Scout II/ Four Wheel Camper Buildup

Overlanerd

Vagabond Outdoors
Hi Everyone,

I'm building up a Scout II with a Fourwheel Camper "Blazer" model that has been modified to fit the camper. The whole project has been performed with little planning and descisions are made on a daily basis. Any suggestions would be helpful.

The Platform:
1972 Scout II
304 V8
T18 Transmission
Dana 20 Transfercase with Terralow 3.15:1 gears
Dana 44 w/ Detroit rear
Dana 30 open front
BFG 33 x 10.5 AT's
4" Skyjacker lift

The Camper:
1988(?) Four Wheel Camper "Blazer"
12,000 BTU Atwood Heater
2-burner stove
Domestic 3-way Fridge
Pump sink w/ 10 gallon polyethylene tank
2-roof vents

Modifications:
Stripped aluminum shingle siding
Replaced fiberglass insulation with 1" thick Insulfoam
Sealed seams with Tyvex tape
Narrowed back to width of Scout tailgate
Relocated heater
Eliminated passenger- side window for inside cabinet
Installed aluminum siding

Future Camper Mods:
Install Zodi hot water shower
Build bench seat base
Install interior slide-out shower pan & portapotti
Add dual battery & AC inverter

Please post any suggestions.

-Phil
 

haven

Expedition Leader
style points

Wow, Phil! Extra style points for choosing a unique combination. I imagine yours will be the only Scout-based pop-up camper in the galaxy!

I'm curious about how well the 19 year old camper has withstood the test of time. Did you find any structural issues when you took the siding off? Was the old 4WC built with a welded aluminum frame? Was the siding replaced due to the need to narrow the rear of the camper? To repair damage? Or for cosmetic issues? Do the fabric walls of the pop-up need to be replaced?

Chip Haven
 

Grim Reaper

Expedition Leader
Very cool! Love old binders!

Only thing I would have recommended done different is put the cabinets on the driver side to retain the passenger side window for visibility. I drive a van for work and my last van didn't have passenger side windows and more then once I almost pulled out in front of somebody because I simply could not see if the road came in at an angle.

Look forward to seeing the final product.
 

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BigAl

Expedition Leader
Scoutsider said:
Hi Everyone,


The Platform:
Dana 44 w/ Detroit rear
Dana 30 open front
Don't scout II have D44s front and rear? That is a cool truck, they are all rusted away near me, definitely unique:)
 

silverscout

Adventurer
Phil, that’s a great plan. This is something I’ve been looking into my self. Happy to see you beat me to it! How much do you think that top weighs? With all the extra weight of the camper and gear you might consider a sway bar or two and up-graded brakes. That being said, my Soft Ride suspension has been very forgiving to me both on and off road.

Big Al, the front Dana 44 with disc brakes wasn’t introduced till 1974 (although some 73’s did come with that option).

Can't wait to see more of your project Phil.
 

Overlanerd

Vagabond Outdoors
Thanks for the input & suggestions!

Chip:

-I didn't find any structural damage. The wall that was closest to the driver side had a +/- 10 degree angle to match the back- cab angle of a 80's Chevy Blazer. It had to be vertical to match the back windows of the Scout. It was the reason I stripped the siding and resulted in the opening of a huge can of worms.

-The camper has an 1x1 & 1x2 aluminum frame that was tack-welded on one side. All of the square tubing is 1/16", except for the top rail/ beam that is 1/8". I think FWC uses 1/8" square tubing now.

-I didn't narrow the camper. The passenger side had to be extended to meet the Scout's top rail. The camper hangs 9" past the top edge of the bed. Because the Scout's body curves in at the top, it only hangs 5.5" past the side.

-The siding was replaced for several reasons. Cosmetics were definately factors. The stamped "wood" accent strip and shingles were not cool. The new 1/16" siding actually braces the frame. The insulation was not adequate for cold-weather camping (by my wife's standards). The original siding was as thick as a soda can. I'm not exaggerating. The siding was stapled to the frame.

-The vinyl walls are in excellent condition! The windows are not opaque, the screens are intact, and there are no rips.

-4WC made a top for Scouts in the 70's. I couldn't find one after a year of searching. This worked out better since the 4WC for the Scout doesn't lift to a 6'-4" interior height that mine ended up with. I'm 6'-2" and this was definately a factor.

Grim Reaper:

-I debated keeping the window for months. The heater was mounted to the left of the back door. The Scout wasn't wide enough to accomodate that setup. When I relocated the heater to the drivers side, all storage space was lost.

