Re: [Amc-list] 66 American front end replacement
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Re: [Amc-list] 66 American front end replacement

Jay and all -- I've rebuilt every AMC front suspension design out there! It costs $1200-$1500 for a complete Mustang II kit with stock type components (all new or rebuilt, including manual rack and pinion and stock type disc brakes). It isn't usually worth trying to modify an actual MII/Pinto setup because of all the time and modifying involved. There isn't a kit that fits in the 64-69 American or even comes close. You have to modify the wheel well panels and front subframe to make one fit. Even if you can do the work yourself there's another $300 in materials. So figure the least you're going to get it done for, even if you salvage everyting but the crossmember and spring hats (you can buy just those in a kit for $300-$400, salvage all the other parts) AND do all your own work, will be in the $500-$1000 range. Then there's at least two days work to make it look decent, plan on at least three to make it look good, not just presentable/functional. That's if you're reasonably c
nt when working on front suspensions AND you've spent the time to round up all the parts ahead of time (another day or two). I could do it in that much time in my shop, but that's the "doing it for myself" price. To do that work for someone I'd charge $350 a day, or $1050 for three days. It would still need finish paint work in the engine compartment, and that price is for a car delivered with no engine in it. I'd pull the old suspension, but it would be another half-day's work to pull the engine, another day to get the engine back in and running (half just to put it in). So you're looking at $2000 minimum (more like $3000) to have an MII front suspension put in. To be honest, I'd quote the price at $3500 and see what happens -- there are all kinfds of unforseen problems that can crop up and I really hate to call someone and tell them I have to charge more than expected. I don't mind giving them a bill less than expected!! I only charge $45/hour, other shops would charge more
 . I do
n't rush things though -- I'd rather take 3 hours to do a 2-2.5 hour job and charge less per hour. I don't "milk" proijects, I just don't rush -- things happen when you do. There are other suspensions, such as strut types made for early Mustangs that can be put in a lot easier than MII, but again they cost a lot more than upgraded trunnions and advantages are minimal. 

Rebuilt trunnions for 64-69 American/Javelin/AMX are around $125 each. They can be swappped out and you can drive off in a day -- $600 tops. If your trunnions are rebuildable with a urethane bushing kit price is the same because of the time to take the old trunnion apart and rebuild it. Figure another $200 or so (parts and labor) for a factory type disc brake upgrade, and maybe another half day. There will be no problems with this swap, and as long as the rebuilt trunnions are fresh rebuilds with urethane and your old trunnions are rebuildable (usable as cores) this is cheap. The rebuilt trunnions will last as long as ball joints -- just grease them every 2-3 years or 5K miles or so -- the same as you would ball joints.

There are more brake upgrades and such for the MII suspension, and you'd get rack and pinion steering, but you can get brake upgrades that bolt onto the stock suspension. They will cost a bit more than comparable MII upgrades, but nowhere near the cost of installing an MII. Urethane trunnions will handle and ride better than an MII suspension due to the high mounted spring. Order HD springs and your AMC will probably handle better than an MII suspension, and the overall price would still be much less. The rack and pinion isn't worht the effort -- been there, have that now, wouldn't do it again!! Get a quick ratio GM box and bolt it on. 

I've considered making an upper arm that will take a late model spring (or an MII spring, because thye are so common) or coil over shock and a late model AMC steering knuckle/spindle. Haven't had the time to do it!! A bolt in system can be made to work. I'd use an MII spindle, butthe steering arm is cast as part of it and wouldn't be right for an AMC. I've already had to mess with steering geometry when fitting the Ford T-bird rack and pinion to my car -- it's a lot of work!! 

Frank Swygert
Publisher, "American Motors Cars" 
Magazine (AMC)
For all AMC enthusiasts
(free download available!)

-------------- Original message ----------------------
Jay wrote:
> What is the feasibility of replacing the front complete on my 66 American 
> with a more modern front end with disc brakes? The street-rodders use 
> Mustang 2 front ends most of the time as they are easy to find and 
> reasonable. What would you recommend that I use if it is to be done?  Is it 
> economically  feasible?
> Or should I just replace the original  pinions with later types with grease 
> fittings?
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