Looking through my fuel/mileage notebook and doing the math, I put a total of 2932 miles on the Scout this year.

Total Yearly Miles Miles Minus Nats
2015 580 580
2016 276 276
2017 315 315
2018 1768 631
2019 1972 836
2020 1195 1195
2021 3177 2041
2022 2932 2932

Most of 2022 was spent driving to and from my Father-in-Law’s house to help get him sorted out and haul stuff to and from his house. I went over the bridge to the Eastern Shore a bunch of times, and…I can’t really tell you where else I drove or what else I did. It was kind of a lost year, but at least I got a lot of seat time in the old girl.

Date posted: January 29, 2023 | Filed under Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

I drove to the outskirts of Lancaster, PA to look at another Scout on Sunday. The weather was perfect; dry and sunny, and by the time I got to the location the temperature was warm enough that I didn’t need a winter coat. Google Maps took me the scenic way, through forest and across farmland, and I spent much of the drive out there regretting that I hadn’t driven Peer Pressure. There were so many scenic spots I could have stopped for pictures, I had to remind myself to shut up and enjoy the drive and the day, and just live in the moment.

I had hoped Brian could come with me but our schedules didn’t align with the seller. The Scout had originally been part of a package deal of two, one runner and one parts rig, but he’d sold the parts truck before I got there. He’d then listed both trucks separately for more money than the package, so I was already on the fence before I got there. What I found was better than any of the other trucks I’ve seen recently but not enough for the price he was asking. It ran, and the body was in better shape than the last two, but there were crude metal pans sheet-riveted over the floors and two red bucket seats of unknown origin sitting unattached to the floor. The driver’s door took some coaxing to open and close. The rear bed was wavy in places and not attached to the walls on either side—I couldn’t figure that one out. There was a hardtop off to the side that went with the truck, and it looked relatively solid.

I may regret it later, but I passed on the deal; I feel like the price was a little too high for what was there. The seller was cool and had a barn full of other Internationals—two D series Travelettes, a pair of Terras, and a new Scout II on a trailer ready for rehab. Brian keeps telling me that the right one will come along; I’m going to remain patient and wait until it finds me.

Meanwhile, I had Peer Pressure out for errands yesterday and today, and she ran like a Swiss watch. I’m thankful for the things I have.

Date posted: January 16, 2023 | Filed under Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

It’s getting colder and I’m getting no younger. The cold is affecting me more than it ever has; I’ve taken to wearing fleece through most of the winter when I’m indoors. I’ve got some traveling coming up where I’m going to need the Scout, and I don’t relish the thought of a two-hour morning drive under the soft top at 45˚. Putting the hardtop back on is always bittersweet, because I live for driving the truck under a warm summer sun. After 25 years, I’ve got the method down to an art; it took me about two hours to get the soft top off and packed, and the hardtop lowered and bolted down. At some point I’d love to have one of those motorized hoists they sell for Jeeps but I think I need a garage upgrade before I do that.

Meanwhile I’ve been working on the second of two A/C boxes. When I took out the plastic vent housings, two of them broke at the pins that hold them into place, so I cleaned them up but can’t use them. The box is painted and just about ready for reassembly, and once that’s done I’ll have two clean boxes on the shelf.

Date posted: October 11, 2022 | Filed under Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

My (somewhat limited) social media feeds, email inboxes, and texts all blew up with people sending me the news that the Volkswagen group is thinking about making a new electric SUV called the Scout. It’s a long, convoluted story, but the Autopian breaks down how VW has come into possession of the Scout trademark through its purchase of Navistar after a colossal strategic mistake in building diesel engines.

Date posted: May 12, 2022 | Filed under Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

One of the primary reasons I wanted a Scout was because the truck was designed to be convertible by cigarette-smoking men in the 1960’s who barely considered passenger safety or crash protection. Having a soft top for the summer is a primary concern, and something I factored into the purchase of both my trucks. I was lucky—both came with soft tops. There was a decade or so where nobody was making new ones—Kayline went out of business in 2001 and Bestop decided there wasn’t enough money in it and focused solely on Jeeps. Softopper is now making new units which are by all accounts excellent, but are eye-wateringly expensive, so I feel better about hoarding them. At this point I’ve got three:

Out in front of my old house

1. The original Kayline top from Chewbacca, a snap-close model, in a color called Nutmeg, which is a medium brown color. I think this would look hideous matched with Peer Pressure’s blurple, so I’ve never installed it. It’s in very good shape—the canvas is clean, the zippers are all intact, the plastic windows are clear and mostly unblemished, and it has been sitting in cool storage for ten years. When I sold Chewbacca to Brian I was going to give it to him as a completion present but got a great deal on a used tan top and gave him the choice of the two; he liked the look of the tan top better (I agreed with his preference). I have the whole hardware kit for this: a set of padded bows, metal door frames, snap bed rails, and windshield rail.

