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Erik Smith

Jo-Han 1965 Rambler American Rebuild

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I purchased this Jo-Han Rambler American for $10 because:

1) I think it’s a cool/cute little car

2) It was $10 and I felt bad for it 

As you can see, the old paint has dried and looks like an alligator. My plan is to strip it down and rebuild it best I can. Initial thoughts are a white car with black steelies, but color will depend on how that gator skin comes off. 
Here are the as-received photos:

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First was disassembly. Most of it came apart pretty easy, but the old plastic is brittle and I managed to break a piece off between the trunk and rear window. Darn. The trunk was glued in and I tried to snap it out. It snapped out. With the piece of body attached. 

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A taillight and the rear bumper were missing. Fortunately, there is an awesome online community of modelers and one of them, named Chris, aka Von Zipper, sent me a rear bumper! 
I will either carve a new taillight from the red styrene panel of a 1971 Plymouth or cast and mold something...

Here is the grill(s) and bumpers. I am glad the old 64-65 kits had molded open headlights. Somewhere along the lines the later 66+ had a different grill with headlights molded in. 

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6 minutes ago, 64Comet404 said:

What engine is under all those Webers?

This one:

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Posted (edited)

And here is what I’ve been working on the last two days. Not non stop, but a fair amount of time:

 The “Glass”

There was a nice glue splotch on the windshield and the rear had a tire burn. 12 grits of polishing  fabric and three of paste followed by some wax and voila! 

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Edited by Erik Smith

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29 minutes ago, Erik Smith said:

This one:

someone meant for that engine to stay together 😁 

are you using a sbc back in it?

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12 minutes ago, Scott8950 said:

someone meant for that engine to stay together 😁 

are you using a sbc back in it?

Probably an LS of some sort.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Erik Smith said:

Probably an LS of some sort.

that'll be cool putting the mighty LS into a rambler.

Edited by Scott8950

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Glad to see you're giving this AMC a little love. Somewhere on this forum there are builders groaning because they work so hard to create a paint finish like this. 

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The parts spent some quality time at purple pond over the last few days. I was very happy the old gator skin hadn’t etched into the plastic and, for the most part, it lifted off fairly easily. The black stuff on the interior didn’t really want to budge, but oh well. 
Also, whoever was the last builder of this kit installed, what I have now learned, was a twin stick shifter - I had to look it up because I had no idea why there were two shifters. 

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Interesting appearance to the dual stick setup. Love that red interior with chrome!

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Posted (edited)

The piece that snapped off the rear below the window broke in a most convenient way - it snuggled right back into place. I think I’ll reinforce the joint after the glue dries, but so far it looks like minimal clean up. The plastic seems to like Tamiya cement quite a bit.

 

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Edited by Erik Smith

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You are in luck on that panel. The body came out in great shape. 

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Good to see it being saved. In checking out that intake system on the engine, I noticed it seemed to designed for air only (No fuel)

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This will be, more a less, a “topsider” model, and I’m not going to spend a great deal on the chassis, but the single exhaust won’t work with my plans. I didn’t want it to look super cheesy with an LS engine and silly single pipe, so I cut out the molded in junk and I’ll fill in with sheets then add my own exhaust. 
 

The body repair continues as well.  The old plastic works well, but is brittle. Somebody thought side pipes looked cool, so now I have to remove their glue...

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Jo-Han plastic tends to be a bit brittle, as you've discovered.

Evergreen and good putty can be a valuable asset.

Be careful with the paint. Especially if using any type of lacquer, thin coats are your friend.

Charlie Larkin

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Posted (edited)

Working on the taillight replacement. I dug out some spare red styrene. One piece from the Dodge Deora, one piece I think is from a Riviera, and one piece from AMT 1971 Charger. 
The Charger piece has nice flat back and small ribs, so...cutting, filing, and - tada! Better than the OG. I’ll foil the back to cover the old mounting hole.
Notice the ribs even line up with the trim - just like the real car. Lucky.

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Edited by Erik Smith

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I love doing restos like this, Erik.  That is coming along nicely.  Do you have Dettol in the USA?  it is a liquid disinfectant about the same colour as beer, that you can buy from supermarkets or pharmacies.. You use it 50-50 thinned with water.   It has become my go to for stripping paint that nothing else will touch. I bit stinky and needs a good scrub in soapy water afterwards but it works.   I reckon it would fix your interior..

Cheers

Alan  

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2 hours ago, von Zipper said:

The tail lights look fantastic , Erik

 

Agreed!  Great job figuring that issue!

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