Thursday, May 27, 2010

Isetta - Motor Mounts

Original 50+ year old lower motor mount still attached. I think it's safe to say it's time change these to some new motor mounts.

The original upper and lower motor mounts removed.

When I first purchased my Isetta's, I made a mistake that probably many newbie Isetta owners have made. I purchased some parts from a dealer on ebay who goes by the name of "Italian Metals". Well, here's my little Italian Metals story. I purchased a set of motor mounts from him on ebay which I received with no problems. They looked fine, so I left a positive feedback, and put them on the shelf for future use. It was a little over a year later before I was ready to mount my rebuilt engine to the chassis. During the year that I was working on the chassis and motor, I heard many stories about the poor quality of Italian Metals parts and his rude and obnoxious behavior. He's was kind of famous for selling drive couplings that disintegrated in the first few minutes of driving. When I was finally ready to mount my rebuilt engine, I made the bad decision of deciding to go ahead and use the Italian Metals motor mounts. The above photo shows what happened to these motor mounts as soon as I began tightening the bolts. The studs instantly separated from the rubber. All I can say is that I'm glad this happened while the rolling chassis was sitting in the garage and not while I was driving a freshly restored Isetta.

I replaced the junk Italian Metals motor mounts with some polyurethane motor mounts I purchased from Greg Hahs (also known as Isetta Dude - If you want a more traditional rubber motor mount that is made to the same specifications and looks as the originals, they are available in the United States from Isettas R Us.

Yes, the powder coating has been ground off the frame so the ground strap is against bare metal on the frame. Also while I had the engine lifted to change the motor mounts, I decided to nickel plate the motor mount brackets.

And since I'm getting a little carried away with nickel plating, I decided to nickel plate the intermediate shaft while I had the engine lifted. I had originally powder coated it black, but it sustained quite a few scratches when I was installing the drive couplings. I feel much better now. I can sleep at night knowing that there is not a scratched up intermediate shaft on my Isetta.


  1. your work is beautiful. i did tow ground up isetta 300 restorations in the late 80's and i am betting the internet makes this a much easier process!

    thanks for sharing all these great shots.....even digital pictures would make the project easier!

    randall, davis, ca.

  2. I often think about how much more difficult restoration must have been before the internet. Thanks for your comment.

  3. I just got my Italian Metals moment. I purchased a wrench from him on Ebay in the Isetta section which turned out not to be an Isetta wrench. When I wrote him he gave me a very rude run around. It wasn't worth the hassle returning the wrench. I thought I'd try to order one other thing and that was his new chromed rear nerf-bar to body rings. When I removed them from the bag they were obviously scratched up purposefully with a screw driver as a way of punishing me for giving him a chewing out on the wrench. He is a real nut case. Buyers beware!

    This site is such a great resource to have when I need a real picture to assist me with my Isetta maintenance or just to drool at. BZ is a real craftsman. I urge who ever reads this to scroll down and enjoy his personal links.

  4. When you said wrench, are you referring to the advance unit puller or the dynastart puller, a good source for these is Cycle Works. In addition to these two pullers, Cycle Works also sells a complete I-tool kit with all the special tools you'll need if your doing a complete rebuild. He also sells Isetta engine rebuild videos.

  5. I have rebuilt Isetta motors referring to John Jensens Isetta Restoration book without Cycle Works fine tools. I did buy a nice tool from them and have their great video on rebuilding the engine. I haven't ordered the complete rebuild tool set as it is a bit spendy but I'd love to have one.

    The wrench I bought from Italian Monsters is manufactured by Heyco which did manufacture some BMW wrenches but not for the Isetta.

  6. PS: the wrench is a double open end wrench that is bent on the 17mm end and straight on the 19mm end. It is a HEYCO DIN: 895. A nice wrench to have but not what I was led to believe.