No Brakes

I got a bunch of stuff done on the Travelall but at the end of the weekend I didn’t reach the goal I was hoping for. Having the rear floor removable has been great; I pulled it out on Sunday and heated the balky rear brake line, then clamped it with a set of vice grips and separated it from the main line. Because I’d stripped the fitting on that line, I cut a quarter inch off and re-flared it, then connected it up with a new soft line to the splitter block. With that done, I figured it was time to fill the reservoir and bleed the brakes. I started on the passenger rear line and used a $25 Harbor Freight vacuum tool to try and draw fluid into the line, but had no luck. I tried the driver’s rear and was able to pull a bunch of old crud from that line, but still had no luck bringing new fluid in.

I then tried bleeding the clutch slave, but had no success there either. Pressing the pedal down results in bubbles from the bottom of the reservoir but I don’t get any pressure built at all.

On Monday I pulled the driver’s wheel off and tried bleeding that line, figuring I’d diagnose a blockage in the old hard line out back, but had no success. I didn’t bench bleed the reservoir before putting it on, which I only learned about after I’d installed it, so I’m going to pull the connections off and bleed it while it’s mounted to see if it’s working correctly, then diagnose from there. I’ve got enough hard line to replace the long run along the frame rail, and that’ll probably be the next step.

The other bit of progress on Sunday was the installation of four new shocks at each corner; the originals were rusted to oblivion. Once again, all the bolts came off with little to no effort and inexpensive new shocks went on easily.

Beyond all of that, I’ve got a list of parts to look for in Ohio this weekend. Most of the Light Line vendors bring trailers full of good stuff, and often there will be good sheet metal from out West to pick over. I thought I’d set up a deal for a Travelall front bench seat from California, but the vendor has ghosted me since last week so I have no idea if they’re bringing anything or what to expect. They’re also supposed to have a regular (non oil-bath) air cleaner housing for me. Among the other items I’m on the lookout for:

  • Rear passenger glass — this is pretty self explanatory. Unobtanium, but I am ever hopeful
  • A C-series driver’s front fender in better shape than what I’ve got. My fender is repairable but is quickly gaining weight from all the bondo, and the bottom section is much worse than the passenger side.
  • A C-series front cowl. I think these rusted quite commonly, so this might be a hard one to find.
  • Front turn signal buckets — Mine are both swiss cheese. I’d love to find them with the pigtails too.
  • A 14″ International badge for the back door.
  • A Travelall badge for the passenger rear quarter — these are expensive these days, but there are a few vendors who might be able to hook me up.
  • C-series sun visors — I haven’t been able to find these anywhere, although I know they exist.
  • A 16″ 4.5×5 lug steel wheel
  • A steering wheel with no cracks — not necessary but I’ll keep an eye open
  • Rear Taillights — These aren’t in bad shape, but if I could find new lenses that would be great.
  • 4th IH hubcap — I’ve got three, one is dented and the other is in decent shape. I’d like all four, preferably.

Finally, I’d driven down to my Father in Law’s house on Saturday to get some work done—mowing his lawn, edging the whole property, cutting the bushes back, and installing a new mailbox. On my way home, I decided to stop at a salvage yard I’ve been spying on for twenty years at the foot of the Solomons bridge. There’s been a unique antique British sedan there for months and I figured I’d peep it out. To my surprise, parked behind the sedan was a gray Scout of unknown origin that I’d never seen.

A closer inspection revealed it had been completely covered in gray bedliner and it was sitting on two flat tires. Covering anything other than the bed is a bad idea; I’d bet the inside sheet metal is crispier than fried chicken. I looked it over a little and presently the owner of the yard pulled up in his parts wagon; he was super nice when I mentioned I had a Scout and we got to talking. He’s putting it together for a customer but they’re waiting on parts. Then we talked about his sedan, which was a Triumph Mayflower that he’s had for decades. It was getting late, so I snapped a few pictures and headed on my way.

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Weekly Roundup, 5.7

I didn’t get to work on the Travelall much this week; I was in DC for work for three straight days and thus I had little spare time. However, I did finally secure a fourth 16″ 4.5 x 5″ bolt pattern tire from a guy in Idaho, who pulled it off a trailer made from the rear of an International pickup. If this mounts properly I will be astounded, as he communicates via Marketplace in single syllable words. Let us pray.

Saturday afternoon I popped the top off the Scout in response to 70˚ weather with the intention of driving  it. In the afternoon we were meeting the extended family for some ice cream and spied the neighbor Scout passing us down the street, so I gave chase and caught up with the guy. He seems nice and we traded numbers to get together sometime in the future; he’s friends with the guy who runs the IH dealership in Ellicott City.

Sunday afternoon Jen and I walked down for coffee and through the Farmer’s Market. On Main Street we passed a pretty Early Bronco, and a peek in the window led me to believe it was a new purchase: the little sign on the dash is the order of operation: Neutral – Choke – Start Engine – Foot Brake: Release – Clutch & Gear. I laughed at the use of the Club on the wheel. Haven’t seen one of those in decades.

Returning home, I did a few honey-do’s before heading outside to get some work done. First up were the coolant hoses, which were both a foot too long and draped down almost to the frame rail. I shoved an old pot underneath and disconnected each of them from the heater box, then cut the excess from each and re-connected everything. The fuel line was next: I moved the filter next to the dipstick tube and ran about a foot around the passenger’s side of the engine to meet up with the metal line connected to the carb. Both of these routes now match what’s happening in the Scout.

