BUILD The Cherry Popper Revival - 1980 Scout


Jon01

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This Scout has been in my family since the early 80's, my dad traded a non-functional projector for a big screen TV to a friend of his for it in I think 1983 or 1984.

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I need to find some OG pics of it but it was all the way legit.
I mean check out this interior - swivel bucket seats, green shag carpet floor to ceiling plaid...does it get much better?

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Stock it had a Nissan SD33T diesel that my dad had all sorts of trouble with getting it to run right reliably.
I remember he had a head put on it, then had it completely rebuilt. Then the crank broke and he decided he was done with the diesel.
My grandpa worked his whole life at a trucking garage that at the time of his retirement ran a fleet of International straight trucks. So, he got the inside line on a freshly remanufactured 345 IH V8.
He and dad spent a winter putting that in it and boom, it was a reliable good workhorse.
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Dad drove it quite a bit through the late 1980's, had the body fixed up 1988 style(filler) and painted before relegating it to a wood hauler/hunting rig and parking it down at the farm in the shed the rest of the year.

Once I reached driving age my old man passed it on to me and I drove it through high school.
And drive it I did. Anybody who says these trucks are built tough is telling you the truth.
MANY a good time were had with it, with the power-lock in the rear end and some all terrains it'd go nearly anywhere I needed to go.
Plus did you know the back seats folded down on these? It's the extended wheelbase model so an air mattress and a nice cooler would fit in the back just about perfect.
By my senior year the body was starting to fall apart again so I spent the summer before grinding out the plastic and patching the floors then had it painted that winter.
I drove it the rest of the year but decided to park it when it was time to go off to school. It has 3.73's and the 345 doesn't like RPM so the 100 mile + drive each way to Iowa would have taken a quick toll on it. Plus it was easy to break in to and I didn't want it to get stolen or trashed in dorm parking lots.
So, it has sat for ~20 years in the shed at the farm.

Since I am about done with the C10 and grandpa's pickup I decided it was time to get this thing back on the road again again.
While sitting hasn't been the best for it, it has fared better than most and it looks like this will be a fairly easy project going forward.

So, enough with the backstory.
A month or so ago we threw it on the trailer to get it out of the shed to get the some concrete leveling work done.
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I brought it home and dumped the old oil out of it, ran some fresh in with a couple bottles of zinc additive and primed the oil system.
It built pressure good so I cranked it over but did not try to start it as I want to get the gas tank boiled out before I do that.

Last weekend we took it back down to the farm and put it up on the lift to really get serious about working on it.
Yesterday we went back down and pulled the rest of the interior out to really get the lay of the land.

The rear and cargo floors are nearly perfect with only some minor surface blistering with the exception of the rear body support/crossmember.



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The front floors on the other hand seem to have suffered a rougher fate due to a leaking windshield gasket - it looks like it will need floorpans, supports, body mounts and wedges on both sides.

The drivers side I replaced most of the pan on in high school and the patch seems to have held up ok but the area around it has gotten quite a bit weaker so I'll be cutting it out and replacing it all.

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The passenger side is a fair amount rougher, similar rot over the body mount but also bleeding into the kick panel and up into the firewall.
Nothing fatal by any means but it's gonna take some more loving to get it to where it should be.

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I'm going to run up to a Scout shop about 30 miles north of town Weds or Thurs after work and grab the panels, hopefully next weekend we can get to trimming and fitting the components into place.

Current plan is to do my best to wrap up structural repairs the week of Thanksgiving, spend the period between then and X-mas focused on getting it running, install hush mat and knock out some minor stuff, and if time allows I'd like to install the 4L80E I have sitting here for it but I don't know if I'll get that far.
Then over the holidays run it down to a guy in TN that specializes in them and have him to a lot of suspension work - spring over, reverse shackle, do some axle upgrades, and if funds permit have him replace the fiberglass liftgate with a steel Scout tailgate. Once that's done I hope to freshen up the interior late winter and reassemble it for summertime fun.
 

Outlaw

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Fuck. Yes.

I love this generation of Scout. Sucks to hear about all the issues with the diesel, would’ve been a cool drivetrain to retain as they’re pretty rare from my limited knowledge.
 
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Jon01

Jon01

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Fuck. Yes.

I love this generation of Scout. Sucks to hear about all the issues with the diesel, would’ve been a cool drivetrain to retain as they’re pretty rare from my limited knowledge.
Yeah they're rare around here, very common in Australia and Japan tho.
I think the source of the issues was the guy Dad had working on it didn't really know what he was doing. They're supposed to be really reliable and durable based on what I've heard.

