Having tried to start the engine last weekend and met with failure, I paused to think the situation over. On Monday I came up with a plan. Because turning the key wasn’t working anymore, I wanted to know if the starter had gone bad, or if there was a break in the wiring between the dashboard and the starter. When I was sorting out the clutch and brake linkage, I was under the dash fighting all kinds of wires, so it was a strong possibility I’d disconnected or broken something.
Last night I checked over the connections in the engine bay (the battery is fully charged and healthy according to the multimeter) and bent a piece of 12ga wire in half. With the key in the ACC position and new gas in the carb bowl, I jumped the poles on the starter and she fired right up. The new fuel pump immediately began pulling from the tank, and she ran at a fast idle. I let it run for a little while, noting clouds of smoke from the exhaust—residue from preoiling the cylinder when I first got the truck. I shut it down after a few minutes, satisfied the fuel system is working correctly. The fact that it shut down from the key tells me there’s a bad ignition connection on the lock barrel, which should be a relatively easy fix.
Now I’m going to turn back to the brakes, which are the final piece of the puzzle. Once I’ve gotten the soft line replaced at the back axle—I’m considering replacing the hard line from there to the front fender—I can fill the main cylinder and bleed the system. When the brakes are ready and the fast idle is corrected, I can test the clutch and transmission, and hopefully move the truck under its own power.
After that was sorted, I used some fine grit sandpaper to polish the primer on both fenders and hit the passenger’s side with IH red from a rattle-can. It’s bright and shiny and doesn’t go with the rest of the truck at all—the older rattle-can I had went on somewhat flat, which actually worked with the rest of the paint. Neither of these fenders are perfect, but the passenger side looks worlds better than it did before, especially after I wire-wheeled the top and the filler hole before hitting them with rust stop.
Saturday morning we got an early start on the day. After a walk downtown for some coffee with Jen and Hazel, I stopped back over at Steve’s house to talk with his wife, who walked us back to the carriage house and directed me to a couple boxes of leftover parts from the truck, as well as the original carpet set. We had a lovely time chatting and while I was in the garage I gave her money for a pneumatic sander, needle scaler and metal brake sitting on the floor. She then showed us his old workshop in the basement, which had actually been open during the estate sale, and pleaded with us to take some of the stuff that was left over. I found a nice Craftsman three-drawer toolbox with some tools inside that I also gave her money for.
Back at the house, I continued working on the passenger side brakes. Here the soft line didn’t want to come off the connector inside the frame rail without threatening to bend the hard line, so I left that on and finished up the rest of the drum around it. With that greased up and sealed, I pulled both front fenders off and continued pounding out dents and smoothing things over with Bondo. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this truck is going to be a 20-footer, but eventually I’ll find better C-series fenders and paint them to match. I also ran the old gas through the tank into a pail and strained the dirt out through a coffee filter. It came out much cleaner than the last time, so I figured I was getting close. Then I pulled the brittle feed hose off the gas tank and plumbed a new line inside the frame rail up to the fuel pump.
On Sunday I took the Scout down to the local Cars & Coffee to meet up with both Bennett and the buyer of my old A/C equipment. He brought his Mustang down, as his Scout is still in the garage. I struck up a conversation with a local Citroen 2CV owner and got the full tour of his car, which is fucking amazing; the buyer of my A/C stuff stopped over and I helped him carry it over to his ride, a bright blue early ’80’s Ford Ranger with a 4-cylinder Perkins diesel. He’s the new owner of a D-series pickup that he’s slowly rebuilding; he’s hoping some IH parts will help. Combined with this and a couple other sales, I’ve got a solid chunk of cash to carry to Nationals for rare parts to pick, which is awesome.
After I got back home, I let the dog out and got to work. One last flush of the gas tank revealed next to no dirt, so I sealed that back up. After running out for supplies and gas, I filled the tank and turned the key to reveal: nothing. No sound from the starter. The solenoid on the firewall clicked, and the trailer brake system is still powered, but there’s something going on with the key again. I pulled the barrel out of the dash and wiggled the connectors to no success; I’m going to have to work backwards from the starter to see if it’s getting power but not working anymore. If that’s the case, I’ve got three more in the garage I can swap in.
