The Restoration, Y2K+

The Restoration log from '00 to present
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The Restoration log from '00 to Present

On deck to be done:
Paint it (hopefully by summer)
Swap in a better steering gear
Find some disk brake/higher geared Scout II axles to swap in

The blog for '99
The blog for '98
The blog for '97

Events below are in reverse chronological order, FYI.

5/19/03 Puddles. I drove the truck into work today and upon returning home I saw that the small pool of oil is still gathering on my garage floor. I shined a flashlight straight up from the center and it lines up with the bottom corner of the oil pan, and I can see that the gasket looks like it isn't extended out to the edge of the pan like it should be (did it shrink?!). I'll have to add one of those to the shopping list of wiper blade refills for my next NAPA run. The clutch makes me actually desire to drive the truck again!!

5/17/03 Smooooooth. At first, I tightened the adjusting screws for the clutch fingers with the linkage where it sat. After I thought about it, I decided to unhook the cluck linkage from the pedal so that I was starting out with as much pedal travel as possible. This left the fingers well over 3/8" away from the throwout bearing. I put a flat blade into the slots of the finger adjustment screws and cranked down on the adjusting nuts until each finger was apporximately 1/16" away from the face of the throwout bearing. I didn't take out the tapered screw because it appears that there's a little slop that's due to the keystock between the throwout arm and the rod that goes through the bellhousing. With all the clutch adjustments made, I put some red Loctite on the adjuster nuts and then added a jam-nut to each adjuster to make sure the fingers don't creep out of adjustment too quickly. On the maiden test run around the neighborhood, I couldn't believe how well the transmission shifted. True, I topped off the tranny fluid with the recommended gear oil, so that could only have helped. I put the clevis of the rod from the clutch pedal in the lower hole on the linkage it connects to, but I didn't like that the takeup was so drastic as the beginning of the pedal travel. I relocated the clevis to the topmost hole in that same linkage (like it was for my 152) and made sure the fingers still disengaged the disk enough when the pedal was pressed. Sure enough, it works like a champ and I think by adjusting the fingers out so far, I've taken some of the pedal pressure out of the equation. The clutch feels as light as the one in my road cars. I have a feeling that due to all the grinding taking place, I may have glazed the clutch disk a bit because popping the clutch feels like I have just eased off the pedal normally (it *has* barked the tires before).

5/13/03 Griinnddd. I used the Scout's trailer hitch bumper for the first time to tow a jetski and it worked out just fine. I wish I could say the same for the clutch problems. Fixing the throwout fork didn't do anything to correct the problem and I was wondering if I was going to be able to make it home since every single stoplight turned red when I approached. Under the truck immediately and I noticed that my oil seepage seems to be coming from the gasket at the fuel pump, so that's another thing to fix. The throwout bearing was contacting a clutch finger, but there still felt like there was play in the system. I was able to shine a light under the pressure plate cover and noticed that a clutch finger had oodles of room between it and the throwout bearing face. The second one I looked at was similar, and the third had a tolerance that was much tighter like it's supposed to be. I just so happened to touch the adjuster nut for a clutch finger and I could turn it by hand. They're supposed to be tack welded to the pressure plate cover in a perfect world. The two fingers with slop both had untacked nuts. I was able to turn the nuts to position the fingers closer to the bearing face, and I'll put a feeler guage to it when I have more time to get it right tomorrow. I also want to take out the tapered screw that keeps the throwout fork in place to make sure it wasn't boogered when it got loose.

5/12/03 I remembered that I hadn't checked the fluid level in the transmission when I had it in the garage, so I put in more than a few pumps from the gear oil container. I wanted to check the level in the transfer case too, and it wasn't until I got the inspection plug off that I realized that the transmission fluid also goes to the transfer case -- a very large river of fluid began making a mess as it escaped. With all that cleaned up, I proceeded to remount the sealed driver's side fuel tank back in the truck. I'm now ready to give it a real test and I'll fill up in the next day or two. At least moving the truck around the driveway and yard is easier now that it shifts much more like I'm used to it doing.

5/10/03 Lighting. I'm going to need to tow a trailer and I've put off reconnecting the trailer lights for too long. There was no wiring when I originally bought the truck, but some research on the 'net told me which color wires take care of each lighting function. I found a few spots of electrical tape on the factory wiring and used those bare spots as new contact points and after a couple of near misses I got the right wires going to the proper connectors on the Shur-Lock socket. I can now tow a trailer and be legal about it. :)

5/10/03 Shift this! I took off the flywheel inspection cover to see if I could notice anything out of the ordinary with the clutch. The first thing I noticed was that the tapered screw that holds the throwout bearing fork in place was just loose enough to let the fork have some play instead of applying all of the linkage's force to the bearing. I found my longest flat-blade screwdriver and managed to snug the screw back into place. Initial testing in the driveway has provided positive results. I'll take it out to work next week for the real test once I've readjusted the linkage for complete disengagement of the clutch disk.

