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Projects Just got a 1964 Rambler 770 2 door hardtop v8 car

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 65Rambler, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. 65Rambler
    Joined: Jul 13, 2010
    Posts: 13

    65Rambler
    Member
    from texas

    Well I found this little car and 500 dollars later owned it. Plan on a chevy drivetrain and leaving the car stock appearing. Has anyone pulled the AMc drivetrain and installed a chevy one? Any MAJOR issues I am going to run into? Thanks in advance.
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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  2. HONESTHERMAN
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 293

    HONESTHERMAN
    Member

    Well I found this little car and 500 dollars later owned it. Plan on a chevy drivetrain and leaving the car stock appearing. Has anyone pulled the AMc drivetrain and installed a chevy one? Any MAJOR issues I am going to run into? Thanks in advance.


    What is MAJOR to you might not be MAJOR to another person. Motor Mounts, Trans Mount. Figure out complete Exhaust . All Linkage, Drive Shaft.
    One step at a time and you will find it is easy. Do it all yourself and you will find it very rewarding. Much better than paying someone to do it for you.

    Good Luck with the project. It is a nice body style.
     
  3. stealthcruiser
    Joined: Dec 24, 2002
    Posts: 3,146

    stealthcruiser
    Member

    Are you angry with the AMC drive train, or is it junk?????

    See if it's any good first.
     
  4. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,542

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    I had a 65 Convertable, already had a SBC when I got it, if I were to do it I'd go with AMC power. A 401 or 390 can be found real easy. Late 70's AMC Spirit Disc brakes/spindles will bolt on.
     
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  5. dabirdguy
    Joined: Jun 23, 2005
    Posts: 2,305

    dabirdguy
    Member

    I had one of those in high School.
    Ran great.
    There is NOTHING wrong with that drivetrain unless it is busted.
     
  6. autobodyed
    Joined: Mar 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,930

    autobodyed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from shelton ct

    it's already got a small block in it, get it running, clean it up, and drive it. before and after, my kids 65 classic, with the 287.

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  7. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,065

    farna
    Member

    I'd keep the 287, but it's your car -- go the way you want to! The 287 can't be done a whole lot with, but you can get a decent performance boost easy. They all had 2V carbs only, no factory 4V option for the 287... officially. The 327 is identical except for a 1/4" bigger bore (can't bore a 287 that much!), and at least half made had a 4V. Get the intake (e-bay, swap meets, I can put a call out on the AMC-List for you) but NOT the carb. Carb is a little Holley 450. Stick a 600 on it and you're good to go! If you can do some minor fab work a late model AMC intake can be made to fit. You need 1/2" thick aluminum adapter plates on each side of the intake to make up for the wider width of the GEN-1 AMC V-8 (250/287/327). You'd have to fab headers (but the stock exhaust manifolds are pretty clean) and have the stock cam re-ground. All I'd do is get the cam ground and use a 1.75"-2" dual exhaust on it with the 4V intake (later AMC preferred) and 600 cfm carb (or a TBI EFI system preferred for a driver). That should give you a good 60-75 hp kick in the pants.

    If you put ANY other drivetrain in you'll have to build a complete rear suspension. The GEN-1 AMC V-8 has a unique bell housing to engine pattern, newer trannys won't fit, and it's costly to mate the torque tube to another trans. So you have to install ladder bars, three/four link, or truck arms (Hot Rods To Hell makes a GM G-body kit that you just mod the mounting crossmember to fit the Rambler).

    Well, I take that back! You COULD locate the bell housing for a 67-71 AMC GEN-2/3 engine (GEN-2 is 66-69 290/343/390, GEN-3 70-91 304/360/401 -- 70 only 390) and bolt the existing trans to that. Prior to 72 AMC used Borg-Warner autos with a removable bell and the bells will swap, leaving the original auto and torque tube intact. I wouldn't put anything over 350 or so hp in front of the older BW trans though. AMC used a stouter model behind the 390/401, but then they expected those to get "rode hard and put up wet" too. The older one will be good with 400 hp for normal cruising, but if you "get on it" a lot the trans will be stressed a bit much and won't last too long.

    That said, I've got a bored and stroked AMC/Jeep EFI 4.0L (4.6L) in my 63 with a Jag IRS in the back and the Jeep AW-4 auto/OD trans. A stock EFI 4.0L has a bit more power than a 287 -- 190 hp NET for the 4.0L vs. 143 hp NET for the stock 287 (198 hp GROSS). The Jeep six puts out just a little more torque, but at a LOT more rpm -- torque peak on the 4.0L is 225 ft/lbs @ 4750 rpm (91-95 -- 3000 rpm 96-00), on the 287 it's 202 ft/lbs at 2600 rpm.

