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XRV8 Gremlin

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amcenthusiast View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan/08/2016 at 9:51am
Posted a video on YouTube named 'XRV8 Gremlin, but deleted the vid just to 'play it safe'.

At least a few people got to see it.

If all goes well, I'll get to make another video, hopefully with better sound, on a dragstrip.

I'm partly using the name 'XRV8 Gremlin' to avoid all the other mainstream websites on the Internet that smear the reputation of my favorite car.

'XRV8' means eXperimental Rambler Vee 8 = this is a true experiment because there are so few examples of highly modified Rambler V8 engines, there is no believable statistical truth to say 'the Rambler V8 can be made into a powerful high performance engine'.

Putting my best AMC combination foot forward, Gremlin gives Rambler V8 best power to weight ratio possible in a stock AMC chassis car.

Here is a crank gallery pic of the 327 RV8 engine that is currently in the car (this is a '66 solid main 4bbl 327 block)



I put 'my signature' on this block and 90% of all casting flashes and blobs of unnecessary iron are removed... notice the front fifties style engine mount bosses are gone... all said and done; untold hours of work to save about three pounds... somewhat fiendish, but I enjoy taking my time detailing all the factory 'fast build' castings

The crank is tediously wet sanded... ? yeah... mainly to deburr all sharp edges around the rod journals -where the factory machine work blends into the stock forging... one thing led to another and it's all smooth to touch (everywhere)

On this engine build, I used a Lysle 'glaze breaker' cylinder hone (slow rhythmic technique to get 'horizontal diamonds' bore finish quality)  Hasting's cast iron rings on stock 4bbl pistons and rods, 'straight oil' only to break in the rings and oil spurt rod bearings. Once I became satisfied the rings were 'seated', I swapped out the oil spurt rod bearings with Sealed Power 'vintage' 2230CP non-oil spurt rod bearings to keep more oil in the rod bearing when running the engine in it's higher rpm ranges. Then I switched to using multi-viscosity anti-friction type oil. I added moly, and I run the new STP for it's zinc content. Here's a pic of my 'cleaned up' stock 4" bore cylinders:



I believe this plan (as recommended by Shell Oil for Lycoming engine break in) gave me very good ring seal because there is only a slight trace of oil around the oil filler cap whenever I run it hard. (has no pcv system with independent runner intake manifold)

The stock valve size heads on this 327 XRV8 engine are pocket ported; the intake port valve guide inserts are cut down and what's left is tapered into cone shapes, all sharp edges rolled/blended... most of the work on this pair of heads is on the exhaust side; moderate throat cuts but still leaving a venturi shape, end port head bolt protrusions removed to make those walls flat, center port top bolt lumps removed entirely (set screws inserted and voids braze filled as shown on Google+) & exhaust port outlets are gasket matched to the custom fabricated headers > 1 5/8" I.D. end tubes, 2 1/16" I.D. center tubes ...all valve seats have three angle cuts expand seats to largest acceptable diameter, to narrow the seats and to improve low lift flow...

(the stock Rambler V8 valve sizes are the same as AMC/Jeep 4.0 inline six & interestingly enough, both engines flow about 40 CID per cylinder, but the RV8 has a slightly longer rod for more piston dwell time at TDC...)



(above) -the end port head bolt protrusion is easy to get to with regular die grinder type bits and 'goes away' rather easily to smooth out that side wall of those ports



This pair of heads was an experiment to test the process I used to get rid of the center siamesed exhaust port top bolt lumps... as shown on the Google+ picture album pages: https://plus.google.com/106358430530058382730/posts/XnXmw3drKdj
or https://plus.google.com/u/0/106358430530058382730/posts/p/pub

...as a scientific experiment, the guinea pig area to be brazed has to be heated to over 840 degrees so they were placed on a DIY firepit to gently bring the temp up to about 500, and using oxy-propane torch the general brazing rod filler metal is added, then the heads were given a slow cool down by placing them on in a cooler location on the fire pit & letting the pit burn out completely (about twelve hours slow cool down)

The potential error is a cracked head, and this would plausibly be caused by embrittlement of the iron around the brazed area that was taken up to about 1000 degrees to perform the filler metal patch (this might cause a change of hardness to the iron and make it less ductile around the area)

The good news is that 1) the heads did not crack after the initial process 2) the resulting repaired area is easy to finish by grinding 3) this pair of heads show no evidence of malfunction caused by the brazing process after about three years of active operation.