4/28/03 Honk! I found out why my horn decided to freak out on me during the last drive. I removed the steering wheel and found that the wire that attaches to the contact inside the wheel hub had come unsoldered. I knew something was wrong when I was feeling a low voltage tingle on my thighs where they touched the door jamb while checking the horn ring mounting screws. This could be why my battery always needs to be run a while after I don't start it for a couple of weeks. I plan on going the re-solder route and I'll put some heat shrink tubing around the repair this time to ensure there are no more voltage leaks from the electrics (in this spot, at least). I still need to look at that clutch, but I'm leaning toward thinking it's the throwout bearing that's causing me my heartache since the symptoms are reminiscent of what I felt the day before I killed the original 152 -- hard shifting/gears grinding, extraneous noise (not gears grinding though) when shifting.

4/27/03 Warmer still. After sleeping on it, I decided to see if wrapping the excess footman strap around the back bow a couple of times would take up enough slack without being in the way. I put three wraps around (inside the end snap of the back bow) the bow and snapped the top back into place there. That brought the buckle up to about 6 inches aboce the belt-rail and I installed the footman anchor at a 45 degree angle per the instructions and tensioned each side. So far so good. I put some 303 Protectant (bought at Boater's World for $11.99) and rolled the Scout fromt he garage into the sunny driveway to let the fabric relax. After a couple of hours, I secured the top to the rails all the way around, struggling to get the ends of the top to reach back around theback belt rail clips. I still have yet to install the velcro to the tailgate lip that the back window will secure to. Also, there is a pocket on the back window built to hold a 90 degree angle of metal (tailgate retainer) that goes into a couple of tailgate clips. The instructions appear to show the retainer extending beyond the ends of the pocket, but the pocket is the same length as the retainer. I also noticed on their website that all the hardware is supposed to be black powder coated but only the tailgate clips were coated, the rest is bare aluminum (belt-rails, header), galvanized (bows), or chromed steel (window framing). There is also a flap that needs to have a snap installed on the outside of the windshield frame. The gutter that runs up the side of the windshield interferes with the flap so I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. Another bummer I discovered is that the front bow is shorter and mounts lower on the bedrails, so instead of swinging to a position in front of the roll bar's main hoop like the Bestop bow did, the STC bow ends up resting right on the back of the main hoop. If I'd mounted the hoop even half an inch farther back, the bow would have been misaligned and I'd have been up a very large and swift-moving creek without a needed populsion implement. As it is, the bow will swing back but won't lay down flush with the body rails because the rear spreaders of the roll cage interfere. I'll have to use a clevis pin on the front bow hoops to connect them to the bow mounts to allow an easy way of lowering the top completely. I'll leave the top in place for a week so it can form to the truck. I've read of putting the 303 Protectant on the windows, too, but I need to find a soft cotton cloth (like a baby diaper) to wipe off the excess once it's been applied. In a test area behind the driver's window, I sprayed and wiped lightly but it left a foggy residue. As I've seen noted many times: DO NOT USE PAPER TOWELS ON SOFT-TOP WINDOWS!!

4/26/03 Warm, finally. The top from Specialty Top Co. (formerly Kayline) came with instructions that stated the ambient temperature should be above 72 so the material would be most pliable. I started working on taking the Bestop canvas and hardware off and then set about putting the STC hardware in place. I had to do step #2 before step one because the bed rail isn't wide enough to accomodate the bow mount beside the belt-rail, and must be installed partially on top of the belt-rail (leave enough room between the bow mount and the belt-rail to give clearance to the nut that will be used to secure the bow ends.) I had to file the rail that the front of the top secures to because there were burrs that wouldn't let the rope/canvass pass through easily. Once it was started, it went on with no problems. The next difficulty came when I was instructed to drill the body using the large holes in the front of the belt rail as a tamplate. There were no holes other than the ones used to secure the belt-rail to top of the body!! I did some eyeballing and lined up the window frame piece as best I could and drilled the hole, then repeated for the other side. Of course, I found that I didn't have the door completely closed when doing the lining up, so the framing was right where the window would be. I had to remeasure half an inch farther inboard and drill yet another hole in my truck on each side. Also note, there is white paint on the end of one piece of frame to signify the right side mount, but it turned out to be the left side mount. Just make sure the velcro is facing to the inside of the truck. The last step was to install the footman loops on the bed-rail to secure the straps at the back of the top. I was floored when I saw that the buckles on each strap ended up around the taillight instead of above the belt-rail (about 10" too long). I stopped there because I was tired from working on it all day (about 5 hours by myself) and was despondant about what I was going to do.

