Finn and I spent some good time running errands with Finn in the Scout this weekend, and it reminded me that I need to order and install new rear seatbelts. They are original to the truck, as far as I know. Finn pulled the female clasp side off of the belt early in the fall, so I shifted her carseat behind the drivers’ side. I’d like to get something more modern and reliable, as well as male clips that reach a little further. The big pain in the ass will be crawling under the truck to put a pair of vice-grips on the tiedown bolt in the center of the bed; at the very least I’ve got to measure everything and figure out what I’ll need for a warm day’s project.
I’m also going to spend a little cash on these LED marker lights and modify them for use, based on this thread from the Binder Planet. Eventually all the lights will go to LEDs but for now I’ll start with this.
And, I asked Santa to bring me a Rotopax setup for the third year in a row, so here’s hoping this time’s the charm. I also put a Hi-Lift retainer donut on my list, as well as a velcro-based LED light for the rollbar.
Finally, I’ve got some time between Christmas and New Year’s to myself; I think I’m going to mosey down to Crazy Ray’s and see if I can find a decent pair of PT Cruiser seats.
I don’t have any money to be spending on the Scout right now, but one of the things on the to-do list is to rebuild a spare carburetor. I have two spares, one of which is of uncertain provenance and the other a direct pull from a Scout. Given that Carter made a million modifications to the Thermoquad over its lifespan, I thought I’d put the spare side by side with my working carb to see what visual differences I could pick out.
Apart from the extra arm attached to the main throttle linkage, they look identical to me. I did a brief comparison to my third spare, and that one isn’t even in the same family. The main body is cast differently, and there are a handful of inlets and outlets that don’t match up to the ones I’ve got, or are completely missing.
From what it looks like, most carb rebuild kits are ~$50. Peer Pressure has been getting harder to start reliably, so some carb adjustment is definitely moving up the priority list, and having a pair to tear down will help in familiarizing myself with these complicated beasts.
I’ve been thinking about vehicle security this spring, as the top is about to come back off and I’ll be parking Peer Pressure all around town. Being an American vehicle of 70’s vintage, it would be childishly simple to hot-wire and steal, especially as a convertible. I’ve considered mechanical methods of theft protection like a fuel cutoff or battery cutoff switch, but given the delicate nature of 40-year-old electronics I’m a little hesitant to go digging around in the wire harnesses until I’m ready to rewire the entire truck.
There is another way, and it’s something that might take care of several issues at once. Grant sells a steering wheel security kit which basically works like a removable-face stereo: once you’re parked, you disengage the steering wheel and take it with you. This would be advantageous because it would also allow for me to get into the steering wheel and fix a broken turn signal canceling switch and swap the full-size steering wheel out for a smaller diameter sport wheel (which will be required once I put PT Cruiser seats in). This link on the Binder Planet shows the system in action, and while I think I’d go with a different wheel, I like the look of the whole thing.
Here’s a great thread on the Binder Planet about D44 Rear Disc Brake installation where the bracket was welded onto the axle flange. Further down in the thread there’s a parts list for a bolt-on solution, which is more my speed, but the combined price list is about $700.
Colorado Mike has been feeding me steady updates on his resto project via text. The other day he asked me for paint advice, and I sent him my collection of IH paint codes for the entire Scout II run. He’s leaning towards Lexington Blue, a bright shade offered in 1979. It got me thinking about the distant future, when I can strip Peer Pressure down to the metal, POR-15 everything, and paint it in a more pleasing color. Originally I wanted a shade of English green, but Mr. Scout has that one covered. My second choice is a color from the Scout in a movie called “Fools Rush In”. Based on the grille pattern, it’s a ’75 or a ’76, which could only make the color Glacier Blue (it’s the only light blue offered in the ’74-’77 timespan). Looking at the paint chip, it’s a light, flat blue which looks too powdery at first glance.
It could be the film transfer, the lighting, or wear and tear on the truck, but the blue here looks darker to me.
The other candidate is a shade called Bimini Blue Poly, which is a darker blue with candyflake. I can’t find a good example online, but I’ll keep looking.
Nothing much to report around here. I dug out three spare wiper motors and brought them inside to the bench for winter work. The Scout was out for a brief errand this afternoon before the rain and wind hits. I put the top on tight, rolled up the windows, and battened down the garage, hoping that Sandy passes us by.
With Finn’s help, I was able to pull the new bumper off and replace it with the original on Saturday. I also mixed up a little bondo and filled some of the larger holes and valleys on the swingarm, as well as the exploratory divot I made in the bondo skim on the driver’s door.
The mirror came in on Friday, and it looks great; I shot the mounting bracket with primer and let it sit to dry. I need a #107/5mm steel bit to drill mounting holes, and then I can tap them for the included screws.
While I was out there I also took the soft top bows apart; they’re looking rusty and beat up. The lever bracket is the worst, so I hit it with the flap sander. All of the mounting bolts are stripped, rusty, and worn, so I picked up stainless steel replacements at the store. When I wire wheel the bumper I’ll hit the ends of the bows themselves and then POR-15 everything that’s bare metal; then I’ll shoot it all with the same semi-gloss black I’m using for the bumper.
Thinking about Jen driving the Scout got me to thinking; the RPM band is a lot lower in Peer Pressure than it is in our Honda, and it would be great to have some indication for shifting (instead of by feel). Tiny-Tach makes a tachometer that installs simply by wrapping a wire lead around one of the spark plugs and grounding the other; it’s a little ugly but the price is good. Plus, there isn’t as much guesswork with installation as with a mechanical tach.
I picked up some basic lug nuts for the tire carrier this morning. Last weekend I got 10 minutes and cut one of the three bolts off the mounting plate (the one that was angled inwards) and test fit the spare; it’s tight but it will work.
Mr. Scout is going to bring my original bumper standoffs back from Chestertown this Friday, and I’m going to swap out the new bumper for the old so that I can put it on some stands and get it cleaned, encapsulated, primed, and painted. I have to pick up a little bondo and some JASCO Prep and Prime from the ACE this weekend. It’s supposed to etch the metal, encapsulate and convert surface rust into a zinc oxide finish. Then a little bondo work to fill in any holes, some basic sanding, and then etching primer.
Edit: Jasco Prep and Prime isn’t carried by ACE anymore, or Lowe’s, as far as I can tell. It shows up in searches on their website but it’s unavailable for web purchase. My local ACE tells me they can’t order it from their warehouse.
We’ve got plans to go see some friends this weekend, starting with a junkyard expedition somewhere on the east side of town. A fellow gearhead (with British and German proclivities) spotted a yard while driving with his daughter and asked if I’d like to go scope it out. While I’m there, I’m going to be looking for a good Astro van so that I can pull the entire brake booster assembly in order to do a Hydroboost conversion on Peer Pressure. When that might actually happen, I don’t know, but I’d like to have the parts for it stashed aside.
Update: Only one Astro was located, and the booster assembly was rusty enough that I passed on it.