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.

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Date posted: July 21, 2023 | Filed under Inspiration, Purchasing, Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Weekly Roundup, 7.21.23

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.

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Date posted: July 16, 2023 | Filed under friends, Purchasing, Scout, Travelall, Trip Logs | Comments Off on Road Trip Parts Haul

Jen and I were out walking the dog on our morning coffee route and we saw a bunch of signs in the neighborhood for an etate sale. I’m a sucker for a good estate sale, especially when there are tools to look at, so I suggested we get our coffee and go check it out. As we got closer to the gaggle of cars parked on the road, I realized it was at the house of my Scout friend Steve, who had regrettably passed on a number of years ago. Worried, we walked up the driveway and started looking over the stuff. I found one of the women running the sale and asked if his widow was OK and was relieved to hear she was fine, just cleaning out a bunch of stuff from the house.

In back up by the carriage house, his son’s Scout sat under a tarp, surrounded by tools and yard equipment. I spied a set of Scout panels and a neat bundle of chrome trim, and made a deal on it. It was all too big to carry home so we walked back and I picked up the car to head back over. While I was there I grabbed a set of Bonney box-end wrenches and a creeper, and then I spied a Straight Steer bar sitting on the floor under some other stuff. Walking back outside, Steve’s widow came out to say hello and we caught up a little bit. She mentioned he’d boxed up some other parts and she wanted to make sure they went to someone who could use them, so we traded numbers and I thanked her for coming out to say hello. I’m going to check in with Steve’s son to see if he wants any of the stuff I bought for his truck (she mentioned he’s actually considering selling it) but if not, I can definitely find someone who can use it.

The chrome trim is the big find here. They’re all in super-clean condition with only a little pitting; a soak in some Evaporust will clean up the mounting hardware on the back, and a polish will bring the shine back in the aluminum. I’ve already got two sets of fiberglas panels (one is cut to get between the hardtop and the roll bar) but this set is in fantastic shape.

Meanwhile, Jen got a call from Finn’s karate instructor, whose sister owns a Scout sitting forgotten under a tarp and who needs help getting it started. He wanted to know if it was OK for them to give me a call. They are such nice people and did such great stuff for Finn, I’d dig the truck out of a hole if they asked me to. So hopefully they’ll give me a ring sometime soon and we can see what the situation is there. I’m feeling a lot better about my skills now that I’ve revived two cars in the space of one year.

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Date posted: May 20, 2023 | Filed under friends, Purchasing, Scout | Comments Off on Shiny and Chrome

March has swept in over Maryland and put the deep freeze on everything. I’m still stuck with my ghetto garage, and there’s no room inside to work on the Travelall—nor is it running, meaning I couldn’t get it inside anyway. There is nothing colder than working on a car in a swirling, damp March wind when the sun hasn’t been out in two weeks.

So, looking around for something indoors to fool with, I picked up the mangled, rusty steel license plate/light mount I pried off the rear door. I was going to disassemble it and give it a bath in evaporust, but I realized I had to drill rivets out to get the cover off the light and the two brackets were so mangled and bent the whole thing wasn’t worth saving. I have an LED bracket from the Scout from when I’d wired it on to the swingarm sitting in my parts bin and thought I might see if I could re-use that. I wanted to use the original holes in the door to avoid drilling any more than I needed to, and I don’t have anyplace on the bumper to mount it.

I watched a video a month ago where an engineer built a rapid-fire Nerf gun and mentioned using an online laser-cutting service called SendCutSend, and thought that might come in handy someday. This was a perfect chance to give it a try. After dinner I traced sections on each bracket and started cutting out some cardboard. I eventually came up with a C-shaped bracket design, where the backside mounted to the door and the front to the license plate unit.

I pre-marked four mounting holes and a larger hole for the wiring to exit, and cut the whole thing out. Transferring it to a digital version was pretty quick in Illustrator, and after a few printouts I had the shape I wanted.

