The Chrylser and AMC/Jeep 360 enignes are two completely differetn engines.320 bucks for pistons? I sure hope they are forged, but I'll bet they are not. Heck, I sell COMPLETE master kit for that engine for less than 400 bucks. Check around.
Some of the parts for the AMC engine will cost more than Chevy or Ford parts, should be on a par with Pontiac, Buick, etc. In the end you end up spending about the same to build an AMC as a Chevy of equal power. The main reason is the excellent heads used on the AMC. They are arguably the best stock iron heads ever made as far as flow rate. All 1970-91 AMC heads use big valves and ports and flow about the same as Chevy LS-1 heads. 70-mid 71 has smaller combustion chambers for higher compression, but are otherwise the same as later, lower compression heads. So don't get sucked into the old "319 heads are the best" (319 is the last three digits of the casting number) myth! Buy the right pistons for the compression you want and the later heads are equal. You would need to buy a set of aftermarket heads or heavily port run of the mill stock Chevy heads to equal the AMC heads.
Some people don't like the fact that there is really only a choice of 3-4 intakes for the GEN-3 AMC V-8 (1970-91; GEN-2 is 1966-69, GEN-1 1956-66. GEN-1 shares nothing with 2/3, 2/3 are almost the same except for heads and block deck height -- most parts interchange, including heads).
Darn! Hit submit before I finished!!
As I said, fewer choices for parts. But the parts that are available are the tried and true parts that AMCers keep buying. So there are fewer choice, but those available are the ones known to work. As far as intakes it boils down to what kind of driving/racing you're going to be doing.
i want to be able to do a little bit of streetracing and some 4x4 with my jeep but also want it to be a daily driver for a couple of years. First off does anyone besides edelbrock make amc intakes? SEcond if i were to go edelbrock what manifold would be best rpm air gap or performer.
Performer, especially if you're going to be wheelin' in cool or cold weather. The Air Gap might make a little more power in the higher rpm ranges, but it sucks at cold weather performance. Takes a long time to warm the engine up. The Perfromer has slightly smaller runners which increase air velocity and will improve low end torque, another must for wheelin'. You want big low speed torque numbers for the Jeep, not big hp numbers. Big torque at low rpm won't yield big hp numbers, but the big hp numbers come at high rpm which aren't good for wheelin'. So use the Perfromer and a cam that will get you lots of torque at low speeds, forget about the big hp numbers. Lots of rpm in a sticky situation will cause you to rev the thing way up to get useable power then break things because of the high wheel spin. Things break when the spining wheels suddenly grab when turning so fast. With lots of low end grunt the wheels aren't turning so fast and there is much more "pull" (torque). If you're going to be running in sand an mud instead of rocks or general trail riding, then you might want to consider the Air Gap and a higher rpm cam.
You can put locking hubs on the Quadra-Trac and it shouldn't hurt anything. Later models have a locking axle -- not sure if the QT does (don't think so). If the axle has a vacuum or cable operated slide on the long side it has the locking axle, if not it turns all the time. I'd put locking hubs on it for sure! Should help you about 2 mpg driving around on good roads.