-The proposed passenger side cabinets, above the bed rail, will mostly hold clothes, food, and my shower setup.

-The area under the bench will hold the portapotti, tools & spare parts, 2nd battery, and any other heavy items. I could have increased the storage capacity by building the seat-base/ storage area higher, but I wouldn't be able to sit on the bench seat with the top down. We're trying to setup the camper to accomodate passengers and have reasonable space when the top is down.

-The visibility is definately an issue. I kept the driver's side back window and will keep the cabinets from blocking it. I will rely heavily on my stick-on bubble mirror. It hasn't been driven since the top was mounted. I'll give you feedback soon.

Big Al:

-The Scout has a Dana 30 front with drum brakes.

-There is a little rust in the driver's side rear fender. I regret not cutting out enough metal before painting it. Other than that, "It's just a flesh wound."

Silver Scout:

-Great to see other Scouts on this Forum. I had a 65' Scout 80 in high school with a 196 4-cylinder, T-90 3-speed, no power steering, and no power brakes. "Mean Green" had a D-44 with Posi, 4.27 gearing, idled at 500 rpm, and would crawl- up anything. Fourteen years and 6 vehicles later, I'm back to a Scout.

-The top's dry weight is approximately 500 lbs. This is a wild guess. There is no bottom that slide-ins have. The new FWC models are approximately 750 lbs. I installed heavier paneling, but reduced the weight of the window glass. I should have weighed my truck beforehand...

-On top of my crappy drum brakes, there is no brake booster! The braking power is the same with the engine running or not. I have a brake booster and master cylinder in my garage awaiting installation. It will happen soon.

-I rely on downshifting and stopping hasn't been an issue (yet). The alleged Dana 44 front future swap will definately help.

-I have an "anti-sway" plate that connects the front shackles and does reduce body roll. I recently changed the leaf-spring/ shackle bushings and body mounts. Feels like a sportscar compared to before. Do you know of a set-up for a quick-disconnect sway bar for the back?

-What Softride system did you use? As you know, most manufacturers skip from "Infinity" to "Isuzu" when you are trying to find parts for an International. The same happened when I was looking for a Softride kit.


Sorry for the long-winded responses. I've asked myself many of these questions, which is why I have extended responses. My answers may not be correct. We'll see. Please keep throwing me suggestions/ criticisms. I haven't been subject to 2nd opinions on this project until now...

-Phil
 
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Lynn

Expedition Leader
Great build!

I know that we're only seeing part of the big picture, but it seems you have a lot of weight hanging off of the driver's side. What will be offsetting it on the passenger side?

Keep the pix coming. I hope you have as much fun building it as you will using it!
 

silverscout

Adventurer
I understand your affliction, I too am on my second International Scout. My first one is remarkably similar to yours. It was a 1972 Scout with Drum brakes, no power anything, thrift six motor and the T-18. Upgrading to a 1975 made daily driving much easier. For you, swapping out your front axle will do wonders too!

My current springs are four inch Skyjacker brand. After chatting with the manufacturer, I found that they recommend an add-a-leaf if you plan to run the stock hard top, which I do. But the springs are great. The tapered design and Teflon pads make them a great riding suspension system. I would highly recommend them. Especially if your running all that weight.

Speaking of, I agree with Lynn, how are you going to balance the weight? You might end up with one mean lean. Maybe install a water tank on the opposite side?

That front shackle sway bar really doesn’t do much, that’s why I recommend this: http://www.shopih.com/CPT-SWAYBAR-KIT-p-SQ.html
I plan on doing a rear spring over in the near future and when I do I intend to run that set up.

How far off the back does your camper hang? Will you keep the tail gate?

Are you in California Phil?

Keep up the good work!
 

Mobryan

Adventurer
Make that 3 IH guys on the board, but all my Scouts grew up into Travelalls ;)
I'd definatly swap to the 44 ASAP, 30's don't like a Scout's front weight stock :( Depending on what condition your brake system is in overall, you might consider going to 4 wheel disks.

Skyjacker rear springs are junk. Buy a pair of Triangles for the rear, stiffer ride, but you'll need it.

Have you scored a 33 gallon tank for it yet?

Early 80's Ford towing mirrors (F250-350) still look good, and reach out wide enough to see around the camper.

Depending on what you do with it, BFG AT 235/85/16E fit great, eliminate the front rubbing that alot of the true 33's have, and take the weight better.

