best engine swap for 65' rambler american and 63' rambler american? - Page 2 - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2011, 10:24 AM
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There are few engines that will fit the 58-63 American and 50-55 Nash Rambler body without a lot of cutting (all of those models are practically the same under the hood). There are some problems with keeping the 196 if you intend to drive the car a lot. The first is parts availability on the road. Lose a water pump and you will have to wait three or more days to get a replacement. Most other most likely to break down parts can be handled easier, like the starter or generator (replace the gen with a late model Delco alt and circumvent that problem), but could still take a few days to get the part. They are costly to rebuild, oversize pistons come from Egge Machine and are $50-60 each. The other parts aren't too bad. Heads at 46+ years old are prone to cracking if run hot. They MUST be retorqued every 2-3 years or 12-15K miles, whichever comes first. If not the head bolts work loose, engine runs hot, and head usually cracks. That said, they are good reliable engines when maintained, and near bullet proof due to forged cranks and rods and heavy block casting.

What fits:
1) Ford small I-6 family. No point in using one of the little 144/170 mills (if you could find one). The 200 has about the same power as the 196. I'd stick a 250 in there! Note that the old 240 and 300 are bigger blocks and won't fit.
2) Late model Ford 2.3/2.5L Ranger fours, the ones where the intake curves over the valve cover. you must use the EFI, but it does just fit.
3) Old Quad 4 (and whatever Chevy called it later). The FWD intake will clear the left side, just! The problem here is that a special $400 bell or trans adapter is needed to convert to rear wheel drive.

You MUST change the transmission with the engine. The Rambler trans won't bolt up to anything but another 196 (or the smaller 173/184 Nash L-head sixes, but who wants to swap in a smaller engine?).

The 64-65 American is a different story. Matt already stated the only problem with it -- the engine bay is a few inches short to use AC. The radiator has to be moved forward and a short shaft CJ-5 (not CJ-7!) 232 water pump and pulley used on a 232 or 258. The 4.0L is short enough to just fit as is, but the fan is an issue. An electric fan would be a tight fit, and the water pump won't accept a fan. Use a Wrangler or Grand Cherokee water pump, and you might need to use a plastic flex fan and short spacer.

Any small block V-8 will fit, take your pick. Factory parts are available for an AMC V-8 (67+), but change the trans with the engine and it's not much harder to put any other small block in.

The AMC six cylinder rear axle WILL take a mild small block with street tires. Loosen the axles nuts and torque them back down to 250-300 ft/lbs (more IS NOT better!!). That needs to be done every 8-12 years. It's the same strength as a GM 7.5"/Ford 8" (ring gear in the AMC is 7-9/16"). Not for constant drag racing, but will hold up for a cruiser that occasionally burns the tires or makes a pass down the strip. The u-joints will be the weak link. You'll have to have a driveshaft made to match the trans.

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2011, 11:22 AM
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early 90,s Jeep engines had over 190hp. great little motor, had all the newfangled options, auto,air, fuel injection.

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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2011, 11:57 AM
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I knew a girl who had a jeep TBI I6 with OD Auto in a gremmie. Looked factory.

Quad4s LOOK kick *** when you strip all the junk off them; sort of offy-esque. But, aside from the adapter, some parts aren't exactly common for those anymore.

V6 with a 200-4r would be pretty kick *** in that lil car; T-type anyone?
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2011, 01:29 PM
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I wonder if a 60 V6 like a 3.4L Chevy would shoehorn into the '63. It's easily carbed (Edelbrock has an intake and cam) and plentiful in the 'yards, stock it made something like 160 HP in a Camaro.



1963 AMERICAN ENGINE BAY
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:49 PM
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I had a 64 American with a 396/425hp Big Block Chevy and Muncie 4 speed, Mustang 9 inch rear. Only real issue was steering shaft too close to the number three exhaust. Rear end bolted right in.
Also had a 64 American wagon with a 350 Chevy and 350 turbo trans, Ford rear.
Motor mounts were not too much trouble, rear crossmember easy, rear bolted right in. Had under dash AC, Chevy compressor, custom hoses. Radiator in both were Ford because that is what I had. Bottom hose has to cross over as Ford and Chevy lower hoses connect on opposite sides.
Drove the wagon 6-7 years, untold miles no problem. Pretty quick in the light car, set up with Q Jet got 21 and change driving from NC to LA and back.
No big changes under the hood except to make the motor mounts but they were easy, SBC cast iron exhaust went right in. Real fun car. My wife loved it.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2011, 02:19 PM
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3.8 SC?

