Ultimate International Gets Suspension & Axles, Part 4 #UA2019
Part 4: Our Project Scout Gets Suspension & Axles
When we left off last month on the buildup of our 1964 Scout 80, which will be leading the Ultimate Adventure this year, we had nestled the Cummins R2.8 and Tremec TR-4050 transmission into place, wrapped up the rollcage, and started on some skidplates. Shortly after wrapping up that article our build got a major shot in the arm with the arrival of some key components, namely a pair of Ultimate Dana 60s from Dana and some leaf springs from Skyjacker. We had already stripped the old axles and suspension off of the Scout's frame, so at last it was time to dive into making this thing a roller with some super-beefy new components.
Some of you might be surprised that we opted to stick with leaf springs as opposed to something fancier like a custom-fabricated four-link with coilovers. As some of the memes making the rounds on social media proclaim, leaf springs are for poor people. Or are they? The fact is that leaf springs can be made to perform exceptionally well off-road while providing an excellent ride on the street. Leaf springs are also simple and reliable, and both of those characteristics are really important when you're building a vehicle that's going to be used in very remote places and in harsh environments. Dealing with bad bushings, bent control arms, and death wobble gets tedious after a while, and if leaf springs worked for the first 100 or so years of 4x4 suspension design, it's going to work just fine for us. It's also not a coincidence that a leaf spring suspension is also fairly quick and easy to set up, which is another important attribute when you're building on a tight deadline. While we may have pressed the suspension "easy button," we did take a slightly different approach that might spark some ideas for other leaf spring builders out there.
Check out the highlights of what we did to get the axles under the Scout and build some custom mounts using a variety of components to make springs not intended for an old Scout work under an old Scout. Hopefully, with all of the important bits present and accounted for, we can start buttoning this thing up and attend to the thousand other things that need to happen before the Ultimate International has to be at an undisclosed location at an undisclosed time for a very disclosed event!