If it will help, I can dig up pictures of a SII with dual underhood Group 31 batteries. It requires moving or deleting the windshield washer and coolant puke tanks, but I'd think about it, SII's aren't that big in the first place, never mind if you have to start putting mechanical components in the living space.

www.Binderbulletin.org Bring your project on over, we'd all love to see it :wings:

Matt
 

Overlanerd

Vagabond Outdoors
Lynn said:
Great build!

I know that we're only seeing part of the big picture, but it seems you have a lot of weight hanging off of the driver's side. What will be offsetting it on the passenger side?

Keep the pix coming. I hope you have as much fun building it as you will using it!
Lynn,

I've been debating this for a while. I may end up relocating the water tank. The heater weight 15- 20 lbs., the fridge weighs about 25-30 lbs., and the (full) propane tank weights 40 lbs. The cabinets/ sink/ stove weigh another 60 lbs. The total weight (with no food in the fridge) will be 140 to 150 lbs.

On the passenger side...the bench seat/ base storage box will weigh around 50- 60 lbs. The upper cabinets will weigh 30- 40 lbs. The 2nd battery & under-seat portapotti will be on the passenger's side as well. My tools & spare parts weigh 50 lbs. The total weight (with unloaded shelving) will be 185- 205 lbs.

The water tank location is a major dilemma right now.

It's been a fun build, but the rush is on to get it ready for winter camping...
 

Overlanerd

Vagabond Outdoors
silverscout said:
I understand your affliction, I too am on my second International Scout. My first one is remarkably similar to yours. It was a 1972 Scout with Drum brakes, no power anything, thrift six motor and the T-18. Upgrading to a 1975 made daily driving much easier. For you, swapping out your front axle will do wonders too!

My current springs are four inch Skyjacker brand. After chatting with the manufacturer, I found that they recommend an add-a-leaf if you plan to run the stock hard top, which I do. But the springs are great. The tapered design and Teflon pads make them a great riding suspension system. I would highly recommend them. Especially if your running all that weight.

Speaking of, I agree with Lynn, how are you going to balance the weight? You might end up with one mean lean. Maybe install a water tank on the opposite side?

That front shackle sway bar really doesn’t do much, that’s why I recommend this: http://www.shopih.com/CPT-SWAYBAR-KIT-p-SQ.html
I plan on doing a rear spring over in the near future and when I do I intend to run that set up.

How far off the back does your camper hang? Will you keep the tail gate?

Are you in California Phil?

Keep up the good work!
The add-a-leaf sounds like a cost-effective solution. I'll definately look into that.

That sway-bar set up is nice. I don't plan on doing a spring-over, so it may not work. The overall height has to be under 8 feet to fit in a shipping container...

The camper only hangs 3 inches past the tail lights. The tailgate is coming off- I left it on temporarily to get in & out of the camper. I'll probably go with a removable hitch- step setup to help with the departure angle.

Yes, I'm in California (San Leandro). Are you in SF?
 
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Overlanerd

Vagabond Outdoors
Mobryan said:
Make that 3 IH guys on the board, but all my Scouts grew up into Travelalls ;)
I'd definatly swap to the 44 ASAP, 30's don't like a Scout's front weight stock :( Depending on what condition your brake system is in overall, you might consider going to 4 wheel disks.

Skyjacker rear springs are junk. Buy a pair of Triangles for the rear, stiffer ride, but you'll need it.

Have you scored a 33 gallon tank for it yet?

Early 80's Ford towing mirrors (F250-350) still look good, and reach out wide enough to see around the camper.

Depending on what you do with it, BFG AT 235/85/16E fit great, eliminate the front rubbing that alot of the true 33's have, and take the weight better.

If it will help, I can dig up pictures of a SII with dual underhood Group 31 batteries. It requires moving or deleting the windshield washer and coolant puke tanks, but I'd think about it, SII's aren't that big in the first place, never mind if you have to start putting mechanical components in the living space.

www.Binderbulletin.org Bring your project on over, we'd all love to see it :wings:

Matt
Matt,

The Dana 30 is definately going away before next summer. I need to figure out what gear ratio & LSD combo to go with before then. The 3.73 are great for cruising at 70 on the freeway for now...

What are triangles?

The 33 gallon tank is on the list. I was was also thinking of cramming an auxiliary tank between the driveshaft and frame rail to keep the weight forward. Ever heard of anyone doing this?

