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'69 Javelin SST on Budget

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Red20 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Oct/13/2014 at 8:47am
I've got a few threads about this build, but it's time to consolidate into a build thread now as I get ready to actually get some serious work done and get her back on the road.

The story:
I've long been an AMC fan owning a couple of Full Size Jeeps and a CJ8. My daily driver is a J20 with a lightly worked over 360. I've always dreamed of owning a '68/'69 Javelin (or possibly a '70). Now, I'm a US Marine stationed in Hawaii, which is a terrible place to have a vehicle. They tend to self destruct out here and return slowly to the earth in a heap of rust and crushed dreams. That said, this is the last place I wanted to come across my very own 1969 AMC Javelin SST. However, the AMC gods were smiling on me and a leisurely Craigslist browsing session turned up just that only 25 minutes away.

So my yellow, black vinyl top, black interior '69 Javelin SST with only 18k original, well documented miles was had for a quick chat and $2,000 cash. It is 99% original with a 2v 290 and automatic transmission. I'm the third owner. And the guy I bought it from had it parked for the last 20 years up on jack stands and under a car cover and awning. The only thing that's ever been done to it other than basic maintenance is the addition of some 15" chrome rims, wood accented GT steering wheel, and dual exhaust.

I had a rebuilt 360 long block with 35k miles on it that I picked up for cheap already in the garage, so I decided that would be a nice swap that would be a little more fun than the 290, so that was slated for the Javelin. Then I learned about the crank flange differences between Gen2 and Gen3 AMC engines and was advised that the aluminum Borg-Warner behind the 290 wouldn't likely last long behind the 360 anyway if I got a little too froggy. So, the search has been ongoing for a 2WD TF727 for over a year and not a one has turned up in Hawaii. I managed to grab 2 TH350s for $150, so I decided I'd go that route and have a backup for parts. The one I'm using was supposedly in a '70 Firebird, had been rebuilt "recently" and was solid. The other is a BOP pattern so it won't bolt up with a Novak adapter anyway.

The interior of this car is fantastic! It's nearly perfect and not a piece is missing, cracked, worn, etc.

Here's where I'm at so far with this ---

Currently:
Engine - 360, .060 over, stock crank, stock heads milled for roller rockers with mild exhaust porting,
Edelbrock Performer Plus cam (already had it), Comp Cams timing set, Harland Sharp roller rockers.

Transmission - TH350, B&M shift reprogrammer kit, B&M Quicksilver shifter(installed in car)

The plan:
Professional Products Powerjection III
MSD 6 (from my J20. Putting a Pertronix dizzy w/Ignitor III I already have in it)
MSD 8519 distributor (locked out with phaseable rotor for ignition control by PJ III)
MSD wires
MSD Blaster 2 coil
Edelbrock RPM Air-Gap manifold
Aeromotive Phantom in tank fuel pump with built in sump (looks to be awesome)
All new new quality fuel lines
Champion aluminum radiator (run one already in the J20. It's solid.)
Stock replacement engine accessories
Stock rebuild of suspension and brakes (for now...)
ADDCO sway bars front and rear
New tires
Novak Adapter for TH350
Yoke for TH350 (junkyard hopefully)
Resized or new driveshaft
Clean and paint engine bay
Clean and paint engine/tranny
Fresh gear oil in rearend
Lots of bulbs and fuses

I'm sure I'm missing a few things. Please, please give me your thoughts.











1969 Javelin SST "Screamin' Banana" - 16k original miles, warm 360, TH-350, Model 20 TracLok, DAILY DRIVER
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Red20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/13/2014 at 9:05am
So, I know I'm calling this a "budget build" but am planning to do an EFI system for quite a bit more than a carb. The thing is, I happen to be getting a bonus this year, so a have a little extra to play with. I originally just needed to get it running and driving with a safety inspection to just get it off of the island when I leave in January. But having that 360 got me going and thinking and the plan grew a little. I was torn between spending my extra infusion of $$$ on either significant suspension and brake upgrades and running a carb OR taking a big leap to fuel injection and rebuilding the stock suspension. It came down to shipping to Hawaii. Having suspension and brake parts shipped out here was gonna be somewhat cost prohibitive.

