I’ve been so busy on this project, I’ve made some basic updates to the thread on Binder Planet but I’ve been too tired to add them here, so here’s a dump from the last three days. The weather has been fantastic since Sunday—clear skies and mid 80’s with no humidity to speak of, so it’s been a rare treat to working outside all day. I burned through all of my backed up podcasts by Monday morning, so I switched to an audiobook loaded on my iPad and I’ve been enjoying listening to that while I work.
On Monday, I began the day by cutting out and replacing a section of structural 18 gauge steel on the A pillar after flooding the cavity with rust encapsulator. I used a cheap brush from Harbor Freight to get in there and hit every surface I could touch.
When I had that cleaned up, I put the main vent section in. This part went pretty smoothly; I’d etch primed and seam sealed the underside on Sunday eventing, so I got it where I wanted it and burned it into place. Then I put the section in behind it. Things had shifted somewhat between when I’d cut it and when everything got hot, so it didn’t line up as cleanly as I would have liked. But I can close those small sections up pretty easily. There’s a small section at the far right and a larger one on the far left, and left them for Tuesday morning.
After cleaning up the edges and knocking down the beads, I started working on the lower mounting lip. This took a lot of test fitting and tack welding and banging and cutting, because the cowl mounts to this and then the top corner of the fender bolts to it, and there are a lot of complex curves in the original sheet metal that have to fit just right. I made the decision to go for close enough and figured I can shim things out if I need to. Again, this is my first major sheet metal project, so I’m learning as I go. The wing got welded into place, and I knocked the edge down to a smooth curved corner. This got cleaned up with a flap wheel and skimmed with a light coat of seam sealer so that the water will just drop over the edge. The circle-X is where the drain hole will go.
As of Monday evening I was about 24 hours into it in total, including pulling the cowl and windshield, and my hope was that I could keep the momentum going.
On Tuesday morning I finished off the passenger side, cleaned, it, etch primed it, and smeared everything with a liberal coat of seam sealer.
Then I went over to the driver’s side, cut an even larger hole out of the cowl, and started fabricating the vent on that side.
Because I had a template already made for the barrel, that part went quickly and I had just enough steel in my sheet to cut both sections of metal out.
When I had the vent built, the flapper in place, and everything lined up, I started welding it into place. I had learned a lot about how to cut and fit the barrel in this one—I was much more precise with the measurement and the hole I cut, so it fit much better, and I didn’t have to count on filling large gaps with wire.
There’s a section tacked in place behind the vent, and that ugly hole in the upper right is sealed up tight.
On Wednesday I got a late start because I hadn’t sealed my gas cylinder tight enough and lost the remainder overnight. Lesson learned. Once I’d gotten a refill I closed up the edges as tightly as possible, ground everything down with a new disc, and cleaned it up for etch primer. I also bent and installed the front of the drip rail that the cowl gets welded to and the fender bolts onto.
The seam sealer I have this time isn’t as good as the gray stuff I had last time; this doesn’t lay down smoothly at all. It looks like I’m trying to apply it with a broom. Anyway, while that was drying I took a wire wheel to the cowl itself and cleaned out both sides.
I cut out the rust in the passenger side hole in the cowl, and with the last small section of 20 ga. sheet metal I had, I made a patch for it.
With some patience and a lot of grinding I fit the patch in place and hammered out the funky spots, as well as sealed up other holes. Thank god I have a bench grinder and Dad’s old vise set up in the garage; I’ve used them extensively for this project.
The edge took some time to work on but with wire and time I rebuilt the lip and shaped it with a flap disc. Then the whole underside got a bath in Rust Converter and then a coat of black primer, except for the edges to be welded. I also wire wheeled the entire edge of the windshield and hit it with etch primer to cure.
Tomorrow I’ll get new metal delivered (it got delayed today) and I can finish the patch on the driver’s side. It’s supposed to rain on and off until Saturday so I’m going to tackle what I can when the weather is good and retreat into the garage to work when the rain starts falling. I’ve got the hood leaning up against the Scout and the cowl in there ready for the final patch.
Here’s the Sunday update. I got a bit of a late start because I had to run out to get supplies, but put about 7 solid hours in. First up was bending the metal to fit and getting things aligned.
When I had it squared up and ready, I looked over the barrel from the old vent and cut the rusty metal off the edges. What remained clearly wasn’t enough to make a template from, so I took measurements from the driver’s side and built a new template. With that cleaned up and bent, I tacked it together and continued shaping it correctly to fit.
