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  #1  
Old 05-07-2018, 02:51 PM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
304 AMC
 
Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
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rang-a-stang's summer project/build

OK here we go! I passed CA smog on Friday the 4th of May which means its time for me to start my summer project.

Plans:
I have tons of little plans that will go into this but here are the high level requirements:
-Engine rebuild: My 401 is going to have the compression bumped up to 9.5:1, the bottom end will be balanced, and a new cam installed. Don't get sick but I plan to only clean my heads this time around and put new Comp Cams springs on. I don't have the money to do the heads right now and I they are pretty solid so that's where they stay.
-TBI: I am installing a DIY TBI injection modeled after the Howell kit but will allow my computer to control my timing and EGR. Both timing and EGR control will be stealthy and look like they are being controlled like the Howell kit.
-Electric fans: Doing the Contour fan install
-Serpentine Belt: WesDog gave me a serpentine belt kit so it's going on.
-Re-wire my entire front end: My wiring is in pretty good shape but since I am adding the TBI, a CS130 105amp alternator, and electric fans, I am also going to put my headlights on relays and add a couple fuse blocks. Also adding a pair of offroad lights to my bumper (again, because I have them).
-Clean my engine bay: Previous owner wrecked my truck in the front passenger side. He swapped parts from a blue rig so I have one yellow inner fender, a blue inner fender, and a blue core support. I am going to re-paint my firewall factory saxon yellow, but the fenders and core support will be satin black.
-Fix all my leaks: my trans leaks from somewhere. Bad. So it's coming out and getting re-sealed. Same with my Xfer case.
-Paint my dash and steering column: since I am taking out my dash to properly mount and wire my TBI computer, I am going to paint it, install a factory AM radio, and install an indicator and control panel in my glovebox.
-replace the windshield: mine's cracked. I have another windshield from a donor that will go in.
-clean up my brake and trans cooler lines: I had to replace my front hard brake lines recently and put them in "good enough" But now that my front clip is off, I am going to do a much nicer job on them. I am going to mount a separate trans cooler while I am at it.

Schedule:
-I hope to be done before Christmas.
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Last edited by rang-a-stang : 09-12-2018 at 02:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2018, 02:52 PM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
304 AMC
 
Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
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OK, day 1:
Pulled the front clip. I didn't have ANY rusted or seized hardware. Taking the clip off was pretty straight forward. Was also stoked not to find any cancer hiding behind or under anything.
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  #3  
Old 05-07-2018, 03:03 PM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
304 AMC
 
Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
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oops, hit post to soon:





The more I tinker on this, the more I curse the previous owner. Notice my side marker lights don't match. I have had this thing for over 2 years and just noticed it.



I knew he had bondo'ed over the gap between the fender and the core support but I assumed he did it so it would look cleaner; I used to see that in the 90's all the time. But after I finished pulling all the hardware, they still wouldn't separate so I took a wire wheel and ground the bondo off to discover a giant weld blob. Awesome. Thanks dude. The other side just had a light tack weld on it.

I pulled out a 4" grinder and was able to get them apart without much drama. Luckily I have a spare core support from a 77. I can't just swap them becuase the brackets are different between a razor and a pignose but I'll figure something out when I am putting it back together.

After these pics were taken I pressure washed the front, disassembled the front end for storage, and pushed my Jeep into the garage. Tonight I hope to remove all the engine front dress, timing chain cover, and manifolds. I really want to drop my block/crank/rods off at the machine shop this weekend. Shop says they will need a few months to get the work done so the sooner I get it there the better.
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  #4  
Old 05-07-2018, 03:38 PM
nightglide nightglide is offline
232 I6
 
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Location: reno
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I have some late 71' heads......apparently these are the ones to have.
#3212993-1
I'll let go for a reasonable price.........
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  #5  
Old 05-07-2018, 03:52 PM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
304 AMC
 
Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightglide
I have some late 71' heads......apparently these are the ones to have.
#3212993-1
I'll let go for a reasonable price.........
Hm. I'll PM you.
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  #6  
Old 05-07-2018, 11:43 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
304 AMC
 
Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
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Had a good hour to work tonight. got all the front dress off, the intake, and the exhaust manifolds are loose. Sure is easier to work on when there is no fenders/rad support in the way. Had to stop becuase I do not have the correct puller for the balancer.

