1972 IH Scout II Questions - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 12:45 PM
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1972 IH Scout II Questions


I just bought a '72 Scout II 2 days ago. The previous owner began a frame-up restore in 1999 but didn't finish it. He converted it by replacing the stock IH 345 with a Chevy 350. I've got a load of motivation to get this machine in solid off-roading condition by May 27, Memorial Day weekend.

He swapped out the stock 345 V8 and put in a Chevy 350. He has very few miles on that setup so it hasn't really been off-road tested. The 350 has less torque than the 345 did, but it has more horsepower.

The main concern / fix I need to address as the squirreliness it has driving down the road. It's all over the road to the point that it's dangerous. It all of a sudden pulls to the left and right. The axles are the stock Dana 44's - front and back. It has a 9 year old 2.5" suspension lift. It also has helper springs (additional spring in each to stiffen it up). The leaf springs are under the axles. There isn't any type of an anti-sway bar and someone said I can get different shackels for the leaf springs and an anti-sway bar will attach to them. I'm thinking: 1) Add this anti-sway bar (where would I find one?), 2) Remove the helper springs, 3) make sure I don't have a bent axle or wheel, and 4) Get it re-aligned. Am I going down the right road?

I've heard some hype about leaf-over-axle custom conversions, but don't know anything about it. I'm happy with the height of the 2.5" lift, happy with running 33"s, and am wondering if the leaf-over setups only pertain to situations where you want a lot of lift. What are the benefits of them? Do they provide better handling/ articulation? And, what about the steering rods - do they need to be replaced during that process? I didn't see how they'd be long enough or how they'd keep from getting bound up in the leaf springs.

Also, the guy told me the transmission and transfer case were stock. He also said the transmission is a Torqueflite 727 and that they're tried and true. I didn't know what kind of a transfer case it was. Anyone know? Is there a common one people upgrade it to?

The drive shafts are stock too. I may consider replacing them, if they're at a potential breaking point, and then keeping the originals as spares. I'll be wheeling in Colorado a lot, so going over rocks will be common.

The radiator is stock and the problem is that the 350 directs the upper hose to go to the driver side, whereas the Scout's radiator is expecting it on the passenger side. I'm looking for a different metal piece that goes over the thermostat (name - thermostat housing?) that would direct it to the passenger side, but am not having any luck finding one. I'm also wondering what the lifespan is for this radiator. The previous owner had it boiled out and rigged up 2 radiator hoses to connect it to the new power plant, with a muffler piece acting as a couple between the hoses. He said one route is to have a custom radiator built, with the top inlet on the driver's side. Thoughts?

Does anyone know how much this vehicle weighs? I'm guessing 5,000 lbs. Some bridges have a 2-ton capacity and I need to know if I should watch out for that.

Many thanks for reading through this and giving info.

-New Scouter
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-15-2005, 11:31 PM
Robert B
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Re: 1972 IH Scout II Questions

Steering stabilizer and new tie rod ends will help the steering. check tire pressures in all tires. Is the rear end locked? That is a great way to make a vehicle unable to use the street (trailer queen that has lots of traction off-road but can't be driven to the trail). Check the spring bushings (original was rubber, may have been upgraded to poly), and be sure the shackle bolts are tight. Check that wheel bearings are tight and wheels are not bent (can be bent by running one nut down with impact gun before starting the other bolts, especially if the drum is rusty or muddy so wheel doesn't sit flat against drum). Big tires with aggressive treads are harder to control than stock all-season tires, but that is not a reason to put girlie tires on it.

Sway bar won't correct "darty" steering, they help with body roll.

The stock axles, transmission, transfer case are all adequate. Use it a while before making any modifications. Tackle the radiator problem first, doesn't sound like a reliable set-up with the double hoses. You might look at using a Chev radiator from a pickup with a 350 and auto transmission. Don't be surprised if it is narrower than the IH unit and needs a filler plate.

See separate post about weight.
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