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Projects I bought a nice 62 Rambler I need your advice and opinions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Indocil Art, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,187

    farna
    Member

    Well, sometimes I get a bit annoyed about people who don't know the history of AMC perpetuating myths, and get carried away in the "corrective" posts. They were as good a company as the bigger ones, just not big enough to compete head to head. In today's world (which started in the 60s) you have to be able to build a minimum of 100,000 of one model to benefit from the economy of so many -- spread the cost over that many. Not only that, but you want as many parts as possible to work for as many models as possible for even better economy of scale. Remember when cars changed major designs every three years at least? Now it's 5-10, with the exception of a few high end models.

    Anyway, there's nothing wrong with the existing front end design. It's light and strong. The old 196 OHV six weighs only 50-60 pounds less than a V-8, and the Rambler V-8 models used the same design with just a heavier spring. The old GEN-1 AMC V-8 (or Rambler V-8 if you prefer) was closer to the weight and physical size of a big block!

    It's possible that lowering plates would cause a problem with the spring. The spring does sit just above the tire. The plates will move the tire out a bit, but not much. No one that I know of has done a coil-over conversion, but it's pretty easy. I'd cut a round 1/4" steel plate that would fit in the upper spring seat then weld tow "ears" on it that the upper eye of the shock would fit between, the ears drilled for a bolt to run through the upper shock mount. Drill two holes in the top of the spring tower and thread two corresponding holes in the plate for 1/4" bolts to hold the plate in place when the car is jacked up. The lower spring mount is threaded onto the upper trunnion. Remove the spring and screw the mount off. Cut the mount right below the spring seat and weld a U shaped piece of metal that will wrap around the lower shock mount. The tube below the actual spring seat is pretty tall and can be shortened or lengthened as needed to fit the coil-over shock in.

    Don't try to use the stock shock mount. It's not made to carry the entire weight of the car. You could re-work it a bit and correct that, but would need to beef up the lower control arm too. Moving the spring to the lower arm will mean you have to look at beefing up all kinds of things -- the lower arm bushings may not like it either. Everything was designed to take the weight directly over the steering knuckle -- the other parts just keep the knuckle standing up. Handling would be adversely affected too -- the high spring mount is very roll resistant. Sixties cars are usually softly sprung and roll a bit as it is due to the rougher roads back then. A bit stiffer springs on a high spring car will do more to improve handling than adding a sway bar.

    An air spring could be mounted the same way. You could probably use a rear type spring that folds in on itself in the front with a diameter that would fit up into the spring tower. Then the lower mount could be lengthened to fit. Only problem is that type spring might be too tall to gain any clearance.
     
  2. oldwood
    Joined: Mar 13, 2010
    Posts: 897

    oldwood
    Member
    from arkansas

    My '62 Black Classic wagon would look great beside your 2dr. Great looking car!!! I hope you keep it original.
     
  3. Indocil Art
    Joined: Apr 29, 2005
    Posts: 224

    Indocil Art
    Member

    Update on the Rambler.

    The engine compartment was painted bright ass lavender purple!!!!!!! Neon pink horns. It was spray painted flat black to sell. Someone took a lot of time to tape it off and do a good job but didn't sand it very well and I will end up redoing it in the future.

    It was a big dudes car. Very big. The seat has been rebuilt and sits fine but you can see where they cut the mounts and moved the seat back a good bit. I think it is a plus and I will re do the rear brackets before I put new floor board carpet. The reason I say it was a big person is the fact that the springs on the drivers side are SHOT. I mean really shot! I took all the spring spacers out and it sits crocked as hell. at least 3 to 5 inches.

    I have looked at how to lower this car every way imaginable and I hate to say i but the best, easiest way and still be able to restore the car to its original running height will be to bag it. No modifications except tabs to bolt the air bag mounts in the spring channels to keep the airbags secure when jacked up. So its getting bags. Ordered them today.

    Car drives OK stops on a dime. (really good brakes, Someone spent some money here) The throttle linkage was shot. The holes for the bent rods were wallowed out and one of the sections would go too far so the pedal would be hard to press for the first 1/4 of travel with no carburetor response until it passed a certain point where it freed up and you would give it too much gas. It was very hard to drive smooth with the strait drive. I was going to weld the holes and re drill them until I thought about remaking the linkage with rod ends. I also put a positive throttle stop so when you give it gas the carburetor responds as soon as the pedal moves with no wasted motion. It keeps one lever from passing the fulcrum point. ( I thinks thats what it is called) So a day or so I have the assembly rebuilt and base coated and cleared. Cool thing was I was able to paint it on the company's dime the bad thing is its my company. HA
     

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  4. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,187

    farna
    Member

    You can order new springs at www.coilsprings.com, and get them a bit shorter and even stiffer if desired. But the bags will be fine! See http://www.rgkustoms.com/rambler/progress/airride/index.html for some tips. Different model, but the suspension is basically the same -- only difference is yours has lower ball joints and strut rods, everything up top in front and in the rear is identical.
     
