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  #1  
Old 01-05-2002, 09:01 AM
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Hey, all. After my recent purchase, I am left with a 'spare' 360 that I would like to build (from an 85' GW). I was wondering what options are out there for rebuilding, and adding performance. I know how to work on cars, but I still have no idea what different cam #'s mean. I also need to know the benefit of forged over cast pistons. What about options for the heads?

Ideally, I would like to build a strong, reliable motor that I can use in town, but also for a few long-distance trips and some off-roading (not too harsh), that won't cost me an arm and a leg. I am planning on the edelbrock performance package, and the TFI upgrade. I know that the mileage won't be all that great after beefing up a motor, but that's ok with me. I am looking for ya'lls input. Thanks!

~ryan
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2002, 09:18 AM
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Lindel Lindel is offline
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Ryan, the biggest bang for the buck, will be a good camshaft. There's been a lot of debate about brands, etc.

The Edelbrock cam is a little mild for even a stock FSJ, and the Summit brand cam (the milder one, they have 2) is a good overall grind, number wise. I've installed it into a 87 GW, that was otherwise stock, and it made a big difference. I can't tell you about any wear issues with the Summit, because the car was wrecked 2 weeks afterwards.

Next on the list would be a good set of headers, and your best bets (although both are pricey) would be Edelbrock, and Doug Thorley. If you install headers, go with a decent 2.5" exhaust all the way back.
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2002, 02:15 PM
joe joe is offline
 
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by billyrb:
I also need to know the benefit of forged over cast pistons.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

None...save your money. You don't want forged pistons for a street motor. Race motor yes...street no. Forged pistons need to grow to size more than cast and you'll have a hard time getting the rings to seat. Forged pistons are for strength not longevity. As a race motor isn't intended to run for 100,000+ miles.

Look around on ebay for a book that comes up often(new printings) called "Performance American Style" It's was put out by AMC in 72 and gives you all sorts of exotic hi-po info to apply to AMC motors.
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Old 01-06-2002, 10:46 AM
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I am glad to see that I am not the only one who thinks the performer cam is too mild for a FSJ.
Actually the Performer package along with a good exhaust system (the Doug thorley system or if you don't need a cat then even just good duals)will give you what you are looking for in a good performing daily driver.
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2002, 08:20 PM
Dive 30 Dive 30 is offline
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I have the Performer package except for the Headers (Which I greatly regret not spending the extra $$) and am extremely pleased with the overall performance increase as well as the ease of installation and maintenance (so far). I am getting about 12mpg (up from 8 to 10) and the wag certainly has more oomph. I also have had no cold start problems although I still would like to upgrade to TBI eventually. The other mod that I highly recommend is the MSD ignition. I love having the aggressive starting capabilities that come from having the good spark.

I personally went with a remanufactured motor and simply swapped in the aftermarket cam and springs (which is a fairly easy task).

The only thing I would have done had I had the $$ is the roller rockers. My only concern with adding them would be if you had to check them periodically to make sure they were still in adjustment.

I hope that helps
Phil
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2002, 01:35 PM
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Joe, got the book on ebay....should be here in a few days. I have heard that PAW makes good rebuild kits for the 360.....catalog should arrive in a few more days....any thoughts? I have heard that a good 3 angle valve job does wonders....is this true? What about a 5 angle valve job? What about roller rockers? I am going at this slowly, but would like to hear other peoples likes, dislikes, and experiences, both good & bad.
~ryan
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2002, 09:41 AM
Jerk
 
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Actually rings are rings ,they seat no matter what piston they are on. Forged pistons are recommended for street performance use, although a good, cast piston will work just fine. the upshot to forged is that , they are stronger than cast in all areas and if you decide to take the engine up a notch or two from your original level of performance, you won't have to replace the cast plugs for forged ones. The edelbrock cam is intended to be a stock replacement cam but with NON polution controlled vehicles, the original amc 401 had performance equal to the 390s in the amx. the truck 401s got a way detuned version. I would definately reccomend a performer for a mild street build.If there are any doubts among you as to performanc level being inadequate for stock amc engines, BUY Desktop Dyno2000 and run the specs from a stock 360 cam, then put in the performer specs, You will notice a difference. A Cloyes true roller timing chain is, in my book, the single most required after market replacement piece for amc v8s built from 73 up. the originals were a silent type chain and will wear out or loosen in about 50k miles and LOOSE TEETH from normal wear! I've been down this road several times and have rebuilt as well as been around my dad who has rebuilt (partly and fully) many american v8s as well as several AMC 401s and 360s.
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  #8  
Old 01-28-2002, 02:22 AM
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Lindel Lindel is offline
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billyrb, PAW has a good rep on service and parts, but the best thing (IMHO), is the fact that you put the engine together your self, they don't assemble it for you (that is, unless things have changed). That way, you know the assembler, and you know who to see if something's wrong with the way it's assembled.

