I picked up a neat little toy through the Amazon Prime Day specials, something that will get some immediate use and hopefully pay for itself down the line: a lighted borescope, for looking deep down into dark places like cylinders and inside frame rails and down into AC ducts. It’s pretty slick; the control pad has a nice wide screen a little smaller than that of my iPhone SE and a keypad with a set of sturdy buttons. The wire is permanently connected to the unit and is a good bendable but stiff material that makes things easy to direct the way you want it to. It’s got a video and camera feature with a 32GB card that allows for all the photos and videos to fit and be offloaded to a computer. Here are some pictures from the spare SV 345 in my garage:
(Cylinder 5 and 7 are missing because the engine is sitting next to a shelf, making access to those two plugs impossible right now).
There are clearly some carbon deposits directly on top of the pistons; I know the moisture is Marvel Mystery Oil so I’m not too worried about that. The carb on this engine wasn’t burning the fuel completely so it was probably knocking; hopefully it wasn’t run to the point where it overheated. If I get this thing on a proper stand I’ll maybe pull the heads off to see if I can clean the pistons and cylinder walls—but that’s in the future.
This weekend I’m going to use it to peek into the cylinders in Bob’s Chrysler and see what’s going on with the 440.
I drove the Scout across town to welding class last week and one of the questions I got in the parking lot was, “how many miles on that thing?” I had to answer honestly: “I have no idea.” The engine has always been a mystery. It’s original to the frame but not the body, so the odometer isn’t a reliable indication of age or wear. IH engines were overbuilt to run all day and night, so 300K on a properly maintained 40-year-old SV engine isn’t surprising at all—as long as it’s not treated like a top-fuel dragster. All that being said, it sure would be nice to know more about this engine, and the condition it’s in.
I read the Autopian every day, an auto-centric website founded by two Jalopnik alumni who I follow pretty closely. One of the writers has written several stories about testing the oil from several of his high-mileage project cars to diagnose engine issues, using a service from Blackstone Oil Analysis. Blackstone takes a sample of your oil and does a metallurgical breakdown of the elements found inside to give insight into the wear on different elements, and possibly offer an idea as to the age and condition from inside. I’ve now got an envelope from Blackstone sitting on my desk waiting for an oil change—hopefully in May before a drive north to my cousin’s wedding. An added bonus: Blackstone is based in Ft. Wayne, Indiana—home of the IH plant my Scout was born in.
Well, looky here. There was rumbling on the forums and through the interwebs that someone was working on producing new wing window rubber for the Scout II, as nobody was making replacements and everyone’s rubber was/is cracked, rotten, hard, or about to be all of the above. I’ve got, between spare parts and whole doors, about five spare wing windows per side, and all of them have either cracked rubber, a spring mechanism where the weld is broken, or a busted hinge. It was with great pleasure that I saw an outfit in North Carolina is going to be producing new rubber, for the eye-watering price of $375/set. Yeah, yeah, this isn’t an F-body Camaro or a ’66 Mustang, for which brand-new parts are everywhere, but I’ll have to really consider the purchase before I pull the trigger.
Tomorrow night, I’m headed out to the first proper welding class I’ve ever taken, and I’m pretty excited. My first “training” was in college in the sculpture lab after hours; a very brusque and attractive TA gave me a basic lesson in MIG welding for a six-pack of beer, and while she was detailed in her description, I had about 20 minutes of hands-on learning before she had to leave, and I was on my own to booger-weld anything I could find. I did a basic refresher in 2014 at the Baltimore Foundery, and while that was fun it didn’t improve my skills at all. This course is a professional 36 hours of training and in-class practice, and at the end of it I should know what I’m doing a lot better.
I took Hazel for a ride back up to York this morning. The plan was to pick up an NOS fender and the black rear seat from the guy I’d visited last weekend; my friend Mike mentioned on Instagram that he was interested in the fender so I thought I’d head back up, grab that and the rear seat I spied last week. It was a balmy 50˚ so I was happy to only need a fleece for the whole day, and the sun peeked through clouds that began to darken the western sky as we got further north.