So I parked that task and moved on to the fenders and the rear floor. After sanding, priming, and mudding each fender, I let them dry. Then I started removing bolts from the rear floor.
Overall most of them wanted to come out, but there were a handful that wouldn’t budge, so I drilled those out and pried up the sheet of plywood. What I found underneath was pretty incredible: all of the stringers are solid, with only a slight amount of rust on the top edges. There were about a thousand mud dauber nests, which all got scraped out, and then I ran the wire wheel over the top sides of the stringers.
The plan is to leave the floor loose so that I can pull it out and wheel off all the rust on the stringers, frame, and axle, and then paint it all with chassis encapsulator. I can also access the brake lines and electrical runs much easier up until they go under the front seats.
Sunday evening I wrapped up as dusk was really falling; I packed up the tools and organized the garage (having a lot of new shelf space in the absence of large parts sure is nice) and took an Advil with dinner to soothe my aching back. I’m sure not 32 anymore.
Last weekend was focused on brakes and brake lines. I had a little time Saturday afternoon so I put the front axle on jack stands and pulled the driver’s side wheel off. These drums are different than the rears; the drum is integrated with the studs, which means you have to pull the dust cover off, unlock a castle nut, pull out a lockwasher and the outer bearing, and slide the whole assembly off the spindle. What I found was a very clean spindle packed with new grease, but I couldn’t get the cylinder off the backing plate until I whacked it with a hammer. The brake shoes are an inch larger than the rears and the cylinders are single-piston, so there was some verification needed before I ordered new parts. I also pulled the old clutch slave cylinder off, cleaned the piston, and installed the new one.
Looking at other installations of brake and clutch lines of this same vintage I’m noticing that there are loops of tube directly under the master cylinder before the line heads off in whatever direction it’s going; I’m considering redoing the line to the clutch slave this way. The old line went directly to the slave with no loop—just a strange soft line junction in the middle that crumbled in my hands—so I’m not sure what the right answer is.
On Sunday afternoon I got a bunch of brake parts in from Amazon—two sizes of steel tube, a bender, and a flaring tool along with a pile of fittings. I used the bender to sort of monkey a new cylinder-to-slave line over the other elements in the engine bay, flared the ends, and installed that in place.
Then I put the driver’s rear wheel up on a stand and attempted to replace a hard line from the brass tee mounted to the rear axle to the wheel cylinder. The old one took some effort to get off, but with a liberal amount of PBblaster and some application of heat it worked loose. I’m replacing lines with exactly what was there before, and this line called for 3/16″ tube. To my chagrin the fitting on the back of the wheel cylinder was 7/16″—larger than the fitting I had available for that tube—so I had to run out for new ones. Working backward I figured I’d replace the soft line connecting the hard line run from the front to the tee, but I couldn’t get that fitting to come loose for love or money.
It’s well and truly jammed up, and I’ve rounded the nut trying to get it off. So I can try to cut it off and flare the old tube under the truck, or (gulp) run an entirely new line all the way down the inside of the frame rail.
On Tuesday I connected the driver’s side hardline to the splitter block and moved over to the passenger side; unfortunately I had to cut that tube twice because the first one wasn’t long enough to reach.
Thursday I had a pile of brake parts in hand and tore down the driver’s front drum for the third time to replace the shoes, springs, and cylinder. One thing I didn’t have in hand was the soft brake line, so that’s on order as well as two new adjusting screws (in some hardware kits these are included, but they weren’t in the one I got). Remarkably the soft brake line assembly came off the truck with little effort (some PBblaster and a little heat from a propane torch) which was a relief. I keep saying this, but it’s true: the majority of the bolts on this thing are in really good shape compared to other East Coast trucks I’ve seen and worked on; with only a few exceptions, they’ve all come off easily. I’d put the whole thing together for the fourth time when I realized that the fittings on both sides of the soft lines were fixed, so I’d have to fasten the section going through the frame to the junction block, then disassemble the whole drum again, remove the cylinder and tighten it while it was loose, then bolt everything back up for the fifth time. But, that side is now done. The passenger side was much crustier than the driver’s side, full of dirt and debris, but now that I have a process down I should be able to knock it out quickly.
