I was heading to Columbia yesterday on business and as I pulled Peer Pressure to the end of the driveway, a teal Scout happened to pass by slowly. I honked and they pulled over to chat. It turns out the owner lives in Bethesda but grew up in the ‘Ville, and his Dad lives right around the corner. He just bought his rig a few months ago from Pennsylvania and he’s looking at fixing it up. I would have taken them up on their offer of a beer in the shade but I was under a time crunch so I only chatted for about 10 minutes. I turned him on to the Binder Planet and the ODBA, as well as mentioned the local crew we’ve got in the area. His plan is to drive it up here to his Dad’s place and work on it there over the summer and through the winter. His truck is in really nice shape–little to no rust anywhere but the rear arches and in the rockers; his engine is so clean you could eat off the air filter cover. It’s a V-8 with a 2bbl but he doesn’t know which one yet, so we’ll have to do some sleuthing for him.
Today was a Scout day, even if I don’t have my Scout back yet.
My mechanic got back to me on Friday and asked for a little more time to work on her, which means Monday or Tuesday. The fact that I missed a week of almost perfect convertible weather has me bummed, but the payoff will be worth it when it’s back in the driveway and running well.
In the meantime, plans to recover the local Scout went off without much of a hitch at all. After Finn and I got some doughnuts down the street, Mr. Scout met us at the house and helped blow up her new inflatable pool while we waited for Alan and his friend to make it up with the trailer. After some jockeying around the narrow streets of the neighborhood, they got the tow rig pointed in the right direction and we headed over to the seller’s house.
At first, the Scout didn’t want to start. Gas down the carb made it fire up fine but there was no gas getting through the lines from the tank. After a quick trip to the gas station for a couple of gallons, the seller blew out the line and then the filter himself (can you say “motivated buyer?”) and we tried a few tests with everything disconnected. Once we made sure the fuel pump was working—squirting gas alarmingly all over the engine—we hooked everything back up and tried it again. It turned out that I was closest to the driver’s seat, so I fired it up and it finally stayed running, and everyone cleared a path out for me to crawl down the driveway and line up behind the trailer. This time I got up onto the trailer without doing any damage, put it in 4lo and shut everything down.
We ratcheted it down tight, closed the doors up good, and money exchanged hands. All was good!
The seller was very happy to have it out of his driveway, as was his wife.
Mr. Scout has a new steering wheel for his truck, which makes him happy. We weren’t able to pull it while we were there, so he and Alan will do the swap through the mail, most likely.
Meanwhile, I continued hoarding parts for Peer Pressure. The items above are the reason I organized the whole deal in the first place: a brand-new poly gas tank, unused, with a matching skidplate. I hosed the dust off the tank and looked it over; everything appears perfect. Score!
The next item is a passenger’s fender in excellent shape; this apparently came off a Terra donor rig. It’s in better shape than the fender I’ve already got, which makes me happy.
Side note: I’d say roughly 2/3 of the spare parts I have are or originally were Tahitian Red when they came from the factory—coincidence, or something more sinister? You decide.
I also took home a clean tailgate from the same rig, which is in excellent shape. It even sports a factory “Scout II” sticker.
From the same donor rig, there are two clean doors, which are in far better shape than the two spares I have. They still have Terra glass in them, which will get sold or scrapped. The rest of the chrome looks like it’s in excellent shape. There’s some slight rust on the underside of the interior, and some bubbles under the trim on the drivers door, but it’s definitely repairable.
Alan also brought me some gifts from the last set of scrapped vehicles we picked up: the first is a clean IH-serialed compressor for my AC setup.
The next is a used Holley 2300 carb, which will be my rebuild testbed. I don’t have an air cleaner housing to fit it, but I’m hoping the ThermoQuad air cleaner might.
Update: The serial number off the carb doesn’t match anything from a standard Light Line application, which means it’s not an exact match. I’ll have to find out exactly what I’ve got so that I can order the right replacement kit.
Following that is a Holley 2100 with a spreadbore adapter mounted to the bottom. I’m not as excited about this one, but I’m going to do some reading to learn more about it.
Finally, I took the crappier of the two windshields. I figure the wiper linkage and motor might be worthwhile to have, but the rest is definitely scrap metal.