The guy who owns the lot wasn’t available so I had another guy take me where they had the fender stored. It looked OK under the lights—dirty on the inside, a few scratches on the outside—and all of the bolt holes were clean (except one which held a rusty nut/bolt combination; clearly he’d had it mounted on the truck at some point) so I threw it in the car.
We needed some PB Blaster to get the hinges on the seat to move—they were frozen, probably from sitting outside for weeks on end. But when I was able to get it to fold, I was sold. I headed back to the shop and paid the money, took some pictures of some old British cars he had on the lot, and hit the road.
On closer inspection when I got the fender home, I wish I’d been more careful. After really cleaning off the dirt on the inside, my heart sank. It’s NOS but at some point the owner had let it sit, probably inside-up, where water had pooled and started a layer of rust bubbling on the lower edges. It’s not all the way through, and could easily be cleaned up with a soda blast or some other abrasive, but it’s not a perfect fender. I’m going to send Mike a video I took with the detail and show him exactly what I’ve got here to see if he’s still interested. Mike specializes in show-winning restorations, and this might not be up to his standards.
The lesson here, which I’m still trying to learn at my age, is: slow down and be patient. Check over everything before you pay the money. If Mike doesn’t want it, I won’t be terribly upset; both of my other spare driver’s fenders are probably at best a 6 out of 10—the brown one I got last year might be a 5, and I paid next to nothing for it. I’ve also got to look at my parts scores on the whole: most of what I’ve gotten up until today has been very cheap. This is the most expensive part I’ve bought for the truck since I’ve had it, and it’s as closer to new than any other Scout parts I own besides the two lights from last week. So maybe it all evens out somehow…?
After I got home and got some lunch, I headed out to the garage to clean the heater box up. Now that I’ve got a proper sandblasting cabinet, I figured it wouldn’t be messy, but I had to do a bunch of prep work to get it ready.
First, I drained all of the sand out of the bottom of the cabinet and stored it in a bucket. The cabinet came with a gravity feed hose—basically as long as the bottom of the cabinet is full of sand, it sucks the sand in and mixes it in the gun at the tip, making it a closed system. But the tip it came with was broken and the Eastwood tips are larger than my Harbor Freight tips, so I figured I’d use what I already have. Propping the cabinet up on a box, I replaced both of the lights inside and filled my compressor. Then I loaded up my little HF canister with glass bead and got to work.
It did a really good job once I got the flow dialed in, and I a good bit of the box clean before I had to sieve the blasting media for big chunks that started clogging the tip. I also had to take frequent stops because the inside of the box isn’t properly vented yet—I need to get a hose with some kind of pusher motor to mount on the back to vent the dust out—but I got a lot done before the valve on the HF “gun” blew out on the side. It’s basically just a 3/8″ ball valve, not meant for abrasive use. After cleaning it up, I looked over the Eastwood gun and figured I’d give it a shot with the broken tip to see how the flow worked. I dumped the sand back in, hooked it up to the compressor, and was shocked at how well it threw sand even with a broken tip. Clearly the simpler system is the way to go, so I’m going to source some new tips from Eastwood and use that to finish off the parts.
When I was done with that I cut some lumber down to make a rolling cart for the cabinet with a shelf on the bottom, and with the addition of some HF casters I had it assembled and the cabinet on top in about 45 minutes. A panel on the back will keep it from being wobbly.
I saw an ad pop up on Marketplace a month and a half ago for a Scout that looked like someone had stepped on it. The body had been removed behind the B pillars and they put the traveltop over what was left, giving it the appearance of having been flattened. The ad didn’t say much but mentioned that it was available for parts at a used car dealer, so I filed that away in the back of my head. This past week I figured I’d give the guy a call and see what was there. From what he said nothing had been pulled yet, and the rig was in reasonably good shape, having just come from inside someone’s garage as a stalled project. So I packed up the CR-V and took Finn up to York for an early morning parts run.
