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).
I got a nice little package in the mail this afternoon:
So part 1 of the title quest is complete; now I have to trade the Vermont registration for a Maryland title, and be issued new Maryland plates. But not just any Maryland plates. I’m going to do the same thing I did with the Scout: buy a set of 1964 plates on eBay and have the title point to those.
I took advantage of some moderately warm weather and a mostly sunny day to get outside and attack some rust on the Travelall on Saturday. The first thing I did was get inside and start pulling the stupid running lights off the top of the roof over the barn doors; this required several different sockets, a pair of vice-grips, two screwdrivers and a cutoff wheel. When those were removed I started grinding out the rust with the wire wheel and then a flap disc.
Working my way around the side I made it to the rear door on the driver’s side and then cleaned up the metal where the old Travelall badge once lived; this is going to need a skim of bondo as well but at least it’s not completely flaking off.
Then I got the license plate holder off the rear door and cleaned that metal up; it’s going to need some love with a body hammer to flatten back out.
I pulled the door hardware off the two rear doors and removed the door cards for cleanup next. The insides of the doors are in excellent shape and just need a good vacuum. By this time it was getting cold outside so I switched to the sandblast cabinet and got it prepped for shooting the battery box hardware. The day before I bought the Travelall I’d spent some time refurbishing the box: I emptied the whole thing out, used seam sealer to plug the leaks in the bottom of the cabinet, then cut some wood to fit the replacement gloves that were 2″ too small to fit the original round seals. Last year I had issues with the box filling up with dust, making it difficult to see what I was working on, so I bought a vacuum separator from Amazon to help to pull the dust out of the air and into a can before it goes into the vacuum filter, where it would immediately clog everything up. It was on me to find the right hose and reducer to go from the box down to the separator, and then another to go from the separator to a shop-vac.
Sunday broke a lot colder than Saturday did, and I hit Harbor Freight for the hose elements to try and cobble something together. When I hit the vacuum section I saw their vortex separator which came complete with a hose and the right attachments for less than the Amazon version—so I bought it. With that and some other supplies, I came home and finished blast cabinet V2: a fully ventilated, airtight cabinet with working lights. I used new glass bead media to clean off some parts, and was generally pleased with the results. The only two drawbacks now are that I can’t run the compressor and the vacuum at the same time on the same circuit; my available power to the garage are two 110V circuits and it can be finicky. The other issue is that I need a true gravity feed for the media hopper—it’s currently a hose that sits in the pile of media but it frequently runs itself dry. I have to drill and install a true hopper at the bottom of the cabinet and link that up to the hose.
While the compressor was refilling I went out to the truck and farted around with it a little before the snow started falling. I got thirteen of sixteen bolts out of the passenger fender with little effort, which should have been a task that took me three weeks and five cutoff wheels. I hit everything I could see with PBblaster and a half an hour later I had a handful of rusty but intact bolts. The hardest part was accessing the bolts around the headlight bucket, but that was an ergonomic problem, not an oxidization issue. It’s really crazy how good a lot of this truck is compared to other trucks I’ve seen (and certain parts of this truck itself).
So next up is to order about three more cans of Rust Encapsulator, a handful of flap discs, a wire wheel, and a pot of Bondo, and hope for some warmer weather so that I can keep working on the roof. The goal is to get the roof cleaned up, sealed off, leveled out with Bondo, and ready for paint.
The other thing that has to happen pretty quickly is the purchase of a welder, so that I can weld up the holes in the roof over the barn doors before the water really gets a chance to settle in there.
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.
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.
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.
I got started early on Saturday to prepare. First I humped all my tools outside and got the garage and the truck opened up. Then I organized all of the parts and tools and pulled the battery off the trickle charger. Then I pulled Autolite 303 plugs out of the Travelall and replaced them with a used set of 10,000 mile Autolite 85’s from my Scout. Feeling optimistic, I then swapped out the old ignition barrel with a new one I’d bought from RockAuto.
Brian showed up around eight, and we ran out to get coffee and donuts. Stephen and Bennett showed up a little after that, and we tried starting the truck—but nothing happened. Bennett began diagnosing what I’d done to bodge up the ignition system while Brian, Stephen and I began tearing out some of the useless mechanicals on the engine: the A/C system came out completely, the aftermarket cruise control was removed, and part of the trailer brake system. By noon we had the ignition problems sorted out and paused for some pizza and beer. Then we began diagnosing the starting problems.
The starter worked fine. We actually removed the passenger wheel and a bunch of the metal shielding along the inner fender to expose the starter and the engine stamping boss, and jumped the starter several times to chase down the electrical gremlins. When Bennett had the key sorted out we worked our way through the system with a tester to find the coil was OK but we weren’t getting spark to the plugs. I went around and swapped all the plug wires out with no change.
After a lot of tinkering, cleaning, and testing with the distributor we finally broke down and ran to the store for a new cap and rotor. We got the engine to catch several times but it didn’t run—we were frustrated at this point because we’d come so close. But the sun had gone down behind the house, the wind was picking up, the battery was running down, and it was getting cold, so we called it at about 5:30 and packed things up. I left the trickle charger on the battery to recover and packed things up.
We do have a few new discoveries: The engine is more than likely a 266, but we have no way of knowing for sure: there’s no stamping on the boss like there are in more modern SV engines. This one has a strange IH valve cover I’ve never seen—all the V8’s I’ve come across have four bolts. This one has two on the top and four on the bottom. And having pulled the valve cover off on the driver’s side, I have to say I’ve never seen a cleaner, newer looking valvetrain in my life. That’s VERY encouraging. More and more I think this was a municipal vehicle of some kind that was driven very sparingly, and then someone came along and built it into a summer camping vehicle. So the 40K miles on the odometer may be true mileage.
Either way, it was great to hang out with friends, spin wrenches and drink beer, and spend the day outside messing with old iron.
I got a bunch of goodies delivered for the Saturday workday: I picked up a fresh battery at the auto parts store, and Rock Auto dropped off a set of spark plug wires and a new ignition lock last night. Amazon delivered points, a condenser, and a carb rebuild kit. The spark plugs should be here sometime next week, which is kind of a bummer.
I also grabbed a new tub for all of the stuff I’ll be collecting as I work on the truck, and a pair of small plastic plugs to hopefully close off the two holes in the roof. The first thing I’ll probably tackle Saturday morning is replacing the ignition lock—provided the one they sent is the right size—and then pre-oiling the cylinders. Hopefully with Bennett’s help we can diagnose and get the rig running; I’ve got pretty much everything we’ll need.
I also got a bunch of helpful advice on the forums about some questions I had. The first big news is that the doors actually do lock—the whole mechanism is cleverly built into the handles. What you do is: get in, close the door, and push the handle down. That locks the door. Then you pull it up to unlock and unlatch the door. It’s a little inconvenient to have to lean in and lock the back doors, but it’s also kind of cool to not have visible locks. I also found instructions to get the doorhandles off: you basically pull the escutcheon back and push a pin out of the post, freeing up the handle for removal. Now I can pull all four door cards off and see what the door interiors and glass scissors look like.
Somebody also mentioned that my rear door latch was probably flipped, which would be the reason why it won’t latch, so I pulled it out of the door and looked it over. It’s not engineered the same way the tailgate latch on the Scout is (which lends itself to being spun internally, like overwinding a watch); it looks pretty much impossible to spin further than it’s supposed to go. So I replaced it and moved the latching post on the door outward as much as I could—and that did the trick. So now the rear barn doors close properly. I’ve got to pull one of the door handles off and figure out what lock barrels I need to replace all three locks on the same key.
Meanwhile the IH fridge in the garage is stocked with beer; I’ve got the engine resurrection toolkit collected on the workbench downstairs, and I have to put the new battery on the conditioner overnight. The boys should be arriving sometime around 9AM tomorrow, for which I’ll have warm coffee and donuts. I can’t wait to play with trucks!
I’m trying very hard not to continually obsess about working on the red truck. The weather has been unusually warm this week and it’s all I can do not to ditch work and go attack something with the angle grinder. I’ve got a long list of tasks to accomplish before I can really get into things, but the important stuff is being handled: I sent a package of documents to the Vermont DMV so that I can get a registration back from them; with that (and the Vermont plates) I can then go to the Maryland DMV and transfer the registration to a legal Maryland title.
I had some time between the end of the workday and sunset today to get into the Travelall and start cleaning things out. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was able to get rid of and how good things actually look underneath. The first order of business was to put some new shoes on the front; she’s been sitting on jackstands since Tuesday and it really makes the whole place look redneck. I picked up the tires and had them back on the hubs in about ten minutes; a set of General Grabber LT’s in the correct size really make things look much better.
In an effort to make it look better sitting in the driveway, I reached out to a guy on Marketplace with a 1965-66 grille in really good shape and arranged to buy it and have it shipped from Buffalo. With some clean chrome it’ll look much less derelict. It’s not the correct grille but it’ll do for now until I can source the right one (which is concave and which I actually prefer).
I’d started last weekend tearing out all the upholstery and it was pretty easy to continue. First I bagged up as much of the loose crap as possible and made a pile of the bigger stuff on the driveway. Continuing up to the front of the cabin I got the rest down off the edges of the cab roof and pulled the headliner down in sections. The carpet over the wheel wells came off pretty cleanly—I’m lucky it was cold this evening because the glue basically just gave up. The rear carpet came off the floor in one sheet. I unscrewed and removed both of the trap doors behind the front seats.
Up in the cab I used a utility knife to cut the rubber floormat out completely to get my first good look at the cab floor. Both sides have been patched at some point; the passenger side is worse. It’s rusted through in one place that I can see, right in the center. I used a shop-vac to get all the loose paint and rust out. The driver’s side has some kind of patch material over the metal that I can’t identify, so more research will need to be done there. The transmission tunnel looks to be in great shape.
Travelalls have wooden floors over the rear section—it’s a sheet of (probably) 3/4 plywood covered in rubber sheeting of some kind. This rubber is disintegrating in strips of 1″x3″ or so and will need to be scraped out, probably with the aid of some heat.
As I mentioned earlier, the wheel well is in fantastic shape for an East Coast truck: there’s some rust there and I can see daylight through one of the seams, but it’s not completely missing.
When that was all done I washed the rest of the grime off the windows and got all the debris ready for a trip to the dump. It’s good to see what we’re dealing with and now I can start listing and subdividing the tasks.
I’ve been organizing a work day at the house and reached out to a bunch of local IH friends. There are several who can’t make it but want to get together this year, so I’m going to take on the role of coordinator again and see if I can get some regular meetups happening. The core group of Bennett, Brian, and Brian will be here for the day, and an old acquaintance Will will stop by with his kids for a quick visit. Will was the guy who had a gorgeous 1968 Travelall he offered me back n 2014 when I wasn’t ready to take it on, but look back upon and wish I’d bought.
I also joined a Facebook group for 1957-1968 Travelalls (called Round Body Travelalls) and I’m waiting to be approved; hopefully there are some good leads on parts and tips for working on them to be found. I posted a new build thread on the Binder Planet but haven’t gotten much response yet; I think I’ve got to show some progress.
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.
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.
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.
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.