Medchin New Reader
7/16/19 12:04 a.m.

After seeing @java230's travelall project, and being on vacation with some down time I thought it was about time to post about my own International Project; although mine is a little rougher and heading a very different direction. Despite not seeing a whole lot of 4x4 build threads on here, from avatars and peoples garages I gather people do like some dirtier stuff.

Here in NC there isn't really a whole lot of pre-running or over landing style off-roading, at least not near me... that I know about. So it's all rock-crawling and trail riding. Slow, big tire, big gear kinda stuff. My co-conspirator and his family are big into the 4x4 stuff, and have about a dozen various Jeeps from CJ's to TJ's. I've been wheeling with them a bunch of times... and I only have like 3 other projects, whats one more? This thread is starting after owning the truck for awhile because I've finally started making good progress.

So I bought a plane crash. I mean truck. It's a 65 International Scout 80, and when I bought it it was so buried in the guys orchard we had to yank it out of the ground with a backhoe as the earth was already trying to reclaim it. The truck came with the front axle installed and the rear thrown into the cabin. It really truly looked like it had fallen from the sky ass first and embedded in the ground. Fine by me, I wanted those little toothpick AMC 20's out immediately. 

The plan for the truck is to do a down and dirty 4x4 crawling truck that isn't pretty or fast but fun. I plan to do everything right, but cheap. The body on the truck is really rusty so I don't have to worry too much about banging up such a cool body style. The stock IH 152 inline 4 will stay for the time being. I'd love to eventually replace it with something down the line, maybe a truck LS or a Jeep 4L, but that will be WAY down the line. The current goal it to remove all the sketch I can and make a less horrible looking project.

I ended up going halfsies with aforementioned friend's father to buy a 76 Jeep Wagoneer to rob the Dana 44's from. He got the AMC360 and some other parts he needed for his CJ7. A rough-country spring-over kit got welded on the D44's and we home shortened a drive shaft. After a sketchy set-up involving a backhoe, some ratchet straps, and a bunch of cinder blocks the truck was up on four wheels for the first time since I owned it. The stock springs will need to be replaced. At the moment the truck lists heavily to the side as the leaf springs have unevenly collapsed in the 50+ years since the truck was built.

We set-up a highly sketchy fuel system, rebuilt the little single barrel carburetor, and tuned up the ignition system. After all of this the truck sort of moved forward 6 feet, and then went into reverse for 6 feet, and since I hadn't built any brake system at all we parked it... for months.

Well after months of sitting and nagging from my friend we finally got back to work on the truck. In the last month I have completely built a new brake system from nothing. Brand new master cylinder, new custom brake lines, new flex lines, and wheel cylinders all originally for the Wagoneer were fitted to the Scout. The master cylinder actually almost worked out of the box. I only needed to take a round file to the mounting holes on the cylinder to hog them out enough to match the studs on the scout firewall. Then I shortened the push-rod for the scout brake pedal about 3/4" and it works perfectly. I also made the brake lines as frame mounted as possible, in theory it should be undo 2 fittings and the body and chassis are disconnected with about 90% of the brakes being chassis side. That did require making some new frame mounts for the flex line off the axles so I made some simple little brackets out of 2x4 1/8 box tubing I had surplus from the new crossmembers. It's really nice to bleed the brakes on a 40+ year old set of axles and have the fluid come out completely clean, not used to that. I rebuilt the rear drums, replaced the shoes and wheel cylinders... only because the old wheel cylinders were so rusted out my brake lines wouldn't seat and not leak. Otherwise I would have left them alone.

