldiers going. Please consider disabling your ad blockers for the site. Thanks!

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks