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Unread 12-25-2001, 06:13 PM   #1
mud4me
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Keedsyville, Maryland
Posts: 223
Regrets of going with AMC 8 cyl?

After going back and forth with ideas, I have set a deadline to make a final decision by the end of December as to which engine to put in this CJ.

I started getting discouraged after looking for an AMC 360 and having no luck finding a donor vehicle that anyone is willing to sell.

I also thought about a GM 350 which I found. I went to look at it and some of the parts were missing, which I don't want to fool with missing parts.

You all still awake?????

So now I have located a donor vehicle with a 360 that runs. I am hoping to pick it up this coming weekend.

Just I need to make sure I will not have any regrets going with the AMC 360.

I know the 258 is an excellent engine. If I kept the 258 I would put some performance parts in it as well as change intake, carb, install headers, and go with a decent exaust system. If I went with a 360 I would just do a stock rebuild and peformance exaust. Trans will be a T-18, that decision is FINAL!!

If you have a choice of the 258 or 360 what would you select? I noticed many a folk have the AMC 360 in their CJ's. Anyone wish they kept the 258?

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86 CJ-7, 360, Holley Avenger, T-18, Dana 20, 4" suspension,
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Unread 12-25-2001, 10:45 PM   #2
401cj5
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mud4me,

I have a question for you -

Your handle is Mud4me which to me implies that you like Muddin and not Rock Crawling as much? If that is true then I think you should probably go with the 360 or 350 situation because of the horsepower difference over the 258.

Personally, I like to rock crawl and trail ride and avoid mud at almost all cost. I hate to clean. In my case, I left a very nice 258 setup for a 401. Thinking I wanted/needed more torque for what I like to do with my Jeep. While most Jeep engines are torque monsters the 258 is the king of them all. Arguably you can produce a little more torque out of the 401 than a 258 but when you facture in the power to weight ratios and other factures an AMC V8 of any kind cannot hold a candle to the 258. Also, forget about comparing the smaller AMC V8’s because the situation only gets worse for them. For what I like to do I should have never moved to a V8 setup of any kind. The low rpm idling on rocks that I like needs a light, strong, torque monster that a 258 provides.

For muddin and dune racing you need horsepower and not torque as much. If that is what you are into and money is not an object move away from all AMC V8's. I must state here that I am an AMC truest and will not ever put a different manufactures engine in my Jeep. That said an AMC V8 will never out perform a Chevy or Ford equivalent size engine. Plain and simple there has been too much time and R&D spent on the Ford/Chevy’s to ever build an AMC to compete.

IMHO - if you are into trail riding and rock crawling you already have the most desirable engine and if you are into muddin/duning and you want to win at either you need to change manufactures.

Jason
__________________
[COLOR=black]78 CJ-5 - 401 with Holley Projection
T-18 with 6.32 1st gear+D300
D30 frt Model 20 rear
4" Lift and Locked; 33X12.5 on 15x10

78 Wag Ltd - 360
400 Trans+Quadra-Trac with MM O/D kit
D44's frt and rear
2.5" AAL's for lift: 30.5x9.5 on stock Aluminum

79 J20 - 360
T-18 with 6.32 1st gear+D20
D44HD frt D60 rear
3" RCLift Blocks for rear; 31.50x10.50 on 16x8
8400# weight truck

80 Chero - 360 with Holley Projection
727 Trans+ 208
D44 frt Model 20 rear
4" Lift; 35x12.5 on 15x10[/COLOR]
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Unread 12-26-2001, 09:19 AM   #3
mud4me
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Posts: 223
Thanks Jason.

When this thing is done it will be too pretty to get muddy! I will get it muddy, but not on a regular basis. I was into muddin with other vehicles, but this one will have to much heart and soul into it.

No rock climbing because MD doesn't have much to offer in the way of rocks. When my busy schedule allows I would like to participate in trail riding events. And when not trail riding, it will be driven around town a little here and there on weekends.

