…Nothing, really, has happened. Peer Pressure is running well, if a little rich, but she started right up all winter long and after a little bit of lifter tick the engine warms up and smooths out really quickly. I actually drove her a lot more this winter than most because we didn’t have as much snow, which meant less salt on the roads.
So let’s update the To Do list for 2017, in order of high-to-low probability:
Adjust the Tuffy console forward 2″. It still gets in the way of folding and tumbling the rear seat. I tried moving it forward last year but what I’m probably going to have to do is drill three new holes in the bottom of the console to get it in the right spot.
Adjusting the doors again. The striker on the passenger door doesn’t latch unless you slam that fucker shut.
Replace the windshield. It’s as difficult to see out the front of the truck as it was before. Thing is, I have no idea what shape the frame on the truck is in; I’ve got two other frames in the garage that could be rustproofed, fixed, and painted.
Install the goddamn Hydroboost. Again, carried over from last year. I’m going to bribe Bennett with some beer and pizza and have him help me with this over the summer.
A new radiator? I thought this might be easy and relatively cheap but it’s not.
Option 1: a Champion Radiator, plus shroud and electric fans: $466. Ouch.
Option 2: an RnD radiator for $375. I have to check and see if my existing shrouds will fit.
Buy new road tires. Again, this is expensive. The trick is to find a narrow set of 32s so that it doesn’t look like I put toy wheels on. Seems like most 32s come 11.5″ or wider. Cooper Discoverers are very road-looking, while BFG T/A KO2s are more aggressive. I can actually get these from Amazon in 10.5“, but I don’t have $750 for that laying around yet. [BP search link]
As with last year, I’ve got a list of stuff I’d like to get accomplished this year. Last year’s list was pretty successful, in that I got most of it done or at least attempted, and it was handy to refer back to. So, this year’s list, in order of things that will most likely get done to the longshots:
Adjust the Tuffy console forward 2″. It gets in the way of folding and tumbling the rear seat. But that’s it. It’s just an annoying 2-person job.
Flip the rear seatbelts 180˚. I put them in backwards when I finished the bedliner project, and they are harder to feed through the seats. This is also an annoying 2-person job, or one guy and a vice grip.
Rebuild spare carb. It’s been sitting on my shelf for four years. I’d like to get a kit for it and have it ready and waiting.
Install Hydroboost. Yep, carried over from last year. I’m going to bribe Bennett with some beer and pizza and have him help me with this over the summer.
Replace the windshield. I priced out a new one from Safelite, and they are about $300. The gasket is another $70 from Super Scout Specialists. The question is: is the frame on the truck in good enough shape, or should I sand and refinish one of my spares? Either way, the one I’ve got is a mess and it’s time for a replacement.
Buy kick panel sheet metal and doglegs. Just to have on hand. I’ve got a passenger’s front dogleg I hacked out of the brown forest Scout six years ago with a Sawzall; I just need to sand the paint off, drill the spotwelds out and separate it from the body metal.
Buy new road tires. The BFG’s I’ve got are in great shape and have lots of tread left. And they look cool. But they’re louder than a jet engine. I’ve got a set of stock 15″ steelies with dry-rotted tires I could mount a quieter road-going set on, and perhaps sell the M/T’s to someone who might use them. I’d like to keep my black wagon rims though. The trick is to find a narrow set of 32s so that it doesn’t look like I put toy wheels on. Seems like most 32s come 11.5″ or wider. Cooper Discoverers are very road-looking, while BFG T/A KO2s are more aggressive. I can actually get these from Amazon in 10.5“, but I don’t have $750 for that laying around yet. [BP search link]
Rebuild the top end of the spare engine. Far off in the future, but still something I’d like to start preparing for. First up is a decent stand to mount it on.
Looking over the sheet metal recently, I realized the inner kick panels are probably the worst area on Peer Pressure (that I can see). Super Scout Specialists has new kick panels for $60/ea. or $36/ea. for the lower halves. One of my wish list projects is to have these areas cut out and replaced with good metal. First I’ve got to go out and survey each area to see if I need full panels or if I can get away with buying half heights.
While I’m there, I’m going to preorder the International Scout Encyclopedia, which looks like it could be an interesting reference book.
I’ve always had a lot of projects planned for the Scout. I tend to research a particular improvement, gather the materials together to get the project started, and then wait patiently for the time to get it done. As a result I’ve got a ton of stuff laying around and no idea where to start (or what I’ve got, as some of the stuff has been laying around here for a while). So here’s an unordered, unfinished list to get everything out of my head and into one place: something else to consider is the money I’ve put into these projects without getting anything done. It’s time to make some progress before I buy anything else. So, without further preamble:
- Install new steering wheel. I’ve got the wheel and a puller. I’m stalled on this for time, and because the puller wasn’t working correctly; I need two longer grade 8 bolts to screw into the retainer plate to get the factory wheel off. I also want to replace the ignition lock barrel and the turn signal cam while I’m in there.
- New side indicator lights. I’ve got one completed. I need to pull the headlight bucket out to reach the disconnect behind the inner fender so that I can unplug the original and replace it with the new one.
