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Old 01-23-2014, 04:04 PM
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My AMC Gremlin street rod project

Hello
My brother and I just recently finished building my 1970 AMC Gremlin. He's the car expert so he basically built it for me and I helped so I could learn to do it on my own. My brother built it enough to drive and have a little fun with it.

I am looking into putting a new engine in it. I have a few offers but one peaked my interest the most. A 1985 Ford V8 302.

I'm not an expert yet and still have a lot of questions. I am wondering how much of a job an engine swap is, what parts I need, how much those parts cost, and if this is even possible.

I know some Gremlins came with a 401 in them so a 302 should theoretically fit.

I've already had people yell at me for wanting to put a large engine in there and it's not like i'm putting a powerstroke diesel in there.

Anyway, i'm excited to discuss with you guys and hope to be on here a bit.

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Old 01-23-2014, 04:12 PM
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Welcome...show us some pics of the Gremlin.....
BTW...no Gremlin came from the factory with a 401...They did come with the 304 v8, which has the same external size as the 390/401, so a lot of guys swapped them in. A Ford 302 would fit in there nicely as they are quite small compared to many v8s. You would probably have to fab up mounts. Personally, I would look for an AMC V8.....they were very strong engines
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:24 PM
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Thank you for the information. I will get out there and take some pictures.

Any reccomendations of what to photograph to make sure they provide enough information
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:34 PM
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We have a few AMC guys here on the board....I am moving your post to the basics section and changing the title slightly so they will notice it.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:49 PM
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Had a local boy years ago that put a 401 in one of those little cars. It was a real screemer. I know, i chased him one time for a few blocks, and the only way i caught him, was he stopped and didn't know i was after him. If you do that motor thing, remember that front end wasn't designed for that weight. I know, it cost him and another boy their lives when the front gave way and hit a truck. So check out the stability of some of those little cars front end components before you go to far overboard.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:03 PM
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I drove a 70 Gremlin as a daily driver for several years.I put in a 350 chevy and,turbo 400 trans..The 70 had drum brakes which weren't really adequate,so I installed spindles and disc brakes from a AMC Matador.they bolt right on to the gremlin suspension.I am sure the front suspension is adequate for a v-8,as long as it isn't worn out.I re-drilled the front rotors and rear axles to chevy bolt pattern,and ran 8" corvette rallys on it.I also radiused the rear wheel wells ,and welded electrical conduit on for flairs.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:27 PM
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You might want to PM HemiGremmi. I think he has a Gremlin with a blown SBC.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatM View Post
You might want to PM HemiGremmi. I think he has a Gremlin with a blown SBC.
He sold the Gremlin, but still, he does know a lot about them

This one raced up here in the 70s....SBC powered



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Old 01-23-2014, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62 View Post
BTW...no Gremlin came from the factory with a 401...They did come with the 304 v8, which has the same external size as the 390/401, so a lot of guys swapped them in. A Ford 302 would fit in there nicely as they are quite small compared to many v8s. You would probably have to fab up mounts. Personally, I would look for an AMC V8.....they were very strong engines
While Gremlins technically did not come from the factory with a 401 installed, there were AMC dealers such as Randall American in Mesa, Arizona, who installed the 401's in brand new Gremlins and sold them as a dealer-installed option. So yeah, you could walk into Randall, write a check and drive out in a brand new Gremlin off the showroom floor with a 401 under the hood.

If it were mine, I absolutely would hunt down a 401/4-spd and do the deed.

.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:22 PM
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Randall AMC got the support from corporate to build the 401-XR's of which only a handfull were built, but they were very quick, and could do mid 13's off the lot.. They started out as 304 V8 cars.

I would not bother with a 1985 302.. Go find the 360 or 401 out of a pre 1991 Jeep Wagoneer ( AMC old body style, not the newer Cherokee wagoneer with the Dodge V8 ). Bolt it in and have some fun.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by dwwl View Post
Had a local boy years ago that put a 401 in one of those little cars. It was a real screemer. I know, i chased him one time for a few blocks, and the only way i caught him, was he stopped and didn't know i was after him. If you do that motor thing, remember that front end wasn't designed for that weight. I know, it cost him and another boy their lives when the front gave way and hit a truck. So check out the stability of some of those little cars front end components before you go to far overboard.
That is one of my top priority thoughts when discussing engine swaps. The cross beams and suspension will need to be beefed up.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:16 PM
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Suspension was the same for 6cyl as it was for 8cyl as far as I am aware. the 304v8 that it could have come with weighs right about the same as a SBC or SBF.. If you put a Big block whatever in it, then you will need some improvements, but even a 401 AMC will weigh right about what a 304v8 does as the block is of the same pattern
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:07 AM
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We had a guy around here that raced a 401 and was called "The Average Nash". Ran mid 10.xxx's and was a killer consistent bracket car.

A forum for it:

Drag Racing - The AMC Forum - Page 1

Some entertainment video's:

http://wn.com/gremlin_x_amc_drag_racing
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:51 AM
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Back in the day I had a Gremlin X with a 6 cylinder something or other, that was so long ago. One thing I do remeber is the right rear axle splines giving up at the wheel hub flange. Stripped clean off, the car was dead in the water and left me walking.

Have a close look at the rear end if your looking to pound the pavement. You could always weld the axles to the outer flanges

2 more of my cents

TJ
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:03 PM
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You could also build your 258 six,since they were also used in Jeeps there is a fair amount of aftermarket support for them,check out this video and read the results:
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