4/22/03 More sealer. I've noticed that the seam on one side of the newly sealed tank seems to have not gotten enough coverage, so I drizzled a little more sealer in and let it sit. I ignored the directions on the can that said to leave the can open and then discard the dried leftovers. I carefully vented the can for a couple of days after each use and there have been no explosions of sealer so far. I'll be keeping an eye on that can as we get into summertime temps. I'd like to think that I can use the rest should the other tank need some attention. It's sure cheaper than the $200+ for a new PVC fuel tank.

4/16/03 New Canvas!! When I got home later yesterday evening, I noticed a large box in the garage where there had been none before. The new Specialty Top Company (nee: Kayline) softtop is now in my posession. I've reviewed the instructions and the best time to install it is during a warm day. Of course, the next couple of days brings cooler temps so I might not get to it by this weekend. It never fails.

4/15/03 Shiny again! Today was an optimum day for using the tank sealer since the ambient temperature was around 74F. I started the session by dumping out the little flakes left from the Metal-Ready wash after it had dried. I rolled some tape to stuff into the screw holes and drain hole, then taped the sending unit and fuel feed holes closed. I shook the can for of Sealer a minute then popped the lid and stirred until the color was uniform. I was surprized that the liquid is silver instead of the traditional POR-15 black. A pint is supposed to do a 14 gallon tank, so I poured about 3/4 of the can into the tank and began rotating it onto all sides, angling the tank so the sealer flowed along the seams each time. After I'd let it sit on all sides for a few minutes each, I popped the tape off the sending unit hole for visual inspection. I rotated the tank a few more times around onto each side, letting the fluid sit for a few minutes each time, then I drained the excess from the drain hole on the bottom of the tank. This hole is sunken, but there's a large washer reinforecment on the inside of the tank, so not all the fluid would drain out. I poured the excess back into the can and kept the can sealed at all times I wasn't pouring into or out of it. I rotated the tank some more (can you sense a pattern here?) and noticed a pretty large amount of liquid didn't drain out. I made a ladle from a 1" plastic tube taped to a dowel rod, and scooped out most of the excess and put it back into the can. I painted the fuel pickup tube and the back of the sending unit to keep the rust at bay on those items as well. I left the tank resting upside down so that the excess would be heaviest at the top of the tank where the gas would have less likelihood of being in constant contact (it was also the rustiest spot before preparing it). I checked on it a few hours later and it looks like it's drying nicely. There appears to bee a little bubbling to the paint where the excess pooled, but I'm not going to touch it for a couple of days to see how it cures. NOTE: wear rubber gloves and long sleeves if you can. They aren't kidding when they way that it bonds nicely to skin if given the opportunity. I thought I was doing a good job of wiping it off my fingers when I was too lazy to put the rubber gloves back on. Lacquer thinner helped take the most of it off, but there is still some brownish-black residue on my skin that would not budge -- and a couple of small patches of silver on the bottom of my forearms that I missed noticing during my cleanup. While all this was going on, I tapped out the Marine-Tex in the clevis nut and put the rod back in between the pedal and the clutch linkage. It's still not shifting into first as easily as it once did, but at least I can go into second to get the gears spinning the right way to let me into first without too much grinding. Don't worry, I *will* be looking into why that's still happening.

4/14/03 Sizzle. I read the instructions (again) for the POR-15 tank sealer and proceeded to tape up the sending unit and fuel pickup holes in the tank with some duct tape, then poured the 4oz bottle of POR-15 Metal-Ready into the tank. I let it sit on each side for 20-30 minutes and after a couple of hours of working on the clutch linkage upgrade, I gave it a few rinses using a pot of boiling water, followed by a good dousing with a garden hose. (note: the Metal Ready is reusable, so I salvaged as much as I could and put it back in the bottle. It had turned a dark green color instead of the pale blue it started as.) I used an old sock on a dowel rod to get out the last bit of water that wouldn't come out of the drain hole. I removed the tape and drain plug, aimed a hair dryer on low/medium heat into the fuel filler inlet and let it blow for about an hour and a half (the space heater wasn't able to direct enough air into the sending unit's orifice). Inspections with a flashlight showed when the moisture had been removed from the edges/seams and it's now ready for sealing when the ambient temperature is above 70 (tomorrow, hopefully!). I got the remaining holes drilled in the steel standoff I started yesterday, and after getting it installed and connected to the pedal, it still doesn't give enough throw to the throwout bearing arm. Heavy-sigh!! I removed the contraption and started adjusting the linkage with the old piece of threaded rod when the pedal didn't seen to want to engage anymore. I checked under the dash and the pin had fallen out of the clevis attached to the pedal arm and I was tweaking the clevis on one side. I pulled the linkage out and noticed that the nut attached to the clevis now had severly chewed threads and I realized I'd done something similar way back when, but now the threads were really boogered. I chased the threads with a tap, then mixed some Marine Tex and spread it on the inside of the nut after straightening the clevis. I'll tap that out today and use a large nut/washer on the back of the clevis to keep the rod from pressing through the new 'threads'. Then I'll be able to put the truck on some ramps so I can pop the flywheel cover off and see what's going on with the clutch to make it operate like it's supposed to work.