Meanwhile, I called around the area and found a mechanic to take a look at the leaky exhaust fitting on the right side of the Scout. For years she had a proper quiet exhaust, but as that fitting has gotten looser, she’s gotten louder. I’d really like to get it fixed, especially for the upcoming trip out west. I had to order the parts from California and I’ll have to bring the truck back to the mechanic to get it properly fixed.
Last Sunday afternoon I started flushing dirt and crud out of the gas tank. I had to blow mud dauber nests out of the fuel feed line which sent them backwards into the tank, and I used the remainder of the old shitty gas to start flushing the dirt out. Using some coffee filters, I strained all of the large particulates out and ran about five gallons worth of liquid through, but it’s still coming out dirty. I haven’t seen any paint flakes or rust in this tank at all, which is a minor miracle; I’m going to run the borescope up into the drain hole and take a look around this weekend.
While I was waiting on the gas to slowly strain through the filter I figured I’d get after some of the dents on the passenger side fender, which I’d pulled off to access the tank. I used a regular hammer on the small dents and a rubber mallet to pop out some of the larger deformities, then sanded the bad spots down and skimmed them with some Bondo. It’s got a second coat on now and it’ll take a couple more rounds before I like it, but it’s a lot better than it was. The driver’s side dents are worse, and that’s going to take some more finessing.
I got a package from all the way out in Idaho on Monday: a 16″ 5 on 4.5 steel wheel similar to other three that came with the truck. When I first pulled it out of the box and measured the backspacing, I was crushed because I thought it was a half an inch too deep for the truck, but I re-measured it after dinner and found I’d made a mistake. I wire-wheeled all the rust off the outside and around the mounting surfaces and got it ready for a date with the NTB in town. With the tire mounted and on the truck, there’s only about 1″ of space between the back of the tire and the inside of the wheel well, so I’m clearly going to have to do something about this before any long road trips. The studs aren’t long enough to accept a wheel spacer, so I guess I’ve got to find another 16″ wheel somewhere.
Meanwhile, I continued tinkering with the linkage to the master cylinder and figured out how to get the clutch pedal disconnected; I left the brake pedal hooked up because I saw that the two rods merely plugged into the back of the box like brake cylinders. With a few careful taps of the deadblow hammer the old rusty unit came off, and I pulled all the old fittings and swapped them to the new unit. Wednesday evening I cleaned the rods up with sandpaper, pressed them into the back of the cylinder unit, and spent about an hour upside down with my head on the floor of the cab threading both rods back into place. Both pedals now provide some level of resistance instead of just flopping to the floor; now I’ve got to buy brake lines, a bending and a flare tool to start rebuilding the runs to the wheels.
On Wednesday I got an email from Blackstone about my oil analysis; the basic gist is that it looks OK apart from a slightly elevated lead level, which could indicate bearing wear, but everything else looked pretty good. My old oil showed highly elevated numbers for things like detergents and anti-wear additives; clearly someone used the high-mileage stuff for the last oil change. My notes in color below:
IHPartsAmerica ran a story on their social media about getting loads of new parts in and running a sale, so I inquired about some larger stuff I need for the truck. They might have a Travelall bench seat, some fenders, and a non oil-bath air cleaner in stock; I’m waiting on pricing.
I got a firm bite on the Scout II windshield I posted on Marketplace, and finally organized the sale Thursday. As we were arranging payment and drop off, he asked if I had any Scout II lift gates or hinges. It just so happened I’d dragged a lift gate from the Flintstone Scout home, so I shot some pictures and we settled on a price. It’s not a ton of money because that Scout was crispy and the lift gate was not spared, but I did get a good T-handle off of it. It probably paid for half the parts I pulled that day, which is pretty cool. And dropoff was only a mile from the house, which was that much cooler.
