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Old 12-25-2011, 10:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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AMC360 distributor swap

i've read folks swapping in newer model year distributors in to older motors. However, i can't find if they had to do anything to get them to fit.
Can i put a 1979 distributor in to a 1975 AMC 360? is it a direct fit? i'm thinking i will need to swap the gear only.

The distributor i have only has a single wire, but my 79 CJ7 has a 3 wire ignition module.

thanks for the help.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If both engines are 360s it will fit in the engine.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It'll fit, but if your '75 is using the stock ignition system, you will need to go to a duraspark system. This will require replacing the ignition control module. Go with an updated coil while you're at it.

Pre-79 uses the Prestolite system..from the control box all the way to the dizzy....a different animal altogether as you know, since you are asking about replacement...
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i will be using the ignition system originally in my 79 CJ7 which had a 258 I6 in it. only the 360 motor will be coming from a 75 wagoneer along with the distributor. I'm in california and will be taking it to a referree station. So i was concerned that i will need to have 3 wire distributor to match the 3 wire ignition module. Or does it matter? Not sure if a single wire amc distributor can be wired in to a 3 wire ignition module.

according to what i found the single wire amc distributor only needs to wired to the negative side of the coil.
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Not sure if a single wire amc distributor can be wired in to a 3 wire ignition module.
No. It wont. The single wire dizzy is a Prestolite (points) dizzy. You will need to find a Motorcraft dizzy.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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question then - the distributor currently in the 75 amc 360 has a single wire but it does not have the normal points window used to the do the adjustments. when i remove the cap and rotor, i don't see any points. there is a round finned wheel and what looks like advance plates. was there a year that jeep transitioned from points to electronic ignition where they only used a single wire? just curious.

or would it be better just to go with a distributor from a 79 or newer 360? if so, i'm assuming that it is recommended to move my existing distributor gear over to replacement one?
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Cjim7 is correct, the '74-'77 Prestolite ignition system is 100% different and electrically incompatable with the '78-'91 Motorcraft system. Even the coil is incompatable.

Use the wiring, coil and module off the '79 258 and the '79 three wire V8 Motorcraft distributor. This will be the simplest system, since your '79 CJ-7 is already wired for it. One mod I would suggest is to splice in an extra ground wire to the block into the ground connection on the engine side of the distributor connector, this will be the black wire that connects to the black wire from the distributor. (The other distributor wires are purple and orange, don't ground these!) This will provide a better ground to the ignition module.

Upgrades:
You can buy a MSD Ignition module that is California Smog legal, they sell and adapter to plug it directly into the stock Motorcraft Distributor pickup coil.

You can use late a model Ford V8 distributor cap, cap adapter, TFI coil and wire set instead of the stock Jeep parts, as an upgrade. Parts cost is about the same.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Any reason you don't want to go to an HEI setup? There are several vendors selling them.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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No. It wont. The single wire dizzy is a Prestolite (points) dizzy. You will need to find a Motorcraft dizzy.
Prestolite (found in 75-77) isn't points, it's electronic. As said, it's not compatible with the '78 and up Duraspark (Motorcraft) ignition module.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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We went with an HEI unit to replace all that computer, module, coil stuff and it runs alot better. This was on a 258 6cyl though. I recommend the swap. Do away with all that stuff, drop this in and done.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Have you already looked into getting it refereed(sp?)? Will they even allow that engine into your Jeep? If they do, I would think it would have to be set up with all of the 79 stuff and tell them it's a 79 engine too. I'm just asking because it would suck to do the work and have them tell you "NO" when you show up.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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thanks everybody for the replies. i will look for a 79 distributor and give the extra ground wire a try too.

Is it recommended to move my current distributor gear over to the replacement one? I keep reading that gear mis-matching can run in to problems.

Has anyone tried the remanufactured Cardone distributor that fits a '79?
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i have not been to referree station yet. thanks for the heads up.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:39 AM   #14 (permalink)
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In Kalifornia: Technically, since the '79 CJ's were available with the 304, and the 360 is the same engine family as the 304, the swap is considered an "engine replacement" as long as you install ALL of the '79 304 V8 smog gear, you will be fine. No 4 barrel, they only came as a 2 barrl on an iron intake, single exhaust, Cat Converter, stock air cleaner with the preheat tube, all the vacuum controls for the carb, EGR and timing controls, Air injection with stock iron exhaust manifolds, or Carb EO #'d headers etc.
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Prestolite (found in 75-77) isn't points, it's electronic. As said, it's not compatible with the '78 and up Duraspark (Motorcraft) ignition module.
Correct. Thank you CSP
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:55 PM   #16 (permalink)
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i went with the Howell Eng. TBI kit. what i found interesting is that it is a california legal kit which also includes the CARB certified id but the instruction specifically say to remove the air injection pump plus the air tubes. going to be interesting at the referee station explaining that one.
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Make sure you have the Carb EO.# stickers on it, and that it's installed according to their instructions and you should be OK at the referee or Test Only center. Be sure to install the check engine light, if it comes with one, they will look for it.

The Mopar/Hesco EFI kit for the 4.2l has you remove the EGR and air injection, and it's California legal, too.

More referee tips:
If your Cat Converter is newer than 2009, make sure it has the carb EO# stamped on it, if it's older than 2010 and you are reusing it, it helps if you have an old receipt for it so they don't think it's an illegal mod.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:50 PM   #18 (permalink)
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You will need any stock components that the Howell kit doesn't specifically mention changing or deleting.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:07 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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thanks everybody for the replies. i will look for a 79 distributor and give the extra ground wire a try too.

Is it recommended to move my current distributor gear over to the replacement one? I keep reading that gear mis-matching can run in to problems.

Has anyone tried the remanufactured Cardone distributor that fits a '79?
Yes I would switch the dizzy gears put the old gear on the new dizzy.
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:42 AM   #20 (permalink)
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was not aware of the cat stamp requirement. currently i don't have any exhaust. so the cat will be new. so i'll double check for the stamp.

thanks again.
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:10 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Just something many older AMC'ers do...

If you are replacing the dizzy but not the cam, take the cam gear off of the original dizzy and put it on the new one before install. Or use new gears on the cam & dizzy.
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