4/13/03 Splish-splash. The rain has stopped and the temperature is finally warm again so I decided to attack the leaky tank. I used a five foot length of medium-duty chain I had lying around and put that in the tank with the muraitic and water and I think that does a much better job than the loose nuts and bolts ever did. I gave it a few rinses and left it in the sun to dry for a while. Once dried in the area of the hole, I laid a bit of Marine-Tex on the rusty area, covering the hole as well and let that set. I did a second pass using the same stuff to go over a wider area and level out the surface to make it look more 'professional' *lol* I have to have the tank completely dry inside before I can use the Metal-Ready and Tank Sealer kit from POR-15, and I just wasn't going to have the daylight or ambient temperature needed to make the job turn out right. I'll try to finish that early this coming week so the rust doesn't re-build inside the tank. Since I was already pretty grungy, I decided to try to make the clutch work better. I put the new threaded rod in place to try to use the top-most hole in the clutch linkage connected to the pedal and it doesn't have enough throw. The original throwout arm had a radius to the part that stuck out of the bellhousing, and the arm from the '70 that I used when I swapped the engine is straight. That linkage will not come out of the truck unless the intake manifold is removed, so I can't just drill another hole in it to alter the amount of throw given by the pedal movement. I decided to see if I can create something that can work so I'm in the process of fabbing up a standoff that I can attach to the linkage that will split the difference between the two holes arlready present. Picture a pyramid on its side with the tip pointing to the right and you'll get the idea. More words to follow...

4/09/03 Tapped out. I had some time to kill and wanted to address the broken screw problem in the tank. I managed to get a drill bit to go through the frozen portion of the screw, and then used the next size bit to kncok down what was left of the screw in the thread walls. I used a 10NC32 tap to clean the screw remnants out and then chased the threads in the remaining screw holes. I put the cork gasket for the fuel sender back on to keep it from shrinking too much while waiting for the POR-15 tank sealer kit to get here.

4/05/03 Rust never sleeps... I managed to take the driver's side tank out of its cubby hole inside the quarter-panel with very little drama (I've had practice with the removal process a couple of times now). Once I had the tank in the sunlight, I could see that there was a BB-sized hole that had formed near the bottom seam where I'd patched it originally. The MarineTex patch I'd made was still going strong, but this hole started just at the end of the patched area. Removing the fuel sender from the tank proved to be eventful because the topmost screw decided that it didn't want to come out more than halfway, and sheared with about five threads left in the hole. I must have poured out over a cup of rust bits that had accumulated since I last had the tank out. I put a handful of old nuts and bolts inside with some muriatic acid to break the loose gunk free. and I have to wonder where all the rust came from because I couldn't see a lot of extremely corroded surface. There's a fair amount of surface rust that will need to be removed before it goes back in, and I think I'll use a tank sealer on it this time to keep the rust at bay.

3/23/03 Peee-ewwww! I filled up the driver's side tank so that I could take advantage of having the top down and now there's a horrendous gas smell emanating from the vehicle. I looked at the ground and sure enough, there's a small drip coming from the tank compartment. It's not a flood of gas, but it's enough to cause a stench around the truck. I managed to siphon as much gas as I could from that tank into the other tank, and I noticed an abundance of rust colored liquid when I got near that must have been the bottom. That only confirms that either an old patch popped, or there's a new hole in the rust letting the gas weep out. Once emptied, I'll take it out and see what needs fixing. I remember what a hassle it was the last time some welding needed to be done on a tank. Also, I seem to be noticing some clutch related problems because the truck is hesitant to shift gears unless I *really* mash the pedal in, but I hear a whir/grind noise when I push it in that far. That only makes me want to find a new engine- tranny combo even more so that I can go with an automatic (or at least a newer manual tranny). If anyone knows of a good setup I can use, please let me know.