  5. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,493

    bonez
    Member
    from Slow lane

    You gonna bag it? :D
    Yes please. this is goin to be a kool car!
    I understand your bigger plans, but i was you i'd make this a no expenses spared car.
    This kinda diffrent is definiteley kool!
     
  6. Indocil Art
    Joined: Apr 29, 2005
    Posts: 224

    Indocil Art
    Member

    Started building the airbag mounts. Took longer than i thought it would. I really took the time to make it a bolt in installation. It would have been much quicker to weld it in. I drilled 4 holes and welded 4 tabs to the stock equipment and saved all the original spring brackets and hardware in case anyone ever wanted to put it back to original. I am pretty pleased with the way the front turned out. I still have to finish the passenger side and the rear but the hard part in done with the front. I love the way this car is going to look.

    I cant get pictures to upload tonight for some reason I will try again later!
     
  7. Indocil Art
    Joined: Apr 29, 2005
    Posts: 224

    Indocil Art
    Member

    Here are the pictures from this weekend
     

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  8. davidwilson
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 595

    davidwilson
    Member
    from Tennessee

  9. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,187

    farna
    Member

    Great job on the front bag mounts!
     
  10. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,660

    Bigcheese327
    Member

    It's really nice to see someone lavishing some attention on a Rambler. Too often these cars are treated like a joke, or something someone was forced to settle for.

    -Dave
     
  11. AnimalAin
    Joined: Jul 20, 2002
    Posts: 3,417

    AnimalAin
    Member

    Neat old car. What does the new stance (with the air suspension) look like? Please keep us updated.
     
  12. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,493

    bonez
    Member
    from Slow lane

    So you got any pics of the car laying?
    Then if you dont mind me askin? Isnt just the 2 bolts too little strength?
    just curious how you got to that choice.
    Ramblers are kool!
     
  13. Indocil Art
    Joined: Apr 29, 2005
    Posts: 224

    Indocil Art
    Member

    Not completely done yet. As soon as it is on the ground I will post pictures. No the bolts are plenty They only position the bag brackets. The weight is held by the car and the suspension itself. S10 kits only use on bolt for the upper mounts. I was only referring to the front. I will let you know how I do the rear as soon as I do them.
     
  14. Indocil Art
    Joined: Apr 29, 2005
    Posts: 224

    Indocil Art
    Member

    OK, Took the car out for the first ride! I only have pictures of it at driving ride height because I don't have a compressor or valving done. I am just using shrader valves until I can do the rest. Drove very well. I am thinking of painting the wheels silver to match the interior and add a cool trim ring. I may go with a small white stripe instead of wide whites. I will keep you posted. Kids love it by the way
     
  15. Indocil Art
    Joined: Apr 29, 2005
    Posts: 224

    Indocil Art
    Member

    Pictures
     

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  16. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,187

    farna
    Member

    Cool! Can't wait for pics on how you install the compressor.
     
  17. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,493

    bonez
    Member
    from Slow lane

    Tires are perfect as they are!
    Bet the kids love it! No normal kid wouldnt like to ride in a col ol'car!
    Soooo darn kool dude! Cant wait to c it on its belly! :D
     
  18. Indocil Art
    Joined: Apr 29, 2005
    Posts: 224

    Indocil Art
    Member

    Having some motor problems. I think I have more than a valve stem seal problem. I will report as soon as I have more.

    One of my good friends Paul Quinn helped me stripe it this weekend at a panel jam in SC. He did the sides and I did the hood and trunk. I think it is getting its own unique look. Slowly but surely.
     

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  19. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,187

    farna
    Member

    The old 196 OHV has to have the head bolts torqued every 2-3 years or 12-15K miles, whichever comes first. I checked mine every time I had the valve cover off. The valves need to be adjusted (solid lifters!) at about the same interval. If the bolts are all reasonably tight no need to follow a pattern, just loosen then tighten back down one by one. If you're not sure, or find several real loose, back them all off and torque down using the recommended pattern. If you need the pattern and torque for the head bolts let me know.

    If you don't do this, you'll warp the head and most likely crack it when it runs hot. First sign of a blown head gasket is overheating, and by then it's usually too late. Most 2nd/3rd/4th owners just ran the darn thing until it ran hot one day and blew the gasket. So it's probably been run hot several times in the last 47 years. That plus age takes a toll on the cast iron, making it more brittle. So they are more likely to crack when run hot now.

