From Tue Apr 15 22:57:53 1997
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 20:14:43 -0600 (MDT)
From: Tom Mandera
Subject: Re: Gettin' a Scout

> I'm looking for some advice about IH... what better place to get
> it than the IH list? :)
> I'm looking to reduce or eliminate the smog law (Colorado) headaches,
> so I figger I'll look for a late 60's - early 70's IH. I'm not even sure what
> all models IH was putting out then, but I'm lookin for a short wheelbase (Scout
> don't care much for creature comforts... those can be added/fixed/forgotten
> about. I'm looking for the years that had the best running gear, best standard
> transmissions, and most reliable BIG v8s.
Alright.. here we go again! :-)

IMHO, here's the low-down.

Smog - I don't think it should be a huge problem, even in CO.. when the laws got stricter, IH made the Scout II a 3/4 ton rig, to avoid all that (more later).

Denver - Denver has to be one of the best places to be if you're a Scout lover.. more Scouts per capita, and lots of spare parts / mechanics.

Scout IIs were built from '71 to '80. The "best" years are 75+, with 1980 having some very good traits, too.

From '71 to '73, Scout IIs came with Dana 44 rear ends, and Dana 30 fronts (I think the 44 was optional on the front), and DRUM brakes all around.. my '72 has a Dana 30 with drums up front.. I *thought* it stopped pretty darn well for a 2.5ton truck, and it'll still lock the wheels up before it'll stop.. but apparently my brake shoes are GONE, and the drums are scored bad.. my recently acquired '77 Scout II w/ power brakes & discs, stops on a dime.. except I keep wanting to go through the windshield.. ;-)

'74 Scouts had Dana 30s with DISC brakes.. much better.

BTW, '74+ all came with Power brakes, too (correct me if I'm wrong!)

75+ came with the Dana 44 front end, and Dana 44 rear end, with Disc brakes up front. THIS is what you want. 6200lbs GVWR.. a 3/4 Ton (Take that, J**pers!)

3spds were available all years, Chrysler's TorqueFlight 727 was used, but there are a few early ('71-72?) Scout IIs with some strange Borg-Warner auto tranny. 4spds were the non-syncro 1st gear T18 from '71 to '74(or 75?), 4:1 close ratio 1st, or 6:1 wide 1st gear (6:1, then 3:1 for 2nd or so), 75+ used the T19, syncro 1st, close or wide ratio. I haven't confirmed the wide-T18 being used in Scouts yet..

The Dana 20 t-case was standard from '71 to '79.. WATCH OUT for Scouts with a knob on the dash, to the right of the column.. single speed Chain-drive 'case.

Oh, one nice thing about early Scout II's.. my '72 has the same spot on my dash (where a single speed tcase knob would go), but it's labeld "throttle" for the optional hand-throttle.

Anyhow, the one overall shining quality of the 1980 Scout II was the Dana 300 t-case.. the Dana 20 has a 2:1 low range, while the Dana 300 has the 2.6:1 low. Oh, and the 1980s had rectangular headlights.. easy to spot!

The gear ratio of choice seems to be about a 3.73, or a 3.54.. if you want to run tall tires, look for one with 4.11s or deeper.. the Dana 44 carrier changes if you want 3.92 or deeper, or 3.73 or taller.

Some 1980 (and '79?) Scouts came with *2.72* gears.. very tall... good highway cruisers anyhow..

76+ introduced the Terra/Traveler Scout IIs.. take your standard Scout II with a 100" wheelbase, and stretch it 18 inches.

The Traveler has the full length top, while the Terra has a "half-cab" top that comes down just behind the driver, in a pickup configuration.

Rust - check the rear fenders, and especially important look at the front cab mounts.. sitting in the truck, look at your feet, then go over the door. Just in front of the door, the L of the body/floor, it usually rusts through from the fender into the cab.. $700 to get it fixed!

The V8s.. I think the I-6 258 (commonly found in J**ps) was the standard motor, but most people opted for the 304V8.. very common. Less common was the 345V8. I've never driven a 345 to compare to my 304.. not much more HP, but more Torque. NEVER an option, but some people like to swap in an IH392.. the 392 was used in the bigger pickups, and later in school buses and 2Ton dump trucks, etc. A bolt in swap.. more torque, more hp.

Other engines.. the 196 4cyl isn't as anemic as I had feared.. with 4.11 gears it gets around pretty well.. no 1/4 mile winner like my 304 tries to be, but.. good 'nuff. Also, 76+(?) had a 6cyl Nissan diesel.. strong engine, generally lasts a good while, but underpowered.

The 304/345/392 should run a good 200k miles, and get around 10mpg. (I got 16mpg in my 304/3.73/29" tires once, with the top off, going 45mph on the highway the whole way). The diesel.. 25mpg?? I know the 4cyl gets about 18mpg when geared right, and I'm not sure on the 6cyl, but probably around 15mpg or so.

Redline on all the IH motors is 4000rpm (the AMC 2586cyl is around 6k).. note that, 3000rpm * 3.73 gears * 235/75R15 tires = 70mph cruising speed on the highway, 85mph at redline (it *will* do 115mph, trust me..)

Hmm.. what else am I forgetting? Get one with a good hardtop.. they're hard to find, and expensive.

Go meet the guys at Giddum' Up Scout in Colorado Springs.. they will become your friends.

Check out Jim Weed's webpages at for some great tech-tips.

Oh, some Scout IIs came with factory Trac-lok (Limited Slips) in the rear-end.. the jury is still out about how good they trac-lok works, but.. it'll either be an improvement to you when you buy it, or a hindrance when you decide to replace it with a drop-in locker.. a Lock-rite won't go into a Trac-lok equipped axle.

That's enough gab for me now.. maybe this should go on my webpages..

BTW, if you find a T19 4spd and a Dana 20 t'case in your searchs (aka a good, rust bucket parts Scout that I WON'T convince myself I should keep) lemme know.. :-)

-Tom Mandera, Helena MT
'72 Scout II, 304/3spd/D20/D30&D44/3.73s/nobrakes(bad drums)/63k miles/31x10.50" BFG, manual steer, manual brakes
'77 Scout II, 196/3spd/D20/D44&D44/4.11/powerdiscs/120k/235/75R15 retreads. Oh, and a Trac-lok LS!