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1969 AMC Javelin SST - Breaking Down On The Road Can Be Good

We Chronicle One Man's Year One Experience.

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Tech Notes
'69 AMC Javelin SSTOwner: Tom LodgeHometown: DeLand, Florida. DeLand recently held its quasquicentennial celebration. In English that means it celebrated its 125th birthday.

Engine: Tom wished to keep the car all AMC. Express Engine in DeLand did the machine work. Tom assembled the engine adding a custom-ground Comp cam: 243/243 degrees of duration, 0.579/ 0.579 inches of lift on a 110-degree lobe-separation angle. He ported the heads, installed Manley stainless steel 2.08-inch intake and 1.78-inch exhaust valves, and added Harland Sharp 1.6.0:1 roller rocker arms.

Induction: Nothing too radical here. The 390 breathes in through a 750-cfm Edelbrock carb and an Edelbrock R4B intake manifold. A Holley Blue electric fuel pump keeps the carburetor's float bowl full.

Exhaust: Hedman 151/48-inch headers dump into 211/42-inch pipes. A pair of Flowmaster 50 series Delta Flow mufflers keep the soundtrack interesting on the outside of the car, but quiet on the inside for long road trips.

Transmission: "It doesn't look like it, but it took a lot of work to get that trans in there," says Tom, referring to his TH200-4R. He wanted a strong overdrive to replace the 904 that originally came with the car. He had an adapter made to bolt the transmission to the engine, relocated the crossmember, and made a new transmission mount. He says the work was worth it, though, on long trips. TCI's Trans-Scat shift kit takes the slush out of the shifts, and a 2,800-rpm-stall, 11-inch JW torque converter helps launch the car.

Rearend: Tom had a custom steel prop shaft made to connect the transmission to the Currie 9-inch rear axle. It's stuffed with Richmond 3.89:1 gears on a limited-slip differential and 31-spline Currie axles.

Suspension: Tom didn't deviate much from the original AMC design. He lowered the front by an inch with Eibach springs but kept the stock rear leaf springs. To improve rear traction, he added CalTracs bars and replaced the rear spring shackles with AFCO sliders. Tom says those two components eliminate wrap-up and keep the spring rate constant, allowing him to launch predictably and consistently.

Brakes: Tom raided the AMC parts bin for his 11-inch front rotors, grabbing them from a Concord. "The rear discs," he says, "came already installed on the axletubes." They measure 11 inches, too.

Wheels/Tires: Seventeen-inch Torq-Thrusts are on all four corners. Tom had the rear wheelhouses minitubbed so he could fit 315s out back. The tires areBFGoodrich g-Force T/A KD radials.

Interior: Tom likes the stock look but didn't like the car's original blue metallic interior. He had the seats reupholstered with AMX material, added new black carpet, and dyed the plastic bits black also.

Paint/Body: Tom bought the car in 1995 and started planning the build and collecting the parts he needed, but he didn't get to start working on the car until 1999. Once it was out of storage, Tom undertook the bodywork with some help from Dennis Rainville, also of DeLand. Dennis sprayed it with Ford Ultra White paint. The car was completed in June 2003, just in time for the HOT ROD Power Tour(r) that year.

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