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Projects 59 rambler wagon with Chevy motor and ford rear end

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rambler man Dan, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. Rambler man Dan
    Joined: Mar 24, 2018
    Posts: 30

    Rambler man Dan
    Member

    Hi all,
    Just joined up here on this board and fig I'd show my current project. Car is a 59 AMC rambler wagon. It was a 2 owner southern cali car that made its was to Buffalo, NY in 2015. It had sat since the early 90's but was solid as hell. I picked it up in fall of 2017 as a non running project.
    20171008_105010.jpg
    I got the original AMC straight 6 running but it had a horrible rod knock. So I decided to make a cool hot rod.
    Now this car had a torque tube driveline so I pulled it all out. I did a truck arm rear suspension with a Ford 8.8 rear end in.
    20180224_193740.jpg
    I put a sbc 350 with a turbo 350 trans in that my buddy had from a previous project.
    20180316_192731.jpg 20180316_192706.jpg
    Motor mounts were just tacked in at this point. I used the front mounts on the sbc to the original rambler rubber mounts. I also made mid mounts off the bell housing.

    20180324_210438.jpg
    So that's where im at now. Still have a ton of work and hours into finishing it but it's come along good so far. I'm going to redo the interior close to stock and am undecided about paint. There is some original paint under the rattle can primer so I may try and get back the primer off and show some of that. Not sure yet.
    20180225_132725.jpg
     
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  2. 283john
    Joined: Nov 17, 2008
    Posts: 784

    283john
    Member

    I like Rambler wagons. Keep us posted. I'd love to ditch my torque tube setup junk Borg Warner automatic.
     
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  3. Deuced Up!
    Joined: Feb 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,803

    Deuced Up!
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  4. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,411

    belair
    Member

    Love it. Buy some pink paint...
     
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  5. Rambler man Dan
    Joined: Mar 24, 2018
    Posts: 30

    Rambler man Dan
    Member

    Thanks all.. yeah I've always had a thing for wagons, especially the AMC stuff and had been looking for one for awhile. I passed on a few that were rot boxes. Got lucky with the shape overall this one is in. I'll be sure to update the thread as I get more done.
    I don't know about pink but the original color was a light mauve color. Gotta love those quirky AMC colors!
    Best thing to is I have all the chrome and stainless trim work. There is acres of it to go back on.
     
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  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,947

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Mother in law had one of those that was pink/rose when my wife and I got married.
     
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  7. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,224

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That will be one fast, but ugly, little wagon. It's still a long roof, and that's all that really matters.
    I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  8. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 3,763

    southcross2631
    Member

    Had a 57 wagon . All my buddies tried to borrow it for drive-in movie dates.
     
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  9. One of what?
     
  10. Scrapin’Metal
    Joined: Mar 19, 2018
    Posts: 54

    Scrapin’Metal

    Needs a little something sticking up from beneath the hood
     
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  11. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,355

    BJR
    Member

    Does that have the fold flat front seats? If so you scored the original 2 bedroom Rambler.
     
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  12. Rambler man Dan
    Joined: Mar 24, 2018
    Posts: 30

    Rambler man Dan
    Member

    Nice Thanks. I agree the ugly is what draws me to the AMC stuff I think.


    It does have the fold flat front seats! Yeah cold sleep multiple people if I could find multiple who wanted to sleep together. Lol.
     
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  13. Boy I am GLAD you got rid of that torque drive.Now you can have some fun driving her! Good luck with her. Bruce.
     
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  14. Early Ironman
    Joined: Feb 1, 2016
    Posts: 550

    Early Ironman
    Member

    I dig it!
    Had a 57 Rambler wagon a few years ago. They are cool and different.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  15. When I was in high school my grandfather had a light green 59 wagon. I wouldn't be caught dead in it then...now I'd love to have one to hot rod.
     
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  16. Welcome to the H.A.M.B. As for color, I say paint it red and have “Radio Flyer “ on both sides.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  17. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,932

    LM14
    Member
    from Iowa

    I would be interested to know how well the front mount/rear of tranny mounts work for you. I've always heard you shouldn't span from the front clear to the rear. Either side engine mounts with a rear tranny mount or front engine mounts with a mid/bell mount. Love the Ramblers!
    SPark
     
  18. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 3,763

    southcross2631
    Member

    I did a 57 Chevy like that and it worked fine.
     
  19. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,529

    aaggie
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Read it again, he said he made side mounts off of the bell housing.
     
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  20. Rambler man Dan
    Joined: Mar 24, 2018
    Posts: 30

    Rambler man Dan
    Member

    Yep fabricated mounts off the bell housing just in case. Cause I love overkill. :)
    20180324_210504.jpg 20180324_210454.jpg My buddy has a 56 Chevy with just the front and back mounts and has way more Hp than I am planning on. But I couldn't leave well enough alone.

    I used 1/4 " flat stock and a universal rubber mount bolted to angle I welded to the rambler frame members. Bolted to the bell housing with grade 8 bolts to.
     