    All the 63-66 Classic/Ambassador/Marlin/Rebel models have the exact same drivetrain, basically the same body. Ambassador is 8" longer between the firewall and front wheels, Marlin is a Classic with different roof and rear sheet metal, from the back edge of the door forward it's identical to the Classic. Good parts interchange!
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  8. someone should mention that the photo's posted are a 63-4 Rambler. My Mom bought a new 64 990 Ambassador. 2 door hardtop, Black with Red interior, 327 four barrel, console shift. I loved that car. I have a 65 770 now but would trade it in a minute for the 63-4 model like yours
     
  9. 65Rambler
    Joined: Jul 13, 2010
    Posts: 13

    65Rambler
    Member
    from texas

    I haven't gotten her home yet so haven't messed with the engine. I figured that parts for the lil AMC engine would be scarce since it is a 65. I will probably get her fired up and drive her as she is for now. I am sure in the future I will tackle a chevy transplant but for now mights as well enjoy it for what it is.
     
  10. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 5,301

    the-rodster
    Member

    HA!

    You joined the HAMB as "65Rambler" and it's really a 63-64 :) :)
     
  11. 65Rambler
    Joined: Jul 13, 2010
    Posts: 13

    65Rambler
    Member
    from texas

    Ahh it is a 64 ROFL. I dunno why I was thinking 65!?!?!
     
  12. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 5,301

    the-rodster
    Member


    Sure is a neat car for the price, though.

    Rich
     
  13. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,065

    farna
    Member

    I just didn't pay much attention... yep, it's a 64! The 64 has a concave grille with a straight hood, 64 hood has a drop lip in the center between the headlights. Only other real difference is minor -- taillight housings are different. 63 has a wrap around taillight (better!) 64 has a flat one (can't see it from the side, and no marker lights either). I'd definitely get a set of 63 taillights and lenses or install rear side marker lights. Maybe something small like the "bullet hole" lights used on some Chryco models. I put the larger late model AMC front marker lights on mine (1"x3", or thereabouts).
     
  14. 65Rambler
    Joined: Jul 13, 2010
    Posts: 13

    65Rambler
    Member
    from texas

    Well, I take that back! You COULD locate the bell housing for a 67-71 AMC GEN-2/3 engine (GEN-2 is 66-69 290/343/390, GEN-3 70-91 304/360/401 -- 70 only 390) and bolt the existing trans to that. Prior to 72 AMC used Borg-Warner autos with a removable bell and the bells will swap, leaving the original auto and torque tube intact. I wouldn't put anything over 350 or so hp in front of the older BW trans though. AMC used a stouter model behind the 390/401, but then they expected those to get "rode hard and put up wet" too. The older one will be good with 400 hp for normal cruising, but if you "get on it" a lot the trans will be stressed a bit much and won't last too long.

    Thanks for the info! You can still get performance parts for those years because of the Javelins.
     
  15. Piston Farmer
    Joined: Aug 6, 2009
    Posts: 613

    Piston Farmer
    Member

    the dash is setup for A/C, but i dont see a pump on the motor but its good to know the A/C option will be easy to setup
     
  16. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,542

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    I never really got having your online identity tied to one car. :rolleyes:
     
  17. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 26,161

    porknbeaner
    Member

     
  18. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,065

    farna
    Member

    A big block will easily fit the "big" AMC cars (Classic/Rebel/Matador/Marlin/Ambassador), just not the smaller ones (all others!). Speed parts are available for the GEN-2/3 (almost the same, slightly higher deck on GEN-3 and slightly better heads) because it's the most numerous. Javelin/AMX has something to do with it, but those cars were only built for seven years. Jeeps have more to do with performance parts being available as the GEN-3 360 was produced through1991 for them (360, last 401 was 78 -- last in a car was 74). I'm willing to bet there are a lot more Jeepers buying AMC performance part than car owners nowadays! Same with the AMC six, the most ubiquitous AMC engine.

    Porky is right -- no kit needed, just makes it easier and quicker. All depends on your fab skills! Any number of 3/4 link weld in kits will go in, but there' not one made specifically for these cars. For all that matters it's not hard to make the 67-78 AMC big car rear suspension fit. The axle is an inch or two wider so you'll need slightly deeper wheels, but the chassis is basically the same -- just weld in mounts for the lower arms and the upper crossmember (which needs to be trimmed about 1/2" on each end to fit between the rails). Leaf springs have been used, but you have to weld in a stop near the gas tank filler to keep the spring from bottoming out and crushing the filler pipe, and you have to use rather short springs. 64-69 American springs should work, some have used Mustang II springs. I don't recommend leafs though, about the same cost/work as a better four link.
     
