A This is the type of ingenuity and project that really makes me smile. When the rest of the herd is trying to find the latest bumper or GPS mount for their new 4x4, you decide, To heck with that. I'll just build what I want from scratch.
I cannot see your frame so you need to do a little evaluation on your own. Your Scout 80 frame should be boxed the entire length, and because you are from the Southwest I'd hope your frame is in pretty good condition. If so, I don't see a major problem with lengthening the frame, but you'll have to verify that it's not full of rust (you'll know for sure when you cut it in half).
Also, if you decide to use the original frame, do yourself a favor and get it cleaned and sandblasted. This will make welding new motor mounts and suspension points that much easier. On the other hand, if you build your own frame you could make it a little taller out of 2x6x1/8-inch rectangular tubing, which will greatly increase the strength.
Section height is one of the secrets to a strong frame; look how tall a 1-ton truck frame is. Plus it will act like an impromptu body lift if you mount the leaf springs below the frame. You'll also have to miter and reinforce each rise and fall of the frame, add body mounts, and build all your crossmember and plumbing mounts. The bigger framerails will also result in a heavier frame and overall truck.
I think if this is a project you really want to put some time into and if strength is the goal, you should build your own frame. If you want it done quickly, stretching your frame is the better solution.
I like your question because a lot of guys are in your position, wondering whether to rebuild or start from scratch. Many old 4x4s (like Willys Jeeps) have very flimsy frames. I have one, and every time I start daydreaming about how cool it would be with a linked suspension and new axles I run into that frame question and realize that to really make the most of the Jeep I'll need to replace it. Leaving it stock is great for most trails, but when you start doing the rough stuff that's when the cracks show up.
Since your project sound neat and your question should help other guys I'm picking it as this month's Nuts, I'm Confused question. You'll be getting a voucher for a new set of General Tires. General has a full line of light truck tires, such as the Grabber AT2 all-terrain, which is a great all-around tire, and the new Grabber, which has quickly been making its name amongst desert racers and off-road enthusiasts. I'm sure you can find something from General's offerings for under your Scout project. Find out more at www.generaltire.com
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