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’78 International Harvester Scout 2 – Part 5 update

In electrical, international harvester, project truck, scout on January 15, 2015 at 4:03 am

I thought I would throw up a quick update to my part 5 projects.  I finished rewiring the dash gauges.  The gauge lights are now wired to gauge power rather than to the headlight switch.

Scout 24

In the photo the gauges on the outside look a little dim.  That is just an artifact of the camera lens.  They look just fine in person.

After getting the gauge lights finished I hooked up the speedometer to the speedometer cable (for this first time since I installed the speedo 2 years ago).  Luckily it works as it is probably too late to return it.  I drove .7 miles around the neighborhood.  At least the odometer thinks it was .7 miles.  I don’t know how accurate the speedometer is and I forgot to grab the GPS to compare it too.  My seat of the pants impression is that it wasn’t as far off as I had expected.  Still I doubt I went over 25 miles an hour so it is hard to tell at such low speeds.  Maybe tomorrow I will bring the GPS and take a short drive to check how far off the current set of tires have made the speedometer.  The turn signals were still working today btw.

I also put the dash together.  I had mocked everything in place once before after first getting the gauges and dash panel but this is the first time everything has been fully assembled and working.  I installed the glove box and the ash tray as well as the dash pad. I got the tubes for the window defrost vents installed as well before closing up the dash.

Scout 20 Scout 21 Scout 22 Scout 23

There is still the empty hole where the radio is supposed to go.  At the moment I don’t have any short term plans for a radio or speakers.  I think I will 3d print a filler panel with the International Harvester Logo on it.  I would like to be able to add some LED lights hooked up to the headlight switch so that the logo will glow when the headlights are on.  This will give me an in-cab indicator that my headlights are on since the dash lights will always be on.

The current list of things to-do still includes getting the reverse lights hooked up to the switch on the transmission.  I will have to locate the correct the wire first and then I need to remove the transmission tunnel cover and locate the switch.  It shouldn’t be a hard job, I just haven’t actively tried to complete it yet.  Most of the gaskets showed up today so I will probably start the motor and radiator tear down this weekend.  Once I have the radiator out I will take it to the parts store and see if I can get a replacement one off the shelf somewhere.  I got some engine enamel today (flat black and gloss orange) so that I can paint the engine components as I get everything cleaned up.  Assuming I don’t find any huge problems in the motor I will just be cleaning everything up, painting it, and replacing everything with fresh gaskets.  I haven’t opened a motor up since replacing the head gasket on a Ford Courier in high school about 22 years ago.  So I am a little bit nervous about this next big project.  This is the last thing that needs to be done before taking it in for emissions testing.  With some luck and hopefully a little bit of help I will be able to legally drive the truck next month.

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’78 International Harvester Scout 2 – Part 5 Electronic Ghosts and the Road-map for the future

In international harvester, project truck, scout, troubleshooting on January 12, 2015 at 3:02 am

Originally I had planned to attempt building a rear bumper for the Scout today.  However, since I don’t need the bumper to get the truck through the emissions test and licensing, I decided that maybe I was getting ahead of myself.  I decided that I would work on some miscellaneous electrical problems.  The first was a mysterious drain on the battery causing it die if I left it hooked up over night.  The second was my turn signals not working.  The third was dash/gauge lighting that was very very very dim.

I thought that I had a short somewhere that was causing the battery to die.  But while working on the timing I touched a wire (insulated) that was really hot.  It turns out that this is a resistance wire that is supposed to be hot.  But only when the truck is running.  After further research I discovered is supposed to run to an ignition switched power source.  This means that it shouldn’t be getting power unless the truck is running (or the key is turned over so accessories like the radio work).  Mine was hooked to an always on source.  This meant that the alternator was draining some of that power but also the wire (being a resistance wire) was taking a lot of that power and turning it into heat. While disconnecting the wire from the current power source I discovered that it was in really bad shape and the insulation was flaking off.  This type of wire is a pretty big fire hazard without insulation on it so it needed to be replaced.  Apparently nobody sells the plug with the two wires for the alternator that includes a resistance wire.  My cousin suggested that I just use a regular wire with an in-line resistor.  I got on-line and checked some message boards and found that the in-line resistor is the standard work around.  So I ordered a 50w 15ohm resistor from Mouser Electronics.  When it arrives I will get it wired up to a switch source, probably the cigar lighter.  As a side note, you know you are working on an old vehicle when the lighter is called a cigar lighter rather than a cigarette lighter or power plug.

The second problem was the turn signals.  The hazard lights worked so the connections at the bulbs must be good.  I swapped the hazard and turn signal relays around and the problem stayed with the turn signals so the relay is good.  I concluded that it must be the turn signal switch that is the problem.  Unfortunately that is a really hard switch to get too.  I need to remove the turn signal lever, the tilt steering lever, the ignition switch (where you put the key), and the steering wheel before I can remove the cover on the top of the steering column and get to the turn signal switch.  I don’t own a steering wheel removal tool (although I could probably fabricate one) and I don’t know how to remove the ignition switch.  While investigating the problem I must have bumped the right thing because the turn signals started working on their own.  At some point I need to open it up and fix the problem but for now I am going to ignore it and hope for the best.  I can always use hand gestures to signal turns if need be.

The third problem was the gauge lights.  The wiring for the gauges is a mess.  The power for the gauges themselves runs in series.  The power for the gauge lights run in their own separate series and the inputs for the gauges come in as a mix of mechanical and electrical and vacuum inputs.

The wiring on the back of the gauge cluster.  The lights are wired in series as is the gauges themselves with seperate inputs for each gauge.

The wiring on the back of the gauge cluster. The lights are wired in series as are the gauges themselves with separate inputs for each gauge.

This gauge has the light wired in series.  You can see the wire come from the light on one side go through the light fixture (the large black plug) and then go out the other side.

This gauge has the light wired in series. You can see the wire come from the light on the right side, go through the light fixture (the large black plug) and then go out the photo to the left side.

My guess is that the lights are dim because one or more of the connections between them is bad so that only a small part of the electricity is able to flow through the circuit.  The connections are made with insulated butt joint connectors.  You can see one of these in the photo above.  It is a see-through pink color.  The problem with testing these is that they are kind of a pain to get the multi-meter probes on.  The easiest way is to remove the light bulbs and put the probes on the correct spots within the plug to test the path from one light to the next.  This would allow me to find any bad connections.  The second option is to wire the light from each gauge to the gauge power and ground.  This removes one series from equation.  Each gauge is wired in series with the lights connected to the gauge power and ground.  The speedometer and tachometer are the exception to this rule.  They don’t have gauge power and so the lights will probably be connected to the neighboring gauges.

This gauge has the light wired to gauge power and ground rather than in series with the other lights.

This gauge has the light wired to gauge power and ground rather than in series with the other lights.

This solution looks neater and is easier to troubleshoot and find any potential issues with the wiring.  The negative is that the gauge lights will always be on if the Scout is running.  This means that you don’t have an in-dash indicator showing you that the headlights are on.  I have one extra indicator light on the dash that I can use for this.  Originally it was to be used to indicate if the truck was in 4 wheel drive but I think I would rather have the headlight indicator.  I could use the “bright” indicator as well but I like being reminded if my high beams are on so I would rather not re-purpose that indicator.

At the end of the day nothing was really fixed but I have a handle on two of the problems and the signals are working for the moment so we will call that a victory as well, albeit probably a short-lived one.  I will probably rewire the gauges over the next couple of days as well as fix the alternator wire/resistor when the resistor arrives.  I ordered a new gasket for the water pump yesterday.  It should arrive on Tuesday.  Fixing that leak will be the next project.  I need to remove all the radiators and the rest of the air conditioning equipment to let me get at the water pump.  This will let me see what condition the radiator and transmission coolers are in.  The radiator had a large leak that has been temporarily fixed with an fluid additive.  I will probably try and replace it during this next project.  As long as I have it out and the fluid drained it may as well be done.  I will also be able to clean the front of the motor.  You could see how bad the grease was in the photo of the tab with the timing marks on it in the last blog.

