AMC 360 Build

wjtstudios

1985 CJ 8
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Rochester
State
Mi
#21
Yes, I think the NV3550 has a slightly lower 1st gear, but not enough to be noticeable. Either trans is fine, the AX15's are probably more plentiful. You do want to stay away from the early AX15's with the internal slave cylinder. I cannot recall the year where it changed to an external, but Novak has a pretty good web site with a lot of info. I actually have one of each....the NV3550 in my Scrambler and an AX15 for a Willys wagon project.

One nice thing about these transmissions are that the first 4 gear ratios are very similar to the T-176. So very little difference in driveability except for the OD. (And I always like the T-176 gear ratio spreads.)
Yeah Novak is great. I was doing a lot of reading last night there. I think the AX is the way to go. Just need to save up a bit more for one.
 

wjtstudios

1985 CJ 8
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Rochester
State
Mi
#22
With AX15, I am assuming that I will need to rebuild the cross member/skid plate?? What has everyone done with that?
 

7jeeps7kings

Legacy Registered User
City
right near the lake
State
OH
#23
is anyone running 5th gear in their jeeps and whats are your setup (other then stock). My worries changing over to a NV4500 (or any 5 speed) would be spending all that money on a 5 speed (which the NV4500 will handle almost anything you throw at it especially with the upgrades/ updates to it. it came in different vehicle from different manufactures ex: 6bt cummins and dodge v10 and a chevy big block infront of it) and being able to actually use 5th gear.

Im running d60's 488 gears, 39.5 TLS, AMC 360, and a 6:1 T-18/ 20 in a cj7 and it seems like a great setup for all around usage for me. A buddy of mine with a nv4500 and similar setup to my jeep... never used 5th gear in his nv4500 or he did not stay in 5th gear very long before having to shift back to 4th. And yes my cj7 with the above drivetrain does see the freeway and no it is not screaming and yes it does 75-80MPH no problem and straight as an arrow. and yes it does drink the gas. I have another friend, with a 4bt/ NV4500, dana 300, stock axles 354 gears, and 32 inch tires drives it and trail rides it everywhere and uses 5th gear all the time. and last I talked to him he was thinking of dropping down to 273 gears to see what it would run like... "setup and purpose is everything." Also have a buddy with a completely stock cj5 258 and he added a NV4500 and it ran great. expensive upgrade for stock vehicle IMO but it worked. I also love the t-176/300 combo. ran this setup behind the 360 before the t-18/20. but at that time it was 354 gears stock axles/ 32" BFG at's then 456 stock axles/ 36" buckshots and factory/ tired AMC 360.

I'm a love/ hate kind of guy with the AMC v-8's. Stock they are great and reliable but are HP dogs but torque kings for the rpm's and they are quick easy bolt in for power in a jeep cj. push any power to them over stock and thats when the problems start in my experience. I know guys are going to jump all over this... and tell there story about band camp... But I have a mild built amc v-8 and have blown the front distributor gear, wiped the mechanical fuel pump cam gear, blow the oil pump, and replaced my front time chain cover, replaced lifters, replaced cams on separate occasions (maybe i just don't know what I'm doing? sounds like it). my motor is nothing crazy started with points distributor, mild eldebrock cam (they offered three when I built: stock, mild, and wilder), performer intake, eldebrock carb (600), my heads are decked/ rebuilt (can't remember how much but more then just a surface cleaning), and started with a complete gone through rebuilt short block, and headers with side exhaust. best upgrade was the pro billet msd distributor woke that motor up with the above items. smoked one summit cam and two eldebrock cams. So far the crane cam is holding strong. long story short cam walk and new parts not persicion or matching... Ive learned a lot... lol but not lol.

Since all my problems with my AMC V8 and finding bulltear which I highly recommend reading their AMC V8 builds/ advice. not taking away from anything said here or anyone they are just a great resource. AMC V8's are balanced motors and they need to be built right. If I end up building my 401 (which AMC's are way harder to build and way more expensive to build then a SBC) this is my new game plan and not in any order: hoping my block only needs .30 bore or just a honing job, blue print and balanced motor, factory AMC 401 cam if my donor is in good shape or summit or crane cam, having the oil passages added/fixed (the valley pan line from front to back, opening up the block cam oiler near the timing chain, and the two oil ports above the rear crank), HD balltear timing cover, matching set oil pump gears, matching set distributor gear and cam gear, ported polished factory heads or eldebrock aluminum heads (have to figure out price/ performance), torque eldebrock manifold (recommended for 360, 390, 401), electronic pro billet msd distributor, stand alone tbi, larger canton oil pan, patriot short headers to dual exhaust, 4 core radiator, m.o.r.e. bullet proof mounts. price that out and your around $7-10K. I think i have around $5-6K in my 360 and that does not include the repairs and upgraded psc steering pump, mean green alt/ starter.

The purist in me wants to build the 401 but the smarter not harder mindset wants me to drop and LS or Carb powered SBC. Not trying to poke the jeep purist bear or AMC avengers... This is my experience with the AMC V8. Im not trying to talk negative. there are a lot of positives to the amc V-8

https://www.hotrod.com/articles/amc-brute-engines/

https://www.hotrod.com/articles/amc-401-build/

http://www.bulltear.com/forums/showthread.php?18219-TWO-AMC-MOTOR-BUILD-EXAMPLES
 
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wjtstudios

1985 CJ 8
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Rochester
State
Mi
#24
For almost every reason listed above, I think I am going to have Jerry Tucker from Jerry Tucker Performance, that did Adam H's Builds for his engines, take care of that portion of the build for me. He specializes in AMC and they are truly a work of art when they are done. Thank you very much for all that information listed above. For my build, I am going to be running 33s, on Dana 44s with 4:10s and ARBs, AX15 probably from Novak, and a Dana300 TC. At least that is plan for now. I have a few more months of planning and budgeting, but I am getting closer.
 

cw05

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Augusta
State
GA
#25
For almost every reason listed above, I think I am going to have Jerry Tucker from Jerry Tucker Performance, that did Adam H's Builds for his engines, take care of that portion of the build for me. He specializes in AMC and they are truly a work of art when they are done. Thank you very much for all that information listed above. For my build, I am going to be running 33s, on Dana 44s with 4:10s and ARBs, AX15 probably from Novak, and a Dana300 TC. At least that is plan for now. I have a few more months of planning and budgeting, but I am getting closer.
Just a word of advice, make sure you are clear with Jerry about your cam choice. I asked for a 'mild' hydraulic flat tappet with peak torque at low RPM and he put a Comp 292H in that is way too big. He does however build a great motor and has tons of AMC V8 experience.
 

wjtstudios

1985 CJ 8
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Rochester
State
Mi
#26
Just a word of advice, make sure you are clear with Jerry about your cam choice. I asked for a 'mild' hydraulic flat tappet with peak torque at low RPM and he put a Comp 292H in that is way too big. He does however build a great motor and has tons of AMC V8 experience.
Thank you, I will. We did talk about that at length. Once I get the final specs selected with him, I'll post it up and make sure its not going to be too hot.
 
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