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Hello,
I'm hoping someone out there can help me.
I have a 1960 Rambler and the 196 is toast.. I took it out and gonna be tough and pricy to find the parts. I found a 1975-1979 232 short block on craigs list that Im hoping will fit.
I'm sure someone out there has done this or knows if it can be done with out major overhaul. any help would be appreciated.
thanks
 

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Member - AMC/Rambler "guru"
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Do you have the "big" Rambler with torque tube (enclosed drive) or the smaller American? The 232 won't fit in the American. To use the current trans with a 232 you will need a 64-71 engine, as AMC changed the six cylinder bell housing bolt pattern in 1972. To use a 72+ 232/258 you will need to change the transmission AND eliminate the torque tube -- which means change the rear axle and build a suspension. I'm working on a bolt-in suspension upgrade, but won't be there for a while. It's going to be targeted at the 63-66 models, but should be adaptable to the earlier ones easily if you can fab mounting brackets. It will be a torque arm design based on a Ranger/Explorer 8.8" axle.

You have a lot of options with the rear suspension, just depends on how much fab work you want to do. A Ford Ranger axle is about the right width, and the 7.5" is plenty strong for a six (or a small V-8 in a cruiser). I'd only go the 8.8" route if you might want a strong V-8 later. Ladder bars are easy and work, even ride and handle well on good roads. Bumpy roads get a little rough, but use the longest ladder bars you can, at least 36", but the longer the better. Universal four link kits work, or you could even use leaf springs. With ladders or four links you can use the stock spring seats (they bolt to the axle tube with a single 3/8" fine thread bolt -- threaded into the top of the tube) and springs.
 
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