Here’s a time-lapse I set up using a GoPro, stitching together photos of the whole process.
In related news, the guy who owns one of the two Scouts I saw back in January has listed the darker Scout II for $3500 on Craigslist. Not that I need a rusty carcass. But those door inserts would be cool.
So I did find a welder within easy rental distance, and on Sunday morning, after we were walked and fed, I ran out with Finley and grabbed it, along with some stuff for her fort. When that project was done, I turned my attention to the bumper.
I knew I was going to be getting something not quite as good as Brian’s gas-shielded MIG welder, so I wanted to practice and get things dialed in before I messed up my good metal. This was a Miller 120 wire-fed MIG, so I made sure I had the right thickenesses dialed in and started messing with some scrap on the bench. After some welding and grinding and welding and grinding I had what I thought was the right setting for the machine, and moved out to the driveway where I had the bumper set up on some sawhorses.
The first bracket went on reasonably well on the front, and I filled the back with about four passes to make sure it didn’t go anywhere. I think I had to do three in front and four in back, pausing to grind and brush between each for clean metal. The second went on a little smoother in the front and I got enough of the back filled to feel comfortable. Let’s be clear, there was a lot of booger and spatter and I missed the joint several times completely. This was not perfect.
Then I used a stepper bit to drill two holes into the bumper itself (shudder) and then welded two captive nuts to the outside for a license plate directly in the center. Once that was done and cleaned up with the flap wheel, I mounted the whole thing on the truck and test-fit the lights.
So the next step is to fill the gaps with a little bondo, sand things down, and get ready for paint!
I made a little progress with the bumper project over the last week, up to the point where I need a welder. To recap: I originally bought 1/4″ box steel which wound up being way too thick, and bought another length of 1/8″ box steel which worked out perfectly. After a little coaxing I cut the edge off the bar and then cut two sections from that, leaving me with a pair of C-shaped sections ready for pilot holes.
I used a stepped drill bit in the drill press and then ground off about 1/8″ of each edge to get them flat, parallel, and shallow, then test fit everything on the bench.
As for welding, Brian took his rig back a month or two ago so I’m without anything here to use (and truth be told, the welds I was making before he came and got it were terrible). I called a local mobile welder who quoted $125 just to come out; while everybody’s got to make a living I’m having a hard time rationalizing that when I could spend another $150 and get a decent 110-amp starter MIG for myself. Or, I could spend $40 and grab a simple 110 MIG from the local rental center, and I wouldn’t have to deal with yet another large tool taking up space in my already cramped garage….perfect!
A brief update: I’ve got new bolts in hand for both the bumper and foglight brackets from Fastenal: 1/2″-13 x 5-1/2″ Grade 8 hex bolts for the bumper and 3/8″-16 x 3/4″ 18-8 stainless carriage bolts for the brackets. I also got a 1′ length of 2″x2″ .250 wall box steel delivered to be cut down into a pair of C-shaped brackets. Unfortunately, the metal cutting blade I bought could not make it through the steel, and truth be told, it’s way too thick anyway. So, I’m going to order some .125 wall and use that instead. I’ve found a local welder who can put them on for me, which should only take a half an hour. I’m also going to have him weld the lock hasp on the bottom of the ammo can and put that job to bed as well, because it’s springtime and the top is coming off soon.
Another thing I stumbled upon was a “fuel sender test kit” from one of the parts vendors, which is basically just two lengths of wire and some instructions, something I should be able to build and use myself in a half an hour. The key are the directions, which look like they could be even more helpful—the only issue is getting a wire to the top of the tank itself, but as I’d like to rework the hoses anyway, I might spend a day dropping the tank and working on it.
I had a little bit of time over the weekend to do some Scout stuff with the weather beginning to warm up, so I got right to it. The first thing on the docket was to bust out the sandblaster and remove the paint from a couple of parts I’d picked off the Flintstone scout: the license plate mount, the firewall bracket for the steering wheel, and the latch mechanism for the tailgate. Without remembering that I had better luck with glass bead, I used up a bunch of baking soda and got most of the old grungy paint off of the parts.
There’s a fair bit of pitting on the mount, so I wire-wheeled everything and shot it with a coat of rust encapsulator to keep it sealed tight. The entire socket needs to be replaced, so I’ll source an LED unit (or reuse one from the old swingarm setup) at some point in the future. The spring in the tailgate latch had slipped its cog so I reset that, cleaned the grime out with a wire brush, and shot it full of lithium grease.
A few things I’ve learned from using a $20 homemade sandblasting setup:
- It pays to have a pile of parts to do all at once. Setting it all up for one part is a colossal waste of time.
- A $200 blast cabinet, while pricy and bulky, looks more and more like a good investment. Healthier, too.
- Sandblasting with the right media in the right conditions is immensely satisfying.
Sunday’s project was fixing the driver’s side exhaust donut, which has been leaking for several years. I had the truck out yesterday for some errands, and what had been a low bub-bub-bub-bub last fall had progressed to the BRAP-BRAP-BRAP-BRAP of a straight-piped Harley over the winter.
This involved shooting the flange bolts with PBBlaster and letting them soak, which predictably had no result. No matter how I tried the outside bolt would not budge, which of course meant the inner bolt was never going to move. I used a small reciprocating saw to cut the outside bolt in half and then realized that the inside bolt was still snug—so I decided to leave that one alone. One copper bolt and two nuts later, the flange is snug around the manifold again. The difference is amazing: driving through Ellicott City to go pick up beer this afternoon, she purrs again; heading up the hill toward home no longer sounds like we’re beating a war drum on the march to Valhalla.
