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There is some renewed hype around the Scout name thanks to some intrepid automotive necromancers. The Scout brand is coming back, but not quite like it used to be. In the old days, the International Harvester Scout 80 was more akin to a tractor than a truck. However, with the help of an Amazon Supercharger and a Sniper EFI, Jeff Ismail from IH Parts America built a Scout with real power. While the actual power figures are unknown, Ismail proves that Amazon car parts are worth it. 

Not all Scouts we created equal

A sticker reading 'Hell on Wheels"
“Hell on Wheels” | Courtesy of Jeff Ismail

In an interview between the builder of the supercharged 1964 Scout and The Drive, Ismail described the Scout as “Hell on wheels.” While that may have been said in jest, the fact that this Scout can hit 60 mph going uphill makes us think he might not be joking all that much. 

In fact, when he bought the ‘64 Scout from a widow in California, it had the original body as well as the original, naturally-aspirated four-pot. Ismail swapped the ‘64 body for a ‘62. That body had a sticker that came on it reading “Hell on wheels.” The truck called its shot. 

Are Amazon performance car parts worth it? 

International Harvester Scout with a supercharger
International Harvester Scout with a supercharger| Courtesy of Jeff Ismail

Whether or not these parts are worth it will definitely depend on the project. These heavy, boxy, low-geared, four-cylinders didn’t even crest 100 hp in their factory forms. The hill that leads to Ismail’s shop is a daily issue for the Scout. In its previous form, its creator says that the old truck could barely hit 40 mph going up it. The lack of power is what prompted the Amazon performance car parts purchase. 

Ismail bought the PanDair supercharger for around $370 from Amazon. His original plan was to swap the 152-cubic-inch four-pot for a 196-cubic-inch plant instead. However, now, if the supercharger causes the engine to explode, he has a more powerful backup. Paired with his Amazon supercharger, Ismail also got a $30 blowoff valve, despite him being a self-proclaimed non-turbo or -supercharger kind of guy. That said, the results were remarkable. His slow hill went from 40 mph to 62 mph on the first run. 

While he admits he is mainly using this Scout as a testing ground, the shop isn’t likely to start selling kits using an Amazon supercharger. Although, so far, the part seems to be working well. Worth it? Maybe.

Can you put a supercharger on an old 4×4 SUV? 

You surely can. This build shows how easily and cheaply it can be done. Anyone can build anything with enough time and money; this build is a refreshing take on this. Ismail says he is pretty consistently getting four psi and sometimes boosting up to seven psi. Another bit of fab work that needed doing was using a Scout II radiator hose. 

The Drive mentions that during the phone call with Ismail, he tried to find the Amazon supercharger and found that Amazon no longer sells the part. 

What else will happen to this custom Scout?

International Harvester Scout hauling hay
International Harvester Scout | Courtesy of Jeff Ismail

Ismail says that his R&D Scout is far from finished. He plans to install a Crawler Proven Technology stainless steel fuel tank, an AX15 five-speed transmission, and a Hamilton Fuel Injection timing control distributor. 

The Scout won’t just sit and wait, though. Ismail plans to continue thinking about the truck and using it to haul hay to feed his goats. 

A project like this warms our enthusiast hearts because it isn’t built using limitless resources so that some collectors can put it in their stable along with 100 other similarly outlandish vehicles. This is an honest truck from an honest shop built with love and intention. We love to see it.