Disconnected the Generator

This morning I disconnected and finally removed the generator from the engine bay. I mechanically freed the generator last month, but it remained attached to the wiring harness until today.
Here is a record of the three electrical connections to the generator: black wire, white wire with black stripe, and white wire with red stripe. I’m not 100% certain this is how the wiring came from the factory, but it’s how I got it and will be the starting point when I reinstall the generator.

I used a 9 mm socket to remove the bolt that held the black wire in place.

The other two wires were mounted on studs with a lower nut and an upper nut sandwiching the wire connector onto each stud. For each of those, I used a 1/2″ socket on my socket wrench to loosen the top nut while holding the lower nut in place with a wrench.
I started with the white wire/black stripe.

And then did the white wire/red stripe.

I labeled the wiring harness so someday I can put this all back together.

And here is the generator, finally removed from the engine bay.

Generator Bracket Painting

This afternoon I primed and painted the mounting bracket for the generator (or dynamo, as it is called in my factor service manual).
The bracket is L-shaped with four bold holes to mount to the engine on the front of the engine block, passenger side. After removing the generator from the bracket and cleaning it up, it was obvious that the bracket had originally been painted the same Datsun blue as the engine itself and many of the other parts around the engine bay.

For primer I used some Rustoleum white clean metal spray on all sides of the bracket.

For the finish coat I used the same blue Datsun engine paint I’ve been using throughout the engine bay, which I bought from California Datsun on ebay. I hung the bracket using some cotton string from a tree branch so I could apply a light coat of color to all sides of the bracket while it spun in the wind.

The warm August temperatures helped the paint dry quickly, and I applied a second coat shortly after the first one.

Horn Removal

This afternoon I removed and cleaned up the horns from the engine bay.  The 320 has two horns, one is a high tone and the other is a low tone.  Only one of the two is typically connected at a time, so you have a choice.
Here are the horns.  They are located on the passenger side of the engine bay, mounted on the frame just below and forward of the battery.  I believe these are the stock horns, but originally they would have had domes over the tops of them; these horns are naked.

I used a 1/2″ socket in my wrench to remove the single bolt that goes through flanges in both horns and attaches them to a bracket on the frame.

Here’s the bolt.

I labeled the green wire from the wiring harness, which will stay in the engine bay, and disconnected it from another short wire attached to the horn.

This is the bracket where the horns were mounted, just beside the passenger-side engine mount.

The horns were covered in dirt, grime, and some rust.

I used a wire wheel in my drill to start cleaning them up.

The difference was night-and-day.

I cleaned up both horns using the same approach.

Then I scrubbed each of them with some metal-prep, which should help to prevent any new rust from forming for a while.

Inside of each horn is an “L” for low tone and “H” for the high tone horn. I plan to try to bench test these at some point, and paint them before reinstalling.

E-1 Distributor Pics

Here are a few pictures of the original E-1 distributor mounted on the truck, located on the passenger side of the engine block just behind the oil filter mount.
Here are two with the distributor cap on.

And one showing under the distributor cap.

I’ve found it really difficult to locate replacement parts for the E-1 distributor, and distributor caps, rotors, and points from the J13 distributor don’t seem to swap over. So I’m not planning to make any changes to the distributor before I get the truck running. Then I may try to do some updating.

Generator Removal

Today I removed the generator from the engine. Previously I started the process by detaching the adjuster arm that allows the generator pulley to act as a tensioner on the fan belt. What remain are the generator bracket that bolts into the oil filter/distributor side of the engine block and various electrical connections.
The bracket is attached to the block by four bolts. I used a 1/2″ socket in my wrench to loosen those bolts.

The lower rear (firewall side) bolt served a dual purpose, also attaching the battery ground cable to the engine block. After removing everything I put the ground back into place and loosely threaded in that bolt to make sure I put it back during reassembly.

Then I was able to liberate the generator from the engine block, with the mounting bracket still attached to the generator.

Here is a picture of the generator’s electrical connections.

Here are shown the two bolts that connect the generator to the mounting bracket. The bracket has holes on either ear, and the generator has two flanges, one just behind the pulley and one at the opposite end, which both have mounting holes.

I used a 1/2″ socket and a ratcheting wrench to remove the first mounting bolt from the pulley-end of the generator.

Then I removed the nut from the mounting bolt on the opposite side of the generator.

