BF Classified: 1980 International Scout II Diesel

So yes, I do still have the junkyard-find Isuzu Trooper project lingering in the background. Blame a few big life events for not getting that one back up on the site sooner than later. But when I see a vintage square body SUV in the sort of better-than-average-but-not-perfect condition like this diesel-equipped International Scout II listed here on the Barn Finds Classifieds, I really get the itch to figure out how to wrap up the Trooper project and get it home as soon as possible. This Scout II is desirable not only for being one of the more iconic vintage SUVs out there that isn’t a Bronco, but also for its tough-as-nails Nissan-built diesel engine.

Some might consider it sacrilege to have a Nissan mill under the hood of an American icon like the Scout, but it actually served to make it even more legendary. Now, not only do you have tremendous off-road capability, but you also have an engine that will outlast the body and chassis around it. The seller notes that despite being in storage since 2002, it runs out quite well. A number of upgrades have been made since its revival, including a Detroit Locker 44 rear end, T19 four-speed Dana 300 transfer case, rock sliders on three-inch lift kit, an external cage, and “…vintage seats” with a split-bench – I wish there was a picture of those seats, as I’m curious whether they’re period aftermarket or something else I haven’t seen.

The Nissan-built turbodiesel is somewhat legendary according to diesel Scout owners, praised for its reliability and decent performance right out of the box. I’m sure they need attention just like anything else, but I’ve seen more than one listing for a Scout wherein the seller glosses over almost every other detail and locks on to the diesel powerplant that’s under the hood. It has that kind of attraction among buyers, especially given so few of the off-road 4x4s from that era had factory diesel options. Even in the Trooper world, finding a first-generation turbodiesel is a major score, despite limited parts availability. The seller notes that the UD (Nissan) 3.3 liter comes with an upgraded intercooler, injectors, and a diesel kiki pump.

The lift kit isn’t too aggressive, and while I like the wheel and tire setup, there are different options out there that are more period-correct for a 4×4 from this era. The orange paint looks pretty tidy, but this Scout is dying for some period stripes and body graphics that many Scouts from this era came with. Overall, it presents well and is just nice enough that you’ll be proud to take it out on a Friday night, but not so nice that you won’t take it to the trails on Saturday morning. The seller is asking $24,900 for the truck which is located in Salt Lake City, Utah,


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  1. Classic Steel

    I like the concept..
    Nice t a real diesel fan but this is a sweat Scout.

    Like 3
  2. jrsmith33

    I had one a number of years ago. You had to be creative with replacement parts. Such as the alternator that had a vacuum pump built into the back of it. No rebuild shops would touch it. The replacement alternator was placed on the right side of the engine. It would run and run till the body rusted away…

    Like 2
  3. bobk

    Started reading this and was getting more excited the more that I read. Then I got to the price and the dream ended. Don’t get me wrong, while I think that it might be a bit overpriced, it’s not bad. Unfortunately, having just been laid off from a USMC contract, it’s beyond my budget. Will check back to see if still available assuming I get on another USMC contract (in the works).

    Like 3
  4. Bill

    “you also have an engine that will outlast the body and chassis around it.” You’d have that with a standard IH V-8 and a lot more get up and go, too. The Nissan diesel was not designed to be fast, nor was it.

    The fact that it’s a 1980 is more of a selling point: This year was the only one for galvanized body steel and the Dana 300, but that’s 1980-quality rustproofing. Which T-19 is it, Wide or Close? (Wide is 6-1 first gear).

    Five pictures for a Scout is about 95 too few. I’d want to see the cab mounts, doglegs, the front floor, the rear floor, more than one engine picture, some decent shots of the suspension (always a crapshoot with a Scout, there’s no telling what tomfoolery happened under there—especially with a lift), better shots of the windshield (how is that bar system attached?), and the undersides of the doors. As well as the interior.

    Like 7
    • Brian Webb

      has anyone noticed the right front spring shackle ?? it looks a little funky

  5. Cooter914 Cooter914 Member

    I think if your gonna ask the world and a bowl of nuts, you might want to take more than 4 pictures. Seriously 😳 4?

    Like 6
    • Rspcharger Rspcharger

      Wow, just wow. Here I thought there would be more pics if I followed the link….nope, only 4 of them.

      Like 1
  6. Karl

    Unfortunately the engine is the best part of the vehicle, I think this engine would outlast 3 of the bodies with their severe known rust issues!

    Like 2
  7. half cab

    I thought it was the new 2021 bronco at first lol

    Like 3
  8. Melony A WILD

    i just bought a 1980 rally scout has the turbo diesel motor.we hat motor oil should i 2004 tht new radiatore water pump went out.the guy pulled off water pump then passed away.i just bought it on sept.20,2020.i paid 2000 for going to put new radiator ,old one is ify.can i put a 3 core aluminum in it ?

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