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Old 06-14-2019, 04:53 PM
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1979 amc spirit ls swap

i bought a 1979 spirit with a 304 4 speed every thing is off the motor I don't no if it is any good I thought I would do a LS 4L60 swap in it but I cant find much info on it with this style of a car
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:55 PM
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Ugly little bastard but prob lite.....gonna have to do entire drivetrain if you wanna put some LS heat in it

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Old 06-14-2019, 04:57 PM
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Probably very close to the Hornet/Gremlin platform....Lots of info about small block Chevy swaps in them. Is an LS that much different?
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Old 06-14-2019, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62 View Post
Probably very close to the Hornet/Gremlin platform....Lots of info about small block Chevy swaps in them. Is an LS that much different?
Nope......

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Old 06-14-2019, 05:20 PM
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will have to swap out rear end cause got like 278 or 250 gears in it and the rear axle not very strong just looked a face book some one has a big block in one
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:49 PM
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Quick google search to an AMC forum, that I've never seen before, indicates that the factory rear axle width is 58.5". That is conveniently the same as a G-body. So that makes for some readily avaiable after market stuff. Depending on the mounts, the sloppy Exploder 8.8 swaps would work well also.

Good thing you found that before I. I love the 'dare to be different' builds. But I'd leave the 4L60 alone and throw in a 4L80 with a turbo
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:00 PM
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I just want a driver not after whole bunch of hp
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:21 PM
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check to see if the 304 is good first. If it's not, find a 360 or even better a 401. Both were used in Wagoneers. The 304 wasn't a bad engine and makes a good 'driver' if that's what you want.

AMC brings a very small audience but who's collectors will pay dearly for rare and original cars. and a 1979 AMC Spirit 304/ 4spd if original is a Very rare car. If you LS swap that car it goes from worth something to worth virtually nothing. It's also not an AMX variant which I think makes it even more rare, although the AMX treatment makes them look much better
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:36 PM
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Yes it is a 304 4 spd car buy the vin number oil pan is inside the car motor just sitting there
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:39 PM
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You'll have to build your engine mount frame stands and the trans crossmember, but other than that it should be a very basic swap as far as fit, can probably find a header for something else Chevy that will either fit right in or fit with a small tube modification.
You're not going to find an motor mount "swap kit" available , to have this just be a bolt-in deal....to rare, not enough market for a kit..

IIRC it is a fairly big open engine bay for a small car, much like the Fox Mustang bay.

It's a leaf spring rear, so an 8.8" Ford swap is a piece of cake. These have a surprising amount of rear tire space and large inner wheel well...a 10" rim fits with the right offset and a 295mm tire is no problem.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:16 PM
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The amc motor cost to much to rebuild and the 4 speed are week and the rear ends are not the best if a guy went with a ls you get better driving and better fuel milage
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:03 AM
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If it's just a driver, then why all the hassle? Go over the engine and drive it!


Really wish I had kept my green Gremlin. I would love to drive that now just as it was.
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:03 AM
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https://www.automobile-catalog.com/m...k_dl/1979.html

Click on above and scroll way down to the specs for 304 V8 4 speed car. The engine is apart most likely because it had issues. Maybe serious, maybe not. Try to get the 304 running without too much cost or effort if possible. Drive it for a while and see how it runs. They were never a power house engine (125 HP). Heavy engine, more than a SBC but less than a BBC. Good low end torque and didn't rev much beyond 4500 RPM. That year would have an electronic ignition that worked well. Carb was a Carter 2 barrel if I remember right. The carb will most likely need a rebuild. I had the same engine in a 1977 International Scout II. Ran well and dependable but slow.
If the 304 is junk, runs poorly or you don't like it, I would put in an aluminum block LS1 5.7L (350 rear wheel HP) from an F body GM (Camaro or Firebird) with 5 speed manual over drive trans. Try to find a donor car and get all the wire harness, computer and accessories. A local guy did this to his Spirit and it really woke it up. The Spirit already has a front end to handle a V8. The rear end will need changing if you really jump on it. Again, the rear from a donor car could work. Fabrication will be needed for engine mounts, trans mounts, drive shaft, rear end swap, Unibody frame connector/enforcements, exhaust, radiator mounts, accessory mounts, wiring, etc. If you don't have the time, tools, garage, money, skills, experience, patience, dedication, persistence etc., don't do it. This is a good sized project but doable. From your pics, the car looks in decent shape. Check for rot in the floors, trunk, rocker panels, etc. Good Luck. Let us know how it goes.

Last edited by '48 Austin; 06-15-2019 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:19 AM
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The amc motor cost so much to rebuild it the bigest problem is the oil pump in the Front cover they are a lot harder to rebuild the kit alone is over 900.00
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:28 AM
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https://ls1tech.com/forums/welcome-ls1tech-82/

Check out site above.
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