2. The black Kayline top that came with Peer pressure, a Fastrac model, in black vinyl. This was used and in somewhat rough shape when it came to me on the truck. There are a couple of holes over the rear seat which thankfully haven’t gotten any larger. The zippers are plastic and work reasonably well but some of the tracks have come unstitched on each side. The windows are still mostly clear but need a good polishing, and the plastic tracks along the bottom edges are still in good shape. I have the entire hardware kit for this top. I’ve modified this one with snaps on the canvas door flaps and metal door frames to replace the useless velcro it came with, and it makes a huge difference.

IMG_9709

3. The $50 tan top that’s currently on the truck, which is another snap model. The canvas on this one is in excellent shape, which is shocking. The driver’s side zipper has come almost completely off the canvas, and the rain flap over the passenger door is also coming unstitched. All of the windows are very clear, but there’s a vertical split on the driver’s side about four inches long. I have the entire hardware kit for this also. I modified this with snaps around the door canvas as well.

All of these need a good cleaning and the windows need polishing. Somewhere I’ve got some Meguiar’s plastic polish that can be applied with a soft buffing wheel that will help with visibility through the windows. At some point I need to wrestle the tan top inside and restitch the zipper, or find someone in Annapolis with a sail repair business who can fix it up for me.

In the meantime, because the tan top is a snap model, I drilled one of the two snap rail sets out to match the existing holes in the bed rails. The driver’s side went on with a little finagling. Once it was mounted I found that the front snaps went on easily but the back snaps were too high by about 2″ at the endcaps. The way the top fits, the edges will never reach the snap rails, even when it’s heated up by the sun. The passenger side went on easier, and I dug into my snap replacement kit and installed four new barrels on each side so that I can (mostly) close it up with the bows loose. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than it was.

Date posted: July 17, 2021 | Filed under Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

5K7A1711

Date posted: July 4, 2021 | Filed under Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Here’s the first in a series of videos by a guy who pulled a family-owned Scout out of a field, drained the gas tank, and fired it right up after five years (I might have pre-oiled the cylinders first, but that’s just me):

Related to this, Anything Scout is making a series of videos about how to find a Scout and what to look for. It’s based on what they look for in a donor for his restorations (they are the guys behind New Legend 4X4, who are the leader in top-dollar ICON-style restomods) so they’re particular about what they are looking for, but there’s some good information in there.

More specifically, this is one they did about how to look for a Scout II:

I’m going to be adding some fog lights to Peer Pressure in the next couple of months. In a strange bit of coincidence, a link to this video by Holley popped up in my feed on how to wire a relay in an automotive application:

Not that I’d do this right now, but this is an interesting article, with links and estimates, on how to set up a car with permanent solar panels, an inverter, and a battery.

Date posted: February 28, 2021 | Filed under Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

So I dunked the spare carb I found in the garage last week into a tub of Simple Brown (thus named because it previously was used to clean one of the Thermoquads) and let it soak overnight. I was curious to see what it was because A. I can barely remember where it came from, and B. I wondered if it might be a simpler 4-barrel replacement for the Thermoquad I’m currently running. I scrubbed it off with a toothbrush this afternoon to reveal the stamping number, which identified it as a Holley 2100C for a ’73-’75 IH 304/345 gas motor. Doing a little digging online and in my brain, I remember that these were not highly regarded carbs, and the garb guru I remember from the Chewbacca era describes it as a smogged carb with limited parts availability, which is a double-bummer. So I’ll probably fool around with it for a while and see what makes it tick, and then toss it in with the other junk parts. The next one to identify is the one on the spare 345 out in the garage—actually, maybe I’ll swap these two out so that I can bring that one in here and clean it up.

Date posted: December 24, 2020 | Filed under Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

This is the clearest and brightest the dash lights have ever been. The two side indicators did come on last night but seem to be blinking on and off, which leads me to believe there’s a bad ground or connection somewhere up the chain in the dash wiring. The hi-beam indicator works, but the right turn signal and 4-wheel drive indicator are still out—and I know they’ve both worked in the past—so I’ve got to clean the connections on the bulbs and see if that solves anything.

Santa delivered a new stereo with built-in Bluetooth yesterday, so I’ve got another date with the dash pulled out planned before it gets too cold, and I can adjust things then.

Date posted: November 11, 2020 | Filed under Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

I did it again. Apparently I’m so happy to get out into the real world, I’m ignoring posted speed limits.

Date posted: June 16, 2020 | Filed under Uncategorized | 2 Comments »