The main reason I was up there was to get a spare heater box so I can rehab it on the bench this winter; I gotta have something to do with my hands. The second thing I wanted were the hubs; I’ve got one spare hub that doesn’t match the one on my truck and this one did. We backed the CR-V up as close as we could get and unloaded my tools. After hitting the various bolts with PB Blaster, I handed Finn an allen wrench to pull the bolts from the passenger’s side hub while I got the bolts off the heater box. With those gone and the hoses cut, it came out pretty quickly and it looks really good—there’s little to no rust on the metal at all. I drained the coolant and threw it in the back of the CR-V.
Then I helped Finn with the hub. The outer shell came off easily, and after pulling the snap ring on the inside the second section popped right off. The driver’s side was a different story, though. The hex bolts didn’t want to budge, even after a bath of PB Blaster, and I didn’t want to strip them. It was colder in the shade, and there was only a tiny bit of room in between the Scout and the van next to it. If I’d had more time, 2 extra feet and zero wind chill I would have tried drilling the bolts out, but I was too cold to bother with it.
I did grab the dash pad, which is black and looks very nice save some delamination at the top; I figure even in this shape I’d make my money back. The traveltop is roached. Both sills under the windows were lousy with rust. The doors were tucked under that, and from the looks of things someone had done some quick rust abatement on the bottom edges that didn’t look too bad. Sitting on the driver’s side floor were two boxes of parts that had been pulled while it was being stripped. The majority of it was stuff I already had two or more of (I can control my hoarding, I swear) so I left it there.
But two soggy NOS International boxes caught my eye: One held a brand new metal taillight housing, gasket and lens and the other held a front turn signal with the same parts. These are rare as hen’s teeth and the new repro’s are expensive. So I grabbed those too.
On our way out I spied the cowl sitting in the bed of a pickup truck nearby, and in front of that, a beautiful black fold-and-tumble rear seat. I hemmed and hawed over this last piece—it would look great as a replacement for the brown seat in Peer Pressure. I’ve already got a spare seat in the garage, but I’d love to standardize on all black for the passenger section.
Ultimately I left it there, but I think I’ll call him back in a couple of weeks and see if he’s willing to deal. Overall I’m very happy with what I’ve got here, and I’m looking forward to cracking into this heater box as well as rehabbing the spare hub. And as cold as it was today (and it was colder in York), it was fun to get outside and spin a few wrenches.
I got a big box from IH Parts America this week with two key items: a new windshield gasket and a turn signal switch assembly. I’ll have to drag one of the spare windshield frames into the basement and practice putting it in with the lesser of the three spare windshields I’ve got. It’s definitely a warm weather project but I’m excited to finally upgrade from my rock-tumbled ghetto glass.
At first glance the turn signal part is exactly the same as the one in my spare steering column, so I got back to rebuilding the spare column.
When last we left my steering wheel teardown, I’d been able to get the steering wheel off, then pull the jam nut (M14/1.5) off the spindle and expose the plate that covers up the guts of the column.
In order to get this plate out, you have to use another tool to depress it and expose a lock ring around the column, which took me several minutes with a pair of screwdrivers to get off.
With that plate out of the way, the next step is to take the turn signal disc out (the blue cylinder at the top). Jimmy it out with a screwdriver (GENTLY) and it should pop out.
And this is what I was faced with (on the spare column). I was hoping this one would be intact because I would be able to swap it into the column on Peer Pressure, but sadly one of the horns on the bottom half of the assembly broke off along with a twisted metal contact that mounted to something somewhere. That muddy, rusty mess at the 5’oclock position is all that remains of the metal contacts that help the switching mechanism sit in place. The mechanism itself was twisted into pieces and had fallen down underneath the main assembly.
I had to order an entirely new assembly and drop it into place—I went with a Light Line vendor, but the part is available on RockAuto for less: GM 1997985, which is the turn signal cam assembly for Scouts from mid 1977 and above (This spare column came from the 1978 I parted out in Flintstone).
The new part popped right onto place; you feed the wires back down through the column the same way they came out. The only thing I had to do was use an X-Acto blade to trim some extra plastic away from the divot where the turn lever bolts into place.
