New concerned and discouraged scout owner

Discussion in 'General IH Tech' started by Rollercam, Apr 8, 2016.


  1. Rollercam

    Rollercam Farmall Cub

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    I am new to the world of scouts and it seems that I may have ignorantly just jumped right in without knowing what I was really getting myself into. I have had several muscle cars, but I was wanting something different. I purchased a 78 scout this past weekend to become a fun weekend cruiser. It does have a 4" lift on it, but I do not plan to ever do any real off-road driving with it. For me, the lift is just for looks. The scout that I bought is a little rough around the edges and I knew it was going to take some money to make it truly road worthy, but after reading things in this forum as well as elsewhere, I am now not sure that it is possible to truly make it "road worthy". Honestly, I have really become discouraged. I was not planning to drive it across the country, but i was hoping to perhaps use it to take the wife and kids to the lake, but the more I read, the more it seems as if these vehicles are unstable, unpredictable, prone to wandering, and really just not meant to take on the highway for any kind of extended mileage trip. Am I wrong? Can a person make a scout reliable and safe? I know it is a scout. I am not expecting it to be like a new Tahoe, but now I am almost scared to even let my kids ride in it around the neighborhood. Are these vehicles that unsound? Should I remove the lifted springs or perhaps go with a 2" lift instead? I know rollovers are always a concern in a short wheel based vehicle with a high center of gravity, but should I just assume that it is going to happen? It has a show bar, that I realize is just that, a " show bar" and not a true roll bar or cage, but it has to better than nothing. Should I truly be hesitant about putting my kids in the vehicle at all? I just bought the scout, but I am already wondering if I should not put any money into it at all and just sell it.
     
  2. hacri

    hacri Farmall Cub

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    As for handling you can buy a straight steer brace and do a cut and turn on your front axel to get positive caster angles.
     
  3. stroker3

    stroker3 Lives in an IH Dealership

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    My stock F350 has a warning which pretty much says that the vehicle is not a sports car and shouldn't be driven like one. I believe everything that can be said is said in those few words.

    If safety is a concern with a lifted scout, then operate the scout, or any other altered or old vehicle with that concern in mind. They don't roll over all by themselves. Have driven stock scouts for years without any worry about rolling it over, but I never enterd off ramps at 65 mph, approach curves at high speeds or weave back and forth changing lanes. They are nothing like a modern vehicle, never will be but I never had any issues doing 70mph for hours on end in normal highway conditions. They will not flip sooner or easier than any other old jeep , bronco , blazer etc.

    Though improvements can be made, expecting to operate a old lifted/ altered short wheel base 4x4 on the highway anywhere near the safety level of a modern vehicle is no different than expecting a lowered pimped out 98 civic to be a great off road vehicle.

    If I was almost afraid to put my kids in a vehicle to drive around the neighborhood right after I bought it, maybe I should have bought something else in the first place
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  4. Mark Aycock

    Mark Aycock High Wheeler

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    If a person, dog, or vehicle pull in front of you, DO NOT SWERVE! Just hit the brakes and hit them as lightly as possible. Also, if off-road, and in an area that is very off camber, make your family get out and walk.
     
  5. Johnnycobra

    Johnnycobra Farmall Cub

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    I think you are reading threads written by people with very specific problems or concerns and maybe assuming all scouts have these "problems" or will.
    making a scout safe and reliable isn't that hard. Making it perfect may be hard.
    there is nothing magical about any parts in a scout, and previous owners can do crazy things.
    if you start with correcting electrical issues, doing a full and correct brake job and getting the parking brake working, you are ahead of the game.
    if your 4" lift is just springs and not a half baked angle-iron welding catastrophe or a partial SOA conversion gone wrong, you should be ok with a good set of tires.

    if you check the rag joint on the steering, ensure the frame isn't cracked at the steering box and install a straight steer I cant see why it wouldn't be safe. In fact, I haven't had to wore about any of those on my scout and it has been around.

    it feels a little loose in the steering, but it is no different than any other classic.

    my 2005 Jeep TJ scared me more with its tendency to bounce around and develop death wobble every time a tire had low air pressure or was unbalanced from mud.
     
  6. Mark Aycock

    Mark Aycock High Wheeler

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    PS. Where are you? If you get too discouraged and the body is fairly rust free, I'll give you $500 and I'll come get it and drive it home to Houston.
     
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  7. Binder Brothers

    Binder Brothers Binder Driver

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    I would remove the lift. Scouts have a short wheelbase and drive best at stock height.
     
  8. BinderBookie

    BinderBookie High Wheeler

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    This is a case of , "It is what it is." You probably don't have the money to reengineer it to meet 2016 safety standards and it really wouldn't be a 'Scout" any more if you did, any more than the new "Grand Wagoneer" is going to have anything but a slight styling resemblance to the SJ of old. We drive the old stuff because we want to relive those thrilling days of yesteryear, not because we are looking for the ultimate in guaranteed safety on the road (if such a thing even exists in any motor vehicle new or old).

    On a practical level, going back to stock and a few common sense upgrades is about all you can do to march that '78 a few steps into the future.
     
  9. RinTX

    RinTX High Wheeler

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    Yes - where are you? There are plenty of folks on here that can help - even relieve you of your mistaken purchase if that is what you want...
     
