After several unsuccessful months of listing my tires on Craigslist, I finally got someone to come through with a real offer. Since August of last year, I’ve had several people inquire and then flake out, which isn’t really anything new for CL. I had one dude offer, then flake out, then pop up a week later offering $50 less, for months at a time. I was never that desperate to get rid of them, so I didn’t pay much attention to him. But it was slightly annoying.
This morning a guy stopped at the house to pick them up (thus allowing me to avoid driving up to Timonium to deliver them for an extra $20) and after a brief once-over and exchange of Benjamins we loaded them up into his truck. He’s got a YJ with some tiny little tires on it, and he sent me a picture of it after he’d had them mounted and installed.
Not too bad, although I dislike YJs intensely.
With that sale, I recouped 1/3 the original purchase price of the Scout. To celebrate, I ordered a new 3-core Champion aluminum radiator and an upper and lower hose. My cooling system has been ignored since I bought the truck, so it’s high time to look it over and improve. I’m going to buy a flush kit to clean out the cooling passages, drop the new unit in place, and finally get it hooked up to the overflow tank (the nipple on the side of the port came unbrazed and the overflow tube hasn’t been connected in 8 years). One thing I have to research is how much differently the aluminum unit is from the stock radiator; I’ve got to be able to install my fan shroud extender on the new unit and I have no idea if there are any bolt holes supplied.
I’m really not on Facebook at all these days, but my account is still there. I had to pop in there to look something up this weekend and noticed Bennett had mentioned me in a post: apparently someone is selling a cab top that looks like it was painted purple the same day as my Scout. I’m half tempted just to buy it even though I don’t have a bulkhead to go with it (the section that sits between the bedrails).
I got the Line Set Ticket from the frame serial back from Super Scouts this morning, and, well, the mystery continues. Here’s what I know so far:
- The VIN number on this Scout is for a 1976 Scout, painted Solar Yellow, and sold in Colorado.
- The body on this truck, based on the one-year-only Gold Poly paint under the purple, dates to 1975. I have no real good way of getting a serial from the frame.
- The LST for the frame specified a very fancy Scout (Rallye package, custom interior, A/C, tilt wheel, clock, deluxe trim package) painted Persimmon with a Sierra Tan interior. It was a 345/auto combination with 3.07 gears. It was built on January 17, 1979, and delivered to a dealer in St. Paul Minnesota.
Knowing that, I have to go out and see if I can read the engine serial to see if it matches what’s on the LST (311593) for confirmation.
As is common with most Scouts of its age, it’s a jigsaw puzzle from many different trucks. Maybe someone out west put it together and then shipped it east to sell?
I saw an ad on Craigslist (I know, I’m so old-school) for a set of Scout II fenders this week and followed up with the seller. The fenders looked OK from the front but the low price led me to believe they were in worse shape than they appeared. I’ve already got three spare fenders hanging in the garage, so my need is not immediate, but I figured I’d see what kind of shape they were in. I traded some texts and a phone call and set up a time on Sunday afternoon to look them over.
I knew I had the right house when I pulled up and saw a rusty Scout 80 parked in front of a faded Saab Sonnett; clearly this man had eclectic tastes in automobiles. I looked over the fenders in a light drizzle and the seller came out to talk with me; he’s a weird car nerd like me and we talked for about ten minutes before I thanked him for his time and hit the road. They were too far gone for me to want to deal with them; the areas behind the wheel well were all crispy and there was rot setting in at the top corner by the cowl notch.
Meanwhile, I’ve got an order in with Super Scout Specialists for a lineset ticket keyed to the VIN number I found on the frame back in 2009. I figured I’d at least try to learn where the frame (and possibly, the engine) came from, even if the body is a mystery.
I got a text from Brian yesterday with the photo above; he drive to Delaware and took possession of a beautiful 1968 Scout 800 painted white over red, which was previously restored a couple of years ago. It’s in fantastic shape and looks like it rolled off the factory floor (with a custom bumper, modern soft top, and bigger wheels). Due to scheduling and weather I haven’t been able to see it in person yet but I’m hoping we can organize a meetup sometime soon.
