Mighty Mite Questions

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hndrsonj

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So I am thinking about getting a mighty mite project (like I need another project). So what are the odd quirks about them and what parts are hard to locate, are usually damaged, or things not to do? (I heard jacking from the differential for example). Any common spots to check for damage on a mite? What is a base price for a complete but non running 422?
 

WillWagner

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I do know that the cylinders are electroplated. The plating likes to peel off. When that happens, the engine needs to come apart and be re plated. Get a bore scope and inspect the cylinders.

Don't have a clue as to how expensive/hard to find the parts are. We have one at the Museum, but it is Navy owned, so it is not a runner.
 

WillWagner

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Navy, Marines, same, same. There are a few things in USMC colors that came from USN at the compound.
 

WillWagner

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They are and were made for USMC. USMC is a dept of the USN. This is USMC but is on loan from the Department of the Navy. That's why we can't run it1580830629425746907013.jpg
 

hndrsonj

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Makes sense, I was thinking it was marked USN. Thanks for the pictures!
 

ODFever

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So I am thinking about getting a mighty mite project (like I need another project). So what are the odd quirks about them and what parts are hard to locate, are usually damaged, or things not to do? (I heard jacking from the differential for example). Any common spots to check for damage on a mite? What is a base price for a complete but non running 422?
Please read through my Operation Mighty Mite Miracle thread. I documented as much as possible during Jeannie's nearly 2.5 year long mechanical restoration journey. Thankfully she was running (sort of) prior to the restoration. These vehicles require deep pockets and plentiful patience to restore. Many parts had to be custom made or modified.

There were only 1100 M422's produced and only 2700 M422A1's produced. Parts suppliers: Surplus City Jeep Parts in Oroville CA (hit or miss on Mite parts), Daryl Bensinger in Narvon PA are the places I bought most of my restoration parts. ePay has a few, hit or miss.

Replacement body panels and steering wheels are VERY hard to find. Most hoods are crushed from the M38A1 windshields getting rammed down on them. The hood doesn't have the support strength to handle driving with the windshield lowered. Once aluminum stretches, it's very difficult to get it back into the shape it was originally stamped. Many other parts will cause immediate sticker shock. You don't want to know how much a set of wires costs {shudder}.

A few years back I called Daryl Bensinger and asked him what a complete replacement engine costs. My jaw hit the floor when he said $10,000 and UP!!! 😲

The entire vehicle is a hot mess of odd quirks! It's so small that it's difficult to work on. A relatively straightforward project becomes an ordeal when you have to custom make a tool to get to a bolt that's in a tight spot. Trust me - the vehicle is ALL tight spots!

A fully restored running Mite sounds like a cross between an air cooled VW and a Singer sewing machine. It's fun as heck to drive!!!

You're best bet is to find a complete Mite that - on the surface - doesn't need much work. I can almost guarantee you'll have your hands full even at that level.
 

hndrsonj

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That is exactly what I needed! Straight body panels (especially the hood) and check the steering wheel. Anything else hard to find?
 

ODFever

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Please call Daryl Bensinger. He will be able to better answer your question about parts availability. He could probably help you find a suitable candidate for restoration. :)
 
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