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:happyfinger:Well, maybe not your ultimate hunting rig, or mine, but it IS my customers idea of a perfect backcountry explorer and base for his hunting forays into the remote areas of AZ, and other spots throughout the SW. I am midway thru the fabwork on this build, and with the number of scouts on this forum I thought you guys might be interested in some aspects of the build.

Overview:

Base: 1976 Traveler 2wd, converting to 4wd
Drivetrain: 2005 GM 6.0 HO, Hughes 4l60E, Dana 300.
Axles: rear: Currie 35 spline 9" w ARB, front: J-10 dana 44 w/ ARB, chromoly axles and CTMs
Tires & suspension: 35" MTR's, long travel spring under.


I know, I know...why no 4BT!? We actually discussed it at length as the initial option. Being an avid bowhunter, it was the sheer noise factor that turned him off to it. The plan right now is to keep this as quiet as possible. His other main concern was that diesel is still sometimes hard to find in the corners of AZ, he had already run his diesel truck out of fuel on a hunting trip because the gas staions did not have diesel...


Goals: The Scout need to comfortably, and reliably, carry up to 4 people through the rough AZ trails and fireroads. It needs to be capable of Rubicon and Moab, but not a purpose built rockcrawler. It will be used as a base camp for long, remote hunting trips, needs to support 1 person self sustained for at least 1 week. Some of the more remote areas, and good hunting areas, of AZ lay near our border with Mexico, so parts have been chosen based on their long term reliability and durability they give the truck. The truck will be built with a low COG for ease of entry, and blasting down fireroads, with plenty of protection.

Here is the truck as it sits in my shop today:



Motor has been mounted mocked up into position and mounts are tacked in place, ready for finish welding.





 

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I also built custom mounts and shroud for the Ron Davis Radiator, should be plenty to keep this motor cool. It is also getting the biggest ac unit and condensor that vintage air makes, so the mech fan and shroud is pretty much a requirement.



 

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if you hit something that makes your hood fly open there is a bigger chance it will flap back shut---kind of like a regular car door and not like a suicide door....bob
 

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also those scouts are tough trucks----a few years ago i took my kid to see the monster trucks at the coliseum---at an intermission they trotted out the local talent---out of 10 trucks running every ford with the independent axle broke and all the blazers fell to the side---the last guy running laps was a stock looking scout....bob
 

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My 76 traveler was 2wd when I started. It is getting a 4bt. It's going to be a fuel squeezer though, 3.07 gears. Nice welding btw.
 

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I know, I know...why no 4BT!? We actually discussed it at length as the initial option. Being an avid bowhunter, it was the sheer noise factor that turned him off to it. The plan right now is to keep this as quiet as possible. His other main concern was that diesel is still sometimes hard to find in the corners of AZ, he had already run his diesel truck out of fuel on a hunting trip because the gas staions did not have diesel...
wasn't there any WVO available? :D

actually, the vortec is one of the few gassers i still like...
 

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if you hit something that makes your hood fly open there is a bigger chance it will flap back shut---kind of like a regular car door and not like a suicide door....bob
If I hit something that hard, I am not sure I want to see what happens next!


My 76 traveler was 2wd when I started. It is getting a 4bt. It's going to be a fuel squeezer though, 3.07 gears. Nice welding btw.
Thanks! I have a 6bt set aside for my project...I am definitely all for diesels in this kind of project.
I respect his choice for ease of parts sourcing in the middle of nowhere, cheap power, etc. I also think for this kind of usage, I would be doing alot more upgrades to deal with the weight of the 4bt( bigger shocks, bigger axles, bigger trans, bigger tcase.) I have seen enough blown up 4l60's, Dana 300's, and bent up grenaded 44's I would be hesitant to put those behind a 4bt in this kind of usage.