Tonight I ordered new gaskets for the motor and the differentials.  I might replace the motor gaskets while I have the front opened up and all of the radiator hoses out of the way.  I have a large vacuum leak that I think is from the drivers side head cover gasket.  Hopefully the new gaskets will get rid of that leak and any others.  This should let me finish the idle tuning.  If it does the truck will be ready for emissions testing.

I still need to get gaskets for the transfer case as well as get a new gear for the speedometer.  Since that sits between the rear drive shaft and the transfer case I will probably tackle both of those at the same time.  It would be nice to have a speedometer that indicates the correct speed.  Right now I use my GPS navigation to see how fast I am driving.  I guess that is it for now.  Don’t expect another blog on the Scout until I have a chance to do some real damage while fixing the water pump.  Until then…

’78 International Harvester Scout II – Part 3 The Distributor “Up the block and back again”

In distributor, international harvester, project truck, scout on January 11, 2015 at 5:37 am

[Somehow I messed up.  I had finished this, posted it, and then somehow saved over it with part 4.  Luckily I was able to recover it and repost it, but that is why it is out of order.  Sorry bout that.]

I was half way through the next part of this blog (what will now be part 4) before I realized that I completely skipped over this bit. So I hit pause on the newly renamed Part 4 and started this almost overlooked Part 3.
When last we left my beloved Scout 2, it was languishing in the driveway at my Mom’s house while gathering dust. It hadn’t run since I swapped the Crane ignition out for a distributor and had sat completely untouched and unrunning for almost 2 years. My cat Jello was using it as a club house so at least no rodents had moved into it after the move. That is about the only positive for the last year or so for the truck.
When I removed the Crane and the distributor that worked with it I tried to be careful and mark alignments of everything and install the new distributor in the same alignment. I failed. A lot. It wasn’t even close. This meant that the timing was so far off the Scout would not start. I played with it a little bit at the time but didn’t have much success and had less and less time to work on the truck. When I did have time I was more likely to spend it at the bar than at the house so the Scout was an easy thing to ignore. Now that I was working on it again I tried moving the distributor a little bit throughout the range that it could turn and tried starting it after each adjustment.
.Scout 18
As you can see in the photo there is a vacuum advance thingy (yes that technical term) on the front of the distributor. You can only turn the distributor a few degrees between the water pump and the head cover. If you are farther out than that you are in trouble.
I did some research and learned that if I turned the engine so that the number 1 cylinder was in top dead center (TDC) and then put the distributor cap on with the spark plug wire for number one directly over the rotor I would be in luck. It would be close enough to start and then it could be fine tuned by turning the distributor one way or the other. There are a couple of ways to turn the engine. One is to just keep bumping the starter until the first cylinder is at TDC. The other is to put a ratchet on the bolt that is in the center of the harmonic balancer and turn that until you are at TDC. The problem with the second is that there is very little room to access that bolt with the pulleys and the radiator and a hood that hinges from the front. The problem with both options is knowing when you are at TDC. I read a tip that said to take the number one spark plug out and put a straw into the cylinder. When the straw sticks out the most then you are at TDC. I tried bumping the starter to turn the motor over a little at a time. It just launched the straw out and I was left making little marks over and over trying to find the perfect spot. I got bored. I reasoned that it didn’t matter which cylinder was at TDC as long as I knew which one it was, I could line up the correct plug wire and I would be in business. It sounds good and I think it is technically possible. But I still ended up making a bunch of little marks on a straw and trying to find the perfect spot. I got frustrated and bored with this as well.
A wise and more knowledgeable reader will know that there is a much easier way to know if you are at TDC. However at the time I didn’t. Just so the rest of you are in on the joke, there is a tab on the engine block with reference lines showing you a range from +20 degrees to -10 degrees of TDC. All you do is match up a line on the harmonic balancer with your reference line to know exactly where you are at. I didn’t know that and the engine was so dirty that you couldn’t see it. After learning about it at a later date (yesterday essentially) I cleaned it up so you can actually see it.
Scout 19
When the harmonic balancer spins around it has a etched line that you line up with these marks. I didn’t think to take a picture of it till just now and it is dark outside so you will just have to imagine it. I cleaned up the reference tab earlier today but you can see how dirty everything else is and hopefully understand my ignorance of its existence. I painted the line for 10 degrees of advance while working on fine tuning the timing so that it was even easier to see. I painted the line on the harmonic balancer white as well.
Alright so lets go back to a time when I knew none of that. I went old school trial and error. I just started moving the spark plug wires around the distributer cap one spot at a time and tried starting it at each position. While doing this I managed to blow a few rats nests out of the exhaust. I have a sneaking suspicion that my initial distributor position wasn’t as far off as I thought it was but due to the back pressure created by having rats nests in my exhaust pipes the Scout couldn’t start. The danger with this method is that on a few of these attempts the spark will be working directly against the engine and could potentially do damage to internals if you are not careful. You can feel the opposition as soon as it starts to turn. When you feel that you have to stop the attempt immediately. I Eventually I found a spot where it felt like the truck wanted to start. I think that it was actually the seventh attempt meaning that I was within one position of where I started. I was probably right on at some point before this method as one plug over would have been within the range I could turn the distributor. I played with small rotations of the distributor until the truck finally started, ran for 2 seconds and died. A few more attempts and small adjustments later the truck roared to life. It sounded like crap but it was running. Now that it was running I was able to turn the distributor until the Scout was running more less smoothly. I just did it by ear as I didn’t have a timing light and didn’t know how to use one regardless. That was a problem for another day. I climbed in the drivers seat and drove the Scout up the block and back again. I was in business. The satisfaction from this small victory was immense and instantly all of my motivation to work on the truck returned.

