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Devilboy's 1965 American 330

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    Posted: Jul/04/2017 at 11:03am
The Rambler Diaries - One man's slow restoration of an American classic.

When I was younger I had a 1976 Hornet. I loved that car and was sad when the day came that I had to sell it. Recently decided I was going to try my hand at the world of AMC again. I found an ad for a cool little car out in Iowa. So I decided to go and look at it. Fell in love with the look of it right away. What a cool little ride. Sleek, clean lines that you just do not find anymore. Simplicity, style and substance all wrapped up in a neat little package. SOLD!



Session 1: Purchase. One 1965 AMC Rambler American 330 4 dr acquired from Red Oak, Ia. After purchasing a brand new battery, it made the hour and a half drive home with no issues, other than the fact that 65 is not only the year this was made, but it was also the top speed the car would make while driving on a level surface, about 35-40 on most inclines. The carb needs rebuilt something fierce and it shows, but it gets around pretty good for a 52 year old car.













Session 2: Deep clean. This baby had been sitting for a while, so it had accumulated quite the bit of dust. The interior was filthy and needed to be dealt with, so deal with it I did.

 1: Opened all the doors, rolled down all of the windows and opened the trunk and hood and emptied the car of all of it's contents.
 2: Next I removed all of 52 years worth of extraneous debris and dirt that I could... with an electric leaf blower. Worked like a charm. I blew away all of the cobwebs, dust, dirt, shredded vinyl & fabric bits from the sun-decimated back seat in one fell swoop.
 3: Got out the Simple Green & oven de-greaser and went to work on the engine bay, which had a nice layer of black, sludgy road grime covering most everything. Gave it a good spray down and wiped away the filth to reveal a pretty metallic blue engine.
 4: Got inside the car and wiped down all the surfaces and cleaned the windows.
 5: Vacuumed. (Which did not take long because of step 2)
 6: Cleaned & scrubbed the trunk mat and the front floor mat.
 7: Power cleaned the trunk compartment and wiped everything down.
 8: Returned the mats and trunk contents.
 9: Sprayed all of the air vents with anti-bacterial spray and added an air freshener.

Session 3: Repaired vacuum line that runs the wipers. Fixed the broken door lock.

Session 4: Installed a temporary side mirror so that I can see until I can acquire an actual Rambler mirror. Replaced a burnt out headlight.

Session 5: Loosened the back seat so that I could cover the back seat with a fleece blanket and tuck in under the luggage shelf to make it look cleaner until I can order my new custom upholstered seat covers and install them. Tightened everything up. Looks okay for now, definitely better than a sun shredded seat...

Session 6: Ordered a TSM. I am going to need one. Ordered a new horn index ring and horn ring spring to fix the steering wheel so that the horn honks and looks correct.

Session 7: Took it for a drive. Got a lot of looks, nods, waves and a couple of people pulling up to say "nice car".

Session 8: Started to look at the carb to see whether a rebuild is in order or if it needs a complete replacement. Looked up the list number and it turns out that the carb is the wrong year. My carb is from a '64. Essentially the same carb, but the wrong numbers. So I found a numbers correct, re-manufactured one online and scooped it up. Which was serendipitous, because of what happened next.

Session 9: Went to go to the auto parts store. But as I got a block away from home, the car started chugging. I knew something was adjusted wrong so I brought it back home and took it apart. Fuel pump is working fine, but no damn gas was getting through. Turns out the jets are completely stuck in the carb and blocked somehow. Could not even loosen or adjust them. Good thing I ordered that re-manufactured one...

Session 10: Removed the old wheels and tires. The rubber was so close to falling apart, making it so that it was completely unsafe to roll around on these 30 year old puppies. One thing I learned while removing the hubcaps... Spiders and caterpillars absolutely love to live inside. Every single hubcap had 5 or 6 bug cocoons or egg sacks in it. My Rambler obviously spent some time sitting outside.

Replaced the old wheels with some new 14x6.5 Z Racing wheels and some new P19570R14 Patriot Vipers. I have to say how much the new shoes change the look of this car. To me it went from a mid-sixties sedan to a little hot rod in under an hour. I tried to get some AMC 8 slot rallies with volcano caps for it, but the guy wanted too much for the very bad condition that they were in and he only had one cap that wasn't ruined. I know my rims are not traditional for a car like this, but I really like them and I got them for a steal. They clean it up nicely and really bring out the beautiful lines on this car.

- And that is where I stand. The new carb and TSM are now here, which is awesome. I got the contact ring installed and am just waiting on the spring to reassemble my horn ring. Next steps are: Installing the new, correct carb and then new brakes all the way around. The brakes on this thing feel like they could damn near be the originals. Very little stopping power on these old drums, so new ones are paramount.

Starting to locate parts here and there. Really want to grab the quarter panels I found online in PA, but he does not ship. A plan will have to develop on that front. More as the story unfolds.

This is how it looks as of now.



Ramblin' slowly onward...

Edited by Devilboy - Jul/18/2017 at 3:26pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Cricket Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/04/2017 at 12:08pm
That is a sweet little car, and you did an awesome job of bringing it back to life. The body looks to be in straight shape, with little rot. Keep up with your maintenance, and it will reward you with a long life of fun, and more thumbs up from everyone!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Devilboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/04/2017 at 12:39pm
Overall, it really is in decent shape. There is wheel well rust along the quarters, and the rockers, especially the corroded right one, have seen better days... (I come from the land of the ice and snow... where the deicer, sand and salt rock flow.)