So in that case maybe the 258 is the better choice?
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Unread 12-26-2001, 11:03 AM   #4
401cj5
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Right - I have my Jeep for the same reason you do. In that case, I would say you already have the best engine for the job.
__________________
[COLOR=black]78 CJ-5 - 401 with Holley Projection
T-18 with 6.32 1st gear+D300
D30 frt Model 20 rear
4" Lift and Locked; 33X12.5 on 15x10

78 Wag Ltd - 360
400 Trans+Quadra-Trac with MM O/D kit
D44's frt and rear
2.5" AAL's for lift: 30.5x9.5 on stock Aluminum

79 J20 - 360
T-18 with 6.32 1st gear+D20
D44HD frt D60 rear
3" RCLift Blocks for rear; 31.50x10.50 on 16x8
8400# weight truck

80 Chero - 360 with Holley Projection
727 Trans+ 208
D44 frt Model 20 rear
4" Lift; 35x12.5 on 15x10[/COLOR]
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Unread 12-26-2001, 12:13 PM   #5
ArbLockerBoy
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Posts: 78
I have to get on this thread. I have a 258 that is starting to build lower crank case pressure. I'm leaking oil everywhere and have to do something despite the fact that is still runs.

I've been accused of enjoying building my jeep more than I enjoy wheeling it. That may be true. If I have to rebuild an engine I want to build a V8. There is no romance in building a strait 6 even if it does do better on the rocks. That being said, I found a 1989 AMC 360 for $450. Will an 89 fit the same as previous years. I have a T150 BH. I can find 360s all over the place!!! it's the 401 that's hard to find. I've heard bad things about the 304 but if I have a 6.32 first and 4.11 gears shouldn't I be fine on the rocks with a 360. I will add fuel injection and headers by spring. I want to change the cam to get better torgue. I will build this engine!!

is the 360 a mistake or should I hold out for a 401? I think I would have to wait forever for a 401.

401CJ5,

if you want to sell you 401 with the projection, let me know? I bet you wont though I'm so desperate for a 401, I'd drive to Alabama to get it!

by the way. My club is building a Rock crawling course. so far we have 20 people that have promised $100 to build this and we just started 2 weeks ago. And GL will through some money in too. Cool Hey!!
http://www.2trackmindoffroadclub.rockcrawler.com/
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http://www.2trackmindoffroadclub.rockcrawler.com/
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Unread 12-26-2001, 12:54 PM   #6
401cj5
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Posts: 66
Arb,

Sorry I have plans for my 401. Well, I will sell it but it is pricey. I will let it go for $4500. So now that I have knocked your socks off here is what I plan to do. My daily driver is a 78 Jeep Wagoneer with a 360 4-barrel, almost worn out. I am going to take the 401 out of my CJ and move it to the Wagoneer and then put this 258 back in my CJ like it should be. This way I get the best of both worlds. Then with the worn out 360 I will drop back 10 yards and punt.

As far as 401 vs. 360 there is a world of difference in my opinion. The 401 is stronger, steel crank and other odds and ends. Also, it puts out better numbers. If you can find one and the price is right always opt for the 401 over the 360.

Oh Yeah, that price includes everything from the bellhousing forward.

engine - complete
intake
injection
headers
the whole deal

Jason
__________________
[COLOR=black]78 CJ-5 - 401 with Holley Projection
T-18 with 6.32 1st gear+D300
D30 frt Model 20 rear
4" Lift and Locked; 33X12.5 on 15x10

78 Wag Ltd - 360
400 Trans+Quadra-Trac with MM O/D kit
D44's frt and rear
2.5" AAL's for lift: 30.5x9.5 on stock Aluminum

79 J20 - 360
T-18 with 6.32 1st gear+D20
D44HD frt D60 rear
3" RCLift Blocks for rear; 31.50x10.50 on 16x8
8400# weight truck

80 Chero - 360 with Holley Projection
727 Trans+ 208
D44 frt Model 20 rear
4" Lift; 35x12.5 on 15x10[/COLOR]
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Unread 12-26-2001, 01:37 PM   #7
ArbLockerBoy
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Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Posts: 78
your price doesn't suprise me. I found a 401 for $100 in virginia missing the intake manifold and flywheel and other parts. I estimate the cost to rebuild it with fuel injection and headers to be around $4500. In the end, $4,500 is probably what It will cost me but you had all the fun building it. besides, I don't have $4500

