Wagonmaster Ass

Saturday I drove over to Brian’s house to join a bunch of guys helping him transplant a refreshed 345 into his Wagonmaster. The morning was gray, and I tried every rationalization I could to drive Peer Pressure over with my Hydroboost parts to see if I could have some of the experts help me install it. As I was loading up, rain started to fall and the radar showed a huge front moving in, so I switched to the Honda and begrudgingly drove over.

Transplanted V345

Almost everybody else had the same strategy I did, because there were only two other Internationals there out of twelve guys.

On the hoist

I stood around and soaked in as much of the knowledge as I could, offering help, a flashlight, or spare hand wherever I could. I’m not experienced enough by years to attempt a transplant myself, but seeing these guys do it so quickly is an inspiration.

Let's look it up in the shop manual

By noon the engine was mated to the transmission and in the truck, and as I left at 3:30 the carb, AC, distributor, starter, and alternator were all installed.

Dressing the engine

Via a Facebook post later in the day, they got it running at about 6:30 that evening. Not bad!

Date posted: September 14, 2015 | Filed under friends, Scout, Trip Logs | Comments Off on Helping Out a Friend


A nice fella on the Binder Planet had these stickers made up and offered them to the community. They were too groovy to pass up.

Date posted: July 2, 2015 | Filed under design, Scout | Comments Off on 77 Scout’s Out

How astronaut Garrett Reisman found a match made in the heavens thanks to two trucks—an International Harvester Scout II and a Ford Bronco.

Date posted: July 1, 2015 | Filed under cars, Scout, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Until today, whenever I had a passenger ride with me, I (usually) had to get out and lift their door from the outside in order to get it to close. This was annoying. Recently, the latch on the inside disengaged from the linkage, meaning I’d have to get out to let my passenger out.

The girls took a trip up to Philly today, so I was on my own. I made a quick dinner and pulled the Scout out of the garage, pulled the panel off the door, and took a look. The plastic retainer clip broke in my hand as I took it off, so I raided my stash to find a spare. The two doors I’ve got and my spare linkage are from a later year, so the clip is a grommet/steel combination that fits into a larger hole. I drilled out the hole and fit the clip, and that was that. Then I figured I’d look at the door itself.


I put some bracing under the door and loosened the six hinge bolts on the door itself. Then I tightened the middle bolt on the bottom, pivoted the door upwards, and readjusted the bracing. Then I cinched the middle top bolt, loosened the bottom, and pushed it in 1/8″. After tightening everything down, I tested it, and I got lucky: it closed as well as the day it rolled out of the factory.


Date posted: June 26, 2015 | Filed under Repairs, Scout | Comments Off on Panel Gaps

I took Sunday afternoon to pull the old solid windows out of the traveltop and look at the frames; with the exception of the bottom of the driver’s side lip, it all looked to be in great shape. I sprayed rust converter on everything I saw, let it dry, and then sprayed it with paint before putting the sliders back in.

I couldn’t figure out how to get the new rubber Mike sent me to work, so for now I reused the rubber they came with, and it went in easily.

Left Window out

Left Window in

Right Window out

Right Window in

Date posted: May 10, 2015 | Filed under Scout | Comments Off on Sliders Installed

Before I left for New York, I took a little time to pull the cowl cover off and stick my shop-vac hose down into the cavity between the inner and outer fender. This is a notorious rust spot on the Scout II, as all kinds of crap falls down through the cowl to land here, where it can’t get back out. When it gets wet, it takes a long time to dry out, and you get the idea.

Fender Cavity Full of Leaves

Clean Fender Cavity

The driver’s side is harder to clean out because the knee vent is in the way (back in Ye Olden Days, lots of cars had manually operated vents at knee or ankle height) so I’ll either have to get creative about getting in there or pull apart the emergency brake assembly to get the vent out to access it from the inside.

I’m now on the hunt for stainless window screen that I can zip-tie to the underside of the cowl vent, to keep new crud from getting in there.

And, judging from the pictures, it looks like someone was in there at some point with a can of undercoating or POR-15, which is a nice surprise.