The downside of this, is that PAW won't assume any responsibility, or liability for the assembly of one of their engines, with good reason!!

I do plan to buy an engine come tax return time, and then rebuild the "extra", since PAW's prices are all outright, no core exchange (that's also a plus, in my book). I'll probably get an engine kit from them as well, that way I'll always have a spare engine!!

For what it's worth, I've always had good response from PAW, Summit, and Jeg's.
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  #9  
Old 01-28-2002, 08:26 AM
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Here's the current plan thus far, which will hopefully be taken care of within the next month or so:

1. edelbrock 1406 carb/3731 intake
2. edelbrock cam & valve springs
3. heads: clean, surface, 3 angle valve job, port match (gonna try the porting myself!!!!)
4. intake valley oil kit for the rear buckets

any other thoughts????

~ryan
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  #10  
Old 01-28-2002, 01:16 PM
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Are you pulling the engine out of the vehicle? If not, you need to, especially if you're going to be drilling in the lifter valley.

If you're taking the time to port the heads, get the main journals and the rod journals chamferred, and knock down all the high spots in the lifter valley, in fact, any flashing that you find, grind it down, every little bit helps.
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  #11  
Old 01-29-2002, 08:48 AM
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Yes, I'm yanking the motor. I will be joined by 3-8 IFSJA members to lend a hand taking it out this saturday at my place.

As for grinding, what grit wheel would you use to knock down the flashing (assuming the tool is a dremel)?

~ryan
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  #12  
Old 01-29-2002, 11:13 PM
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I'd use a fairly coarse wheel, to knock down the stuff quickly, you won't take enough off of the block to matter, you just want to get anything that going to inhibit any oil flow, or direct some where that you don't want it to go to. After you do the grinding on the block, and the install of the rear main bypass, take it and have the block flushed and cleaned to get ALL of the shavings out. Better safe than sorry on this one.
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  #13  
Old 01-31-2002, 08:05 AM
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Then comes paint! Anyone have the stock engine paint codes for 84' & 85'?

~ryan
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  #14  
Old 02-04-2002, 12:35 AM
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Well, we got the motor yanked....removed the front clip, too! All done in about 3.5 hours....including breaks. GOD, I love these FSJ guys!

This week will begin the tearing down process. I will start yanking off the accessories & wiring, piece by piece, and labeling / bagging everything (I'm anal like that). After that, I will remove the intake & heads. Next, I will flip the motor, remove the pan, and unbolt the main caps / remove the crank & pistons. I will then take the bare block & heads to a machine shop I have decided to use. They will inspect the block and advise me if I need to just have it honed, or bored over. Regardless, I will take it home, knock down the high spots, perform the modifications for the rear main oil bypass, then take the block back to have them do the necessary work. The heads will be dropped off, and they will disassemble them, and return them to me. I will then begin the port matching (little leary of doing it myself!). Once I feel confident with that, I will return them to the shop to have a 3 angle valve job done, and have them install all the springs & parts I buy.

Once all that is finished, I will pick up the parts, bring em' home, and put the block back on the stand. At that point, I will reinstall the crank / pistons / new rings / new bearings, etc. I will also be adding the new edelbrock cam / intake / roller timing chain / carb / and all the other parts. Then comes the real fun.....taking the other motor out of the 84' carefully & labeling / photographing each and every part, then swapping motors.

Should be a blast. Anyone who wants to give a hand is MORE THAN WELCOME TO JOIN IN! Pizza and beer for all that help!

~ryan
btw, which roller timing chains to ya'll recommend?
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  #15  
Old 02-04-2002, 04:06 AM
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The Edelbrock, and Summit Brands are both good, and so is the Cloyes, but the Cloyes is overpriced, IMO. The Summit is the best priced set, and is good quality.
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  #16  
Old 02-04-2002, 04:54 AM
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10-4. Lindel, you've been a great help thus far, and I look forward to having more of your advice in the near future.

~ryan
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