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My 1980 International Scout 2 Build

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Joe Link, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    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.
     
  2. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    ============================== 04-11-2010 Update ==============================

    Whew, the last two weekends have been a lot of fun. We've accomplished the following:

    - Installed 4" Triangle lift springs.
    - Installed 5" IHOnlyNorth 5" extended shackles.
    - Installed 1" Performance Accessories body lift.
    - Installed Energy Suspension body bushings.

    I'm happy to say I have the suspension about where I want it now heading into summer. I'll probably reassess the setup come winter time and decide whether to keep it like this or go SOA. We still have a couple things we need to do to get it back on the road, such as installing the extended brake lines that haven't come yet (and which I may be returning to buy a set from BCB) and buying two longer bolts for the rear body mounts (the included PA bolts weren't long enough). Unfortunately, the test drive will have to wait until then (probably next weekend).

    A few weeks ago I got a good deal on a set of 33x12.5 BFG Mud Terrains with wheels that came off a Scout. I finally got a chance to bolt up after we installed all the suspension components, but found they're not going to work for me. They stick out about 2 inches past front and rear fenders and they're still fairly close to the sheet metal which I don't want to trim. I could throw a set of fender flares on there, but they're expensive and I like the stock look better. I've spent hours researching the size I'd like to run and I've narrowed it down to a 265/75R16 (about 32x10.5"), though the exact tire model is still undecided. This should fit nicely in the wheel well, giving me a bit more clearance between the sheet metal and the tire while not sticking past the fenders. I could run a 33x10.5" but they don't make them for 16" wheels, and I really love the 16" Eagle Alloys I picked up last month.

    Another hiccup standing in the way of getting the Scout back on the road is a mistake I made when I purchased what I thought were all the parts for the round headlight conversion. I didn't realize the Scout SSII ABS grill attaches over the standard round headlight grill, which I found out when I tried to bolt up the SSII grill today. I'll probably install my old square headlight grill for now, as it may take me some time to find a clean round headlight grill in my color. The good thing is once I have it I'll have everything I need aside from the bulbs, including brand new Bosch 7" round glass headlight housings and the relay kit to upgrade the factory wiring.

    I've been quite worried about the moisture the factory vinyl floor covering had trapped and retained, so I took a razor knife and cut out most of it during breaks from installing the suspension. I couldn't believe how wet and heavy it was! I'm happy to say my floorboards look very solid, and I can't wait to move onto the interior next. I still have to decide between Rhino-Liner and Line-X, but I've heard both are very good. I plan on installing some sort of sound deadening material (such as Dynamat or eDead) underneath it before it's sprayed in order to keep sound and heat out of the passenger area. Afterward I'll be installing bucket seats with the Tuffy center console I just picked up, recovering the door panels in black vinyl, then start working on the design of the stereo system.



    I hope you guys are enjoying this build. My completion goal for all of this, which I'd call 'round 1' of the modifications, is my 28th birthday, July 6th, 2010. I'll be taking pics once it's drivable again, but here's a teaser pic for you guys ;)

    ============================== 04-25-2010 Update ==============================

    Whew, just got back from another long day of wrenching! Got a bunch done again, and she's back home in the driveway. After exhaustive research I decided on a tire, the Firestone Destination M/T, so I got those mounted and balanced on my 16" wheels last week. I did decide to go with the 265/75 for the reasons mentioned above and after getting them mounted on the rig today I couldn't be happier with the size and fitment. I'd also been waiting to get my extended stainless steel Skyjacker brake lines from 4wheelparts for two weeks, when finally I decided to cancel the order and get a set from Back Country Binders. I'm very happy I did, as these are much higher quality than the Skyjacker's I've seen and dealing with John was great. With the new tire/wheel combo and SS lines installed, this thing was finally ready for the road! I spent the rest of the day focusing on the interior again, removing a bit more surface rust and the rest of the vinyl flooring to prevent moisture retention and prepare for the bedliner I hope to have sprayed soon (haven't decided which one). Aside from the transmission hump panel all the vinyl is gone now. This week I also purchased a cheap ($65 shipped!) Sony (yuck!) head unit to replace that top of the line 1980 Kenwood relic. I'm actually quite happy with it, especially for the price I paid. I finally have some decent sound, but I really need to upgrade these crappy speakers.

