About a month ago, Brian blew one of the cylinders on the front brakes of his shiny new Scout and decided it was best to just upgrade the entire thing from drums to discs instead of fixing the old technology. We local guys traded emails around to organize a work day, and settled on April 6. I loaded up Peer Pressure with some basic tools, stopped over to Bennett’s house to pick him up with a load of specialty tools (brake tools are exotic and having the right ones is the difference between a great Saturday and a miserable weekend), and then we headed across the bridge to Brian’s house. There we crawled over his new Scout ooohing and aaahhing at the shiny metal and clean mechanical bits before jacking it up on stands and breaking the wheels down.
Having done mine last year I wasn’t completely unfamiliar with the process but getting his drums and backing plate off (he has a Dana 27 axle, the smaller cousin of the Dana 44) required removing the hubs. I’ve pulled several hubs off—the wrong way—so watching over Bennett’s shoulder on the passenger side was super handy. After he’d gotten halfway done I went over to the driver’s side and with Brian’s help we got that hub off ourselves. From there it took a little test fitting to put the caliper mounts in the right place, and suddenly the rotors were installed and in place. We kept joking that everything is much easier to work on when it’s not covered in 40-year-old grease and there isn’t rust falling in our eyes.
When we’d gotten the rotors and calipers on and the brake lines swapped out, we bled the system and Brian took it out for a test. It was still pretty spongy so we bled it again, and then a third time. It never did get as strong as a Scout II, which has a full size brake booster, and nowhere near the power of hydroboost, but it’s stopping straight and it feels good. It’s really a beautiful Scout. The guy he bought it from had excellent work done, and it’s about as close to a new Scout as I’ve ever seen. The engine (a 4-cylinder) purrs and there’s no oil on the engine at all.
By this time it was about 4, and even though I’d brought my radiator and a flush kit I knew it was too late to start on that. We sipped some beer and shot the breeze until about 5, and then packed up to head back home.
Bennett hasn’t been able to run Heavy D (his D-series pickup) because of a blown hub left over from some adventures at Pinelands, and mentioned that he was running up to Barnes IH for a replacement on Sunday. I remembered I had a spare I pulled from the Traveler we found in Mt. Airy back in 2013 and told him it was his for the taking. We also talked about the lovely ’66 Mustang sitting in his garage waiting for new brakes and I told him to name the date so that we could set up another work party.
Peer Pressure ran like a top the whole way out and the whole way back; about 160 miles. I did throw a quart of oil in her before I left and that made a huge difference in the sound and feel of the engine.
There’s another major IH event happening on August 10 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where the original Scout plant was located: the Harvester Homecoming was just announced, where you can drive your Scout on the grounds of the original plant and meet up with other owners. This is an interesting idea, but I’m already committed to IH Nationals the following weekend.
I took some time to look over the Champion radiator that came in last week and compare it to the stock unit I’ve got out in the garage so that I know what I’m working with. I bought the 3-core deluxe version, figuring cooler is better with a 5.7 liter engine, and also got two new upper and lower radiator hoses to replace the ones that are there.
Overall, it’s a very sturdy radiator and feels solid in my hands, as well as 10 pounds lighter than the OEM version. I pulled my spare fan shroud from the parts bin and test fit it (use M6 x 1.00 x 16 metric bolts) to find that it doesn’t quite line up at the bottom when I started two bolts at the top. I’ve read in some places that it needs to be trimmed to clear the pulley and fan, but I won’t know that until we get into it.
When I line it up side by side with the OEM unit it sits a little shorter in comparison, but I’d need to take more time to measure and compare to see if it’s any deeper.
Look what showed up on my doorstep yesterday!
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).