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Customs 1964 rambler americna front suspension

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by sumo, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. sumo
    Joined: Sep 28, 2002
    Posts: 83

    sumo
    Member

    Is there anyone out there that can give me in site on how to lower a 1964 Rambler American wagon?? I want to drop it down but the trunion suspension looks to be quite tricky.
     
  2. blue 49
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,540

    blue 49
    Member
    from Iowa

    Since they have bolt on spindles, I thought about making 3/8 thick plates to offset the spindles higher on the '66 I used to have. I never got around to it before I sold the car though.

    Blue
     
    TinShed likes this.
  3. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,255

    farna
    Member

    See http://theamcforum.com/forum/loweri...3682_post394605.html?KW=lowering+plate#394605
    Shows how to make lowering plates that drop the car 1-5/8". You can see that you could get as much as 2.5" of drop by using the top spindle mount holes in the bottom of the spindle. I've heard of a couple people doing that by using 1/2" cold-rolled steel plates with no problems, but most drop 1-1/2" to 1-3/4", with the 1-5/8" being the most often used measurement. This works for all 52-83 Nash/Rambler/AMC cars. Doesn't alter suspension geometry.

    Make sure the trunnions are good! The spring should sit pretty square on top. If the trunnion appears to be leaning the inner bushing is probably worn out. There is also a bushing in the horizontal pin. 64-69 American, Javelin, and AMX trunnions are all the same. The bigger AMCs (and older Nash/Rambler cars) used an entirely different trunnion that isn't as problematic. You can get polyurethane rebuild kits for the trunnions reasonably priced. There are disc brake kits for AMCs (www.scarebird.com -- their Javelin/Rebel kit fits all 52-83 models -- older ones may need some tweaking though -- Willwood and Aerospace Components also have kits) and most anything else you'd need for the suspension. Trunnions are different, but work very well. Cheaper to rebuild what you have than weld in a Mustang II -- and the original suspension is just as good as a Mustang II. It's very similar except for spring location, and the high spring is more roll resistant than a low spring -- that's why the early six cylinder Ramblers had no sway bar and the V-8s only small 1/2" or 5/8" bars. They just aren't needed! If swapping to a V-8 or to improve handling order stiffer front springs (15% stiffer than stock for handling -- stock 66-69 V-8 springs 10-12% stiffer for V-8s and handling) from www.coilsprings.com.
     
  4. 440wagon
    Joined: Aug 30, 2017
    Posts: 8

    440wagon

    Ok so my big question is, Does anyone know what front suspension I can swap the trunnion out for
    In a 64 Rambler American wagon 220?. I was thinking the ford falcon (same year) looks pretty close.
    Not looking to change the cross member don't want to install a mustang 2 set up either. Just a upper/lower control arms, spring, rotors. Or maybe a new front suspension lower control arm coil spring rotor. something along those lines. Must be able to support a big block 383/727 tranny.
    Does anyone know any help is appreciated, I'm at a dead end here. Tks
     

  5. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414

    southcross2631
    Member

    I thought they all came with straight axles. That is mostly what we see on here where somebody made a gasser. Take a look at a Pacer or maybe a Volare since you are going Mopar.
     
  6. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,937

    LM14
    Member Emeritus
    from Iowa

    Be careful removing the springs to replace trunions, they are man killers...literally.
    SPark
     
  7. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,255

    farna
    Member

    You have a few options. One is to rebuild the upper trunnion. Prothane sells a urethane bushing set that will work with the stock housings. You might not find it on their site, maybe through AMC dealers like Kennedy American or American Parts Depot. Same trunnion for 64 American through 69 American/Javelin/AMX. That is probably your cheapest route as long as the horizontal bushing didn't wear to the point that the hole is egg shaped. Even then if can be bored and a thin steel sleeve inserted. If the vertical bushing wore to the point the trunnion was leaning, it might be toast. The stock suspension will easily support a big block, but you will need a stiffer springs. www.coilsprings.com will make one whatever rate you need. I can supply the stock V-8 rates so you will have an idea, but the stock HD V-8 front springs are probably good -- they were around 20% stiffer than standard and too hard for me with the AMC V-8. AMC used a V-8 in the 66-69 American, same front suspension.

    You can go to a Mustang II suspension, but that's a lot more work and expense. Have to modify the front rails even with a kit made for the cars, IIRC.

    If you just want to make some changes to the upper arms, look at this board: http://theamcforum.com/forum/1961-american-front-suspension-rebuild_topic91703.html. The 61-63 trunnion is a bit different, but the same type arms can be used with the 64-69 version.
     
  8. chris1932rdstr
    Joined: Mar 14, 2012
    Posts: 26

    chris1932rdstr
    Member

    I have a drawing of the factory spring removal struts and shell


    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
     
  9. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,077

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    I cut 1 1/2 coils off mine but made a clamp to hold the bottom of the spring in place so it wouldn't fall out.. Worked well...
     
  10. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,255

    farna
    Member

    The early Ramblers have spring seats with "ears" on them that a pair of hooks catch and hold the spring compressed. The factory set holds the spring pretty tightly compressed and has a guard around it to prevent the spring from coming out. As long as the two seats are held parallel the guard isn't a necessity. I've made hooks without guards and used them many times, but I do handle that "loaded" spring VERY carefully! I put the hooks on with the car on the ground, engine and trans in. The hooks are maybe 1/4" shorter than spring, have to push on fender to compress a little to get them on. Then take tire off and shock loose so suspension will drop enough to remove spring. The 70+ cars use a different type of compressor, no "ears" on the spring seats. Of course the "ears" and seats must be in good condition (not badly rusted!) on the early type to work.
     
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