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5,091 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Can we re-name this project ghost rider. Looking at the sand blasted frame in the garage looks like a ghost to me.

Hmm... maybe...

When I was last contemplating names, I had:
Little Devil II
Son of Little Devil

Scout Flight Line

Son of a Ditch
The last one has a little history - Little Devil was built from the cast-offs of a former racer that was known as Ditch Runner - Too slow for the street, too fast for the field.

I still have a few pieces n' parts of that Scout I'm carrying forward..

Long term recap on this project can be found here -
Ancient History

...it was 7 years ago that:

All the more reasons why it deserves a new thread
So here it is.

A new thread.

A short recap..

When I first got my own hands on the chassis in Billings .. 10 years ago.. (ack!)

And then 04/11 I sent it to sand-blast.. holy TBT batman.. Tigger has been crushed, and my oldest daughter is in 6th grade and she's growing out of her mother's shoes.. little Audrey is taller than the 42s on the Snow Scout and much taller than those old 36" TSLs..


5,091 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
In our last installment... I was trying to sort out the body mounts / cage mounts.

I wound up with something close to this.

First, the reinforced factory mount had to go

And eventually..

Not the prettiest - the passenger side turned out better. I welded it up off the vehicle and then welded it in. The driver's side I built as I went.

Some of the skins are 20-gauge and I needed to go down to 0.024 wire but didn't.

Some is 11g, some 16g..

A taller vertical rib at the rear goes down to the link mount for more depth. 4" tall ribs are then to the front and middle, with a cap on the end, and a "cover" on the underside (fully boxed for more strength) - and the whole thing is welded to the rocker as well.

I've since welded 11g to the top side and the frame, with holes for speed-nuts on the front and rear to secure the floor pan. The body mount area will not be removable.

I'm going to lay one more piece of 2x1/8 flat strap over the top of the whole thing, picking up the frame rail on one side, and this mount on the underside of the cage foot on the other (so I can weld it outside the vehicle and slide it into place, then weld the strap to the body mount)

The mount didn't stay put on the bandsaw so I had an excuse to use the Smithy.

5,091 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Before I can even call this momentarily done, I needed to check clearances.

I put a head on the 304 block and put the header in place.


The bellhousing problem will go away when I install the taller deck SV, but that's not going to help the headers-hitting-the-firewall problem, and it means the clutch bellcrank mount has to go, too.

It also means, I need to cut more off the firewall.

Which leads to a different problem.

I had already determined the brake pedal was a problem, unless I start operating the throttle with my left foot..

I investigated using a clutch pedal assembly..

The brake comes to the same spot, but I could use the cluch pedal for a brake - perhaps weld the two arms together?

Or I could put the brake pedal in the press, flip it over, crack it in the process, weld it and gusset it and make the brake pedal hang left instead of right.

That netted me almost 5" of clearance - until I found I had to cut more firewall.

Hmm.. a quick fitment check..

Ruh-roh. I'll be tapping the go-pedal with half a toe at this point.

Back to the drawing board.

5,091 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)

There is just enough room to mount a second pedal hanger between the firewall stiffener and the A pillar (but not mount both at once - the bearing tube the pedals hang from sticks out a bit past the edge)

I cut the cowl and raised it.

And went back to a factory pedal, which I cut some of the steering column mounts off (the column is going to mount to the dash bar now) for fitment (it hit the A pillar tube).

Now there's no place for your left foot to go - run the whoa pedal, or I'll find a spot to rest it against the door bar or just sit it on the floor.

I can't get much more room for a gas pedal though.

I drilled most of the holes to mount the pedal assembly, and then before I called it a night I wanted to see what kind of mess I'd made for the booster.

I already had checked that the booster itself would clear the downtube, but I forgot to think about the booster mounting bracket..

If you look closely you'll see the mounting holes between the inner-fender mounting tabs on the very right.

And the mounting bracket wants/needs to go right through the down tube.

It sits a little higher and more to the right..

I need to look at it some more.

Right now, I wonder if I can delete the outboard booster mounting bracket and will it all fit in place?

If so, I cut that bracket into an inverted 'U" to clearance for the tube, then I make a longer bracket/tab on the booster and the firewall, an reconnect it under the tube - I'm going to find myself standing on this pedal at some point, and it can't break free..