    I must say, on the drive home I've never been more nervous in a vehicle. It's been quite some time since I've driven a lifted rig, but putting those larger tires on with bad tie rod ends made for one squirrely ride on the freeway. When I didn't touch the steering wheel the thing drove down the road very well with no tracking/drifting/alignment issues at all. However, the minute I put two fingers on the wheel it seemed like a constant correction/overcorrection situation. I've inspected my rag joint and my power steering box, and from what I can see all the play is coming from the TRE's. I suppose we'll see once we replace them and give it another go. I think I need to read up more about extended shackles, steering braces, steering dampners, and anything else that might be contributing to the problem. This is supposed to be my beach cruiser, and driving it tonight was anything but relaxing.

    I snapped these quick photos with my iPhone as the sun was setting, I'll take more tomorrow with a decent camera if the weather cooperates.
     
  3. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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  4. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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  5. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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  6. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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  7. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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  12. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Good pick on the year for the drive train pieces you mentioned. Spring over or spring under is a moot point, but if you want this thing to drive down the road like a vehicle this size should, investigate doing a shackle swap on the front springs (move the mount to the front and the shackle to the rear). We used to do this a lot to CJs and FJs. Makes a HUGE difference.
    Looking forward to what you do next.
     
  13. longcolt

    longcolt Zephyrhills, FL Active Member

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    Thats a nice looking scout. I went to school in Fort Wayne, IN and lived close to the plant where they built those a long, long time ago. International Harvester. I drove their tractors while growing up on the farm in NE Indiana back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth.

    I remember seeing thousands of brand new Scouts sitting out in the lots at the plant.:thumbup: You could by them for a song back then. A Dodge pickup with a six was about $1900.:laugh::laugh:
     
  14. RockKrawler

    RockKrawler Gresham Member

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    Joey,
    I have owned numerous Scouts over the years,and still have a lot of litature and contacts avail.
    In a scrap book i have there are numerous copies of IHC pics from old magazine articles that list options,prices,etc. Still have a copy of the IHC Scout Gold Portfolio on the shelf also.
    If you ever want to look at this stuff let me know,and the local Scout guru lives in West Slope,he is a grizzled old timer who is a trapper/liscensed Falconer that knows as much or more about Scouts than Ernie Bizio did.
    RK
     
  15. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Thanks Dennis! Man, a Falconer, that's awesome.

    I just updated the first post with my new wheels :)
     
  16. Gunner69

    Gunner69 Hillsboro Member

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    Not sure if Mike from Mr. Scout in Eugene is even in business anymore its been a few years since I had any IH iron in my driveway.. Would be worth looking him up I know at one point he had the holy grail of IH cross over parts... i.e. the brakes from a 72 cougar fit 67-69 800a's... same exact part but at the store the IH part is 65 the cougar part is 35...
     
  17. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    Nice, I had a Scout nearly identical to that years ago, even the same color.
     
  18. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Nice Scout! I had a string of 800-series and Scout IIs years ago, before the prices went crazy.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with SOA, long as you do it right. Your 345 needs a different cam (they all do), I'll see if I can dig up specs on the one I liked best (I know the info is around here, in a spiral notebook...but which one?).

    Keep us updated! :thumbup:
     
  19. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    Wow that is clean. Do you plan on taking it wheelin'?
     
  20. Redrum

    Redrum Portlandia Active Member

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    "Extreme 4x4" did a scout rebuid on the TV show. If you go to the web site you can order a DVD copy of the build. might give you some good ideas on what to do