Robs Stupid '68 International Scout 800 Land

 

This is Robs Stupid International Page. It is Stupid. It is so stupid, you can click on any of the pics to enlarge them.

I got a deal on a very used '67 International Scout 800 and this is the chronicles of its revival.

August 30, 2002 I was getting tired of the heater not working so good in my Toyota Truck and a friend mentioned that a really old truck was for sale down the road from me. Since my Cougar was almost finished and nearly time to park it for the winter, the timing couldnt have been better. There is ALOT of rust in the floors and underbody area, but the frame and most of the body is solid and it even runs OK.

I believe it has the whopping 266 V8, granny gear 4 speed with twin stick transfer case. It has manual steering, manual 4 wheel drum brakes, and dual vacuum powered wipers.

It idles a little rough, smokes a little when first started, doesnt stop hardly at all, but nothing that cant be remedied. The biggest hurdle to overcome will be the RUST.

I brought the beast home and broke the bondo off the body and did some quick primering

I believe this is the worst of the rust. You can see 3 layers of rust, even the outside of the gas tank is pretty bad

The passenger side floor is pretty much gone.

After drilling about a hundred spot welds.

Maybe Im not so good at welding sheet metal, but its done.

All new metal on the outside, way better.

All primered up, no bondo for this buggy.

Sep 10, 2002 Turns out my 67 Scout is really a 68 Scout according to the title I just received. No big deal, just means it will have to go through emissions when a 67 wouldnt have to. Bummer.

Oct 12, 2002 After much work on fuel system and mostly new ignition system, it finally passed emissions. Woohoo.

Oct 14, 2002 Took the Scout out for its first 4WD adventure. It did REALLY good. The rear end has a lock of some sort on it, both back wheels turn the same whether they are touching the ground or not. I think the front may have a locker of some sort too, by the way it handles with the hubs locked.

I had the most aggressive but smallest tires of all the trucks in my group, but it was at least as good as any of them. I was able to get over all of the obstacles. The short wheelbase of the Scout helped alot, since one particular obstacle had a steep hill, followed by a steep dropoff, was handled with ease, where one vehicle hi centered, and the other didnt try.

Look at the axle articulation!

A short video of the obstacle. (1.1MB)

Not too intense, but still fun.

The only obstacle I had trouble with was MUD! There was a fairly long mud pit that was rutted really bad, but was less than a couple feet deep. My distributor got mud on it and stalled right in the middle of it. I popped the hood and poured water on the distributor and drove right out.

In my infinite wisdom, I decided to go back through the mud so I could take a picture. Pulled into the mud, stopped, left it running, and got out to take some pics. Here is one of them. Not very deep at all.

You can see the bubbles from the exhaust.

As I went to pull out of the mud, I moved about a foot, and it died again. It wouldnt start back up. The lip of the screw on coil wire thing was arcing to the primary side wire. removed the screw on thing, and started right up.

It still wasnt running right though, spitting and sputtering, stalling every once in a while. Closer investigation revealed water had gotten inside the distributor cap around the contacts for the rotor. I wiped out the dist and it was back to normal.

The rest of the trip went without incident for me. A truck in our group had a starter quit working, then later got a flat tire. The other truck ran perfectly the whole trip.

Oct 23, 2002 Playing in the mud was fun, but with all the rust that is still left, the mud was coming inside, and I was literally playing in the mud inside the truck too. It was time to seal up the remaining holes.

A lot of mud came through the drivers floor

You can see the shiny metal screwed to the rocker panel. Apparently the PO either thought it was a good idea, or just didnt have a welder.

Part of the floor replaced

Im getting pretty good at this

Patched the hole under the passenger side vent

And the hole under the driver side vent

Hole in the driver side rocker panel patched

Hardest piece to make so far, 5 pieces to reconstruct the panel

Gotta do it again for the driver side

Outside looks good though

Nov 15, 2002 Since the Pertronix in my Cougar worked so good, I decided to replace the points in my Scout with one. After looking for awhile for one for a 68 Scout with a 266 with no luck, I found the magnet ring part of the one in my Cougar fit the reluctor perfectly, so I ordered one for a 57-74 Ford V8. Summit part number PNX-1281 for my Scout.