When I had it set up correctly, I bent the mount for the vent cable stay and welded a support to that so it wouldn’t move.
Then I spent about an hour tweaking the barrel, test fitting it, tweaking it some more, and finally being satisfied with the way it fit. When I had it the way I liked it, I dialed in the welder and started tacking around the edges. This took time, and I did wind up warping the metal a little bit, but nothing I can’t work around.
When I had that the way I liked it, I started trimming a section of metal for the back wall. I bent several sections of the rear section upwards so that I can use that to help secure the whole structure. Then I hit the bottom of the vent with etching primer and seam sealer, and I’m letting it dry overnight. Tomorrow I’m going to start tacking it into place and getting things ready to install permanently.
I’ve got time this coming week to focus on getting the Red Bus cleaned up and out from under the canopy, so I’m going to take as much advantage of it as I can. The big focus is to get the rusty areas under the cowl cut out and replaced, everything rustproofed, and then to replace the cowl and install the new windshield. I figure I can get the first part knocked out if I’ve got all the tools and time next week, so I’ve been stockpiling supplies. Today was 80˚ and sunny, so I figured I’d get a head start.
I started by pulling the four bolts on the hood hinges off and taking that off completely. Then I took the two fenders off—I’ve had them hung with one loose bolt since the first day I took them off—and put everything behind the truck. I dragged a folding table out and started walking tools out to the truck. When I was ready, I started drilling all of the spot welds at the base of the cowl out with a set of Harbor Freight bits. After about ten minutes I figured out a good method and I made pretty short work of it. After about an hour I had all the welds out around the base, including the sections hidden by the doors. Then it came time for the point of no return: removing the windshield.
This was actually much easier than I thought, and only took one cut around the edge of the rubber gasket for the glass to come loose. What I found after I got the glass out amazed me: the entire perimeter of the windshield frame is clean. And not East-Coast-it’s-covered-in-surface-rust clean, but original red paint clean. All of the Scouts I’ve ever pulled the glass out of (four? five?) have had some kind of rot on one of the edges, including Peer Pressure. This one is mint. And now I’m going to attack it with a spot weld cutter.
That process actually didn’t take long either, and after about three hours’ work, I had the cowl up and out, safely stored on the driveway behind the truck. What I found underneath was both better and worse than I’d hoped for. Both cowl edges are, predictably, pretty crispy. The driver’s side is worse than the passenger’s. At some point someone got in there and stuffed some kind of thick painter’s putty or other heavy gunk behind and around the vent chimneys, which both protected them and collected moisture, further weakening the metal.
I figured I’d start with the bigger hole, knowing I could look at the other side for a guide to follow, so I started doing exploratory surgery on the passenger’s side. After cutting away the area around the vent, I was able to pull that out and clean up the area around it. I had to cut a section of the overlap off and I’ll have to fashion a new drain vent, but I planned on adding a lip on the new metal that will go down over the vertical edge and give me enough material to weld to.
That strange gasket thing in the photo above is the collector for the heating unit, which I’m going to have to disconnect and pull out tomorrow in order to weld directly above it. I’ve been putting that off because it’s messy and I don’t want to completely fuck up the heating ducts under the dash, but I can’t avoid it any more (and it needs to be overhauled anyway).
I started building cardboard templates for the new metal and got the flat section that provides the floor of the vent laid out. Then I drew out and cut the vertical back wall of the cowl that will wrap around to the door.
From here I have to figure out where the round vent itself will go, cut that out of the center, and either build a new round structure out of 20 gauge steel or see if I can cut and weld new metal to the existing metal, which came out mostly in one piece. I’d prefer to not have to rebuild the whole thing on this side, so that’s what I’m hoping for. I might not get that lucky on the other side.
I left off with a metal section cut and ready to be bent. What I have to do tomorrow morning is go out for a 3′ length of angle iron to act as the top of the vice for my metal brake. With that I can start bending this metal to the proper angles and start fitting it into place.
I’ve been looking at roof racks for the truck for a long time, looking forward to putting a canoe or other gear up there. I need drip rail mounts for this, and wanted to get something period-correct. I found a brand called Quick ‘n Easy, which used to be inexpensive but are now so retro as to be high-dollar accessories. I set up a watch on eBay sales and while I was in Puerto Rico I got a note that there were six available for a buy-it-now price much lower than usual, with free shipping. So I jumped on that.
They showed up this afternoon, and they look pretty good. Three of them are in perfect working order and three need work—pulling out snapped retaining bolts and cutting through old bolts on the top mounts. But the stickers and plastic are intact which is great; these will make an excellent base for a period roof rack.