I took a little time off on Sunday and cruised over the Bay Bridge to help Mr. Scout work on Chewbacca. He’s getting down to the final details, having been out on the road for the first test run, so he’s got a long list of small items to knock off: glass, lighting, seatbelts, dashboard, etc. He and Alan and I set right to work after a delicious eclair from the bakery in Chestertown. I started by looking over the door regulators and doing a test fitting inside the old steel doors to make sure I had the right orientation, then got to work on the passenger side. After an hour or so of fooling with it I’d figured out how to mount it correctly, set the glass in place, and put the wing window in. We pulled it all out to press new felt into the door, and then bolted everything permanently in place. The only thing left to do will be to buy some longer bolts and fabricate a backing plate for the door handle as well as the latch plate, because it’s all bolting into fiberglas at this point.
He had this stuff called white lithium grease, which sprayed out of a can, and which worked incredibly well to lubricate the regulator mechanism. I’m going to go look for some this week so that I can tear both my doors down and get the windows working correctly. It made a huge difference rolling the window up and down. I was also very impressed with his PT cruiser seats, which are incredibly comfortable, and which I’m now considering for Peer Pressure. As I documented here, though, there are a few caveats to this upgrade:
- His came with captains’ armrests on the inboard side, which interfered with his Tuffy console. I think we used a Torx 45 bit to pull them off, as well as the female side of the seatbelt buckles, which are also built into the side of the seat. The driver’s side needs some kind of plastic plate to cover over the bolt mounting cutout, while the passenger’s side had one built into the seat. Strange.
- The driver’s side seat does not lean forward at all. Rear passengers will need to enter on the passenger side (where the seat folds forward almost flat, which is very cool).
- If you run a stock full-size wheel without a tilt column, there isn’t a whole lot of clearance between the bottom of the wheel and the top of the seat. You will probably need to switch out the wheel to a Rallye-style or an aftermarket Grant model.
After some lunch, I busied myself by helping to install his Tuffy console between the seats. We scribed out an arc in the rear mount to clear the transmission tunnel (something I’m also considering for mine) and set it in place with two bolts we had on hand. Meanwhile, Alan sorted out a bunch of electrical gremlins under the hood and helped get the license plate holder we scavenged from the brown donor scout mounted and lit.
Before I had to hit the road, we fired her up and Brian let me take her for a spin around the block. She purrs like a kitten, and with a little adjustment in the clutch and carb she’ll be a very enjoyable driver. It felt good to take her out again, even if she’s 3/4 new fabrication!
Yesterday I woke up early and got to the DMV as it opened to get my title and tags taken care of, and surprisingly it only took about 20 minutes for the whole process (minus the wait outside the front door). After work, I zip-tied the rear plate onto the carrier, opened the garage back up, drove the rig down the street to the gas station, put $10 of regular in it (the gauge still reads zero) and washed the crud off the front window. Then I pulled it around the side and let it idle while I pulled the top off for the first time since I’ve owned it. Let me say I much prefer the fast-trac top to the snap-fastener version!
I saw no leaks from anywhere under the hood, and idle calmed down real quick, even though she was hard to re-start at the pump; I’ll have to check the plugs this weekend. There’s also a tendency to stay at a high idle when coming to a stop, which only a goose of the accelerator will solve-it’s almost like the linkage or the carb is sticking somewhere. I’ve got to adjust the throw of the clutch pedal, which seems to be a lot higher off the floor than I’m used to-plus it’s got a stupid aftermarket racing pedal that I keep catching my foot on.
She has much different highway manners than my first Scout, which had a stock driveline. This one tracks pretty straight but the steering is tight and very twitchy. It’s going to take some getting used to. The brakes seem to be in good shape, and the electrical system is functioning enough to work (even though the BRAKE light never goes off).
I stopped over and picked up Mr. Scout and his wife, who were at his mother’s place around the corner, and we took a quick trip around the block with the top down, the three of us grinning the whole way. Even though I offered the driver’s seat several times, he’s still holding out for his baby.
Last word: I came to a stopsign in the neighborhood behind my house, and two kids in a white pickup gave me the thumbs-up as they turned the corner. The kid in the back (the one with all the drum equipment) looks it over and says, “That is one bad-*** big purple truck, man! Right on!”