3/22/03 Caged. The weather is finally nice enough (and I found a few hours to string together) for me to get around to bolting in the roll cage. I use 1.5" x3/8" grade 8 hardware and managed to drill all 24 holes correctly on the first try with no wallowing out of the drilled holes needed! I *did* manage to let the rear cage feet slip off the back endcap when it was moved up and out of the way while I was drilling, putting a pretty gash in the paint and cracking the taillight lens on the passenger side. After replacing it with a lens from my spare parts, I now have no more rear lenses that I can break. I may be able to glue the pieces of the old one back together so I have an emergency lens if I need it.

2/2/03 Under pressure. I borrowed a freind's compression test guage and followed the instructions to get the following readings for the cylinders-- 1: 150#, 2: 148#, 3:145#, 4: 145#. That tells me that there isn't a valve leaking or a gasket blown that could be causing the breeze coming from the crankcase. I'll keep searching to find out what it could be.

1/7/03 Blow! It's been a few weeks since I've given it a start-up to let the oil circulate, and for the first time in a while, the battery didn't have the juice to crank more than a few seconds. Maybe it's been a month since it was started? :) A few minutes on the battery charger was all that was needed to get the battery to crank the starter again and the 196 roared to life. There are no scary sounds and the lifters quieted after the oil pressure came up. I pulled the dipstick to make sure the oil wasn't milky or missing and there was some oil being blown out the tube. I've noticed an oil scum buildup around the oil-fill on the valve cover and when I took the fill cap off there was a gale force of air rushing out (the engine was still choked and revving in warm-up mode). I took the truck around the block to circulate the oil in the differentials. I'm going to have to get a compression tester to see why there's so much blow-by occuring.

11/7/03 Routine starts. Nothing much happening other than giving the engine a weekly warm up to keep the oil splashed around and the battery charged. I put the transfer case in nuetral and the slide the shifter into third gear to get the tranny and xfer case oil distributed around. I highly recommend the practice!

10/19/02 Wax on, wax off. I used the new polisher I got for my birthday to put a coat of wax on the bar before I put it in. I took a picture as it sat in my garage that I'll grab off the digicam and put on the pictures page as soon as I can remember to do so. I took some liberties with the dash panel, though. Ordinarily, the dash at each end has a radius that starts from the firewall and flows away from the door, but it has a peak that juts out about 1/2" from the surface of the dash. It was with a heavy heart that I took my trusty hammer and pounded that high spot inward at the bottom of the dash so the front down-tubes would have a little more room to move forward (easing usage of the door handles. I used some clear plastic tubing cut into a 1" section and slid the sheath over the handle to act as padding to keep it from rattling against the down-tubes. Now I just have to get some hardware and bolt it in!

10/15/02 Different paint. The parts of the floorboards up front that are still original are starting to show some rust-through, so I grabbed some more primer and sprayed them again, then shot the areas with gold Rust-O-Leum. In the store, the cap looked to be very close to the original gold, but once applied, the paint is about 4 shades lighter. I got the 'hammered' paint to hide the underlying rust-pitted sections.

10/07/02 More paint. Looking at the initial spray, I can see areas where the primer isn't completely covered. I now realize that I was moving the gun over the surface too quickly (plus, it was windy outside for the first coats). I mixed enough for one more coat (so I'd have 1/2 pint left for future touch ups) and sprayed more slowly and the desired sheen is perfect. Now I just have to put it back in the Scout and mount it.

10/05/02 Painting! After a few passes to get the proper flow, I put the first full coat of Martin Senour's IH Gold on the roll cage. It is definitely a darker color by a few shades (compared to the gold on the interior panels that have been sheltered from sun/rust).

9/15/02 I took some sandpaper strips and sanded the purple away back down to bare metal and re-shot the areas with a few light coats of primer. No more purple. If I had it to do all over again, I'd have taken a wire brush and removed the bluish tint on the metal to leave it shiny and slightly roughed up. Now I just have to coordinate with a friend to use his paint sprayer

9/12/02 I noticed that the purple marker that had been used by D and C to mark the bends was showing through the primer. Another coat over those spots and I still see the purple.

9/09/02 Grinding away. I took out the angle grinder and knocked down some of the high points on the welds and cleaned up some of the slag that had splattered in a couple of places. I shot one can of etching primer and was about 98% finished when I ran out of paint.