Installed Pertronix. Bolted right up

Notice that the angle that the sensor is mounted makes the vacuum advance ineffective. Instead of rotating the sensor counter clockwise, it mostly just widens the air gap, not a good thing if your VA is hooked up. This is not a problem for me, since I disconnected it nearly first thing when I brought the beast home. It doesnt mount perfectly flat either, since it sits kind of at an angle from sitting on the VA actuating arm.

The final result is that it runs great, but the vacuum advance wont work unless the sensor is mounted differently. Perhaps drilling an alternate hole in the sensor for mounting will line it up better.

Jan 30, 2003 I have put a couple thousand miles on the Scout now, and am very happy with the torque output of the 'puny' 266. It is an awesome motor that I can drive around in 4th gear all day long without any complaints from the motor. It has incredible torque and smoothness down to about 400 rpm.

Problem is, being made to have all that low end torque makes it terribly inefficient at anything over 2000 rpm. With the 4.27 axles, it is nearly always over that speed. So far I have been averaging less than 9mpg.

Perhaps rebuilding the motor and regearing the axles to keep the RPMs down would help a little. International motors arent exactly cheap to rebuild and regearing the axles is pretty spendy as well. If it had a more conventional motor, the axles would not be that far off for tall tires.

I found a motor that I think the Scout would like. A 1968 428CJ!!! The CJ motor is actually smaller than the 'puny' 266' it would replace.

Think this will make scout Happy?

The motor has a huge cam, roller lifters and roller rockers, pretty decent aluminum intake, forged pistons, and some other goodies.

It fits, look how puny it looks in there!

Mar 2, 2003 I got the motor all hooked up, fired it up and the radiator started spewing. While I was at it, I had the radiator shop move the top hose to the passenger side.

Still needs a few things like exhaust, shifter, tranny dispstick, air filter stud, etc, but everything works now. I left 2 black marks in the garage from powerbraking it with the smallest amount of gas. Guess I have lots to do while I wait for the radiator to get done.

Mar 8, 2003 Got all the little things finished, got the radiator in, and put a few miles on it. It is getting nearly twice the mileage that is used to with the 266 motor, and it can roast both back tires at will. The carb needs to be dialed in, homemade driveshaft needs to be balanced, and the 2 inch exhaust needs to go. Other than that, it is all done.

Almost finished!

Well, I would like to change the jets in the carb to get rid of the hesitation, but the exhaust is going to change soon, and will affect the carb jetting, so have to do the exhaust before the carb. I plan on doing a spring over axle conversion to lift it enough to put on 33 inch tires, and since it may interfere with exhaust, I have to do SOA before exhaust.

Mar 12, 2003 Did the SOA on the back axle last night after work. Pretty easy. Took the axle out completely to clean it a little and make it easier to cut perches off. Took less than 5 hours and gave about 5 inches of lift. Total cost $0. I broke 3 of the ubolts taking them off, but had some left over from another project.

Back axle with SOA conversion. Gonna be fun getting it out of garage!

Front end will be a little harder, with the steering to contend with and since I plan on cutting and turning the knuckles to improve caster angle.

After thinking about it all day, 5 inches is a bit too much. 3 inches would be more realistic, and the original driveshaft is still about an inch too long. I decided to put it back to normal, and worry about the lift and tires later.

Mar 21, 2003 It runs really good now. It must be more than 9.5:1 compression that I was told, since it pings under load in upper RPMs with very conservative timing. Gonna have to run premium gas in it. Other than that it just needs some tweaking to the carb, since it is still a bit rich.

Mar 28, 2003 Now that it goes real fast, it needs to stop better. The drum brakes have got to go. Since the diff is on the wrong side for a Ford drivetrain, This is a perfect time to install a new front axle with disk brakes and kill two birds with one stone.

After searching every junkyard in the land for a Ford Dana44 front axle, the only one I found was out of a 78 Bronco with coil suspension. I went ahead and bought it with the intention of grinding the funky radius arm mounts off to replace with normal leaf spring preches.

I thought about modifying the axle for a few days. With the mods required to the axle and the frame mods to get the spring shackles in the rear, and the position of the existing radius arm perches on the axle, requiring the perches to be welded to cast iron, which Im not very happy about doing, all made this sound like a very bad idea.

Apr 12,2003 The axle has been sitting in my garage for awhile, and I have been driving around with very worn drum brakes, and it is time to do something about it. I decided to install the whole coil spring front suspension on my Scout!

