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    Default 0t----FDNY---CA 1911

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    Default Cool old fire engine

    Steering wheel on the right side?

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    Neat picture. What's with the loops of chain? around the rear wheels.

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    Ray:

    The picture was taken in mild weather, so the 'skinny loops of chain' around the rear tires are not there for the usual reason- traction in snow or a bite on icy pavement. The tires on that truck are narrow, smooth hard rubber. The streets in NYC at the time were often paved with 'Belgian Block'. Belgian Blocks were regularly sized hard stone that came as ballast on ships arriving in NY from Europe. At first, the Belgian Blocks were stacked on land in Lower Manhattan, and the pile soon was quite large and quite long. Some brain came up with idea of paving streets with those blocks, and NYC was still a place where the upper part of Manhattan Island had a few farms and country manor houses. The Belgian Block paving was durable, cheap, and otherwise was bad news. Slippery when wet or slick with snow, and plenty of horses went down with broken legs and a policeman's bullet in their ears as a result. Even steel horse-shoes slipped on the Belgian Block paved streets on dry days. The constant jarring of their hooves from steel shoes coming down on those hard Belgian Block paving stones took their toll as well. As a result, NYC horses were often shod with rubber-covered shoes.

    The 'skinny loops of chain' on that old fire pumper were likely to get some kind of purchase on the Belgian Block paving as the truck has what are wagon wheels with rubber tires. No treads to get any kind of bite, and being a hard rubber tire, probably more chance of the drive wheels slipping.

    The truck in the picture is quite interesting as it is the blending of two technologies. The front of the truck is state-of-the-art for 1911, while the rear of the truck is essentially little changed from the horse-drawn steam pumpers. In fact, American-LaFrance and possibly other fire-truck builders were offering conversions for horse-drawn fire apparatus. American-LaFrance offered a front-wheel drive gasoline driven 'tractor' which had just the powered front axle. This was hitched to an existing horse-drawn piece of fire apparatus, and some of these conversions were steered as an articulated vehicle. The early American LaFrance conversion tractors had huge wood-spoke wagon-type wheels with hard rubber tires.

    In this picture, the pumper appears to be possibly an Ahrens-Fox unit. The boilers on the old steam fire pumpers were often a combination of fire-tube and water-tube type in what appeared to be a vertical fire-tube casing. At the firehouses, the boilers of the old steam pumpers were usually connected to a hot water boiler in the fire house with two flex hoses. Hot water was constantly circulated from the firehouse boiler thru the fire pumper's boiler. There was always a thin bed of coal and kindling laid ready on the grates of the pumper's boiler. When an alarm came in, the pumper engineer put a match to the kindling and disconnected the hot water hoses. The fire pumper boilers were built to be quick steamers. In the horse-drawn days, when the alarm sounded, electromagnetic latches on the horse-stall doors released.
    At the sound of the fire gong, the horses pushed open their stall doors and went to their assigned spots on the floor of the firehouse, in position in front of the fire apparatus they were to draw. In some firehouses, the harness for the horses was held above the horses by electromagnetic latches. When the horses were in position, the firemen releases those latches, dropping the harness onto each horse. The firemen then made up the harness and hitched the teams to the apparatus.

    As soon as the teams were hitched, the firemen were in place on the apparatus, ready to go. The pumper engineer was in place on the rear step. The teams stepped off together, and had quite a job to draw the fire apparatus at a good run through the streets. There is no telling how many fire horses went down with broken legs due to being run on the Belgian Block paved streets. People tend to mislabel the paving of the old NYC streets as "cobble stone", but either way, those streets were death to a lot of fine horses. The motorized pumper and others of the era of this photo saved a lot of horses' lives. On the other hand, the firemen who had to drive trucks of the sort shown in this photo had a hard job manhandling those trucks. I can only imagine what those firemen went through to get a truck like the one in this photo started when the alarm bell sounded. Probably went down the line of cylinders putting raw gasoline into the priming cocks, make sure the spark was retarded, and give a heave on the crank. Jump back up on the rig and it was off to the fire. Underway, the engineer on the back step was raising steam. As soon as he had any steam, he turned on the 'blower'- a steam jet at the base of the stack to give a powerful induced draft, same as on a locomotive boiler. The steam fire pump was also set turning to have it warmed and ready when they reached the fire. The wheels of the truck are chocked in the photo to hold the truck against the vibration from the steam fire pump. Despite some very light construction and well balanced parts, the steam fire pumpers tended to jump around. The boilers were often mounted on their own coil springs, and jack screws were put down to the pavement to take the weight of the fire pumper off the springs on the axle.