The mirrors actually work! I can see under the camper without obstruction.

Those tires sound good. I went with the narrower 33 x 10.50's, adjusted the steering limiting bolts, and have little rubbing. They aren't true 33's though (closer to 32").

I can fit a battery under the hood if I remove the smog canister and move the washer tank. It would also fit under the passenger seat. Please send me the photos if it's not to much trouble.
 

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silverscout

Adventurer
Phil, yes, I am in San Francisco and being so close, Id love to see your set up. I'll PM you.

You can still work in a sway bar if you’re looking too. I really think it’ll help with “at speed” lane changes or swerving to miss small children or dogs! Something like this might help, if you can make them fit:


As per your springs, did they come with the friction pads between the leaves? The “add a leaf” (only in the rear springs) works well for me. These springs have been on my Scout for 5 years now. Let me tell you, they have been to the tip of Baja, all over main land Mexico, Utah, wheeling in Moab, the Rubicon, Hollister Hills, Pismo Beach and down town San Francisco traffic. Let me tell you from experience, they are good springs. I did add a one inch over stock shackle in the rear to level it out when fully loaded. Even with all the camp gear and multiple spare parts, it handles fantastic! The Triangle springs are an older design and are too rough for overland travel. The key is thinner leaves and more of them. The Triangle leaves are too thick for a Scout, especially if you’re looking to traverse dirt roads at anything over 8 miles per hour.

Seeing the age of your vehicle (1972), you don’t need all that smog equipment. I’m not sure how you feel about the effectiveness of all that smog equipment but removing it would free up some power and give you tons more room. I run dual Optima’s under my hood and had little trouble doing it.

A final thought on space utilization. Your rear quarter panels are a huge cavern of space. Think about cutting into those for a water tank or even a bladder bag. I’ve seen guys install stereo equipment in that location. It could work for you.

Look to the Cannery in a Coal Mine for more ideas. He did some great things with his Scout.
http://www.canaryinacoalmine.com/

So are you planning on shipping this? Do I hear Darien Gap or South America?
 
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Mobryan

Adventurer
Scoutsider said:
Matt,

The Dana 30 is definately going away before next summer. I need to figure out what gear ratio & LSD combo to go with before then. The 3.73 are great for cruising at 70 on the freeway for now...

What are triangles?

The 33 gallon tank is on the list. I was was also thinking of cramming an auxiliary tank between the driveshaft and frame rail to keep the weight forward. Ever heard of anyone doing this?

The mirrors actually work! I can see under the camper without obstruction.

Those tires sound good. I went with the narrower 33 x 10.50's, adjusted the steering limiting bolts, and have little rubbing. They aren't true 33's though (closer to 32").

I can fit a battery under the hood if I remove the smog canister and move the washer tank. It would also fit under the passenger seat. Please send me the photos if it's not to much trouble.
Triangle Spring Co. built the OE Scout springs, and they make a 4" lift HD spring set, very nice for those of us who USE our lifted trucks, and don't just sit pretty ;) Call either of the Ishmial brothers, www. IHonly.com www.IHonlynorth.com, or John Fleck @ www.BackCountrybinders.com They might ride rough at first, empty, but they are dead solid reliable, and ready to go from the box, no add a leaf, no tinkering, no breaking ;) The Triangle Scout I drove was plenty comfortable on dirt up to 55-60.

http://www.binderbulletin.org/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=1308
http://www.binderbulletin.org/forums/showthread.php?t=68830

Two slightly different Scout/ Optima set ups, a search on the BB of "Dual Battery Scout" brings up a pile of ideas. Personally, I 'd avoid the under seat mount, batteries in the living space are bad ju-ju :) Besides, are you sure your floor is up to holding a person, a seat, AND a battery??????? (Scout Joke, nothing to see here, move along ;) )

I doubt a short wheelbase Scout will have enough room under the cargo bed "step" to put a real tank, But I've often thought that a 5' chunk of 6" sewer pipe would fit well, and provide a spot for spare driveshafts, stub axle, recovery strap, ect.

Definetly scheme on ways to use the dead space in the quarter panels. There was a Traveler a few years ago that had 2 ten gallon tanks mounted inside the quarter panels. Obviously, you don't have that much length in a SII, but it gives you an idea of the space there. I'm not sure if you can reach it with the camper mounted, but the panel on the inner quarter behind the fuel fill makes a decent little cubby if you lose the emissions stuff.

HTH,


Matt
 
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