Pirate 4x4 banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
newbie with a amc360 and engine issues

hey im kinda new to the offroad scene, and the v8 scene, and the "classic vehicles" and etc but i amateur race autocross and have done all my own work on my other cars so i assume i can figure out how to work on the jeep

well i just got a 1971 jeep wagoneer, i know it has about a 2inch lift, blocks in the rear and i have no idea about the front. the body is in good shape but needs some tlc and ive wanted a project car for a bit. and i got it for a steal.

the bad news i got today, #8 cyl is has 50psi on the compression test. allother 7 are perfect, did a little test and found its the valve. so instead of dealing with a shop that wants to charge 800-1200 bucks for a valve job, im looking at ordering a set of heads.
i found the Edelbrock Performer Aluminum Heads on BJ's offroad. for about the same as the shop wanted for a stock valve job so i figured like my other cars, if something breaks it gets replaced with something upgraded.
i was wondering if there is any other options? different heads that are better or cheaper etc

and im thinking while im down there the carb has always given my grandfather issues so while everything else is off i might as well replace the intake manifold and carb. and wonder what yall suggest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,410 Posts
Might as well do an Edlebrock performer intake at the same time.Then swap to an Edlebrock carb with offroad needle and seat or even better a Holley Truckavenger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
well just got back to the mechanic, and looking at different options, because we dont know the millage of the engine it probably needs to be replaced so that's 3k right there. it needs a new power steering pump. interior needs to be fully redone. body needs paint, so im looking at about 6k within the next few months atleast to get it driveable... and thats just counting what i know is wrong now...

im debating if it is worth the time money and effort
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,529 Posts
Vortec time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,312 Posts
If you are having someone else do the work (assuming this is the case since you mention a 3k engine rebuild), you just need to find something that is already done. It will be cheaper in the long run. Complete running rigs are available for less than 50% of build cost. If you are doing it yourself, shop around. You probably don't need to go completely through everything to have a good runner.
Travis..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,058 Posts
Older rigs (like yours) are dead simple to work on, including engine work. IMO its time to get greasy. I know there is no way I could afford to play in this sport (or any other automotive sport for that matter) if I was paying someone else to do my work.

Machine shops are one area that still get expensive, but still a lot less than paying full shop rate for the R&R of heads or engine. buy a book, read, search, buy used parts or whole trucks, and it starts to get fun and rewarding.

I find myself complaining to myself when I spend $400 on a diff or clutch job, but then I remind myself "thats just the parts, be glad your not paying labor too".

If you dont have the tools, that's gonna cost a bit in the beginning... but you'll have them next time, and there will be a "next time". it's just the nature of cars. Plus you'll have an understanding of how your rig is put together to enable you to repair it in the back-country, instead of being "that guy" who just stares at it wondering what to do when there's a prob.

$.02

Eric
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,529 Posts
Older rigs (like yours) are dead simple to work on, including engine work. IMO its time to get greasy. I know there is no way I could afford to play in this sport (or any other automotive sport for that matter) if I was paying someone else to do my work.

Machine shops are one area that still get expensive, but still a lot less than paying full shop rate for the R&R of heads or engine. buy a book, read, search, buy used parts or whole trucks, and it starts to get fun and rewarding.

I find myself complaining to myself when I spend $400 on a diff or clutch job, but then I remind myself "thats just the parts, be glad your not paying labor too".

If you dont have the tools, that's gonna cost a bit in the beginning... but you'll have them next time, and there will be a "next time". it's just the nature of cars. Plus you'll have an understanding of how your rig is put together to enable you to repair it in the back-country, instead of being "that guy" who just stares at it wondering what to do when there's a prob.

$.02

Eric
^This is all true, and I think it's how most of us here got started. It takes a little longer to teach yourself as you go, but I quickly got to the point where I usually enjoy fixing stuff more than I enjoy breaking it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
well ive been thinking about it, and i can do my work myself, the second owner (my grandpa) said that he honestly believes the bottom end is fine, and if i just do a head job, get a good distributor, intake manifold and carb the thing would be good for at least another 100k

im gonna put in an order for a set of heads here soon,

what pieces do you suggest. edelbrock? for both the heads and intake mani?
performer series or what?
to adress the other option mentioned in this thread, how well are the small block chevy kits working? whats the total conversion price if done myself. and finally what else do i need besides the crate engine, mounts, and transmission adapter?


also ordering the 4" bj's lift, i figure with 1971 springs and cheap shocks that i dont know the age of it will give me a better ride and look great.. i wanted 6" because that looks best IMO without going too tall that it would be that much easier to roll over or produce too much tear on my u-joints. but i dont know if blocks or a body lift would be the best way to achieve the extra 2 inches


any info would be greatly appreciated, i did look into spending the 6k getting a newer truck, but id rather have a beautiful capable truck you dont see very often so this build is gonna get a complete overhaul over the next 6 months
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,529 Posts
Truthfully, the cost of an SBC swap has too many variables. Best case scenario, you get a good deal on the right donor truck, do the work yourself, and get everything done in 6 months for less than $3k. Worst case scenario, you buy everything in pieces, have to buy expensive adapters, gotta farm some of the work out, etc, takes 2 years and $10k.