    One can only imagine the firemen who manned that old pumper. Tough men who took a lot of pride in their fire company and its equipment. Probably spent a lot of time polishing the brass on that pumper and making sure the truck engine would start at first pull of the crank. Probably also, those same firemen were lamenting the loss of their fire horses, and anytime the engine in that truck was hard starting, the men likely said they never had those problems with horses.

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    Thats a great shot of an early FDNY steam pumper and excellent background info from Joe. I've been a volunteer firefighter on Long Island for over 40 years with two sons who are career firefighters (one a lieutenant on the FDNY). My "retirement job" is at the restoration shop of the Nassau County Fire Museum. As motor trucks became more common and reliable, fire departments, reluctant to give up horses, slowly looked for ways to motorize their apparatus fleets. Companies such as American LaFrance, Christie, Knott and others developed front drive motor units that could be permanently attached to still-serviceable horse drawn apparatus which was a much cheaper option than buying an entire motorized rig. The FDNY, while converting to motorized tractors, was reluctant at first to trust gasoline motors to run the pump on pumping engines, preferring to stay with steam for that purpose. It was possibly the only department to purchase pumpers such as the one pictured which is a complete motorized pumping engine using a gas motor for road propulsion and steam to power the pump. It is a chain drive to the rear wheels while converted horse-drawn steamers were strictly front wheel drive.

    Tom B.

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    Joes ''Belgian Block' ...aka Belgian Pave - belgian pave - Google Search - I'm told one of the worst hard driving surfaces imaginable.

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    Pittsburgh PA near where I grew up, had lots of Belgian Block paved streets. One did not buy a used car from the Pittsburgh area as most of the body screws and bolts had been loosened or shaken out.

    https://i.etsystatic.com/7927101/r/i...24414_5s3m.jpg

    Paul

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    As to belgian blocks: they were used here as well. I have an old schoolbook from the 1930’s on acetylene welding. Apparently a large burner with multiple nozzles was used occasionally to roughen the surface of the stones by causing heat fractures on the surface.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piek View Post
    As to belgian blocks: they were used here as well. I have an old schoolbook from the 1930’s on acetylene welding. Apparently a large burner with multiple nozzles was used occasionally to roughen the surface of the stones by causing heat fractures on the surface.
    As a lad, my home village had a noted trials and enduro rider, who often competed in the big international event on the continent.

    He was considered 1 maybe 2 steps away from being a works rider, and / or being selected for the UK ISDT team etc etc ..and we used to see him riding his Greeves in all weathers including packed ice & snow……………...but I remember him telling me the worn !"£$%^&()ing Belgian Pave had him on his ass more than once - he reckoned it gave no warning, ………...and was very painful to slide on.

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    My employer had a 1.2 mile test track for the vehicles we built. Roughly .4 mile along the inside of the west straightaway was Belgian block. It was used as a rapid failure-inducing course. The drivers had to pass a physical exam and wore wide leather belts to keep their guts in place. There were limits on how many laps a driver could do in a shift. Logbooks were kept to document inspections, failures and repairs. As electronics became more available, strain gages and other devices were put on the test vehicles. The recording instruments and operator were in a separate chase vehicle that drove on a smooth path next to the Belgian blocks with a bundle of wires connecting the two vehicles.

    Later the company began investing in MTS computerized electro-hydraulic shakers to bring this sort of destructive testing into the labs. Great effort was made to record data on the Belgian block course and then program the shakers to duplicate the block input.

    I rode in a few of those trucks on the blocks just enough to get a feel for what it was like. It was interesting, but not fun.