For a winter project I’m going to plan out and weld my own metal roof rack for the truck, unless I find a good used aluminum rack somewhere that will fit.
I was away for most of the last week and a half, but I did get some time before we left to rough in the new brake line I was sent by the Scout Connection a few weeks ago. Saturday afternoon after we returned, I got tired of laying around the house and decided to go out and finish welding up the patch I’d started two weeks ago. Overall it went pretty well; I think I would have done it completely differently in hindsight, and I bet I’ll have to go back and cut it out at some point, but for now it’ll hold.
On Sunday I wanted to tackle the biggest hurdle the project has thrown at me so far: bleeding the brakes. I bled the master cylinder and hooked it up to the main lines, then had Finley come out and pump the brakes for me while I opened the line on the rear wheel. When nothing happened where I was, I looked underneath and realized the system was leaking at the distribution block: I hadn’t gotten it connected correctly. So I jacked the whole front end up and got underneath to really diagnose the situation, and after staring at it for a while I sorted out what was going on: I hadn’t tightened the soft line down enough to the block. So I disconnected it at the master cylinder and spun the whole hose to really tighten it down. With that done I hooked everything back up and had Finn pump the brakes on all four corners while I bled dirty brake fluid out of the lines. When I’d gotten that done, I put the wheels back on and lowered it to the ground. Then we did the clutch system and got that bled out. With that, the brakes should be 90% done. I’ll have to re-bleed them at some point in the near future to get the last bubbles out, but it’s enough to stop the truck once I get the clutch issue sorted out. It’s been a long learning process, but I sure hope I don’t have to deal with brakes again for a while.
While I had two wheels off the ground, I took the opportunity to swap the fourth rim to the driver’s front and put one of the original three on the back rear. What I found kind of shocked me: the original rim sits the same distance away from the inner edge of the wheel tub as the new rim did. The only difference between the new rim and the others is that the holes for the wheel studs are thicker and the studs don’t extend through as far as the others, which means there isn’t as much of the lug nut on the stud. I think I’m going to invest in a set of ET (extra thread) lug nuts for the whole truck—I just need to find someone who has 5 left-turn nuts in the size I need.
I wrote on Friday about the brake part I’d gotten from the Scout Connection last week, and called them today to see about getting a replacement. I’d emailed them a picture of the fitting I had ahead of time, pointing out that the banjo on the end of min was 24 pitch threads while the one he sent wasn’t a banjo and was 20 pitch. Dave helpfully told me to look at my fitting again, clamp it in a vise, and carefully unscrew the banjo fitting off the hose portion with a 6-point socket; that would be the part that screwed on to the new brake hose and completed the unit. I apologized profusely for being so stupid, and when the 5 o’clock bell rang, I went outside and got to work taking it apart. With a cheater bar helping, it popped off the hose. I pulled the old metal brake line off the master cylinder and bent up a new one, then pulled the wheel off and reattached the whole thing. Tomorrow if I get some time I’m going to go get some more brake fluid, bleed the lines over again, and see if I can get the brakes to function correctly once and for all.
Sunday broke cool and sunny, and Jen was headed down to her father’s place for the day, so I thought I’d take advantage of the opportunity and try out a welding project to get my feet wet. Revisiting the truck, there’s a section on the base of the back step that’s rusted through from where water got into the truck and was trapped between the steel and the wood platform put in decades ago. It’s not a terrible amount, but just enough that I wanted to cut it out and weld fresh steel in place.
Saturday evening, I hit the Harbor Freight for some new sheetmetal tools, including a pneumatic metal nibbler, a third angle grinder, a smaller 3″ cutter, and a bunch of consumables. The angle grinder was on deep discount and it’s always good to have several of these so I’m not constantly swapping one disc for another. Now I’ve got a dedicated wire, cutter, and grinding wheel on standby.
At the truck, I jacked it up and took off the rear wheel for better access. I found it was easy to cut three sides of the rectangle but I had to use a grinder to shape the far side straight, as there was no easy way to get the cutoff wheel in there. I also realized the corded 3″ cutter isn’t very good for anything: the body of the tool is so big and bulky it doesn’t allow for any access to small or hard-to-reach locations, so I’m going to return that and buy a 3″ pneumatic extended cutter instead.
