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63 Rambler Classic I6 to V8

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Mostru View Drop Down
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    Posted: Oct/11/2017 at 9:10pm
I have an 63 Rambler Classic with an automatic transmission that had a Straight 6 in it, threw a rod and the motors been out of it for a few months. It's in the machine shop right now holding off on the rebuild. I'd like to put a V8 in it, 327 would be nice but would go for a 287 as well.

If I wanted to put a V8 in it, would I need to change the whole works? Trans, torque tube, rear axle, suspension? Or would I be able to throw a V8 and crossmember for it in there without having to replace everything else?

And after that's been decided, I'd need to find a motor (or donor car). I live in the Vegas area, don't wanna travel too far but would be willing to for the right deal.

Thanks,
Jason

(EDIT: Hope AMC V8 is the right forum to post in, wasn't sure where else to post it.)
Jason
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rebel327 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/11/2017 at 11:14pm
Yes...u need it all. Including relocating battery, new throttle linkage, engine mounts, larger brakes, etc...good luck.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mostru Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/11/2017 at 11:46pm
If that's the case then I'm in need of a donor car unless I stick with my motor and have it rebuilt. Thanks

Edited by Mostru - Oct/11/2017 at 11:49pm
Jason
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/12/2017 at 8:10am
Pretty much need a donor to keep it all close to original and easy bolt-in. But you have some options.

You should have a 195.6 OHV engine stock. Easy to tell -- the carburetor is right up against the valve cover, and it's on an aluminum plate that bolts to the top of the head (intake made into head). It's a good, reliable engine when it's maintained, but has some maintenance issues (cracked heads are common -- due to lack of maintenance and a little with age) that need to be kept on top of. The main thing is the head bolts need to be re-torqued every three years or 10-12K miles. That worked for me for 14 years of driving one. You can install another 195.6 OHV, but will need a 63-65 model. The earlier ones don't have the bolt bosses cast into them for the 63+ Classic motor mounts.

First option to consider is a 199 or 232. As long as it's a 64-71 model it will bolt to your transmission. It's a more modern engine that will have better power (even the 199 is a bit better than the close in size 196) and be much easier to find parts for. It can easily be hopped up a bit too. Unfortunately 64-71 models are a bit hard to find today. You will need the flexplate and torque converter for a 199/232 if you have an auto trans. The 196 parts will bolt up, but the flexplate is a bit larger so the 199/232 starter won't engage. It's not hard to adapt the 199/232 motor mounts to the crossmember where a 196 was. I put a 4.0L in my 63 Classic using 232 mounts. You can see those mounts in the 4.0L swap section.

That brings us to swapping in a Jeep 4.0L. Not that hard to do, but not a bolt in. Adapting the motor mounts is easy, but you will also need to change the transmission (Jeep or 72+ AMC), driveshaft, rear axle, and rear suspension. See the 56-66 rear axle swap topic in the trans/drivetrain section. If you have some fabrication skills it's not that hard, but not a simple bolt-in. This keeps an AMC designed engine in the car, since the 4.0L is based on the 199/232/258 block. So much so that you can bolt a 4.0L head to the older engine with only a few modifications to the head.

Which brings us to another option! You can swap in almost any modern engine. Takes the same work as putting in a 4.0L, maybe a little more work for the engine and transmission mounts, but not much. See the Frankenrambler section for ideas. If you have modern EFI engine (or even a carbed engine) you may as well consider it. It will detract somewhat from being a Rambler, but not too much. The 196 is a great reliable engine when maintained, but will never have much power. It's adequate in that size car, but that's all. If you want to restore the car that's one thing, if you want it as a reliable and fun cruiser consider swapping. And you don't have to go the V-8 route. A couple people have swapped modern V-6s in their Ramblers, and even a few four cylinders. Fours usually in the smaller American, but a modern 2.0-2.5L would be a bit more power than the 196... Ford Ranger is a good donor with 2.3/2.5L four or a V-6.
Frank Swygert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mostru Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/12/2017 at 2:44pm
I plan on keeping it AMC so anything other than that is probably out of the question for me.

I'm also looking to avoid having to change transmission, driveshaft, suspension, etc. due to cost mainly so at this point I'm likely gonna stick with my 196.

The rebuild itself is gonna be a bit costly so that's why I was starting to look at other options but anything else seems to be even more costly. My motor threw a rod, dented the pan but not badly and I am in need of .040 over pistons for it. It was previously rebuilt and bored out already. The machine shop is gonna have to machine them or get them machined since they can't find .040 over pistons for my 196 anywhere.

I appreciate all the info, I'm not set on the decision yet but more than likely I'll stick with the 196.
Jason
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote purple72Gremlin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/12/2017 at 2:52pm
I'd look for another 196...might be cheaper to redo it than yours...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/12/2017 at 3:06pm
I might have a set of 0.040 over pistons. You need to take the engine apart and make sure there is no damage in the bottom of the bore that threw the rod, and that there isn't too much wear just to put it back together. The bottom wears more than the top, so check size there. I'd just have a shop check it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mostru Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/12/2017 at 3:53pm
I'm looking locally, don't wanna have to travel too far.
Jason
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mostru Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/12/2017 at 3:57pm
Well it's in the machine shop now, they have the motor apart and told me what was wrong. They said it needs 0.040 over pistons and a connecting rod. If you have 0.040 over pistons that'd be great, rebuild would cost less.
Jason
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trewyn15 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/12/2017 at 4:21pm
I have a 327 that's in pieces if you need any parts.  I'll be keeping the block, crank and cam most likely.
2006 Monte Carlo LS - 1966 AMC Rambler Rebel Classic - 2000 Trans Am WS6
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