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Old 10-20-2008, 09:59 PM
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Rotary Rambler update

Havent posted anything recently on the '60 Rambler American wagon we are building so heres an update....

Started with a clean '60 Rambler...


We pulled the stock ohv 6 cylinder and auto trans and sold them...



Bought a Mazda 13B-REW 2-rotor twin turbo engine..Rebuilt it with a street port and swapped for the JDM cosmo intake.


Opened up the trans tunnel for the Mazda 5 speed manual trans...



converting to dual master.....kepping it simple..


Engine went in in a couple hours max....


Found a 5 lug Maverick rear at the yard.......



Getting ready to rebuild the front end but parts were costly so changed to MII....






The stock twin turbos were in the way of the frame rails and their plumbing was too massive so we went with a new single up top...


Plumbing the turbo (mock-up)...installed 50mm Synapse wastegate and down pipe for waste gas to re-enter exhaust....




Installation of intercooler.....


Currently we are working on completing the turbo plumbing..Still have a ways to go..Everything is for mock up..then it all comes out for resheeting fenderwells and paint etc..Not yet done on front end...
A Microtech ecu will be used to run the engine.
If anyone has any questions feel free to contact me..Rambler guys are far and in between so I know how it is when you want to talk to someone that has actually done something to their car but cant find anyone....
Thanks for checking out my funky Rambler.....

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Old 10-20-2008, 10:07 PM
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That is gonna be neat.

Is this your first rotary swap?
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:22 PM
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First swap with a rotary..Just seemed my oddball car needed something odd to stand out apart from the usual small block chevy..I say "usual" because I know someone that is doing a twin turbo set up in his Rambler which is very cool..I just wanted to be different in more than just the car being odd...Rotary engines can put out some serious hp and RPM's..Our 93 moved..so I figured why not

Owned a 93 FD rx-7 so I know what they can do and when it came time to pick a motor I wanted something different to match the car..A friend build rotaries for a living so when I was at his shop and saw just how compact they can be (carb set-up) I decided to go with it. After soul searching I opted to bite the bullet and go for the FI turbo engine. The carb set up would have been a whole lot easier! But I wanted that Turbo FD motor.
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:31 AM
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I've got a '59 American coupe, nowhere near as clean as the one you started with, but 100% complete for $250, I couldn't pass it up.

I'm actually considering keeping the flathead, provided I can get a modern transmission behind it. It will be a cruiser and big power isn't necessary, plus, I can't think of anything else I'd want to swap in that would be possible. I have a Jeep 4.0, but of course, I'd have to hack into the firewall, which is still an option really. It is in storage right now, it will be a few months until I can get around to it to even pull it apart.
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:35 AM
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Love it. I think the rotary is a masterstroke. It's going to be a very unique rod all the way around...not to mention quick. Definitely NOT going to be a cookie cutter.
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:32 AM
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Very cool project, it took some huevos to modify a car that nice. It ought to handle like a go-kart, surprise some of the sport car guys. I can hear a new Nash Rambler song now.....Where in Ca. are you, close to the big city boys?
Dan
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:02 PM
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I am in So. Cal. Pretty close to the Pomona Swapmeet for a reference.

We will be playing with different boost settings. I plan to run a modest boost of around 8-9 lbs. RWHP should come in around 350. We can up the boost for a much higher output but I do plan to drive the car to shows and weekends so I didnt want to do anything to blow her up..

If you think that wagon is clean check out my '59 Rambler coupe I picked up on a few months ago for 700.00. The car is a 37k mile car with one repaint and original interior. L-head with 3 spd./od. no rust ever.




















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Old 10-21-2008, 07:51 PM
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That makes my '59 American look like a pile of junk. Mine is complete, but the floors are trash and the interior is gone. Though, for what I'm going to be doing, it is a good start.
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:56 PM
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You should go to jail for stealing that car! Oh my living God it is absolutely stunning!

