I’m anxious to diagnose the issue with the Scout, because I want to know what ‘s wrong but also because I want to drive her. I went out after dinner Monday night to check the timing to see if it was advanced or retarded, which could be the cause of my mystery sound. I had an old yard sale Sears timing gun that I hooked up to the battery and #8 wire (Scouts use the #8 wire instead of the more commonly used #1 wire on most GM/Ford products) but I got no light from the gun at all. On the bench I broke it down to reveal old capacitors and components that had probably fizzled out during the first Bush administration, so I hit the Harbor Freight for a new unit.

Back under the hood I cleaned off the timing marks and chalked the pulley. When I set the gun to 0˚ and ran it, the chalk hit at about the 15˚ mark—but I hadn’t run the engine or disconnected the vacuum advance yet, which meant the reading wasn’t entirely correct. It was getting dark by this point so I shut her down and put her back in the garage to avoid the rain forecast for the evening.

Thursday evening I went back outside to give it a second go; this time I was able to plug off the vacuum advance and get things ready for a proper diagnosis. While I was getting a wrench on the hold-down bolt, I was holding the distributor body and it spun under my hand with a little bit of pressure—which told me it wasn’t tight for a while. When I put the gun on it, the chalk showed up at about 15˚advanced, so I spun it back to 5˚ and listened to the idle settle down.

Tightening that off, I noticed some smoke coming off the manifold on the passenger side, which makes me wonder if there’s a leak between the manifold and the block. I’ve been smelling something from the engine for a while, and I wonder if that could be the culprit—it would certainly explain the additional noise.

Meanwhile, my oil sample is safely in the hands of Blackstone as per the USPS’s tracking service. Going on past experience, it’ll take 2 weeks or so to hear back from them on what the oil can tell us. I’ve got a new Fuel-Pro gasket sitting behind my desk for the next major step: dropping the pan to see if there are any chunky bits at the bottom.

While I had the timing gun out, I figured I’d throw it on the Travelall for giggles to see what the timing looked like there. I’d solved the high idle issue I had before by re-connecting the PCV valve on the back of the valley pan, but because I’d cranked all of the idle screws in all the way, I had to spin them back out. The engine is running sloppily now, loping around like it’s not firing correctly, and the exhaust is abhorrent—the girls flipped out because it quickly filled the house. I’ve got to get this thing mobile quickly so I can move it away from the windows to properly work on it. In any case I couldn’t get a good enough look at the chalk before I was forced to shut her down. New PCV valves from that era are hard to find, but I think a new one will help out immensely.

While I was digging around in my parts bins I pulled the two mirrors out and mocked them up on the side of the truck. They look great! I’ve got to go back through my reference photos from Nats and see how other owners mounted the top mounts to their doors; I’ve got a very small vertical area to work with and I’d prefer not to mess up the mounting surface for the weatherstripping, which may be my only option.

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At the bottom the two holes pre-drilled for the old mount aren’t wide enough for this setup; I can easily drill a new hole and add a backing nut inside the door. I think what I might do is (with my new fancy welder) cut a small thin plate, weld two shallow bolts to that, drill holes through the door, and feed the bolts through the holes so it’s as flat as possible.

Another thing I noticed was that there are three dimples in the passenger side windshield frame for where a sun visor would have been mounted; I think this thing was as stripped-down as possible when it left the factory.

I’m talking to a guy from the Binder Planet who offered up a rear Travelall seat back in February, and who has some other assorted barn door parts left from a project. He’s able to meet in Rhode Island, so I think my plan is to rent a pickup and drive up there over a weekend, stay the night somewhere local, pick up the parts, and drive back the following day. If I time it right I might detour up to Mahopac to say hi to some high school friends on my way back home.

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Date posted: June 30, 2023 | Filed under Repairs, Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Weekly Roundup, 6.30

I has happy to learn the badge I bought fit the back of the truck perfectly.

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Date posted: June 26, 2023 | Filed under Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Satisfaction

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I made progress on the Travelall on Sunday afternoon after I’d knocked out a bunch of other tasks around the house. I’m still working on the inoperable brake and clutch system, so I started by disconnecting the hard lines to the master cylinder and rigging up a bench bleed system so that I could test it out. The system primed itself quickly, and after I knew it was working I had to fight the hard lines to get them reconnected to the cylinder. When that was done, I jumped back in the truck and tried both pedals. Amazingly, the brake pedal now had lots of resistance, but I still wasn’t getting anything out of the clutch pedal.

