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Thread: 1979 International Scout II- Where to begin?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    3

    Default 1979 International Scout II- Where to begin?

    Hello everyone, I finally decided to register for this forum after my father and I have spent way too much time and money trying to get my late brother's scout up and running. It is a really nice car so I would love to see it up and running again, but mechanically it is a complete mess- one problem after another. The car has a completely rebuilt engine, rebuilt transmission, new hoses, and front rewiring. We had the car running briefly for a while, however we were scared to drive it anything more than a few miles because of the car's repetitive stalling. The car is usually hard to get to catch, it takes a few times and you have to gas the car at the right time to get it up and running. Before a few weeks ago the car would stall at random times while driving at 5-20 miles an hour. The most recent problem- I tried to get the car running a few weeks ago, I got the car started up and let it warm up for about 10 minutes. I put the car in reverse and backed up a few feet and the engine gave out completely and we couldn't get it back on. My dad said it was the battery so today I recently got our recharged battery back. I put the battery back in but now the engine won't catch at all- makes no cranking sound. It seems that there is some energy In the battery because the radio comes on and the emergency brake light lights up when I turn the key. Do you guys have any ideas?

    We have taken this car to many different mechanics, since we aren't really car people ourselves. However most of these people don't seem that knowledgeable with scouts as they seem to miss something every time the car gets repaired. Do you guys know of any people in southern California who are knowledgeable enough to do complete the mechanical repair on our scout? Thanks for all your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    eastern washington state
    Posts
    427

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    how close are you from grass valley Ca, Acton Ca.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    6

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    Sorry to hear your troubles. I am truly surprised that any mechanic that has looked at the scout hasn't been able to diagnose and correct the problem. Unless the vehicle is modified in a major way, the SV series engines are straightforward, the electrical system is pretty simple, and fuel delivery is as generic as it gets. If you want to put in a quality weekend with the vehicle, you can probably diagnose and repair it, but I understand wanting to defer to a mechanic if you're super uncomfortable.

    But if your not:

    Kettering ignition (your type) vehicles really only need three things: fuel, compression, and ignition to work. There's really a fourth thing in that these three must be timed properly to work, but the basics are the three. The way the vehicle misbehaves tells you a lot about what's wrong, so the very first question is when it stalls, how does it do it? Is it abrupt, going from running to off the way it would if a key is turned? Or, does it sputter and die? Does it do it only after it's warm, or does it do it at any time? When it stops, does it catch right away when you try and restart, or is it dead for a while?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by ihcfan79 View Post
    Sorry to hear your troubles. I am truly surprised that any mechanic that has looked at the scout hasn't been able to diagnose and correct the problem. Unless the vehicle is modified in a major way, the SV series engines are straightforward, the electrical system is pretty simple, and fuel delivery is as generic as it gets. If you want to put in a quality weekend with the vehicle, you can probably diagnose and repair it, but I understand wanting to defer to a mechanic if you're super uncomfortable.

    But if your not:

    Kettering ignition (your type) vehicles really only need three things: fuel, compression, and ignition to work. There's really a fourth thing in that these three must be timed properly to work, but the basics are the three. The way the vehicle misbehaves tells you a lot about what's wrong, so the very first question is when it stalls, how does it do it? Is it abrupt, going from running to off the way it would if a key is turned? Or, does it sputter and die? Does it do it only after it's warm, or does it do it at any time? When it stops, does it catch right away when you try and restart, or is it dead for a while?
    Thanks for the quick replies.
    I'll try my best to answer as it has been a little while since I last drove the truck. When I have driven it and it has stalled in the past, I don't really have any warning and have not heard anything, It is just that all of the sudden the gas is unresponsive and the wheel doesn't turn, so I turn the key again. After it stalls, the car turns over and starts back up in one try. I havn't driven the car much, and I usually warm it up for a while before I use it because my dad insists it is better to warm the engine to avoid stalling. However I have started it up with very little warming and it stalled as well. The most recent time that the engine cut out, I warmed up the engine for about 10 minutes and the car stalled almost immediately.

    To answer the other question, I am about 400 miles from grass valley which is pretty far.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    eastern washington state
    Posts
    427

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    coil getting hot? jeff ishmail is in grass valley. Isa is in Acton they are both great sources for international parts and know how.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Aiken, SC
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    2,423

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    IH Only is in Lancaster, CA. It helps to know what town you are in if you want help, because Southern California is a pretty big place. Look up Scouts West and find a member near you. (begin new paragraph, enter key is broken). If it stalls just driving down the road at a steady speed, you have an electrical problem. Chances are you just have a loose wire or a bad ignition module. I would change the module first. If it only does it when you are near idle, moving away from or pulling up to stops, it could be a fuel delivery problem. That particular ignition system uses a module in the distributor (prestolite) and it is prone to intermittent failures. The first thing you want to do is make sure the timing is correct and the idle mixture is adjusted properly. Anybody who worked on cars and trucks from the 70s should know how to do this, which is to say do a basic tuneup on a car with a distributor and a carburetor. The only unique thing about the IH engine is that it times on the number 8 cylinder because that happens to be where the weight is on the harmonic balancer. It's not a magic thing. The cylinders fire exactly the same as a small block Chrysler of that era, you just don't hook the timing light up to number 1.
    Allan E.
    Curmudgeon Extraordinaire
    Charter Member, Old Hippie IH Club
    Old fashioned binder freak

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Thank you. I am in Orange County. I looked up resources on Scouts West and am going to contact Chris Johnson soon. Like I said I am not a car person so some of what you said didn't seem like English to me. I definitely want to learn and I'm sure such knowledge would help me in owning a car like this. Do you have any resources/reads you would suggest to familiarize myself with how this stuff works? I don't really understand the whole timing thing, or even where the electrical system comes in on making the car run.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan E. View Post
    IH Only is in Lancaster, CA. It helps to know what town you are in if you want help, because Southern California is a pretty big place. Look up Scouts West and find a member near you. (begin new paragraph, enter key is broken). If it stalls just driving down the road at a steady speed, you have an electrical problem. Chances are you just have a loose wire or a bad ignition module. I would change the module first. If it only does it when you are near idle, moving away from or pulling up to stops, it could be a fuel delivery problem. That particular ignition system uses a module in the distributor (prestolite) and it is prone to intermittent failures. The first thing you want to do is make sure the timing is correct and the idle mixture is adjusted properly. Anybody who worked on cars and trucks from the 70s should know how to do this, which is to say do a basic tuneup on a car with a distributor and a carburetor. The only unique thing about the IH engine is that it times on the number 8 cylinder because that happens to be where the weight is on the harmonic balancer. It's not a magic thing. The cylinders fire exactly the same as a small block Chrysler of that era, you just don't hook the timing light up to number 1.
    My first suspicion would be the bulkhead connector between the wires inside the cab, and the engine. My second guess would be the key switch inside the column. Since it runs and drives it's likely that your timing is okay. You can clean both with tv tuner (or electronics) cleaner from Radio Shack. You can separate the connector and clean everything up with the spray cleaner. To clean the ignition switch, if you pull the cowling from around the steering column you can spray the switch contact block really well (a metal bar connects the key mechanism to the switch assembly),

    I'm guessing the problem will go away or be much less frequent with one of these two. Both are easy to try, and you'd be out about $3.00 to test the theory. If it improves by a lot, that's likely the problem.

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