I think for milder use, those parts would probably hold up fine...but I like to build stuff at least a touch overkill...





wasn't there any WVO available? :D

actually, the vortec is one of the few gassers i still like...
345 hp and 380 lb ft in a junkyard package is hard not to like. :happyfinger:


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Anyways, this is the crossmember that supports the front of a belly pan, and connects the 2 motor mounts. You can also see how tight the front driveshaft is going to be to the tranny pan; some pan mods are going to be required to run a decent diameter front driveshaft.




Scout frames have some really strong rails, but are really lacking in crossmembers, especially for something so long. The transmission crossmember mount needs to be removeable, so to keep it strong, it wraps around the frame, bolts into threaded sleeves on the bottom, and tubes pierced thru the frame at the top. The trans mount is a seperate piece, allowing for 3 point mounting of the drivetrain, and allows the crossmeber to be a rigid member of the frame.








And here is the weld in crossmember behind the dana 300. It will support the back of the belly pan, and leaves plenty of room to pull the tcase without dropping anything else. You can also see how big the tunnel is. Completely flat belly, no need to clock the tcase. Dana 300 was completely gone thru by Joe at 4wheelers.

 

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A few ideas if your interested for the interior. I am also a member of a scout forum binder planet and on there is a guy that put 3 rows of seats from a mini van. The seats were leather and the second row was caption chairs like the front, it fit real good lots of room. If your curious it's in the diesel section under free fuel and he installed a 4bt with fuel tank heaters for wvo, it's a sweet truck.
Another is what I'm doing which is trading the rear seat out of a short scout 2 because the seat is notched for the wheel well. That way I can slide the seat back a good deal. Then I plan on cutting the floor and adding foot room. Just thought I would share if you want something a little different.
 

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The interior of this is going to be bare bones...rhino lining and the bare necessities. I actually moved the rear seat fwd just a bit, so the customer could sleep in the bed when the seat is folded up. The main passengers for the rear seats are under 36" tall right now, and with the front seat all the way back, the 6' + customer can still comfortable sit in the back, and have more than enough room in the drivers seat. He wants to keep the factory seats for the "vintage" feel, but they will be redone with bolsters and such for more support offroad. If it was mine, i would run this seat: http://www.mastercraftsafety.com/bajars.php I love those seats for this kind of application.

And besides that, I like everything boring; I never want something a "little different".:happyfinger:

A sneak peak of the interior:



 

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I am trying to kind of get everything up to where I am at today, so sorry if stuff kind of jumps around.

Scouts have itty bitty fenderwells, and I wanted to fit a 35 inch tall tire with minimal lift. But still keep travel. And fit one of the taller engine packages around. Sounds reasonable, huh:)

So basically, motor positioning is critical, especially in relation to the front axle. In this case however, the front axle location was determined almost completely by how it would stuff into the wheel well at ride height, and which side I could cut more out of. I started be mocking up the motor where it would fit, and slid it over to the driver's side as far as I could. This would give more clearance for the exhaust to clear tcase, and more importantly, would give more clearance between oil pan and diff, and driveshaft to tranny pan. Luckily, the scout engine bay and tunnel are huge, so only an exhaust manifold change was required after the axle was mocked up into place at full compression.

I set about sourcing a front end as this scout had none. A dana 44 built up would handle his needs, and allow me to reuse his knuckles out from the 2wd axle. I wanted something wider for more stabilty, and something to offset the front diff more to the passenger side, also to help with the driveshaft clearance to the trans pan. I stumbled upon a brand new, unused J-10 housing in the junkyard behind 4wheelers Supply. It had been sitting in a crate for the past 30 years, still had a spicer tag on it and inner axle seals covered in cosmoline! Huge score, and turned out to be perfect for this build.

For the front suspension, I set about sourcing a more modern, off the shelf spring for the front. I wanted to soften the spring rate, gain travel and road manners, and not lose approach; all while keeping the simplicity of leafs. I like to use off the shelf springs for easy replacement if the need should arise, rather than one off custom springs. It looked like Rancho wagoneer springs would be pretty close to what I wanted, length wise and spring rate. They may need a little bit of final tuning, but should be pretty close; they are also wider and longer than the stock springs. I would have to build custom spring hangers, but I was already planning on shackle reversal...


