Nissan Diesel Power: 1980 International Scout

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

Despite a burly American truck like the International Scout seemingly an icon of domestic toughness and reliability, some of the later Scout II’s actually relied on diesel power from Nissan to keep their rugged reputation intact. This 1980 model features the desirable turbocharged diesel powerplant, a 3.3L inline-six installed by thee factory. The seller has also listed a blue Scout in the same listing here on eBay and will either sell the diesel by itself or both trucks together for $10K.

The turbodiesel-equipped Scouts seems like the ultimate “bug-out” vehicle to me, the kind of rig that can keep on chuggin’ even after the grid has been fried and a military police force is installed to maintain order. The Scout seen here may not get you very far right now, but the seller notes it was a runner before he decided to remove the turbo and install a new exhaust. Neither project got underway and it’s sat ever since.

The Scout sat for 25 years before the seller got his hands on it, and now it’s stuck sitting again. He notes it ran quite well once he got the Nissan-sourced motor to fire back up, but there are still lots of loose ends that need tightening, including an electrical short that drains the battery. The transmission and transfer case are said to have worked fine when the truck was running. Interior-wise, there’s no center console and the passenger seat is missing.

Here’s the other Scout potentially up for grabs if you take the seller’s offer of $10K for the pair. He notes it’s incredibly rusty underneath but that he’s including all of the necessary patch panels to set it right. This truck lost its transfer case so it’s 2WD only, but is said to run / drive and start up every time. For me, I’d buy the diesel-powered Scout for the asking price of $3,699 or best offer, and let someone else sort out the rust bucket.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. HoA Howard AMember

    The last of the Mohicans. IH’s final gasp at the SUV market. This was the last Scout made, a colossal blunder, I feel.( and that plastic grill made them look cheap) Neither one is anything to write home about, much less for $10g’s, but I wouldn’t underestimate a Scout, in even in it’s rusty form. I’ve seen some pretty wasted Scouts still working. Personally, I’m not a fan of diesels, except for pulling 80,000 lbs. and any number of gas engines could work in these. Just because of their nature, it’s almost impossible to find a clean one, and this is about as good as you’ll find. Such a shame, they were great vehicles, could have made IH a pile of money if they just stayed in it a bit longer, SUV’s were just coming in, and since their large truck market went to heck ( thank you Volvo) I’d give this guy a grand and make them into plow trucks.

    Like 7
  2. JBP

    This 3,3 liter turbo is the best, and strongest engine Nissan ever made.
    It run forever, and with sidepipe is has the real truck sound.
    I had a 4×4 workshop for 15-20 years ago, and have welded the first 50 rusty frames, becourse of salty roads in winter. I have 6 of them. The first was a old 1982 Datsun pickup without turbo.
    But 84-88 is the best with turbo. The next was only a 2,8 liter.
    But in Denmark you dont se them anymore. Sadly course of rust.

    Like 4
  3. azd

    This one has been in the local classifieds for many months, maybe a year? Sadly it’s a basket case, and the least attractive style. I just don’t see it coming back together.

    On the other hand, you could probably shoehorn that engine into a 50s IHC pickup without much trouble. That would be pretty interesting.

    Like 1
  4. geomechs geomechsMember

    The designer of this particular unit was obviously drinking his own bath water. I
    just cannot understand what happened to this particular model year. Another place and time I would be interested in taking a project like this one on. The SUV appeals more to me than the pickup but it would be nice to fix them both up. The SD 33 engine is essentially the same engine in the Nissan pickup (Nissan Patrol also uses the SD33) but with two more cylinders. The same fuel system problems as the 4 cylinder units: the timing advance unit tends to stick (need frequent oil changes required) making the engine a real mosquito killer all year round. The Scout has a different governor than the Nissan pickup or Nissan Patrol, and that is a good thing because the shut-down/excess fuel mechanism on the others is a pain in the butt, in addition to being expensive and obsolete. However, a couple of bowden cables make quick reliable work of it. If this thing has been sitting for many years the fuel system could be seized due to varnish accumulation and will have to be (carefully) freed up, or you’ll really be spending some money. Nice project to take on but it’s way over my budget…

    Like 3
  5. stillrunners

    Last hurrah – BUT – still they were trying to keep up……….

    Like 0
  6. Glenn Schwass

    I have never heard of the diesel model. It is just amazing to see one not totally rusted out. I hope someone does something with it. The other one, meh.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds