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View Ambassador of 'Pane's profile Entries: 3
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06-10-2007 08:23 PM Stupid broken leg
My leg is broke, I'm in a cast, and it's hard to get anything done. BUT since I can't do any heavy lifting, like chores, I spent some quality time getting my TH400 ready for the Rambler. I completed the component subassembly, so no I just need a speedometer mechanism (including the drive gear), and to machine my case so I can put it together.

I noticed some wierd things inside though, as I was putting the peices together. Looks like some kind of catastrophic failure at some point in this transmissions life. The forward clutch assembly was toasted, and I noticed that one of the ball valve cavities was marked up pretty good. Interesting...

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06-04-2007 09:45 PM Cleaned up shop
I didn't get anything done on the Rambler this weekend, but I got the shopped cleaned up so I have a reasonable work area to finish the motor (which is tall enough now, that I think I'll need to start planning on a hood scoop) and build my AMC bolt pattern TH400 as my back up transmission, in case I can't afford to make the stock or a 4 speed manual work. I also got a car cover for her, until I get the RV carport/paint booth cleared out enough to part her there.

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06-04-2007 09:36 PM In the last 5 years...
I'm starting this journal by covering what I've done in the last 6 years. Even though I've only had the car itself for a few weeks, I've been building this engine for nearly six years and I want to have a record, not only so others can see what I've done, but also (and mainly) so I'll have something to look back at in case I forget.

My 401 came as a bare block with two removed heads from the back of a shed in Ogden Utah in the bed of a 78 Jeep J-10 I had bought. I started my rebuild in the bed of that Jeep as it took up my entire garage. The machine work was all done by Western Engine Supply in Denver, CO. Terry at WES was also the person I bought my crankshaft from off of ebay.

Block was baked clean, jet washed, magnafluxed, bored .060 and line-honed. The crank was ground .010 on both rods and mains. The pistons are 4.250" race-track relief AMC 390 hypeuretic pistons which (according to my bad math) including the reliefs and 58cc heads should bump me to approx 12:1 theoretical compression ratio. The pistons were all matched, then the connecting rods were all matched, even the wrist pins were all matched to 0.1 gram and then the crankshaft/ harmonic balancer/ flexplate were balanced together by machining the crankshaft alone, so that any factory spec hb can be used in the future, and any flexplate or flywheel can be matched to the existing stock flexplate and used without rebalancing the entire rotating assembly.

The heads were assembled using Mellings performance valves and springs/keepers/seals. This is the work done by WES.

I assembled the short block first using clevite bearings and piston rings. Then added the heads using Victor Reinz gaskets (rebadged felpro). I used comp cams 6:1 Magnum Roller Rockers for a ford and machined them to fit my valve stems. I had CarQuest in Everett, WA machine the rocker stud bosses .22 but tapped them for Chevy rocker studs myself. I first installed a Summit K8600 cam, but shortly afterward, everybody I knew that had that cam had them all go flat at the same time. I removed the cam and installed a crane cam. Shortly after that, a few people I knew who bought crane cams had issues and it came out that crane no longer nitrided all there cams. I pulled the cam and ordered a Mellings RV spec cam and installed it, then learned that the real reason everybody and their mom was wiping cams is that the oil manufacturers reduced the amount of ZDDP in the oil to protect catalytic converters, since pretty much every car made after 1994 had a roller cam anyways. I said screw it and kept the RV cam, since that will keep dynamic compression higher up to 4000rpm anyways.

The lifters are Summit Mopar small block lifters and the pushrods are Mellings hardened units.

It has a stock intake, I want long angled runners for intake velocity, not volume, since I intend to drive this car as much as possible I'm building the engine for drivability first and tire smoking second.

The Mixer is an Impco 425, with Model E vaporizer and VFF31 cut off valve.

(Ambassador of 'Pane, as in Pro'Pane, get it?)

I bought the car a few weeks ago, with a 232 and t-96 and goofy torque tube rear suspension. Long term plans include the 401 for sure, I'll search the knowledge base to figure out what to do about trans and rear end + suspension, and I'm definitely fixing the body and shooting it with some fresh Sea foam Green. I love the classic 60s colors! I want to vinyl the top, but don't know if I want emerald green or white, and I have the original hubcaps, so I'll be watching for some stock wheels. I love the look of this car, the feel of this car, and mostly, the way old people look at it, rolling around town!

That's where I'm at pretty much for now. Im in the Military, and deploy whenever it's least convenient for me so my posting may be random, but I'm so glad I found this site. the experience archived on these pages is amazing!

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