But there's another problem, even with the factory location.

The master cylinder doesn't clear the coilover mount.

I have another booster assembly and bracket around - maybe it'll be different enough to make a difference, but this is even a single diaphragm booster and thus SHOULD be the shorter one.

So.. suggestions?

Does the Astro use a 45-deg angle mount? Would that help?

Do I use a shorter master cylinder?

I have a hydroboost - I need to measure if it is shorter or not.

I'd rather not delete the booster - but I do need to check fitment of just a master and see if that clears the tube.

I can cut the downtube and either put another forward of it, or do something different on that end, but I would need to angle the master cylinder down to clear the coil-over mount (and hopefully the coil-over) - and still get the cap off.

Or I could go to my half-way thought I was having before I got greedy - and center the pedal a bit more, moving the right mounting bolt (into the underside of the cowl) over so the right hole is on the left post, and then using my left-leaning brake pedal. That would gain me some space, clear the down tube - but I have to relieve the firewall stiffening plate AND it doesn't fix the master-cylinder-hits-the-shock mount problem.

Easy enough to shim the firewall mount, but still kinda sucks having to do it and then having the master not level.

Is there a shorter master cylinder I want? Some modern thing with a detachable reservoir that will clear better?

I don't think I have room under the dash (and with the column and then eventually the engine sitting there) to do the 90-deg street rod under the dash trick.

But something like that could be mounted to the firewall, and that linkage design is "pushing" the crank - just like if you mounted it below the pivot of the factory hanging pedal - so then it could be used to still turn it 90-deg and mount the booster sideways. It'd then have to be a smaller diameter (to not hit the FW) and still be short enough to not wind up in the valve cover.. but I was thinking of something like this with the 90-deg mounting as one scenario.

Probably, I need to re-mount it halfway between.

Looks like there are several master cylinders out there that would appear to be shorter thanks to the separate reservoirs I might be able to re-arrange..

I think there's also something to be said for deleting the relay linkage in the Scout II mounting for the booster and go to a shorter, straight-through approach.

Reading up on "why do GM boosters point up?" it looks like a 6-1 pedal ratio is good for manual brakes, but 4-1 was good for vacuum assisted.

So GM figured out if they angled the booster they could get by with a single brake pedal and change the pedal-ratio that way.

Well, do I care that much if I have a 6-1 ratio instead of 4-1 for what I'm doing?

So go with a shorter bracket, and directly actuate the booster from the rod mounted to the pedal. That would lower the booster (to get in-line with the hole) AND shave a few inches off the overall length - perhaps enough to clear the hoop and the shock.

I'll need to put one of the 2.5" body SAWs in place sooner or later and double check that..

I have another booster and bracket. The booster is a dual-diaphragm. The OAL is longer, but the mounting bracket is 1.5" shorter.

If I combine the shorter bracket with the single-diaphragm (shorter) booster I think I'm in business.

I'm also thinking I'll just rework and move the pedal inboard 2" to cure the clearance problem.

I'd have it done if I hadn't sprained my shoulder skiing yesterday. Grr..

5,091 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
On the somewhat positive side..

While trying to install my used 31sp Strange spool into the 9" I broke the pinion support.

I did some horse trading with (sponsor) Mike's Offroad and they owed me so Dave finished setup of the 9"


The spool was bent.

Mike's Offroad supplied a new spool, and sent me home with a ready to install third member.

Too bad the third member I gave them was bent, too.

It was fine. Pattern was good. I installed it in the rear axle, and it would spin fine for a bit, then cog, then fine.

Pulled it out, it was fine. Put it in, not fine.

I noticed it didn't sit flush/flash.. and as soon as I torqued the studs, no good.

So I set up the gears myself - on the original 1979 3.5 gear third member, and after I clearanced the pinion area for the 5.88 gears, all is finally well.

Oh, and this was only after I realized my (bent) third member was an early no-fill-plug third, and my '79 housing was a late no-fill-plug housing.

So I welded a 3/4" pipe to the housing and put in a fill plug.. and then replaced the drop-out with one with a fill plug anyways..

Finally, something almost done.

