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Wiring Challenge: 1968 International Scout 800

Located in Billings, Montana, this 1968 International Scout 800 is listed for sale here on eBay. There is only one day remaining in the auction and bids are currently up to only $3,500 which seems cheap for this little rig. The seller is the third owner having purchased the Scout from the second owner who bought it in the late 1980’s. The seller states that the wiring on this Scout is a mess apparently from a prior owner adding 14 lights to the exterior.

The motor in this Scout 800 is most likely the base engine that was installed in the majority of International Scouts. The 152 cubic inch inline four-cylinder engine was factory rated at 93 horsepower. The optional engines were a larger inline 4 cylinder, an inline 6 cylinder, and a 266 cubic inch V8 engine. The seller states that this engine was rebuilt by the second owner but it has sat for 20 years. He was able to get it started but the carburetor needs to be rebuilt or replaced.

The interior is dirty and rough. The three speed manual transmission is shifted using a floor shifter. As you can see, their are multiple wires hanging below the dash and the gauge bezel appears to be loose. While the glass and several body panels look good, there is some rust in the rocker panels and the floorboards in front and back have holes from rust rot.

The International Scout 800 was the successor to the Scout 80 which was produced from 1961 until 1965. The Jeep CJ-5 and the Ford Bronco entered the midsize SUV 4WD market in 1966 and offered the Scout its first real competition. The seller lists the exterior color on this Scout as orange but it looks more like red to me. Once the mechanical and electrical issues are addressed, the body on this Scout is good enough to make this a solid driver.



  1. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    What wiring? A coaster wagon has more wires. I swear, if this was closer, I’d be on my way with a UHaul trailer behind the squarebody. After much thought, I’ve decided to sell( or trade) my GMC for some sort of 4×4. After the dismal experience with the dual sport bike, I’m still in the most beautiful part of the US, and I still want to go back in the hills, and as much as I’d hate to get rid of the GMC, I’m probably going to stay where I am, and a 4×4 is just a better deal. I’d love a Scout, I’m not making any road trips anymore anyway, 4 cylinder would be fine, I can take back roads to the trails. Better do it soon, as I predict, the Scout will be the next “flash in the pan” 5 figure 4×4.

    Like 12
  2. Avatar photo i8afish

    Agree with Howard. These are great trucks! I’d swap in a small block, gear it for torque and remove the tweeker lighting. Then use as intended. You could pull a small aluminum fishing boat anywhere!

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Dave

      When I was young and silly we pulled a 12’ travel trailer camping with one of these!

      Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Ian C

    As mentioned before…. if it was closer. I just looked, and the drive time is 29 hours. Each way. Dangit!!!

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Charles A Roberts

      My son in Billings. Had one of these in VT in the 70’s. Was the “plow” truck with a 4 cly. Loved it.
      Died a rusty death.

      Like 0
  4. Avatar photo RayT

    I spent some years driving a ’66 800, and therefore have to agree that swapping in a SBC — with at least a four-speed transmission — is a “must.” You don’t need 400 horses under the hood, just more than the 93 the standard rough-running old lump puts out. And I’m pretty sure the Chevy engine is lighter (and certainly easier to get parts for) than the I-H 304 V8.

    The wiring shouldn’t cause much worry. Most modern cars have more wiring in their doors than a whole Scout does. These things are simple and basic, which is why they are essentially bulletproof.

    But they’re not rust-proof, and that could be where this one needs work. Ours, which lived its life in Southern California, was showing rust — and, it must be said, some poorly applied paint — early on. Again, not difficult to correct, but there are hidden places that need to be checked carefully.

    A quick look at eBay suggests that asking prices are already creeping steadily upward. So it’d be best to take the plunge with one like this before they pass out of reach.

    Like 5
  5. Avatar photo Bultaco

    It probably has a total of about 7 circuits, so requiring should be easy. I think the IH 152 is basically half of a 304 V8, so it’ll be rough. A modern 4-cylinder or V6 or V8 swap wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    Like 1
  6. Avatar photo GOM

    A truck type 4 speed behind the existing engine makes a good combination for use under a variety of conditions. With that arrangement, it is a far superior vehicle compared to the post WWII Jeeps which the Scout was originally designed to compete with.

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo JOHN MATCOVICH

    The wiring on this must be pretty similar to my 1968 1200 pickup. It has 10 circuits. When I got it (non-running), something had shorted out and all the dash light wires were bare copper – all the insulation had burnt off. I pulled the main harness out of a parts truck and installed it in this truck in an afternoon. Very easy to access everything once the instrument cluster (six screws), radio and glove box are removed.
    I’m a purist – I’d stick with an IHC 304 as an engine upgrade.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Bart

      I’m a purist too, but I’d go 345, or 392 if I could find one.

      Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Armstrongpsyd

    I had a 64 Scout and loved it until a 67 MGB stole my heart away. The small engine was no problem, nor was the 3 speed. It got crappy gas mileage but would climb trees if you wanted it too. It was perfect in the Ozarks mtns. Tough, tough, tough. I rolled it once, got it back on the rubber side and drove it another year with only a minor dent in its roof.

    Like 3
  9. Avatar photo Desert Rat

    I would do to this Scout what I did to my cj7 Jeep, drop in a 350tbi Chevy with a painless wiring harness. It’s a lot of work compared to an aftermarket bolt on EFI system but it’s cheap to get EFI and with 269 hp it moves a light weight jeep or Scout with ease plus it will just about run upside down. I payed 400$ for the running motor an the pick-a-part and got the computer, serpentine belt drive with power steering and ac compressor all for that price. like I said it was a lot of work but I have a FIE small block in my Jeep for around 700$, that’s hard to beat.

    Like 2
  10. Avatar photo Todd Zuercher

    Bruce – the CJ-5 was introduced in 1955, not 1966, so it was already well along in years by the time this Scout was produced.

    We had a ’67 Scout Sportop with the 152 cid 4 cylinder for a few years when I was a kid and it was a gutless wonder. We had to shift it into 2-Lo just to climb our driveway and to pull out onto the main road from our street. When we would go 4 wheeling (a favorite family activity), the family would have to pile out so Dad would have a chance of making it up the steep hills while gunning the engine. After a few years of this, Dad wised up and bought our ’69 Bronco in 1981, which I still drive to this day.

    As a 4×4 enthusiast who likes most rigs, I like Scouts but something like this is best left for flat land fun cruises these days.

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Bill Hall

    The four cylinder IHC Engine is a V 8 cut in half

    Like 0

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