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Never Enough Champagne


High Wheeler
Admin, Admin, Admin....

I've finally broken down and decided to document this build. I do so not to even remotely compete with some of the outstanding builds I've followed (e.g., Jay's builds and many, many others) but rather to give back for stealing others' ideas and methods and perhaps, just perhaps, to help someone out going forward. I doubt I can offer any earth-shattering or unique procedures/outcomes in this build, but I should be able to keep a few of you entertained!

So first off, the gals need a quick introduction. And I should preface this by stating that some of the following discussion and/ or photos have already been posted in others' threads. The two Champagnes I own (the Bobbsey twins, Barb and Nancy) have very different histories. Barb has been in the family for 28 years now and is very complete. I purchased her from a friend of mine in 1990 and I'm the second owner. I have been working on "Barb" since last April but just now in documentation mode! Barb will be kept as original as humanly and financially possible.

Nancy is a recent acquisition (summer 2017). I was wheeling in the San Juans and checked out a CraigsList add I saw. She too was rather complete but had essentially no rust (or a working motor for that matter :no:). As I seem to have a soft spot for Champagnes, she followed me home. I stopped by Coonrods on the way home and picked up a new tailgate window which was shot out. I installed said window and then the two door windows which were in the bed, then put a tarp on her for the next few years. Not sure how she will be restored, but with a bit of luck, she will see a second life.

Only pic I have of the Bobbsey twins together (Barb on the left under construction and Nancy on the right as I pulled her home). BTW, the Bobbsey twins, in real life, were a couple of awesome twin sisters I grew up with so I thought I would pay homage to them!


The rest of this thread will be devoted to Barb. Over the next few days or weeks, I hope to bring everyone up to speed on where I'm currently at in the build process.
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High Wheeler
A Blast From the Past....

So somewhere about 2015 when I was flirting with retirement, I began to threaten anyone who would listen that I might restore Barb as one of many post work projects. As I began to get a bit more serious (both about retirement and restoration), I noticed that the "Storage Shed" (aka '64 Scout) and Barb were very different looking on the inside; the Storage Shed being rather plain whereas Barb had some chrome and other fancy things going on. So I started researching these differences and low and behold, I discovered that Barb was indeed a Champagne Series Scout. At that time, I had no idea what that meant, how many were made, value, etc. But along comes the Scout Bible (nicely done BTW Jim and John), and I then had more of an impetus to restore her. For the past few years, I have been trying to learn whatever is available regarding CS Scouts by reading any thread with Champagne in it, the Scout Bible, talking to Phil Coonrod, etc. As has been stated by others, there is not much factual info out there on CS's. My overall conclusion thus far is that CS's were nothing more than a Red Carpet Series with a dye job!

When I said earlier that she was pretty complete, I sh!t you not. The only things missing when I got her were the dash pad and headliner. And that remains the same as of today. So here goes with the pics of Barb right before I started the restoration.

Most of the sheet metal was pretty straight, save for the portions that degraded and fell onto I-70. About two decades ago I did a quick hand sand and applied some primer to the surface rust areas. That lasted perhaps two or three years. I removed the original mirror way back when as the only thing I could see behind me was the semi about ready to pass me! And if one looks closely, she still has the original gas caps. :beer:
left front quarter.jpg

Interior/dash shots illustrating some of the goodies.


dash left.JPG

I asked my son the other day what the spring on the steering column was for; he looked at me like I was from Mars. Damn kids, I guess they keep their registrations on their phones now.

Door panels and carpet are in fair shape; too early to tell if I can repair these or not.

pass inner door panel.JPG
pass carpet.JPG

I've often found it amusing that Jerry's (Scout2000) footer says something like he is going to bring his 800 into the 80's if it's the last thing he does. Well, I'm going to do my best to figure out how to heat emboss vinyl for the seats and door panels or I'm going to run out of cuss words trying to do so!

