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Hot Rods New Rambler Wagon

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by TBUCKETMILLER, May 18, 2014.

    Joined: Jul 27, 2010
    Posts: 50


    Just picked up a 63 Rambler American wagon. It has been sitting in the Arizona sun since 2009. Started the clean up process to see what I got. Looks pretty solid with no rust. Thinking about a surfer style wagon build. IMG_20140518_110201_543.jpg
  2. truckjunky24
    Joined: Jan 18, 2008
    Posts: 176


  3. I have to admit that I think Ramble wagons are cool.

    I had a friend in high school that had a pale yellow one and we had a great time cruising around in that car.

    Heck,for some reason even the girls liked it. HRP
  4. Everyone likes them even of most don't know what they are. Had mine seven years and I would drive it anywhere.


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  5. That looks pretty good ....

    I was in South Dakota picking up a vehicle I bought awhile back.

    There is a 63' 4 door Rambler there ....

    Maybe - that is what I should be thinking about next .....

  6. AcadianKid
    Joined: Dec 5, 2005
    Posts: 202


    My buddy Tom Myra built this one back in 2008. They are very cool cars ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1400465714.149334.jpg

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  7. shivasdad
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 550

    from Texas

    My grandparents had one new that my dad accidentally burnt up ehile he was in high school. I was never told how it happened, just that it did. I've wanted one gut never got the gumption up to look for one. They are cool.
  8. Times sure have changed. Rambler station wagons used to be the opposite of cool. Life goes on, right?
  9. Your absolutely correct,when I was a kid I thought wagons were cool,know I have to admit I was more impressed with the Red Western Flyer wagons but as I got older and started playing in a band station wagons in my eyes started to get my attention,first because of this capacity and could still haul people.

    The wagon I finished a couple of years ago that originally belonged to my wife's grandmother was loaned to us on several occasions to haul amplifiers,guitars and drums,,not to mention all the other equipment for a typical garage band back in the 60's. HRP
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  10. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,501


    It must...... 4-doors used to be just ol' man's cars and wouldn't get a 2nd look
  11. Yeah, wagons are cool now. I like the one you built for your lady, HRP. Like it very much.
    Joined: Jul 27, 2010
    Posts: 50


    I can't afford a woody wagon so this is my next best choice. Not sure what direction this build is going but more than likely some kind of vintage surf theme. Anyone have any old surf shop stickers laying around let me know I would be interested in buying them from you. This car still has the original OHV 196 six cylinder with a 3 speed on the column. Think I am going to leave it that way. I paid $1000 for it delivered to my house. I thought the price was fair.
  13. Thank you Sir. HRP
    Joined: Jul 27, 2010
    Posts: 50


    Here are a few more pictures of my wagon when I picked it up. I have spent the last few weeks just scrubbing and cleaning. I was able to determine that it needs a fuel pump and then she will be running. Think I will re-torque the head bolts before firing it up. I have heard that this is important with the overhead valve engine. ResizedImage_1399779478713.jpg ResizedImage_1399779496908.jpg ResizedImage_1399779517671.jpg ResizedImage_1399779576606.jpg ResizedImage_1399779559982.jpg ResizedImage_1399779539540.jpg ResizedImage_1399779461117.jpg ResizedImage_1399779496908.jpg ResizedImage_1399779517671.jpg ResizedImage_1399779559982.jpg ResizedImage_1399779461117.jpg
  15. Looks like a great start.
  16. nickleone
    Joined: Jun 14, 2007
    Posts: 323


  17. The body looks pretty good,keep us long roof guys updated. HRP
  18. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,311


    I saw a thread a while back where a guy swapped in a 4.0 F/I engine from a Cherokee in one of these
    and made a great driver
  19. farna
    Joined: Jul 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,200


    The 199/232/258/4.0L family of AMC/Jeep sixes is too long for the 50-55 Nash Rambler/58-63 Rambler American body (same chassis, just some different sheet metal!). It can be done, but you have to lose the factory heater to set the engine back about 3", and re-work the trans tunnel. A Ford 144/170/200/250 will fit by just making engine mounts -- those are about the same length as the 196 OHV and L-head (NOT the 240/300 Ford six though, too long!). ALL other US made I-6s and the Nissan 240/260/280 I-g are too long for that body. Any foreign I-6s that fit are generally smaller than the 196.

    DO re-torque that head!! The head bolts back out over time because of the head design. It is basically a converted L-head, though AMC did change the right side of the block in the valve/distributor area. The head is rather massive and expands/contracts a lot. The factory recommended checking torque every 4K miles, re-torque every 8K, but with modern gaskets (I think we can assume it's been changed over the last 50 years!) you can safely go 10-12K miles then just re-torque -- I did that for 14 years. If you don't drive it much re-torque every 3rd year regardless of miles. The lifters are solid and should be adjusted every 8-10K anyway, so I just did both while the valve cover was off. If you loosen then re-torque one bolt at a time you don't need to worry about using the torque pattern (unless of course they are all real loose). Torque head bolts to 60 ft/lbs (book says 58-62, back when they used beam type wrenches!).

    It's a good little six -- not real powerful, but rock steady reliable if you keep up with maintenance. See for lots of tips and tricks for the 196 OHV and the little American.

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