’78 International Scout II – Part 4b Fuel and Air Delivery

In carburetor, international harvester, project truck, scout, timing on January 11, 2015 at 5:10 am

A few days later the new carburetor was here.  It actually arrived a day early.  Thank you Amazon.com.  It sat for another day and then I got it bolted onto the Scout.  Now comes the most embarrassing part of the entire saga.  At this point the truck had sat a few more days without a carburetor and so the fuel line sat without being attached to anything.  Any fuel in the line had either evaporated or spilled out.  When I hooked it back up and attempted to start the Scout I wasn’t getting any fuel. I tried just letting it sit for a while with the fuel pump running.  No luck.  I tried attempting to suck on the pipe to pull fuel up.  I went to the gas station filled my little gas can and poured gas down the line.  The truck ran for about 2 seconds.  At this point I decided that maybe the pump was just having problems pulling the fuel up it’s level.  I had read somewhere that some fuel pumps were good at pushing full and some good at pulling fuel.  This one was mounted high up on the inner fender well of the Scout.  So the heavy lifting so to speak was pulling fuel up.  I decided that I should move it down to the frame so that it wouldn’t have to pull fuel.  I would have to push the fuel uphill instead.  The first problem I ran into was that I didn’t have any threaded holes on the frame to use.  I don’t have any taps to thread holes myself and the frame is completely boxed in so I can’t use a nut on the back side.   I decided I would mount it to the bottom of the cab instead.  Just where the passenger foot well starts to turn up to be exact.  I got everything done and turned the key to activate the fuel pump.  Nothing.  I could hear it gurgling a little bit but no fuel came up the pipe.  I gave up and decided I would pour the reaming fuel in my gas can into the the tank so that it would be a little harder for somebody to steal it.  After pouring the first gallon or so, fuel started to come out of the fuel line.  Three hours of fighting and working this problem and it turns out the truck was just out of gas.  At some point I REALLY need to drop the gas tank and fix the fuel sender so the gas gauge will work.

After screwing the fuel line back into the carburetor the truck started right up.  And then promptly died again.  I tried a few times.  Same result.  I slept on the problem.  I decided that maybe the vacuum plug we talked about earlier was just a bit too knackered and should probably be replaced.  Vacuum leaks are a big problem with carb tuning so this seemed like the place to start.  After replacing that plug the truck would start and run.  I celebrated by driving the truck to the gas station and then on to the parts store to pick up a timing light.  I still didn’t know how to use it, but knew I would need one.

