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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2010, 11:17 AM
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"I am looking for the most cost efficient way to put a little more spruce in it's stride. I was looking into engine swaps but I am not really mechanically inclined in the automotive department. I have a general understanding of cars, but I am definitely not a mechanic"

The owners words above...

So much more is involved in swapping a motor and trans..
I'd Keep it stock....

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2010, 02:39 PM
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would be less diffacult to swap in an AMC engine/ trans being it's bolt togther with the right parts. than rebuilding a 196... the 196 was an outdated engine that they kept around 1 more year most likely because the '64/'65 won't accomodate a 232 with air conditioning.. not that it's a bad engine, because it does make pretty good torque, but a lot of stuff is no longer available. of course there is Egge machine who can make a lot of it, but even locating the right parts that are still available will be hard.

OP also said it was loosing compression, which can be due to valves needing adjustment or burned. so it might need a valve adjust or possible valve job, but maby the rings are whooped
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:30 AM
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Sorry this is a bit long, but wanted to cover all bases. The way I see it, you have these two options:

1. Rebuild the 196. It will cost about the same as building a late model V-8. www.ramblerparts.com will have everything, so will www.kanter.com. A Basic rebuild kit is around $1000 (give or take $100) and comes with everything but parts for the head (does come with valve stem seals). The pistons alone are right at $60 each, come in whatever oversize you need. A Master kit ($1100 +/- $100) includes valve springs and lifters, but the original lifters can usually be machined (lifters are $12 each) for a new cam. A Deluxe kit ($1200 +/- $100) includes new valve guides and valves also. The cam isn't included in any -- it's right at $200 + your old cam as a core. I'd get the "rv type" cam from www.ramblerparts.com. It's ground to improve performance. I had a cam reground for a 196 that I drove for 14 years (about 8 with the reground cam) and loved it! Didn't do anything for take-off, but added 20 hp in the mid range -- had some passing and cruising power. The "rv type" cam supposedly does a little more for take-off than the one I had. I have a friend with it and he's very pleased with it over stock.

You will need to take the engine apart (or have it taken apart) and checked before ordering the kit so the bore and crank can be measured to order the correct size pistons and bearings. The head will need to be checked also -- it probably just needs seals and a valve regrind, but may need guides. The local rebuilder here in SC charges $1250 labor to rebuild an engine, plus parts. You're looking at about $1500 in parts, not including pulling and reinstalling in the car (add another $800 or so, check local shops), so budget $4000 to have it rebuilt and replaced. Sounds like a lot, but you'd have to add another $2000 or so for an engine swap, provided it's one of the easier swaps ($5000-$6000+, depending on engine, trans and local labor cost).

2. Engine Swap. Cost already mentioned. Almost any engine from a rear drive vehicle will fit. A favorite of mine is the 2.3L/2.5L Ford Ranger engine, EFI and all. Use the rear axle as well -- it fits and the wheel bolt pattern is the same. The 4.0L V-6 will fit also. 93+ Ranger axles are a bit wider than the original 64-69 Rambler axle, but not much. At worst you'd need to use Ranger or Explorer 4x4 wheels (deeper offset) on the rear and keep a "donut" spare from a Jeep Cherokee or Ford Crown Vic (don't think the Ranger used a donut). The narrow donut will fit without clearance issues even if the axle is wider. An Explorer axle is 3" wider than pre 92 Ranger, 1.5" wider than 93+ Ranger, so it's a tight fit. It will work with deep offset wheels, but you may have to order something like Weld Draglite wheels. They make a 7" wheels with 5.5" backset, the deepest 7" wheel you can get. I had to use those to put the Jag IRS in my 63 Classic wagon, which is a bit wider than the 64-69 American. You MIGHT fit an 8" wheel in the back of the American, but a 7" wheel with no9 more than a 215 wide tire is going to fit real good with just a little clearance all around.

The Ford 200/250 six is a good swap as it's short and no need for a special water pump. The AMC 232/258 needs the 70s CJ-5 (NOT CJ-7!) water pump and pulley -- with the pulley being the hardest to find item. A 4.0L will fit, but you will need to run a pusher electric fan. The 4.0L can be run with a carb instead of the EFI, but you lose 20 hp or so (depends on intake and carb used) and the easier drivability the EFI offers. Still, that's 170+ hp vs. the 127 hp of a 1V 196 (135 hp w/2V). Stock 4.0L is 190 hp (91+ models).

If I were to use a V-8 it would be either a Chrysler 318 (5.2L) or Ford 302 (5.0L). I'd use EFI and all from a rear drive donor (pickup). Either fits easily, and the Chrysler is at least kin -- even if by shotgun wedding. This is provided I didn't have an AMC V-8 available. www.bulltear.com makes six cylinder to V-8 engine mounts to put a late AMC V-8 in the small cars (American/Hornet/Gremlin/Concord/Spirit) that can be drilled and bolted in or welded to the six cylinder crossmember perches.

The hardest part about using an AMC V-8 is finding a rear drive transmission. 360s are easy to find in Jeep Grand Wagoneers, made through 1991, and other Jeeps. I'd stay away from the 304 unless a good one pops up. Costs the same to rebuild a 304 as a 360, the 304 may cost more due to the bore size and few being rebuilt. Rear drive transmissions have to come from a car. The Jeep 4x4 trannys can be converted to rear drive with easily available parts (trans is same as equivalent Chrysler or GM models except the bell housing bolt patter -- part of the main case), but will have to be fully disassembled (rebuilt) to convert, which adds $600-$1000 to the original cost. The six cylinder trannys will work behind a stock or mild V-8, but only for a cruiser. If you plan on dogging it much at all the smaller trannys (72+ only!) need to be rebuilt with tougher internals, which again drives cost up to around $1000 over initial purchase. Racers use those trannys (Chrysler 904 w/AMC cast in bell housing, internals are same as Chrysler version) so parts are readily available.

Other V-8s can be used, or any rear drive V-6s. All require just about the same amount of work for a carbed engine, a bit of wiring for EFI.

I'd budget $10,000 for a shop to do an engine swap. That's a good shop using late model salvage yard parts. You CAN do it yourself for less. It's a relatively easy swap all things considered. If you use a carb it's simple enough. You will need access to someone who can weld, but not for much. DIY for $5000 or so, depending on what you get an engine and trans for. If you have a buddy with a shop and engine hoist (cherry picker) you're all set to learn a lot about cars!

The best way to learn is by doing, whether you rebuild what you have or swap. I'd plan on a whole year to do this, but really depends on how much time you have to devote to the project. Keep a project journal on here and post questions as you have them. Try to think ahead so you don't get stuck and have to wait for an answer. Make a list of things you need to do and check them off as done so you can keep a sense of accomplishment rather than get the feeling you have a never ending project. We all started somewhere, usually without such a resource as this forum! I know I did... only had a little local help. Here you have a vast panel of "experts" to guide and encourage you to the end!
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2010, 03:29 AM
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hey, IF you decide yo need a crossmember (81 concord) i have one hanging on the wall (cheap)...
trans crossmember will not work as the american is considerably different and it'd be easier to modify the original if needed

ME? i think i'd find a late model 4.0 and trans (for a 2wd)..
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 12-31-2010, 02:16 PM
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Bring it to us and well put whatever you want in it
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:38 AM
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Chevy guy that happens to have a Rambler.

I'm reading all these posts about destroying the value of a Rambler by putting a Chevy motor in it, but the guy that I'm checking into this for just happens to have a 66 Rambler Rebel with the 287 but the Warner T10 4 Speed. He wants to put a Chevy small block 350 in this car, and he doesn't care about how much it's going to be worth because he isn't going to be selling it. He wants a Chevy motor because it's easier for him, who lives in a small northeast Montana town, to get chrome valve covers and what not for a Chevy motor.

What I'm trying to find is a conversion kit (if they even make one) or a rigged way to get the 350 Chevy to match up to that T10. We're looking for a bellhousing kit w/ clutch, exhaust manifolds or headers, and motor mounts, but we're also thinking that a side-tank radiator, engine pullies, alternator mounting brackets and a different wiring harness may be needed as well. Any help would be very much appreciated!
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 12-31-2011, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sledge406
I'm reading all these posts about destroying the value of a Rambler by putting a Chevy motor in it, but the guy that I'm checking into this for just happens to have a 66 Rambler Rebel with the 287 but the Warner T10 4 Speed. He wants to put a Chevy small block 350 in this car, and he doesn't care about how much it's going to be worth because he isn't going to be selling it. He wants a Chevy motor because it's easier for him, who lives in a small northeast Montana town, to get chrome valve covers and what not for a Chevy motor.

