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'53 Nash Rambler conversion, suggestions?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tjenns, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,198


    I've got a 62 American that I've been thinking about making into a roadster, and a Merkur XR4ti with 2.3L turbo and five speed. What I'd really like to do is section the 62 down about 6" and move the cowl back 4-6". Sectioning and keeping the front suspension might be a problem due to the spring towers though. There is some room above the towers, maybe 3", but the spring would have to be made shorter too. I have some photoshoped pics of one done that way though and sectioning really doesn't alter appearance much. I was planning on welding the doors shut and making a true roadster. Would leave the vent windows but not the roll-up windows. Wouldn't have to alter the insides of the doors that way. Welding the door shut would make it easier to move the cowl back. I could section and leave the cowl, and make the doors open/close though. Will likely just lower the thing and not section or move the cowl though. I saved the hardtop off a rusted out 63 440H, so could make a removable hardtop model. If I go that route I'll make the rear side window part of the hardtop, I think. That would be about the only way to seal it since I don't have the hardtop side glass.

    I also have a 65 American though -- a two door that needs floors and a wagon with rusted out frame sections. Could cut it up ala the Budd XR-400... that has been a thought too. I've got an extensive article showing just how Budd cut the 62 Classic and welded back together to make the XR-400 somewhere. I was thinking about applying the same method to the American and using the front doors from the four door on the two door, leaving the B pillar with latch where it is and installing hte A piller from the wagon to hang the front door, then move the cowl back the 3-4" difference between the length of the two door and four door. That would be difficult with the 62 due to the sculpted sides, but it could be done (I have a 62 four door parts car). The door skins would need a lot of work though, the 65 is pretty straight down the side.
  2. ochamsrasor
    Joined: Aug 16, 2007
    Posts: 272


    after doing these until I do not want to do them anymore and having MII subframe and the early maverick rears, simplest is using the 2 dr s10 blazer chassis use the entire floorpan from the blazer. You probably need a good floorpan anyway. If you have a running blazer you are the road in a couple weeks. All kinds of s10 suspension stuff out there. The 2dr blazer chassis is shorter than the reg cab pickup and is exactly the wheelbase of the Nash.
  3. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,198


    A friend of mine did something similar with a 50's Studebaker pickup using a Dodge Dakota frame and ab. He cut the floor and firewall from both abs, which gave him the heat and AC system from the Dakota as well. Kept the Stude dash though.

    It's not a bad idea, but there will be a lot of measuring and cutting on the Rambler. A 2WD Blazer might be the trick though, as long as it's lowered a bit.
  4. DPeel
    Joined: Feb 22, 2014
    Posts: 3


    The easiest engine swap is a 60 degree gm v6 or an inline 4. It has a very narrow and short engine compartment. I upgraded the front brakes to mid 60s mustang v8 drums. The mustang bearings even fit the rambler spindle, just had to make a small sleeve for the hub seal. This gave me 5 lug hubs which match the Ranger rear end thats in the car. Ive been meaning to switch front end over to mustang 2 but have over 100,000 miles on the original well used stock front end in the 10 years Ive owned the car. Amazing what a little grease will do.
  5. A friend of mine bought a sheel in form of a almost emty and uncomplete nash rambler hardtop 52. He will use a 69 jaguar/daimler six that he bought from me. He also will use volvo front and rearend on that car.

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  6. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,198


    Getting that long Jag six in will be a chore! If he loses the original Rambler heater it will fit though, just a little sheet metal work.

    The front end is plenty tough, just a bit "different" with the trunnions. The spindles from any other AMC will bolt on, and other AMC hubs will fit the original spindles. Only the 50-54 Nash Rambler used four lugs (the 54 may use five...), the 58-60 Rambler American is virtually the same car (mechanically and floor pan of the 61-63 American is also), and uses five lugs.

    The 60 degree V-6s do fit, but the factory accessories are way too wide. You'd need to remount all the accessories with hot-rod mounts intended for 30s cars or make your own mounts. If you're just running an alternator that would be pretty easy to do though.
  7. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,146

    Rusty O'Toole

    In other words he is going to gut it to an empty shell and replace 80% of the car.

    Then drive it from the back seat, to find room for his legs.
  8. Rambler man mike
    Joined: Dec 19, 2018
    Posts: 1

    Rambler man mike

    I realize this is an old thread but I sure wish I had found it long ago! I’m building a 62 Rambler American convertible little hot rod. I first had to replace the steering since the original box was locked up & would not turn. I got a cheap mustang2 rack. Using the front “K” crossmember as a pattern I made a plate to mount the rack to. I had to get some longer tie rod ends for it to match the track width but local parts house took care of that. Then I got a dummy sbc engine & lowered it in to see how tight it was. After a lot of measurements , in & out a few times I determined it would fit by removing the inner humps just above the upper control arm bolts. Headers was the next chore. I wound up using 2 rt side “log” type stock cast iron manifolds from an 80s Chevy truck. The left side will exit at the front of the engine & run beside the block to the rear. And yup....accessing the spark plugs will be next to impossible! I hope to be setting my new crate motor in it soon. If someone can tell me how to put photos on here from my phone I will post them. Reading all this thread has been a thrill for me since I wasn’t sure about what I’m doing. I’m 70yrs Young & this is my first build in about 20 yrs. can’t wait to smoke some tires!
    R A Wrench, Bigcheese327 and rod1 like this.
  9. Rambler man Dan
    Joined: Mar 24, 2018
    Posts: 30

    Rambler man Dan

    Hey Mike,
    Sounds like a cool project. There is a couple Rambler guys here. Lots of good info to as far as other builds. I searched alot when I got mine.
    I've got a 59 wagon with a sbc motor and Ford rear end I've been building the last year or so.

    As far as photos there is a camera icon in the reply box. Hit that and than upload your files.

    Also check out the to. Lots of good stuff there just be warned they don't like all the motor swap stuff. Just Stay in the frankenrambler forum and you'll be good!
    Bigcheese327 likes this.
  10. GordonC
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,987


    I'll be following this thread for ideas as I have a 1954 Met convertible waiting in line to do something with. I have a 66 289, a C4, and a narrowed 9 inch rear end. Thinking about how tough it will be to get all this into that little body. Might be able to use any ideas that pop up here.

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