By this point I had learned a bit more and knew where the actual idle adjustment screw was and that what I had used before are fuel/air mixture screws.

Scout Old Carb (6)

In the bottom right of this photo, just above the black covered throttle cable you will see a screw with a spring on it.  This is the idle adjustment screw.  It screws in to push the throttle level over.  The screw above that helps adjust the throttle on cold start up somehow.  I still haven’t figured that out, but need to as one of the current problems now is cold starting.  Adjusting both the idle screw and the mixture screws I was able to get the idle adjustment down to about 1300ish but the Scout would die no matter what I did to get it lower.  All this work and I wasn’t doing any better than I had with the old carburetor.  Now I guessed that the problem probably had something to do with timing so I busted out that timing light.  I had watched some YouTube videos (thank you Hot Rod magazine) and now knew about the timing reference marks.  I crawled under the truck to find the mark on the harmonic balancer.  It was just an engraved line that was very hard to see with all the grease and oil down there.  I cleaned it up and painted the line white to make it a little more visible.

I haven’t been wasting my time and by this point I had learned a little bit more about timing as well.  The spark plug is supposed to fire a little bit before the piston gets to the top of the cylinder.  This gives the spark time to start the explosion of fuel and air so that it is at it’s strongest just as the piston gets to the top.  This takes a set amount of time depending on spark plug and the fuel/air mixture.  However as engine rpm goes up it takes less time for the piston to travel up the cylinder.  So at higher rpm the spark must fire earlier in the cycle to get the explosion to happen at the correct piston position.  There are some springs inside the distributor that allow it to advance the timing (fire the spark earlier) as engine rpm go up.  By swapping out those springs you can change how fast it will advance and the total amount of range (from the idle rpm timing to the high rpm timing) that the distributor is capable of.  My shop manual only lists the initial timing which is 10 degrees of advance timing.  I have no experience with this but knew that at 1300 rpm the timing should be more advanced than the 10 degrees that it needed at 650 rpm.  So I guessed.  I was able to get the idle rpm down to 1100 but it would go no lower.

I called a friend and while talking to him we decided that the second vacuum port I had mentioned earlier probably also needed to be capped.  Luckily I had bought a variety pack of vacuum plugs so I had one that was the correct size.  (In a completely unrelated note I really have a hard time spelling vacuum.  I keep trying to spell it vaccum instead of vacuum.  Hurray for spell check.)  That did it.  I was able to get the curb idle rpm down to 675.  It still smelled like it was running rich, but I was happy to declare victory for the day and do something else.

Today I got back after it.  I discovered that my timing guess was way off.  At 675 my timing was exactly at TDC.  I advanced it forward 10 degrees.  At this point I cleaned up the tab with the reference marks and painted the reference line white as well.  I still don’t know what the timing curve should look like but I do know what it is supposed to be at idle so I will just have to be happy with it and hope that the distributor has the correct springs installed.  I also tried to lean it out by increasing the throttle using the idle screw and decreasing the fuel mixture. I’ve had mixed success.  Right now it idles right around 800, maybe a touch less.  It isn’t burning rich anymore though.  Granted this is only a nose test.  I don’t smell fuel while it is running.  I don’t have the emissions testing equipment to tune this completely.  But I have it at the lowest mixture and idle speed that I have been able to achieve without the motor dieing.  800 is still a little bit high, but this engine needs all new gaskets.  I expect that there are other vacuum leaks and assorted issues that I will be able to address as work continues that will ultimately allow the motor to run smoothly and dependably at 650-675 rpm.  I ended the day with another victory lap of the neighborhood.

Getting through my issues with the carburetor and the timing required the most amount learning that I have had to do yet while working on the truck.  I spent a fair amount of time reading the manuals, message boards, and watching YouTube videos.  The frustration has been high on occasion but so has the sense of accomplishment when I learn something else and overcome my problems even if it is only in small increments.  This was the point of the project all along.