9/8/02 MIG acquired. My dad comes through yet again, in that one of his friends has a wire-feed setup. We tacked the bars into position starting with the main hoop and front section, the moved to the rear spreaders. Once it looked like all was well, we filled in the welds at each joint. The driver's vent window doesn't clear the front tube and I may have to file down the right side of the glove box door to clearance the right-front downtube.

9/07/02 I went to NAPA with the line-setting ticket and we were able to find a match to a current Martin Senour paint code for their one-stage acrylic enamel. I had them mix up a quart which gets combined with a surfacer at a 1:1 mixture to give a half gallon of sprayable material.

8/22/02 I finally recieved the remaining tubing (shipped at the standard delivery speed). So far, so good. Now I just need to find a welder...

8/14/02 My email from Damian at D and C was answered and for some reason, the other three parts of the order were stuck in the 'to be shipped' stage even though they had UPS numbers assigned. The email apologized and promised the remaining 3 shipments would be here 'VERY' soon. Sadly, that didn't mean he was upgrading them to Next-Day delivery. Standard shipment still applies and the delivery date is scheduled to be Aug 21. I guess it'll be okay if the quality of the fit is as good as they hype it to be. I wish I'd gotten my brother in law to pick it up (they're in Co. Springs) and ship it to me himself. It probably would have cost less and I'd have gotten all the parts at the same time.

8/13/02 Grrr. I got the main hoop of the cage from UPS this afternoon, but the other three packages don't appear to have gotten out of the gate yet. Dry fitting the main hoop in the truck shows that the dimensions look very good!

8/05/02 Roll-cage. I finally found what appears to be a cage kit that's made just for the Scout 800's. sells a full cage for $500 including shipping so I broke down and ordered one. I'm looking forward to the new project!

7/08/02 Not much going on other than a virus attacking the home PC which sent my address book out to cyberspace. The IHC Digest list was in that address book and one particular member of that list kept insisting that it was my computer sending spam to the list. He couldn't get it through his head that the headers were being forged to appear to come from my address. I got tired of his 'helpful' attitidude and just unsbuscribed. It's not a great loss to me since the signal to noise ratio has digressed to simply a group chat room about anything going on in a few people's daily life instead of being devoted to IH machinery. Bitter sounding? Yeah, a little.

5/29/02 Yuck. I've begin to notice the truck starting to leave it's mark on the ground when it's parked. I'm hoping it's just the valve cover seeping oil since the rear main seal should be in fine condition. The joy of ownership just never seems to stop! :)

8/20/01 Hmmmm. I saw someone post to the IH Digest about the truck surging to the right or left when power is applied/coasting due to not enough caster not being on the front axle. I need to find some caster correctors to see if that will remedy that particular idiosyncracy.

7/3/01: VrooooMM! I finally picked up a negative battery cable and applied plenty of Nevr-Sieze and silicone grease on things during the reassembly. The results surpized me totally! I actually cranks like it's a brand new truck! That's the best $4 investment I've made by far!! I also notice that my ammeter shows that it the battery hadn't been returned to a full charge due to the weak connections, but a few trips up the interstate should cure that.

6/22/01: Crank it. After a trip to the beach a few weeks ago, I noticed that the starter was having a harder and harder time turning the engine over after running for a while. I finally had a chance to look into the problem. I started by cleaning the ground strap connection where it bolts to the firewall. I have a hard time reaching the bolt at the end of the head where the other end attaches, so I moved to the negative battery cable. I was having trouble getting the nut off the bolt holding the cable to the body work. When I finally PB'laster-ed it enough, it came loose and I discovered that the ring connector was barely even attached to the cable. I'll pick one up at NAPA and hopefully that will cure the starting problem for a while.

4/30/01: Gak (choke). Along with the brake parts I got from Light Line of La., I also ordered a choke cable since the inner wire from my original had become brittle from the set screw being clamped and unclamped so many times, and had broken off a bit shorter than I could get away with. The replacement cable is about 4 feet longer than I need, so I pulled the inner wire and put some Nev'r-Sieze on it, then cut the outer conduit to length. I kept the total length longer so I could loop it for an extra margin of spare cable in case the inner wire broke again. Now I just have to set the choke to be at its optimum.

4/27/01: Bled. I had forgotten to do one thing before I started the bleeding procedure: remove the imbalance safety switch from the proportioning valve! With the valve reset, bleeding the brakes was a much more productive effort. D'oh! A quick trip around the block with some hard stops thrown in and I'm confident the I've got the brakes back to where they should be.

