So Brian and I finally got our schedules organized to move the spare engine out of his backyard. First we had to borrow Bennett’s engine hoist, which meant disassembling it and fitting it into Peer Pressure, then driving that over to Brian’s. Then we had to build a ramp to coast the engine and cart down off his patio, onto grass, and then onto the driveway. Then we rebuilt the hoist and raised the engine.
Then we scooted the Scout under it and ratcheted it down with four straps.
The engine hoist got broken down and shoved into the back of Brian’s Prius. I drove gingerly up 95 to the house, backed in, and we reassembled the hoist.
Then we muscled the engine and cart up into the garage, got the hoist inside, and attempted to mate it to the Harbor Freight engine stand I’ve had for 8 years. We got three of four bolts to mount but when we let the hoist drop the whole stand leaned frighteningly forward. So we put it back on the cart and called it a day.
So, I’ve got some reading to do. I think I’m going to start with some basic engine rebuilding books and go from there. But for now, I’m resting my back.
Bennett and Brian were headed up to pick over a Traveler in a junkyard in Mt. Airy today, so I tagged along. It was already gone through pretty well, but after a few hours of effort, we got the right inner fender, driver’s door, power steering pump, and some other goodies off it. I grabbed the starter, a hub assembly, the oil pump, both valve covers, some decent door rubber, and a very clean headlight switch, among other things. Now we need to figure out how we’re getting the engine from Brian’s house to my garage.
I picked up a pair of Grade 5 bolts for my steering wheel puller yesterday, along with 3′ of 3/8 fuel line and a rattlecan of International Red farm implement paint while I was there. Hopefully I can get some time this weekend to replace the wheel. The fuel line is for my Hydroboost setup and the paint is for the new engine, if and when I can get it here.
At Carlisle this weekend, I picked up my new Rallye steering wheel from Mike Moore. We fooled around with it a little bit at the show, going so far as to buy a $6 wheel puller at a tool tent and pull the cover off my current wheel. Where I stopped was when we compared the guts of the full-size wheel to the Rallye wheel; there are two wire leads entering my current wheel, one for a ground and one for power to the horn.
The Rallye wheel has one obvious connection point for what I’d assume is power at the 12 o’clock position; there is no other lead on the plastic at all.
I started looking through the Binder Planet to see if anyone else has blazed a trail for me to follow, and found this Steering Wheel Replacement thread with a link to some more pictures which illustrate how to use the wheel puller. It also reveals that I’ll need to get two 1/4″ x 28 thread bolts to fit the pull holes; most likely the ones I have are metric. This thread is even more helpful, as it’s got commentary with excellent pictures.
What I’m gonna have to do is pull my current wheel apart and dick around with it for a little bit to see if what I have will work with what I bought. If not, it’s a call to Super Scout Specialists for the stuff I’ll need.
Mike at Scoutco posted on Facebook that he’s parting out a 1980 Scout, and he has a Rallye steering wheel for sale. I’m going to need a smaller diameter wheel for when I put new seats in Peer Pressure, so I asked him for a picture.
As it turns out, I’m selling my old rear bumper for the exact same price. Score!
I bought a bottle of 303 Aerospace Protectant last week from Amazon for our vehicles, because all I’ve read says it’s supposed to be better for plastic and vinyl than Armor All. I also broke down and bought a bottle of Meguiar’s #17 Clear Plastic Cleaner to refinish the panels on my soft top, which are hazy and scratched. I tried out both products last night, and the Meguiar’s seemed to do a great job of cleaning the small patch I tried. Hopefully I can get a little time this weekend to pull it out, wash the top, and clean the windows properly.
From what I hear, I can use the Mequiar’s on headlight covers too– which is great, because the covers on the CR-V are getting hazy.
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.
Peer Pressure is squirrelly. Suspension mods installed by the previous owner make the ride stiff; at highway speeds expansion joints and large bumps render the steering vague as the body floats up over the springs and back downward. Braking has gotten dicier since I bought the truck. Moderate pedal pressure these days sends the front and rear in different directions as the pads and calipers grab at different points.
Among the many repairs and upgrades I’d like to do is one of the (I’m told) easiest and most inexpensive improvements to the braking system: the Hydro-Boost. A system originally installed in GM products the world over, it’s an improvement on the old big round booster design Scouts were installed with, because it does away with vacuum-powered braking in favor of fluid power supplied by the power steering pump. It seems to be a pretty popular mod for a lot of vintage cars. Following a thread on the Just Internationals forum, I ventured out to the junkyard with my brother-in-law in search of an Astro Van with ABS brakes. We found four with and two without—the difference being the ones without ABS have the big round brake booster we’re looking to discard. I found an ABS Pontiac Safari already propped up on tires waiting for me, so early this morning I got to work.
I disconnected the hose running across the top, then the right-side hose that ran to the power steering pump. Thankfully, someone had already pulled the radiator, so I had a ton of room to work with.
The left-side hose running down underneath was very difficult to get off (I didn’t have metric wrenches) so I punted and cut the hose as close to the top of the metal line as I could. I used a pair of channel locks to snip the coiled metal hose running to and from the ABS computer (the big box directly below the hydroboost assembly) below the proportioning valve because those bolts were not coming off for love or money.
Finally, I crawled inside and used a long 15mm metric socket to take off four mounting bolts on the bracket. Hopefully other used Astros will be cleaner under the dash than mine was.
Then, a bunch of wrestling, tugging, pulling, and twisting got the whole assembly free. GM didn’t leave a lot of room in the engine bay to work with, so I removed the top fitting to clear the cowl and put it back on when I was done.
Stay tuned. Next I’m going to assemble all the parts needed to retrofit the assembly.