Dizzy gear has very light, very normal wear. I think it's good enough to re-use. We'll see what the cam side looks like tomorrow (Hopefully).
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  #7  
Old 05-08-2018, 05:37 AM
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Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 Heavy_Metal_Thunder_81 is offline
Cherokee Outlaw
 
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Blazing through, I see
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1979 Cherokee Golden Eagle - 4" lift, 33x12.5x15
AMC 360 - 4180, TFI, Headers, Dual Exhaust
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D20 - Twin Stick'd
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1984 J10 - Parts
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1979 Cherokee Chief - Parts
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  #8  
Old 05-08-2018, 08:59 AM
SJTD SJTD is offline
350 Buick
 
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Location: Lompoc and Sunland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
Hm. I'll PM you.

Another set of heads and you may as well go through them before installing.

One day into it and already the budget is out the window!
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  #9  
Old 05-09-2018, 01:06 AM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
304 AMC
 
Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
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Yay! Engine is out!

First the good. Since this engine was swapped in before I bought it, I wasn't sure how well the swap was done. It does look like they installed a 401 balancer and flexplate so that was a relief. Balancer seems solid and ready for re-use so it will be cleaned and painted. I had budgeted $115 for a rebuilt balancer so that was nice to save some $$.


Cam gear again looks good and re-useable

I was surprised at how little wear there was on my oil pump housing. My oil pressure was really low (one of the biggest reasons this project is happening) and I expected significant wear but there was really only VERY light scratches. They do not catch a finger nail. This will be lapped like in Ristow's thread and the Bulltear midplate put in (just for longetivity).

I actually appreciated this. My timing chain has a solid 1" of play. Maybe more. The picture actually makes it look better than it really is. It is TOAST!! HAHA! Makes me feel better about pulling this engine apart. I had expected to replace these anyway so it was just a little validation.

Can anyone tell by the markings, is this a factory set?

Once I set it on the floor I noticed cylinder 1, 2, 7, and 8 all have a white chalky look to the exhuast ports. I am assuming that means I was running really lean? Anyone know?

I didn't realize I took this picture until I was loading them on my laptop to post them. I think its actually a super cool picture.

Tomorrow I have plans so no wrenching. Thursday I hope to tear the engine down to the block, so I can drop it and the rotating assembly off at the Machine shop Saturday morning. Shop says it will take at least a month (up to 3 months) for them to do their work so the sooner I get it there, the better. Plus, I will be out of town for the next 2 weeks so I wanted to make sure, that time is well used by the Machinist.
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Last edited by rang-a-stang : 05-09-2018 at 09:54 AM.
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  #10  
Old 05-09-2018, 03:11 AM
rscott2214 rscott2214 is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Apr 18, 2017
Location: North Georgia
Posts: 11
Looks great so far. As you know I am wanting to rebuild the extra 360 that I just got for $50!! Might have to do my research and get a build thread going when I get home! Good luck.
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  #11  
Old 05-09-2018, 08:51 AM
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fulsizjeep fulsizjeep is offline
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Location: Jubilee Jeeps.SWCO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
Can anyone tell by the markings, is this a factory set?
Factory timing chain sets did not come in double roller style like what you have. The gears had straight cut teeth. Most AMC V8s came from the factory with nylon/teflon teeth on the big gear. That made them run quieter.

FYI on the heads, #3212993-1 is better than stock mainly because they don't use bridged rockers. The even more desirable dogleg head is the late 70 Machine 390 and early 71 401 head, #3196291.
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76 401 Wag, 77 401 Wag, 77 401 J20
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  #12  
Old 05-10-2018, 10:14 AM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
304 AMC
 
Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
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This morning I had about 5 mins to kill waiting on my son to get ready for school so I pulled my valve covers. I do not have bridged rockers and my casting numbers are 3216090-1 (I'll post pics tonight). Looking around it seems like these are run-o-the-mill heads. I don't see a lot of info on them on the interwebz. What do you guys know about them?
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  #13  
Old 05-10-2018, 11:34 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Finished short block tear down tonight. Mostly good discoveries:
I was hoping I would be able to determine what year my block is but nope. The reference I found said this casting number was used from 71-78.

Figured out where all my oil pressure was going. My bearings are worn, but very evenly, no scratches, and no abnormal heat marks. I'm pretty sure these are the factory bearings. The condition of these bearings is pretty much exactly what I was expecting. I didn't pull my mains this time but I did a year and a half ago they looked like these rod bearings.


The lifters looked AWESOME. There is almost no wear on them. The cam looked super good, too. Lifters are going in the trash but there is life left in the cam. I'll put it up for sale (cheap) in the classifieds.