- Mounting the Rotopax. I have to cut a metal plate for the backside of the fender, pull the rear taillight, and see if I can reach inside the fender to properly screw in the mount. Otherwise I’m a bit stumped as to how to get in there (maybe through the speaker hole?)
- Mounting new seats. I’ve got the seats. I need to repair or replace my bases, and drill into the seats to properly mount them to the bases. Then I can put them in. They need a good cleaning, too.
- Hydroboost. I have the reservoir, the standoff plate, and all the hoses and fittings. I need someone who’s done it before to help me put it in.
- Slider windows and weatherstripping. I have new seals and sliders sitting in the garage. I need some warm weather to loosen up the rubber and some Eastwood rust encapsulator to clean up the window openings.
- New side rail covers. I bought these last summer and haven’t had the balls to drill into them yet. They need to be primed and painted.
So unless some kind of miracle combination of time, money, or opportunity comes along and I inherit a car-sized paint booth, adopt an engine mechanic, or win the lottery, I’m going to try and get these jobs accomplished this year before I tackle anything else. That is, of course, if nothing breaks.
Finn and I spent some good time running errands with Finn in the Scout this weekend, and it reminded me that I need to order and install new rear seatbelts. They are original to the truck, as far as I know. Finn pulled the female clasp side off of the belt early in the fall, so I shifted her carseat behind the drivers’ side. I’d like to get something more modern and reliable, as well as male clips that reach a little further. The big pain in the ass will be crawling under the truck to put a pair of vice-grips on the tiedown bolt in the center of the bed; at the very least I’ve got to measure everything and figure out what I’ll need for a warm day’s project.
I’m also going to spend a little cash on these LED marker lights and modify them for use, based on this thread from the Binder Planet. Eventually all the lights will go to LEDs but for now I’ll start with this.
And, I asked Santa to bring me a Rotopax setup for the third year in a row, so here’s hoping this time’s the charm. I also put a Hi-Lift retainer donut on my list, as well as a velcro-based LED light for the rollbar.
Finally, I’ve got some time between Christmas and New Year’s to myself; I think I’m going to mosey down to Crazy Ray’s and see if I can find a decent pair of PT Cruiser seats.
I don’t have any money to be spending on the Scout right now, but one of the things on the to-do list is to rebuild a spare carburetor. I have two spares, one of which is of uncertain provenance and the other a direct pull from a Scout. Given that Carter made a million modifications to the Thermoquad over its lifespan, I thought I’d put the spare side by side with my working carb to see what visual differences I could pick out.
Apart from the extra arm attached to the main throttle linkage, they look identical to me. I did a brief comparison to my third spare, and that one isn’t even in the same family. The main body is cast differently, and there are a handful of inlets and outlets that don’t match up to the ones I’ve got, or are completely missing.
From what it looks like, most carb rebuild kits are ~$50. Peer Pressure has been getting harder to start reliably, so some carb adjustment is definitely moving up the priority list, and having a pair to tear down will help in familiarizing myself with these complicated beasts.
I’ve been thinking about vehicle security this spring, as the top is about to come back off and I’ll be parking Peer Pressure all around town. Being an American vehicle of 70′s vintage, it would be childishly simple to hot-wire and steal, especially as a convertible. I’ve considered mechanical methods of theft protection like a fuel cutoff or battery cutoff switch, but given the delicate nature of 40-year-old electronics I’m a little hesitant to go digging around in the wire harnesses until I’m ready to rewire the entire truck.
There is another way, and it’s something that might take care of several issues at once. Grant sells a steering wheel security kit which basically works like a removable-face stereo: once you’re parked, you disengage the steering wheel and take it with you. This would be advantageous because it would also allow for me to get into the steering wheel and fix a broken turn signal canceling switch and swap the full-size steering wheel out for a smaller diameter sport wheel (which will be required once I put PT Cruiser seats in). This link on the Binder Planet shows the system in action, and while I think I’d go with a different wheel, I like the look of the whole thing.
Here’s a great thread on the Binder Planet about D44 Rear Disc Brake installation where the bracket was welded onto the axle flange. Further down in the thread there’s a parts list for a bolt-on solution, which is more my speed, but the combined price list is about $700.
Colorado Mike has been feeding me steady updates on his resto project via text. The other day he asked me for paint advice, and I sent him my collection of IH paint codes for the entire Scout II run. He’s leaning towards Lexington Blue, a bright shade offered in 1979. It got me thinking about the distant future, when I can strip Peer Pressure down to the metal, POR-15 everything, and paint it in a more pleasing color. Originally I wanted a shade of English green, but Mr. Scout has that one covered. My second choice is a color from the Scout in a movie called “Fools Rush In”. Based on the grille pattern, it’s a ’75 or a ’76, which could only make the color Glacier Blue (it’s the only light blue offered in the ’74-’77 timespan). Looking at the paint chip, it’s a light, flat blue which looks too powdery at first glance.
It could be the film transfer, the lighting, or wear and tear on the truck, but the blue here looks darker to me.
The other candidate is a shade called Bimini Blue Poly, which is a darker blue with candyflake. I can’t find a good example online, but I’ll keep looking.