Then I used the nibbler to cut down some 20 gauge steel, realized it wasn’t the same thickness as the body on the truck, so I used a cutoff wheel to form a piece of 16 gauge that worked much better. I bought a simple Harbor Freight metal brake from the estate sale a few months ago but I realize I still need three things that it didn’t come with to make it work: a 3″ by 14″ piece of flat bar for the brake fence and a set of clamps for fastening the subject metal in place. I’ll have to buy the bar somewhere and use C-clamps when it’s time to really start bending metal. So instead I went with the tried and true method of clamping the metal tightly in a bench vise and pounding the shit out of it with a hammer.
Then it was a lot of fitting and grinding and fitting until I had the metal in the right size and shape, with a 90˚ bend at the bottom to match up with the underside of the body. I dialed the Eastwood welder in for 16 gauge steel and tacked a few sections in. Once I had it in place, I went around and filled in the gaps, then ground everything flat and smoothed it out with a flap wheel.
When that was done everything got coated with Eastwood Rust Encapsulator for insurance. Note the dust from grinding other surfaces on the interior of the truck; there was about a pound of metal dust to vacuum out when I was done.
I also put a copper backer on the holes the PO drilled in the floor, filled them in, and ground them down. Nice to have those closed up—there are a ton of small holes on the rear doors from the half-assed upholstery install that need the same treatment.
The other side didn’t look as bad as the driver’s, but when I started doing some exploratory cuts I realized it’s in about the same shape. Some more careful cutting and hammering and shaping of some flat steel produced a good patch, which I tacked in place. It’s going to take more work on this side, as the vertical part of the step folds under the floorpan, so I’ll cut and fit another section of steel and weld that flat on the floor. But overall I’m really really happy with the results so far.
I really like this welder and I’ve found it very easy to use now that I’ve dialed it in properly. I’m feeling much better about tackling the cowl vent project—that’s going to be a week or more of cutting and welding and shaping; far beyond this in terms of complexity. But at least I know I can melt metal together after I’ve cut it apart.
It’s been a quiet week on the project front; the heat outside has made things hard to accomplish after work.
That being said, I had a little free time last Friday and figured I’d try assembling the front bench to see if I could figure out how it worked. With a little trial and error, I was able to understand how the base and the rear go together, and measure for some hardware. The big question mark is how the seat attaches to the base itself. I remember Ray mentioning something about bolts coming up through the base into the seat but I can’t for the life of me understand how or what on the bottom of the seat they mate with. But knowing how the base is aligned makes a huge difference in the angle of the seatback.
The next step for this part will be grinding rust off the larger parts of the bare frame I’ve got and preparing it for foam, and then disassembling the seat. Having it in the truck, I realize the gray matches the steering wheel and dashboard, and I like how the black wraps around the top, down the sides, and scallops around the edges of the base. I’m leaning further towards having Jeff basically just match this pattern if possible. I did take a little time to wire-wheel the surface rust off the floors and shoot it with IH Red Rust-Stop, just to say I did something.
Last Monday I found a local metal supplier close to my town and attempted to navigate their website to figure out how much a sheet of plate steel would cost; eventually I gave up and called them. Surprised at how low the cost was for a 4×8’ sheet of steel, I ordered one and got off the phone. Later that day I realized I had no easy way of getting a 4×8’ sheet of steel home with the truck at the garage and no place big enough to easily store it, so I called back and canceled the order. Looking elsewhere, I found Onlinemetals.com and used their site to order three smaller (and more storage-friendly) sheets of 18 and 20 gauge steel. The sheet of 20 showed up Wednesday and it’s as beefy as I figured it would be; the 18 is still somewhere in transit. I went back and ordered a sheet of 16 gauge just to be safe, which will hopefully be here next week.
I heard back from IHPA on Tuesday, who couldn’t find the Travelall brake part I needed, but they pointed me to the Scout Connection. I called over there and within two minutes Dave had the part in hand and was taking my credit card information. From what he described it sounds like the right element, and I’m hoping it’ll be correct when it gets here later this week—I’d LOVE to get the brakes finally sorted and working, and then move on to the clutch.
Thursday I went to get the Scout from the shop it was sitting at for two weeks; they dicked around and never looked at it until I called and bugged them. In the meantime I struck up a conversation with a fellow Scout owner from Annapolis who recommended his mechanic, and I’ve got an appointment with him in the middle of August to drive it down and have him take a look. For now, it’s good to have my girl sitting under cover in the garage again.
I had to make some space in the garage on Sunday after we got back, and took the opportunity to break out the wire wheel and clean off both seat bases.
After a coat of Rust Encapsulator I brushed on some black chassis coating and let them cure.