    The Fort Wayne track is still there, but is vacant. The company moved the engineering to the Chicago area some years ago and bought the Bendix/Studebaker proving ground, which, though near South Bend, Indiana, is closer to Chicago than the old track.

    2911 Meyer Rd., Fort Wayne, IN, 46803 - R&D For Sale | LoopNet.com My old place is for sale.

    Here is the old test track.

    dsc02320.jpg

    Here is a newspaper article about the new proving ground. There is a picture of the "cobble stones" portion.
    Navistar to make proving grounds 'a showcase' | Business | southbendtribune.com

    Of course, we built heavy truck chassis for some of the fire engine makers. Back before we stopped making gas engines, the fire truck chassis with gas engines usually had dual ignition, with two spark plugs per cylinder.

    Larry
    Last edited by L Vanice; 05-14-2020 at 04:59 PM.

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    Belgian block removed from Manhattan streets became popular as curbs for private driveways. The blocks developed a market value and I've heard many were stolen by contractors from city stockpiles. They always have one smooth side, the side that was exposed to traffic. Today with the supply of "real" Belgian block about exhausted, they are being cut from granite and sold as "new" Belgian block.

    Larry, builders of large gasoline truck engines such as Continental, Waukesha and Hall-Scott offered a "fire service head" with provision for two spark plugs per cylinder. These were all big straight six motors. I have an old Delco Remy distributor cap with 12 plug terminals and two primary terminals. Prior to that, apparatus builders such as LaFrance and Seagrave who offered their own engines often equipped them with triple ignition-dual battery and magneto/crank.

    Tom B.

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    I have a memory from when I was a small boy, relating to chain drive trucks and Belgian Block paving. We were visiting an aunt and uncle, and as kids will do, I got bored rather quickly. I walked to the corner of the side-street they lived on and heard a new sound approaching. In a few moments, a "transit mix" concrete truck hove into view. It was a Mack AC series, chain drive, and the avenue which crossed the side street had the Belgian Block paving. It was late afternoon, and the trucks were headed back to their batch plant (about where the "Kings Plaza" shopping mall has stood since 1968 or thereabouts). The sound of the solid rubber tires on the Belgian Block pavement, the "singing" of the chain drive as the rear wheels tended to jump off the pavement (truck being empty), all is a sound I can hear even now, better than 60 years later. The AC series Mack trucks had a "C" cab, a cab which provided a roof and windshield, but was open at the sides. I waved to the drivers of those AC series Mack concrete trucks, and they waved back. Just a kind of snapshot of a moment when I was a kid, and seeing and hearing the old chain drive trucks made my day.
    Even then, I knew those AC series trucks were old, and were something I enjoyed seeing. Back then, the transit mix trucks had a separate engine (a power unit) to run the mixer, often a LeRoi or Continental Red Seal engine.

    Another memory of the Belgian Block paving and the theft of those blocks comes to mind with this thread. It was 1981 and I had just begun my employment with the NY Power Authority. Until things got rolling at the field construction site I was assigned to, I was "flying a desk" in the Power Authority headquarters. The HQ was then located in the old "Coliseum Tower" Building (since demolished) at 59th Street/Columbus Circle in NYC. I was bunking at my parents' house out in Brooklyn, and was using my own 1980 International Harvester Scout to commute. The Power Authority paid me mileage and gave me a guaranteed parking spot in the Coliseum's underground garage. This one evening, darkness had already fallen, it was rainy and I was bucking traffic in the Scout. Driving a manual shift vehicle in bumper-to-bumper traffic gets old quickly. I was driving down the West Side of Manhattan, under the old West Side Drive. Traffic came to a standstill, horns honking, and no movement happening. I got out to see what the problem was. A car had its rear wheels stuck solid, having dropped into a hole in the road surface. The hole was created by the theft of some of the Belgian Blocks. It was dark under the West Side Drive some light coming from street lamps, tempers were short, and the problem was not likely to get solved anytime soon. I decided to take matters into my own hands. I got the driver of the car that was stuck and told him I had a winch on my vehicle and would pull his car out of the hole. A few other people who were stuck there helped out, and we got things to where I was able to manuever the Scout so I was facing opposite traffic, lined up for winching the car out. I chocked the Scout's wheels and hooked the winch line with a chain I had to the front suspension (1970's full sized car, so plent to hook onto). I had the car up and out of that hole in short order, and we got my Scout turned around and headed towards Brooklyn. As I was to learn from people at that location, theft of the Belgian Blocks was a regular occurance. The West Side Drive was an elevated roadway. It was closed to traffic from the Battery (Southern tip of Manhattan) up to about 57th street due to a collapse of the elevated roadway in about 1974. Demolition of the West Side Drive was in progress, so people were helping themselves to the paving blocks on the street below it, probably figuring it was easy pickings.

