March 25, 2022

1969 International Scout 800A: Restoration In progress!

1969 Scout 800 Aristocrat

We recently began work on a vehicle rarely seen in "running & driving" condition before restoration work begins. Let us introduce you to the 1969 International Scout 800 Aristocrat, the classier package of a classic utility vehicle. 

Most of the Scouts from this era have been parked behind a barn or in a ditch never to be rescued or driven again, and that's partially because they were designed to be used and abused from interior finishes being weatherproof, to have no body seals or splash shields to prevent road grime from getting into every seam in the body panels. Once no longer reliable for daily driving Scouts were frequently fitted with a plow and used to clear snow until the body rusted off it's chassis. This particular Scout was spared that fate. There are signs that it had a plow on it at one time and there is a significant amount of rust and structure that needs repair, but overall, it's an impressive example of a 90% complete original 4x4 model 800A. 

The 1969 Scout 800A in the shop and ready for a frame off restoration

Might be missing a few parts for the window...

Fuel cell location not recommended, but it worked well for test drives to be sure it ran and drove before the owner purchased this project out on the East coast and hauled it home to WI

Scout 800A

Scout 800A: As expected, there is a large amount of rust and damage on this Scout. The Aristrocrat package does feature chrome bumpers and a few other unique "classier" aspects that are uncommon for a utilitarian designed vehicle

233 AMC Inline 6 was running when it arrived to the shop, although it definitely showed signs of a lifter issue 

1969 Scout 800A engine bay with 233AMC

Headliner material


1969 Scout "weatherproof" interior has seen better days. 

Originally a Maine vehicle and daily driven by the previous owner until the mid 70's there were a few items in the headliner helping us located the original owner of this Scout 

Once initial inspection is complete, full tear down begins with removal, bag&tag and storage of all parts from the Scout. The list of parts to replace continues to grow as we find broken or poorly repaired parts as we work including door latches, window regulators, front driveshaft etc

The rear body of the Scout has sunk about 1" below where it should be as the rear support brace separated completely from the floor. We left the tailgate in place to keep the body as close to aligned as we can, although it's definitely not "in spec" it needs all the help it can get to keep it's original shape

This Scout is a 4x4, however the front drive shaft will need replacement and it's splines were nearly stripped from poor alignment and failed previous repairs

1969 Scout Engine Bay
Engine is out

1969 Scout Aristocrat Engine Bay
Scout Air box located at right inner fender well

1969 Scout Driver Floor
Seat removed and some floor rust on full display. Lots of rust holes were uncovered during disassembly

Cyress inspects our work as we go...Front clip tear down will happen shortly

233 AMC removed and ready for inspection and further planning

Engine Tear down begins

Collapsed lifter suspected and confirmed. 

Engine tear down and inspection is kept organized for a simpler rebuild process

Scout Inner Fender
Fenders are off and the driver side inner fender will need a lot more work than anticipated

This might explain the sagging driver side door

Scout Inner cowl rust
Right inner fender and kick panel is in slightly better shape, but will also need metal repair

There is a significant amount of rust at the floors and fender areas

Inner fender area has significant rust damage. The list of metal to replace is growing!

As the majority of the Scout is now disassembled, we brace the body and cut the rusted body mounts to remove it from the chassis. The chassis was then further torn down and mounted on a rotisserie for restoration and refinishing and axles and other components were removed to be rebuilt/replaced as required.

The rear cross rail was so rusted it stayed on the frame instead of with the body below the tailgate

Scout Frame is ready for degreasing and restoration

Scout steering, suspension and brakes will all be replace and restored for better than new performance and appearance once complete

Axles are removed and frame is on the rotisserie for easy access to top and bottom

Sneak peak at refinished frame. The steering box is original!

Scout Body
Body is braced and mounted on a customizable body cart to be moved to the body shop for metal fabrication and refinishing

Metal work begins with removing major dents to get some of the "stress" out of the metal we will be keeping for this project

Body and metal repair begin!

Scout Measurements
The body measurements showed about 1/2" difference  from top of the windshield pillar to the rear quarter seam left vs right side. There was definitely some flex that had occurred with all the rusted areas

Scout Rust Repair
With all the measurements taken and recorded, Molly can begin removing panels, starting with the driver seat frame which in this case we can re-use!

1969 Scout Floor pan
Passenger side floor pan is removed! Lots of small areas to fix before the new panel can be fitted though.

69 Scout Rust Repair
Passenger kick panel and inner rocker will need repairs before the new floor will have enough good metal to be fitted to.
69 Scout rust repair
Kick panel removed
Old kick panel being used to draw a template for a new piece to be made

Fabrication of a new kick panel underway

Inner Rocker patch ready to weld

Lower toe board patch panel made and welded in place

There is much more work to come including a full mechanical overhaul and frame restoration, metal work, body straightening, paint and interior! Check back soon for more posts on this Scout!

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