Saturday afternoon a new set of Hella fog lights appeared on the doorstep, which will require some slight modification to mount to the new bumper. I went with LED units because the wattage is lower and the draw on 45-year-old wiring and the alternator will be gentler. This kit came with black covers which I will have to swap out with OG white ones sometime in the future.
The current plan is to order a length of 2″x2″x1/4″ wall square tubing, chop that into 2″ sections, and then chop one of the walls off to make a strong, geometric C. Flipped on the side and welded to the top of the bumper, they will be mounts for the lights so that I don’t have to drill into the bumper itself. This is going to require the services of a local welder, as Brian came to pick his MIG a couple of weeks ago. (Or, I drive out to his house and we bumble our way through some booger welds ourselves). Either way I’m dying to get it moving along so that I can mount it. I’m still on the fence about whether I should powder-coat or just shoot it with rattlecan black here in the driveway. The paint on the rear bumper has held up really well in the nine years since I painted it; I do like inexpensive solutions…
And in the RockAuto cart this afternoon:
- A new temperature sensor—suddenly the gauge is reading zero, and I’d like to have a firm idea of how hot things get this summer. I put a laser thermometer on the water neck and it read 165˚, which means the thermostat is doing exactly what it should be.
- An air cleaner intake hose to replace the chewed up dryer hose POS I’ve had in this engine since I got it.
That was fast. This 45-lb. beauty showed up on my doorstep this afternoon, and being that it’s 60˚ outside, I had to go out, unbolt the stock bumper, and do a test fit. It looks fantastic, and the workmanship is excellent—better than I was expecting, actually. The clevis mounts aren’t flush-welded—they go all the way through to the back of the bumper through two holes and are welded on each side. The welds are clean and tidy. The bull bar doesn’t stick out too far, something I was afraid of.
It’s raw metal, so I have to pull it back off and bring it inside so it doesn’t flash rust. Then I can weld on some lamp mounts, drill and tap license plate holes, clean it good, and spray it with some black paint.
I went ahead and ordered a bumper! The way the ordering process went was a little strange; the contact from the Facebook page sent me an invoice via PayPal (keyed to the name of the fabricator) so I used my credit card to purchase it. This way I’ve got their built-in protection working for me. I got a notification from UPS that it was shipping yesterday(!!!) but then the contact messaged me on Facebook the same day asking if it was for a Scout II or an 80/800. Later that evening UPS updated me and told me it wouldn’t be delivered tomorrow, which left me with equal parts sadness and relief. And there’s no update on shipping yet.
I’m already thinking ahead to modifications and how I’m going to weld a set of brackets on under the pushbar to mount a pair of fog lamps, as well as a pair of captive nuts to accept a license plate.
I was in on a long empty zoom call this morning where I was just listening, and noticed that I was getting a lot of spam comments on oldlinestatebinders.com. I’d set up the site back in October but never really worked on it since then. I logged in and set up Akismet, which will shut the spam right down, and updated all of the themes and plugins. While I was listening, I swapped the theme and replaced the stock photos with some stuff from previous events.
Clearly, I need to get some more T-shirt designs finished and get them posted.
I’ve seen a guy selling front bumpers on Facebook Marketplace for a couple of months now. They’re basic prerunner-style bumpers, with a large pusher bar, two clevis mounts, and upturned edges, much like the bumper Brian and I built. They’re built from 3″x 4″x 1/8″ box steel, while my rear bumper is 2″ x 6″.
(through the magic of Photoshop, I can simulate the look)
But the thing that caught my eye first was the price: $280 including shipping.
I did a quick google search and found the company website where they’re selling the same thing for $15 more without shipping, and so this sounded like an even better bargain. I’ve got a little less than this amount left in the Scout kitty, but I just sold a spare camera lens a few weeks ago, so I think I might pull the trigger on this.
As much as I love the ’72 grille I’ve got, and the overall look of the front my truck, there’s always been something missing. This would be a good start, and would be easily modified for a winch or fog lights.
I can’t do much with the Scout in the shitty weather we’ve been having lately, so I’m trying to find some small things I can accomplish in short amounts of time. One of the things I’m planning for the spring is sanding and prepping my spare sheet metal, and one of the primary pieces Iive had my eye on is the white front fender from the Wheaton Scout. That truck had been used for plowing so there was a fair bit of sheet metal damage to the rear, but the main section of the driver’s fender was clean. I’ve been soaking the bolts holding the splashguard in PBBlaster for several weeks, and pulled it into the basement this afternoon to see if I could get the rest of the rusty sheet metal off.
One of the bolts came off easily, but I had to heat the rest of them with a propane torch and use a vice-grip on the retaining clip to get the rest of them them to budge. Still, anytime a bolt comes off without the sawzall is a good day in my book. I also got the chrome strip off cleanly and scraped out the mud and gunk from the inside, and then hung it back up in the garage.
When the weather warms up, I’m going to hit it with the powerwasher to clean the metal off, then glass bead blast the rusty parts. There’s a set of dents in the front that need to be coaxed back out, and then the whole thing will be ready for a light skim of bondo, sanding and priming. The goal is to get this piece ready for final coat and then put away.
Meanwhile, I’ve got a feeler out with a local guy about a heater core from his parts truck. I messaged him about it, fully expecting to set a date to drive out and yank it myself, but he wrote back and told me he’d let me know when he’d pulled it. I wrote back and asked him what he wanted for it, and then offered to drive out and pull it myself. Then he went dark. I’ve never had someone offer to pull something sight unseen, especially not on a Scout. I don’t want a rusty pile of shit, nor will I pay for one, so I’m curious to see if I ever hear back from him. Either way, I’d love to have a heater box I can disassemble and refurbish while it’s cold outside—I’d like a small project to tackle on the workbench.