Uploading it to SendCutSend I was able to choose my metal type and thickness (galvanized .059″ for this part), specify the two bends I wanted, and specify black powder coating for a finish. All for about $22. The second part I measured and designed was a donut-shaped piece of 18ga. mild steel for the fender, measured 1/8″ smaller than the diameter of the hole, so that I can butt-weld it place.

I emailed to see if there was any way they could dimple the edge of the inside hole the same way the factory fender came, but they can’t. So I ordered a simple blank, and I’ll see if it fits (for $6.90, it’s worth ordering to try out).

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Date posted: March 16, 2023 | Filed under Purchasing, Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Fold, Assemble

I’ve been keeping my eye out for replacement sheet metal for the Red bus since the day I bought it, knowing C-series panels will be much, much rarer on the ground than Scout parts are.

I answered an ad in Marketplace from a guy who’s been selling parts from a C series truck for a while, based out of Ohio. He re-posted the ad and included some pictures of two fenders, one of which looked pretty good for what it was. I messaged him about more photos and he sent me a couple, along with a decent price. I asked him if he had the fuse block by any chance, and he said he did—and would try to give me as much of the wiring harness as he could with it. So we’re working on shipping, and hopefully I should have some spare passenger side sheet metal and a fuse block I can use to rebuild the wiring behind the dashboard.

Now that I’ve got a project to practice on, I’m looking ahead to all of the welding it’s going to require and thinking about how to set up the workshop. I’m going to buy an inexpensive 110V MIG setup with gas, as I can’t run 220 in my garage; this should be plenty for what I need—mostly thinner sheetmetal. There are more expensive units that will do MIG/TIG, but I don’t see the need for welding 1/4″ steel at this point, I don’t need to switch to TIG, and I know several people who I can hire out for that in any case.

I was leaning toward Hobart products because they’re designed and built in the USA and they make excellent gear, but there are a couple of drawbacks to the unit I had decided on: it uses a heavy transformer vs. an inverter, it’s not as extensible, it can’t do dual-voltage, and the duty cycle is short. There’s a comparable Eastwood unit that has all these features plus a tack-weld setting and a longer duty cycle for a little less money and a 3-year warranty, which I think is the way to go. And it’s 25 lbs. lighter.

There are a lot of good resources out on the web for basic welding and bodywork training; it’s been long enough since my welding course that I need a refresher, and I want to get some hours of practice in before I go anywhere near my trucks. Something I’ve got to find is a local supplier for sheet metal; the steel supply yard that used to be near here is long gone.

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Date posted: March 10, 2023 | Filed under Purchasing, Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Sheet Metal

I think I understand why none of the lights or controls in the Travelall work.

That hole there? The one in front of all the cut green wires? That’s where the fuseblock is supposed to be. Some baboon decided to just cut the wires instead of disconnecting them—the back of the fuseblock is organized with brass male posts to clip the wires onto. So I’ve got to source a new fuseblock panel from somewhere.

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Date posted: March 8, 2023 | Filed under Purchasing, Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on That Adds Up

Cleaning up on Saturday evening, I left the boat tank in the back of the Red Bus with the fuel pump hooked up and forgot about it. Yesterday I went out to check on some rust converter I’d sprayed on the passenger floor and was hit with a strong smell of gasoline inside the cabin; it turned out that the heat on Sunday had expanded the tank and it dribbled out of the hose onto the rear bed. So I have to air the truck out for the next couple of weeks until the fumes dissipate, which is super annoying; the problem is that it soaked into the wooden floor in the back.

I got a small, heavy box in the mail yesterday with a handwritten return address on the top: the battery box I’d bought off Marketplace arrived safe and sound. It’s in fantastic shape: It’s covered in red primer but there’s only a little rust or corrosion on the inner platform; the rest is smooth and solid. I couldn’t be happier, because the one in the Red Bus is almost gone.

There’s also a spray of corrosion on the inside of the hood from where the original unsealed battery leaked and sprayed upwards onto the metal. So I’ll hit the remains of the old platform with more PBblaster and let it soak; the new metal will get a quick cleaning in the sandblasting cabinet and some new paint, and then go into the truck.

Meanwhile, talking with friends on the weekend, we had an inspiration. I texted my old friend Erick and asked if he was interested in doing some housecall IH work. He got back to me and said he was; I explained what I had and what I wanted to do, and left the ball in his court. We’ll see when it gets a little warmer if he can come out and do some engine and brake work to get her mobile.

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Date posted: March 7, 2023 | Filed under friends, Purchasing, Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Fumes

Yesterday afternoon, after spending much of the day working around the house, I sat on the couch and checked my email with the dog curled up next to me. I hit Marketplace and did my usual search, figuring I’d see the same ragged out Scouts and a couple of trucks before signing off. Cycling through my search terms, a new listing caught my eye, and the location made me sit up on the couch: Middle River, about 20 miles from here. The picture was of a red IH Travelall of unknown vintage sitting in the side yard of a house, listed for a tantalizingly low price. I immediately messaged the guy and about five minutes later added my phone number, then continued about my day.

A few hours later the seller called me and we set up a meet for first thing Monday morning. I got my usual kit together: a magnet, a flashlight, a strong screwdriver, a 15/16″ socket on a long bar (to put on the crank bolt to see if the engine is free), my $30 borescope, and some gloves. At 8:45 I was sitting outside his house with a cup of coffee, and he waved me into the yard to look it over.

What I found was, as always, worse than the pictures showed, but strangely better than all the other rigs I’ve seen around here. It was a mid-60’s C1100 with Custom badges on the doors. The seller told me his brother had bought it years ago and had it towed from Virginia to his house, where it sat outside for years before it was moved last week and put up for sale. The paint was rough all over the outside; there were blooms of open rust on the doors and fenders. The driver’s rear quarter was crispy around the wheel arch. There was obvious bondo in several spots. The passenger’s rear corner was crunched at some point. And the grille was completely missing. One thing that didn’t show in the photos online was that the passenger’s rear glass—the most unobtanium part of a Travelall—was cracked in several places. The windshield also was cracked in several spots. There were no brakes, but he transmission and clutch weren’t frozen.

Inside, someone had pulled all the seats out and replaced the rear bed with a custom carpeted platform, then bolted two seats of indeterminate origin in the cabin. There was custom upholstery bolted to every surface—walls, ceiling, over the rear doors, and over the windshield. But the dash was clean, the dashpad was in one solid piece (also a shock) and the switchgear all looked to be in decent shape. Under the floormats, the front floors were intact but very damp.

We talked for a good long time about cars and health and life as I looked it over, and he brought a battery out to see if it would catch. It had an International V8 of some size with an aftermarket AC unit plumbed in, and all the moving parts were present. It cranked right over, which was a good sign, but we couldn’t get it to fire with two different coils. The distributor was like no other I’ve seen on an IH motor; I was dumbfounded as to what make or model it was. As we talked, his phone beeped and beeped; he sheepishly showed me a list of 30+ inquiries beginning with mine from the previous evening. He said he’d been swamped with messages since he posted it, one guy even calling at 5AM.

I thought about it for a few minutes and asked him if he was flexible on the price; he thought for a minute and brought it down $250 less than the listed ask. I shook his hand and a deal was struck. This truck has no title, so I did a bill of sale purchase; I’m going to have to do the Vermont title thing to get it registered correctly here. But this came in at a fraction of my budget, so I couldn’t pass it up.

I’d done some research on towing companies the night before so I had a good one to call, and within 1/2 hour a rollback was beeping down the street to where we’d pulled it out of his yard. After heading back under the tunnel to the house, I moved cars out of the driveway and the tow operator dropped it to the side of the garage where it’s out of the way. The rear bumper on this thing is gigantic, and there’s a heavy duty hitch welded to the frame below.