You have the coolest projects.
Awesome
Thanks Gav, my family just held on to their cooler vehicles over the years and stored them down at the farm. Now it's time to get things going again.
There will be at least 3 more build threads to come out of all that junk. I'm trying to knock out the easier ones first before I get into the long term projects.
 
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Jon01

Jon01

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Successful Saturday of Scouting.
First we finished pulling the old carpet out and cleaned the floors up some more.
Then we pulled the old and busted underdash AC Unit then removed the dash pad and finally the dash assembly.
This gave excellent access to the wiring and underdash area so dad and I weeded out a shitload of cobbled together circuits that were added off of the fuse box.
After pulling all of that out and inspecting the rest of the harness I didn't find any places that the OEM harness was hacked into so I am optimistic that I may be able to get by without completely rewiring this thing.

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Next steps are to continue to weed the wiring cobbling out of the engine bay and clean things up some there.
By that point I hope that the floorplans and body mounts that were out of stock have shown up and I can get after the rust repair.
 
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Jon01

Jon01

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Took this week off planning on getting into the rust repair on the Scout.
Today was pretty successful, I got the passenger floorpan, body mount, wedge and 2 of the floor supports cut out.
I left 2 as one is still doing some structural support and the other I just ran out of time to get cut out.
I also started fitting the repair panel for the bottom part of the kick panel and wedge.
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I also uncovered some more buried rust at the rear of the floorpan.
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Tomorrow I'm gonna get back after it. I'd really like to get at least one side patched up before the end of the week.
 
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Jon01

Jon01

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It's been a thrash of a weekend but I think I'll have this passenger side pretty well wrapped up before I go back to work on Monday.
After doing some digging Friday night late I decided to go ahead and do a partial replacement of the inner rockers, there's a good point to seam them in at the middle cab mount under the rear seat. So I ran up to Anything Scout early Saturday morning and picked up a pair of inners.

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Once I got that tacked in I was having a hell of a time getting everything to line back up - about where the pic above was taken.
The wedge that the body mount sits on was wanting to come in at a weird angle when secured to the inner, and the inner was about 1" too close to the frame(I think as the body collapsed over the old rotten mounts it pulled together).
So I called in reinforcements and my good buddy who is a weld engineer at work came down and really helped me figure out how to get this thing plugged back together.
We added a custom shim between the inner and the frame to pull it all away from the frame.

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Once we did that everything just kind of fell into place - we secured the wedge to the inner rocker and the mount and floorpan literally fell into place.

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Tomorrow I'm going to head back down and finish welding things up - I need to weld the mount to the wedge on both sides, add the floor braces as well as finish plugging the floor to the outer rocker and the inner rocker underneath.
Once that's done the only thing left on the passenger side will be to fab a patch up between the upper body mount and the seam of the firewall where the leaky windshield rotted it out. I think I'll work on that patch tomorrow afternoon so hopefully I can take the afternoon off Monday and run down and install it and maybe start chopping the drivers side out if time allows.

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Jon01

Jon01

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Had a few hours to do some work today between family stuff.
First thing I did was give wifegod a quick tutorial and turned her loose on finish welding the outer rocker to the new floor and also the inner rocker.

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While she did that I worked on getting the floor supports fit in.

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I didn't get any pics but I also finish welded the wedge and body mount to each other and the floor pan.

I have to go through and do some grinding on the welds and finish welding in the other 2 supports and this side will be done.
I think ill leave work a little bit early tomorrow and try to get all that knocked out.
If my boss will ok it I think I'll take Tuesday-Friday off and hopefully I'll be able to get the other side done.
Then it'll be time to try and light the candle and make it drive.
 
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Jon01

Jon01

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Took half days today and tomorrow hoping to knock out the drivers floor before the weather gets really cold.
Solid progress this afternoon - finished the passenger side except a small panel I have to make, braces are in and tacked up and spotted in around everything else to try to add more rigidity.

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Got the drivers pan and inner rocker chopped out - just took to it with the sawzall and then the die grinder, much faster than peeling it back off of the spot welds.

Fit the new inner rocker up and got it tacked in place:

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Tomorrow I'll need to get the inner spaced out like the other side, hammer some of the old floor flat where I managed to stuff the tire into it in HS. Then I'll get the wedge, mount and floor in place.
If I can truck along like I did today that should be doable.
Once that's done I'll get to pulling the gas tank so I can replace the rear body support and the other body mount bushings and get the dash put back in there so hopefully I can fire it up.
 

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