  19. RamblerClassic
    Joined: Dec 5, 2009
    Posts: 141

    RamblerClassic
    Member

    PLEASE dont give if a god-forsaken chevy engine, ive seen too many Ramblers get ruined because someone decided to put in a POS 350, when they have a perfectly good Rambler engine.
     
  20. Racewriter
    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
    Posts: 782

    Racewriter
    Member

    Those AMC engines will survive a nuclear war. They're great engines. If you want more power, there are plenty of 360s and even 401s in the junkyards. Look for junked Wagoneers.
     
  21. str8axle55
    Joined: Dec 19, 2006
    Posts: 351

    str8axle55
    Member
    from MA

    Pretty bitchin` looking car for $500.
     
  22. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 5,728

    Gotgas
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from DFW USA

    Want to make a little profit on it? My dad has been looking for a V8 Rambler in restorable condition for a while now, he would really like that.

    As for the Chevy drivetrain, why would that be your first thought? :confused: AMC parts aren't THAT hard to find, especially drivetrain stuff. It's the trim and sheetmetal that's near-impossible to locate.
     
  23. flatoutflyin
    Joined: Jun 16, 2010
    Posts: 377

    flatoutflyin
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You've got a rare car there. My mom bought a blue with white top '64 Classic 660 hdtp like yours in April of 1964. It was a great car 'til I wrecked it [pulled out in front of a truck while returning home with a Jasper rebuilt 216 Chev. engine in a rented trailer for my '48 Chev. sedan delivery]. The AMC was a great looking hardtop, and the 287 was fine for a college ride. I still miss that car. I remember how comfortable the split front seat was, and they folded flat into a bed. It didn't get much better.
     
  24. Rebel 327
    Joined: Oct 11, 2010
    Posts: 16

    Rebel 327
    Member
    from Ohio

    Everything you need to rebuilt or just tune up your Rambler engine are readily available. Why ruin a good thing? You can spend a lot of time and money swapping in another engine/trans/rear or just work on what you have and enjoy it. American Parts Depot, NAPA and Autozone can be your friends. Enjoy your car any way you want. Good Luck.
     
  25. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 4,585

    flynbrian48
    Member

    For the effort involved in an engine swap, you could freshen up the stocker, and have a car that's REALLY different. Nothing at all wrong with an SBC, but you do realize you're looking at swapping rear axles as well (torque tube). If it had come without a drivetrain, which would still have been a good deal, then swap away, but, you've got the whole thing. AMC V8's are great, and for the El Cheapo buy-in price of 500 bucks, you can afford to spend a little $$ on the original engine, if it's even needed.
     
  26. FWIW, you might be able to go Ford with the drivetrain. Ford used that Borg-Warner trans in the late '50s, so I suspect there is a combination of transmission parts that will let a Y-block or early big Ford (352) bolt up to the rest of the driveline.

    But what others have said, it's a torque tube car, so you need to engineer a new rear suspension to put most other engines in the car.
     
  27. fordrambler
    Joined: Oct 12, 2010
    Posts: 2

    fordrambler
    Member

    keep it all rambler man. nothing wrong with them, just misunderstood! tune it up and drive it. it'll be fun!!
     
  28. Rebel 327
    Joined: Oct 11, 2010
    Posts: 16

    Rebel 327
    Member
    from Ohio

    You can only use the Rambler trans as they have a unique bolt pattern. Ford will not work--that is just rumor.
     
  29. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,065

    farna
    Member

    Not necessarily Rebel... and Rusty. Ford and BW co-developed their early autos along with Studebaker (at first -- Stude had to drop out of the venture but bought the trannys from BW, which was originally Detroit Gear). Some internal parts are shared between BW and Ford Cruise-O-Matic/Ford-O-Matic/FMX transmissions such as bands and clutches (and some hard parts), but Ford had their own case and valve body. All of those had removable bells though. No one has tried a Ford trans on a BW bell (or vice-versa) as far as I know. Even if that worked the torque converter might be a problem. If the bells (and converters) are the same depth that could be worked out, or a custom/hybrid converter made (which could be expensive).

    So it's more a speculation whether the Ford and BW will interchange on the same bell -- it's not been proven one way or the other as far as I know. I've been around AMCs since 79, especially 60s Ramblers. I just don't know of anyone actually getting two of the trannys together and seeing if they will physically interchange. They might.
     

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