AMC/Rambler front spindles
Trying to lessen (or is it worsen) the mild controversy over
AMC/Rambler front spindles, I figured I'd start compiling data here.
Here's what I believe is the general consensus on AMC/Rambler
- All AMC and Rambler-badged cars use the same basic
spindle design back to Nash days: Any AMC/Rambler spindle will bolt
onto any AMC/Rambler and most if not all Nash and Hudson back to
1950. (Thanks to Frank Swygert for this information.)
- There are two variants of this "regular" (sic) spindle,
called here Tall and Short, and this is the subject of this web
- All cars that use the "regular" spindle use SET2 and
SET6 (aka A2 and A6) bearings. The grease seal is the same on drums
- There is an additional variation, that apparently
applies to AMC 1975-1976, and 1975-1978 "big cars", which use
different bearings (A16 (outer) A17 (inner)) with the "big Bendix"
brakes. These are decidedly less common than the regular spindle
and no more will be said about them here. (Thanks to Andrew Hay
for these details.)
- All "regular" disk rotors and all drums and hubs
seem to fit either spindle.
- Any spindle bolts onto any AMC/Rambler steering
HOWEVER (you knew there had to be a catch):
- Certain combinations of car, brake and spindle
collide with the steering knuckle. For example, putting disk
brakes onto a 1970 AMC Hornet that came with 9" front drum
brakes, the disk brake dust shield hits the spindle unless you
use Tall spindles, which space the brake parts outboard.
- The good news is, if parts don't collide (it's
quite obvious) there are no other problems.
- The controversy, if there even is one, revolves
around which cars came with which spindles, Tall or Short, and
why. And the Yeti in the mix, are there even other height
spindles? Are such things even possible?
- That's it.
- Tall vs. Short spindles change the front track of
the car by the spindle height difference (OK it's spindle width,
but I measured the spindles sitting on a table, I just hope you
can deal with this difficult abstraction).
- Tall vs. Short spindles affects the fit of the
wheels, increasing setback tolerance.
- Changing spindle height (width...) will also affect
camber. Have your car aligned afterwards.
- In general -- drum brake cars come with Short
spindles, and disk brake cars come with Tall spindles.
- THERE ARE SUSPECTED TO BE MANY EXCEPTIONS.
The moral of the story is:
- The best donors for putting disc brakes onto
AMC/Rambler cars are the Bendix systems or possibly the early
80's low-drag brakes. (I don't have tablulated year/model
details.) Conversely, avoid the earlier Kelsey-Hayes systems
(fine brakes; pads are easy to get, rotors hard to find).
- If you pull disk brake parts from a donor car to
swap onto your drum-brake-equipped car, take the spindles
|Height of base
||Height of base
|TALL (82 Concord, low-drag disc)
|SHORT (70 Hornet, 9" drum)