    During that same time period, with me commuting in my Scout, I had another incident under the old West Side Drive. Same time of day, after dark, traffic crawling along, stop-and-go. I was sitting in traffic, holding in the clutch, when all hell broke loose around and on my Scout. There were abandoned piers with buildings on them, formerly used by various passenger shipping lines and some freighters. Some of these buildings were burned out shells. At the Power Authority offices, some of the people had told me that the abandoned buildings on the piers were used for all sorts of illicit activity- drug related, and trysts by people who practiced "alternative lifestyles". As I sat in traffic in my Scout, I heard screaming and cursing in a falsetto voice, and the next thing I knew, some guy wearing whacked-out sunglasses had jumped on to the Scout's front bumper as I crawled along riding the clutch. With the winch and winch guard/push bars, there was room for a person to jump aboard. This person was swinging a piece of bent rebar he had grabbed along the way, screaming curses at some other individual. This was the last thing I needed, a whacked-out person having a violent lover's quarrel on the front bumper of my Scout. I set the brake and grabbed an ironworker's spud wrench I kept in the Scout for situations like this one. I jumped out and hollered at the creep on my front bumper, telling him plainly that I was going to bust his head wide open if he did not get off my bumper. He took the hint that he might not have long to live if he attempted to hitch a ride on my Scout. The creep bailed off the Scout and seemed to run even quicker than when he'd first hopped aboard. I climbed back into my Scout and headed to my folks' house, another day in the Big Apple and nothing unusual for those times and that location.

    I well remember the streets of Brooklyn, where I grew up, and the Belgian Block paving. Some of the streets had street car rails laid in them, and I am old enough to remember riding the trolleys with my mother and grandmother. The streets which had Belgian Block paving and street car rails were often paved over with asphalt concrete. This gave a smoother road surface, but was short-lived. The pounding of traffic soon exposed areas of the Belgian Block paving, and things were worse than before. We took the Belgian Block paving for granted, and it is one of those things that is likely nearly gone from NYC streets.

    At Hanford Mills, when the engine jamboree is held, a regular feature is an old Ahrens-Fox pumper. The family that owns this pumper drives it over the roads for some distance to attend the event at Hanford Mills. The A-F pumper has a piston pump on the front end, ahead of the radiator, with a large nickel-plated air-chamber. The
    A-F pumper is run during the event, taking suction from the mill pond and throwing up quite a jet of water from a hose nozzle. It is something to hear the big six cylinder engine in that old A-F pumper really snort when she is pulling the load of the pump at full revs. The engine in that truck is big in-line 6, and if I am not mistaken, it is a "headless" engine. These are side-valve engines with screwed access plugs over each valve. I never paid attention as to who made that engine, but it is typical design for the 'teens or early 'twenties. The family who owns that Ahrens-Fox pumper keeps it spit-shined and well maintained, and it is always good to see it at Hanford Mills. The old-timer who bought the A-F pumper when it was surplussed by a fire department died a few years ago, but his family continues the tradition of showing that old fire truck.