Front spring hanger, 1/4 and 1/8 plate, still maintains a good approach angle. The waggie spring will also allow me to run much bigger bolts and bushings.



This pic you can see the springs pulled apart to allow the suspension to cycle. You can also (barely) see the wide bushing on the top side of the hanger. This accounts for the spring offset from the frame, but also decreases the sway from shackle, bettering handling.



Here you can see how close the front diff gets at full compression. I will also add a 3rd bump stop on the pinion pad to keep the pinion from rotating up under hard hits. (If the pinion rotates up, it could cause the dshaft to interfere with the trans pan.)

 

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Here is a pic of the drivers side at full compression, checking clearances. You can see the bump stop mounts bottomed out at metal to metal. In the interests of budget and simplicity, poly bump stops will be used. The steering box was rebuilt by Benchworks, a good shop here in Phx, and upgraded for a faster steering ratio. I also reinforced the box mounts onto the frame, and positioned the bilstein shocks.




All in all, I ended up with 10" travel in the front, should feel pretty good for its intended use. I also left plenty of room to step up to some 2.5 if he feels the need to later...






Suspension at full flex
 

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Alright, I just got back from vacation, time to get back on the Scout...or at least finish catching this thread up to present time...


The front axle is actually out right now, being completely rebuilt and stuffed with ARB, alloy axles, and CTM u joints. I will finish up the front suspension pics once I get this axle back in...

The next thing that I started to take care of was the roll cage. I personally feel that any offroad vehicle being used seriously should at least consider a cage, and one's with fiberglass convertible tops, it should be mandatory! The last thing this customer wanted, however, was something that took away interior space, or "made it look like a racecar". He wanted something for very basic roll protection, something to bring his truck up to a little more modern safety standards.

We decided to do a simple 6 pt cage, mounting the seats and belts off of the cage.

Main structure is built out of 1.75 .120 dom.

A pillar mocked up. All the factory switches still work, glovebox is fully functional, ebrake and kick vents still work. The a pillar actually welds down the cowl, and sheet plates tie it to the body to stiffen everything up.




Final product.. All of the floor plates are 3/16, and tie into all of the factory body bracing/ body mounts.




Seat mount

 

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Here is the B pillar back, you can also see the tabs that are the start of the roof rack mounts.






Here is a shot of the seat belt mounts and roof rack mount

 

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The roof rack is mounted with 4 9/16 bolts clamping a DOM steel sleeve penetrating the double walled fiberglass roof, solid mounting the rack to the cage. The orange stuff is high temp silicon that seals the hole and provides "suspension" for the roof, allowing the roof to move freely separate from the cage and rack.

Top side of the mount


I then built a framework out 1.5 .090, and "rolled" it to match the contour of the roof





Close to the end.



The cross braces are 1.25, and 2x2 wire mesh welded in.



I still need to make mounts for the stuff up there...but I need to get the "stuff" first.
 

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Next up was the rocksliders. It definitely needed them because of its low stance, and the rear mounts needed to be stout to double as the basis for the new, longer rear spring mounts. I cut out the mounts out of .25 inch plate, then boxed them in with .125. The rear mount is also internally boxed where the rear hanger mounts integrate.



Here you can see the mounts positioned on the frame near the crossmembers, to help keep the frame from flexing under load.



The rail itself is .250 wall sqaure tubing, the idea was for it to "disappear"...



This is the one that will be part of the new spring hanger. Rear springs are being swapped out for longer, wider rear springs.

 

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the detailing on the roof-rack mounting sounds really good, i like the "suspension" setup...
Thanks rooster, it was the only way I could see supporting a lot of weight on the roof rack. Now, the only flex I get is out of the tubework itself--almost none!

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