Finally, I ordered a length of galvanized brake line, the fittings, a flange tool, and a cheap bender from Amazon to start fabricating clean lines to the clutch slave and the rear drums. With those installed I can fill the system with clean fluid and bleed everything out, and after that, move her under her own power sometime this summer. I do know I’m going to need to buy a creeper from Hobo Freight, because I have a lot of under-body work ahead of me between the brake, fuel, and electrical runs.
I put a picture up on Instagram of the Traveall T-shirt I designed and printed through a vendor promo a few months ago, and it wound up being pretty popular. Through that post a guy asked about the ’64-’65 grille I originally bought for the truck that I can’t use, and we DM’d back and forth. Turns out he’s got a ’65 and needs a grille; I sold it to him for exactly what I paid, which is pretty awesome! I pulled it down from the garage attic, still in the box it came to me in, and sent it on its way Thursday.
Other than that, I haven’t gotten any bites from my post on the Binder Planet, so I’m going to experiment with Marketplace and see what kind of response I get for items like the Scout II windshield.
I was able to make a Tuesday early-morning run up to the recycling center to dump the first jug of used-to-be gas from the truck, which went smoothly. When I got back I drained the last of the fluid out for a total of about eight gallons, and some small flakes came out with the remainder, which is a pretty good sign—if it turned to soup or filled the pan with oatmeal, I’d be very worried. I’m going to buy some good gas and run it through the tank to see if any more yuck comes out, and if not, I’ll just leave the tank in place. (I really don’t want to have to drop it if at all possible). I do know that the outlet hose is clogged with a wasp nest so I have to pull the wheel off and figure out if I can get around/behind the tank to replace it.
I’ve got the bodywork on the passenger side endcap pretty much complete; I sprayed it with rattle-can IH red for the time being. It’s good enough for government pay, and I’m going to move on to other sections.
Theoretically I should have a wheel showing up to the house momentarily, and when that arrives I can bring it and our flat CR-V wheel to the NTB in town to have new rubber mounted. I’m on the fence as to what color to paint the wheels, but I think I’m leaning towards black. Depending on how good this one looks I might paint it before the tire goes on.
I got a box in the mail on Wednesday with the paint I ordered a month ago, which is good news. Now the big thing will be setting up for and actually shooting the paint. What I’m going to have to do is put up my 20-year-old car tent in the driveway, find a way to block out the sides, and put something down on the ground to avoid painting the driveway. Then the roof needs to be blocksanded, degreased, primed at least once, blocksanded again, and then shot with a coat of IH red. From there I can see how it lays down and if it needs a second coat, as well as whether it matches with the rattle-can red I’ve been using over the bondo patches.
On Thursday evening, after a long day behind the keyboard, I went out to the truck and put my experience chipping rubberized floorcoating out of a schoolbus to work.
While the coating came up, the paper-based adhesive was still stuck to the wood, so I went back to a trick I used to clean the floors up in our kitchen years ago. I have a hand planer I used to remove the tarpaper adhesive under old linoleum. It had tried to eat its own cord at the end of a job a couple of years ago, so I cut and spliced the cord and then put it to work slowly grinding out the paper. It’s still very sticky so it gummed up the unit and required a lot of cleaning, so I only cleared out about half of it before the setting sun made things too dark.
By now you’re wondering why I don’t just cut this wood out of the truck and replace it; at this point I’m considering it strongly. Part of this exercise was to see how difficult it would be to remove the existing wood, which meant I had to expose all the bolts. If I’m doing my math correctly there are about 60 chonky countersunk Phillips-head bolts holding the wood in place. I think I’m going to leave this as is for now until I get the truck mobile, and then I can pull the wood out, spend time scraping and coating the frame from inside—not underneath—and then replace the wood.
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.
