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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well to be honest this is my first ever V8 build. I have built several ATV and small gas engines but nothing like this. I have started this post to ask for help when I need it and to also document the build for others who may find it helpful.
First off my 1973 CJ5 heep has a AMC 304 in it. I realized it was not hitting on one of the cylinders before I went to Disney for Rocktober 2011. I changed the spark plugs prior to departure for Disney and it did not pick up the other cylinder while I was their. Once I got home and got around to it I checked for fire on that cylinder and the plug was firing which lead to a compression check of the cylinder. That cylinder tested at 60lbs with a cold engine. Testing of three other cylinders revealed they were at around 70lbs each with the engine cold.:eek: A squirt of oil in the dead cylinder lifted compression to around 130lbs and similar numbers were found in another cylinder when the same treatment was applied.

I determined the motor was ready for a refresh and after reading and researching I decided to track down a AMC 360 to rebuild instead of spending basically the same amount to rebuild the inferior 304. I also opted for the AMC 360 because it will bolt right into the place of my 304.

I picked up the early 80's 360 for $250.00 from a local self proclaimed junk yard. The guy was really nice and threw in a Motorcraft 2100 carb of the proper size (1.21) for the engine and he left the flexplate attached. :smokin:
BTW I am running a auto tranny and a twinsticked dana 300 behind it and D44 axles.
First question I have is what is a good manual to pickup for this rebuild? I have researched and read that there is a good book I should pickup called "BJ Builds an AMC V-8" it is by Brian Johnson. Knowing the name and author you think I could find a copy of the thing but I have had no luck. Anyone know where to find it at? I have followed a few links on other forums but they were out dated and dead ends.
Suggestions for any other books/manuals worthy of a purchase would be appreciated.

Here is a pic of the heep in action at Disney running on 7 cylinders :laughing:
Still went everywhere I asked it to. Running 36's with 4.88 gears. I will post a pic of the greasy 360 as soon as the wife gets it downloaded...:grinpimp:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
360 is an underrated motor.

GM TBI swap perhaps.
atblis I have noticed you comment on other AMC related threads hope you continue to chime in on mine as I progress i wil need help. From what I have read I agree the 360 is underated. I have considered the TBI but I have had this 304 on its side with the MC 2100 on it and I had to cut off the ignition because it was still running after it flopped. The TBI may be done someday but at this point I think I will spend the 30 bucks and rebuild the MC 2100 for now.

Phil glad you subscribed!
 

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As far as manuals go, the MOPAR Engine manual for Jeep engines is fair. Some info is misprinted, but pretty easy to spot. Otherwise, a factory service manual for Jeeps or AMC cars would be valuable to have around.

There are several AMC forums out there and the information they can give you will be valuable.

As far as suggestions – well, opinions are like assholes, but here we go...

#1 – I would decide now if you are going to turn the engine 6000 RPM or not. If so, then do the oiling modifications that are easy to find on google. If you are going to treat it like a 4000 RPM truck engine, you will never need it, but if you are going to treat it like a 6000 RPM hot rod engine, then you will.

#2 – I would spend the money to get a hydraulic roller cam setup in the engine. It will add about 900 bucks to the build price, but you won’t have to worry about flattening a cam (either during break in, or during the engine’s working life) anymore. Modern commonly-available oils are very low on sulfur, and sulfur is the EP lubrication that keeps flat tappets (like most older engines have, either solid or hydraulic) alive.

The good news: The 360 already has 2.025 intake valves, 1.687 exhaust valves, .904 diameter lifters, 1.5 inch valve spring pockets, 1.6 rockers, and an extra .2 inch of deck height when compared to a small-block chevy. That in turn allows a longer connecting rod (5.875 inches versus 5.7 inches) on a shorter stroke (3.44 inches versus 3.48) which results in a better rod-to-stroke ratio (1.7 for the AMC 360, 1.63 for the Chevy 350) that reduces rod angularity, in turn reducing bore wear. Also, the block has a very high nickel content, again reducing bore wear. The AMC cylinder heads are 63cc’s in the biggest chambers (Chevy’s are 72cc) which makes it very easy to get a good compression ratio with a flat top piston, or even dished. The cast-iron connecting rods are the limiting factor for a stock 360. So again, you need to decide now if you are going to ‘spin it’ or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As far as manuals go, the MOPAR Engine manual for Jeep engines is fair. Some info is misprinted, but pretty easy to spot. Otherwise, a factory service manual for Jeeps or AMC cars would be valuable to have around.

