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I am a new SCOUT 80 owner.  

I have a very low mileage 1963 SCOUT 80.   Almost all original equipment.  Truck is reliable, (so far) & driving is fun, but challenging.  Very noisy.  Top cruising speed is about 50.  So stay off the freeway.  The old three speed does shift like an old truck.  Need both hands to steer.  Do need tob stand on the breaks to stop fast.   Other than all that it is fun to drive.  I can see why the Scout 80 was upgraded in later years.   Scout 80 I bought had the Myers plow as an option.  Plow is off the vehicle - extra weight.

Still trying to figure out what all the knobs are for.   I seem to have more knobs than what is shown in the manual. The knob on the dash with a "T" seems to be a throttle.   Got me thinking, maybe I got cruise control on my 63 Scout.   Just get into 3rd gear and pull out the hand throttle and see what happens, or not!!!  Hope my insurance company doesn't read this.

Love the old wipers.  Not sure if the heater works, would think that if it was used as a snow plow it would have a good heater.  Have original seats.  No passenger side mirror.  Lap belts look like an after-market add on item.  Muffler located under passenger side floor gets burning hot & melts plastic under seat.  Also why do I have a Briggs & Stratton key for my SCOUT?  Why upgrade?  

Want to hear from other SCOUT 80 owners.

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SoCal Scout...I'd like your fellow Scout 80 owners to share, too!  I remember these early I-H Scouts well.  You describe the 3-speed, its much the same as the Jeep T90, no synchromesh on 1st gear or reverse, so stop the vehicle before shifting to low gear.  Otherwise, you'll be replacing the counter gear and first gear.  Much like the Jeep CJ, the 80's closed knuckle Spicer front, drum brakes and a Ross cam-and-lever steering gear do not make a recipe for quick stops or great handling.  The upgrades to a Scout 80 follow much same approach as a vintage Willys/Kaiser era Jeep CJ.

The 80s were largely farm and ranch vehicles if 4WD.  It would be the Scout 800, 800A/B and Scout II that gradually transformed the Scout into a modern SUV with power and a multipurpose chassis.  The 80 is a rugged workhorse, the 152 and later 196 fours proving remarkable durable with high torque for their displacement.  The 152 was half of an I-H 304 OHV V-8;  the 196 was half of the 392 OHV V-8.  Tough for their size, I liked the 80 for its slant four and strong frame.  Axles, steering and brakes did need to improve for highway use.

In the fifties and sixties, Koenig and  Ramsey PTO winches were still popular in commercial settings, oil fields and mining work.  Your Spicer Model 18 transfer case, similar to the CJ Jeep, has a power take-off that can power these vintage winches and other field implements...The Meyers plow was popular.  Do you have the pieces?

The T-knob was likely a hand throttle.  Unlike cruise control, it sets a fixed carburetor throttle valve position.  If you set the hand throttle high, the engine won't slow down until you push the T-knob!  Today, NHTSA, EPA and DOT would never allow a hand throttle from a highway safety or tailpipe emissions standpoint.

Check the exhaust piping and muffler with an infrared, non-contact thermometer when the engine is fully warmed or after driving.  Make sure the muffler is not overheating from being clogged.  When the 152 had a hand choke, these engines built up a lot of soot in the exhaust system.  Otherwise, maybe the exhaust system has been routed too close to the floorboard.  Be sure the exhaust tailpipe exits at the rear of the Scout.

 So what's the plan here?  Stock restoration, upgrades or modifications?  Each option can be fun and interesting.  The only weak link in the earliest 80 models is the rear axle.  Jeep CJs used a stout Spicer 44 while the early Scout 80 had a smaller Spicer rear axle similar to the 27 front axle.  Rear axle shafts and the differential did not hold up well until introduction of the Spicer 44.  If you're fortunate enough to have the Spicer 44 rear axle, that's a real plus.  Take a peek.

If you decide to modernize the Scout 80, there are very specific ways to upgrade from the older technology.  This 80 chassis and gear train (brakes, steering, transmission/transfer case and axles) have a striking similarity to the period's Willys/Jeep vehicles.  Like a Jeep, restoring an 80 to stock original condition could be exciting and productive;  however, the speed ceiling would be 60 or so mph even with taller axle gearing or oversized tires.  A build-up or restoration is really up to your taste, the planned use and budget. 

Scout 80 axle gearing was usually 4.27 ratio with 3.73 and 4.88 options available.  The Meyers plow may have dictated a 4.88 option.  Check the axle tags for ratios.  If 4.88, that would explain the cruising speed.  50 mph would also be prudent for the vintage 9" drum brakes and Ross steering!   If thoroughly restored, a workhorse 80 model would be reasonably safe at 55 mph.  (It likely could go faster but would be a handful.)  At a minimum, an 11" drum brake conversion would be smart. 

