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Old 10-25-2006, 09:54 PM
Hammer N's Avatar
Hammer N Hammer N is offline
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Join Date: Oct 25, 2006
Location: Eugene Oregon
Posts: 17
73 wagoneer custom project

Hi All, new to the jeep forum here. Just bought a 73 wagoneer custom today for $250.00. It ran pretty good on the test drive, in and out of 4wd, started, no smoke. It has 95k on the odometer. Body is perfect, all original. taking it home it ran for 3 blocks and died, wouldn't turn over for anything, jumped it etc. It's at the shop now for a diagnosis. It has a 360 acording to the vin code. The guy that I bought it from thought it was a 401. It has an atomatic transmission and a manual transfer case so I am assuming it's not a quadratrac. It has 2h 4h N 4L. I'm new to the fsj world. Used to have a 71 cj5 but this is totally different. I'm looking to rebuild the motor, 95k on the odometer, lift it and turn it into a project for me and my sons to work on for a fishing/ off roading rig. I want to make it solid and reliable. Any input on the 360 and the availablity/location of parts would be appreciated. Also who makes a solid lift kit with steering etc. Another question is, can I bolt a 401 up the the th400 that came with the 360?, Or another motor conversion? Any help would be appreciated. hammer N
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Old 10-26-2006, 12:21 AM
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babywag babywag is offline
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Join Date: Jun 08, 2005
Location: Land of froot loops and cukcoo-nuts, CA
Posts: 9,562
Welcome, sounds like a deal???

AMC engines have the size cast right into the block, look under the motor mounts on the side.
You'll see an upside down 401 or 360.
Far as a different engine, anything will fit the hole.
Swapping transmissions, transfer cases, exhaust, motor mounts, driveshaft modifications, etc. etc. etc.
Usually makes swapping not worth it, unless money isn't an object.
An AMC 401 will bolt right in w/ no modifications.

You should have a Dana 30 front axle, and a Dana 44 rear axle.
Transfer case should be a Dana20.
Transmission should be a TH400 w/ an adapter plate.

Only 2 places make lift kits.
BJ's Offroad, and Hell Creek Suspension (eBay) .

Many things can be done to make it more reliable.

Parts are mostly still available, what you're looking for, dictates where to go/look.
They can usually be found w/o too much trouble.

I have a '73, if you want some additional info just ask.
So far I have upgraded the wiring w/ a complete 1979 wagoneer harness.
Upgraded the axles w/ 1977 Dana 44's w/ disc brakes.
Engine was replaced with a strong '79 360 and DuraSpark ignition.
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:08 AM
Hammer N's Avatar
Hammer N Hammer N is offline
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Join Date: Oct 25, 2006
Location: Eugene Oregon
Posts: 17
Thanks for the info. That all sounds very encouraging. I was wondering about the front axle. A friend of mine is pretty into his tj and was hoping that I had dana 44s front and rear. I don't know a whole lot about axles myself but I have a feeling that my learning curve will be very steep.
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Old 10-26-2006, 08:37 AM
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J4GRAND J4GRAND is offline
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Join Date: Apr 09, 2000
Location: Valparaiso, IN, USA
Posts: 5,931
taking it home it ran for 3 blocks and died, wouldn't turn over for anything, jumped it etc.
The engine wouldn't crank at all or wouldn't fire? If it cranked and wouldn't fire, I would suspect the breaker points to be the culprit. I had points in my J4000 and those bass-turds would constantly come out of adjustment or burn out. I replaced the points with a Pertronix electronic ignition conversion kit a long time ago and have never had an ignition issue since.
Patrick V.
73 J4000 "The $LUT" 360 V8 bored .040 over Edelbrock 2131 1407 4V carb K8600 cam Dual Flowmaster 40 mufflers TH400 QT 3.73 Dana 44s
78 Cherokee Chief WT "Old Blue" 360 V8 4V TH400 QT
05 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.7 V6 5 speed automatic with new QT
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:53 PM
Hammer N's Avatar
Hammer N Hammer N is offline
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Join Date: Oct 25, 2006
Location: Eugene Oregon
Posts: 17
It wouldn't turn over, even with a jump. The starter was putting off a little smoke. I'm hoping that the starter just died on me. We started it probably ten times in an hour or so. I talked to my mechanic toay and he had turned the motor over by hand so it's not locked up. Hopefully they'll be able to get to it tomorrow. It was firing right up when it turned over. Running a little rough and missing here and there, but it was starting without trouble. It's been sitting for 8 months and was recently run completely out of gas on a test drive. I'm assuming that it has plenty of gunk in the fuel system. Hoping that's part of the rough running issue. I found the old cap and rotor in the back, no points or a box for them though, that could be an issue.
I have a few more general question for you guys. I understand that the 401 motors have a low oil pressure problem. Does the 360 have the same problem? As I understand it, the only difference between the two motors is the heads. I read somewhere that the oil pump housing is aluminum and wears out inside causing a lag in oil presure build up when rpms increase rapidly and very low oil pressure at idle. Am I anywhere close with that?
Also, what is the life span on the TH400 tranny? I know it depends on maintenance, thrashing etc. The fluid looks new and wasn't burnt smelling or anything. Do the torque converters hold up for 100k or more?
Sorry about the long post. Just trying to get a handle on what I'm in for here. Best thing about the project so far- When I told my wife about it, she started dancing around, clapping her hands and grinning from ear to ear.
Thanks for the help, this is a great forum. hammer N
73 Wagoneer Custom-project
99.5 F350 Crew Cab w/lightly modded and chipped powerstroke
03 Subaru forester"The Dumpster"-Wife's Car

Last edited by Hammer N : 10-26-2006 at 10:06 PM.
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