Monday we dropped the Scout off at a mechanic for them to replace the manifold and gasket.
Out in the garage I looked over the two seat bases and test fit them in the truck. The rear base will need some bracing but it’s definitely usable. Then, looking for someplace to store parts, I hauled the rear bench out and put it in the truck. It’s really not in bad shape at all, and it looks right at home in there.
The new door cards, behind all of the grease and rust, were originally the same gray as the ones in the truck. I test fit the drivers side to test a hunch, and I was right: there are two holes present to mount an armrest behind the door handle which line up with the door cards. So I’ll have to keep an eye out for those in the future.
I started cataloging parts and identifying what they are. Two of the door assemblies are clearly from a later truck, and they’re both for the right side, so I’ll see if I can resell them at some point. The rear door hinges are in good shape, and I started soaking them in PBblaster to remove various bolts from the assemblies. The glass went up into the attic. I’ve got to pick up a third bin for spare parts and keep working on storage solutions. One thing for sure is that the two PT cruiser seats left over from the Scout are going to the dump instead of taking up space.
Thursday after work I went right outside and decided it was time to lose the platform and old seats. I don’t have a ton of free space in the garage, and what better location to put it all than in the truck. Plus, I wanted to see what the floor looked like underneath.
First the seats came out; they were held in by eight bolts each, and the four rear inboard bolts on both seats were inaccessible underneath, so I had to use the grinder to cut them off. With those gone it took a little while to free up the platform and pull that out; underneath I found decades of dirt, one mouse nest, and some garbage.
After donning a mask and cleaning all that out I disassembled the rear platform base and the extender on the back step.
The floors are all in fantastic shape. The worst part is on the driver’s rear step by the door: water was probably getting in through the door seal and pooling between the wood and the metal. I should be able to cut that part out and weld new metal in. Under the driver’s seat there’s mainly surface rust which can be ground out pretty easily, and a few other small areas that can be cleaned up.
And when those seats are gone, I’ve got to figure out how to get a 4×8′ sheet of 18 gauge steel home from the supplier in Elkridge next week. I purchased it over the phone Thursday afternoon for pickup, and hopefully I’ll have the Scout back by the end of the week. With that and a $30 pneumatic metal nibbler I should be able to start welding things back together on the truck.
When I first posted on the Binder Planet about the red bus, I got a lot of good feedback and an offer from a nice man up in Massachussetts to come get a Traveall rear bench seat that was taking up space in his barn. Filing that away in the back of my head, I kept an eye out for seating that was closer to home, but it’s rare on the ground pretty much anywhere east of the Mississippi and north of Georgia. When I got back from Nats I reached back out to him, and a plan was hatched. He followed up with more pictures of stuff he’d dug out of his barn, including a front bench and a bunch of smaller parts. We settled on a date and a price, and I made plans to swing up there for a pickup.
I rented a 7-passenger SUV figuring I wouldn’t know how big all this stuff was, and I’d never fit it in the CR-V—plus, I wanted modern amenities and CarPlay to get me through New York City. This was probably the best decision I made on the whole trip. Hertz gave me a shiny silver Ford Explorer with three rows of seats, and it took me a couple panicked minutes before I figured out how to fold everything flat. Once we got it back to the house, I threw some tools, tarps and bags in the back and Finn and I hit the road. We were smart enough to get up and past New York City by 1PM, which put us in a strange dead area of Conneticut north of Stamford trying to find something to eat. We found a Chipolte and powered up, then got back on the road eastward.
I-95 through Conneticut is a disaster. It’s two lanes with a very picturesque view of the Sound to the south, but everyone is driving at 15 miles an hour for no visible reason for pretty much the length of the state. Once we’d gotten past New Haven it opened up a bit, but that was pretty frustrating. I’d found a cheap-ass motel in Stonington, CT over the border from Rhode Island, but when I was looking I didn’t realize its proximity to Mystic, which we had to drive through to get to our destination. We checked in to the room to find it about one step above an hourly hot-sheet truck stop, grimly left our stuff on the desk inside the door, and went back into Mystic to walk around the town.
Mystic is beautiful and quaint and filled with touristy shops selling either expensive local jewelry, expensive preppy boating clothes, expensive beachwear, or expensive gift items. Peppering the storefronts there were very busy bars and restaurants, and the streets were filled with people. We parked a few blocks off main street and walked our way back in, looking through all the stores that caught Finn’s eye. On our way back outside we heard the bell for the drawbridge ring so we walked up and watched them raise it with huge concrete counterweights to let river traffic pass. It was a beautiful place to walk off some of the road. Finn was tired at that point so we jumped back in the car and headed back to the hotel room to hang out before going to sleep. You can tell you’re in a quality establishment when the A/C is running at 65˚ but the room is still damp and smells like mildew.