Let us know your plans...Fellow owners and 4x4 enthusiasts will enjoy hearing more about your "new" Scout 80!  Other 80 owners, please share your experience.



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Moses Ludel   

I really appreciate your comments.   I love this Scout 80 and want to keep it as original as possible.  Had only 3,800 original miles when I purchased it in 2021 and it drives like a new 1963 SCOUT.   In great running condition.  This SCOUT was kept by a trucking company in a large city.   It is possible that it may have only been used in the yard.  Low top speed with a snow plow attached could have deterred previous owners from using it as a runabout vehicle. 

I plan to use it as a runabout vehicle for now, but would like to head to the mountains now or then.  Have a feeling that most Scout 80s have been modified.  Currently have only driven short distances maybe 10 miles from home.   I still have the snow plow mechanism but without the actual plow attached to it.  

So far no issues on surface streets with 45 MPH speed limits.   Tight turns are difficult (a hand full).   Also yes must be completely stopped to downshift to 1st gear.  I do like driving the vehicle just the way it is now, with the 3 speed and 4.88 axle gearing.   Was thinking of changing to a 4 speed if possible or adding an overdrive if possible.   Sounds like changing the rear axle to a 3.73 ratio would help with top speed.  Vehicle is 4WD.  I have the 1963 build sheet at home so I should be able to see what was installed.  Power steering and a brake conversion would be nice but I am getting used to what I have. 

I an not letting anyone else drive the SCOUT.  It is a handful sometimes.   Handful like, avoid hard left turns, especially without wearing a lap belt.   Slid right off the factory installed drivers bucket seat onto the floor.  Good thing I kept both hands on the steering wheel for a quick recovery.   

I have the steel travel top (good for winter) and it is a WALKTHRU unit with the bench seat.   Looking forward to taking the top off next summer.   Also the only paint or body work done to the vehicle is the in the driver side floor well due to rust.  Seems to be metal all around because it is just now starting to show signs of rust.  Don't want to repaint but want to stop the rust.



Anyone else out there want to share info on their SCOUT 80.


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SoCal Scout...YOU HAVE A PRIZED SCOUT AT THAT ORIGINAL CONDITION AND MILEAGE!  What a find.  This 4x4 is a prime candidate for a thorough maintenance service and inspection followed by keeping it as original as possible.  Unless you have plans for a modernized 4x4 or restomod Scout, your 80 would be just fine in stock condition.  A copy or reprint of the I-H shop manual for your model, plus access to parts schematics, would be valuable guides for preserving the Scout and its originality.

Areas that may need attention given the storage time:  grease and oil seals, belts, hoses and other rubber parts.  I would pay close attention to the brake hydraulic cylinders, brake hoses, powertrain and axle seals, suspension/spring bushings and body rubber grommets.

I'm always excited about Scouts and I-H trucks.  The Scout 80 and 800 models were popular during my high school years at Gardnerville/Minden, Nevada.  Meneley Motors sold I-H trucks, farm implements and, of course, the Scout.  Your 80 was popular with ranchers, the ideal companion for a fleet of medium duty I-H work trucks and I-H Farmall equipment.  Scout half-cab 4x4s were often seen churning through deep snow or across muddy ranch fields with bales of hay stacked high in the bed for hungry and stranded cattle.  This was a common scenario at Carson Valley.

At the early end of my automotive career, as a truck fleet mechanic I maintained several postwar to early sixties I-H trucks and Metro Vans.  A coworker had a 1961 Scout 80 that he drove regularly to the Anza-Borrego Desert, typically up Grapevine or Coyote Canyons.  I had a Jeep CJ-3A at the time, stock/restored, that also saw use on these trails.  100" wheelbase Scout 80s were notably on the Rubicon Trail in the sixties and held their own.  The stretched Kaiser Jeep CJ-6 was 101".  These vehicles had much in common. 

Before the Dauntless V-6 CJ, the Scout had a performance edge.  For real novelty, there were optional turbocharged 152 slant fours in 1965-67 80s and 800s.  I-H was years ahead with this truck engine, though marketing and maintenance issues led to the 152 and 196 being replaced with a naturally aspirated 232/258 inline six (AMC outsourced just like the period Jeep J-truck offering) and I-H's own 266/304/345 OHV V-8s.

Rust was a scourge for these vintage vehicles.  I have seen Scouts from all model years with various degrees of rust.  Midwest road salt or a corrosive work environment has ruined many otherwise fully intact Scouts.  There are notable areas that form rust on the different generation Scout models.  Floorboard rust is not unusual.  Where was your Scout stored and used for all those years?  From your description of non-highway use, even if used for snow plow service, the 80 may have been spared salt road and other corrosive damage.  If so, you'll be a very happy camper!


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