There are several AMC forums out there and the information they can give you will be valuable.

As far as suggestions – well, opinions are like assholes, but here we go...

#1 – I would decide now if you are going to turn the engine 6000 RPM or not. If so, then do the oiling modifications that are easy to find on google. If you are going to treat it like a 4000 RPM truck engine, you will never need it, but if you are going to treat it like a 6000 RPM hot rod engine, then you will.

#2 – I would spend the money to get a hydraulic roller cam setup in the engine. It will add about 900 bucks to the build price, but you won’t have to worry about flattening a cam (either during break in, or during the engine’s working life) anymore. Modern commonly-available oils are very low on sulfur, and sulfur is the EP lubrication that keeps flat tappets (like most older engines have, either solid or hydraulic) alive.

The good news: The 360 already has 2.025 intake valves, 1.687 exhaust valves, .904 diameter lifters, 1.5 inch valve spring pockets, 1.6 rockers, and an extra .2 inch of deck height when compared to a small-block chevy. That in turn allows a longer connecting rod (5.875 inches versus 5.7 inches) on a shorter stroke (3.44 inches versus 3.48) which results in a better rod-to-stroke ratio (1.7 for the AMC 360, 1.63 for the Chevy 350) that reduces rod angularity, in turn reducing bore wear. Also, the block has a very high nickel content, again reducing bore wear. The AMC cylinder heads are 63cc’s in the biggest chambers (Chevy’s are 72cc) which makes it very easy to get a good compression ratio with a flat top piston, or even dished. The cast-iron connecting rods are the limiting factor for a stock 360. So again, you need to decide now if you are going to ‘spin it’ or not.
Thanks for the info. I appreciate your input as I have read your post on AMC related things before and you seem to know your stuff! I do not have a heavy foot so I do not plan to have this motor at high revs on a regular basis so i do not think the oil mod will be needed. I have read about the mod and i am glad you commented on it as i did not know when and if it was necessary and you answered that question. I was concerned about the cam flattening problem also. I just don't know if i can swing an extra 900 bucks. I was thinking of a good quality RV cam. Would a oil additive remedy this?
 

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The bummer is – will you ALWAYS have that additive with you wherever you go?

Now, I realize it is a little overboard to act like one untreated oil change is going to destroy your engine. And furthermore, since you have already decided that this will be a low-rpm unit, you won’t need battleship-weight valve springs, which will make life easier for the cam and lifters.

But, also, by making the choice to keep the RPMs down, you have saved a bunch of money in every area of the build, and you have also saved a ton by not having to change transmissions, or buy adapters. I guarantee I am ‘broker’ than you, and that is one area I would seriously spend the money if I was building an old school engine for myself right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The bummer is – will you ALWAYS have that additive with you wherever you go?

Now, I realize it is a little overboard to act like one untreated oil change is going to destroy your engine. And furthermore, since you have already decided that this will be a low-rpm unit, you won’t need battleship-weight valve springs, which will make life easier for the cam and lifters.

But, also, by making the choice to keep the RPMs down, you have saved a bunch of money in every area of the build, and you have also saved a ton by not having to change transmissions, or buy adapters. I guarantee I am ‘broker’ than you, and that is one area I would seriously spend the money if I was building an old school engine for myself right now.
What your saying makes sense but when a cam setup doubles the price tag on my budget build its a hard pill to swallow. I am in no hurry on this build altho if it was done by summer I would be happy, but my major limiting factory is not time its money (as with most budget builds :laughing:). With that said with more money means its going to take more time because it takes more time to make more money.
What roller cam kit would you suggest? I would like something mild that will increase low in torque a smidge.
I found a short reference JP magazine made to a article by HOT ROD mag about building a performance AMC 390. They had comp cams build a cam especially for the larger flat tappets.
http://www.jpmagazine.com/techarticles/engine/154_0412_amc_v_8_engine/viewall.html
Its pretty brief but I thought it was interesting. Once again I am a newbie to this so let class begin :D I'm gonna hit the books abit more. Thanks for your help and keep it coming. :jeep:
 

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Well, the main deal with lifter diameter is as follows:

With any given camshaft, the bigger the diameter of the follower, the faster/quicker you can move the entire mechanism. It is a matter of thousandths of an inch of movement versus degrees of rotation.