I had planned on attempting to build a rear bumper for the Scout with my cousin tomorrow.  Right now I think that is probably getting ahead of myself though.  Instead I think we will work on sorting out the electrical gremlins and getting the dash reassembled and the final seat belt installed. (I bought a new one for the front passenger today.)  If there is time after that and another victory lap, I want to start taking apart the cooling system.  I need a new radiator.  The one I have had a pretty good leak.  I put some stop leak stuff in and that seems to have stopped it for now.  This is only a short term fix though.  It needs a new radiator.  I need to check the radiator for the transmission cooler as well as remove some final components of the factory air conditioning.  AC on a topless truck doesn’t make much sense.  It didn’t work anyway so I have slowly been removing it.  I would like to get the water pump removed as well.  It leaks as well.  I have ordered a new gasket for it.  It won’t be here for a few days but if I can get help getting everything removed it will be much easier.  This will give me a chance to get the front of the motor cleaned up as well.  Ultimately all the gaskets need to be replaced but if I can get the motor cleaned up that should show me where any leaks are so that I can prioritize future projects.  That’s the current plan.  I’m not sure how much I will get through tomorrow but I’ll let you know in the next installation of this project blog.

’78 International Scout II – Part 4a Fuel and Air Delivery

In carburetor, international harvester, project truck, scout on January 11, 2015 at 5:09 am

Let me start this episode by saying that when I began this next project I knew nothing about carburetors.  I now know slightly more but still very little.

At some point this truck has to pass California emissions testing.  On a side note you can look up the emissions test results for any car or truck in California as long as you know the license plate number or VIN.  License plates do change on occasion so the VIN is the better option.  My truck has failed many more emissions tests than it has passed.  At one point it even failed due to suspected tampering of emissions equipment.  On average it probably fails twice before passing each time it was required. It did pass the emissions test that was required to sell it (to me) after only one fail.  So that’s a positive I guess.  I removed a Crane multi-spark ignition from the Scout and replaced it with an OE style distributor.  I now have a tachometer that works but from an emissions stand point this is a step backwards.  The multiple sparks of the Crane help burn more fuel so that your vehicle runs cleaner and makes a little more power. Essentially I am saying that I have my work cut out for me.

The Scout idled at about 2200 rpm and you could smell that it was burning rich (to much fuel for the amount of air).  I cracked open the shop manuals and discovered that the truck was supposed to idle at about 650 to 675 rpm (and red-line was about 3800).  2200 was WAY to high.  It did mean that you could just lift off the clutch without having to worry about giving it any gas regardless of what gear you were in though.  So there is that.  Anyway, I needed to adjust it down.  I didn’t know how to do that but I opened the manual and learned just enough to be dangerous.  I discovered that there is a curb idle speed, a fast idle speed, and a high idle speed.  One is supposed to be in neutral after the car has warmed up, one is in gear but not moving, and one is at start up with a cold engine.  There were a lot of diagrams that didn’t mean much to me but I did find a couple of screws that were labeled idle adjust, one for each barrel (it is a two barrel carburetor).  It turns out that these are the air/fuel mixture adjustment screws rather than an idle speed adjustment screw but I didn’t know that at the time.  Adjusting them does change the idle speed as it changes the amount of fuel that gets injected into the incoming air stream.  I was able to get the idle speed down to about 1500 but any lower than that and it would die on me.

I did a little more reading and discovered that fuel leaves some deposits behind when it evaporates and those deposits can clog up the inner workings of a carburetor.  My truck ran until I replaced the distributor.  Then it sat for two years.  Deposits were a strong possibility.  I decided that I would take the carburetor apart and clean it up.  I took a few photos of everything as it was so that I would be able to put it back together.

Scout Old Carb (4) Scout Old Carb (5)

As it turns out there a few problems that you can see right away.  I didn’t know about them at the time or at least didn’t realize their importance.  The first you can see in the second photo.  There is a rectangular box about half way up the side of the carburetor.  That box has a vacuum sensor in it.  You can see it in the photo.  It is a small silvery circle in the right side of the box.  That box is supposed to have a cork gasket and cover over it.  The second problem is the decaying rubber vacuum plug that you can see just under the box.  It is in bad enough shape that it leaks air.  The third problem is the port next to it.  This to run a line up to the air filter box that sits on top of the carb.  Mine doesn’t actually use this so it should also be capped.  You can also get a sense of how dirty it is.  Apparently the guy who owned it before me does a lot of wood working as I found just about all the exterior nooks and crannies stuffed full of sawdust.