  10. 76-scout-MATT

    76-scout-MATT High Wheeler

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    welcome to the club .... it may seem overwhelming at first .... drive the scout and see what you think instead of condemning your truck on what you read only.... realize that most posts are people looking to solve a problem that they are having and very few people start a post with wow my scout is awesome and drives great .... it is the nature of most forums that posters are looking to get some help ..... hell ... search "idiot" and a couple hundred threads will pop up and I am in many of them .... it is very possible , by yourself , to get the scout up and running great by knocking down your list of needs one at a time .... trust me I know how frustrating it can be .... and you can not find a better group of people than here on binderplanet .... not sure what the closest club is in Fort Smith, Arkansas where you are but help is not far away ... just out there for the asking .... good luck and post up a pic of your new toy ..... Matt
     
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  11. LoneStarScout

    LoneStarScout Farmall Cub

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    Just got done driving my Scout down the highway on this beautiful spring morning in East TX. Nothing better than a Scout with the top off. My truck is dependable and I never feel unsafe in it. Even at 70 mph I can hold the steering wheel with one hand. These trucks are great, and aren't unsafe if taken care of. Luckily the PO of my Scout was my grandfather and he didnt do any stupid PO fixes. Get the brakes and steering tightened up correctly, get a roll cage professionally fabbed up and enjoy the Scout for what it is


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. kevingweq

    kevingweq Y-Block King

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    Jack up the radiator cap and slide a new SUV under it . Jus kiddin
    Takes $$$'s ,patience and
    Know-how and then some more $$$'s Just like muscle cars
     
  13. fredsterra

    fredsterra Y-Block King

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    A lot of times you have to be a detective and fix the sins for all of the previous owners. If your not going to use it for serious off road use. I would take it back to stock springs. 31" tires will work just fine. Change the caster to about 3* negative for a 4x4. Replace the worn rag joint or change to a Borgeson kit. Plus make sure the drag links and tie rods are in good shape.

    Try to find someone close to you to help find some obvious issues. But with a little handy work they can be made to ride and drive safely and reliably.
     
  14. Mark Aycock

    Mark Aycock High Wheeler

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    When checking the drag links and tie rod ends, also check your ball joints and wheel bearings.
     
  15. Greg R

    Greg R Lives in an IH Dealership

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    I went through this with my current 800. It took years, available time & money. In the end it was worth it. It drives fine, handles fine considering what it is; and I've learned a lot. They don't come broke from the factory. The main criterion I followed was "Get it back to stock". A lot of money for parts and many people just throw stuff on with no knowledge and that all things on a vehicle work as or in a "system". Go stock, learn the basics; and I think you will appreciate it in the long run.
     
  16. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Sounds to me like the Scout would better serve the OP if it was restored to stock suspension, as someone already suggested. Since "weekend cruising" and taking the family to "the lake" are the primary uses, the extra ground clearance and articulation are wasted anyway.

    And since it's got a 4" lift now (of unknown nature) it's probably safe to say that it also has over-sized tires. Maybe 33s? It would probably make sense to ditch those as well and put 31s on the rims. Handling, ride, and braking will most likely improve a bit. So will throttle response.
     
  17. bull

    bull Binder Driver

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    I am not a lift fan on scouts, heeps or any other short wheel base vehicles...the lift can be done but it must be properly done and i would not go over 2inches for a road driver....far as safety you are driving around in a vehicle with steel..a scout will demolish a new prius in short order....point is the scout is probably safer than all the new trash out there today..its a truck and not a slot car racer...drive with smarts...

    Michelle likes 45mph cruise.....of course those mud tires and lack of alignment on my part is not helping...in stock form these lil boogers will take you almost anywhere...my mail lady drove a scout for years and i do not ever remember not getting my mail
     
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  18. 79Traveler

    79Traveler Farmall Cub

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    First, don't stress yourself out. Part of owning a Scout is having periodic meltdowns. I had one on the forum when I was restoring mine. Think of it as part of the charm :yes:
    As for your problem, lifting a scout does mean sacrificing some of your handling. I got my Scout as a kid, and drove it like a pissed off teenager and survived. I also regularly took the boy scouts 200 miles to go camping twice a year, and towed trailers 800 miles with it. After I restored it, and lifted it I did notice a change in the way it handles. Get it checked out by a reputable mechanic to make sure everything is tight, but ultimately you will just have to get a feel for how it goes down the road, and I think you will be just fine once you get a little more comfortable.
     

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  19. Ron A

    Ron A High Wheeler

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    I have been driving my 77 since about 1986. Pretty solid rig. The wife and I will hop in it and do 500 or 600 mile runs just for fun. Your biggest obstacle is probably dealing with Previous Owner Modification. Fortunately we have some good vendors that carry just about everything you could need to make it right again. There was a time when Scout parts and upgrades were much harder to do than they are now. Start at one end and work your way to the other. Make a list. Then just take on one system at a time.
     
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  20. BigRigg

    BigRigg Y-Block King

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    My parents drove around in a scout for many years, toting me around when I was a wee lad, and my sister was in still in diapers. Even scouts with a 4 inch lift are road worthy If all the other components are in good shape. Extended shackles are really what bring out the bump steer. Many a scout travel hundreds of miles to ih gatherings, some even across the country. Lifts will hurt stability somewhat, but more than anything, bad handling comes from worn out parts and/or shoddy work. Bottom line is scouts can be perfectly safe, and fun to drive.

    I'm in west fork, just up the road from ft smith. I'm happy to talk scouts with you, and even lend a hand if you need. My telephone number is 479 4 zero niNE 8 two 8 four.
     

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