This is only one example though, and in no case does one example ever form a statistical truth; a true scientist will need many examples in order to verify the initial result with believable data having a ratio of 60/40 etc to prove the outcome of the experiment is predictable and not based on specious speculation.



As supplied from the factory, Rambler V8 end port exhaust ports have minor variations to the shape of the outlets.

But the private individual can take their time to detail the imperfections and produce a more refined product using 'slow build techniques' (a component part of 'blueprinting' - a word that was once commonly used in hot rod jargon in that saying 'balanced and blueprinted')



(above) so what we see here is basically 'finishing the high speed factory product with slow build techniques' = these exhaust ports are only slightly more than 'cleaned up' to get rid of manufacturing imperfections





again, stock port compared to 327 XRV8's simple ported exhaust outlet/gasket matched to header:





For this 327's heads, I was able to make backcuts on all the stock valves, by chucking them in a drill press and DIY with an assortment of grinding tools -for improved low lift flow...

Making a longer story much shorter, this engine was put back in the car as a test monkey to sort out all the other engine swap issues that could possibly occur.

I think I did a good job; there are no 'banging/rubbing/clunking sounds' = everything is well isolated from the chassis... but this also must pass the test of time

There is no way the Rambler V8 engine can sit straight in the Gremlin engine compartment & use the stock mid-sixties car type exhaust manifolds.

'56'-'67 Rambler V8 has a 10" deck height so the block and heads are physically taller and wider than '66-'91 AMV8 (9.994"? see http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/rich_text_1.html = if you have more specs lemme know & I'll add them to the page) so custom headers, custom oil pan (and modded oil pickup tube) and custom engine mounts are needed...

The custom header's center pipe on the driver side is very close to the steering shaft but there is no nagging annoyance (can't feel it if it ever does rub anyway... but this is one more reason why I decided to try/test an engine torque strap)

installing or getting a wrench on the driver side rear header flange bolt is 'my most hated fastener' on this car because it's so cramped for space there and I have to work 'blind'/can't see it & I can only turn the bolt in small increments



'The problem' with the passenger side header is how to leave enough room around the starter motor (the AM RV8s came with a big fat GM/Delco type starter) so space is at a premium between the starter and the strut rod bracket.

I wound up having to trim a chunk off the strut rod bracket in order to move the center tube on the passenger side header so the starter will drop out from underneath like it should (this would be easier if I could afford a mini-starter... but I wanted to prove to myself the big starter will 'work right' regardless (Confession; my Mom had a heartattack while I was in the middle of making the passenger side header... so it's not quite as beautiful as the driver side/I was very distracted in my thinking so I just completed the task with less devotion to visual appearance...)



-so there's only 1/4" clearance there -the pass side header basically surrounds the strut rod bushing which is a judgment call not to overheat the rubber & to make sure the big adjustment nuts are still serviceable...

The flipside concerning need for trans oil cooler is simply to avoid heat transfer from exhaust to transmission, so my custom header design stays away from the transmission as much as possible, to help keep the trans 'cool' (and that goes for the filler tube which is especially prone to this problem)

...the fittings for the pressure side trans line to radiator cooler is my second most hated fastener on this car (gotta have skinny hands and 'work blind'/be extra patient to service that location)

  

and these pics partly show how to make the Shahan SS AMX style drop out crossmember mod; this mod only took me about 3 hours to 'fab it in' > comparatively easy to most other custom work to make this RV8 into later AMC small chassis car engine swap happen...

*there is no evidence of weakness caused by the drop out crossmember mod... 'done right' > I bought the highest grade bolts and nylock nuts etc (5/8" wrench size) moreover, AMC made the unibody front frame so heavy duty (it's three layers of 1/8" steel all spot welded together? > like steel plywood!) but the ease of servicing the crank gallery is well worth the effort (compared to the Chilton's way) ...I can pop the pan and check my rod bearings in about 30 minutes! (better safe than sorry... takes all the worry out of 'racing the engine'/reving it up to 5000+ when I know my rod bearings are looking good)



It brings back good memories to see this pic because at this point the Gremlin was basically just an engine test stand in order to try the engine.

Above pic also shows experimental 'low mount' alternator brackets which adapt a '75 Gremlin alternator to the '65 Rambler V8 dual action fuel pump mounting location... to work with XRV8 Gremlin's 72 GPH 5 PSI electric fuel pump mounted low behind right rear wheel with fabricated gravel shield.