After getting some lunch and work done in the house and giving the dog a well-needed bath, I figured I’d take advantage of the 60˚ weather while I had it and busted out the pressure washer to blast off several years of grime, moss, and flaking paint. This also removed one of the crumbling aftermarket trailer lights mounted above the barn doors. As I cleaned black gunk off the roof, I found a 1″ diameter hole in the center from some kind of radio aerial and figured I’d better cover that before tomorrow’s rain hit. I sanded the edges down with a wire wheel and used some basic painter’s caulk to seal it with a plastic lid. Temporary, but effective.

The passenger’s front tire is garbage—it would never hold air—so I jacked up the front of the truck, put it on a stand, and pulled the tire off. It’s a 16″ rim with a LT215/85 R16 mounted, so I threw it in the back of the Scout for a weekday dropoff. Tires this size are pretty plentiful, so I’ll see if I can find something inexpensive.

Because one of the barn doors wasn’t closing all the way, I got a screwgun out and popped the screwcaps off the upholstered panels and removed them. I was shocked to find both doors in almost perfect condition; the metal looks as good as new, even underneath. They don’t close perfectly, but they’re not held shut with a ziptie anymore either. Intrigued, I took off the rear driver’s door panel to find that door in similar shape. The passenger’s rear panel was hiding some serious dirt and debris, and was wet to the touch—so I was glad to have that one off and not collecting more moisture. Then I got caught up in pulling a bunch of the upholstery off the walls and made a pile of smelly dusty crap in the center of the truck. By 5PM I knew I had to stop, because I had more work to do inside the house, so I buttoned everything up and called it a night.

I’ve got a long list of things to tackle now, but the first one is going to be writing to the Wisconsin Historical Society for the Line Set Ticket on this rig to see where it’s from and what it came with. Then I’ve got to find a new tire and get it mounted so that it’s off the jackstand and on its feet. And I have to start the titling process to get it in my name, plated and legal.

Meanwhile, I messaged the guy up in New Jersey with the blue pickup to see if he would sell the NOS gas tank he had sitting in the bed of the truck; hopefully he hasn’t sold it, because the ad is now down.

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Date posted: February 20, 2023 | Filed under Purchasing, Scout | Comments Off on Barn Find 5

Having driven Peer Pressure over 180 miles last weekend, one of the things I’m noticing more and more are all of the squeaks and whistles and drafts in the cabin with the hardtop on. Figuring I needed something to work on over the winter, I ordered wing window rubber from Super Scout Specialists on Monday to replace the old cracked 1970’s vintage stuff on the truck. What this is going to mean is taking each door apart (again), pulling the wing window up and out, and figuring out how to pull the old rubber out. I think the driver’s side window spring is broken underneath, so I’ve got to figure out how to weld that back together or replace it with one of my spares. Then it’s a matter of figuring out how to install the new stuff without ripping it in half.

That gets a little complicated because I’ve got several spares with working spring but no latch, and several with a latch but a broken spring. So I have to see if I can Frankenstein something together from what I’ve got. I think I’ll probably use the worst of my spares to disassemble and figure out how the whole thing comes apart, and then use that to practice putting the new rubber in place.

The other thing I’m going to do while I’ve got the doors apart is re-felt the window tracks so that they slide easier. There’s a good video online about how to do the felts, so all I need are the materials. Luckily, I’ve got multiple spare tracks sitting on the shelf I can clean up and refurbish without having the doors torn apart for multiple weeks.

I also threw a new battery tray in the cart, because the one in the truck is in pieces and I’d really like to de-ghettofy the current setup—it’s currently held in with a clip and a bungee cord, and really needs a freshening. I’ll have to read up on how to clean up the inner fender, or even consider replacing it with my good inner fender spare. It will take some welding and fabrication to put something in place; this is more of a summertime when-I-get-a-welder project, but it’s good to have the parts handy.