He’s already made a list of upgrades he wants to make. The rollbar in his Scout is only a single hoop, and because he wants to be able to take the whole family on the road, he wants to upgrade that to a family-style cage like he put in Chewbacca. I’ve been wanting to upgrade my rollbar with something more stout, as well as adding shoulder belts. GRC Fabrication makes rollbars for the 800 and Scout II that we’ve both been looking at, and if he pulls the trigger on a kit from them I’ll probably go in on it with him to save on shipping costs (and we can weld them up and install them at the same time).
I pulled the Scout out of the garage the week of the Polar Vortex and ran it up in the driveway, and she gave me a scare. I started hearing a terrible whine coming from the power steering pump at idle. I shut her down, topped off the power steering fluid, and restarted the engine, but it came right back and frightened me to the point where I scuttled my plan to run down the street for coffee and backed her back into the garage; I didn’t want the pump exploding in the driveway the day before I had to drive back up to Syracuse.
I was in NY State for my father’s funeral for most of last week, but took advantage of 60˚ weather and a work-from-home day yesterday to run her up again, thinking maybe the temperature was to blame. I was right. She fired right up and idled smooth out of the garage, and there was no sound to be heard at all. Whew.
Buoyed by that success, I gave Mike Moore a call to see if he’d be able to help fix my caster issues. True to his character, he told me he could certainly do it but I should really try to find a good, reputable alignment shop around here and have them install them–and not a “$49 alignment special” type place. He also gave me the industry name for the parts I’ve got: Camber Caster Sleeves. I also asked him for a price on what it would take to rewire Peer Pressure, and we talked about that for a while. I don’t have the money right now but it’s good to know what to budget for. Mike is a great guy and I’m glad I called him. I found a place with decent reviews across town and called them for a price; I’ve yet to hear back but will call and follow up tomorrow.
Digging through the family archives this weekend, I found a couple of shots of Chewbacca and I in her prime. This was from about 2001 or so, out in front of my parents’ place in New York State. I guess I’m used to looking at a taller suspension these days, but she’s riding awful low on the springs.
As a brand and marketing professional, I’m not sure if this is a failure or a success: The guys behind Anything Scout, an old-school Light Line dealer in Iowa, are also behind New Legend 4X4, an upscale restomod fabricator specializing in Scouts. I wouldn’t have know this if I hadn’t recognized some of the people behind the scenes on the NL website (I met a couple of them at the IH Nationals this summer). On further reflection, I think it’s probably more success than anything else; these trucks are priced firmly in ICON territory, catering to the kind of people who don’t build anything themselves and want a turnkey refurbished truck with a modern Chevrolet powertrain and a JK-based chassis. 9/10 of the guys at Nationals are like me; we’re average people with average incomes who are scraping and saving to keep our existing trucks on the road. So I guess it makes sense to separate the brands completely. I am glad a shop with a solid IH history is in the restomod business now, because they will do the rigs justice.
They do build pretty Scouts, that’s for sure.
I’ve been having problems with my seat belt for a couple of months now. It won’t release enough for me to get it around my waist. If I’m on a slight incline it won’t release at all. No amount of gentle tugging, violent pulling, or whispered pleading would help. I decided I’d take advantage of 50˚ weather today to pull the ratchet mechanism apart to see what was wrong.
My seatbelt is based around a simple mechanism involving a single ball bearing in a cup. When the ball is stationary in the cup, the seatbelt has give and will release properly. When the ball is moved out of the cup by a strong force–say, a collision–it contacts a pawl which closes a ratcheting mechanism and stops the belt from releasing. Most of the online sources I found said the mechanism was probably filled with dust and the ball was stuck. I pulled it apart and shook out about a pound of dirt, straw, leaves, and dust, but the mechanism was still jammed. After blowing dust out of the cup with a can of compressed air, the mechanism started working and all was well again.