I was not particularly thrilled with the seats that came with Barb so I had the opportunity to put in some high back cloth seats many years ago from a vehicle who's make I can no longer recall. During my CS "discovery" phase, I went into the Storage Shed and looked at the seats I took out of Barb. I was bummed that they were flat black with no embossing. Then I got a wild hair and took a razor knife to them and here is what I found.

Original driver seat back.JPG
Original back seat front view.JPG

The reason I purchased the Storage Shed in the first place was that it had a recently rebuilt 196. So Barb received a transplant and the Storage Shed lost about 20 hp. Notice the original Moonstone Blue paint on the hood/firewall that I started cleaning. Too bad the exterior was repainted, but thankfully only once.


And my favorite pic that's been posted a few times....

LST glove box.JPG

Next up, the build (or more correctly, the disassembly) begins.
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High Wheeler
Hey Doc, I Need To Refill My Patience Pill Rx....

I started this project with a limited business plan (read, don't have a clue), and by enlarge, nothing has changed almost a year later! I should have stated earlier that mechanically, this CS was and is in (relatively) very good condition. All of the major components worked well less the mandatory oil leaks. If I recall correctly, the only items that were not functional were the headlight/bright light icon did not illuminate on the gauge and the left turn signal did not cancel. Oh, and the e-brake froze up.

I removed the nose and fenders right off the bat. While I only needed assistance a couple of times with a few of the bolts that were completely frozen and/or stripped, this went fairly easily. Perhaps one of the most important things I learned very early on was not to get too excited and to not invent additional :censored: words. Removal of the headlight guts, grill, and latch were straight forward. However, the marker lights were so frozen that I'm surprised they finally broke free. Eventually.....

During this time frame, I had an unexpected screw up (the first of maybe 2K thus far); I was driving her around without the nose and thus the hood latch. Even though I figured the hood couldn't possibly lift up as we all know they weigh a ton, I apparently hit the required speed for lift to occur and behold, I had no forward visibility. Thankfully, the dents from the hood kissing the windshield/top were minimal. I wish I took some photos of my repair, but basically I built a mirror image of the windshield/top out of wood, placed it in the engine bay, and closed the hood on this jig. Dents 99% gone.

Next I tackled the rear end, specifically bumper removal. During the almost three decades that I've owned Barb, the only major boo boo I put into her was backing into something which bent the bumper, and quarter panel and end cap. As it turned out, this also bent the rear bed cross member a tad.

Rear quarter panel brace before, during, and after repair.



My high-tech rear cross member straightening method. Don't try this at home!

And on an unrelated note and for S&G's, I took a pic of Nancy and the Storage Shed the other day as they sit in the back 40. The reason the hood is propped open on the Storage Shed is that a couple of years ago, I popped the hood and found about 10,000 pine cones in just about every nook and cranny in the engine bay. Now that it's somewhat open to the elements, the squires have to fine a new stash location. Hopefully not in Nancy!
Nancy-Storage Shed.jpg


High Wheeler
Paint Removal 101....

During May, June, and July of 2017, I began stripping the paint off the outer body and took out the seats, carpet, etc. Like pretty much everything I've done to date, I tried to research what others have done to come up with a game plan. Usually it gives me a headache as there is either too much info or not enough. Either way, I've learned that there is no step-by-step big-picture guide to Scout restoration as, surprise, every one is unique! Maybe we can talk Jim Allen into another project....

I experimented with multiple ways to bring the sheet metal down to bare metal, none of which were clearly superior. However, what I ended up doing was to chemically strip the 35 year old paint and the 53 year old original paint the first go around, then remove the bulk of the factory primer with a second application. I used Zip-Strip as I had a gallon of that animal sitting around for many years. Jumping ahead, when it was time for another gallon, the newer version of said stripper was not nearly as effective and took three if not four rounds to get to primer. I found that using a poly carbonate disc/wheel in an angle grinder was the best compromise in taking what was left to bare metal quickly without leaving too many large scratches that would require massive filler primer.

