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Discussion Starter #1
I own a 1982 amc spirit (little rwd hatcback), and I'm buying a 383 stroker this weekend to put in it. I'd really like to put a manual transmission in there along with it, but I have to admit I don't know my foot from my *** when it comes to manual trannys. Not far from me I found a 4-speed borg warner from a '79 trans am for sale for $400. The guy is inlcuding a used pressure plate, fork, and clutch.

I will need a bellhousing, flywheel, probably clutch, and some parts to make the clutch work (not sure which ones?)

I want to actuate the clutch by cable. Can I use any bellhousing for a 350? is it a simple matter to get the clutch connected to a cable?

If this ends up getting to complicated I'll just put a th350 but I'd really like to make this work if its possible.

Russel
 

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Not hard at all - part are very available

Bell, and a clutch fork can probably be picked up at your local salvage yard for a few dollars - Worst Case, thru one of the supplu houses you could get a blow proof bell can probably be found on ebay

Clutch, Pressure plate, throwout bearing is fairly standard

If you can find an Old Stick Vega - I think they had cable clutches - THis will get you the braket, if not it will be fairly easy to fabricate.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How do I figure out what size flywheel I'll need? I see there are a few different sizes. Is the bellhousing size standard and any flywheel will fit inside?

Russel
 

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goin' stick...

I've been through this( not w/AMC, but it's all pretty much the same), it's all going to depend on how prepared you think you are. I say "think" because no one is ever fully prepaired for the obstacles they will undobtedly encounter, especially in any kind of swap.
The EASIEST way to start is to visit your local junk yard and find an identical car to the one you'll be working on, with the manual trans. set up. Scavenge any and all parts .....brake pedal and linkage, nuts, bolts, (etc...), the clutch pedal and all parts and pieces from under the dash, under the hood, under the car....EVERYTHING the donor car has to offer, you'll need it all. You will have to swap the brake pedal as well, so don't be surprised when you discover the clutch pedal won't fit unless you do.
You'll probably discover it would be easier to go with linkage as compared to cable as well. It's just so much easier(in my humble opinion) to make it work from the start, as well as adjusting the clutch at any future point. There are many after-market sources for linkage that can be assembled in various lengths of rods and couplings....
have fun....happy hot-rodding

Lenny
 

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fiscus said:
How do I figure out what size flywheel I'll need? I see there are a few different sizes. Is the bellhousing size standard and any flywheel will fit inside?

First, you'll need a flywheel that's compatible with the the type balance of your engine build. Unless it's been changed to internal balance, the 383 requires a flywheel counterweighted for external balance (same as 400 small block). There's two sizes of Chevy flywheel; 153 teeth and 168 teeth. The O.D.s are 12.835" and 14.096" respectively. Generally, the larger flywheel will take an 11" clutch, the smaller one a 10.5" clutch. The large flywheel and 11" clutch set up require a larger bellhousing than the smaller set up. I think V8 Chevy Monzas used a cable operated clutch, but they'll have the smaller bellhousing. You might want to consider going to hydraulic clutch operation instead of cable.

Bob
 

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Before you go and decide what kind of clutch linkage you want to use, look at what you have. IIRC the Spirit used a hydraulic clutch in 82, but I'll have to check. Could be mechanical linkage, but it's not cable. As far as I can recall only the 77-79 2.0L four (sourced from Audi) used a cable. 80-83 AMCs used a GM 2.5L four, 84 and later an AMC designed and built 2.5L four.

My first thought is you want cable because you think that will be the easiest way to go. If you have a hydraulic setup with an external slave cylinder moving the fork, the AMC setup can be adapted to the Chevy bell. You just need to make a bracket to bolt the slave cylinder up. To run a cable setup you will need a clutch pedal set up for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Farna you're right I just figured cable would be easiest, I don't have a clutch pedal yet, and I didn't know what type of system the factory uses. Another problem is I can't find any AMC stuff at my junkyards, do you know of online classefieds where I could find the whole pedal set with the master and slave cylinders? Would I want to use the original AMC hydraulics?

Thanks!
 

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Look for AMC Eagles -- they use the same hydraulic clutch system, and the pedals and all will interchange. 80s Jeep XJs (Cherokees) use the same master cylinder, but they use a hydraulic throw-out bearing. Around 91 or so the XJ switched to an external slave cylinder. The XJ pedals won't work. You can use the original master cylinder and adapt the slave, or use a Chevy slave cylinder. Not sure what Chevy models used hydraulic though. Don't forget to check Chrysler sections in salvage yards -- a lot of them now stick the few AMCs they get in there.

If you can't find a set of pedals (assuming the car you have is an auto) locally, go over to www.amcforums.com and ask for a set.

Engine swaps like this aren't that hard when you use an auto trans, mainly because there are no shifter or clutch linkage problems. I prefer sticks myself though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the info guys! After looking it over I'm just gonna put a TH350 and save myself some trouble, maybe after I get everything working I'll swap in the manual.
 
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