This weekend, I took a drive up to White Marsh to see my old girl, and to help her new dad take her apart in order to start the process of restoration. Based on the weather we’ve had this past week, I was expecting a cold slog through the mud and ice to bang knuckles against cold metal, so I wore about fifteen layers, but somebody upstairs was smiling on the three of us. The sky was deep blue, the air was clean, and the sun was warm on our backs.
She’s in an enclosed yard, surrounded by semi tractors and utility equipment of all kinds, which is fitting, I guess, considering the lineage of the manufacturer. The only thing more appropriate would be a tractor repair yard.
B.’s already gotten a lot of work done since the beginning of the year—more than I would have in the same amount of time: both seats are out, the dashboard is out (wiring carefully marked, not a small or easy job), and the steering column through to the pump is out. After piling the parts on the ground and setting up a sheet of cardboard and plywood (cheerfully referred to as “Tennessee creepers” by our host) under the truck, we spread out some tools, rolled up our sleeves, and got to work.
First, we went after the seatbelt anchors, which were located in the center of the rear bed, and which are impossible to remove with only one person. After struggling to break them free with vice grips and a breaker bar, B. pulled out the cutting wheel and braved the rain of rust underneath to split them in half. Next we worked on the rollbar, and got three-quarters of the bolts off before being stymied by the remainder, tucked carefully under the front lip of the rear wheel arch.
I would have laid money on requiring an impact wrench, a weightlifter, and an hour of prayer to get either of the doors to budge, but surprisingly, both of them came off in about ten minutes. After a break for lunch, we pulled the hood off and started on the fenders, which were fastened with a bucketful of bolts in interesting and challenging locations. So the headlights, marker lights, and turn signals all came off in order to reach the last few.
Standing back to survey the results, it was surprising to see just how quickly it came apart, and how much we got done. There is, of course, much more to do, but it felt good to get ouside and get my hands dirty, and help B. with his new project. I’m happy to help him realize his dream, but I’ll admit my motives are not entirely altruistic: Helping him rebuild the Scout, even if it’s just lending a wrenching hand once in a while, makes me feel a little better about leaving it to sit in the driveway for three years. I’m excited to see it’s finally getting the attention it deserves.