Barb's nose after stripping.
front end 1.jpeg

And some pics of the carpet and apparently what came with RCSs (??) and CSs.
driver carpet.JPG

pass carpet removed.JPG

pass sound dead.JPG

While I cannot speak with authority, my guess is that these were all original based on the CS brochures that I have that list the individual items that make them Champagnes (and RCS). The red seats ended up in Nancy as she came with Ford seats that quickly filled up the trash cans.

I continued stripping the fenders, quarter panels, tailgate, and doors as motivation allowed. Pretty much the same procedures as noted above. I noticed that the doors were significantly harder to strip down to metal, like if the factory baked the paint longer or??? Anyone else observe this?



Noticed a nice crack in the tailgate, presumably due to one of several ?? spare tire mounts over the years. That repair will test my welding skills!

I also took off the door panels. Very good write ups but none that I found with pictures (for those of us that are highly impaired). First step was to remove the arm rest, then the window/door crank handles, and finally the door panel itself.



That little darn pin is a PITA to bugger out.


Success. The first panel took a hour or two to remove; the second perhaps 20 mins :banana: Interesting clips IHC used to hold the panels onto the doors. I reckon that plastic clips were not yet invented or IHC had some extra materials they needed to get rid of.



High Wheeler
To Steer or Not to Steer....

I took a minor break from body work to rebuild Barb's steering gear and drag link before she went into hibernation. While not really too bad in reality, psychologically it felt like there was 90 degrees of play in the steering wheel! I ultimately elected to have the steering gear rebuilt by Rock Auto who subbed it out to Lares Corp. as I felt that trying to source all the parts and specialty tools was too much work. I paid some $330 for the rebuild that ended up being money well spent. Current tip: I noticed the last time I was on Rock Auto's site that the same rebuild is now closer to $275.
steering gear1.JPG


IIRC, other then a quick greasing here and there, I never dove into the drag link during my ownership. Turns out the external grease containment system (felt pads) was shot, but the internals (e.g., balls and seats) were nearly in "mirror like" condition and the springs were in one piece. Has anyone priced the cost of drag link springs and seats lately? Wow! Anyways, the grease inside the drag link ends was so hard, it might have taken a jackhammer to clean them up :whistling:




While the resulting steering operation/feel following the rebuilds was not quite that of a Porsche, it made a huge difference. I'll have to keep my eyes open for those elusive IH/Porsche steering wheels so I can put her on the track at some point! That is if I can figure out how to get her over 60 mph without driving down I-70.


High Wheeler
Hey Ladies and Gentlemen, Wanna Buy Some Snake Oil, Err I Mean PBlaster....

The end of the summer found me trying to remove the doors and attempting to make room for Barb inside our garage/shop for the cooler months among other things. Before, during, and after door removal, I sprayed most nuts and bolts throughout Barb with the go-to product multiple times over multiple days and weeks to loosen these up, at least in theory. Pretty sure I'm on my third can. I was pleasantly surprised to easily remove the 12 screws that hold the doors and hinges together. Nothing a P-4 bit in a small impact wrench couldn't take care off. But removal of the door hinges from the body was a different story. Seven of the 12 screws were so frozen that the heads stripped out before they moved. This tested my sanity and skills big time. I ended up drilling out these problem children. Most of the strike plate and door latch screws were cooperative. When the time comes to remove the tailgate, I think I'll try to weld a nut onto the screw head assuming that the heads will strip out first.




Looking back over my notes (being an ex scientist/hydrogeologist I tend to document things), I didn't do much with Barb in August. A bit later, the boss lady and I did, however, spend weeks cleaning and organizing the second garage/stall to make room for my gal. What a CF that was. It was pretty much a wood shop for the almost 30 years we had this house and it never saw a vehicle. To this day, I can't find didly squat. I did find, as a fun fact, an old key ring with maybe 25 keys on it. Mostly, I had no recollection what nearly all of them went to so I started throwing them out. And then, look what I found. How cool is this? I certainly forgot I ever had such a key! And matching number with the LST! BTW, I owned a MGB in high school. A perfect vehicle for a student who hated school; I had to work on it all week just to drive it around on the weekends! And I'm waiting to see how perceptive some of you are.