Having solved the starting issue last weekend, I figured I’d better move on to the brake system and start sorting that out. I pulled the wheels off and put the truck on jackstands to get things ready for new tires as well as expose the drums for an overhaul. This truck runs 11″ drums with 1.75″ shoes, which appears to be a somewhat unorthodox combination. I tore the driver’s side wheel down on Tuesday night and cleaned up the backing plate, then attempted to disconnect the brake line with a cheap set of flare wrenches from Hobo Freight; this just stripped the extensively rusty brake line fitting so I cut it off with a hacksaw.
Everything inside this drum was rusty as hell; the self-adjuster was fused into one lump of metal, and the shoes were paper-thin. The new brake cylinder went in easily and the front shoe connected up with the parking brake lever, but I was stopped short at the hold down pins, which were 0.5″ too long. Looking around online it appears that 2.25″ shoes are much more common, so I had to order a new set for the ones I’ve got. And now that I’m looking at the photo, it’s clear to me I put the adjusting screw in backwards, so I’ll have to get in there one more time to fix that.
Another, more alarming discovery, is that 16″ diameter wheels 8″ wide with a 4.5 bolt pattern and 3″ backspacing are pretty rare on the ground; apparently I’ve got three of something that don’t come around often. I put the word about my wheel issue out on BinderPlanet and someone sent me a link to a listing in a Marketplace group I wasn’t already a member of with what look like the wheels I need in Idaho; I’m in contact with the seller and we’ll see how much it will cost to ship.
I had a spare fuel pump in the Scout emergency kit that I put on the Travelall Wednesday night. The old pump had an integrated fuel filter with fittings that hung off the side, while the new one has two long cylinders which hang down off the housing—and which bump directly up into one of the body mounts. After mounting it, I noticed the pump isn’t fit snugly to the engine block. It would be very easy to have SendCutSend make me a metal shim, so I’m not worried yet.
Thursday night I ran out and drained the oil from the engine to get it ready for some Rotella 10-W40 diesel oil (it’s formulated in a way that makes it better for old flat-tappet engines than modern oils) but quickly realized I’d bought the wrong oil filter: the one on the truck has a much thicker nut than the filter was willing to accept, so I had to order the correct one: a WIX 51261. Also interesting was the size of the drain plug: a fat 1 1/8″ nut instead of a 9/16″ like I’m used to. (I’ve begun a list of odd sizes and parts and tools that I’ll have to pack in the emergency kit for this rig.) Luckily I saw no metal shavings on the plug at all. While draining the pan, I collected a container of oil halfway through the pour for a trip to Blackstone Labs, where they do a full chemical analysis of the oil to see what shape the engine is in. With this I can get a sense of how much wear is actually on the rig and if they see any issues with bad bearings or other hints as to its health.
On Saturday I had some time before rainstorms to dig into a box of parts to continue on the brake job: A new set of holddown pins arrived, and while they were still a little too long they worked for what I needed. I spent a bunch of time trying to figure out what Carlson meant for me to do with their version of an adjusting lever, said fuck it, and hooked it up the way it came to me. With the driver’s side done, I moved over to the passenger side and knocked that one out in a quarter of the time it took for the first one. Returning to the fuel pump, I took the unit I had off, shimmed it with three gaskets, scavenged an outgoing metal fuel line from a spare on the shelf, and put it back on. The fuel line now snakes up next to the dipstick tube (which is on the passenger front of this engine, not the driver’s middle) where I can attach a fuel line and run it up the passenger’s side to the carb and not over hill and dale the way it was. I put the new fuel filter on and filled the engine up with Rotella.
So next up is to get the fuel system plumbed and tested from the boat tank, and from there I’ve got to see what shape the actual gas tank is in. I have the new master and clutch slave cylinders in hand, and all the mounting bolts on the truck are soaking in PBblaster. They’ll get replaced next, and then I can push fluid through the lines to see if they’re worth saving or need to be completely replaced.
I’ve got to get Peer Pressure in to a mechanic to look over the power steering pump, but I don’t want to do that without having several of the specialty fittings I need for the Hydroboost setup in hand. I dug out the seller’s information from my archives and ordered a new set; their prices have gone up since 2010 when I got the last pair, but having them is cheap insurance if my mechanic needs to tear the whole unit apart. With those in hand, I’ll get her in for a checkup ASAP.