Now, the tricky part. The blue ring goes back in place, and what I found was that I had to align the divot on the top half with the one unsplined section of the shaft. You’ll notice on the retaining ring that there’s one tooth missing, so it only goes on the shaft one way. When it’s lined up properly the spring cup on the blue ring goes on just as it came out in my picture.
Then I use my ghetto depressing tool to push the retaining ring down in order to put the snap ring in place. This is where I’m stopping right now, as I’d like to use the new part in Peer Pressure, which means I have to pull it back out of this spare column and button everything up. And I’m not going to tear the column in my working truck until the temperature gets back up over 60˚, so I’m stalled for the time being.
Meanwhile, Mike at ScoutCo posted a handy little video on Instagram about how to pull the old lock out of a traveltop latch:
View this post on Instagram
Which is great, because I didn’t know about the little retaining clip until I watched this. I’ve got my spare latch on the workbench soaking in PBblaster, and I’m waiting to go down and follow his directions. It would be cool to have a locking latch on my Scout for the first time ever…
On FBM earlier this week an ad went up offering several International D-series trucks and one sad Scout, warning that they would only be there until the weekend and then they’d go to the crusher. I reached out to the guy asking for some details and better pics of the Scout, and he and Bennett and I traded some messages until Friday, when he told us he’d dropped them off at his local pick and pull lot because the County was after him. Bennett and I hatched a rescue mission after my original plans for the weekend fell through, and today we made the trip.
The northern part of Maryland is absolutely beautiful this weekend, and the ride was relatively short to boot. The weather forecast called for rain in the afternoon so I repacked my tools in the CR-V. We were on the road by 7:30 and made it to the field an hour later.
The rigs were all crowded around the bottom of the intake area next to the crusher. After talking with the yard folks we carried some tools inside, waited for them to move things with a huge forkloader, and started picking. There were 4 D series trucks for Bennett to choose from: a flatbed, a pickup, a cab with no bed, and a bed with no cab. The most desirable piece from any of the trucks, a D Series hood in immaculate shape, had been removed and lay under the chopped cab on the floor of the flatbed—ouch. Bennett set to work freeing the only good fender on any of the trucks while I set to work pulling the grille from the Scout.
The Scout looked better in the photos (they always do) but had been crunched in the tailgate, leaving little good sheetmetal to pick from. The doors were trashed, the fenders were shot, and the traveltop, which looked clean in the pics, was too crusty to save (I had been thinking about how I could get it off and get it home if it had been in good shape). Most of the interior bits I’ve already got, and these were all Bordello Red to boot. Maybe the original radio would have been smart to grab, or the dashpad. I’ve got two A/C units now so I don’t need another. And there wasn’t enough time to break the doors down, although the hinge on the driver’s side broke as I tried to open it.
At about 11AM rainclouds rolled in and we spent an hour in a miserable downpour, covering our tools with tarps and trying to stay out of the muddy water running down the hill in rivulets. All of the bolts on the grille came off with little effort save two that were too rusted to secure with a pair of vice-grips. I borrowed a sawzall from the yard guys and chopped at the bolts until I could pound a smaller socket on them to grab. With those off, the whole piece came off cleanly with two of the three chrome trim rings and both headlight surrounds.
I got a clean passenger’s side fiberglas top insert (both of mine have been split on the bottom to get around the rollbar), two tailgate latch assemblies, a pile of steel marker lights, one good rear taillight bucket, two horns, a pile of emblems, and other miscellania. I forgot to grab the traveltop bolts over the windshield. It would have taken another couple of hours to grab other good things—the fan shroud (the rest of the engine looked like it had been soaking in salt water for a decade), the seat bases, gauges, switchgear, and steering wheel.
Bennett made out with a good driver’s fender, a pile of hubcaps, trim rings, side trim and other emblems, two hubs, IH-branded cab lights and side mirrors, and a pile of other stuff. If we weren’t cold, wet and hungry we could have stuck it out for another couple of hours, but we were all of those things and we are old. Up in the lot he was able to get a replacement taillight for his CR-V, and in the same car we found a Honda-branded rubber mat for the back of mine.