Leaving the brakes for the time being, I tried multiple methods for bleeding the clutch cylinder with no success. In the middle of all of this, I jumped in the Scout to move it up the driveway and mistakenly drove over the brake fluid bottle, sending brake fluid all over the driveway and on the back of the Accord. I had to spend the next hour and half hosing off the driveway and washing the car to make sure brake fluid didn’t eat away at the paint or asphalt. That sucked.

Monday afternoon I rallied after spending a nice aimless morning sitting on the couch and fighting off the urge to take a nap. I re-read the bleed directions for the slave cylinder, then went out and got it set up for a two-person operation. With Jen’s help on the clutch pedal I was able to bleed all of the air out of the line and the cylinder into a catch bottle, then buttoned everything up in the expectation that I’d be able to put it in gear.

Unfortunately, all I could do was grind gears. There’s a chance the clutch rod isn’t adjusted long enough to throw out the clutch all the way, but beyond that I’m pretty stumped. I’m going to run through some more diagnostics now that the pedal actually works, and see what I can find.

I also attempted to bring the idle mixture down on the carb, with no success. She really wants to idle high for some reason; both screws are pretty much all the way in the bore of the carb, and I brought the curb idle screw in a bunch as well. Spraying starting fluid around the base of the carb revealed no vacuum leaks, and every hose coming off the carb or manifold is either connected or plugged. So I’ve got to sort that out as well. The challenge moving forward is that the weather, which has been remarkably mild and friendly through the first half of June, is about to turn wet and rainy, and I might not be able to do much with this forecast.

Moving to the Scout, a lot of the advice I’m reading on the Binder Planet has me confused; there are some saying my symptoms point to actual rod knock and some that don’t. I only hear it when I get on the gas, so I’m unclear as to whether or not this is knock or could be something to do with the timing or possibly a water pump going bad. The other thought is that the heat riser valve itself is bad, or there’s another exhaust leak somewhere else. I’ve got a cheap Harbor Freight stethoscope so I’m going to pull a tire today and take a listen to see if I can hear anything with that at idle. Then I’ll dig my timing light out of the box and check the timing itself to see where that stands; if it’s retarded or advanced I’ll bring it back to zero and see if that helps. Then I’ll try the next non-invasive diagnosis—one of the accessories going bad, or a hidden exhaust leak.

The next step will be to take the Straight Steer bar off, drain the new oil and drop the oil pan itself to see if there’s any metal at the bottom—if there is indeed a bad bearing or worn cam lobe, something solid should show up at the bottom of the pan; if there is and it doesn’t stick to a magnet it’ll be bearings.

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Date posted: June 19, 2023 | Filed under Repairs, Scout | Comments Off on Brakes, Then Clutch

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Knowing I wasn’t going to be able to drive Peer Pressure to Ohio this year without diagnosing the engine noise, I got the oil and coolant changed in the CR-V, strapped the pod on the roof, and moved a bunch of my tools and kit from the Scout, along with a couple of parts to possibly trade or sell. I spent a lot of time leading up to our trip moping about not driving an IH to an IH event, but eventually I got past myself and remembered to be excited to get away and see friends. Thursday morning Bennett met me at 9AM, we loaded up our gear, and hit the road for Springfield. The show was in a new location this year: they moved it from the Waco airfield to the Navistar assembly plant, which was the facility where my Travelall was built in 1963. This meant our hotel was new and also a half an hour from the show. We made good time through the smoke from the Canadian forest fires and rolled in to the hotel by late afternoon, meeting a bunch of folks we knew out in the parking lot after checkin and dinner. It was a bit quiet, as a lot of people hadn’t shown up yet, but we enjoyed the cool night air and had some beers to relax.

In the morning we got breakfast and hit the road early to hit the parts stands. Stuff for C-Series trucks is a lot thinner on the ground than Scout parts, so I knew I had to be quick and smart about what I was looking for. I came prepared with a list and basic price ranges I’d gathered by averaging numbers from the Internet, so I knew what the high end would be on most things.

I immediately found a somewhat foggy C-series wing window and got that for $10, then moved to the stand next door and found a right and a left side with much better glass (and no rubber) for $10 apiece. Those went immediately into the car. At the same vendor we found a Scout II console lid in the same color as a console I’d brought, which was sitting in the car. I brought it back over and made a fair swap deal with the guy for a beautiful 14″ International emblem for the right side barn door in perfect shape.

On the far side there was a guy with three trailers full of parts; he had a C-series bench seat from a pickup that looked reasonably intact minus the pipe base it sat on. I made a mental note to go over and wheel a deal with him on Saturday afternoon. At another vendor I found a bin full of front marker buckets that were solid, had been blasted and painted, and had intact pigtails. Those were each $10, well worth the price. I found a set of NOS lenses on another table for $300; apparently those are a little more expensive. I put them back and kept walking.