For example, if you can accelerate an .842 lifter at 7 thousandths per degree per degree; you can accelerate a .904 lifter at 9 thousandths per degree per degree. (note – the numbers aren’t exact, just a demonstration – I could dig out books and catalogs if you want the real numbers).

Why does that matter?

Because one of the keys to making good power (hp, and torque) is to get the intake valve open as far as possible at the point when the piston is moving down on the intake stroke the fastest. Now, for your 4000 rpm truck engine, that isn’t a big deal. But if you want to win races it is (well, if you want to win and your rules won’t allow roller valvetrain systems).

If you run a cam profile designed for .842 lifters with a .904 lifter, the cam and lifter life should be better than the .842 setup. Simply because you aren’t stressing the system near the limits. A roller more-or-less removes that question from the equation and greatly reduces cam wear. As far as ‘which to use’ I don’t honestly know. I think Comp still shows roller lifter setups available for the AMC V8. I would pick lobes from the catalog and get the cam cut to my preference.

Incidentally – a note on HP and TQ – they are really a measurement of the same thing (power). One is the ability to do work, one is that value expressed over time. As evidence; HP / RPM x 5252 = TQ.
 

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Lots of flat tappet cams are running just fine.

I wouldnt put a roller in oem build.

comp cams sells a zinc additive if your that worried about it you can add half a bottle per oil change.

I race oval track and just started adding the zinc two years ago to motors with cams way more radical than you will use and way more spring pressure also. Ive never lost a cam or flattened a lobe.



My rebuilt 304 with a comp rv cam I think its a 268 maybe 272 runs awesome. I do have msd ignition, gm tbi. I dynoed it on a chassis dyno to tune it in and it put out 140hp to the rear wheels and the curve was nearly flat all the way to 5000 rpm. 140 to the rear wheels is thru a cv joint, th 400 and dana 20 I had at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Lots of flat tappet cams are running just fine.

I wouldnt put a roller in oem build.

comp cams sells a zinc additive if your that worried about it you can add half a bottle per oil change.

I race oval track and just started adding the zinc two years ago to motors with cams way more radical than you will use and way more spring pressure also. Ive never lost a cam or flattened a lobe.



My rebuilt 304 with a comp rv cam I think its a 268 maybe 272 runs awesome. I do have msd ignition, gm tbi. I dynoed it on a chassis dyno to tune it in and it put out 140hp to the rear wheels and the curve was nearly flat all the way to 5000 rpm. 140 to the rear wheels is thru a cv joint, th 400 and dana 20 I had at the time.
Thanks for the info on the additive and your input. I am still researching and deciding on what to do. I will be running an HEI distributor but most everything else wil be stock besides maybe a RV type cam. Do you need a spare 304? :grinpimp:

Well I did what I should of done right off and did some searching and skewled myself alittle on what a hydraulic cam setup is compared to a solid cam setup and a full roller setup.. Now I understand what is meant by the hydraulic roller setup being a little less harsh on the cam and on components plus you don't have to worry about valve adjustments as often. Here is a good illustration of a rollertype verses flat tappet: http://www.lunatipower.com/Tech/Cams/FlatTappetOrRoller.aspx


I feel like a dummy asking some of these questions but I guess thats how you learn right? :homer:
 

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You dont re adjust lash on a flat tappet hydraulic cam that is only on a SOLID lifter camshaft.

No I dont need a spare 304.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
After some thought I have decided to just keep the hydraulic flat tappet setup. I will run the Zinc additive that faziom suggested. If it doesn't work out, we'll just always say it should have :D
Now that I have that problem out of the way its on to other things.
I am going to tear this thing down and then take it to the machinist. So that leads me to a few questions that a newb should ask.