    A co-worker had been chief of his local volunteer fire department, not too far from where we live. That department had an old Mack firetruck, a B series with diesel power, and no cab. Chances are that truck was a hand-me-down from some bigger fire department, and was likely a 1940's or early 50's truck. The fire chief told me that when he was about 18 years old, he was a member of that same volunteer fire company. One winter, when the bottom fell out of the thermometer, an old hotel building about 35 miles away caught fire. It was 35 miles of winding roads around a NYC reservoir for part of the run, so no making time and no easy driving. A mutual aid call went out to neighboring fire companies, and this fellow's company responded. The more senior men took the newer trucks with closed cabs and heaters. As an 18 year old, he was assigned to drive the Mack pumper with the open cab. The fellow told me he and another young member bundled up in insulated coveralls, mufflers wrapped around their faces, took wool blankets, and set off. 35 miles in bitter cold weather on an open truck was a tough run, and when they got to the fire, about all they could do was try to contain it. They were relieved to go into some nearby building to get warmed up, but had to drive that old Mack on the return run a few hours later, after dealing with iced-up hoses and having to square away the truck, draining down the pump and piping.

    I remember in the 60's, when there was 'trouble' (i.e., rioting, looting, burning of buildings) in NYC, the NYFD still had open cabs on most of their trucks. The NYFD retrofitted plywood cabs to their trucks to protect the firefighters from the people in the surrounding neighborhoods. Like the Belgian Block paving, the open cab fire trucks disappeared, one of those things we took for granted and when we thought about it, it was already long gone. Similarly, gasoline powered fire trucks have quietly been replaced with diesel power. No ordering a diesel truck engine with dual fuel injection systems, so the 'old heads' and 'brass' at the fire departments must have accepted the fact that diesel power is quite reliable.

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    Joe, those Mack AC transit mix trucks may well have been from Colonial Sand and Gravel in Port Washington. High quality sand was mined there until the 1980's and went into many NYC buildings. The old wash house stood until about 20 ears ago. They also had a fleet of tugs and barges at their dock in Hempstead Harbor to ship out sand. I think Colonial never got rid of anything. I recall a "dead line" of 10 wheel dump and transit mix trucks in the weeds off Shore Road that had a few Mack AC's that were there for years.

    Ahrens Fox piston pumpers were probably the highest quality pumping engine ever built. The motor you recall might have been a Hercules which seemed to be favored by AF. The last piston pumper went to Tarrytown FD in 1953 and they still have it. Nyack FD's Highland Hose Company also still has their 1949 AF. There are three here on Long Island still owned by their original departments. Fox's cab-forward centrifugal pumper model lasted a few more years until closure. Intellectual property was sold to Mack which produced the Mack Model C, nearly identical to the AF except for the bulldog.

    The fire service was late in accepting diesels but the handwriting was on the wall for the big gas engine builders as their customer base shrank. Seagrave and American LaFrance both produced their own V-12 gas engines until the early 1960's. Mack offered a 707 cubic inch motor in gas or diesel form-same block, different head. Many volunteer departments used to remove the mufflers, believing they reduced power. Those big 6's made an unmistakeable sound.

    Tom B.

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    Joe M

    we may be kindred spirits--I bought the last two IH Scouts sold new on west coast--1980
    build year with Nissan diesel+turbocharger--4 speed manuals

    turbo should have cleaned emissions but warm up took 15 minutes during which
    the vehicle could misquito fog a section of land

    I was smitten with them and bought 5 more for parts
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ihs.jpg  

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    Early in 1964, I was asked to start the engine of a Scout with the standard 4-152 engine and stick shift. My family had only owned automatic transmissions since 1946, so I was not about to drive the thing, but I found the key and turned it. The thing made a short jump forward and the mechanic with his head under the hood gave me a quick lecture on the advisability of pushing in the clutch pedal before turning the key.

    Around 1975, I was given the job of working out the kinks in the first Harvester-owned Nissan Diesel in a Scout. Someone in central Indiana had installed one in his own vehicle and got Harvester to give one a try. I think the price of diesel fuel was lower than gasoline back then, and there were Federal emission laws that were causing problems on the gas engines. That was when I got to learn about Japanese pipe fittings and Japanese versus German metric bolts and nuts. The Scout was turned over to Engineering with the Nissan and an auto transmission already installed by an outside shop. I soon found out that it was a dog to drive, with 0-60 time of something like 24 seconds. I gained a few seconds by designing a non-linear throttle valve linkage to improve the shift points, but it was still a dog. Later, we got the turbocharged engines and I think it was still a struggle to get across an intersection before the light turned red. I made my last vacation trip to Japan in 1976 and used my Nissan connections to get a plant tour of their UD truck engineering and assembly plant in Ageo. It was a fun day and gave me a healthy respect for their products, which were a lot better than my Scout experience had led me to expect.