It needs lubrication everywhere. This thing creaks, squeaks and groans when you turn it. New bushings, some Kroil & a grease gun will put things in order.

The front cowling leaks somewhere (probably around the wiper assembly, which I assume is the reason that it gets a small amount water on the floor after it rains heavy and also the reason for my rotted out accelerator pedal hinge). One of the frame rails needs some work near the leaf spring mount, but other than that, yeah, not bad at all. Most of the rust you see is surface rust, (other than the quarters), so not bad at all. That sun and water damaged paint is hard to look at though. This car has seen the elements.

It also has a new gas tank, which is definitely nice.


Edited by Devilboy - Jul/04/2017 at 1:09pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote one bad rambler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/04/2017 at 1:39pm
Nice 330!!!! And welcome to the forum...I own 4 AMC`s my American`s being my favorite`s....I think they got the size and shape just right...Mine has evolved a lot in 13 years and so will your`s as time goes on the key is to enjoy the car/project and build it for your self and not what others think it should be..keep posting as go alone there will be many wanting to follow your progress...If you want you can follow my son`s project (78 Concord Wagon) on youtube site is Homotorsports  
68 AMX 390 4 Speed,68 American,64 American 2 Door Wagon Altered Wheelbase,78 Concord Build 360,727,8.8
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Devilboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/09/2017 at 6:33pm
Originally posted by one bad rambler one bad rambler wrote:

If you want you can follow my son`s project (78 Concord Wagon) on youtube site is Homotorsports  


Thanks, I have seen some of those vids. Great car.

I did make some progress today.

After today, the Rambler is coming back together and I have never been more happy to drive an hour into the Nebraskan corn fields to sweat out the 96 degree weather for an hour while I rummage through a field for a 1964 Rambler American 4dr that, in the ad, looked straight and rust free. In all reality, when the weeds parted, sat a very neglected old car. Rusty was an understatement, so no parts car for me... But I did manage to talk the old guy in to letting me scavenge a few odds and ends from it that I needed for a few bucks.

Managed to score the chrome hood lip trim in good shape, chrome windshield wiper fluid spray jet nozzle, and an original chrome side mirror with R logo in great shape all for $60. Then I picked up a brand new aluminum billet 1964 hood emblem to fill the void on the hood for $35.



Yep. A damn fine AMC day indeed.


Edited by Devilboy - Jul/09/2017 at 8:12pm
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Today I put on the mirror, put in the windshield wiper spray nozzle and hooked the wiper fluid hose up to it. After checking the mail, the horn ring spring came today so I finished assembling the horn ring too.

So now I have a correct side mirror, a correct working spray nozzle and a complete steering wheel with the horn ring properly attached so that the horn works properly.

- One thing though. The factory drilled hole where the spray nozzle goes through the hood is totally not centered correctly. Whoever drilled it messed up. The nozzle looks funny and I think I may have to re-drill it with a bit that is larger so that I can center the hole properly. I think it will be easy to fix.

The hood emblem gets here in a few days.

Onward...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Devilboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/18/2017 at 2:28pm
To those following the Rambler's progress:

The correct carburetor is now on. The re-manufactured one was missing a part, so I had to fab something together with a piece from the old carb to make it work. Not too big of an issue. Nothing that the grinder, a nut/bolt/washer combo and some ingenuity couldn't handle. Done.

Then, after a lot of necessary fiddling with the idle screw to get the idle smooth, I finally took it for a drive and it drove great. The slight stutter the accelerator pedal had is now thankfully gone. Got it back to the house and the carb started chugging again. Going to have to take another look and make some more adjustments. It's almost like vapor lock. It has been stupid hot here the last week, so who knows.

But now the output shaft seal on the transmission has decided to completely fail all of the sudden and paint the driveway a nice, greasy shade of red.

Damn...
Back to the garage.


Edited by Devilboy - Jul/18/2017 at 11:21pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Ollie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/18/2017 at 2:36pm
Sorry to hear about the trans seal....just another hurdle
The more u drive it, the better.
You need a vacuum gauge.

Having AMC Fun,
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1966 American Convertible -- The Rambler
1973 Postal Jeep -- Rapid Delivery
1983 Concord DL -- 36,000 mile survivor -- looking, drinking beer, thinking..it will be different
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Devilboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/18/2017 at 2:44pm
I probably do need one. Thanks Ollie. Luckily the output seal shouldn't be too bad to replace and not pricey at all.

Onward!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Devilboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/18/2017 at 11:18pm
Got the output shaft seal and ordered new brakes all around. The carb is still being weird. Myself and two mechanics have messed with it, but no dice as of yet... It is starting to become quite the little headache.

Some good news though. Got the dome light and courtesy door light switches working. I now have lights at night when I use the dome switch or open the doors! I epoxied the hood emblem into the base and got the hood lip molding fastened to the car. Huzzah! Now I just have the one more piece of valance molding left to fix and re-attach and the outer front is complete again.

The Rambler is coming together like a much loved Johnny Cash song. One piece at a time...

Onward!


Edited by Devilboy - Jul/19/2017 at 10:06am
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