All told, the trip was cheap and fun, and it was great to hang out with Bennett and get dirty and not draw any blood wrenching on old rusty trucks. He’s got a line on some more near here that he’s trying to pin down, and if he can, another trip will be in the works.
I drove out to my friend Dave’s house in Flintstone Sunday morning to see if there was anything else I could pick off the Scout II and Scout 80 he’s got beached up on the hill behind his house. Picking parts is fun but also like walking into a loop in the time-space continuum: after the first two hours, you think you’re ahead of the game. By 4 o’clock, you’re racing the setting sun and scrambling to do a cost-benefit analysis to gauge what’s worth pulling before you have to leave, and you still have to figure out how to stuff it all in the vehicle you brought.
Both times I’ve been there before I scrambled for the whole day to pull as much as I could in the time that I had, and I always left thinking, “dammit, I meant to grab ____ and ____ and ____.” Looking over the photos before I left, I knew there wasn’t a ton of stuff left, but there were some things worth going back for. Scouts on the East Coast are getting rarer and rarer on the ground, so I’m trying to get what I can while it’s still available. Dave is a nice guy and knows his stuff isn’t going to roll across the stage at Mecum, so he’s fair on price and happy to lend a hand or grab a tool.
Originally I was going to drive the Scout, so I put the traveltop back on Friday night and prepped a set of recovery tools. When that was done I installed the liftgate gas struts from IH Parts America and marveled at how much nicer they feel than the old mechanical lift. I also put the pod on the roof of the CR-V to hedge my bets. The forecast was wishy-washy about rain and I didn’t want to drive out in the Scout if I was going to get caught in a downpour.
The morning looked lousy so I loaded up the CR-V and hit the road a little after 8. Dave hasn’t sold anything since the last time I was up there, so I was able to pick up right where I’d left off. I walked around both trucks and hit all of the target areas with PB blaster before I busted out the impact driver and a new set of bits. Over the course of the day I was able to grab:
- The entire dash assembly with all wiring and mechanical switches
- The windshield glass (the frame is beyond toast)
- Both slider windows
- The rear liftgate with glass—it’s not perfect, but it’s better than the spare I have, and has hinges
- Both door strikers (I’d tried to get these last time, but the impact driver today was clutch)
- The A/C box
- The hood catch/release mechanism
- The passenger fender—it’s crispy in areas but might be worth repairing in the future. This took too much time to remove.
- An entire Scout 80 folding windshield with glass (score!)
- Other bits and bobs I can’t remember
I had the hood off the 80 and ready to load up, but Dave asked to keep it over the engine to keep the rain off. I also asked him about the 80 doors but he was keeping those for parts for his running truck.
On the dammit, I meant to list:
- I tried my best to pull the dashboard from the 80 but it’s fastened with some of the largest, stickiest Phillips-head screws I’ve ever dealt with. I want the IH speedometer BAD but couldn’t figure out how to get that without destroying it.
- I also tried to get the steering wheel assembly out but was stymied by several bolts down at the steering box and one up under the fender.
- The cowl was cut for a plow years ago, but I tried to get that too. There are several bolts inside the fenders that were rusted solid. If I ever go back I’ll ask Dave if I can Sawzall it off the front.
- On the Scout II I got stuck pulling the emergency brake assembly off—the brakes are likely frozen and I couldn’t get any slack to release the cable.
- The transmission tunnel cover—the automatic shift lever assembly gave me fits
- I meant to grab the power steering pump but ran out of time there as well.
I was pretty amazed that I was able to fit it all in the CR-V; if I’d taken that hood and door it would have been a very tight fit. As it was the pod came in super-handy: I put both the liftgate and the 80 windshield up there, freeing up space for the other bulky stuff in back. Driving home, covered in grease, PB blaster and dirt, I was happy to have gone back out and grabbed some of the last best junk before the snow started blowing and it all rusted away even further.
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.
