After many years of saying, “I need to go buy a pair of PT Cruiser seats for the Scout,” I got a pair today. The weather was as warm as it’s going to get this week (a balmy 50°) so I suited up in some warm clothes, packed a bunch of tools and headed into the brownfields of Crazy Ray’s. I found a total of eight PT Cruisers in the Chrysler section in various states of disassembly. Three had black leather seats but all of them were in bad shape. The other five had gray cloth. I found that there are two seat types in the PT Cruiser: the kind where the passenger seat folds forward and those that don’t. The folding kind are identified by the plastic tray insert on the back. I also found that 2001-2 models have integrated airbags in the side cushions, while the 2003-4 models don’t. Airbags made me nervous so I passed on a beautiful pair of gray seats for a second, slightly dirtier pair from a 2003. They came out with little fuss (13mm bolts in front, 15 in back) and I spent more time on the line waiting to pay than I did pulling them out.
In the garage I pulled the back mounting plate off to expose the whole rail and found that the width does indeed match up perfectly, but of course the front-to-back bolts don’t. I’m going to ask Mr. Scout what he did (drill two new holes or fab up a mounting plate) and which ones he used the original bolts in. My spare seat mounts are a bit janky, so I either have to repair them with some angle iron or buy new/used ones. The other alternative is pulling the mounts already in the truck and examining just how much welding damage they did when they put the GHLS seats in it.
The weather is plunging back down into the freezing cold next week, so this project will get put on hold until springtime.
Santa did indeed send me a donut for the Hi-Lift jack, which makes me very happy to have, and I got the first of the two lighting kits from Amazon this afternoon. Stay tuned for upgrade updates.
Word has come through the IH community that Kentrol, a long-time maker of fiberglas body tubs for the Scout, Jeep, and Early Bronco community, will be ceasing production of all of their fiberglas parts at the end of September. While I knew they wouldn’t make new tubs forever, I hoped they’d keep going until I could pony up $4K for one.
I’ve been eyeballing a new set of bed rail tops for Peer Pressure for months now, ever since I put the soft top on. The ones that it came with have been chewed up and bent since I got it, and it would be nice to have flat, straight metal on the top of the quarters–plus, the screw holes have been getting wider and looser every year. I have a gift certificate from Super Scout since last year’s Carlisle meet and glanced at it this morning, only to realize it expires today! So I called up and ordered a pair. While I had them on the phone I asked about my odd glove box latch, which didn’t come on any Scout they remember, but possibly came from a pickup. So I’ll have to see if I can make a spare latch work with the catch I’ve got, or just keep rolling with no glove box door.
I forgot to post about this a few weeks ago–I sold my droopy secondhand Harbor Freight engine stand on Craigslist for $40, after it proved it couldn’t stand up to the weight of an International 345 (advertised weight: 700 lbs.) I got it for free about five years ago after helping a friend load a storage container for shipping out west, so it never owed me anything, and it’s good to have space back in the garage. That money goes into the project fund.
Another friend posted a pile of parts for free on Facebook, so I’m going to head down to Annapolis on the weekend to pick up the only sheetmetal I don’t have a spare for: a hood. He’s got two in good shape, so I’ll add it to the collection:
|Driver door||Tahitian Red, great shape|
|Passenger door||Tahitian Red, great shape|
|Driver fender||Winter White|
|Shitty blue repaint|
|Passenger fender||Tahitian Red|
|Tailgate||Tahitian Red, in great shape|
|Windshield||Light Buckskin. Minor pitting|
|Tahitian Red. Minor pitting, still has glass|
|Front grille and valance||’72 model year, Frost Green; in great shape|
|Cowl cover||Winter White, in great shape|
|Inner fenders||decent shape, need some rustproofing and patching|
I’m really, really tempted to replace some of my sheetmetal with spare parts so that I can go for the full harlequin effect. I wish I had a good door in a different color.
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!