The 360 I found foir $450 has 90,000 miles and runs good. it comes with a 3,000 mile warranty. I could just drop it in, add exaust and a used radiator and run with it. later I could add the fuel injection. Then in a year change the cam to give more torgue or just rebuild the thing. I like this better than building the 401 cause it doesn't cost so much upfront money. I've been warned about the 304 but told the 360 has much better torgue. I guess it still doesn't compare to the 258
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http://www.2trackmindoffroadclub.rockcrawler.com/
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Unread 12-26-2001, 03:04 PM   #8
401cj5
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Posts: 66
Arb,

If your current 258 is worn-out and stock you are going to notice a huge difference going to the 360. A 258 is a torque monster but you do need to modify it to make it really run. The 360 is more of an out of the box solution. Also like you said you can run it as a work in process. I think you will be pleased with the 360. All I was saying is that the 258 will do all the other engines will do but it is lighter, stronger, and easier to work on. At or below 1500 rpm's nothing can touch the 258 when sticking with an AMC.

To me the 401 itself is not as difficult as finding a 401 flywheel. That is the real holy grail of my setup. That part alone was $225. In my case I found the flywheel first and then I went after the engine.

Jason
__________________
[COLOR=black]78 CJ-5 - 401 with Holley Projection
T-18 with 6.32 1st gear+D300
D30 frt Model 20 rear
4" Lift and Locked; 33X12.5 on 15x10

78 Wag Ltd - 360
400 Trans+Quadra-Trac with MM O/D kit
D44's frt and rear
2.5" AAL's for lift: 30.5x9.5 on stock Aluminum

79 J20 - 360
T-18 with 6.32 1st gear+D20
D44HD frt D60 rear
3" RCLift Blocks for rear; 31.50x10.50 on 16x8
8400# weight truck

80 Chero - 360 with Holley Projection
727 Trans+ 208
D44 frt Model 20 rear
4" Lift; 35x12.5 on 15x10[/COLOR]
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Unread 12-26-2001, 06:15 PM   #9
mud4me
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Location: Keedsyville, Maryland
Posts: 223
See I am like Arb. I like the "romamnce" that comes out of building this damn thing!

I don't know why I can't make up my damn mind. I'm driving myself up the wall!
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Unread 12-26-2001, 07:30 PM   #10
Darko
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I wish I could find a damn 401 6.6L monster. thats what I want in my Jeep. I understand swapping a 258 for a 360 or 401, but not a 304. You couldn't pay me to swap a 258 for a 304. 401CJ5 Couldn't you of just used a 304 flywheel and got it rebalanced for a 401? Or is it a different flywheel altogether?
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Unread 12-26-2001, 11:31 PM   #11
401cj5
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Darko,

I think you are right. I could have done that but.... when I was building my Jeep up I had a 258 I was happy with, then came the flywheel. In my case, that is what started the 401 fever. So a bought a flywheel first and then the engine came later. To the best of my knowledge I think the flywheels look the same for a 290, 304, 360, 390, or 401 engine. That said someone should be able the rebalance one but I did not go down that path.

Jason
__________________
[COLOR=black]78 CJ-5 - 401 with Holley Projection
T-18 with 6.32 1st gear+D300
D30 frt Model 20 rear
4" Lift and Locked; 33X12.5 on 15x10

78 Wag Ltd - 360
400 Trans+Quadra-Trac with MM O/D kit
D44's frt and rear
2.5" AAL's for lift: 30.5x9.5 on stock Aluminum

79 J20 - 360
T-18 with 6.32 1st gear+D20
D44HD frt D60 rear
3" RCLift Blocks for rear; 31.50x10.50 on 16x8
8400# weight truck

80 Chero - 360 with Holley Projection
727 Trans+ 208
D44 frt Model 20 rear
4" Lift; 35x12.5 on 15x10[/COLOR]
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Unread 12-27-2001, 11:06 AM   #12
ArbLockerBoy
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Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Posts: 78
if anyone is interested I know of a 390 in Windsor that is ready to go. The guy has 3 401s that he wont sell.