Next is replacing the sketchy temporary fuel system. Our solution out in the woods was a lawnmower gas tank (which came with the truck) and a little electric fuel pump off the shelf to a slightly too short piece of 5/16" fuel hose. It worked but the little fuel pump, despite being only rated to about 7 PSI, quickly overpowers the needle and seat and floods the carb covering the top of the motor in fuel. Plus since the piece of fuel hose was too short it's route is... less than ideal and pulled tighter than is probably safe. All around not good. A little googlefu and I learned this particular carb floods because it wants to see 3-4 PSI, anymore and it becomes a gasoline geyser. I could get a better carb, but for an IH 152 tracking one that would bolt on would cost more than trouble than the other solution: fuel pressure regulator. I bought a cheapie Holley one that claims to regulate down to 3 PSI, some brass barb fittings for it, and some more hose. Bam, theoretically no more flooding

Next came replacing the like 1/4 gallon lawn mower tank, at least I think it's a lawnmower tank. Maybe off a tiller, or small generator, or something else. I had a boat gas tank that was the fuel system for the Wagoneer (always the best sign when purchasing a used vehicle) but I'd rather just bite the bullet and come up with a more permanent solution than zipties or rachet straps. More googling and looking at what the guys on Binder Planet do to replace the saddle tanks the Scout came with. While the saddle tanks are super cool, and honestly for off-roading in a really good spot, they're also really small, and my truck came with only one and it is well beyond saving. So my options, at least from what others were doing, was a 16 (?) gallon tank out of various year Ford F250s with the big motors, or a slightly smaller tank out of various jeeps.

The F250 tank is really short for how big it is, only about 8" tall at the tallest point, but most of the guys I saw doing it had Scout II's and had to notch the frame to get the filler to work properly. The jeep tank is much deeper and as such gets much closer to the axle, but it does have provisions from the factory to have a factory skid plate. Most of the guys on that forum were doing this swap on scouts they mostly planned to road drive, not hardcore off-road. There were a few other tanks I considered but ended up finding the measurements of the two top tanks, I measured the area I had to put a tank, and I decided on the F250 tank.

The Scout frame rails are made of 2x4 tube, so the tank hangs down only about 3-3/4", it fits between the frame rails with around 3" to spare, but rotated 90 degrees from how it mounts in the F250. This meant it was about 2-3" too long to clear the factory rear cross member and it would be basically right up against the rear bumper. Since I'm familiar with the Pinto I figured that was not an ideal situation. So I cut up a piece of 2x4 1/8 wall tube to make a rear cross member just inside the end of the frame rails and welded it in. Then I cut out the factory cross member and its gussets, cleaned up the area and cut out another piece of 2x4 for the new more-forward cross member. With both welded in the gas tank is now enclosed on all 4 sides by pretty hefty tube. I plan to also create a skid plate to protect the bottom of the tank from rocks.

Now to mount the tank. The tank package I purchased came with the internal pump, fuel sender, but most importantly the straps to hold the tank up. With those in hand I stuck the tank up on some jack stands until I was happy with where it was vertically (basically as crammed up to the floor as I could get it). Then I held up the straps, measured the distance to the frame, and cut out 4 matching standoff brackets and welded them to the appropriate places on the frame. I'm using nutserts to hold the tank straps. The standoffs allow me to just use a nut and bolt if I want, and if the nutserts do anything I don't like I'll probably swap over to nylocks, but for now it's a neat solution with stuff I had handy.

Unfortunately I didn't research my tank as well as I should have and bought the one with the hole in the top for the vapor relief valve. Since I don't need one, I didn't plan to run one, and now my tank has a big ol' hole in the top. I bought a rubber body plug that should work in the hole, but if that doesn't work I do have a valve and grommet that belong there and I can just either cap it or T it into the vent line. The other issue I'll have to deal with when I get back to work is the filler neck. The way I have the tank rotated the fill hole is pointed at my new rear cross member and the floor of the truck bed. There are some options:

  • Notch the frame and have a 90 out of the fill neck in the tank and try to run it to the stock location of the Scout fill neck in front of the driver side rear wheel arch.
  • Mount the fill hole in the floor of bed and make it super short such that the fill nozzle would be basically in the top of the tank.
  • Notch the frame and have the fill neck mounted in the rear tail panels below the tail light on either side.

While the floor option would be super easy, I worry I'd lose some of the venting ability of the fill neck cut so short, and having to stuck the filler straight in the tank would likely result in gas all over the bed everytime I fill up. The other options require notching the frame and probably the body which wouldn't be super easy. I'd love some thoughts on any other crazy ideas you guys might have. I'll upload what pictures I have on my phone when I get a chance, but I'm on vacation right now so I can't walk out and take measurements or take any new pictures of the truck until I get back.

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