View Full Version : Cross country trip

02-08-2012, 12:42 PM
Hi, new to this forum and not yet a Scout diesel owner but hope to be? I am also planning a trip from VA to NM and am considering doing it with a 1980 Scout II that I have found it has low miles and seems to run fine, breaks need looked at (alternator Vaccum pump issue, maybe just a belt?) There also is some oil leaking from what looks like the oil Pan gasket and maybe the Turbo Cooler hoses? Steering is a little funny but not too bad. I am used to working on Jeep xjs so I have some mechanical skills if need be on the road but I am worried about the rarity of these engines if I have to take it to some random mechanic along the way. also I may need to tow a Light trailer with a few things that don't fit in the back of the scout. any suggestions or warnings. Is it NOT a smart choice? I really like this vehicle and wish to make it work rather than an average diesel van which is my other option? Thanks for any advice!

02-11-2012, 06:53 AM
Well, I'm going to say not a good idea if you don't know the history of this particular Scout.
If you know the history of the SD33T, it has a habit of eating holes in pistons. Sometimes as early as 50K miles or maybe your lucky and get 100K out of it.
Second, there is not a good supply of parts thats readily availably, any where on the road, you'd have to bring spares with you.
By "an average diesel van" your talking about the ford?
The SD33T is not a power house, I'd forget about a trailer. IF you want to tow a small trailer get a EGT gauge and put the probe before the turbo and keep the temps below 900 deg F.

02-11-2012, 04:08 PM
Well, I don't know history of this one first hand just what the owner has said. It has been used on a farm some and driven short distances on the highway by a younger kid. He bought it from an elderly neighbor. The kid who ownes it now hasn't used it much and thats why he says he is selling it. It had been mildly restored a while ago and the body is in decent shape except for some rust under the windshield (the worst spot), and a few spots under the doors. Floor pans at a glance seemed solid just surface rust. The engine started right up, but roughly for about a minute or two then purred nicely once warm. Heavy squealing from the alternator belt and very little brakes after you hit them once. Relatively heavy oil leak from pan gasket and some coming from the rear of the engine. There was no oil showing on the dipstick to the owner and his fathers surprise (they had two other scouts rotting away on the farm and seemed to know something about scouts but not so mechanically inclined in general). I really enjoyed driving it (except for the brakes) the 4sp transmission was great and I see myself in one someday if not this one, My girlfriend liked it too sooo......50-100k hmmm that makes this one a senior at 75k......they want 5000.00 for it which also seemed high to me? So I also test drove two 89 ford Quiggely Vans, they are huge and not something I could see myself driving on daily basis. So now about to check out some 2wd Chevy and GMC diesel Vans with low miles. As for towing with the Scout it would be a 5x8 enclosed trailer not filled to capacity......Thanks for the feedback about the EGT if I decide to go with the Scout I may need some pointers on how to install it!

02-16-2012, 08:02 AM

02-20-2012, 10:34 PM
I wouldn't be scared to do the trip in the scout if you had time to drive it on some shorter trips first. The engine in my 80 scout diesel ran 160,000 miles. I swapped in another turbo diesel with 90 k on it. So far 20,000 miles with no problem. Its a traveler and gets about 23 mpg highway. The important thing with these engines is do not lug them down. Keep the rpms up so the turbo can do its work. If you lug it too much at lower rpms the exhaust temp will get too hot and cause problems. That is probably the cause of these engines eating holes in pistons. The vacuum pump ( on back of the alternator ) is probably weak, causing your brake problem. If you get it, change the oil, filter, & fuel filters. I get my filters from the Navistar dealer in Harrisonburg, Va, Highway motors. I think you'd be ok with that trailer if you don't load it heavy.

03-14-2012, 05:52 AM
When are you making the trip? I'm rebuilding my 1980 diesel Scout to drive it from MD to NM this summer.

Celine Scout
04-12-2014, 02:18 AM
Snale, did you end up taking the buying and taking the Scout on your road trip? I'm about to do a similar thing although it's just a 9 hour trip up the coast. The Scout has the original SD33 with 160,000 miles but the turbo has been removed. Any advice is appreciated.