    At the end of the Scout's lifetime, we were making test installations of Chrysler gas engines for emission testing and driving evaluations. I think they had given up on meeting emissions with the IH gas engines. I recall a company surplus auction around 1981 that included a bunch of unused Chrysler engines on skids. There were also a handful of plastic bodied Scout prototypes running around. As I recall, they did not fare well on the Belgian block course. The one surviving plastic Scout is in a museum in Auburn, IN.

    On one occasion, I tried to load a Scout to its rated gross. I seem to recall that GVR had an effect on emission requirements. Like higher GVR meant looser emissions. I had to bolt a very large steel bar to the front bumper because weights in the interior could only get the rated load on the back axle. Anyway, one look at the state of the front and rear springs caused us to pull off a lot of the weight before trying to drive the vehicle.

    I never had any desire to own a Scout, but did drive them many miles.

    Larry

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    Gentlemen:

    I bought my IH Scout new, with the Nissan turbo diesel and 4 speed manual transmission. From day one there were problems with the clutch throwout bearing. After many thousands of miles and many new throwout bearings, the IH dealer in Poughkeepsie, NY finally got to the bottom of the problem. The bell housing was mis-aligned to the centerline of the crankshaft. The result was the transmission input shaft was strained to get the pilot into the pilot bearing, and the resulting misalignment was taking out throwout bearings with regularity. The P'okeepsie dealer said the factory had dowelled the bell housing to the engine with the misalignment. They re-aligned the bell housing and reamed and fitted oversized dowels.

    The Scout was a rust bucket of the first order. It began rusting out early in the time I owned it. The Nissan turbo diesel was a wonderful little engine, but quirky. 13 quarts of lube oil with a 1500 mile service interval. Cartridge type filters for lube oil and fuel. Lube oil filter was a guaranteed mess when I went to change filter elements. Starting meant pushing in the glow plug button in cold weather and counting off 30 seconds to a minute, then push in the rack stop knob and hit the starter. The engine could be started without a key if the Scout were pushed or rolled downhill- just push in the rack stop. I do not recall whether there was a locking steering wheel.

    The Nissan diesel had some balls to it, for sure. On one occasion, a buddy of mine (an engineer on Mississippi tow boats) and I were visiting some Dutch naval vessels docked on the West Side of Manhattan. When we got back to the lot where I had parked my Scout, I was boxed in my two vehicles in front of mine in a line. The lot attendant had locked up his shanty and left for the day. Some more vehicles were parked hard behind the Scout. Nothing to do but try to extricate the Scout. I locked in the front hubs, put the transfer case in low range and backed up as far and as hard as I could against the car behind me. I pushed that car back some small distance. I then gunned the Scout diesel to get the boost up and let out the clutch. I slammed the push bars (I had made my own winch guard out of steel box tube and pipe) into the car in front of my Scout, a full sized American car. Got him moving despite one rear wheel being locked as the tranny in that car was in "park". Kept the throttle floored and slammed that car into a Ford station wagon that was first in line. My buddy got out in the middle of West 55th street (or thereabouts) and flagged traffic, all the while giving me the railroad signal for coming ahead, really moving it to mean "highball". I now had two full sized vehicles in front of the Scout, both with one rear wheel locked, and one of those vehicles slewed and began raking the side of another parked car. I kept the throttle floored and knew if I stopped, I might not get things moving again. The first car ran off the curb and into the street, and then the second car wound up also in that same condition before I had enough room to get the Scout out. A NYC transit system bus had to go up on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street to get around the hazard to navigation I had created. My buddy hopped into the cab and off we went in low range 4 wd, needing to get way fast. Driving in 4 wd low range on hard pavement can break wrists. A couple of blocks later, I shifted out of low range and unlocked the front hubs. We were laughing like fiends over our handiwork. The jokers who had boxed my Scout in were in for a rude surprise- their cars were likely towed by NYC department of traffic control and impounded on one of the old piers. It would cost those people a good bit of time and money to get their cars back.