1979 Bronco rear axle, 31sp. 5.88 gears, 31 spline spool. 1990 K1500 rotors ($15 each) redrilled to 5 on 5.5, AA mfg caliper stands, K5 Dana 44 front calipers and hoses.

H380520 brake hose joins the two steel runs and will then hook to a new steel run along the upper link.

For the first time in ages, I had the rear axle back in the rig.

Still to do - anti-sway bar mounts, and the rear air bump cans need moved inboard a bit - and then strike pads placed on the rear axle.

Scout/XJ/Toy all sold
2,219 Posts
Nice progress update Tom. I clearly remember when you got this chassis and that 1st picture, can't believe that was 10 years ago :eek:

5,091 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Nice progress update Tom. I clearly remember when you got this chassis and that 1st picture, can't believe that was 10 years ago :eek:
Helmer might still have me beat on duration but.. yeah.. it has been a long time. :(

For your cage mounts, why not run some box tube there as a slider and then run it down to the frame?
I considered deleting the rocker entirely - and right now the inner is the only part there, but I will put the outer back on when I'm done just for looks.

I was considering deleting the rocker, and just hanging the floor skins from the rub rail - rock sliders are not important for this vehicle, but rub rails are. :D

Coming off that lower door bar would give me a little more angle to the mounts to try and make the force transition a little nicer.

I've also gone round and round about running a down-tube from the A pillar/dash-bar down to the frame, or from the center of the A-hoop down to the frame rails - make a /\.

The /\ would point load the top center of the A hoop, and ultimately the corners of the cage will fold down in a wreck, but it might be worth doing anyways - but that's not going to hold the seats and the outer corners of the cage up very well even during normal abuse.

So, as much as it kinda sucks to hang the cage off a horizontal mount from the side of the frame rail - everyone does it, because we're all stuck with it. :flipoff2:

I just agonized over how to make the best of a bad spot - the starting position, with the (reinforced) factory body mount coming up 6" short of the cage mount isn't a bad idea if you have an intact body tub to add strength (my old racer was that way) - but I don't. The floor pans will be removable, and "the body" is primarily a firewall and then the B pillars. Everything else is hanging off the cage. Not much strength to be found there..

The B-pillar is only somewhat better - it doesn't look as bad because it has more room to make the transition.

On the plus side, it has a lot more tube back there, and it can have a lot more tube because I don't have to get my legs through it to operate pedals.

For your cage mounts, why not run some box tube there as a slider and then run it down to the frame?
If this were a wheeler, I might take your idea and the lower door bar and just do boat-sides. Delete the rocker, use the rub-rail as one, and slope the floors to the frame rail. JDJanda did something similar years ago.

His pics are all gone, but here's ChestonScout's.

But I'm not worried about strength in the middle - it's really the roof at the A and B that I'm trying to support. Both in a wreck, and during "normal" use when it drops from the sky.

Over time, the cage will slowly bend downwards.

Just like the engine mounts did on the old car - eventually they folded and the engine wanted to exit out the bottom of the frame. I had to reinforce them.

5,091 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Here's the two different brake booster/pedal linkage brackets I had lying about.

I have to run the shorter bracket with the shorter booster and I think it'll fit.

I removed the stiffening rib, welded some 1/8" plate to the firewall, redrilled, and so forth.

The right edge of the steering column mount is now hung on the left stud under the cowl.

The firewall skinning on the engine bay side is actually the muffler heat shield i removed..

It probably doesn't add much in the way of strength, but it does cover up the extra holes.

The pictures are with the regular brake pedal (with the steering column mounts removed because it interfered with the A-pillar tube when it was against the A-pillar) but because I moved the master cylinder inboard again, I'm going to go back to my "flipped" brake pedal to get some room back again.

The firewall mods are painted - now to get back out to the shop again and mount stuff.

Premium Member
1,939 Posts
On the brakes, hydro boost with a newer master. Much smaller and easier to fit in there and there are allot of different masters that you can pick from to get one that fit in the space. Pics of what I ended up with. The Hydro/master unit if off of like a 99 van and I just went to vato zone and looked through the masters until I found one I liked. On the pedals I used the stock location for the brake and pedal mount, I trimmed the right side of the pedal off of it so I could move the throttle over away from the motor. and then used an aftermarket throttle pedal. It all works pretty good.

