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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-16-2019 02:02 PM
1953bigblock I might be better off going with a 318 magnum and 500 over drive I have done a 360 magnum and a 518 overdrive before made my own wire harness for that one
06-16-2019 06:12 AM
'48 Austin See pics. Here's my LS1 from 2000 F Body With a Tremec 5 speed in a '48 Austin A40, that I'm finishing up. Small car and lots of challenges. I narrowed an aftermarket Mustang II IFS 8 3/8" and spaced the water pump forward 1.5" so I could move accessories inboard to clear tilt nose with inner fender wells. It all fits with AC, EPS, firewall mounted PB, and hydraulic clutch with fire wall mounted master cylinder. The rear is now a narrowed Ford 8.8 Limited slip with triangulated 4 link and coil overs. The frame is completely hand made and the only body panels untouched is the roof skin and the trunk skin. Lots of work. With the tilt nose it's as easy to work on as a dragster. Can't wait to drive it. This is my retirement project soon to be finished. This car is only 100" wheel base and is smaller and narrower up front than your AMC Spirit. Have fun.
06-16-2019 05:23 AM
'48 Austin

Click on above. Get one of these books on LS Swaps. Lots of good info. Also check out sites below:
06-15-2019 07:24 PM
1953bigblock Ok thanks for the info
06-15-2019 03:39 PM
'48 Austin The truck L series engines have a tall intake manifold that may require cutting the hood and they have a deep oil pan that will give you ground clearance issues. That's why I recommended the LS1 from an F body.
06-15-2019 02:53 PM
1953bigblock 5.3 are easy to find between 400.00 to 550.00 with all of it ecm wire harness all the parts you need found a nice 4l60e transmission my friend has done couple LS swaps and he loves it

I can sell the 4 speed and the new set of headers from my car that will help some
06-15-2019 01:41 PM
matt167 Decent 304's can be found in the Jeep CJ crowds. The 304 was an emissions engine. The 360 and 401 were performers kept to the big Wagoneers after the gas crunch. A rebuilt 360 goes for about $2,500. Engine for a '79-'91 Grand Wagoneer will get you a 360 pretty easy
06-15-2019 01:07 PM
64nailhead Whatever you wind up doing, please throw some updates out on this Small, lightweight, pre 2000 US chassis are rare. Would love to see the final result. Also, don't discount what can be done with a NA truck motor. 6.0's can easily put down 450 (400whp) NA with headers and cam. 400hp i n a little car is beyond fun.

edit : where are you located
06-15-2019 10:30 AM
ericnova72 Locating a rebuildable 360 ANC core and rebuilding that is probably going to be the most economical. Probably close to the same as rebuilding the 304, but with a lot better power potential and street manners.
LS swap is going to get you on all the little modifications, wiring, fabrication to get it all working, not the initial motor purchase price.

The 360 just drops right in place of the 304, wires connect right up, trans hooks up and will be much easier to upgrade to a better manual trans when it does blow up.
360 seems like more money up front on the rebuild, but no real expense after that, it bolts right in.

Or you find another used AMC V8 engine of any size in good enough shape to just clean-up, re-gasket, and toss it in....this will be the cheapest route

Rear axle should be the AMC Model 20, which is fairly stout, close to 12 bolt Chevy territory and at least 8.5" Chevy 10-bolt strength. It will have 2.87 gears and may well have a limited slip in it.

If you do go LS, even the little 4.8 nearly doubles the factory HP of the 304, and a 5.3 easily doubles it.
06-15-2019 10:02 AM
1953bigblock I been on there sites but thanks
06-15-2019 09:28 AM
'48 Austin

Check out site above.
06-15-2019 08:19 AM
1953bigblock 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
06-15-2019 08:03 AM
'48 Austin

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.
06-15-2019 06:03 AM
55 Tony 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.
06-14-2019 08:16 PM
1953bigblock 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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