Saturday morning we drove back into Mystic to get a bite of breakfast and hit the road for Rhode Island. Ray, the seller, was meeting us at a shopping center and we pulled in right behind him. We shook hands hello and loaded up the Explorer with all of the parts (surprisingly, it all fit neatly inside) and then shot the breeze for about 45 minutes. Ray is super cool and we traded IH stories for a while, then said our goodbyes so I could hit the road.
Here’s the back of the Explorer stuffed with rusty parts.
On the way back West I swung up into Mahopac and we stopped to get some lunch with my High School friend Jeff at a cafe in town. It was great to see him and catch up; that alone would have made the trip worthwhile. By 3PM the cafe was closing and I knew we had to hit the road, so we said goodbye and pointed the Ford south. With one stop in Delaware and a half an hour of heavy rain in New Jersey we made it back to the house by 8PM with a little over 900 miles added to the odometer.
I stashed it all in the garage after we got home and vacuumed out the back of the Explorer to avoid any cleaning fees. Overall the Ford was a perfect road trip vehicle; we got 29.5 MPG the whole way, and I never once had a problem with the technology or the car itself. (Five stars! Would recommend).
This is the contents of a box of parts, spread out. From top left: Two panels for the doors that go behind the main door cards. The blue rails go on the seat bases—these are the seat tracks. The two rusty gear/spring assemblies are extra hood hinges. The black geared arm at the bottom is a window scissor mechanism.
From the other box of spares, starting in the upper left: a spare rearview mirror, two short and one long door mechanisms. In the center are the ashtray for the back of the bench seat, two door lock assemblies, and the smaller red piece is a door catch. The two red L-shaped pieces bottom left are lower hinges for the barn doors, and two door lock assemblies.
This is an extra set of door cards for front and rear Travelall doors. The fronts are drilled for a set of armrests, something my truck doesn’t have. At this point I’ve now got three fronts and two rears. One full set will get bead blasted and painted the correct IH interior color.
This odd item is the platform the rear seat sits on and hinges forward from. It’s in rough shape, so I may not be able to use it. You can see how the piping is bent on the ends—I may not be able to pull that back out. That black rubberized coating is giving me PTSD flashbacks.
This is the worst part. What I’ll probably do is take measurements from this and build a newer, stronger box from square tubing, then enclose that with a hinged lid for tool storage, using this video as my inspiration.
Ray zip-tied the two seat catches to the base here—these bolt on to the wheel wells and hold the rear setback in place. I don’t have these and my truck was never drilled for them.
These are two spare rear barn door windows with used gasketry. I’m sure I could have new ones cut, but it’s great to have originals on hand instead. (The line on the left side is a reflection of our telephone wire).
Here’s where it gets interesting. These are two front bench seatbacks. The top one is complete with vinyl upholstery, but it’s disintegrating. The bottom is just the frame and springs, all in one piece. The square in the center is the mount for an ashtray, accessible to the passengers in the back seat. They’re both rusty but complete, and all the hardware is present.
This is the front bench seat bottom. Clearly the driver’s side has seen some wear. It’s torn and the foam is both swollen and disintegrating. I’ll have to replace all of that, which isn’t a huge deal.
Here’s the front and the back seat bases. Both of them are bent (Ray was apologetic) but I can use the back one for a template and I think I can straighten out the front. Again, I don’t have any of this stuff, so I’m just happy for the spares.
Here’s the rear seat, with a closeup of the material color. When I talk with Jeff J. about replacement material, I’ll have to see if he can match this pattern, because I kind of dig it. This bench is all in one piece, although it’s pretty worn; once I understand how to rebuild the front seat I’ll move on to this one. For now, I could install this in the truck as-is and it would probably work fine. The hinges and pins are present and the scissor works just fine.
While I was in Mystic I got a call from Jim at Super Scouts, who told me a bench seat he’d heard of and gone to recover was actually that of a D series; I thanked him for the info and told him about the brake distribution block. I’m still searching for a replacement, and the guys at IHPA are supposed to get back to me sometime this week. With that, I’m stalled on the mechanical stuff, so I’ll probably reorganize the garage to fit these bench seats and start cleaning up the skeleton frame for paint.