What I'm trying to find is a conversion kit (if they even make one) or a rigged way to get the 350 Chevy to match up to that T10. We're looking for a bellhousing kit w/ clutch, exhaust manifolds or headers, and motor mounts, but we're also thinking that a side-tank radiator, engine pullies, alternator mounting brackets and a different wiring harness may be needed as well. Any help would be very much appreciated!
The Ford swap is easier as I posted previously (read it),heres your bell housing http://www.safepay.net/cgi-bin/shop/...oderndriveline since early Fords came with T-10's the clutch part is a no-brainer,you want some chrome? Here you go too,http://www.skipwhiteperformance.com/...spx?Item=54383 need more info? send me a pm.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 12-31-2011, 04:44 PM
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"I'm reading all these posts about destroying the value of a Rambler" Ummmm...what value would that be?
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 12-31-2011, 04:56 PM
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how about an amc 401.Arent all amc v 8 engines an intermediate block like a pontiac? if that is the case and the OP wants an AMC v8 , why not go big? anyone?
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:23 PM
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AMC blocks are like SB Chevys.....all the same externally, from 290 to 401....Friend of mine had a 401 in his Gremlin....told everyone it was a 304.

Not sure how one would fit in a 65 American, but they (390) came in the 69 SCRambler
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 12-31-2011, 05:41 PM
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Thats what I was thinking. The red and blue striped 69 AMC SCrambler.There has to be some available parts for that for a build like the OP is thinking.
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAYFIN
"I'm reading all these posts about destroying the value of a Rambler" Ummmm...what value would that be?
Depends on the model. Marlin, Rebel machine, S/C Rambler and the early V8 Rouges are all fairly high dollar cars..

That said, a 1966 Rambler Rebel was a 1 year only top of the line, 2dr hard top, 7,500ish produced that year.. 4spd was standard, as well as the bucket seats.. It's not as rare as the big fish ( Marlin ) but it would still be very valuble as an original, and about 1/2 of that with a Chevy.
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:56 PM
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287 and the 327's are not like the '67+ 290-401's. They are the old Nash design with a diffrent bellhousing that was only avail with the torque tube.. The '66 Rebel, being top of the line, offered the 4bbl versions..

crossmember swap and the right bell housing and the 290-401 will bolt right up, and parts are widely available
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:13 PM
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An S/C Rambler, now we're talking. I just can't get excited about a car with a stock 6-banger.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:54 AM
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1. There are THREE GENERATIONS of AMC V-8s. More practically there are two very different V-8s. The GEN-1 (most often called a Nash or Rambler V-8, but technically it's an AMC) 250/287/327 was used from 56-66 and shares nothing but bore centers with the later ones. The GEN-2 and GEN-3 are very similar and share most parts. The differences between the two are the heads (better exhaust ports on the 3) and deck height (3 has a 1/16" taller deck, so a different block casting). Parts pretty much interchange, but swapping cranks/rods/pistons get tricky due to deck height -- custom pin height pistons may be required. Externally GEN-2/3 all look the same and fit in the same space, the GEN-1 looks more like a Chevy 396 or Ford Y-block, and weighs as much too. GEN-2 is 66-69 290/343/390 (290 only in late 66 Americans), GEN-3 is 70-91 304/360/401 (and a 1970 only 390, 401 replaced in 71).

2. Value. Hmmm... I'm a Rambler guy, but know the facts! Fact is that a run of the mill Rambler with a Chevy V-8 won't be devalued below the same Rambler with the stock six. Pre 67 models that have the GEN-1 V-8 replaced with a Chevy/Ford/Chrysler probably won't be devalued either. The more popular 67+ cars (Javelin, AMX, all the hard tops) that came from the factory with a V-8 will be worth a bit more with an AMC V-8 AND be much easier to sell. Even saleability won't change much with the pre 67 six cars that have been converted.

3. Sledge406, a Ford swap will be almost a bolt in. For the Ford you just need a bell housing for a T-10. For the Chevy you not only need a bell housing but also the input shaft. Chevy T-10s used a longer input shaft (deeper bell) than Ford and AMC, which used the same length shaft. Since the Rebel had a V-8 you just need to position the motor and drill the mount perches to take the Ford or Chevy mounts. You might need to weld (or bolt) a plate to the Rambler perches to move the mounts, but I don't think so. I know SBC stock mo0tor mounts will work with just a hole drilled, but you need the early sixties truck mounts with a single stud on the bottom. I don't know if anything else used those single stud mounts, but have been told 65-65 trucks used them.
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