Part one of this story begins with the Scout in Annapolis, being looked over by my original Scout mechanic from 1997. To make a long story short, I needed new bearings and reached out to several mechanic friends, who were all backed up with work. My friend Mikey, who I know through a completely different set of friends, suggested Erick—another example of worlds colliding in amazing ways. I brought the truck down to him with the bearings and he had both the fronts replaced by about 6:30 Wednesday evening. I ran down there with Jen, picked the truck up, and hustled it back home in a light rainstorm. I’d already prepacked everything so it was fast to throw stuff in the truck, kiss the girls, and hit the road to meet Bennett at a park and ride out on Route 70.
From there we drove out to West Virginia to meet Brian at his family river house, and we cracked a beer on the porch before hitting the sack in a beautiful new air conditioned camp trailer they bought last year.
Thursday morning broke hot and only got hotter. The temperature was in the 90’s but the humidity pushed the index into the 100’s, so we checked fluids in the trucks, packed ice and water, had a quick bite to eat and headed west. We hit only one minor slowdown for construction, and stopped every hour or so to hydrate, gas up, and air out the backs of our shirts. Bennett kept the location of the barbecue joint we hit two years ago so we stopped in there for some lunch at about two, and it was worth the wait.
Back on the road, we navigated the evening rush hour around Columbus and then got cooled off in a downpour west of the city which then seemed to follow us. With the bikini top on the truck and a speed above 40mph, everything in the truck stayed bone dry through the worst of the thunderstorm. I’d prewashed the windshield with Rain-X before we left and that helped the visibility; I only had to use the wipers occasionally.
We rolled into the hotel by about 8PM and found the parking lot about 3/4 full of antique trucks. There were a bunch of folks to stop and chat with, and we finally broke off to drag some gear inside before it started raining again. We’d all agreed to avoid restaurants and as much indoor exposure as possible, so we ordered a pizza and had it delivered to the room while the rain passed. Then we headed back outside to meet up with friends and drink some beer.
Friday morning we got an early start, as a lot of the good parts would be fresh on the grass at entry, so we ate a quick breakfast, brushed our teeth, and hit the road for the airfield. After a brief stop at Tim Horton’s drivethrough we entered the grounds and made our way over to the rows, where Bennett and I set up next to each other and Brian got a sweet spot right across the lane from us. After checking in and picking up our swag we set up my EZ-UP (lifesaver) and wandered over to the parts area.
There were a lot of goodies to look over, and I tried to show some restraint for as long as possible. I got a ’72 emblem for the front of Peer Pressure’s grille (mine is missing) for $5, a day-night rearview mirror to replace my single-position mirror for $15, a $20 transmission mount (mine is toast) and a sweet shirt from GRC Fab for $15. There was a lot of other amazing stuff there that I would love to have bought.
We ran into a bunch of friends on the grounds and caught up with them, but by 1PM we were crispy and hungry. We retired to the tent to grill some hamburgers and chat with our neighbor Dave, who owns a last-day 1980 diesel Scout and who was happily eating some homemade ice cream from one of the vendors.
Sipping on a delicious chocolate milkshake from said vendor I heard the announcer offer a door prize to the first person who could produce an IH keychain. I hustled up to the podium and showed him my worn leather keyfob—the fob Chewbacca’s keys came on—and claimed a nice plastic ammo box to hold all of my new parts.
By about 4 we were thoroughly baked so we lowered the tent and headed back to the hotel. The tailgate party was just kicking off so we cracked some beers and I ran upstairs for a quick shower. Then we grilled some dinner on Peer Pressure and talked with friends.
We met a nice kid who parked an immaculate ’78 Rallye next to Brian’s truck and struck up a conversation; he’d spent the last two years working on it with his Dad and was obviously pretty proud of the results. Every nut and bolt was new. The paint gleamed. The engine was spotless. We complimented him on his work and told him to keep it out of the rain. Turns out he was from western Maryland and he’d trailered it in with his Dad that day.