With that done, I tried using the external fuel pump to suck gas out of the tank, but couldn’t get it to pull anything. A few spins of the drain plug and I had a nice steady trickle of gas emptying out into a catch pan. This gas doesn’t stink like varnish or look like gas—it’s clear, not golden, and it has a vaguely chemical smell but not nearly as bad as fresh gas. I have no idea how old it is, but I’ve got almost five gallons of it so far. The local landfill won’t accept it for recycling so I have to drive up north of the city to get rid of it.

While that was emptying I sanded the rear quarter and put some more bondo on to smooth things out. Then I put a line wrench on the fittings from the master cylinder and disconnected it in the engine compartment. It’s still connected to two threaded rods under the dash, so those will need to be disconnected before I can swap the whole unit out, and then I need to source some new hard lines for the clutch.

The other missing puzzle piece is finally on its way as of Friday: TCP Global is shipping a quart of primer and a quart of IH Red to the house this week, which means I can finally make preparations to shoot the roof. Which is great, as I can see rust peeking through areas in the drip rail already. Grrrr.

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Local Scout

We had a yard sale a week ago and one of the people who stopped by struck up a conversation about the Scout, which was parked in the driveway. One of the things he mentioned to me was that there was another Scout a half a mile away, parked in someone’s backyard. He gave me a rough idea of where it was and then went on his way. This afternoon Finn and I took advantage of some clear skies and took a bike ride (this is one of my goals for this year: getting her on a bike at least three times weekly) over into that neighborhood. Using his rough description I found the alley where it was probably located, and at the very end we found it:

What’s even more interesting about this Scout is that I’ve seen it before, but not around here. Back in 2019 an ad went up for the cab top on this truck, and when I saw it I considered it briefly, only because it looks like it was painted the same color as Peer Pressure. As I recall it was somewhere in Maryland then, but not in my town. Interesting. It’s got Maryland plates, so it’s legal, but I haven’t seen it on the road around here. I’ll keep my eye out.

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Lighting and Cleaning

I had time to myself today, so I went out to try and solve the mystery of the dead lightbulb behind my heater controls. Now that I actually have heat it would be nice to see what the controls say; at one time I knew exactly how they worked by muscle memory, but that was in the days of Chewbacca and I got the heat in this Scout working only recently. To get to the one bulb on top of the control box I found it easiest to pull the fascia plate off the dashboard and with it the radio; this is the best way of getting back there without cutting a hole in the firewall and going in from the back. The bulb installed was weird, in that it has two wires going in and was zip-tied in place at some point. All three of the spare dashboards I own have one wire and no zip-tie. Additionally strange is that this bulb is different than all of the other bulbs in the dash: it’s a 5GE 57 bayonet (or some equivalent) so I have to source a new one from somewhere—all of the spares I own didn’t work.

On the subject of fascia plates, I’ve been thinking about dressing up the one I’ve got or replacing it, now that the rest of the cabin looks better. I own five in total, the one in the truck and these:

The chewed up green one is from the Flintstone Scout. I don’t remember where I got the woodgrain one from. The bottom two are from other rigs that I can’t remember (the good green one is left over from Chewbacca days). I’m hesitant to touch the two good ones so I’m going to see if I can use the better of the two bad ones and make a clean hole for a DIN9 receiver. That’ll be tomorrow’s project, along with sourcing the correct lightbulb.

Walking the dog through the ‘Ville today I noticed a familiar green Scout parked at my neighbor’s house. The house belongs to a nice man named Steve, who passed away a couple of years ago, but I’m still in touch with his son. I sent him an email this afternoon asking after him and to see if he needs help getting her roadworthy—the last time we traded messages he was having problems with the carb and I don’t know if he got them sorted out. I sent along info for the guy who did the brakes on PP last year, and hopefully I’ll hear back from him sometime soon.

Well Hello There


Driving through the County after a hike with the family yesterday, I spied these two beauties parked in the back of a lot about twenty minutes from the house. Perhaps I’ll stop by in the summertime when I’m driving Peer Pressure and see if the owner is home.

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There’s an International dealership down the road from me in Ellicott City that I’ve been aware of since I was in college, and back in the days when I was sourcing parts for Chewbacca I bought some parts from a guy that worked there, including a windshield that still sits in my garage. From the grapevine I’d heard that he got out of the biz after the first EC flood came through and wiped out his parts stash, but apparently he’s still hauling rusty junk out of the woods. A few weeks ago I saw a post on Craigslist for a travel top and some other parts on a junker and realized it was parked up behind the dealership, and this morning I thought I’d go take a look at it on a quiet Sunday morning. The truck is still there, and hasn’t changed since the post went up. It’s a crusty 1980 Diesel from Arizona missing both front fenders, but it looks like there might be some decent interior parts left, including a three-piece rollbar that looks like it would reach further back than the one in Peer Pressure.


He’s got some other rigs parked up there as well, including this ’78 that gets worse the closer you stand to it. I’ve never see two front fenders rust out like that; I have no idea what the cause might be.


There’s also this 1980 with the letters GMS printed on the side; Bennett tells me it stands for Green Machine Sport, which was a special package made that year to dress things up. This one is in about the same condition as the white Scout on the rollback, but at least all the parts are there.

I don’t know what he’s planning on doing with these. I reached out to him via Messenger to inquire about the rollbar, and he says he probably has plans for it, but he’d let me know if he was going to sell it. So we’ll see.

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Price Drop

Remember the $9000 Scout deal I linked to in August (one “good tub” and one parts Scout)? Well, the tub is gone and the parts scout is still for sale: $1900. That’s still about $700 too high, if it’s as rough as he says.

I’d love to offer him half that amount and drag it home for parts.

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