Today was the first clear day I had to take pics since bringing her home Wednesday (March 3rd), so I figured I'd take than opportunity then start a thread about the vehicle, my plans for it, etc. I've been looking for a Scout 2 for a few months now, watching the markets both locally here in Oregon and nationwide to get a feel for what was out there. With summer coming up that topless itch was getting real bad, and looking at photos of my FJ40 I sold a couple years back just compounded the problem. I decided on the Scout 2 because I like the idea of having more interior room for gear and people on our various camping/fishing/shooting expeditions and I've found I also prefer vehicles with a bit longer wheel base than a Jeep or FJ but I didn't want a full size. The Scout 2 seemed to fit the bill perfectly. I found this on Craigslist and emailed the guy for more photos and information. I was a little disappointed when I received no reply, but checked the ad again the next day and noticed he updated it with his phone number. I called and found out he was in Newport, OR, a coastal town about 3 hours from Portland. Living on the coast, I was worried about rust, but after looking over a ton of detailed photos and finding only one small spot on the tailgate, it looked like this might be 'the one'. I arranged for myself, my girlfriend, mother, and father to make the drive down to check it out, figuring even if it didn't work out we'd still enjoy a nice day at the beach. I called to let him know we had made it and arranged a spot to meet. Every time a vehicle would drive past I'd whip my head around as I waited anxiously for him to pull into the parking lot. After what seemed like forever (actually only about 5-10 minutes) I finally spotted it. My father and I took about 45 minutes going over the thing in detail. Unfortunately, one of the problems we noticed was a large bulge in one of the front tires. After negotiating to $4100 we walked across the street to the DMV and the deal was finalized. Dropped it off at Les Schwab to have the spare swapped on, had some lunch, and drove it home without a problem. All in all, this is one of the cleanest Scouts I've seen in person. The only rust on the whole thing is a small spot in the upper corner of the tailgate and a little bit in front of the rear wheel on the passenger side. Both are easily fixable as it's only surface rust, and it'll be taken care of shortly. At the same time I'll probably pull the trim and diesel (yep, it used to be a diesel) badges and fill them with something (plugs?). Best I can tell, the paint is original. While it does have the typical scuffs and chips of a 30 year old vehicle, overall the paint is still in great condition. The body is very straight, with only one or two dents/dings. The 345 V8 engine runs well, the 727 transmission shifts perfect, and the 4x4 works as it should. I was very happy to find a 1980 model year Scout 2, since it has the factory disc brakes in front and the Dana 300 transfer case. It's also nice having Dana 44 axles front and rear already geared to 3.73. As you can imagine, I have a long list of upgrades and modifications planned for this before summer hits. First I plan on getting all the maintenance up to date, making it run and drive well as it is. Next Saturday I'll be inspecting the brake fluid and changing all the fluids in the engine, transmission, transfer case, and axles. I need to get some decent tires so I feel safe driving it on the road. Though it made the 136 mile drive home with no problems, the tires are shot and the steering is OK at best. At quick glance, it looks like the tie rod ends are loose, as well as the drag link and some other bits. I haven't checked the rag joint, but it's probably toast. If so, I'll be replacing it with a Borgeson unit. I just placed an order for new polyurethane body bushings, and while I'm in there I'll be installing a 1" body lift which I also ordered. I'm hoping this will improve the ride considerably, as every visible body bushing is cracked and flat as a pancake. After the ride and handling is addressed I'll be finalizing my lift kit selection. Right now I'm leaning toward staying with the spring under axle configuration and purchasing a standard 4" lift kit. Along with extended shackles and the body lift I should have no problem fitting 33" tires, and maybe 35's with some further modification later on. Spring over axle lifts intrigue me, but I think it's a bit overkill for what I'm trying to achieve. I've also heard mixed reviews regarding whether SUA or SOA is safer and/or handles better on the road. Once this stuff is done I'll focus on the interior a bit. The wheel is coming off in favor of a Grant wheel with the security hub, which will allow me to remove the wheel and take it with me. I've had these on past rigs and I love them, kinda hard to steal a vehicle you can't steer without a flatbed! The bench seat will come out in favor of buckets and a Tuffy center console. It kills my legs to ride shotgun when my 5'4" girlfriend has the bench up as far is it'll go. I'd also like to find a matching rear seat. Around this time I'll pull the ugly old vinyl on the floor and have the tub Rhino Lined. Eventually I plan on replacing the dash and gauges with one of the aftermarket options out there. I can't tell you how excited I am about this project! Once I get done with this 'round' of upgrades I should be content for a while, but I have many more ideas for this floating around in my head. If you guys have any comments, suggestions, ideas, or tips I'd love to hear them. Now for some pictures, as it sits now, as I drove it home. ============================== 03-08-2010 Update ============================== I've been talking to a guy on Craigslist who had a set of Ultra wheels for sale. I was finally able to determine that they'd fit my application, so I picked them up this evening. They're 16x8, which should be perfect for running either the 33's or the 35's, as well as give me a wide selection of tires to choose from. I picked up all four for $120. I didn't have time to do much tonight, but I hit a small test section and the lip of one of the rims with some Mother's polish and 0000 steel wool. Needless to say, I'm extremely excited thinking about the way these are going to look when they're polished and mounted. Full set before: Test area before: Test area after: Test area & lip polished: ============================== 03-16-2010 Update ============================== Over the past week I've been receiving in the mail everything I need to get the Grant steering wheel mounted up with the Grant security system. I put these on all my old rigs, as I believe it's the best way to prevent someone from spending 2 seconds break the column lock, hot wire the ignition, and drive away. This leaves would-be thieves two options: 1) Use a flatbed 2) Find me, and my .45, in hope of acquiring the steering wheel. I think it looks great, and it feels much better than the stock Scout 2 wheel.