Which released the mounting bracket from the generator.

Here are a couple of shots of the generator mounting bracket.

Generator Adjustment Arm Removal

After removing the fan belt I removed the generator adjustment arm.  The generator hangs from a curved arm with a slot in it that allows for adjustment to tighten the fan belt.  The arm itself mounts to the the thermostat outlet by a single bolt that threads back (towards the firewall).

I used a 1/2″ socket to loosen and remove the bolt, leaving the arm attached the generator.

With the arm removed from the engine, the generator was still attached by its mounting bracket which bolts into the side of the engine block and tethered into the engine bay by electrical connections. I just set it down on the battery tray and threaded the bolt back into its hole so I don’t lose it.

Then I removed the arm from the generator using a 9/16″ socket to loosen the adjustment bolt.

Fan belt removal

Next I pulled the fan belt.  The fan belt runs from the crank pulley up around the water pump pulley, and around the generator pulley.  It’s a simple set-up from before the age of power steering and air conditioning.

In order to release the belt and allow enough slack to remove it, I loosened the generator, which is mounted along a curved arm that is mounted to a plate on the engine.  The generator-mounting arm has a slot in it that a bolt connects through to allow the location of the generator pulley to tighten the belt.  So essentially the generator, based on its location, also acts as a tensioner pulley.

I used a 9/16″ socket to loosen the head of the bolt. The bolt is oriented facing with threads pointed down the highway (with the head of the bolt on the back side of the arm), and threads into the base plate of the generator.

With the bolt loosened but not removed, I slid the generator up and toward the engine, providing some slack in the belt.

And then I was able to slip the belt off of all the pulleys and remove it.

There does appear to be an aftermarket replacement belt available for this application; more on that later.

Battery Tray Clean-Up

Having removed the old battery and finding minimal damage underneath, today I cleaned up the sheet metal to neutralize any further corrosive material.

I used a toothbrush, a spray bottle, and some baking soda, which I’ve used in the past to clean up corroded battery terminals.

I scooped the baking soda into the spray bottle and then filled it with hot tap water. I shook the sprayer to mix it.

Then I sprayed down the battery tray area thoroughly.

The baking soda definitely reacted with some residual battery acid and bubbled pretty vigorously.

I went to work with my wife’s toothbrush scrubbing away at the reactive areas.

It was a mess so I put some shop towels down to protect the distributor and just repeated spraying to neutralize and wash away the mess and scrubbing to try to clean the metal.

Eventually I switched over to water in my sprayer to flush the area clean.

I made sure to clean off the inner fender area in addition to the battery tray area. The tray itself definitely has enough structural integrity to hold a battery and with the corrosion hopefully neutralized, the area should be stable from this point forward.

Although the inner fender was rusted through, the metal surrounding the hole is actually in pretty good condition. I may want to do some work to repair or at least tidy up this area of the engine bay, which wasn’t on my original list of jobs for the truck.

Here’s a shot of the red battery cable going down to the starter.

The black cable was grounded to the engine block. Since the black cable was connected to the positive terminal on the battery, it appears that this truck maintained the original positive-ground configuration that these early trucks had from the factory. More modern vehicles are all negative ground. My understanding from a limited amount of research is that you can easily convert a 320 to negative ground by reversing the cables and everything except maybe the radio (which was a rare optional item that my truck lacks) will function properly.

Battery Removal

Today I pulled the old battery and did some work assessing they sheet metal under the battery tray.  This area is a notorious trouble-spot for older cars, as the corrosive acid from the battery can eat away the sheet metal over time.  I was a little nervous about what I would find.

Here is the old battery.

Note the battery cable locations: red on the left, black on the right.

I loosened the battery cable terminals using a 1/2″ socket and removed the cables from the battery.

Under the battery was a plastic battery tray. Okay. But under that…a small sheet of plywood?!

And under the plywood (naturally) was an old undershirt.

I donned a pair of latex gloves to protect against battery acid, and scraped up and then sucked up the shredded bits of t-shirt using my shop vac.

A fair amount of the bits fell down unto the frame and suspension below.

After the clean-up, there was still some white corrosion on the surface of the battery area.

Here is the battery I removed.

As noted above, the red cable was mounted to the left terminal, and the black to the right terminal. The left one is clearly the negative side and the right is the positive, so the red cable was negative and the black was positive.