Friday, December 17, 2010


Well the hood is off! Last weekend I opened up my tools, donned my Air Force jumpsuit and got up-close and personal with the yet-to-be-named car. As old as this car is, I thought I was going to have one rough time taking the car apart. Afraid of rusty lock-tight bolts, I bought a couple of cans of WD-40 and brake cleaner. To my thankful surprise, the nuts and bolts weren't to bad. After marking the hinge placement where the hood connects, I used a tiny amount of grit before the bolts chunkingly came loose. All that metal was surprisingly light. The oil drain plug came off like someone had purposely not tightened it knowing I was coming. Almost like your Dad leaving loosening it and pretending he wasn't strong enough, and asks for you to give it a try making you feel like you were Superman (thanks Pops). As black as the oil was, it came out fast and clean. No chunky parts or buildup.

The luck ran out when it came to the battery. The nuts on the terminal connector didn't look corroded at all, but they were a little stripped. I used pretty good force to keep the socket pressed against the edges as best I good, but with all my might, I still started to strip it. I thought maybe I was turning it the wrong way, so I tried to go back and was met with the same resistance. So I went back my original way and it just wouldn't budge. So I grabbed a screw driver and started chipping away at the aluminum connector, to make more room for my socket to fully envelope the nut. Long story short, I'm not afraid to admit that I was going the wrong way (yes I know lefty-loosey, righty-tighty, but somehow I just wasn't seeing it right). I got the battery out and went after the radiator. Again my luck was short as I tried to drain it first. I misplaced the bucket and spilled half of the fluid on the shop floor. After cleaning it up, my luck was restored with the radiator bolts. All four came off nice and easy (as left over coolant would spit out every once in a while when the weight shifted).

With the radiator out, it made my engine compartment look even bigger. Such a joy working on older cars. No more blooding knuckles in cramped spaces trying to loosen things. After cleaning up the left over fluid, i tried to take off anything that would be in the way of taking the engine out. I disconnected the fuel line to the carburetor, the electrical lines to the alternator, and attempted at removing the heating line from the engine to the firewall. It's a molding piece of metal piping that has a rubber hose at each end to connect to the radiator and firewall. I decided it was best to leave it be instead of accidentally bending the metal pipe just to get it out. After wrestling with it for 20 min I gave up.

The last thing I did was remove one of the side chrome molding pieces just to see how hard it was going to be. It actually snapped (in a good way) off the clips pretty easy. The big thing I was told was to be patient. Patient I was and it paid off. The chrome didn't bend, the clips stayed intact, and I was a real happy camper. That was it for the day as I had to actually head into work to do some rush stuff and get ready for our holiday party. There are some new pics up on flickr, but I've reached my limit for month and will have to wait until January to post more.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

And so it begins...

Like the project ahead of me, I'm not quite sure where to start. Disclaimers I guess: This blog is intended to keep track of my restoration of a 1965 AMC Rambler American 330. It is not going to be mechanic specific. Nor is it intended to be a provider of mechanic specifics and wisdom. I don't know too much about engines or horsepower. I've worked on cars most of my life, usually regular tune-up type stuff and occasionally heavy duty stuff like removing transmissions. So I would like anyone reading this to know that I'm not trying to be an auto part source in this blog. It's mainly for my friends and family to keep track of my progress on my project.


AMC stands for American Motors Corporation. AMC is like Ford or Chevy, it's just not around anymore. Why an AMC you ask? Price and a clean body. I really like squarish designs on cars. I had been looking for a Chevy Chevelle/Malibu or Nova. The ones I found were in really bad shape and still pricey, or they were in decent enough shape which made them really pricey. I was looking for a classic car that didn't need very much body work (pretty much none since I don't know how to do it myself and don't have the money to have extensive body work done). All of the Chevelles and Novas in my price range needed body work.

And that's when I stumbled upon the Rambler. Searching on Craig's List, I clicked on the ad because of the price and had never heard of the car before. Boom. It was square enough, like the Nova and it LOOKED TO BE IN GREAT SHAPE. I searched around some more and finally emailed the owner for more pics and the catch...was there rust hiding in there. He responded saying that there was only a little surface rust in the trunk and sent more photos. Long story short, I was sold. I drove up to Tennessee to check it out (and was 98% sure I was bringing it back with me since I brought a trailer!) and brought it back with me to Atlanta the same day. A coworker just happened to have bought a warehouse a couple of weeks before, which has now worked out perfect for me since I need a place to store and work on the car.

In the coming months (probably year(hopefully not years)) I will be posting updates to show my progress and probably rant how this bolt was too tight or how the taste of oil is not very good. I've got a lot of decisions coming up with what to do with the car and will update when I get the answers. If I've got nothing new to say, I'll keep everyone posted on when I add new pictures to my flicker account (link is on the right).

For now, the car has a 196 Overhead Six Cylinder (Straight Six) engine in it. It's going to stay that way. I don't want anyone coming on here telling me "Dude, you need to drop a V-8 in that bad boy! Yee haww!!" This is just going to be a daily driver car. I'm not suping it up to race anyone. It was originally green, that is going to go. I like blue, so I'm searching for the right color to get. The interior will stay the same, minus the change of color. I like the bench seats and will not be switching to bucket seats. The dash and instruments will stay original, but I will probably hide some goodies underneath to modernize the sound. Gotta find new wheels. I will not be lowering the car. If anything, I might raise the back end giving it more of a racked stance.

That's all I have for now. Stay tuned and wish me luck.