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Old 04-19-2009, 11:21 AM
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69 Rambler American 7.3 diesel swap

Hi there, I just thought that I'd throw this one out there to see what kind of advice/input I got. I've got a 1969 Rambler American with a 199 i6 n it,and a Ford 7.3 diesel that I was considering swapping into it. Is it do-able? Or am I just biting off more than I can chew,just considering it?

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Old 04-19-2009, 11:29 AM
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Welcome to the HR forums!


Anything is "do-able" but with the size of the 7.3, I'd imagine the pan will be on the ground and the intake will be about roof high! LOL not to mention the length problems. You might have to extend the steering wheel about 4 feet and drive from the back seat.
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:56 AM
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LOL Well the reason I ask is that I have a donor E350 van,so just got me thinking...a diesel take on a SC Rambler perhaps?
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:42 PM
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I LOVE the idea. I tried to get one to fit in my 66 Bonneville, but even if I tucked it down as far as I could with a custom pan, I would have had 10" of HEAD sticking out through the hood, not to mention valve covers, turbo, ducting, etc.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:28 PM
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I would get a tape measure out, those ford diesels were quite large. the 6.2/6.5 Detroit/Chevy Diesels were about the same sise as a big block though.

Shane
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:19 AM
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The 7.3 was originaly based on IH's gas v8 way back when. it is close to the size of a 460 so it might fit.Tape measure is the only way to know for sure.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:27 AM
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A big block in that car will be tight, but should work. The old AMC 327 V-8 is about the same size on the outside as a Ford 390/Chevy 396, and those have been shoehorned in without too much trouble. The good thing is you won't have to worry about changing spark plugs!

The front suspension should take the load, but you might want to get V-8 ball joints. Not 100% sure they will fit the steering knuckle, but should. AMC was pretty good at making one part fit all, but I do know the V-8 cars used a heavier ball joint. Make sure that upper trunnion is in good shape too! You can get rebuilt ones with urethane bushings for $200-$250 each. Sounds like a lot, but way cheaper than converting to something like a Mustang II suspension. Brakes aren't a problem -- any AMC front disc setup will fit (all but 79-83 have high replacement rotor cost though), and www.scarebird.com makes a conversion bracket that uses a modern GM caliper and a Ford or GM rotor, depending on application (offset of rotor is different for six and V-8 cars). You can have springs custom made at www.coilsprings.com. Cost no more than any replacement set of springs, you just have to wait 2-3 weeks to get them. You will just have to figure out how much heavier that diesel is than the six or the 66-69 AMC V-8 and they will calculate what spring rate you need to compensate.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnym17
The 7.3 was originaly based on IH's gas v8 way back when. it is close to the size of a 460 so it might fit.Tape measure is the only way to know for sure.
Strongly disagree... there is absolutely nothing in common with a 6.9/7.3 diesel and an IH V8 gas. The IH gas V8 family was a small engine; 345 was its largest common displacement. The 6.9/7.3 family was developed entirely by Navistar. The fact that International Navistar and International Harvester share the same name is only because Navistar bought the defunct IH.

But to say that the IH gas is the same as the IN diesel is no more accurate than saying a Buick 350 is the same as a chevy 350 because they are both GM.

Whole different critters... and the 7.3 is a LOT bigger than a 460.
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:07 PM
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Actually the 6.9 and first 7.3 l were based in the IH gas engine the gasser would no longer meet emission standards and engineers determined the original gas archetecture was strong enough to be used as a deisel Ih made 392 and I think 401cid gassers way back when.
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:48 PM
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As well as a 404 V8.
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:36 PM
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The IH gas V8 family was a small engine; 345 was its largest common displacement.
Ayuh,... 1 of the 1st tractor trailers I ever drove had a 549 IH V8 gasser.?.?.?.
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:51 PM
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345 IH shortblock:





392 IH longblock: (sorry for the huge photo)





444 Powerstroke longblock:





Nothing interchanges. Different bore centers, different deck heights, complete clean-slate design. By the time the 6.9/7.3L Navistar engine came about, the 304/345/392 was long gone. There is nothing in common. Not even rocker arms or valve covers.
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bondo
Ayuh,... 1 of the 1st tractor trailers I ever drove had a 549 IH V8 gasser.?.?.?.
I said COMMON displacement. The did a 392 and a 404, but they died out earlier. Still... there is no way they took even a 404 from 1963 and successfully converted it to a DT444 7.3L diesel.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:24 AM
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I'm talking the original 6.9 or 7.3 not the stroke.
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:05 AM
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Definitely different engines. But "based on" doesn't necessarily mean they took one engine and converted it to the other. They probably use the same bore centers and a similar (but not the same) block casting. Same bore centers means the same tooling can be used to bore the blocks (AMC did that with their old 250/287/327 and the later 290-401 blocks -- same bore centers, totally different engines), saving a good bit of set-up cost. So the engineers may have started with the gas engine drawings then modified them to the point that they are really different engines. Just a guess here, but it's been done that way before (the later AMC V-8 was a clean slate design, just used the bore centers and crank/cam centers to save on tooling, but other engine designs have used the "modified until different" approach). Now the old Oldsmobile diesel was a modified gas engine, and we know where that went! The IHC gas engine is a lot heavier built than an Olds big block though, and probably owuld have at least survived better. Don't know about in a heavy truck though.
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