Another man asked me a question about my grille, and I got to talking with he and his teenage daughter. She’d just bought a Scout and wanted to fix it up, and they’d driven four hours from Illinois to learn more about Scouts and how to do things. I talked with them for about a half an hour and answered as much as I could, then recommended a few more people to talk with. He said he was struck by how friendly everyone was at the show, and I assured him this was pretty normal.
Brian and I called it at about 11:30 and after downing some more water we crashed out.
Saturday we got up early to make sure we got our spot back, and after some lousy hotel food and a Clif bar we hit the road for the fairgrounds. Our spot was where we left it, as was the EZ-UP, and we set up camp for the day under cloudy skies and 65˚ temperatures. There were more vendors set up selling things so we hustled over to see what was newly available. I found a set of beautiful 2″ Stewart-Warner oil and amp gauges and got them for $15. Further down the line we stopped in to see Dan at the Binder Boneyard and I bought a locking glove box latch for $20, which should work better than the wiggly hunk of metal I’m currently running. Elsewhere I hemmed and hawed over an incomplete chrome trim set without the clips and walked away, feeling good about my self control.
I then spied a set of fiberglas inner panels and noticed the third section for above the liftgate doorâ€”this one had the cutout for a switch like mine. We figured Howie at Binder Boys would have one in stock. His booth is amazing; one half of his setup is two full tables of divided parts containers organized by fastener type, size, shape, and function—thousands of items. The other half is a trailer crammed with neatly organized large parts in racks and on shelves. He hustled into the trailer and within a minute handed me two to choose from, charging me $3 for the best one.
We headed back to the trucks to get some lunch, and then figured we should go over and check out IHPA’s booth up by the hangar. There we drooled over a lot of really nice stuff, including the brake kits we’d seen at Lee’s place. Brian struck up a deal and got a great price on one minus shipping. I got a decent deal on a set of liftgate struts for my truck and decided I’d hit my spending limit.
We visited with friends, got some more ice cream, and wandered through the rest of the show looking at the new arrivals. When they announced the raffle would start at 6 back at the hotel, we broke down camp and headed back there at about 4:30 to get our spots in the parking lot. I was fortunate enough to have a guy park a genuine SSII next to me, which we took time to drool over as the sun finally came out.
The raffle went off pretty quickly (I did not win anything, as usual) and the auction was lots of fun. There wasn’t a lot that I was interested in this year, so I kept my wallet in my pocket.
After the raffle, things broke up into smaller groups. I was feeling pretty worn down, so I called home and talked to Jen for a bit away from the crowds. We mingled a little and chatted with some folks, but were feeling pretty beat and headed upstairs at around 11.
Bennett and I had a long drive ahead of us (Brian was stopping off in West Virginia) so we bailed out of the hotel, ate some breakfast in the parking lot, and checked over fluids and fasteners. After topping off the important stuff we got on the road under cloudy skies. At the first service station a fellow with a crusty SSII on a trailer pulled up next to me, and I wished him luck with his restoration. Talking to him on Friday I learned he’d found one of only 50 Midas SSII’s in existence under a tarp out in the boonies, and he was going to rebuild the whole thing.
We drove into the morning gloom and soon it started drizzling. It was enough to cover the windshield but not enough to be dangerous, which was lucky for me because my wipers stopped working somewhere in Western Maryland. Again, with the bikini top up everything in back stayed bone dry. I think the worst part was that for the first hour I was cold; I was able to get to and put on my windbreaker but my legs were freezing until we stopped for a break and I could get under the hood to manually open my heater valve.
Beyond that, the ride home went off without a hitch. The roads were open, the rain let up right before Frederick, and for the final leg I drove with the top down and the sun on my back. I got into the house at 8PM and enjoyed some dinner with the girls in front of the TV.
Once again, our trusty old binders didn’t fail us. Once again, we had a great time getting out there, seeing friends, talking about trucks (and other stuff) and enjoying the summer in Ohio after it cooled off. We ate too much grilled meat off the tailgate, drank just enough beer, a lot more water, and avoided just enough rain to make it pleasant. Once again I had a great crew to enjoy the trip with, and I’m looking forward to next time.