Road Trip

I had to run an errand for Jen’s father on Saturday, which involved moving a bunch of concrete out of the trash bin he put it in and out to his local dump. Instead of blowing out the shocks on the OG-V I figured I’d drive the Scout down, as it was supposed to be a beautiful day. I loaded up some tools and the remainder of the concrete we had here after a completed landscaping project, put the top down, and hit the road. Stopping off to top off the gas tank, I put a quart of oil in and aimed the truck southward.

I didn’t drive her a lot last year due to the issues with the leaking exhaust manifold and my difficulties finding a good mechanic to work on old iron, but once I got that sorted out she ran great at the end of the year. The plan this year is to hit the Harvester Homecoming in August, a little further out from where they hold Nationals in Ohio, so I want to wring out any issues with the drivetrain beforehand. A 160-mile round trip is as good a test as any, and she passed with flying colors. I had absolutely no problems getting down there other than a sunburn—I left the entire top down and failed to apply sunscreen—and out of date information on the County website meant the trip to the dump was a bust.

After visiting with the FiL for the afternoon, I headed for home with a load of concrete in the truck and the bikini top up, enjoying the sun setting through clouds and the scent of honeysuckle, pine, and turned earth wafting through the cabin. She held steady at 65 the whole way home; the only issue I’m going to need to address this summer is having the front rotors turned to fix a bad wobble at braking. It’s good to have the old girl back.

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Phase 1 Complete

Jeff posted these up on my Binder Planet thread yesterday and shot me a text: the covers are done, and he’s going to get them packed up to ship and send me the invoice for the balance. I think they turned out great, and I’m excited to get them in hand. I think this will be the next job I tackle after we get back from our vacation.

Now I’ve got to borrow a set of hog ring pliers from my brother-in-law and order some rings from Amazon.

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Weekly Update, 5.21

Here’s the update from this past week, mainly focusing on dashboard removal, with a detour to the blasting cabinet on a rainy Saturday to pretty up a set of valve covers. I’m about 3/4 of the way done getting this thing out of the truck. I had to disconnect the mechanical linkages to the heat/defrost controls, which was easy with the radio missing, and then I had to trace the two knobs in the center of the dashboard down. The smaller knob was pretty simple, just a cable running to a mechanical choke on the carburetor. And now that I’m thinking more clearly, I’ll bet that when I run the truck up again next time and open the choke up, the truck will run a lot smoother than it has the last couple of times. I’m betting I left it closed up, making the mixture richer and idle rougher, thus fouling the plugs. You can tell I’m spoiled by the fancy electric choke on the Thermoquad in the Scout.

The second knob has been a mystery for as long as I’ve owned the truck. Even when pulling on it with the strength of a gorilla, it never moved. I traced the cable through the engine bay and down the passenger rail to a greasy lump hanging off the side of the transmission: the NX98 Power Take Off unit listed at the bottom of the lineset ticket (for which I can find no online documentation). After attempting to get the knob out of the dashboard I realized the only way to remove it is to cut the knob off the cable. I thought about it for a couple of hours and then used the death wheel to cut the cable in the engine bay. I cleaned the grease off the PTO to reveal shiny red paint, and moved the linkage back and forth—it works! I’m going to leave it on and mess with it later.

The dash is free and clear on the passenger side but there are still a couple of things holding on behind the gauge panel, so I have to keep plugging away at the last couple of linkages. I disconnected the plugs on the engine side of the firewall but next I’ve got to gingerly push the connectors through to the passenger side, which I think will free up the dashboard even more. I suspect there are a couple of connections on the steering column and I have to get an impact driver on the high-beam switch mounted on the floor. The new harness is sitting on the bench seat ready to go in, and from all that I can tell, the connectors match up perfectly.

 

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Seating

I heard from Jeff this weekend on the Travelall seats (actually, while I was trying to pull the dash off) when he texted me a picture of the top half of the rear seat in progress:

I’m doing mine in gray over black because my dash and door cards are gray, but I’m going for something that looks like this (in tan over gray):

I don’t think the vinyl Jeff got is as marbled as the stuff in the reference photo, but I’m excited about moving the seats forward.

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Weekly Roundup, 5.12

Here’s a video containing most of the updates from last weekend, when the green truck was towed away, to yesterday afternoon, when I swapped out the hardtop for the soft top on the Scout.

