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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


    Yeah I reused the stock Panhard bar from the rambler and made a mount to both it to the Ford rear end.
     
  2. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,199

    farna
    Member

    Could have a cracked block, though that is pretty rare (along with a warped block). Before you try block sealer though... Even though the new head gasket probably says "no sealer needed", USE A SEALER. The sealing surfaces are rather narrow in places. Remember, this engine was designed in the late 30s, first introduced in 1940 (41 model cars) as a flat-head with 6.7:1 compression. The OHV has 8.7:1. I've never had any luck sealing a head gasket without sealer, no matter what the gasket manufacturer says. I use a spray on copper or aluminum sealer, both sides. I've used "Indian Head" shellac sealer before -- thin coat brushed on both sides. That is similar to what the factory used.
     
  3. BigEd
    Joined: Aug 12, 2005
    Posts: 242

    BigEd
    Member

    Wasn't there a tv commercial around the late 70's that had the phrase:

    ForChevAmChrysWagon
     
  4. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,038

    ramblin dan

    Thanks frank. A buddy of mine said to spray it with a permatec high tac I believe it was called, it was red in color when sprayed and did it, but still had the same issue. I think I'm going to take your advice and check the head again for cracks. I bought another head gasket in case I had an issue. You are right about sealing surfaces being narrow on these blocks. It's funny I had no blow by or anything even when the head gasket went. I would like to keep the stock motor only for the fact I would have to change the entire driveline out because of the torque tube set up.
     
  5. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,038

    ramblin dan

    That was going to my question but I also wanted to know out of what year and model did you get that 8.8 ford out of? It looks like it fits perfectly.
     
  6. vintage6t
    Joined: Jul 30, 2007
    Posts: 343

    vintage6t
    Member
    from CT

    I had a crack in my 196 ohv successfully pinned. Talk to your machinist about it. The crack was in a exhaust valve pocket.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  7. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,038

    ramblin dan

    Thanks, when I get her out and if this is the case, I will take it to the machine shop where I had the head plained at and see what they can do. It seems that this scenario seems to be pretty common judging by opinions I'm hearing and all are greatly appreciated. It's frustrating but I guess I shouldn't complain. I bought this car while I was in high school and have driven it for over 30 plus years and this is the first major issue I have had with it. I have been putting off my other projects while dealing with this.
     
  8. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,723

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Kudos for doing something different and keeping another old car on the road.
     
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  9. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,723

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

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

    Rambler man Dan
    Member

    Yep early 90s ford explorer. Exactly the same width and same bolt pattern for the wheels. I think mine was a 93. I got a drum brake rear cause that what I could find locally and with really low miles.
     
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  11. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,199

    farna
    Member

    Late model Ranger fits nearly perfectly. The Explorer rear is a bit wider. 93-11 Ranger (probably through the last Ranger in 13) is 58.5" wide, 90-92 is 56.5". The big Rambler is close to 58", Americans are around 56". 91-03 Explorer axle is listed as 59.5", one inch wider. Still close enough, especially if you use the deeper (than stock Rambler) Explorer wheels. They might be a bit too deep for the front, but spacers will fix that issue. The drum brake Explorer axle might be a bit narrower at the wheel mounting surfaces than the disc brake axle due to the hub difference.

    It's not really hard to change the rear suspension, but does take some fab work. It was really easy to put a late 80s Jag IRS in, but rebuilding the IRS wasn't cheap, and I don't think I'd do it again. Only about $1200 in the rear axle. Could have used a Ranger or Explorer axle and a universal four link kit and done at least two. Truck arms are a good way to go also.
     
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  12. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,038

    ramblin dan

    741.jpg
    Thanks for your response. I'm watching your thread and really glad you are posting such great detailed photos. Here's a pic. of mine. It's a mild custom with complete stock driveline although that might change after seeing your setup.
     
  13. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,038

    ramblin dan

    Thanks frank. your answer is very informative and I will be on the look out for a ranger rear end to save in case I can't do anything with the stock motor I have. I have a couple of small blocks I have set aside for other projects in my garage. I don't mind doing fab work as I have a lift in my garage and will probably make things easier. I got a swap meet I'm vending at tomorrow and usually have a posting board I set up to post things that are too big to haul out or to post things I'm looking for and will post a want ad for a rear end or a whole truck. Thanks again and am watching this thread with great interest. And a thank you to rambler man dan as well.
     
  14. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,199

    farna
    Member

    If you want to see multiple ideas/setups for swapping out the torque-tube, go to http://theamcforum.com/forum/rear-end-swap-5666-classic_topic11214.html
    If you have any questions it's best to reply here in this thread or send me a PM. I've been involved with several such swaps, including my own car. Had a Jeep Comanche axle with ladder bars before I switched to the Jag IRS. Comanche/XJ Cherokee axles are a bit wide, need at least 4" backset 7" wide wheels to run one without narrowing axle. 3.5" backset would be better. I had 3.75" backset and they would scrub inside the wheel well when car was loaded with four adult passengers, but not with just two in front.
     