Date posted: April 30, 2015 | Filed under Scout | Comments Off on Fender Wells


The Rotopax is finally in! I realized I could access the inside of the rear fender through an opening between the inner and outer sheet metal aft of the wheel. I drilled four holes and had Jen push on the bolts while I aligned the backing plate and screwed the nuts on. It sits snug to the floor and up out of the way. No more 1 gallon can bumping around the bed of the truck. And it should be out of the way of the cinch straps for the soft top.

Date posted: April 12, 2015 | Filed under Scout | Comments Off on Rotopaxed

Bill Caswell was internet famous a couple of years ago for buying and rallying an untested E30 in the Mexico leg of the World Rally Championship. He came in third. Apparently last year he quietly bought a race Scout from Facebook and parked it at a friend’s house, and just now got to telling the world about it. This promises to be very, very good.
Date posted: April 6, 2015 | Filed under Inspiration, Scout | Comments Off on Caswell Buys a Scout

Building a scout with spare parts

I would’ve put the hood on top but it was too heavy and kept falling inside. The white fender is actually in worse shape than I’d remembered.

Date posted: March 29, 2015 | Filed under Scout | Comments Off on Building a Scout from Spare Parts

To recap: In early January, I pulled two gray cloth seats from a junkyard 2004 PT Cruiser. All it took was a 13 and 11mm box wrench, and one disconnect for the seatbelt sensor. They aren’t light, but they’re lighter than seats from a 2001 model, which had integrated side airbags.

PT Cruiser seats

These have built-in side armrests that fold up out of the way. They interfere with the placement of my Tuffy console, so I’ll be removing them. The female side of the seatbelt is integrated into the side of the seat, so that will need to come off as well.

The slider rails are held together with a plate in the back. They are longer than stock Scout bases, but the width of the rails is perfect. Originally, I thought I was going to have to build extender plates for each of the bases to reach the front mount points because I was sure I wouldn’t be able to get bolts to fit in between the slider rails. When I really looked it over, though, I realized I was going to have to drill a hole for a bolt between the rails anyway. I picked up some grade 8 stock and test fit everything to check the clearances, and it worked perfectly.

Side plastic

Here’s where the plastic comes off. a T50 Torx bit will remove the seatbelt anchor.


On the side, pry the cap off with a flathead screwdriver. A T45 bit will take off the armrest and a standoff that locks the arm into place. The driver’s side is backed with plastic, so the seat doesn’t look bad with the armrest gone. The passenger’s side doesn’t have it.


I’ve been using a spare set of bases to mock things up on, but they are both rusted at the bottoms enough that I wouldn’t put them back in service without welding in some serious support. I took a second look at the bases I had, with tracks welded to the top, and decided to try a little surgery with an angle grinder.


IMG_0130 IMG_0140

After some careful cutting I got the tracks off and ground the edges off to a smooth surface, then sanded all surface rust and scale off. Then I wiped everything down with acetone to clean off any oil or grease.


To attach the bases to the tracks, I used the stock bolts from the seat in the rear. There are two threaded bolt holes in the back. I used the one closest to the front, then marked the holes for the front bolts and drilled them. Then I used a set of 3/8″ x 1″ Grade 8 bolts threaded in from above to attach the front of the seats to the tracks. The seats slide cleanly.




The project got sidelined for a week while I waited for Eastwood to send me rust converter. I used a brush to put it on, but the next time I’m at Target I’m going to pick up a cheap spray bottle for application–it’s much easier that way. I hit everything I could see and let it sit for 48 hours.


Then all the bare metal got a coat of etching primer and two coats of Rustoleum satin black.


Then I attached the seats back on the bases and put the bases back into my Scout. Compared to 30-year-old Chrysler seats, 10-year-old Chrysler seats feel like they just rolled off the factory floor, even if they don’t exactly match the rest of the truck–but then, nothing matches on this truck.

Date posted: March 15, 2015 | Filed under Scout, Seats | Comments Off on Project: PT Cruiser Seats