In the quest to get the Travelall running, I started amassing a pile of new parts based on my attempts with friends smarter and more experienced than me. When Erick stopped over he shook his head sadly at my old distributor, so I ordered a brand new HEI unit and then had to wait while it was on backorder. During that time, I spent a total of about $8 on the correct points unit and five minutes installing it, and suddenly I had spark at the wires. So I pulled the carburetor off and soaked it in some cleaner Friday night, then followed a set of instructions online to rebuild it.
It was exceptionally clean inside, but the gaskets had all fused to the metal so I had to spend a good bit of time scraping and sanding the paper off all the surfaces. The accelerator pump diaphragm had solidified, so that got replaced. Once I’d cleaned everything reassembly was straightforward—the Holley 2300 is a very simple carburetor to work on compared to my Thermoquads.
Sunday afternoon, after chasing a generator all over town, I re-installed the carburetor and filled it up with fuel for giggles. This time I followed some of the advice I’d seen online and filled the bowl with fuel before turning the key over. After a couple of tries and the addition of even more fuel, I was happily stunned when she caught and turned over for a few brief seconds:
Flush with success, I started modifying fuel lines to simplify the delivery system and plumbed the boat tank/fuel pump combo to charge the carb. There were no leaks (huzzah!) so I primed the carb and turned her over: after thinking about it for a minute, she fired right up and idled immediately. I topped off the coolant and let her run for a few minutes, noting that the idle was fast—that’ll get adjusted this week—and that there’s a little clatter here and there. The tailpipe sounded good and only a little soot came out, which is a good sign there are no critter nests in the muffler.
So I’ve got a fancy HEI distributor that’s going right back to California this week for a refund. While I was idling the truck I started really looking under the hood and finally clocked that the clutch is a hydraulic system paired with the brake cylinder, which explains why both pedals have no life in them. I’ve got to source a dual cylinder and a shit-ton of soft brake lines as well as a flaring tool and start replacing those in order to get any kind of gear-changing going. Which is good, as the next project on the list is rebuilding the rear drums.
The truck is currently up on two jackstands with the rear wheels off, waiting for two new tires to arrive at my local NTB from TireRack. I pulled the drums off and I’ll have those resurfaced when I have the tire mounted, and I can spend evenings this week rebuilding each rear drum. I’m only mounting one tire because the fourth rim is 15″ and won’t accept the tire, so I have to source a 16″ rim with a 3″ backspacing and 4.5″ bolt pattern from somewhere (ideally, I’d find two).
On Monday I went out to continue sanding and skimming areas of the truck to get them ready for paint. The passenger side tailcap is coming along well, but will need a lot of attention to be clean enough to go to paint—but I’m enjoying the sculptural aspect of working with filler to get things smooth.
Recapping the starting issue, we’ve replaced almost everything in the ignition system besides the core distributor, but the points I originally bought didn’t have an integrated condenser so we tried to hotwire it on the workday. Testing for spark, we never got anything at the plugs. I replaced the points in the original distributor with a new set with an integrated condenser, and found an early picture I’d taken of the unit as it came to know how to wire things back up (see that black wire in the lower center of the picture above?). After I wired the second new set of points in as per the original and tested my testing light on the Scout, I hooked it up to the Travelall and then I had spark! Unfortunately I couldn’t get her to light off. So I pulled the carburetor off to tear it down and clean it out; I figured the accelerator pump seals were dry and the float was probably stuck.
I also started tracing wires under the dash and pulled the radio plate off to expose everything underneath; while I was there I pulled the old head unit and two dry-rotted speakers they’d bolted under the dash out and threw them in the trash to make more room. The way this dash is designed it could be much simpler to pull wires (or maybe even replace the loom ) than it is in the Scout, but I’m still trying to make a plan for how I’m going to get this thing wired up correctly.