  15. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,199

    farna
    Member

    Honestly. if you like driving with the original powerplant, consider swapping an entire Ranger drivetrain in. It will have twice the power, 25% more even with the 98-01 Ranger 2.5L EFI four, nearly 40% more with a 01-11 2.3L Duratec. The 01-11 SOHC V-6 would be 60% more, with the other V-6s being 40-50% more power. Now I'm "downrating" the 196 OHV 1V 127hp model to about 90 hp due to the gross vs. net power ratings. You lose about 28% going from gross to today's net ratings, so the 127 hp in 1958 would be comparable to 91.5 hp in 1972+ net ratings. Would be a good drivetrain swap if you get the whole vehicle.
     
  16. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,038

    ramblin dan

    Thanks frank and for the link. This swap is worth considering.
     
  17. estes
    Joined: May 25, 2011
    Posts: 62

    estes
    Member

    Good start. I have a '63 Classic with a Ford 8.8, 4 link rear, and Chevy 350. Personally, I didn't think the straight six was worth the rebuild.
     
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  18. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,038

    ramblin dan

    bought a ford 8.8 and brought it home for when I do this swap. Thanks for your input estes.
     
  19. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,199

    farna
    Member

    estes, depends on what you want -- stock look or not. The old 196 is expensive to rebuild now due to it's antique status -- parts are harder to find and more costly. It's reliable and hard to kill when properly maintained, but forget to re-torque the head every 12-15K miles and you can run hot and crack it, and good heads are extremely hard to find now. It needs to be relegated to the restorer crowd, though I still know a few people who use one for a daily driver. If a water pump went out on a long trip you could be stuck for several days getting a new one though! That's the main reason I stopped using one as a daily driver. If only driving close to home no big deal, but I was in the USAF and needed to take my car on long trips occasionally -- the wife had the late model and didn't drive my old car, and we only had the two, since we knew we would be moving around a bit.
     
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  20. Rambler man Dan
    Joined: Mar 24, 2018
    Posts: 30

    Rambler man Dan
    Member

    Glad you got a 8.8. It's a great rear end.

    Ive Been making slow process on my build due to my current busy work schedule. Got all my air ride stuff in. Now to fabricate and build brackets and mounts for the air ride.
    Interior is all stripped out and ready for cleaning and redo.
    Got all old wiring out and ready for new harness.

    Hopefully next week I'll ge the rear air bags in.
     
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  21. nickleone
    Joined: Jun 14, 2007
    Posts: 320

    nickleone
    Member

    Dan G,
    Did you fab the truck arms or buy them? If you bought them from who?
    I have a 62 wagon putting in a 196 with T5 and an 8.8 rear.
    I have been pondering different rear suspension.
    The 62 in the avatar is mine. It was a local band car.
    Nick
     
  22. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,199

    farna
    Member

  23. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,038

    ramblin dan

    I was digging through a box of old magazines I bought at the last swap meet and forgot I had in the garage and came across an article in a Rod and Custom book. The book was Sept. 2008 and was using C10 trailing arms in a 49-54 chevy which was putting a ford rear end in a closed driveline car. There was a kit you could buy for this car but it had great pictures that you could adapt this setup with a little work. The company they got it from was Classic Performance Products.
     
  24. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,242

    George
    Member

    What color is mauve????o_O
     
  25. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,199

    farna
    Member

    "Mauve" is sort of a pinkish color.... like a pink rose. It's mainly the name guys use when they don't want to say they have a pink car or shirt. "Mauve" is less emasculating... I'm man enough to wear a pink shirt, but I might draw the line at a pink car... unless it's the Playboy Bunny give-away 68 AMX (one was presented to Angela Dorian, 68 Playmate of the year, in pink!) or it's a free one, like a Mary Kay car. My wife doesn't sell Mary Kay though. My dad got a good deal on a former Mary Kay Caddy SUV. Dealer who took it in on trade had it painted red! Dad didn't realize it had been painted. My brother did some work on it and had to remove an interior panel and found the pink.
     
  26. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,199

    farna
    Member

    "Hot Rods to Hell" sells a "truck arm" kit, and you can contact them for individual components. Some of the guys have used the G-body kit adapted to a torque tube AMC, some have used an Olds torque tube replacement kit they sell. Either requires modifying the pivot crossmember to fit the Rambler. The G-body kit seems to work better, IMHO.
    http://www.hotrodstohell.net/truckarm/truckarm_index.htm
     
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  27. Rambler man Dan
    Joined: Mar 24, 2018
    Posts: 30

    Rambler man Dan
    Member


    I bought them from second chance race car parts in North Carolina. Pretty reasonable cost and the build quality on them is amazing. Came with the big u bolts for the rear.
    I fabricated the front cross member from 2x2 sq steel and 1/4" plate.
    I looked into the hot rods to hell stuff but was to pricey for me. Nice stuff it seams but I couldn't justify the cost when I could fab for way less.
     
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  28. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,038

    ramblin dan

    I'm with you. After looking at hot rods to hell sight I will make my own mounts. Thanks for the great pictures of your build. It gives me a lot better idea of how to go about it.
     
  29. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Kind of like an ugly woman. Nobody tries to steal them. I lived in Kenosha Wi in 1958 and 1959 when those were built. Rambler made some of the ugliest vehicles ever.
     
  30. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,199

    farna
    Member

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...
     
    ramblin dan and Rambler man Dan like this.

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