I suppose I should mention my overall vision and goal for the car to bring everything into perspective. I plan on building a solid daily driver/tourer. My aim is to keep it very close to original in exterior and interior appearance, but build a car that runs and handles much like a modern sports car. The only stipulation is that I will NOT put anything other than an AMC engine under the hood. So as "modern performance" as I can achieve with an old, iron AMC block. Eventually I'll be upgrading to aluminum heads and doing a cam swap, etc. And I'm really wanting to install Nick Alfano's front suspension setup with brake upgrades and the rear setup too when he finishes developing and releases it. I'll also eventually be replacing or removing the vinyl top and reprinting the original Matador Red.
1969 Javelin SST "Screamin' Banana" - 16k original miles, warm 360, TH-350, Model 20 TracLok, DAILY DRIVER
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fast401 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/13/2014 at 9:14am
Add a set of free flow exhaust manifolds and massage them a little bit.  Looks like a nice project to me!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pit crew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/13/2014 at 9:45am
Looks nice. Nice project so far.

If the goal is a reliable daily drive then EFI is a nice option to consider. Keep in mind that the return on investment could be questionable in my opinion. My main reason for going EFI was to get the experience of installing and working with EFI. That and a year long fight with a brand new carburetor that in the end turned out to be defective right from the manufacturer. A good quality electronic ignition system along with a well tuned carburetor would be a better investment for a budget build. Again, just my opinion.

I used the MSD Atomic EFI since it was one of the simplest to install and took the least amount of effort to get dialed in. If your going for a first time experience with EFI I would recommend it. If your going to be trying some hard core tuning then I would suggest you look at some of the other systems that are out there. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Red20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/13/2014 at 10:03am
I do like the looks of the MSD Atomic, but it lacks some if the advanced tuning capability I'd like to at least have the option of digging into over time. That's one if the main reasons I'm looking to give the PJ III a shot. It's a closed loop "self tuning" system like the Atomic and several others, but the laptop software option gives quite a lot of tuneability. And it can control timing with a 2-wire mag pickup dizzy like the MSD 8519. My understanding after reading the MSD Atomic manual is that it can only control timing with a GM computer controlled dizzy or Ford TFI dizzy. I may be confusing that with another product as I've been doing nonstop research for months. I could, of course, go with MSD's programmable 6 box and program timing curves with it, but that with the Atomic is a $3,000 expense. The PJ III is around $1,600 and I already have an MSD 6A box.

Thanks for the thoughts, guys.
1969 Javelin SST "Screamin' Banana" - 16k original miles, warm 360, TH-350, Model 20 TracLok, DAILY DRIVER
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Red20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/13/2014 at 10:06am
Speaking of free flow manifolds and headers, I cannot for the life of me figure out what will actually fit without issues. Considering the fact I'm putting a Gen3 engine with stock heads in a '69 big body car, what will clear everything?
1969 Javelin SST "Screamin' Banana" - 16k original miles, warm 360, TH-350, Model 20 TracLok, DAILY DRIVER
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pit crew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/13/2014 at 10:18am
Josh,

Sounds like you have done you homework on the EFI. As a point of reference the MSD will control timing with a 8519 or 8523 dizzy and a 6AL box. Good luck with your project.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amxmachine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/13/2014 at 10:41am
You got a great deal on that one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Red20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/13/2014 at 7:26pm
Oh yeah, I was simultaneously thrilled and disappointed to be trying to work on this thing in Hawaii with limited parts availability and exorbitant shipping costs. It was a deal I just couldn't pass up though.

I have the original sales contract, warranty info, manual, and dealer maintenance schedule booklet. The original owner used the maintenance booklet and had the maintenance done at the dealership through 16k miles. It was sold to and eventually stored by the guy I purchased it from. Odometer reads just over 18k. I have no reason to believe it has rolled over as it's VERY original and in fantastic shape. Certainly doesn't have the wear and tear of even a well maintained 118k mile car. And the guy I bought from is a collector and says he never really drove it much.

1969 Javelin SST "Screamin' Banana" - 16k original miles, warm 360, TH-350, Model 20 TracLok, DAILY DRIVER
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cjr1985car Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/13/2014 at 9:47pm
Like the efi direction.

-Colton
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