    Another of the Scout's finest moments came when my buddy Ron Zinski and his wife were living with us, getting a new start in NY State. Ron took a job as a stationary fireman at a tape factory in Beacon, NY and used my Scout to get around the area. One day at his workplace, some young punk with a new Jeep started in on Ron about the Scout and the rattle-trap diesel and how it had no balls. Ron is not someone to mess around with. He is an ex USMC gunnery sergeant with two tours in Vietnam as a Scout-Sniper and tunnel rat due to his smaller stature. Ron likes to state something once, then let people either take his advice or go on their asses. This punk kept badmouthing the Scout, and Ron simply said: get a chain and put money where your mouth is. The Scout and the Jeep were chained rear bumper to rear bumper. The Jeep had a V-8 engine in it, and Ron had tried to explain to the punk that the V-8 had little low-end torque. Ron made sure they got the slack out of the chain before the real pull-off began. Most of the workers from the plant were outside to watch the pull-off during the lunch break. Ron had the Scout in low range, got the turbo boost up, and let out the clutch. The Scout dragged the Jeep with the Jeep's wheels spinning in the forward direction. Case for the diesel engine was made. The Scout had a cast iron transmission and transfer case, probably heavier driveline components than the Jeep, and was about evenly matched for GVW. Ron collected on the wager and told the punk to be careful about his mouth overloading his ass.

    I drove the Scout to our wedding, and my wife, in her bridal dress, hooked the winch lead to the belt of my pants. We had a picture taken of Nancy holding the winch pendant control, with the winch cable pulled taught, seemingly dragging me backwards towards her.

    The old Scout was quirky. Problems with the vee belts connecting the Nissan turbo diesel to the other auxiliaries, it took a good mechanic to find the right cross section of belt to stop the squeal and habitual throwing off of the belt between the crankshaft pulley, water pump and other auxiliaries. The other major issue was limited vacuum assist capacity for braking. Being a turbocharged engine, it had no manifold vacuum for the brake booster. This was solved by piggybacking a vane type vacuum pump on the tail of the alternator. On hills, in stop-and-go traffic, after a few repeated rapid applications of the service brakes, vacuum boost was lost and you had to throw all you had in you on the brake pedal to hold the Scout on upgrades. Why IH did not add a vacuum reservoir is beyond me. It resulted in a dented tailgate when I was manuevering on a very steep, windy driveway and could not hold the Scout with the service brakes - having lost vacuum assist. Rolled back into a tree and put a dent into the tailgate.

    I used to keep the Scout in the garage of our first house. To start it, I would leave the rack stop pulled out and bump the starter with the transmission in reverse gear. I would motor out of the garage and well clear, get the door close, and then crank up the Scout. The diesel threw too much smoke to start in the garage, which was within our split-level house.

    If some joker got too close to my tail, I used to play the throttle and get the waste gate on the turbo to open, resulting in a belch of thick black diesel smoke. This cured tailgaters.

    I sold the Scout for little money to a buddy. He began transplanting the Nissan diesel and Scout driveline onto a Landrover chassis and body. The Rover chassis is galvanized steel and the Rover body (from the 60's or 70's) is aluminum, so at least the rust issue is solved. I suggested he make a large vacuum reservoir for the brake system, given what I had experienced first hand. That has yet to happen, as the project is a work in progress taking longer than Michelangelo took on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

    The Scout was a bit ahead of its time. A handily sized 4 x 4 SUV. It was kind of poor in terms of project design and details, but it was a vehicle I enjoyed owning and driving. We called it "The Cornbinder"- an oldtime name for any International Harvester vehicle. The steering wheel from my old scout and the gearshift knob are in my shop. Not sure where they will wind up. Despite its quirks, I have fond memories of that old Scout. Hard to believe I bought it 40 years ago and now am wondering where all those years went.

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