Saturday morning, with a mixture of anticipation and nervous fear, I pulled the beast out of the garage and filled the back with garbage from our basement, scrap lumber from the garage, and a year’s worth of dead branches shed from the yard, loaded in a toolbox, made sure I had a towing company number in my cellphone, and set out for the dump.
As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about. The Scout did fine. Even sitting in the line at the dump, the temp needle never went past the first line, the idle calmed down, and she behaved herself. I had to give her a lot of gas to get restarted, so there’s definitely a tune-up in the future, but overall I’m surprised and happy. And my fears for her road manners were unfounded; steering was straight and true at 65mph.
On the trip south, a guy in a Dodge dually honked and gave me a thumbs-up, which put a smile on my face for the next half-hour. After unloading everything (god it’s nice to have a true utility vehicle again) I put the top completely down and drive home in the sunshine.
Sunday morning I was finally able to meet up with the owner of a very dilapidated ’78 plow rig to begin parting out what’s left, after weeks of missed connections and unexpected rainshowers. He bought the truck in order to pull the axles for his ’59 Willys wagon and has no use for the rest of the carcass—although now he’s talking about using the frame and drivetrain for a T-bucket with a plow.
I was more interested in the hard-to-replace plastics and any sheetmetal that might be salvageable, so I brought the Jeep down with my tools and commenced to stripping. He’s a very nice guy, and within ten minutes offered me a cold beer and an air-powered impact wrench, which made life much easier. In fact, he helped me pull a lot of good parts off the truck while also taking out the brake and steering systems for his Jeep. At the end of a five-hour day, I drove home with:
- A clean driver’s fender (with one small dimple at the front curve—nothing I can’t knock back out)
- A clean fan shroud
- One good door panel
- a clean ’78 grille and headlight bezels
- A clean valance panel
- Both headlight buckets, retaining rings, and a spare set of lights
- Marker lights, lenses and buckets
- Taillight lenses (the buckets were shot)
- Gauges (including speedo, the one thing I don’t have a spare of)
- An extra set of wiper arms
- Plastic defroster exhausts
- Steering column plastic
- Driver’s knee vent
- Glove box door (with turn latch, which I don’t have)
- A complete headlight switch
- An extra set of dash plastics (mine are painted purple)
- A complete wiper fluid container
- A complete coolant reservoir
- Two sets of door hinges
- Hoses and clips for windshield fluid
- Assorted other small parts and bolts
I tried getting the door glass out of the driver’s door, but we ran out of time–the upper channel is most likely rusted to the lower. However, the regulators both seem to work better than the ones I’ve got, and also appear to be easier to get out, so I’ll go back for those. We didn’t have time to pull/cut off the passenger fender, which made getting the heater box out impossible, so I’ll go back for that as well. The radiator came out, but I didn’t have space for it in the Jeep, so he’s hanging onto that for me as well.
Overall, it was a great day, and I had a fantastic time getting grease up to my elbows and talking cars (he’s got a ’69 Mach 1 sitting behind the Willys waiting for its turn). I’m stacked for the next couple of weeks, but I hope to head back down and pick up the rest of the parts (and possibly a set of spare wheels) very soon.