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Date posted: February 17, 2023 | Filed under Purchasing, Repairs, Scout | Comments Off on Parts In Hand

Update: The seller couldn't find the VIN plate that goes with the truck, and I was unwilling to buy it without a title that matched the chassis, so I passed on the sale.
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I was fortunate enough to be the first person to respond to a Marketplace listing the Tuesday before Christmas for a ratty-looking 1969 Scout 800. What caught my eye was the fact that it was listed in Baltimore; turns out it’s right up the road in Owings Mills. The seller and I set up a time to look it over right before the holiday on the coldest fucking day of the year. I bundled up as warm as I could, figuring I’d be out in a field somewhere, but the cold got into my bones quickly the minute I was outside. He’s got it in a shed behind his house with minimal clearance on either side to see the driver’s sheetmetal, but the pictures online tell most of the story. It’s an 800 with a 6-cylinder AMC 232 that’s been disassembled for structural body work. He cut and formed new floorpans on each side, claiming they’re 12 gauge, and had a guy weld them in place. He claims the inner rockers were done, but I couldn’t get underneath to see how the stringers or rockers looked. The rear bed floor was replaced, and the side walls and tops were in good shape, but he welded angle steel on the tops of the corners. There’s also a low bulkhead welded in across the rear bed. From what I could tell the work was done well; it all looks solid and the welds aren’t garbage. There’s no hard top for it, but that’s not a dealbreaker; I’d put a soft top on it and leave it alone anyway. The only outward rust I see is on the driver’s side rocker behind the B pillar, and the thought of cutting that out and repairing it doesn’t frighten me. The tailcaps are both bent, so I’d need to pull those dents out. As mentioned before, it’s an AMC 232, a mid-60’s to late ’70’s engine IH offered as an alternative to their homegrown 4- and 8-cylinder options. I didn’t test to see if it spun, but that would be one of the first things to look at on my next visit. For some people this might be a dealbreaker; I don’t mind as long as it’s not either missing or locked up. He said he had a bunch of parts to go along with it—a hood, two cowls, two extra doors, maybe a front fender, and boxes of parts—but they were in two other locations. We talked it over a bit and he told me I was first in line; he had family obligations after Christmas break but would be available after that. I told him I was definitely interested but wanted to look over the other parts—that’s a big part of the sale—and that I’d want to see the truck out in the sunlight so I can crawl over it. I drove up to Mt. Airy today to look over the parts he’s got; he’d returned from York with two spare doors and a grille on his flatbed. On a trailer in a storage lot he’s got two hoods—one rough, with lights cut and mounted to the surface, and the other a patina’d blue in better shape. Under that was a step bumper in good shape. Next to those was a tailgate which was pretty well rotted at the bottom—more art than functional at this point. Inside an adjacent trailer was another tailgate in much better shape; apart from a section on the right side the metal looked to be in good shape. Next to that was the original 1969 cowl, which was pretty much crap. It’s definitely a project but a lot of the hard stuff has already been done. It looks like hot garbage but that’s never stopped me before; I’d look at buffing off the rattle-can black first to see what’s underneath, and painting it after pulling the dents later. For the price he’s asking it’s a good deal, especially after being cleaned up and made to run again. However, there’s a saying about buying someone else’s project; you never know what’s going to be there and what won’t. For this truck it’s not like there’s a ton of expensive chrome trim or unobtanium plastic that can’t be found; he might not have the original seats but I’m sure I could source some over the next couple of years. The biggest question now is that of the VIN plate; it’s not present on the firewall of the truck. He has a title but if there’s no VIN plate, I really don’t want to mess with the DMV to sort that mess out. So he’s looking for that and hopefully he can lay hands on it. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

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Date posted: January 1, 2023 | Filed under Purchasing, Scout | Comments Off on Barn Find 2