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Basics of GEN 2 and GEN 3 engines

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Rambler Mexicano View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan/15/2020 at 2:22pm
VAM did not produce AMC's line of V8 engines, for this reason it is common to see VAM cars with Brand-X V8 engines.

I am part of two VAM clubs here in Mexico, and some friends have made the effort or are considering making the effort of importing an AMC V8 engine for their cars (the GEN 3 360 being the most common).

They frequently request my advice into this and I don't have a lot of to say.

I know that the stock internal parts of AMC V8s can be imported into Mexico via Autozone, since they are listed in their catalog, making things a lot easier for anyone willing to rebuild any AMC V8 here.

I would like to request what would the "basics" be when considering installing an AMC V8 into a six cylinder car and what should I know in regards to maintenance, repairs and replacement parts (or mods).

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide.
Mauricio Jordán

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote mramc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/15/2020 at 4:46pm
The 360 AMC V-8 is the most common AMC V-8 and they can be had for reason prices, generally in $200 to $500 range depending on condition. The 401 V-8 are more common from Jeeps since they used the 401 up until1978. But run about $1500 or more for a good one.  The 390 are scarce and expensive if you can find one, as they were only made 3 years and only about 10,000 or so a year. The 360s were made from 1970 to 1991 for the Jeep Wagoner and other AMCs , so way more of them then any thing else you can find. Piston selection for the 360 is way better. The 390s and 401s almost all  are custom pistons  to one extent or another. They did make a pretty fair number of 304s, but almost no one wants them, based on the cost of doing a 304 versus a 360 for the same money few choose to do it. Which is sad as I've always believe the 304s have a lot of potential. The 290 as comparatively rare for a similar reason , and in fact parts are hard to get. Try and find a flex plate for an AMC 290 for an M-11 that they mostly used. Easier to find hen's teeth then that flex plate. The 343 V-8s are not much more common then the 290 V-8s. Few want to rebuild a 343 for the same money as a 360 when the 360 will make a little more power for the same money. FYI , just my opinion.
Transmissions are any story and you did not ask about them.  LRDaum
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You also have to look at year model of vehicle for your swap. If the vehicle came with an optional V8 in the US market, then it's going to be easier to find parts for the swap.
Generally the 72 and up 360 will fit any 67 and up AMC. Most will require some sort of engine mount or cross member change.
With this engine there are many posts on using the original AMC 727 automatic/T10 manual or conversions to overdrive transmissions.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote 1970390amx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/15/2020 at 11:06pm
My question would be was the full size jeep wagoneer ever imported to mexico? Most of them had amc 360 v8s some had a 401. Even a few cj jeeps had v8s mostly 304s. I dont know if the vam bellhousing is the same as an american engine. All gen 2 and 3 engines have the same bell housing bolt pattern. If you have the correct manual trans bell housing any manual trans swap should be fairly straight forward. Keep in mind every engine has a specific flywheel. 71 and older engines have a different crank flange that would cause problems swapping automatics. 72 and newer crank shaft flange would be easy to bolt amc cased torque flite transmissions. Specific engine questions might be found in the v8 engine section.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rambler Mexicano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/19/2020 at 2:17pm
Originally posted by mramc mramc wrote:

The 360 AMC V-8 is the most common AMC V-8 and they can be had for reason prices, generally in $200 to $500 range depending on condition. The 401 V-8 are more common from Jeeps since they used the 401 up until1978. But run about $1500 or more for a good one.  The 390 are scarce and expensive if you can find one, as they were only made 3 years and only about 10,000 or so a year. The 360s were made from 1970 to 1991 for the Jeep Wagoner and other AMCs , so way more of them then any thing else you can find. Piston selection for the 360 is way better. The 390s and 401s almost all  are custom pistons  to one extent or another. They did make a pretty fair number of 304s, but almost no one wants them, based on the cost of doing a 304 versus a 360 for the same money few choose to do it. Which is sad as I've always believe the 304s have a lot of potential. The 290 as comparatively rare for a similar reason , and in fact parts are hard to get. Try and find a flex plate for an AMC 290 for an M-11 that they mostly used. Easier to find hen's teeth then that flex plate. The 343 V-8s are not much more common then the 290 V-8s. Few want to rebuild a 343 for the same money as a 360 when the 360 will make a little more power for the same money. FYI , just my opinion.
Transmissions are any story and you did not ask about them.  LRDaum


Thanks Larry,

As for transmissions, the bellhousing patterns between AMCs and VAMs are the same in all years in the sixes, but I don't know how different they are between the sixes and the V8s. TorqueFlytes were used from 1972 onward while previous years had the Borg Warners.

I see now why the 360 is the common AMC V8 engine I've seen in Mexico, there are four of them in my Guadalajara club. I've heard of two 401s in my life, on ine Mexico City in a 1972 VAM Javelin and one in Guadalajara in a early 1970s Wagoneer.