There was a guy on the opel forums (dont ask...guilty pleasure) who basically built an opel GT around a 3.4 w. a T5. What about a turbo 2300 with a T5? That thing would be a hoot
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 12-23-2011, 10:54 AM
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The early 2300 had a carb intake that fit up close to the engine and might fit, the late model Ranger 2300/2500 with intake curving over the valve cover just
will, but the 2.3L turbo won't due to where the turbo is mounted. The 60 V-6s fit, but you have to use some rather expensive "hot rod" accessory brackets to pull them in, or make your own. The factory brackets put everything out beside the motor where there's no room under the hood in the little Rambler. That's in the 58-63 Americans (same under the hood except for the firewall/heater). Almost anything will fit in the 64-69 models -- even big blocks (though they are tight).
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:06 AM
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64 or 65 Rambler American engine swap

I have done this twice, once in the 70's and also this past year. The first time several of us put "Big Block" Fords which was tight. 352, 390, and 427 was great for a "sleeper" but this year I have put a 400 Chevy small block which was easier. The only challenge was the headers, as I had to cut one inch off each tube where they bolt to the block and then re-weld them back on. This made it difficult for removing the spark plugs, so now I just unbolt the headers, move them up a few inches, change plugs, and then rebolt the headrs back on. I will post a couple pictures of the early big block Ford and the newest small block chevy version. Mooseman1377
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Last edited by mooseman1377; 03-12-2012 at 07:32 AM. Reason: add picture
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 03-12-2012, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spree001
Will the 4.0l fit in the 65' ?
I'm not sure why, but when I read this kind of question, the hair on the back of my neck stands up. It really pizzes me off when someone asks if so-and-so will fit. Holy Jesus dude, this is hotrodders.com, not restoration.com. With a Sawzall, a cutting torch, a hand grinder and a MIG, anything will fit anything. If it won't fit, start cuttin' everything out of the way that's in the way, then build it back after the motor is fitted.

If you are unwilling or unable to do heavy mods, then you should take up another hobby and leave the hot rodding to someone who has the wherewithall to make it all work.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techinspector1
I'm not sure why, but when I read this kind of question, the hair on the back of my neck stands up. It really pizzes me off when someone asks if so-and-so will fit. Holy Jesus dude, this is hotrodders.com, not restoration.com. With a Sawzall, a cutting torch, a hand grinder and a MIG, anything will fit anything. If it won't fit, start cuttin' everything out of the way that's in the way, then build it back after the motor is fitted.

If you are unwilling or unable to do heavy mods, then you should take up another hobby and leave the hot rodding to someone who has the wherewithall to make it all work.
While you may be right your delivery sucks! Lighten up
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Nonhog
While you may be right your delivery sucks! Lighten up
Go away boy, you bother me.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 03-18-2012, 06:58 AM
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 03-22-2012, 08:08 AM
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Well, his description does say "curmudgeon".

Anyway -- delivery could have been milder, but he IS right, to an extent. I believe the question could have been better... more like will the 4.0L EASILY fit.

Enough of that -- the answer is YES. The 64+ Ramblers will take just about anything. As several have pointed out, big blocks are really tight, but they were designed from the factory with the then under development AMC GEN-2 "small block" in mind. The bigger cars were designed to hold the GEN-1 AMC/Rambler V-8, which is about the same size and weight as a Ford Y-block/Chevy 396, so a big block will fit them just fine. The 64-65 American engine bay is a couple inches shorter than the later models though. There is a mod to the radiator brackets and upper support filler panel (remove the filler) that will gain 1.5-2.0" though. That's all you need for the 4.0L. Might have to use an electric fan or do away with the clutch and use an aftermarket flex fan (on a Wrangler or Grand Cherokee water pump -- fan won't fit an XJ Cherokee pump and the bearings aren't made for it).

To use a 199/232/258 a CJ-5 (NOT CJ-7!) water pump and pulley are required. They are a bit shorter than the standard AMC six water pump and pulley. That pump was originally designed to fit the 232 in the 65 American, worked for the short CJ-5 too.

AMC "big" cars are the Classic/Rebel/Matador and Ambassador. Everything else is considered "small" and use similar parts and have similar sized engine bays.

The little 58-63 Americans and 50-55 Nash Ramblers (the same car under the skin!) are a totally different story. Those cars were literally built around a short and narrow L-head six, so the bay is tight! Already spoke about that though...
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 03-22-2012, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techinspector1
I'm not sure why, but when I read this kind of question, the hair on the back of my neck stands up. It really pizzes me off when someone asks if so-and-so will fit. Holy Jesus dude, this is hotrodders.com, not restoration.com. With a Sawzall, a cutting torch, a hand grinder and a MIG, anything will fit anything. If it won't fit, start cuttin' everything out of the way that's in the way, then build it back after the motor is fitted.

If you are unwilling or unable to do heavy mods, then you should take up another hobby and leave the hot rodding to someone who has the wherewithall to make it all work.
Which is why boothboy said to shoehorn a V12 in it!!
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2012, 10:16 PM
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The 195.6 aka the 196 is plenty of motor to run AC, it was a regular factory option on the Rambler Six which ran that motor. I am planning to add factory AC on my 59 or a retro fitted pump and coils from something else. the factory HP i belive was 125hp but torque was like 145 that is stock carb etc. it was built for economy. it was a great improvement over the L head 195.6 which only put out 90hp

Last edited by 59RAMBLERSUPERWAGON; 10-09-2012 at 10:33 PM. Reason: correcting information
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