4/26/01: Bleeding time. The parts came in last week, but I'm only now finding the free time to fix the brake problem. Squirting the P'Blaster in the connections for the last couple of days has made me have to cut only two of the five brake line nuts. The P'Blaster got the nuts to free, but the corrosion between the nut and the hard brake line inside a couple wouldn't allow the nut to turn independent of the tubing, so I took some tin snips and cut it at the nut. I bought two 30" pre-flared straight hard brake lines from NAPA, and bent them to approximate the old lines. I moved the brass splitter block to the top diff cover bolt to even out the distances (the original lines differed in length by a couple of inches, and the block was able to be under the bolt to the left of the very top one. The line that leads to the right rear sticks up a little higher than the original, but I managed to hand bend them a little at a time to follow the back of the axle tubes for protection from anything that would try to 'grab' them. I ran out of brake fluid that I could fill the master cylinder with before I could flush the air out of the rear cylinders, so I'll get it done this weekend.

4/5/01: Squish. I've been driving the truck the last few days due to the regular transportation being in the shop. This morning, I noticed the brake pedal felt like it had a touch more travel than I'm used to feeling. Stopping was still achieved as desired, though. After I got it home from work, I took a peek at the front brakes since they'd been the last to be worked on, but no fluid evidence. then I looked at the back end, and saw the black paint on the diff cover bubbled and peeling under the brass block connecting the soft line to the hard lines to each wheel. I put the Mity-Vac on to bleed the cylinders, but could hear the air being sucked in. I got on the phone and called Light Line of La, and got the soft line, brass block, and a choke cable assembly on order.

3/24/01: VRoooommm! I put the battery back in and after a couple of cranks to fill the fuel bowl, the engine roared to life. I took it for a spin around the neighborhood to get fluids flowing where they need to be. I'll take it on a higher speed run in a couple of days to test the soundness of the rest of it. All the guages are still functioning as well as the mechanical bits. Now, I just have to get my friend to make the external rack I'd discussed with him last fall, and I can put the soft top back on for open-air cruising...

1/2/00: Hibernation mode. To keep the new battery from becoming a dead battery over the cold winter months (I don't drive it unless I have to if the outside temperature is anywhere below 40F), I pulled it and stuck it on a trickle charge on my garage workbench. Now that the Christmas tree hauling season is over, I can't wait until spring to start it back up.

9/16/00: Puller works. I found some fine thread bolts that were long enough to use with the steering wheel puller, and after pulling it and rotating it the direction and amount I thought I needed to, it turns out it's still cocked right. D'oh! I'll get to it again sometime when I've got 1/2 an hour to kill

9/14/00: Little things. Ever since I replaced the front spring bushings last year, the steering wheel has been cocked to the right about 30-45 degrees. I bought a puller, but found out that the bolts in the kit are too large to fit in the holes in the wheel hub. Also, the bolt holes look a tad stripped. I managed to get a 1/4" x 28 tap to run through them, and I hope the threads hold once I get some proper bolts to use with it.

9/6/00: Done! I managed to get the sleeve out of the final bushing, and installed the new unit with no problems. I was able to re-use the old bolt and park it back on the street in its normal parking spot. I'll take it for a drive in the next day or so to test out how it feels. One more thing crossed off the to do list!

9/5/00: More of the same. My Jeepster friend Steve came over to return the favor of when I helped with his springs last spring, so we managed to get the driver's front fixed end in, and got the driver's rear spring's bolt out with no problems. We began the extraction of the inner sleeve and learned that the bolt being used had far suprassed if life expectancy under this great duress. It stripped, leaving us with no other bolt that was both thin enough to fit through the hole in the socket, and none that was also long enough to reach through the socket. We accomplished two in the span it took me to just put a single spring back into place, so we called it a night.

9/03/00: I'm bushed. Lo and behold, I have begun to put the last three bushings in the remaining fixed ends of the leaf springs again. I managed to get the passenger side's old bushing and sleeves removed using the bolt/socket extract method. Fortunately, the bolt and inner sleeve were not rusted into a single unit like the rear side's fixed end had been. I had to shave the shoulders of the bushings, and cut close to 1/8" off the inner sleeve to get it to fit into the hangar (clearance it with the bushing assembled on the inner sleeve, but not in the spring eye). I used some sheet metal on each side of the eye to help guide the bushing in so the thin shoulders didn't rip off. I was even able to reuse the old bolt and nut.

8/26/00: Quiet again. I had to cut the middle out of a soda can, and use it as a shim between the header pipe and the muffler adapter. It was about a 16th out due to rust over the years, so the thin aluminum of the can made up the difference nicely. We'll see if galvanic reaction between the cast iron and the aluminum creates a headache for me the next time. After playing with it all for a bit, I got everything to line up like it should be, and bolted it all together. Success on the first try! what a day!!!