The Bores look AWESOME. Like SUPER awesome! NO SCRATCHES, there was no ridge, etc. I have not measured for taper but I seriously doubt it's out of spec.

The only thing that sucks is there is serious rust and scale in the cooling passages. I am surprised I didn't overheat looking at some of these passages.


I didn't spend alot of time looking my heads over. I noticed there was no wear on the top of the valve stems. I did notice that my rockers are held down with two different types of nuts. I don't think it's an issue just curious.


Engine gets dropped off at the Machine Shop on Saturday morning. I don't plan to do any more work on it (except I have to press the pins out of the rods) for a few weeks because of my work schedule. When I do get to work on it again, I will be focusing on my chassis. I have a slight bend in my frame horn that has to get straightened, I am going to do a better job welding my front spring mounts, weld and gusset the rear spring hangers, and a bunch of other little odds and ends. Then out comes the trans. sigh... so much to do. Wife hates it when I spend hours in the garage so I have to do this in bite size chunks.
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  #14  
Old 05-11-2018, 09:10 AM
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SOLSAKS SOLSAKS is offline
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dang, !!!!

great progress !

nice improvements that you have planned.

old yellow will have a new lease on life after this !

dave in NC
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:33 PM
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CameraFinn CameraFinn is offline
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Awesome to see you making quick progress! It's cool to take an engine apart isn't it? You know what's in there, and how it works, but touching it all takes the cake.
Glad your oil pump isn't trashed. Is that Bulltear plate a steel surface for the gears to ride on? If so, Buick's have the same fix for oil.
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:06 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOLSAKS
dang, !!!!
great progress !
nice improvements that you have planned.
old yellow will have a new lease on life after this !
dave in NC
Thanks, Dave! It's been a long time in the making. Looking forward to seeing it come back together.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraFinn
Awesome to see you making quick progress! It's cool to take an engine apart isn't it? You know what's in there, and how it works, but touching it all takes the cake.
Glad your oil pump isn't trashed. Is that Bulltear plate a steel surface for the gears to ride on? If so, Buick's have the same fix for oil.
Exactly. This guy:
http://www.bulltear.com/catalog/prod...roducts_id=217
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:35 PM
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babywag babywag is offline
out of order
 
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A midplate won’t fix a cover that’s out of spec., the excessive end clearance will remain.
Like I mentioned before redoing cover and new pump is all you need.
Just my .02, but midplates, and oil line mods are for high rpm engines.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:10 PM
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CameraFinn CameraFinn is offline
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Rang-A-Stang, that's cool they make those for AMC engines too. I know that the Buick guys recommend them for pretty much every rebuild, just because the gears are guaranteed to rub into the aluminum. They also recommend drilling lots of oil passages, which is kind of scary. Y'all's timing covers are still pretty expensive, like the Buicks. Shame nobody makes a ground steel sleeve for the covers. Something where you would mill out the material around the gears, and press in a sleeve so you could get a steel on steel pump. Unless the stock covers are hypereutectic, then they'd be good. You'd have less thermal expansion too.
Weird idea. Never know.
Don't worry about the transmission. If you think the engine was fun, then the tranny will be automagic. They're so cool.
Hope work doesn't kill ya.
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  #19  
Old 05-12-2018, 09:54 AM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babywag
A midplate won’t fix a cover that’s out of spec., the excessive end clearance will remain.
Like I mentioned before redoing cover and new pump is all you need.
Just my .02, but midplates, and oil line mods are for high rpm engines.
copy. The only reason I am installing it is because I have it and I think it will last longer. My hope is this engine goes 150K miles without having to crack a gasket open. I see this wear point as the only place that would require me to service during that interval but assume the harder midplate would prevent it. No oil line mods for me. I did drill the 3/16's inch lifter valley drain back holes like SC/397 did here, though:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showp...96&postcount=5
Other than that, my rebuild is mostly text book.
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  #20  
Old 05-12-2018, 10:26 AM
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babywag babywag is offline
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Just my .02 and I may be wrong?

So both ends(above & below pump gears) is aluminum, and they wear a small amount on both sides over time.
Adding a midplate to bottom, will this increase wear up top? It's still aluminum up there...
The reason IMHO that oil pressure lowers over time/miles is just due to this wear.

When I did my cover is was REALLY bad(end clearance), and oil pressure was low. After reworking the cover, and still today, oil pressure is fantastic.
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