AMC/Rambler brake database

This page contains 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 for manufacturer part numbers which came from various commercial sources.

The original impetus for compiling this data was to aid finding bolt-on brake upgrades, but now that donor AMC disc brake setups are themselves old and rare, for drum to disc upgrades Scarebird is generally a better approach.

AMC was very frugal and conservative in a good way; there are limited combinations of brake and wheel components, and generally speaking, interchange is easy.

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

Drum brakes
branddiametershoe widthwhere"name" in this document

Shortcuts to the tables

Direct links to the database and cross-reference mentioned in the text.


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. Americans mostly came with 4" or 4.5" rim width, with small center hole that matches the very small center hub diameter of 9x2 brake hubs. 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" 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 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".)