Orig key.jpg

The boss lady who pretty much could care less about anything with four wheels and certainly Scouts, suggested that I get the bumpers chromed or re-chromed sooner then later as the cost of such will never go down. I called numerous chroming shops and was somewhere between highly discouraged and flabbergasted as to the cost. Finally, I did find a shop that was somewhat reasonable in their charges, so I completed some preliminary work such as rough straightening and plug welding some 15 plus holes before I sent them off to save a few bucks. I think holes in bumpers multiply faster then rabbits. BTW, the second set of bumpers are for Nancy. Purchased those from Nozmoky here on BP (thanks Steve!).


Next up was fuel tank draining/removal, but I'm now drained so I need to honor beer thirty!
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High Wheeler
What a Gas This Has Been so Far....

I don't thinkI mentioned where my handle ?? "oneof3k" came from. Simply the approximate number of CS Scouts built based on the Scout Encyclopedia. That was before Nancy came around :balloon:. If I had the ability to do it all over again, I would have chosen something like "plays with dolls" based on a response from Dana Strong to some post or another quite a while back in which it was stated that I played with or liked dolls. And if anyone is offended by my smart-a$$ed posts, read no further. These are a tamer version of what I write in our annual Christmas letters in which I hit political and other taboo subjects pretty hard!

As I was getting anxious to start some real work (addressing the cancer), I thought it might be wise to remove one of the major hazards during cutting/welding: gasoline. Before I did, I did my best to lower the fuel level in the tanks. Unfortunately, I had removed the seats earlier, so I had to install the only thing available at the time: a leather wrapped, 17 adjustable modes, heated and cooled, power butt-wipe seat. This was perhaps the last drive before Barb went down for a year or two or three or....


Thankfully the DS tank only had a gallon or so in it and the PS a quart or two. That was after the PS tank was driven dry. I guess IH designed a built-in sump for all the crude to accumulate in? Tank removal has been well documented elsewhere so no need to do so here. Once the tanks were pulled, I was very happy to see that the outsides were in very good condition and none, zero, zip, amount of crap was present inside the tanks. I'm guessing that at some point there were filters on the fuel pick ups, but those disappeared like the dodo's.



This seems like an appropriate place to note that some of the DS body was coated in some green stuff, which I'm guessing is some type of zinc-rich anti-corrosion primer? Backtracking a bit, the fuel line fittings broke loose on the PS, but I had no luck with the DS so they were cut. The plan all along is to fab some new fuel and brake lines anyways.

As this is the first morning in quite a while that was above freezing when I woke, it's now time to play!
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High Wheeler
+1 more!! :thumbs up: Really like all the pics so keep those coming!!
Thx for the encouragement Randy and Jay. I take more pics then I know what to do with. Except, as we all know, when you really need to see something you did earlier, then realize later you didn't take any pics of that!


High Wheeler
Seriously Ma, They're Only Pinholes....

It's certainly not too difficult to see some of the cancer issues Barb has in a few of the pics in the above posts. For the most part, both the DS and PS floor pans, inner and outer rockers, kick plates, and rear quarter panels all have some to major rust. And I guess I should add the lower firewalls too. And don't stress sports fans, there's more but those discussions are a bit further down the road. I'm quite certain that I'm the only person that's ever found more cancer after getting started:sweatdrop:. Rather then patching some 458 holes, I thought it best to just replace all this sheet metal. I'm learning in a hurry why most BP members advise newbies looking to buy their first Scout to get one with a good body. Pics below showing the two or three pinholes in the body.