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  21. Mark T
    Joined: Feb 19, 2007
    Posts: 1,866

    Mark T
    Member

    Where did you buy your universal rubber mounts? Are they automotive or machinery type parts?
     
  22. Rambler man Dan
    Joined: Mar 24, 2018
    Posts: 30

    Rambler man Dan
    Member

    Got them from Speedway..

    Part # 720-4714
     
  23. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,224

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Personally, I've not had any issue with front mounts, and a transmission extension housing mount. This was a 56 Chevrolet Pro Bracket car, with a BBC and an aluminum Powerglide that had the cooling holes in the bell-housing. BUT, I had a Hurst saddle mount at the front that really limited any torque over. I know a few people who did things in a similar fashion. Using stock Tri-Five type front mounts , that are spaced very narrowly; that's the reason for the bell-housing mounts in the Tri-Fives. And, I've seen cars with a later model aluminum automatic transmission using front mounts, fabricated bell-housing mounts, and NO extension housing mount; those are the ones that bothered me; the transmission just hanging out there like a stock Tri-Five would have been. I'm sure there are guys who have problems, no matter how things were mounted. I think you'll be fine Rambler Man Dan.
    I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  24. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,199

    farna
    Member

    Actually, the reason for the bell mounts is that oil filters weren't stock until the late 50s/early 60s. The cars were made so the crossmember could be lowered or dropped and the oil pan removed for cleaning. So motor mounts couldn't be on crossmember, had to be at front and rear of engine. Non-detergent oil was used so dirt and such would settle in the bottom of the pan when the engine was stopped and cooled. Pickup left some room in bottom. Pan was taken off and cleaned every so often, depending on miles driven was usually every year or every other year... or was supposed to be. I'm sure they helped with torqe-over as well though. It's amazing to me that big heavy trannys like the old Dual Range Hydramatic just hing off the bell with no support for the trans. Those old bells were a lot heavier... I think the Hydro used a cast iron bell. Don't know about others, but AMC/Rambler changed the trans bolt pattern when switching to three point (mid motor and trans) mounts. There is more distance between the top and bottom bolts (about 2" difference) to make the connection stronger, less likely to flex under power.
     
  25. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,038

    ramblin dan

    Thanks for this great thread it was very informative. I've got a 1958 rambler super 6 and after driving it for 30 years plus the head gasket finally went on the stock six motor. I can't seem to get a new head gasket to seal and although it runs great after rebuilding the motor it is smoking it seems to be from a water leak. I took off the head and had it machined but still that sweet smell of antifreeze in the form of white smoke when I reinstalled with another new gasket. I am now contemplating a small block swap like yours.
     
  26. onetrickpony
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 427

    onetrickpony
    Member
    from Texas

    Every time I have seen someone use the front mount on the block and rear trans mount, they ended up with a puking front pump seal on the T350. I think you just saved yourself some headaches with those middle supports.
     
  27. R A Wrench
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 450

    R A Wrench
    Member
    from Denver, Co

    Way back when, mid 60's, a friend had a 59 Rambler 4 door. He stuffed a 58 Olds in it with a Cal-Laselle trany & a ford 9 inch. Biggest sleeper in a amall town.
     
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  28. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,931

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    Dan -

    Are you using a Panhard bar to keep the rear end centered under the car ?

    Mike
     
  29. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,199

    farna
    Member

    I'm afraid you have a cracked head. Those motors MUST have the head retorqued every 2-3 years or 10-12K miles. The head is a massive chunk of iron and expands and contracts as much as 0.020" every time it's run. That eventually loosens the bolts enough to cause a head gasket leak. The leak usually isn't noticed until it runs hot. That thick iron head runs rather hot all the time, and doesn't like to be overheated. Add 50+ years of heat cycling to that and it usually means a cracked head. Usually cracks around the exhaust valves. I doubt you can get the head fixed, though a block sealer will get you a few more years use out of it (I've used K&W Permanent Metallic Block Seal -- needs the radiator flushed, run the sealer, then flush, drain, let dry before adding anti-freeze and running... ). Finding a good used head is near impossible now, because people don't know about that maintenance issue. You may not have ever run it hot, a previous owner may have. Time takes a toll also! It's not a "bad" design, you just have to remember that it started life as a flat-head six. The block was modified (only around the valve area though) and a head designed to drop on. There are some cooling issues with the head -- it gets very hot -- but they can be alleviated by simply drilling a 1/8" hole in the thermostat so there is always a little flow and using studs instead of head bolts. Studs don't seem to back out or loosen like the bolts do, but I'd check torque on them occasionally anyway. The studs do make it harder to get the head off with engine in car though... I just retorque when I have the valve cover off to adjust valves every 10-12K miles/2-3 years anyway. It uses solid lifters and they should be adjusted on occasion.
     
  30. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,038

    ramblin dan

    Thanks frank. I've read you on the amc forum and your info has helped me numerous times. going to take the head off again and have it magnafluxed to see if I have a crack or not. I've owned the car thirty years plus and it's never overheated even when the head gasket went south. I will try block sealer and see if I can get a little more time out of her. Thanks again.
     

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