When Dan Hayes pulled in we checked out his table, and I found a beautiful Travelall script badge mounted on foam and grabbed it. He also had two ’64-’65 grilles in much better shape than the one I’ve currently got, and the price was extremely reasonable. I filed that away for Saturday, trying to maximise the money I’d brought.

We met up with our friend Jeff on the grounds and walked over to his truck where he had two beautiful IH-branded west coast mirrors waiting for me; I gratefully gave him what he was asking for them. There were several other C-series trucks and a Travelall with the exact same mirrors mounted at the show, so I took multiple pictures of them for reference. They went directly into the car and got wrapped in a blanket.

I had to spend a bit of time inside at the tech talks to cool off—this show area was set up on pavement, not the forgiving grass of the airfield, so we were getting cooked even though it was relatively cool with a breeze. I was wearing Merrel hiking boots with a thick heel and I could still feel the heat on the soles of my feet. They’d scheduled some excellent speakers and I learned a lot while I relaxed in the shade.

Later in the day a few more sellers came in and set up shop, and I found a guy who had a bunch of C-series stuff on a desk for excellent prices. I got a set of beat-up C-series visors for $10, a spare rear taillight lens for $5, and a set of C1100 badges for $20. We got to talking and he walked out to show me an immaculate D-series pickup truck which he’d just finished restoring. I voted him for best pickup and best paint, which he should easily win.

Out in the field we ran into the Delaware-based guy who bought my windshield frame; he just opened up his shop two years ago and is working mostly in Scouts now. The show truck he brought was very pretty, and it was nice talking to him, but it’s clear I’m way out of his demographic: he built an LS swap with a lift and fancy tires. He’s going for the high-end restomod audience, which is where the big money is. We wished him luck and went on our way.

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By about 4:30 we were pretty crispy so we packed up our stuff and grabbed Steven to go get some food at a brewpub near our hotel. After refueling and enjoying some cool air and a cold beer, we headed back to the hotel and met up with friends in the parking lot amongst the Scouts there. I struck up a conversation with Steve, the owner of the SSII registry, and learned some new things. I talked with guys from Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, Arizona, and some old heads I recognized from the IHC Digest back in the day. By about 11PM we all were winding down, and we headed upstairs to cool off and get some sleep.

Saturday morning we got to the grounds by about 9:30 and headed back out into the parts field for some more picking. A few more vendors appeared but Howie never showed—he’s always got badges and small parts that are impossible to find, and I figured he would be my best bet for the Travelall-specific stuff I wanted. I was happy to have scored the stuff I did find on Friday in his absence.

Returning through the stands, I came upon a pair of taillight lenses for $10, two chrome washer surrounds for $20, and a single front turn lens for $1. We took in a couple of the tech talks in the early afternoon: there was a great talk on IH electronics and how to upgrade the systems wisely, what tools to buy/use, and how to diagnose some common problems. After that the guys from Anything Scout talked about their recent journey to Baja to race in the NORRA 1000 with a Scout they pulled from a storage yard 9 months ago, which was fascinating.

I stopped by the IHPA booth to see if they had my bench or the air cleaner they’d promised to bring for me, but they were very apologetic and told me the week had gotten past them, and promised to make it right the following week.

We did our judging (we were both registered participants without a truck) and caught up with friends and basically had a great time walking the grounds. There were a lot more fancy Scouts there this year—all the old guard see the change in the air—but there were still plenty of beaters to be found among the trailer queens. Much of the discussion each day centered around how rare trucks are getting, how expensive they are, and how many are being bought up by the restorers and flippers. I met a couple of attendees who were walking around asking if anyone knew of a truck for sale; two guys from Wisconsin told me they were willing to drive to Pennsylvania to get a truck. That certainly shocked me, as I figured there was more rolling stock where they were from than what’s left out here.

I was sad not to have Peer Pressure because there were two very purple Scouts there this year: an 800 in a bright shade that would stop a train and a Scout II that was hand-painted with a roller during a manic episode. That one spent a lot of time in the parking lot on Saturday night surrounded by people trying to get it to run right again; it made the drive from Pennsylvania somehow but crapped out between the hotel and the show.

In the afternoon I walked back over to Dan’s stand and put the money down for the grille, figuring I’d never see one that good again. Bennett made some more deals (He was a lot more restrained than I was) and I found a C-series headlight bucket for $5. We did another circuit of the grounds, dropped the last of our raffle tickets off, and headed out for some Mexican food near the hotel.