I just did the bare minimum of disassembly.  I didn’t have a rebuild kit and didn’t want to pay for one if I could avoid it.  Mostly I just wanted to get access to the fuel bowl and clean the ports leading in and out of it.  I figured that would be the prime location for deposits left by evaporation.  I did my cleaning, put it back together, and reinstalled it on the Scout.  I was able to get the idle rpm down to about 1300.  I needed to be at half that.  This was the point that I decided I needed a rebuild kit.  Of course nobody had one in stock so I had to order one.

In the mean time I had a couple of other small projects to take car of.  The first was bolting down the drivers seat.  It had a couple of bolts in on the right side but none on the left side.  So when I made a u-turn at the end of the block the night before the seat tipped over.  Not exactly safe.  The second project was seat belts.  I had discovered that I did in fact have seat belts for the Scout.  I didn’t think I did, but I found some in amongst the box of spare parts.   I had one for the driver and the both belts for the back seat.  I got those installed and bolted down the seat.  I also ordered some gaskets, pig tails (the socket and wiring), and a lens for the side marker lights.

A couple days later I had the rebuild kit.  I took the carburetor of the engine again and started to disassemble it.    I discovered that it badly needed to be rebuilt.  Here are the photos.

Scout Old Carb (3) Scout Old Carb (2) Scout Old Carb (1)

You can see in the first photo just how bad that gasket is.  And because it is so bad water has gotten into the carb and rusted the butterfly valves.  I didn’t take it apart farther than this.  I didn’t need too. That was enough to discover that the rebuild kit was not the correct one.  It seems that parts stores have retroactively decided that 78 and earlier Scouts used a Holley 2345 carburetor even though it was used until 1979.  My Scout came with a Holley 2110c.  The gaskets are completely different.  Some of the smaller o-rings will work but that is about all.  I did a little more reading and determined that nobody really sells rebuild kits for my carb.  One poster on an International Harvester forum said that you now need 3 different kits to get all the stuff you need to rebuild a 21xx series carburetor.  I said to heck with that, returned the rebuild kit, and ordered a complete rebuilt carburetor.  The new carb was supposed to be completely set up so that you just had to install it, hook up the throttle and choke linkages and start the truck.  Idle, choke, and throttle mixture where supposed to be adjusted at the factory.

’78 International Harvester Scout II – Part 2b gauges

In gauges, international harvester, scout 2, troubleshooting, wiring harness on January 11, 2015 at 12:50 am

Just thought I would throw up a couple photos of the gauges.  I still have to figure out why the gauge lights are VERY dim and I need to take the steering column apart to fix my turn signals.  There is either a problem with the turn signal switch or (more likely) the wire just came unattached.  I might just hook each gauge light up to the gauge power individually rather than have them all strung in series off of the headlight switch.  This would mean that the gauge lights were on whenever the ignition was on rather than only when the headlights were turned on.  It would simplify the wiring though and hopefully fix the problem.  I also need to hook up the reverse lights to the sensor on the transmission and hook up the 4 wheel drive sensor on the transfer case to the indicator light.  Those should be the final items on the list of electrical stuff that needs to be finished.

Scout 16 Scout 17

’78 International Harvester Scout II – Part 2 Electrical Mayhem and some interior bits

In international harvester, scout, truck on January 10, 2015 at 5:02 am

After getting the truck home the priority was a new electrical harness and pretty much everything that would connect up to it.  I ordered a new harness, head lights, tail lights, and all new gauges with an after-market dash to put them into.  I also ordered carpet, some missing bezels and lenses for the side marker lights, spark plugs and wires and a replacement glove box.  I got everything through IH Parts America (formaly IH Only North).  They have been excellent to work with.  Here are a couple of shots of what I was starting with…