If you can rebuild the top end of the 360, go for it. There's a few guys on here that know that motor backward and forward, and would be better suited to answer your questions concerning the performance heads and whatnot. One real helpful waggy-master is rustywagoneersdotcom, I've actually got him building a '79 Cherokee Chief for me as we speak.


Regarding the lift, those saggy stock springs may work real well in an SOA config, depending on what size tire you want to end up on. ..Just one more thing to research and think about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,813 Posts
If it makes oil pressure quickly at start up, and if it holds oil pressure when it is warm at a nice low idle - then I would have no fear running the bottom end as is.

I bet when you pull that head off you will find number 8 exhaust valve is burnt.

In a pinch, you could fix that one hole, and slam it back together. However, if you have time, and a few extra bucks, go ahead and pull both heads, and do a good valve job right now. Also - for the extra 20 bucks and extra screwing around - while the heads are at the machine shop, pull the oil pan, pull a couple rod caps and the rear main cap. Inspect the bearings and replace the rear main seal.

That ought to get you another decade or two.

EDIT: And Lucas - you're gonna make me blush!

I am going to call you about wheels and tires tomorrow, BTW...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,529 Posts
EDIT: And Lucas - you're gonna make me blush!

I am going to call you about wheels and tires tomorrow, BTW...
I'll be out and about all day, so I may not hear the phone. If that's the case, I'll call you back when I see it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Regarding the lift, those saggy stock springs may work real well in an SOA config, depending on what size tire you want to end up on. ..Just one more thing to research and think about.
i have been looking for a SOA kit but i havent been able to find one for my year,

If it makes oil pressure quickly at start up, and if it holds oil pressure when it is warm at a nice low idle - then I would have no fear running the bottom end as is.

I bet when you pull that head off you will find number 8 exhaust valve is burnt.

In a pinch, you could fix that one hole, and slam it back together. However, if you have time, and a few extra bucks, go ahead and pull both heads, and do a good valve job right now. Also - for the extra 20 bucks and extra screwing around - while the heads are at the machine shop, pull the oil pan, pull a couple rod caps and the rear main cap. Inspect the bearings and replace the rear main seal.

That ought to get you another decade or two.

oil pressure light is off within id say 2 seconds of starting. and as long as its not trying to stall (bad carb) i never see the light even with an idle set almost too low

about how much am i looking at taking the heads to a machine shop to get them rebuilt? because if its close I might as well buy the edelbrocks so i have that little bit of extra power and a good guarantee.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,813 Posts
16 valves x however much to grind the seat (5 bucks maybe?) = ?80 bucks or so?
16 valves x however much to knurl the guide (3 bucks maybe?) = ?48 bucks or so?
15 valves x however much to face the valve (3 bucks again maybe?) = ?45 bucks or so?
1 new exhaust valve =?30 bucks?

Gaskets = ?50 bucks?

Total with fluids, maybe 300 bucks?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
Had my heads seats/seals and milled done for $140 IIRC. I bought a parts truck and pulled what I needed and sold the rest. SO you know that all spring lift looks sweet, but rides like a dump truck. I am running the BJ's 6" on my 89. It was a super easy intstall, but I didn't know much about building a capable wheeler at the time. No flex at all. Save your money and go SOA and do some fabbing if you have the skills. It will be well worth it in the end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
rusty, that price is to only change the one valve? it would be a bit of a shame if i go in there and do all the work without redoing all the valves. and im sure the springs are getting older too so i dont want a catastrophic failure down the road and have to do it all over again... im not really hurting for money to get it running, but at the same time i dont feel like spending an absurd amount on parts i can save some money on. and use that money doing other restorations


well here is the suspension on it now
the rear is already spring over axle so id have to use a spring lift either way it seems,
front is axle over spring and i cant tell how it was lifted.

rear suspension



front suspension



ride height on the ground


and this is the height and look im aiming for i think, he seems to have a SOA conversion on the front, and i dunno for the rear, but he states its a 4" lift. however i thought soa got you straight to 6"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,813 Posts
The guesstimate I threw out there would be to recondition the heads, while replacing the one bad valve. Totally normal auto repair type scenario.