Your hot rod, only God that too! Can I have one, Can I have one, PLEASE?

Brian
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:31 PM
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The green car was actually on EBAY. The owner did not clean her up and took bad pics with dust and junk inside the car. It had Illinois plates and these Ramblers rust bad so I think everyone got scared. ANyway..the auction ended and I never even bid! I emailed the guy and asked him to call me if his winning bidder flaked out..well he called about 2 hrs later to ask if I wanted the car as his bidder could not get the car for 4 weeks and it had to be gone in 1 week per auction. So my old man went up to get the car which was in No. Calif..gold mining part of Ca. Dry. I found a bank deposit slip when cleaning the car that had falledn behind the back seat cushion..it was from Rock Springs Wyoming. I researched and found there was a Rambler dealer in Rock Springs. I think the car went from factory to Wyoming, then to Illinois where the next owner picked her up and kept her garaged..that owner then moved to Calif about 8 years ago and the car was actually parked in a car port! What you see in the pics is after/during a detailed cleaning. I installed a new exhaust pipe tip..changed oil..adjusted idle a bit and put the stock rims and hubcaps with new Firestones back on the car..oh yeah those rims and tires also came with the car. The Rambler had some steel ralley type rims on her when I got her and the owner had the stock rims with new tires included. Looks much better with stock rims but if I keep her I plan to do this....



Here she is on the trailer arriving home...w/ different rims..


Last edited by ramzoom; 10-21-2008 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:25 PM
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Amazing story! You never know what treasures are out there!

Brian
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:23 PM
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I really enjoyed your story....God I love them rotary engines, my Dad had a RX3, actually he had two of them. They were just work cars but man they were so neat. I always enjoyed riding in them, the engines would just keep pulling, and pulling. I latter bought a RX-7, and rebuilt it, nothing wild just cleaned it up and painted with new black paint and nice wheel/Tires. It always drove so nice, it was my wifes car, but i drove it every chance I could. The only bad thing about the engines, are there poor fuel mileage and lack of low end torque, that and Apex seals, but boy are they fun. Your car will be a real head turner, Oh, I also had a Rabbler, a 1966 770, it was my first car.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:42 PM
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Hi thanks for your reply..
The rotary apex seals are much better now. Yes, they do not get the best mileage but I dont really care if it gets 20 or 10..a smallblock built motor would get just the same mileage or worse. Torque was a problem and can be but with the turbo this thing will pull just fine..we had a 93 RX-7 and it hauled..No torque problems at all. You may get the hole shot but the rotary will catch up fast. Overall I think it will be a well rounded car. Thanks again for the reply...
Heres a pic of my Dodge..It doesnt get good mileage either....

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Old 10-23-2008, 01:33 AM
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Elliot,
I heard that the 2.3 Ford out of the late 80's Thunderbird coupes is an relatively easy swap..just pull the engine, trans and dont forget the computer. Super coupes were turbocharged too...

You can keep the stock front end no problem if its in good shape.
8" rear out of a maverick works good.
If you have the L-head it is slower but reliable. I have a friend that owned around 20 of these Rambler wagons and the L-heads were always good engines.

I think a Ford inline 6 cyl works too but a certain displacement..someone else mentioned that on this forum I believe...Theres a short distance between the steering/crossmember and the firewall. Gets tight down low.

Thats whats kind a cool about Ramblers you can do just about anything and its ok....Theres no pre-established rules..
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:44 AM
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My daily driver is a '75 Gremlin with a 232 1 barrel. The L-head can't be much worse than that, especially if I can get a T5 behind it. Honestly, 0-60 in under 30 seconds and I really don't care.

My friend has a '50 Plymouth with a 218 flathead, I love the look and sound of that engine.

EDIT: Also, I can't get to my Ramber right now, I haven't even looked under the thing. Does it have an open drive shaft or a torque tube? I've had people tell me both things.

Last edited by elliott; 10-23-2008 at 03:07 AM.
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