AMC/Rambler brake database

Great Big Unified Brake Table

A substantial compendium of AMC/Rambler brake components, intended mainly for cross-referencing and parts-swapping, and finding non-AMC donors for brake parts and upgrades. The data came directly from factory Technical Service Manuals, except the manufacturer part numbers which came from various commercial sources. For the missing-data years, if you scan ALL of the brake section from your TSM I will add it to the spreadsheet and republish the table. I will only work from AMC factory data.

This page will attempt to document all aspect of the brake components and systems that AMC used from 1960 through 1988 passenger cars. The Great Big Unified Brake Table is down below if you're in a hurry.

The original impetus was to aid finding bolt-on brake upgrades; like a lot of 1960's cars AMC brakes were skimpy by today's standards. The usual AMC upgrade has been to "bolt on late-model discs", though "late model" means 1979-1988, themselves becoming scarce. And personally, I'm playing with hot-rodded drum upgrades on the smaller cars (Americans) for increased fun cool factor, rather than more obvious disc upgrades; on small and light cars, drum brake inherent servo action means no power assist is necessary.

AMC was very frugal and conservative in a good way; there are actually very few combinations of brake and wheel components used, and a tremendous amount of interchange is easily possible.

The emphasis of this page is direct bolt-on replacement and/or upgrades.

AMC used the following brake components on all model year cars:

Drum brakes
branddiametershoe widthwhere"name" in this document



The following are all true:

Spindles: All AMC front spindles interchange, from 1950 through 1988, though there are two heights, short and tall (see WPS:Spindles ) and at least two bearing sizes on disc brake cars that correspond to respective rotors. Generally speaking, disc brake cars came with tall spindles (for the dust shield to clear the knuckle), drum brakes with short spindles.

Wheels: All AMC cars use a 5 x 4.5" wheel bolt pattern. However, base-level Americans came with skinny rims with a small center hole that matches the very small center hub diameter of 9x2 brakes. Therefore, early American wheels fit only early Americans but all other AMC wheels (with a larger center hole) fit any AMC hub. (Early American wheels, 4.5" at the rim, have a very peculiar center stamping that does not fit 9x2.5 brake drums. But no one but restorers want those early wheels anyways.)

AMC wheels do vary a lot in style (steelies, Rallye, mags, etc) but all are within a limited range of dimensions: 14" or 15" rim diameter; widths, 4" for early Americans, but nearly all other cars are 4.5" to 7" wide; backspacing variations unknown to me but a small sample of 14" AMC steelies are all about 3.5".

Any brake system, meaning all the junk bolted to the four-bolt face of the steering knuckle up front, or on one axle end out back, drum or disc, will bolt onto any AMC car without modification, with few exceptions: early Americans have an outward-curving steering arm that prevents 14" wheels from clearing, and prevents 10" backing plates from fitting, for example. You could bolt American 9x2's on the front of a 401 AMX (umm, don't do that); or more usefully, bolt 11" Bendix discs on the front of almost any AMC car.

How to use the table

If you've read this before go directly to the table. Please read the below text at least once.

The table was compiled by me from AMC Factory Technical Service Manuals. Missing info is because I do not own those TSMs and no one sent me a copy of the original data (email me if you would like to do so). I will work only from the original TSM sheets so that there is some sort of provenence for the data! Not word of mouth, not emailed (though emailed scanned images would be fine), not a Haynes manual and not what's on my or your car.

There are specs columns and parts columns. The parts columns contain a code that you must look up in the LEGEND at the end of the table. This does two things: one, let's you either see what else has the same brakes as some random car, or if you look in the legend first for a particular brake type, see what car(s) came with that brake setup.

For example, you have adapted discs or big drums, and now you need a smaller rear wheel cylinder to balance the brakes. Use the table to find what you have now. Then look in the specs table to find a rear wheel cylinder of the desired (larger) bore and one from brakes of same dimension (eg. 9 x 2).

PLEASE! send me any errors you find. If you have TSMs from eyars I'm missing, please scan, photograph or xerox the brake assembly/repair pages AND the specs at the end of the chapter. Often, the "assembly" section has numbers and ID info missing from the specs. The combo valves are always identified in the text, not in the specs, for example.)

Here is the table. (It's in a separate page because it is generated from a spreadsheet, using "save as html".)