    Old iron takes maintenance, something most drivers just aren't used to. That engine was converted from the old L-head in 1956, but it's still late 30s technology. The head bolts work loose because the head grows and shrinks around 0.020" every time it warms up and cools back down. It a big hunk of cast iron!
     
  20. I like it!! and the rug rats look like there having fun.
    Looks like you have a good crew there and I'll bet they are a great help.
    ENJOY!!
     
  21. GaryB
    Joined: Dec 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,530

    GaryB
    Member
    from Reno,nv

    paint the wheels the same color as the dark color pin stripe w/ rings and caps
     
  22. Indocil Art
    Joined: Apr 29, 2005
    Posts: 224

    Indocil Art
    Member

    Thanks Farna. No running hot issues at all. Smooth running and no misses. Problem is extreme oil loss and very rich cold. I think it may have washed the rings. Smokes black but eventually clears and runs fine. Its hard to see in the car and the stupid thing runs so well I thought I had valve stem issues. May make a PCV system before I try to seal the oil leaks on the bottom. Top of the engine looking down the motor is dry as a bone. Going to try and secure the choke open and see how fat it is. Choke isn't sticking.

    Yea Gary I was thinking the same thing with a small band white wall.
     
  23. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,187

    farna
    Member

    You probably have no valve stem seals at this point, that thing used the old hard umbrella seals. Could be washing down the rings with the rich carb too.

    I forgot the 62 still has a road draft tube! The 63s all had a PCV system. Pull the tube out of that front side cover and seal the hole. Make a 1/2" tubing nipple in its place. Run a 1/2" tube up and over to the intake. There is a plug in the side of the head just under the carb -- that's where the PCV should go. The factory used a hard tube run just under the thermostat housing and down the side, with the PCV valve in the hose between the front of the engine and fitting under the carb, either 45 or 90 under the carb.
     
  24. bmxarmy
    Joined: Dec 17, 2007
    Posts: 56

    bmxarmy
    Member

    Hey man NICE rambler! I have a 61 4 door and pretty much did the same thing you are doing! Funny to see another rambler look so much like mine! Keep up the good work.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My bag brackets were identical!
     
  25. Indocil Art
    Joined: Apr 29, 2005
    Posts: 224

    Indocil Art
    Member

    Thanks Farna. I owe you a few beers and maybe a steak! All of your post add just a little more info that really helps.

    BMX Army. Great minds think alike I guess. One of my next moves is to paint the roof white! I need some pictures of how you did your top fronts I think I need less than what I have to get it to drop as far as yours. What size tires are you running and do you still have the e brake cable in the same spot?
     
  26. bmxarmy
    Joined: Dec 17, 2007
    Posts: 56

    bmxarmy
    Member

    Indocil Art I drove the 27 today but when i get home i will look at the tire size and get some better shots of the roof. I painted it in my garage with after a solid cleaning and after some power polishing it looks better than the rest of the body! Either way if it helps its a cadillac pearl, I used a pint of white base and a pint of the pearl followed by clear. I was a little shy on the white though, i just had enough! E brake is stock. but i had to mill up a gas pedal as the old one was just the rod sticking through the floor.
     
  27. i like it .i was hoping you had the hudson on the road ,i was going to stop by
     
  28. bmxarmy
    Joined: Dec 17, 2007
    Posts: 56

    bmxarmy
    Member

    Indocil Art, Tire size is 205/70/15, A little tricky to get a pick of the top bag bracket without removing the tire but i will try, i drove er to work today so i will go out there at lunch and see what i can do.
     
  29. Indocil Art
    Joined: Apr 29, 2005
    Posts: 224

    Indocil Art
    Member

    New Shoes! New Shoes! Powder coated the wheels white and put new new tires on them.

    I had to use the old fuel pump to get rid of the vacuum pump. I removed the vacuum diaphragm and plugged the ports. The fuel pumps that were for electric wipers must have a different pump cam because they were different. Swapped the points to Petronix ignition and still working on the smoking issues. By the way if someone wants to lower the front buy making a plate it can be done with smaller tires. I don't think it can be done with tall tires. I noticed with shorter tires there would be enough room.
     

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  30. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,187

    farna
    Member

    The parts store may have goofed and given you an electric wiper pump for a 199 or 232. That's unfortunately common. The pump itself WILL look different, but the arm should be close to the same. There were several different arms used depending on pump manufacturer -- one has a sliding "foot" on the arm, most have a solid arm, some with a "foot" riveted to it. But the foot or end of the arm should appear to be in about the same location. The pump body itself is the same for the 199/232 and 196, just the arm is different. Some have swapped the arm from an original to a new pump with success.
     

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