Throttle pedal and cable


7 Posts
Great thread so far with awesome details and pictures! will be following as I am in the process of building my 77 SS Scout into a pre-runner/ 70's racer tribute. So far ive got a gen iv 6.0 LS, 6 speed auto 6L90e , np 241 and built 9", and hydro boost installed.

5,091 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Great thread so far with awesome details and pictures! will be following as I am in the process of building my 77 SS Scout into a pre-runner/ 70's racer tribute. So far ive got a gen iv 6.0 LS, 6 speed auto 6L90e , np 241 and built 9", and hydro boost installed.
Thanks. I campaigned another Scout for about 11 years before it had to be retired (the third roll-over finally did it in).

An LS was strongly considered, but too many people really wanted to see another SV in the engine bay, so... one more IH..

On the brakes, hydro boost with a newer master.
Well, not my spare Hydroboost. Smaller in diameter maybe, but it was longer and would have put the master harder into the coilover mount.

then used an aftermarket throttle pedal. It all works pretty good.

Throttle pedal and cable
THANKS. I was looking around for a throttle to use and hadn't found anything I really liked yet - but this one might do the trick.

So, using the single diaphragm booster with the "shorter" mount and relay assembly didn't work out.

The fixed-length stick-out for the booster was different and the short booster and short assembly didn't cooperate, so scratch that.

I also grabbed a 1995 K2500 master to see if it would save me anything - no, it may be longer, and it has a larger diameter and won't fit up to the Scout II boosters.

So, I looked at just going with the master cylinder to the firewall. Then I hemmed and hawed some more.

Then I dug through the Speedway catalog.

The 55-57 Chevy brackets were $10. The 65-ish Mustang brackets were $30. I knew the Chevy brackets would be a little short, but the Mustang didn't list any measurements.

Well, they're the same thing.

The Mustang parts are black, the Chevy zinc coated, and for some reason the Chevy mounts are "two of the same" but the Mustang has mirror images.

No big deal for us either way - it just means with the 55-57 $10 part, the open end of both brackets goes the same way, but the Ford part you can configure with both open ends out, or in.

Otherwise, same darn thing.

I also bought the 64-66 Mustang pushrod.

Yet again, the Ford parts didn't please. The hole with bushing was too large, and the while advertised as 5/8 the hole without bushing was not.

So I bought an 11/16 bronze bushing, turned it on the lathe, and made my own spacer.

(Hint - don't clamp the bronze in the lathe chuck too tightly..)

5,091 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
So, I still had a problem with the pushrod on the booster - too short to engage the pedal, and even if it did, the hole was too small (the pivot pin is less than 1/2" which is what we need)

So I cut it off.

Bought a 3/8-NF coupler nut, drilled part of it out to 3/8, then welded it on.

I used a 1.25 bolt that I cut the head off for the stud to then thread the Mustang rod to.

Then I had to deal with the 1.7" deep '55 Chevy Power brake adapter brackets being too short - I needed 3".

So some 1.25" square tube was put into service, and in the end..

And I think it'll clear the coil-overs. It clears the tender at least - and since the end is at this spot, I should be good (I declined to thread the collar all of the way up - the shocks have been in the shop and need some cleaning and a little lubricant before I spin the retainer up)

I won't know for sure how well this works until I get it more finished - but I tried to get as much pedal travel as I could to make up for the loss of the travel-multiplying linkage setup.

I will also be running a vacuum accumulator/canister since I don't expect to get much vacuum out of this engine and camshaft. If it doesn't work out, I can always pull the booster and mount the master to the firewall..

BTW mounting and unmounting the booster is a pain now - the "twin" Chevy brackets worked out to be a good thing in this case, since the Ford bracket would have forced me to tighten one bolt up through the downtube - instead, you get a partial turn, flip, partial, flip by going in from the engine side and under the booster rod. Hopefully not something I have to do very often.

I purposefully set myself up with multiple projects at times so I can work on something while I wait on parts or the right opportunity - but at other times I get fixated on finishing SOMETHING.

This brake business was one of those times - I wanted it DONE so I could move on.

Perhaps now I can finish the driver's floor with the cage mount and hang a little more floor between the body mount and the seat front, and then do the same on the passenger side.
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