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The Scout Dana 300

by Terry L. Howe

Scout 300 front Scout 300 back


Scout 300

Jeep Xfer

Factory Options

What's so special about a Scout Dana 300? Well many things make it desirable including:

  • The "Texas" bolt pattern
  • The 2.62 low range
  • Rear center output
  • Sturdy construction
  • Short transmission adapter

The "Texas" bolt pattern is the pattern on the input side which is the same pattern used on the Dana 20 and Dana 18. The only difference is on the Scout Dana 300, the bottom bolt is not used, only the four bolts on the side are used. Since it features this pattern, it is bolt compatible with any Jeep or Scout transmission that has a Dana 20 or Dana 18 attached to it.

The Scout Dana 300 features a 2.62:1 low range just like the Jeep Dana 300. This is a big improvement over the the 2.03:1 low range of the Dana 20. If it doesn't sound like much difference to you, remember that gears are multiplicative. If have a Jeep T-18/Dana 20/3.54s combination for example, your crawl ratio is 6.32 * 2.03 * 3.54 or 45:1. If a Scout 300 was swapped in, the crawl ratio would be 6.32 * 2.62 * 3.54 or 59:1. The same would be true if you were running a wide ratio Scout T-19. Keep in mind that all Scout T-18s, some Scout T-19s, and some Jeep T-18s were close ratio.

The Scout Dana 300 also has a center output which is transfers power straight through in two wheel drive high mode. The down side of this over an offset rear output like the Dana 18, is that the rear drive shaft angle is somewhat steeper. The good side is since the center output is straight through in 2H, it is quieter and longer lasting.

Another feature of the Scout Dana 300 is it features the same sturdy construction as the Jeep Dana 300. The Scout 300 has a cast iron case and is gear driven. The only real difference between the Jeep and Scout Dana 300s is the input bolt pattern. The Scout Dana 300 also has a short rear tail housing like the early Jeep Dana 300s.

Jeep T-18 and Scout 300 You will not find a heavy duty drive train as short and low geared as a the Jeep T-18 and Scout Dana 300 combination. The Jeep T-18 used in late 70s CJs features a 6.32:1 first, short input shaft, and a transmission to transfer case adapter that is about 1" long. The Scout Dana 300 bolts right up to the factory adapter as you can seen in this picture provided by Rick Boiros. Length of the drive train is of particular concern for any short wheel base 4x4.


The real down side of the Scout Dana 300 is it is hard to find. It was only available in 1980 Scouts, the last year the Scout was produced, and a strike cut production short that year. Only around 30,000 Scouts were produced in 1980.

Another limiting factor is that only the drive gear from Scouts equipped with the T-19 four speed or T-15A three speed will bolt to another Jeep or Scout transmission. Scout 300 vs Jeep D20 bull gears The Scout Dana 300 gear is different from the gear used with the Jeep and Scout Dana 20. The picture on the right is a Scout Dana 300 and Jeep Dana 20 input gear side by side. The Scout Dana 300 drive gear is no longer available and it will only fit on a transmission with a 1 3/8" 6 spline output shaft. The part number for the Scout Dana 300 gear is 300-8-11.

1980 Scouts with the TF727 automatic have a drive gear that is has a smaller interior diameter and is 23 spline. The drive gear can theoretically be machined to 1 3/8" 6 spline, but good luck finding a machine shop willing to do this work and it would add a lot to the cost.

Since the Scout Dana 300 was only produced for a short time, some of the parts for it are no longer available. The drive gear mentioned previously is one of those parts. Some parts are common parts used in the Jeep Dana 300 and other transfer cases. Other parts are unique such as the speedometer gear are hard to find. The tail housing and case are unique parts.

Another down side to the Scout Dana 300 is that if a seller knows what they have, the price will be high.


Scout 300 back IH Dana 300: Details about how to find the coveted IH Scout II Dana 300.


Thanks to Jeepin' Joe Heinrich and Rick Boiros for pictures and identification information. Additional identification information I picked up from Howard Pletcher from Navistar International Tech Central.

Last modified Wednesday, 01-Dec-2010 08:33:05 MST

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