Wednesday evening I was out sanding the truck and a guy on a big Harley parked at the end of the driveway; he’s a fellow car guy and stopped by to check out the truck. This marks the fourth person who has stopped in since I parked the truck in the driveway; clearly people have noticed.
As of Thursday morning the carb was partially disassembled and sort of half-soaking in carb cleaner, but I couldn’t get the float bowl or metering block off the side of the horn. I found a wider container to put the assembly in so that the affected sections were submerged, and was finally able to get all the sections apart on Friday morning. The paper gaskets had glued themselves to the metal so I had to carefully scrape everything apart to get it cleaned up—but the inside of the carb was very clean.
And on Friday I got two boxes of goodies: the new distributor showed up as well as some fuel hose, hose clamps, and a proper oil filter. So if we can’t make the old distributor work, the new one should be ready to pop in (minus a set of male-to-female plug wires).
Farting around with an old Scout II hubcap Friday night, I put it on the odd 15″ rim, where it fit well. Suddenly, a light bulb went off in my head and I realized that a 16″ tire won’t fit on a 15″ rim (duh Bill) so I’d have to source a rim for the fourth tire I just bought. It so happens a guy near here is selling an entire front axle assembly with wheels included, so I messaged him to see if he’d be willing to sell me the wheels (providing they’re the correct size).
I got a pile of boxes in the mail while I was away last weekend, which was a lot of fun to return to. The smallest was from SendCutSend, and it contained a wrapped set of metal items I’d ordered: a circular plug for the spare passenger fender, and a beautiful custom license plate bracket from my vector file. I brought it out and did a test-fitting, and it is flawless. I’m so impressed with this. I’ve taken it off until I get the areas around the holes filled and sanded, and then I can mount them up to the truck when the door gets painted.
The circular plug fits perfectly but it’s a much thinner metal than the original sheet metal; I clearly need a thickness gauge to know what I’m working with and then I can order the proper material to weld with.
The next item was a huge box containing a thick gasket for the windshield, which I walked out and began installing; it needs to heat up and expand before I can get the whole thing all the way around the perimeter of the glass. The other item in that box was what was described as “Pillar Seals” for the doors, which aren’t what I thought they’d be and don’t seem to fit anywhere I can figure out right now. I was hoping to get the pinch seals that go around the metal lip on the insides of the doors, but they apparently have a lot of different names for all of these products. So that was disappointing.
On Tuesday evening I took advantage of mild weather and returned to the roof of the truck to continue sanding and skimming; Wednesday evening I had a new can of Bondo and finished skimming the whole roof. Thursday evening I hit several areas that needed a final skim and some last touchups but the whole thing is just about ready for the next step. I also filled in the area where the old Travelall script was on the driver’s side and a bunch of areas on the driver’s rear door. Friday was more of the same, and then covering the front up before two days of rain begin. I also ordered a quart of auto primer and a quart of single-stage IH Red from TCPGlobal; I’ll need an HPLV gun from Harbor Freight to shoot everything in the driveway once the roof is ready to go.
Sunday I had about six hours to futz with the truck, so I continued working on the roof and driver’s rear fender. In sanding that side down I figured I’d better take the taillight off and see how it looked inside, and once I’d cleaned that one up I figured I’d do the other.
While the housings and lenses were drying in the sun, I poked an eyeball into the passenger’s side fender to survey the damage: someone had backed into something and crumpled the edge forward of the chrome trim ring, as well as put a dent down towards the bottom of the fender.
I gave the dents a few taps with my small hammer to see if I could punch the crease back out, and within a half an hour or so, and with the help of some lengths of wood, I had the metal mostly back in place.
I cut a larger block of wood in a wedge and used that to push the lower dent out by hammering it in between the inner and outer fender walls. Then the whole thing got a skim coat of filler and I put it all to bed for the night.
Still on hold is a new distributor from IHPA; they’re having supply chain issues and it’s apparently backordered. But I bought a new points/condenser combo like the original Delco distributor had; we should be able to swap that in and see if we can get things firing the next time Erick comes out.