For as long as I’ve had Peer Pressure, I’ve had a nagging worry whenever I get behind the wheel that I’m going to run out of gas, because the gauge doesn’t work. I keep a small notebook with a careful record of mileage, updated at every gas stop, and using that with a vague rule of thumb—estimating 10 miles per gallon—has been working well for years. If I don’t lose track of how many miles I’ve gone, I’m usually in good shape. Sometimes I forget, though, and that’s what worries me.
On Friday of last week I was driving back through Chestertown to return to Brian’s house from the job site in Rock Hall, a distance of roughly 13 miles one way. I’d made the trip all week without doing the math, and I was preoccupied with all of the stuff I needed to do before heading back home that evening. I crossed over the two-lane bridge in the afternoon sunlight, sad to see my time on the Eastern Shore come to a close, and about 100 yards past the bridge I sputtered to a halt, the engine dead.
Getting her started again is pretty easy. I always have gas in the Rotopax, and a little squirt down the carb primes the engine right back up. As I filled the tank, I looked back at the bridge and thanked the Scout gods again for getting me over the span and onto the median without blocking traffic in the middle, and vowed to pay even closer attention to my fuel situation.
Another unexpected present showed up on my doorstep last week: an original Service Manual encased in a thick black binder. Unlike the one I bought a couple of years ago, this one contains all of the Scout chapters (the first one one is missing Bodies + Cab, Clutch, General Information, Transfer Case, and Wheels + Tires) and is in excellent shape—besides smelling strongly of basement. Interestingly, this is printed on individual, thin sheets of paper, while the first one is on heavier paper in signatures. I texted my benefactor and arranged to drop off a couple of six-packs of good beer on Sunday for his trouble. At this point I’ve got three Service Manuals: a reprint from Super Scouts, the incomplete version, and this one. Maybe I’ll sell the reprinted version…?
There’s a guy on Instagram who goes by the handle thescoutking and who posts some good info every week or so. One of the things he mentioned a while back is the exact part name for the plastic door clips that mount the metal card to the door. I found them on Amazon and forgot about them for a while until I got an alert that they were back in stock and the price had dropped, so I threw them in a cart with some other stuff.
In practice, they go in pretty well—you’ll have to use a hammer to tap them into place. They don’t stand off the door as far as the stock nuts do, and I’ve found that the stock cap-head screws don’t grab and hold quite as tightly in these as they do the stock nuts, but they’re a good replacement for 50-year-old plastic.
Finally, I saw that a couple of people at Nats had replaced their cigarette lighter sockets with integrated USB chargers, which also happen to read out the current voltage of the battery. I threw that in the Amazon cart as well to replace the adapter I’ve currently got. It’s about the same price as a new adapter, but the hole required to mount it is bigger: the diameter of the barrel is 1 1/8″ which will require drilling the existing hole out wider. Given that nothing in my Scout is stock anymore, I think this should be a pretty easy thing to add.