Back in the parking lot they were setting up for the raffle, so we found a great spot up by the front and pretended our Honda was a Scout. As usual, I didn’t win any of the raffle items (it’s the only way I’d own a Redcat RC Scout) and was quickly bid out of the other things I was interested in, but it was fun to watch the show. We helped clean things up and hung out for a few more hours talking with friends until everyone called it a night at about 11:30.

Sunday morning we grabbed some breakfast with Carl and Mary, said our goodbyes, and hit the road for Super Scout Specialists, which was on our way home. They opened the shop at 9, and we pulled in a little after 10. Walking around in there is always amazing; the front of the shop is a museum of IH trucks and the back is just stuffed with new and used parts. Bennett and I found ourselves in the back racks looking at used stuff and noticed the door to the parts yard was open. We walked outside in a light drizzle and surveyed the lot of carcasses; Bennett pointed out two Travelalls in back and I made a beeline for them.

They had both been picked over hard and showed signs of being out in the elements for years, but one of the two had, by some miracle, an intact sheet of rear passenger glass. I asked inside if they could give me a price, and they were surprised when we told them there was still glass in it. When he gave me a number my jaw about hit the floor and I told him I’d take it on the spot.

We grabbed a few utility knives and commenced to carefully cutting it out of the truck, covering our hands with some kind of black sealant, and in about ten minutes it fell backwards into Bennett’s waiting hands (he volunteered to climb into the filthy cab) and he handed it gently back out to us. I carried it carefully out to the CR-V, gave Rob the cash, and tried to contain my excitement. Finding exactly what I needed was always a longshot, but somehow I won the ticket.

At this point it was really raining and a lot of the people from the show were stopping in to browse. After talking with the guys for a while, we hit the road at about noon and hustled our way east in the middle of an advancing rainstorm. As the rain kicking up off the road reduced our visibility, I was super glad not to be in the Scout; the wipers wouldn’t have kept up with the water and we would have been soaking wet. And having a working defogger was key. By the time we got into Pennsylvania the water had tapered off and when we turned south for Maryland we headed out of its path completely.

Somewhere above Frederick, we spotted a flatbed with two Scouts pulled off to the side of the road and immediately pulled over to stop. The Scout hanging off the stinger had lost a wheel and was dragging the drum on the ground. I didn’t remember the trucks from the show, but figured maybe someone had made a deal somewhere. We talked to the driver, who was hauling them back from northern PA for a guy we know locally; it just happened that we passed him on the way home. Small world.

With stops, we made it back to my driveway by 7:30, swapped Bennett’s gear into his car, and shook hands on another great Nationals trip. Traveling with him is always fun, and he knows everyone, so it’s always great to be introduced to new people.

Again, in retrospect, I’m glad we didn’t bring the Scout this year, as both the weather and our cargo would have made the drive back a challenge. I would have had to fabricate a box or crate to store the glass in to protect it from the harsh ride the Scout provides, and we were already behind schedule as it was. We had a dry, comfortable cruiser with A/C and good mileage, and that made up for a lot. I like to think everything happens for a reason, and once again my IH friends and my luck came through.

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Date posted: June 12, 2023 | Filed under Scout | Comments Off on Nationals 2023 Recap

I got a bunch of stuff done on the Travelall but at the end of the weekend I didn’t reach the goal I was hoping for. Having the rear floor removable has been great; I pulled it out on Sunday and heated the balky rear brake line, then clamped it with a set of vice grips and separated it from the main line. Because I’d stripped the fitting on that line, I cut a quarter inch off and re-flared it, then connected it up with a new soft line to the splitter block. With that done, I figured it was time to fill the reservoir and bleed the brakes. I started on the passenger rear line and used a $25 Harbor Freight vacuum tool to try and draw fluid into the line, but had no luck. I tried the driver’s rear and was able to pull a bunch of old crud from that line, but still had no luck bringing new fluid in.

I then tried bleeding the clutch slave, but had no success there either. Pressing the pedal down results in bubbles from the bottom of the reservoir but I don’t get any pressure built at all.

On Monday I pulled the driver’s wheel off and tried bleeding that line, figuring I’d diagnose a blockage in the old hard line out back, but had no success. I didn’t bench bleed the reservoir before putting it on, which I only learned about after I’d installed it, so I’m going to pull the connections off and bleed it while it’s mounted to see if it’s working correctly, then diagnose from there. I’ve got enough hard line to replace the long run along the frame rail, and that’ll probably be the next step.

The other bit of progress on Sunday was the installation of four new shocks at each corner; the originals were rusted to oblivion. Once again, all the bolts came off with little to no effort and inexpensive new shocks went on easily.