 


Edited by amcenthusiast - Sep/06/2017 at 8:46am
Link to XRV8 Race Parts website: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/index.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 304-dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/08/2016 at 11:10am
This is the link

www.youtube.com/embed/EdrSWGe6iM0


Edited by 304-dude - Jan/08/2016 at 11:13am
71 Javelin SST body
390 69 crank, 70 block & heads
NASCAR SB2 rods & pistons
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50/50 Ford-AMC Suspension
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BrotherBamc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/08/2016 at 2:38pm
Cool
Brought a big smile to my face!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/08/2016 at 5:38pm
Love it!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jav343 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/08/2016 at 7:49pm
Thanks for brightening my evening. Love a healthy sounding V8!
2000 Dodge Durango SLT 4.7L, 1997 Jeep Wrangler 4.0L, 1968 AMC Javelin 5.6L 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amcenthusiast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/08/2016 at 8:11pm
Thanks AMC Forum members for your kind and generous comments.

I was hoping y'all might search 'XRV8 Gremlin' & find the other picture albums also... which I've been putting together (on Google+) since I messed up the first 'member project' attempt here on this forum...

Pardon the interruption to the thread but after I cleaned up, painted and installed a stock '79 Concord .94" front sway bar purchased from "Fantastic hike in AMC Rambler junkyard" (picture album shown on the Google+ pages) I chose this 'dead space' in this thread to post the pics showing the rear sway bar kit

Addco .75" sway bar kit parts:



We may notice how the 'arms' of the bar are made to apparently curve around AMC AMX Torque Links (if so equipped)



So the 'override' frame mounted Addco rear sway bar adds about nine lbs of 'sprung weight' to the rear of the car.

IMO; the Addco bar is well engineered 1) bar is frame mounted not to increase unsprung weight 2) bar adds it's weight forward of the rear axle, closer to the car's center of gravity 3) the leaf spring clamps effectually increase the leaf spring rate as well, to enhance leaf spring resistance to 'wheel hop' (adding clamps to the leaf spring is in itself a road racer mod to stiffen/tune a leaf spring) 4) notice the Addco bar's leaf spring clamp aligns with geometry of the shock mount plate to resist torsional axle rotation (aka 'wheel tramp')

IMO; the Addco install kit 'needs a little help'/creative DIY engineering to make it fit 'correctly' 1) car needs to set up on jackstands in such a way that the springs duplicate actual poise of car 'at rest' 2) My bar is trial fitted but the flat plates that go under the pivot locations should be welded on to the frame in order to prevent 'rip out' (initially there to model space for tailpipes) 3) I'd say to measure & 'square up' your rear suspension first -make distance from axle to bottom out bushings equal, then use a level and hold the bar with it's arms horizontal/parallel to the leaf spring, mark the locations for frame mounts then drill for the u-bolt = we do not want any left or right pre-load on a street car, nor should the bar be used as a spring to hold the car level (if the car 'sits crooked' that's another issue that needs to be resolved on it's own)
 



I gained access to use a very good Canon PowerShot camera so I can take better pictures and make much better videos ...once I learn to use it of course...   




Edited by amcenthusiast - May/24/2017 at 7:36am
Link to XRV8 Race Parts website: http://amcramblermarlin.1colony.com/index.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 304-dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/08/2016 at 8:42pm
Great! I tried to post the link as a in frame video, but can't do so... something broken with this site. Even though I am able to preview, once I hit OK, bam dead in the water. 

Looking forwardcto seeing more, as I am one to go outside the box. Some enjoy what I have shared and some scratch their heads. But I am not doing what I do with my car to please anyone but myself. It just so happens some enjoy it as well.

You must get a new wind screen for your XR Gremlin... cops don't like that, and will draw attention. Hehehehejehehe!

Yep, it was a nice trip around the block... reminds me of back when I would ride shotgun with my cousin in his 69 Firebird with a 400cui small block. His town has similarity to yours.
71 Javelin SST body
390 69 crank, 70 block & heads
NASCAR SB2 rods & pistons
78 Jeep TH400 w/ 2.76 Low
50/50 Ford-AMC Suspension
79 F150 rear & 8.8 axles
Ford Racing 3.25 gears & 9" /w Detroit locker
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amcenthusiast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/08/2016 at 8:43pm
Edited this comment to reduce the 'dead area' in this thread after I decided to delete the video.


Edited by amcenthusiast - Feb/23/2016 at 10:54pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kapptaink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/09/2016 at 5:40pm
Was that a Darth Vader snow pile about 2:00 minutes in?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GreggR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/09/2016 at 6:25pm
Anyone else search pictures...



...and have an "Avanti" moment...?


Skating away on the thin ice of a new day.'75 Hornet Hatchback
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