If you want all new valves and guides and springs and rockers, your machinist will love you and you will have at least an arguably better end result. Only a few more dollars.

From an ownership satisfaction/job well done standpoint - I would drop the heads off at the machine shop when you get them off, have them do the full workup, and put 'er back together.

While it is apart, do the rear main as I suggested, consider a cam/lifter swap, and throw a timing chain set in it.

How many miles on this engine?

As I think about what I am typing here - your truck should have ball-pivot rocker arms (sorta like SBC/etc) - so you likely won't have any of the normal bridge/pivot problems. Which also means that you probably won't need rocker arms.

EDIT: and now that I wait for the pics to load, you've got a nice looking truck there. I would strongly suggest swapping 74-up D44's from another FSJ under it. That way you get open knuckles, larger wheel u-joints, and disc brakes in a mostly bolt-in package. Grab a 74-up master cylinder while you are at it. You currently have a closed-knuckle, drum-brake D30 up front, and 2-piece rear axle shafts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
Most guys that SOA the front do a Shackle flip on the rear. SOA on a waggy will give you about 6-7" of lift depending on the springs you use. Get that block out from under the rear whatever you decide to do. Your springs don't seem to be in that bad of shape, (though those fronts probably were a 2" at one time). Don't forget about all the steering madness you are going to get into with SOA. That pretty truck you posted is sitting SOA, but if I remember correctly, is somewhat of a polished turd build. Get on IFSJA.org as a good supplement to this site.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,529 Posts
Most guys that SOA the front do a Shackle flip on the rear. SOA on a waggy will give you about 6-7" of lift depending on the springs you use. Get that block out from under the rear whatever you decide to do. Your springs don't seem to be in that bad of shape, (though those fronts probably were a 2" at one time). Don't forget about all the steering madness you are going to get into with SOA. That pretty truck you posted is sitting SOA, but if I remember correctly, is somewhat of a polished turd build. Get on IFSJA.org as a good supplement to this site.
^ what he said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
hi i was faced with the same thing on my 84 j10 burnt valves and 180 thousnd miles decided it was to expessive to fix by the time you ad up intake carb ignition to get good performance i decided to swap for a dodge 360 mag from a 99 ram this would give me fuel injection serpintine belt 5sp manual trans modern air cond and 100 more horse over the stock amc 360 for $1000.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
ok so i finally got to colorado. im on the lookout for the parts you mentioned off the newer wagon.
im not worried about ride, my dailydriver/autocross car has some suspension work so it feels like the wheels are almost welded to the chassis. and i spent a year in iraq driving tanks and mraps, and it cant be that bad. i actually prefer to feel the road nowdays. But if what yer telling me means my off road performance will be hindered ill look for a different idea. I'm not looking for rock crawling but im interested in beable to play in mud, sand, trails, camping, snow and maybe in 1-2 years id like to make a trek out to moab and see some of the smaller offerings.
now correct me if im wrong but im thinking that once i have the newer axles the 1974 SOA kit from Bj's will now fit?


as far as the engine. I will be calling a machine/speed shop tomorrow and ask how much they are gonna charge to rebuild my heads. and possibly do some modifications. i really like the edelbrock aluminum heads but for 1300 bucks its kinda high, and i think i can get the stock ones with a little bit of head work to perform equally for a fraction of the cost. if im mistaken let me know

while the top end is off for the heads, the intake manifold is getting replaced with the performer manifold from edelbrock and the holley carb yall mentioned. and the distributor is getting replaced with a nice electronic distributor.
ebay has a PRO-BILLET DISTRIBUTOR, Procomp 6AL DIGITAL Multi Spark CDI Ignition Box , and 10.5mm tailor fit plug wires for sale for 219 that im eyeballing. if theres a better option out there let me know.
the timing set is getting replaced. i wanted timing gears but im hearing it takes significant work to the timing cover to get the milidon set to work so im open to suggestions. ive never delt with a chain before my past 3 cars ive rebuilt all had belts.

as for cam Bj's only suggests the comp cams 260. but jegs has a 290 that looks a bit better.

now when pulling the heads i know that the stock pushrods have to go back in the same hole they came out of. is there anything i have to keep in mind if i get some brand new hardened chromemoly pushrods? im assuming they can just be put in any order..

and on another note, the truck is starting within the first 1-2 rotations which surprised me. so im guessing the gaskets were just dried out in the carb. but as soon as the engine catches the oil light goes out, and even with a ridiculously low idle speed i cant get the oil light to come on, the amp idiot light does come on but the oil wont light untill it gets so low that it tries to stall.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top