Scout 4Scout 6

I started by ripping out all of the old wiring harness and gauges and part of the dash.  I also removed the air conditioner.  It didn’t work and was of questionable utility in a topless truck.  I did not get a Painless Wiring Harness (I should have but went with a cheaper alternative).  The one I did get seemed simple enough even though the documentation was not as good as Painless provides.  It wasn’t terribly difficult work but there was a bit of a learning curve as I had never spent much time working on cars.  That was the idea of a project vehicle though so while there was frustration (and still is) at times, the enjoyment I get from working on the truck and learning more about cars makes it worth it.  Slowly but surely I got everything wired up and replaced the lights and gauges.  I had to do some cutting on the original dash structure to get the new gauges and dash panel/gauge cluster installed.  It still doesn’t fit quite right.  The cutout for the radio doesn’t match up that one in the original dash.  I still haven’t decided what I am going to do about that.  As I haven’t decided if it will get a radio installed that hasn’t been a problem yet.  It doesn’t look great though.  I still have a couple of gremlins to chase down in the wiring but for the most part the wiring harness installation was a success.

One of the biggest frustrations was the carpet.  This is the one purchase I wish I had not made.  The carpet is very good quality with the insulation attached to the underside.  It was pre-molded (more-or-less) and fit fairly well.  Getting the holes cut in and getting screws through it was much tougher than I had expected.  Because I don’t have a roof on the truck the carpet holds a lot of water inside against the floor so I have since removed the carpet and don’t plan on re-installing it unless I get a roof.  It might not happen even then.  Rhino Lining or Lizard Skin will probably be the final solution for the floor.

At one point I put the entire interior together to see how it all looked.  I did take a couple photos at the time but of course can’t find any of them.  It’s since been mostly stripped out again to continue with the work.

As you can see in the second photo, the Scout had an after-market ignition.  It worked fine but they had cut off the unused wires right at the body.  I had a bought a tachometer (i hate driving a stick shift without a tach) but one of the wires they had cut off was the tach lead.  This sort of ignition system uses multiple sparks to improve efficiency and power.  Unfortunately this means I can’t run a tach lead from the normal location because it will fire 3 or 4 times more than usual because of the multiple sparks.  In the interests of simplifying things and returning the truck to something closer to stock I decided to remove the after-market ignition and replace it with the original type of distributor.  Unfortunately I knew nothing about ignition timing and was lazy about how I did the swap so the truck didn’t run after my swap.

About this time my life started falling apart and the truck sat like this for most of the next year and half.  The only time it did anything with it was to tow it up from Santa Barbara to my Mom’s house when I moved.   About 2 weeks ago I started working on it again.  It is running again.  I’ll cover the recent work in the next blog.

’78 International Harvester Scout II Project – Part 1 Getting it Home

In international harvester, scout, truck on January 10, 2015 at 3:56 am

This really shouldn’t be part 1 as I bought the truck over 2 years ago.  I haven’t written anything on it though so by default this has to be first part.  When I moved back to the States with a healthy savings account and a new business that appeared to be taking off I decided I wanted a project vehicle.  My Uncle used to have a International Scout 2 that I had previously talked to him about purchasing.  I asked him about it but he had sold the truck while I was in Australia.  I started looking for an old Ford Bronco, another Scout or a Datsun 240z.

The Scout is what I found first.  I paid just over $3000 for it.  The drive train appeared to be good.  The floor had been cut out and fresh metal was welded in.  It wasn’t the prettiest welding job but the rust was gone.  The interior had been completely stripped out.  None of the gauges or lights worked and the exterior of the body need a fair bit of work.  It had 4 different types of tire on 3 different style wheels.  I threw the seats into the truck (none of them were bolted down, the rest of the interior and spare parts where in a couple of boxes in the back as well) and tried to drive it home.  About 2 miles up the freeway the front passenger side tire blew out.

Scout 13Scout 12

Luckily the folks at America’s Tire (Simi Valley store I think) took excellent care of me.  I left the truck in their hands and headed to the east coast for a vacation.  When I came back I rented a truck and trailer and towed the Scout home (I am slow, but I do learn.)

Scout 2