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Old 05-28-2006, 07:41 AM
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4.0 HO engine/transmission combo for a Rambler

After much thought, I've decided to install a 4.0 HO Jeep engine in my '68 Rambler American. My question is, what transmissions will fit? Are all Jeeps 4wd? My Rambler doesn't need a transfer case hangin' off the back of the tranny. I know AMC changed the six's bell pattern to match their v8s in '72. Will these older three speed autos work with the newer 4.0? Also, are there any stick shift options open to me? My car is stick now and I'd like to keep it that way but if the automatic is my only choice, a slushbox it is then. I remember somebody on here had a T-5 behind his six powered Rambler. Thanks for any help in this matter.

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Old 05-29-2006, 05:56 AM
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Check this out:

http://www.amccf.com/tech/amc_manual_trannies.html

Looks like the SR4, T4 and T5 can work....
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Old 05-30-2006, 05:53 AM
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Any 72 or later transmission will bolt to the 4.0L. The problem you'll have is the crankshaft position sensor. It has to be mounted on the old bell, which isn't terribly difficult, or you can purchase a relocation kit from Advance Adapters that comes with a new balancer and sensor mount for around $300. That's the easiest way to go, unless you buy a two wheel drive Jeep complete with the transmission. 2WD Jeeps are hard to find where snow is common, but relatively easy down south. I'm running a 4.0L and AW4 (the Jeep OD auto trans) in a 63 Classic now.

If you use an old model transmission without the relocation kit, you have to run the original flywheel or flexplate. That can be difficult with auto transmissions, but no problem with a stick shift. All AMC sixes are internally balanced, so you can swap flywheels and flexplates. The best bet if using an older model auto is to use the flexplate that came with the original six then use the relocator kit. The T-14 or T-15 in the Rambler should work fine behind a 4.0L. You'll need a later model bell housing though. A V-8 bell will fit, but AMC V-8 bells are around 8" deep, six bells only around 6.5" deep. So you'll need a V-8 transmission as well (longer input shaft, of course!).

Before I got the AW4 I ran an old model three speed trans on my 4.0L. I modified the bell and sensor to fit. I wanted a five speed, but couldn't find one before the old three speed was about shot. I had the old T-96 light duty trans, not a T-14 or T-15 though. Yours should be fine as long as you are using near stock tires and not doing burnouts all the time. On occasion should be okay too.
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Old 05-31-2006, 05:24 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Its very hard to get any good AMC info where I live. Let me see if this will work: New 4.0 HO six + 1972-up six cylinder bell housing (with a hole made for the timing sensor) + my current 3-spd stick tranny. How's that sound?
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:12 PM
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Rambler 4.0 swap

I have a 1961 classic cross country wagon. Its a cool ride, with family road trip potential. I know some things about these Ramblers as I currently own 3 Ramblers, and I like amc products in general. With that said. I love the idea of a sensible engine swap.
It runs the Stock 196 aluminum block. Engine. With a 3 speed manual w/overdrive Tranny.
Is the 4.0 swap Bolt on, to this tranny?
I also have two 1962 Automatic 3 speed, pushbutton, trannys. Also curios if these would fit the 4.0?
Any help would be great! And you would help keep a 350 chev out of a Rambler! lol
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:40 PM
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Sorry for the late reply Saito, but YES, that will work. You might want to go over to www.theamcforum.com and join up. There's a six cylinder area with a sub area specifically for 4.0L swaps.

Hellnote1: Yes to your trans question, BUT -- it won't last long. The T-96/OD trans used behind the 196 is marginal for anything with more power. I ran a T-96 behind a 4.0L for about 18 months and took it easy. The trans was freshly rebuilt when installed. The weakest prat is the synchronizer (only one between 2 and 3!), and it lasted maybe 150 miles/one week. I put all new gears in the trans. When I pulled it and replaced with an AW4 auto I pulled the cover off. Gears had obvious wear on them, looked like a 40-50K trans, not a 7-9K trans! I probably could have got by with another 18 months, but just barely.

The autos would fair a bit better, should be cast iron models. But they won't bolt up directly. I THINK they will bolt up to a 1966-71 V-8 M-40 bell housing or M-11/M-12 bell housing. Measure the depth of the bell. The later six bells are around 6.5" deep, the V-8 bells are around 8" deep. You'd need a bell that would bolt to your engine (66-71 290/304/343/360/390 V-8) that is the same depth as the bell you have now. That might be a problem.

The best bet is to use a Jeep AW4 two wheel drive trans or manual trans. Jeep XJ Cherokees and MJ Comanches came in 2WD 1987+, but they are hard to find in snow country. Down south they are reasonably common. You can also use any 72+ three speed auto trans. The bell can be drilled to mount a Wrangler 4.0L crank sensor or you can get a CPS relocater kit from HESCO (just over $300, includes new balancer). Use a Wrangler flexplate for the Chrysler trannys (AMC used the 904 behind sixes, 998 behind 304 V-8, 727 behind 360 and larger V-8s). The AMC model Chrysler trannys are identical to Chrysler models EXCEPT that the bell housing is AMC pattern only. Once you find an AMC case all other parts interchange and are easy to get. Use a Ford Ranger rear axle with ladder bars and convert to open driveshaft, ditching the torque tube.
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