1. Any tips for dis assembly, like how to keep up with parts and do i need to put labels on things like rods and stuff so that they go back in the same hole it came out of?

2. What all do I take to the machinist? I know the block and heads but do I take the pistons, rods and crank also for measurements, fitting and such?

3. What all work needs to be done to the block and components during the machining process?

4. After the machinist has done his work will he give me the specs for the motor? Or is it general procedure to have the machinist get with the parts store so that they can just tell them what sizes of parts i need?

Any helpful comments is appreciated. Hoping that next weekend i can start to disassemble. The motor is at the in-laws since they have a nice heated shop plus more tools than I do.
 

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After some thought I have decided to just keep the hydraulic flat tappet setup. I will run the Zinc additive that faziom suggested. If it doesn't work out, we'll just always say it should have :D
Now that I have that problem out of the way its on to other things.
I am going to tear this thing down and then take it to the machinist. So that leads me to a few questions that a newb should ask.

1. Any tips for dis assembly, like how to keep up with parts and do i need to put labels on things like rods and stuff so that they go back in the same hole it came out of?

since you will be replacing the cam, you wont need to worry about keeping lifters, pushrods, etc in order. You will just be ordering new. Rod bearing caps are all stamped so that makes it easy. Keep the main bearing caps in order. Honestly, it will just be a matter of keepng track of bolts and stuff. Baggies and a black marker work great.

2. What all do I take to the machinist? I know the block and heads but do I take the pistons, rods and crank also for measurements, fitting and such?

Block, heads, crank, main caps (two, so they can turn the crank), pistons (wristpins)

3. What all work needs to be done to the block and components during the machining process?

Hot tanked, magnaflux, cylinders cleaned up/bored, line bored possibly, everything mic'd, crank ground possibly, new cam bearings installed, valve job maybe...new guides, etc. Lots of little stuff

4. After the machinist has done his work will he give me the specs for the motor? Or is it general procedure to have the machinist get with the parts store so that they can just tell them what sizes of parts i need?

They will typically do the footwork here. If there is an issue with something, they should bring it up to you. If you request, they can give you whatever spec info on the motor that you need.

Any helpful comments is appreciated. Hoping that next weekend i can start to disassemble. The motor is at the in-laws since they have a nice heated shop plus more tools than I do.
...

Edit: When reassembling your engine, be sure to use the cam break-in lube. Ask the shop for some packets and use this stuff liberally. Also use a break-in oil such as Brad Penn...something with high ZDDP (zinc).
I use a ZDDP additive in my 401 at each oil change to keep my valvetrain alive.
 

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The second link for the Comp Cams doesn't work, but a friend had a CJ-7/360 with a cam that had 260* advertised duration, and the stock 2 barrel, and it ran pretty well. The 252* cam would make a nice stock replacement.

In my '68 AMX's 401 and my '43 GPW L134, I'm using Valvoline Racing VR-1, 20w-50. It comes with the higher Zinc content, so no extra additives are needed, at least for a mild cams like we are talking about here.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The second link for the Comp Cams doesn't work, but a friend had a CJ-7/360 with a cam that had 260* advertised duration, and the stock 2 barrel, and it ran pretty well. The 252* cam would make a nice stock replacement.

In my '68 AMX's 401 and my '43 GPW L134, I'm using Valvoline Racing VR-1, 20w-50. It comes with the higher Zinc content, so no extra additives are needed, at least for a mild cams like we are talking about here.
Marty thanks for the info on the cams. The two i was looking at was the 252 and a 260 duration cam so you answered my question about the 260 should i need a new one. I guess I was gettin alittle head of my self, first I need to get this thing apart and see what it looks like. I might get it apart and the cylinders look great and the cam to. At the very least it might just need a gasket set. Boy wouldn't that be nice! haha :laughing:
Thats good news I will defentily check out the Valvoline Racing VR-1 oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Update

Well I will be beginning to disassemble the motor this weekend. I will try and take some pics. I am anxious to see what the innards look like, especially the cylinders. Wish me luck! :D
 

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Before you take the block in, pull the galley caps under the intake manifold. Shops tend to lose these things. :shaking:
 
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