Does anyone have any information on a 390. I've heard it's the same as a 360 bored over. Does that mean it is production or rebuilt?

I'm waiting on a call from CO. A junk yard in Flint has located one in CO and I'm waiting for a price. Rebuilding that 401 just costs too much!! But If I don't mind waiting a year or 2 that might be ok

Ummm What to do

Mud4me,
I've been looking at the specs (stock) for the line of AMC engines and if your willing to build the engine, I think ANY AMC V8 will do great. Including the 304 but you definetly have to build that one. I've driven a stock scrambler (grears were stock) with a 4bbl 304. I really liked it!! I did some crawling and I thought it did fine. I would have liked higher gears. From that experience, I don't understand why people don't like the 304.

Lets face it, it's a guy thing. I just want a V8. If I can't have the biggest, 401, Then I will build the heck out of a 360. But I just have to do it. Further, none of this jeep building makes sence but I love to do it anyway. Why start being logical when it comes to the engine. You know If I pull up to your 258 with a jeep that has a great rumble you'll regret not going with a V8 yourself. at least that's the way I am
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http://www.2trackmindoffroadclub.rockcrawler.com/
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Unread 12-27-2001, 11:32 AM   #13
ArbLockerBoy
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401cj5,

Where did you get the flywheel? you said it was $2??. That beats my $400.
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http://www.2trackmindoffroadclub.rockcrawler.com/
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Unread 12-27-2001, 12:43 PM   #14
401cj5
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Location: Birmingham, AL USA
Posts: 66
Arb,

a couple things

In my experience I had more complements on the sound of my Jeep when I had the 258. I am running the same exhaust setup that I had back then. Also, I think it means something when your 258 can go anywhere do anything that the big v8 can do.

As far as the 390 goes to my knowledge it was never put in a Jeep. It is of the same family as the others, externally identical, but it was designed for Horsepower not torque. It has the strength of the 401 but thicker cylinder walls. It is a very rare bird. AMC put these in the AMX muscle cars. If you want a flying machine of the AMC family this is your engine. However, you will have the same problem building it as with a 401, rare parts and expensive. A 390 is actually rarer than a 401. In any case, I am splitting hairs. Basically, it is an expensive setup also.

As for the flywheel on the 401 - I got is from Off-Road Connection in Birmingham, AL. You need to ask for Keith if you call them. Their number is:

(205)841-2493

I am told they are also part owners of:
www.tellico4x4.com

I bought my flywheel about six or seven years ago but I still can't believe they are that expensive. One other thing, I was told about a year ago that there is a Jeep shop up in Huntsville, AL that had several. If you need me to track those down let me know.

Jason
__________________
[COLOR=black]78 CJ-5 - 401 with Holley Projection
T-18 with 6.32 1st gear+D300
D30 frt Model 20 rear
4" Lift and Locked; 33X12.5 on 15x10

78 Wag Ltd - 360
400 Trans+Quadra-Trac with MM O/D kit
D44's frt and rear
2.5" AAL's for lift: 30.5x9.5 on stock Aluminum

79 J20 - 360
T-18 with 6.32 1st gear+D20
D44HD frt D60 rear
3" RCLift Blocks for rear; 31.50x10.50 on 16x8
8400# weight truck

80 Chero - 360 with Holley Projection
727 Trans+ 208
D44 frt Model 20 rear
4" Lift; 35x12.5 on 15x10[/COLOR]
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Unread 12-27-2001, 07:04 PM   #15
Darko
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Location: Michigan
Posts: 258
Arb,

If you find a V8 for cheap that you don't want. Let me Know.

I am starting to think about swapping in a Chevy 350. I wouldn't mind putting a automatic in my Jeep, because when I go V8 I would need to change my transmission. If I go with a Chevy 350, a Turbo 400 trans, and a Dana 300 T-case, other than the motor mounts and Dana 300 adapter, is there anything else I would need. I can find Chevy 350's everywhere, and I've heard they will kill any of the AMC V8's. I can Find a LT1 out of a corvette with the computer for the EFI. Would this be a wise choice, or should I continue a hunt for a 401?
__________________
Found a 85 CJ7 tub in good shape with
minimal rust. The resto continues....
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