The exclamation point is because this sounds like an outrageous idea, but actually easier than doing a shackle reversal. Also, the coil spring setup allows easier modification of ride height than leaf spring setup.

I went back to the yard that I got the axle from and bought all the brackets rods, and arms from the 78 Bronco that the axle came out of. Installation of the whole setup was VERY easy. The brackets welded directly to the Scout frame with no modifications at all. The only mods I had to do were to slightly relocate the fuel line in the fenderwell away from the coil spring hanger, and a couple other things so minor, I dont recall.

Pretty gnarly front suspension!

Pretty gnarly front suspension part 2!

After removing the residual valve from the half of the master cylinder for the front brakes, the brakes work awesome.

May 20, 2003 The front axle swap was a breeze, diff is on the correct side now, brakes work great, and the tires look cool sticking out of the fenderwells a bit.

The only problem I have had, is the little rubber bushing on the end of the trackbar that mounts to the frame keeps getting trashed during normal street driving. After the bushing deteriorates to a certain point, the steering gets a dead spot where the whole axle moves slightly left to right when making small steering adjustments. This allows the front wheels to oscillate when hitting a bump just right at speeds over about 45mph. Pretty Scary!

Research reveals that this is a common occurence in 78-9 Broncos with this suspension. They even have a name for it. They call it the Death Shake, which is a very accurate description. There are even several products on the market designed specifically to remedy this exact problem. Most of the products focus on stiffening the connection between the trackbar, axle, and frame.

Applying some simple engineering math, I found the real problem, which has almost nothing to do with the stiffness of the trackbar. I fixed mine for a few cents, and took about 5 minutes. I have put several hundred miles on it since, and no sign of shaking, even with the trashed bushing I left in it. If you want to know how I fixed, fire me an email, and Ill let you know. But then again, someone reading this more than likely has little interest in Ford coil spring suspension.

September 13, 2003 My scout has been running very well, and no signs of shaking since I modified the steering slightly.

I installed new springs to raise the front end about 1 more inch, which gave enough extra clearance around the oil pan and headers to attempt to pop a wheelie. I decided it was long overdue. I pulled up to a stop sign, put it in 2nd gear, revved to about 1500 rpm, let the clutch out quickly while giving it plenty of gas.

Well, it didnt go as well as I had planned, it lurched forward a couple inches, stopped quickly, and made some repetitive loud clunking noises until I pushed in the clutch.

Wimpy little driveshaft died a painful death

I figured it was time to install the full width rear end that I bought more than a month ago to match the front axle. Then I made a new driveshaft and hooked it all up. It was really easy. The hardest part was cutting the perches and shock mounts from the donor axle. The brake line from the axle even screwed right into the existing brake line.

Looks even better with wide axle on the back too now

May 20, 2009 There really wasnt anything wrong with having coil springs, but the axle was just too wide and narrowing it would make the coils bind on the frame. I decided to get the axle retubed to allow putting leaf springs back on. While I was at it, I had them take off about 3 inches from the passenger side.

Back to leaf springs

Back to leaf springs

It looks much better now, but the high pinion differential mustve confused the axle shop, because they put the brakes on the wrong sides, which made it impossible to bleed them. I wasted most of a bottle of brake fluid before realizing what the dealio was. After swapping the calipers, they bled really easy.

A nasty side effect of them building the axle upside down is that I ended up with about 1 degree of positive camber instead of negative camber. This makes for a very twitchy ride with the wide tires.

There are at least a couple ways to correct the positive camber problem. The standard way is to install non concentric bushings in the upper and/or lower ball joint sockets which changes the caster and camber when twisting the bushing. The bushings are pretty cheap, but requires complete disassembly of the axle ends, and removing the axles shafts. Would probably take the better part of a day to do

The other, less standard way is to install a tapered shim between the knuckle and the spindle. This option costs quite a bit more, but doesnt require quite as much labor, since it doesnt require removing the ball joints.

I also thought about making a super jig that allows using a hydraulic jack in the middle of the axle to physically bend the axle to change the camber. This would be the easiest method by far, but not sure how much force would be required to bend the axle 2 degrees

May 13, 2010 It has been about a year since I replaced the axle. I dont drive it nearly as much as my other vehicles, but either the axle is settling, or Im getting used to it. Maybe Ill just wait and see if it settles some more by itself. Maybe I just need to find some large jumps to go over!!

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