Thank you very much for the replies you guys! All excellent suggestions.
F-Bird'88 i would have to agree with you 100%. All rebuilds "SHOULD" come with the brace. some small blocks get away without having one but the factory loaded em in for a reason.The nice thing about the mini-starters, they are so lightweight compare to the big stock ones. As for the weld job i give full credit to my buddy. Mind you he's been welding professionaly for years. He took a 9/16 nut and sawed it in half. That created the perfect foundation for the missing cast. He then welded around the half (dummy) nut so it would hold beautifly in place. a dremol and mini grinder took care of the rest filing it down to a near perfect replacement.
Sam-missle: Outstanding suggestion! something i have NOT tried yet. but you can believe i will this weekend. I remember when purchasing my mini starter a couple months back the retailer telling me it was clockable, but wasn't 100% sure of what the proceedure was.
If your suggestion works, rounds on me!
Ill post my results