Beyond all of that, I’ve got a list of parts to look for in Ohio this weekend. Most of the Light Line vendors bring trailers full of good stuff, and often there will be good sheet metal from out West to pick over. I thought I’d set up a deal for a Travelall front bench seat from California, but the vendor has ghosted me since last week so I have no idea if they’re bringing anything or what to expect. They’re also supposed to have a regular (non oil-bath) air cleaner housing for me. Among the other items I’m on the lookout for:

  • Rear passenger glass — this is pretty self explanatory. Unobtanium, but I am ever hopeful
  • A C-series driver’s front fender in better shape than what I’ve got. My fender is repairable but is quickly gaining weight from all the bondo, and the bottom section is much worse than the passenger side.
  • A C-series front cowl. I think these rusted quite commonly, so this might be a hard one to find.
  • Front turn signal buckets — Mine are both swiss cheese. I’d love to find them with the pigtails too.
  • A 14″ International badge for the back door.
  • A Travelall badge for the passenger rear quarter — these are expensive these days, but there are a few vendors who might be able to hook me up.
  • C-series sun visors — I haven’t been able to find these anywhere, although I know they exist.
  • A 16″ 4.5×5 lug steel wheel
  • A steering wheel with no cracks — not necessary but I’ll keep an eye open
  • Rear Taillights — These aren’t in bad shape, but if I could find new lenses that would be great.
  • 4th IH hubcap — I’ve got three, one is dented and the other is in decent shape. I’d like all four, preferably.

Finally, I’d driven down to my Father in Law’s house on Saturday to get some work done—mowing his lawn, edging the whole property, cutting the bushes back, and installing a new mailbox. On my way home, I decided to stop at a salvage yard I’ve been spying on for twenty years at the foot of the Solomons bridge. There’s been a unique antique British sedan there for months and I figured I’d peep it out. To my surprise, parked behind the sedan was a gray Scout of unknown origin that I’d never seen.

A closer inspection revealed it had been completely covered in gray bedliner and it was sitting on two flat tires. Covering anything other than the bed is a bad idea; I’d bet the inside sheet metal is crispier than fried chicken. I looked it over a little and presently the owner of the yard pulled up in his parts wagon; he was super nice when I mentioned I had a Scout and we got to talking. He’s putting it together for a customer but they’re waiting on parts. Then we talked about his sedan, which was a Triumph Mayflower that he’s had for decades. It was getting late, so I snapped a few pictures and headed on my way.

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Date posted: June 6, 2023 | Filed under Scout, Sightings, Travelall | Comments Off on No Brakes

I’ve been battling an exhaust leak in the Scout for the last couple of years. There’s a gasket on the passenger side right below the heat riser that seems to come undone every twelve months or so, and I’ve tried to tighten it up on my own until now. While it’s been loose, the truck sounds like a chugging train from that side, which I don’t like at all; the truck is enough to take in visually without being the loudest thing in my zip code, so I try to dial it back as much as I can.

I finally got someone to look at it, and after supplying the right parts for it I took it in last Friday to be fixed. As I figured it wasn’t a big deal for them, and it was done in an afternoon. When I got it back I jumped in and listened closely to the sound of the exhaust—at idle it sounded nice and quiet but when I got out on the road and hit the gas pedal, there was a different noise sounded less exhausty and more engine-specific. This is the kind of noise I associate with old clapped-out Ford Explorers and crappy pickups, which made me very nervous. Doing a little digging I identified it as rod knock, which is caused by low oil. I immediately went out to check and found that the oil was below low, which made my heart sink. I don’t know how I let it get that low or how it emptied itself out so fast; I remember topping it off earlier this spring. Whatever the case, the sound had been masked by the exhaust noise, and I completely missed it until now.

From what I’ve learned, low oil pressure can easily be the cause of this problem; what I’ve got to do is find someone who can properly go over the bottom half of my engine and pull the rods and replace the bearings. So for now, Peer Pressure is off the road.

This means that I’m going to be taking the CR-V out to Nationals this year, which sucks for many reasons. But I’m more upset with myself for having fucked up my engine this badly. It messes up ongoing plans for the summer and it means I won’t have my truck for the forseeable future, which really makes me upset.

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Date posted: June 5, 2023 | Filed under Scout | Comments Off on Knock Knock

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.

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Date posted: June 1, 2023 | Filed under Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Jump Start

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.

 

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Date posted: May 30, 2023 | Filed under Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Three Day Weekend

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.

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Date posted: May 26, 2023 | Filed under Repairs, Scout, Travelall | Comments Off on Weekly Roundup, 5.26

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