PS firewall, kick plate, inner rocker, and floor pan.

The same for the DS.

bed inside.JPG

For the almost three decades that I've owned her, there was carpet, cardboard, or something that "hid" the cancer. I knew most of it was there, but I just never admitted it!

I had been collecting patches for quite some time knowing that I would be performing some major surgery.



Perhaps the biggest decision I had to make before getting started was: do I take the tub off now or should I complete the sheet metal replacement in-situ? Can't tell everyone how many hours I spent trying to find out the correct answer. Well, there probably isn't a correct answer, but I ultimately decided to repair the cancer with the tub still on the frame, primarily so the body did not shift (as much).

Being a chicken sh!t, I elected to start on the PS. Inner and out rockers were the first off, followed by the floor pan, then the kick plate and finally the lower firewall. Somehow or another, I forget to take pics of the rocker removal, but basically I used a grinding disc to remove the bulk of these panels. I chose to cut the floor pan out by cutting around the edges. I used a grinding wheel when my electric shears couldn't reach or do the job.



Can anyone tell me what that quasi body mount bordered by the muffler and screwdriver is? It certainly was not supporting the floor pan or anything else I saw.

Factory spot welds. It took me a while to figure out an efficient method to break those. I'm sure many people have a much better system, but what worked best (to date) was to take a polycarbonate wheel to remove the paint which usually exposed the spot welds. I then marked these with a sharpie as illustrated in some of the pics. I found though trial and error that if I didn't need a particular piece (e.g., floor pan), I used a spot weld remover.
spot weld drill.jpg

This makes removing the spot welds very quick, but it does leave an approx. 3/8" hole. So if I wanted to save the particular piece I was working on (e.g, those little side covers off the transmission tunnel), I just used a 1/4" or a bit smaller drill bit and went to town by drilling through everything. After drilling of the spot weld was done, I either used an air hammer or a manual hammer and a spot weld removing tool (more or less like a chisel with a 90 degrees bend) to separate the floor pan "strips" from the body.

And the fully removed floor pan.


High Wheeler
I promise that this will be my last post today. The first person to tell me what this "part" is or where it goes will receive a free set of extra drag link felt pads I have.

PS Outer Fuel Tank Support9.jpg

PS Outer Fuel Tank Support10.jpg



Binder Driver
Did you happen to brace anything, with square tubing or something similar to prevent shifting? Just looking for opinions. I've got problems in the same areas you do and I'll be down this road before long.


High Wheeler
I'm far from an expert as I'm figuring things out as I go, but most folks I've seen brace their tubs before removal from the frame, which I plan on doing "down the road". However, if you're asking about bracing the tub during floor pan etc. work, I did not until very recently when I noticed that the floor pans did not quite sit above the body mount while fitting all the sheet metal (the entire tub sagged a bit and was only supported by the transmission tunnel). This is the way it sits currently (which is some three months ahead of where I am in this thread)! I used a bottle jack to raise the tub with the T-shaped 2x4 you can see, then supported the T with a couple of 2x2s so I could remove the jack.

sag bracing.jpg

I have the same brace on the PS, just cannot see that in the pic very well.


Binder Driver
I'm far from an expert as I'm figuring things out as I go, but most folks I've seen brace their tubs before removal from the frame, which I plan on doing "down the road". However, if you're asking about bracing the tub during floor pan etc. work, I did not until very recently when I noticed that the floor pans did not quite sit above the body mount while fitting all the sheet metal (the entire tub sagged a bit and was only supported by the transmission tunnel). This is the way it sits currently (which is some three months ahead of where I am in this thread)! I used a bottle jack to raise the tub with the T-shaped 2x4 you can see, then supported the T with a couple of 2x2s so I could remove the jack.

View attachment 145964

I have the same brace on the PS, just cannot see that in the pic very well.
Cool. I'm learning as I go as well. I like to see what everyone else does, and why. I appreciate the info. Looks good.