1. home
  2. ultimate adventure
  3. 2020
  4. Ultimate Adventure 2020 Invited Reader: Joe Grieshop! #UA2020

Ultimate Adventure 2020 Invited Reader: Joe Grieshop! #UA2020

This year we’ll have three Internationals on UA2020!

There was a time when Scouts were sort of considered the redheaded stepchildren of the off-road 4x4 world.

Sure, a lot of that was good-natured fun being poked at America's most trusted farm, field, and family implement, but it was a bit of truth borne out of the prices that used IH vehicles fetched. Back when a basket-case Bronco or Jeep CJ would set you back $5,000, you might find a Scout in similar condition for only $500. And that's the irony. When you look at a stock CJ or early Bronco, the IH counterpart has (in many cases) a better set of axles, an equal playing field on the transfer case, a better transmission, and very durable power plants. The framerails are nice and widely spaced, so you can fit a wide variety of axles or T-cases in them for hardcore wheeling (try to fit an NP205 in a Bronco or early CJ!), and the tops and doors are removable for open-air enjoyment. So for a while, the Scout was the dirty little secret of those hardcore 4x4 builders in the know, but now that early Bronco and CJ prices have risen to offensive levels, enthusiast looking for their vintage 4x4 fix have begun gravitating towards IH products of the '50s, '60s, '70s, and '80s.

Joe Grieshop, however, isn't one of those latecomers to the binder life. He bought his 1970 Scout 800a nine years ago and has been modifying and tweaking it to suit his off-roading needs.

Before the iteration you see here, Joe's Scout used to run a big-block Chevy thumper under the hood, but that was yanked for the smooth, reliable, and lighter 6.2L L92 that currently powers the vintage IH. Backing the LS engine is GM's excellent 6L80E six-speed automatic that feeds an Offroad Design NP203/205 Doubler. A Dana 60 front and GM 14-bolt rear with 4.56s and automatic lockers have no trouble dealing with the relatively small strain put on them by the 37x12.50-16 tires on Hutchinson double beadlock wheels.

The simple leaf spring suspension was ditched for a custom three-link front setup with BDS coils and Fox shocks up front and a triangulated four-link out back. Joe did a lot of research before building the suspension and says the results are really good even on the first try. The Scout can go down the road at better than 70 mph, runs cool, and is super off-road capable. Sounds like a great UA candidate to us, and now Joe, Jeff Ismail of IH Parts America, and our own Ultimate International build from UA2019 will be strongly representing the IH community off-road.

If you want a shot at UA next year, go find the "Ultimate Adventure Registration is Live!" button on the UA home page at the Four Wheeler Network. Inside, you'll find the application PDF. Simply fill that out, add a couple good high-res images of your vehicle, and email it in to us. And be sure to stay tuned to fourwheeler.com/ultimate-adventure to follow updates on the UALRJ as it comes together, and don't forget to watch all the UA2020 event coverage on our website, as well as social media with the #UA2020 hashtag for the latest on what the UA gang is up to as the event draws closer!