I put the nutmeg snap top on the truck for now; it’s in the best shape of the three and will definitely seal up better than the others. Everything went on smoothly and I think I had the whole thing wrapped up in about two hours. When that was done I made some adjustments to the rearview mirror on the driver’s windshield frame. because of where it’s positioned, when I open the door beyond a certain distance it moves the mirror outwards, messing up the alignment. I was thinking I was going to move it upwards on the frame, but there isn’t enough room to go much higher than it already is. So I adjusted the bar further outwards and bent the mirror mount inwards, and that pushed the arm further outside the door’s arc.

The next thing I did was replace the gasket on the door of the IH fridge, which was sweating out the sides last summer. I sourced a new gasket from a freezer parts company and paid more for shipping than I did for the gasket. It went on pretty easily, and it seems to seal tightly, so I’m counting that as an easy win.

Finally, I did a bunch of finish sanding on the driver’s fender to the red truck, getting the curve of the fender lip to feather out into the flat section much better than I had before. I sanded it first with 320 and then with 600 grit before shooting it with some IH implement red out of a rattle can. I have to clean up some of the edges on the front before I go to wet sanding everything, but it’s getting closer to being done.

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El Tractor

I’ve been keeping tabs on the Anything Scout racing team as they were competing in the Norra 1000 in Baja this past week, in a truck I saw last year at Nationals: an otherwise unassuming Terra with a 4-cylinder engine they found on Marketplace a couple of years ago. Another guy I follow, Dan from the Binder Boneyard, was running with them as part of their pit crew. They were 30 miles from the finish when somehow they rolled the truck down a ravine 20+ times. They’re both fine; the truck did its job and kept them safe. Sad to see the remains of El Tractor in a picture (they had to helicopter it out) but it went down fighting, and they’ve already said they’ll return.

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She’s Out Of My Life

Well, the end of a fun and educational chapter has now come to a close. The green truck was towed off into the rainclouds yesterday, after I picked some final parts off Friday night. I’d been trying to get the passenger wheel well off since last weekend, and of course it proved to be more difficult than I figured it would. The spot welds came out easily but the lower edge was part of a sandwich between the inner fender skirt and the lower lip of the rear floor, so I wound up trimming about 2″ from the bottom of the well and carving a big hole into the front of the C-pillar to release the whole thing. I have no idea if I’ll ever need it for anything, but it’s a very complex compound curve that I’d never be able to replicate in a million years, so I’m keeping it.

Then I put two good tires on the back of the truck, put the one good tire back on the front, and threw the other two junk tires in the front floorboards with the spare bench setback that was taking up space in the garage. I threw a bunch of other junk inside, vacuumed out the interior, and tied everything down with some old rope.

That evening, a guy reached out on the Binder Planet to ask if I was keeping the square seat bases on the floor, and I told him they were going with the truck the following morning. After thinking it over, I figured I might be able to beat the rain if I got an early start the next morning (the pickup was scheduled between 1-3PM) so I took the dog with me to Harbor Freight and picked up another spot weld cutter, ate some breakfast, and got to work. It was drizzling but the roof of the truck made for a nice cover, so I set up camp inside and started on the passenger side. I got both mounts out in about an hour, then tied everything back down.

When the truck arrived, it was a newer Chevy pickup with a trick wheel lift boom. The driver backed up to the truck and had the front wheels off the ground before he even got out of the cab—the whole thing was done with a remote control and a monitor on the dashboard. That must be how repossessions are done these days. There was a little bit of confusion about the lack of a VIN, but I consulted my records and wrote it down on a Post-It for them. He gave me a $100 bill, I signed the paper, and they were on their way. I really felt a pang of guilt about cutting up and selling the green truck, but I only have so much room and spare time—and it was more of a project, in the long run, than the red truck. So it’s out of the driveway, leaving behind an oil slick and a pile of rust that I have to go sweep up when the rain stops.

So I did order a bunch of gaskets from IHPA with my counter credit last week: a rear quarter window gasket, and the pillar and outer door gaskets. With these in hand, I should be able to both reinstall the rear window, which will get rid of a 1″ gap at the bottom where water has been trickling in and down the inner fender, and around all four doors. The door gaskets on the red truck are all in rough shape and I really want to seal the outer edges to keep as much water out as possible. I’ll have to peel all the old stuff off, clean the gunk off down to the paint, and reinstall. For two of the doors I have to actually adjust the hinges before I can do anything else—the driver’s door in particular needs some serious attention. One of the gaskets is on backorder, so they’re going to wait until it’s in stock before they ship the whole thing out.

The other gasket I ordered was for a different IH product completely: I found a cheap source for the e-shaped gasket on the beer fridge, which has been leaking for a while now. I measured the amount and ordered two extra feet in case of stupidity, and that should be enough to get things started. That one has already shipped, so I should be able to make a project of that this week.

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Advanced Surgery

As of Friday night, the passenger side quarter panel is off the truck. I’m still trying to sort out how I might get the axle out from under the truck and still have someone haul it away, but it’s not looking promising. In the worst case I’d either have to forego keeping the axle or pull it and beg Bennett to help me haul it back up on his trailer and off to a scrapyard.

In the meantime, I’m eyeing the inside wheel well covers, wondering if I could drill out the welds and pull those in one piece…

In other, better news, I shot Jeff an email on Friday after I realized I have a perfectly good front and rear 1967 bench seat just waiting for new upholstery, and asked him if that made any difference in fitment. He called me back on Friday night, somewhat relieved, because his patterns are for 1968 benches and he feels better about shipping the covers to me as is. So when he’s got time he’ll finish up the covers and send them down, and if UPS can avoid losing them, I can buy the foam and get started building the seats.

It doesn’t sound like Bennett is going to be able to make it to Nats with us this year, but I think Brian is on board for a ride-along with me. He’s not interested in taking Slowflake so I offered shotgun in the Scout. I’ve got to start organizing parts for sale to see if I can make some money bringing them to Ohio; I figure the tailgate might bring some money if priced properly, and I wonder if anyone would be interested in the heating unit in its current shape. There’s more in the pile but I’ve got to go through it all to see.

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Providence

Currently, the garage is ABSOLUTELY full; there’s barely any room to walk in there right now. Part of this coming weekend is going to be consumed by pulling all of the parts out, re-organizing them, and finding different homes for some of the bulkier things. The hood from the Green truck is going to have to go out behind the garage, and my plan was to do a local search to see who had wooden pallets they wanted to sell within a 5-mile radius of the house.

Cut to this morning, on the way to drop Finn off at school, I noticed a pallet leaning up against the telephone pole two doors down from our house, where our neighbor will often leave things for free pickup. I got back home, parked the car, and hustled over there to grab it before it disappeared. Sometimes, providence smiles on us.

Two of the Scout doors are also going to go outside until Bennett can make some room for them, or I sell them elsewhere. I’ve got just enough room under one of the shelves to tuck all four Travelall doors away, and then I’ve got to find a better solution for some of the bins. I’ve currently got two Scout II rear benches, so one of those will go on Marketplace, to Nationals, or to the dump. Other than the axles, I’m about 95% done with getting the passenger side quarter panel off in one piece.

I got the lineset ticket for the Green truck on Monday evening, which was nice; I’d ordered it weeks ago but the Wisconsin Historical Society is pretty swamped, I guess. Looking through the list of options offered no real surprises: the engine and transmission are still the same, the fancy interior package is there, as is the upgraded heater. One thing did catch my eye, though, and that had me going back to the Red truck’s LST to compare: the Green truck has 3.54 gears while the Red truck has 4.10’s. What this means, roughly, is that the Green truck is set up better for highway cruising than the Red: a shorter gear will offer lower MPG and top speed. For example, I have a 3:54 rear in Peer Pressure, which allows that great hulking beast to do 70 MPH on the freeway with no real trouble, other than the fact that it’s as aerodynamic as a brick and the suspension is made for hauling gravel. If my plan for the Red truck is to make it a comfortable highway cruiser, I want tall gears to take advantage of the engine.

So, I started thinking about pulling the axle out of the Green truck before it leaves. It’s the same basic RA15 unit in both trucks, but the axle shafts are different (the Green truck ends with a 5×5.5 bolt pattern while the Red truck is  5×4.5) so a  straight-up swap is out of the question at this point. I’d love to just yank it and then call the scrapper, but they generally want a vehicle to have two axles to easily drag onto a flatbed or hook up to a tow-behind. I’ve called around to a couple of scrappers in the area but they’re kind of dodgy on taking something without wheels. I’m going to keep calling and hopefully find someone up for the challenge.

I’ve had a standing store credit with IHPA after I returned some stuff last year, and now that the window is safely tucked away I figured I’d order some new rubber for it as well as the doors. When it gets a little reliably warmer outside I’m going to call the glass installer back and ask for the guy who put my replacements in last summer. Having new gaskets in both of the rear glass will go a long way to keeping things water-tight back there. The door rubber is another whole project, but once that’s in I won’t have to worry about leaks in the rest of the cabin.

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