I really dislike to see the lack of love for the 304, just seeing what the Ford guys pull out of the 289 and 302 V8s. The only similar case AMC had of the performance 289s and 302s was the 1966-1969 four-barrel 290s with 225 gross horsepower and 10.0:1 compression ratio. They were all coupled to four speed manual transmissions except the 1968-1969 AMX (only case of a 4 bbl 290 with an automatic transmission).

This was also AMC's mistake, since in 1970 they considered the two barrel 360 would be better than a four-barrel 304, and in the end EPA and CAFE killed off the 360 and at that time AMC did not have the money to upgrade the 304 for performance applications. Just imagine 1975-1977 Hornets, 1975-1976 Gremlins, 1977 Hornet AMXs, 1978 Concord AMXs, 1979 Spirit AMXs, 1978-1979 Pacers with the factory option of a four-barrel 304.

Originally posted by Trader Trader wrote:

You also have to look at year model of vehicle for your swap. If the vehicle came with an optional V8 in the US market, then it's going to be easier to find parts for the swap.
Generally the 72 and up 360 will fit any 67 and up AMC. Most will require some sort of engine mount or cross member change.
With this engine there are many posts on using the original AMC 727 automatic/T10 manual or conversions to overdrive transmissions.  


Thanks Trader,

I've seen most VAM cars keep the original crossmember when being converted to V8 engines, it is retained and customized to be able to carry the V8 engine.

The only GEN 1 V8 model produced in Mexico was the 1963-1966 Rambler Classic. The Rambler American got its first V8 engine in the same year the GEN 2 engines debuted.

Originally posted by 1970390amx 1970390amx wrote:

My question would be was the full size jeep wagoneer ever imported to mexico? Most of them had amc 360 v8s some had a 401. Even a few cj jeeps had v8s mostly 304s. I dont know if the vam bellhousing is the same as an american engine. All gen 2 and 3 engines have the same bell housing bolt pattern. If you have the correct manual trans bell housing any manual trans swap should be fairly straight forward. Keep in mind every engine has a specific flywheel. 71 and older engines have a different crank flange that would cause problems swapping automatics. 72 and newer crank shaft flange would be easy to bolt amc cased torque flite transmissions. Specific engine questions might be found in the v8 engine section.
 

Thanks 1970390amx

The Wagoneer was produced in Mexico, it came with the 232 from 1965 through 1969 if I'm not wrong. In 1970 and 1971 it got converted to the VAM 252 six. Finally in 1972 onward it would be powered by the VAM 282 six.

The six cylinder bellhousings were the same between the VAM sixes and the AMC sixes in all years. The major conversion happened between 1971 to 1972, with the starter being relocated from the intakes' side to the distributor's side.

Didn't know the flywheels were diferent between engine series, same for the crank flange.


Edited by Rambler Mexicano - Jan/19/2020 at 2:19pm
Mauricio Jordán

Cuando no se es una empresa famosa se deben hacer mejores automóviles.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/20/2020 at 7:09am
When the starter was relocated the transmission changed -- at least on automatic cars. Crankshaft flange also changed to accommodate the new Chrysler automatics. 1972+ six cylinder and V-8 cars use the same bolt pattern for the bell and crank, and the flywheel is the same diameter. 1971 and earlier flywheels are slightly smaller in diameter. V-8 and six cylinder flywheels interchange, but the v-8 models must have the correct weight on them for the displacement or you will get damaging vibration. So even though a six flywheel bolts on (and vice-versa), don't mix them! The only exception is if you have an AMC Gen2/3 V-8 internally balanced, then you can use a six cylinder flywheel.

The transmission is the biggest issue. If you're running a stock or close to stock 2V 360 you can get by using the six cylinder transmission. For the automatic I'd install a towing shift kit and use a larger cooler. For normal driving it will be fine. For more "spirited" driving it will need some internal upgrades. Easy to find in the US, don't know about Mexico. If Ford sold 5.0L Mustangs in Mexico that manual trans is adaptable to the AMC V-8 using the six cylinder bell housing. Other Ford transmissions (the four speed that has an overdrive fourth gear from the late 70s, for instance) will also fit.

As far as Gen2/3 differences, they don't matter as far as swapping. One fits where the other does, and everything needed to swap one is needed for the other. The difference between the two is the displacement, which is made by a slightly taller block for the Gen3 (more stroke), and the heads -- the Gen2 having rectangular exhaust ports and the Gen 3 having the "dog led" exhaust ports, which flow slightly better. Unless you're building a drag car or want maximum power for some other reason, it really doesn't mater which you use. On a stock engine the slightly better exhaust flow really doesn't do much -- not enough to warrant changing heads. Even on a performance engine the larger exhaust ports really don't do much until you run over about 4000 rpm.


Edited by farna - Jan/20/2020 at 7:13am
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