8/22/00: Better. Advance doesn't carry a muffler, so I went back to Autozone and we found one that would fit the dimensions needed. Now that I've got the parts, I just need a dry day to put them all on.

8/21/00: Yuck. I loosened the header and found that the gasket ring was there, but just barely. That must have led to the intermittent pup-pup on decelerating and let the big bang happen, too. I pulled all the tape off, from the header pipe to the muffler tip, beat on the muffler to make it let go of the header, then threw the remains away. Wire brushing the header and spraying it with BBQ paint made it look nearly normal again.

8/20/00: DOA. I looked below in the daylight and confirmed my suspicions: the muffler had a half inch gash running half its circumference. The heat shield tape was pretty obliterated, too. I looked more closely, and saw that the tape must have been holding more moisture than I thought, because it was dry-rotted and falling off with huge rust flakes on the header. The muffler was a big rusty item at this point, too, probably leading to the easy backfire carnage. I pulled as much of the tape off as I could get.

8/19/00: Wow, a 3 month stretch! No worries until on the way home from the beach this weekend. While cruising northbound, I felt the sluggishness and popping as a tank ran dry, so I flipped the switch, thought it had caught, and mashed the gas. I think I set a record for loudest backfire! It then caught and we motored home, noticing a gradual building of the sound coming out of the tailpipe.

5/01/00: Wiper again. Well, the driver's wiper continues to perplex me regarding how to make it function the same way all the time like the passenger side's does. I've taken it apart again and put a fresh coat of grease on things, and made sure not to tighten the screws down too much, and it's doing okay again. I noticed that the knurled nut had a set screw that was stripping, so I drilled out one of the nuts that was too small to fit the motor shaft, and it is snug and working fine once again. You know the nut is loose when the wiper pays no attention to the boundaries of the windshield weatherstripping when it's on.

4/26/00: All together now. The brakes are back on, lines are bled properly, and no unreasonable amount of drag between the shoes and the drums. The road test was a good one and things stop as they are intended. The sudden jink from left to right when braking is also now gone. I would guess that the cracked/broken shoes were creating unequal forces on each side and at different times when braking. No drama to it now.

4/24/00: Return Springs. The springs are in and come two to the box. Just eyeballing them, they are about 1/8" shorter than the 30 year old versions I've got. They should do the trick. However, I accidentally rubbed off some of the brake dust -- lo and behold: there's a crack in the metal trailing pad that the lining attaches to! Sure enough, there's a crack on the other side, too. Of course, it turns out that I had not gotten the lifetime warranty versions. NAPA has them in stock so that's my job for the day. Hopefully, it will brake with no drama when I'm done with it all.

4/22/00: Hmmmm... I bought a MityVac II vacuum bleeder to expidite the air removal from replacing the soft hoses. I highly recommend this unit as it has a guage mounted that can be used to take vacuum readings, etc. I still can't get the shoes on the passenger side to stop rubbing after I apply the brakes (on the jackstands, of course). The Repair manual suggests the hardware is at fault, so I have to Wait for NAPA to get the return springs in on Monday.

4/17/00: Brakes. My mom needed to borrow my car, so that left me using the Scout as a daily driver the last couple of weeks. In that time, I've grown tired of sawing the steering wheel back and forth to keep control whenever I have to brake hard. The Digesters noted that the flexible lines probably could stand replacing, so I ordered some from Giddem Up Scout and they came in today. Unfortunately, the passenger side fittings would not loosen at either the soft-hard line junction, or from the wheel cylinder. The hard line cracked at a bend, so I just removed the wheel cylinder and put my pipe wrench on the offending fittings. No problem now. I got a new hard line bent, telling the counter person at the hydraulic place that it was for a 'boat'. $1.20 later, and I walked out with a perfect match for my original piece. WooHOO!

3/28/00: New carb! (Auctions work!) Thanks to a Digest poster who tipped the list off to a carb on eBay. After some frenetic bidding at the very end, I managed to secure a brand new 3994 Holley for my 196. Final price was $86 and it installed with nary a problem. Initial adjustments were to increase the amount of fast idle, and it's great now. It seems that it may be jetted a tad leaner than my previous carb because I can feel a slight stumble when I'm cruising around 35-45mph. Maybe it is just the cooler weather.

2/22/00: Finally! Well, after being put on the back burner for a couple of months, my truck was finally fixed the way it was 'supposed' to be. The tailgate endcaps seem to be aligned as they should have been to start with, but there are noticable creases on the endcaps where it looks like those body panels were modified to make the tailgate square instead of realigning the tailgate itself. It all looks good from the outside, and the crossmember is now not pretzled again. :)