This car was fast but not fast enough. While the 360 was out, we welded up the firewall and added a new coat of Barbados Blue to the engine compartment. We also redid some ugly wiring and brake lines.This car was fast but not fast enough. While the 360 was out, we welded up the firewall an There is a special sort of satisfaction that comes from showing a set of AMC taillights to the guy in the other lane. We've enjoyed that sensation as we've pulled the handle on the One-Two shift in front of a couple of slack-jawed M3 owners and watched them fade in the rearview. We did it using the Car Craft-tweaked '67 Rambler American built with all AMC parts. The car is distinct enough to get attention and familiar enough to prevent resentment, even if it did just hand you a loss. Chevy guys think it's a Nova, Ford guys think it's a Falcon, and Mopar guys know it as a distant cousin. Import guys don't know what's going on. Using a base 360 we hauled from a junkyard and rebuilt at JMS Racing Engines in El Monte, California, the American has run 11.50s in the quarter-mile, cruised to Vegas and San Diego, and wailed on any foreign or exotic car that cares to pick a fight. The original JMS Racing combo made 465 hp with off-the-shelf parts to prove that anyone with a torque wrench could repeat the effort. We've also been hoarding a set of Indy cylinder heads for close to four years with a thickheaded plan to build a 600hp pump gas destroyer. But first we had to find a transmission that would handle the load, build a rearend that wouldn't crack like a peanut, and assemble all the little parts that make a good AMC tick. Cam Specs Lunati custom grind: 17-UF37-UF35-110 +4 Duration: 291/301 advertised; 263/268 at 0.050 Lift: 0.608/0.630 with a 1.6:1 rocker Springs: No. 73124, 136 pounds at 1.880, 1.500 OD Lifter: AMC solid lifter PN 70998 General spring info: installed height 1.850, pocket 1.550 Head Specs 18-degree Indy heads 235cc intake/105 exhaust 2.100/1.650 valves 53cc chamber We tested the Indy heads on Westech's flow bench with a 4.030 plate and an exhaust pipe at 28 inches of mercury. VALVE LIFT INTAKE EXHAUST 0.100 63 26 0.200 132 108 0.300 190 144 0.400 230 179 0.500 244 193 0.600 256 203 0.700 262 209 This is the 401 block we scored for the build. The primary differences between the 401 and the 360 are the bore sizes and factory-forged internals. Stock 360 blocks have 4.08-inch bores with cast 3.44-inch stroke cranks, and the 401s have 4.165 bores with forged 368-inch stroke cranks and thicker main webbing. Note the ubiquitous AMC oil mod that takes oil pressure from the main gallery and feeds it into the No. 4 and 5 main bearings. We've found from firsthand experience that this is only necessary if you plan to run the engine to 6,000 rpm all the time. If you have a stock Gremlin, focus on the oil pump cover and timing chain. They are bigger problems.This is the 401 block we scored for the build. The primary differences between the 401 and The photo on the top is the stock rod journal. The photo on the bottom is the journal after it was turned. One limit to this sort of operation is the oil feed port. As you take material off the crank, the oil gallery holes get farther apart. If you grind far enough, the rod bearing won't get enough oil.The photo on the bottom is the journal after it was turned. One limit to this sort of oper We've worked with short pistons before. The custom JE piston has a 1.213-inch compression height.We've worked with short pistons before. The custom JE piston has a 1.213-inch compression The 6-inch Chevy rod from Eagle with the 1.88-inch Honda rod journal size is the latest trick in super strokers. In addition to the additional arm, the bearing speed is reduced, therefore minimizing friction and heat. At least that is the theory. These rods needed to be cut in a lathe to set the side clearance.The 6-inch Chevy rod from Eagle with the 1.88-inch Honda rod journal size is the latest tr If you are a) broke or b) building an AMC or any other make that has no inexpensive aftermarket stroker crankshafts available, try the rod stroke trick. For about $250, a good machine shop can give you any rod journal size you'd like. Offset-grinding the journal adds stroke. The 401 rod journal was turned from 2.248 to 1.880, making the final stroke 3.934. Add that to the 4.210 bore and you get 438 inches.If you are a) broke or b) building an AMC or any other make that has no inexpensive afterm The slugs use a 0.927-inch pin and 1/16-inch rings. With 0.250 pockets and a 0.175 dish, they yield around 11.0:1 compression with the 53cc chamber on the Indy heads.The slugs use a 0.927-inch pin and 1/16-inch rings. With 0.250 pockets and a 0.175 dish, t With a deck height of 9.180, a stroke of 3.93, a 6-inch rod, and a 1.213 piston height, the pistons are 0.002 in the hole. The total quench is 0.042, and the compression ratio is 11.13:1. With a light car and a big cam, this should be on the edge of 91-octane use.With a deck height of 9.180, a stroke of 3.93, a 6-inch rod, and a 1.213 piston height, th With this much power and drag racing in the plan, we had to address the oiling system. The stock oil path runs through a port in the pan rail on the cylinder block then into the oil pump, creating a restriction. The solution is bypassing the gallery with a plug and using a braided line to pick up oil directly from the sump.With this much power and drag racing in the plan, we had to address the oiling system. The The Milodon pan has a baffle for drag racing and provisions for a single- or dual-line pickup. The system doubles the available oil volume to the pump.The Milodon pan has a baffle for drag racing and provisions for a single- or dual-line pic Another problem with the stock timing chain cover is the oil pressure relief valve assembly that was originally designed to bypass oil inside the pump to regulate pressure. These parts wear out, eventually causing pressure instability. The filter bypass would work when the pressure bypass was at capacity, and that was all the time, since both bypasses were barely adequate for the stock high-volume oil pump. The Bulltear oil pump cover eliminates the stock oil filter adapter and the filter bypass completely. The pressure bypass is on the plate and recirculates the oil in the pump using OEM replacement parts. The spring and the plunger are set for 70 psi, protecting the filter and the engine from contaminated oil.Another problem with the stock timing chain cover is the oil pressure relief valve assembl Factory timing chain covers have a number of problems. They tend to spring leaks when the water pump cavitates and the oil pump gears eat the housing, causing the oil pressure to drop below 10 psi at idle. Since factory covers are getting hard to find, Bulltear Industries makes a nickel-plated cover that resists wear and fixes those problems.Factory timing chain covers have a number of problems. They tend to spring leaks when the The oil pump gears in the Bulltear timing chain cover are grooved. This helps relieve the binding pressure on the distributor and cam gear as they spin the oil pump so they'll last longer and cause less wear on the oil pump housing.The oil pump gears in the Bulltear timing chain cover are grooved. This helps relieve the Another factory weakness is the stock oil filter adapter and its oil filter bypass assembly. Back when these engines were designed, oil filters had no internal bypass and could blow off when the engine was cold and oil pressure was high. The solution was the bypass that sent unfiltered oil back into the engine. Not good. Filters were also smaller and less efficient in terms of total flow. The Tri-Flow external filter/oil relocation plate eliminated the bypass entirely and picks up oil directly from the Milodon pan. It also allows you to use a single- or dual-Fram PH8A. If you don't have a Milodon pan, Bulltear offers the 626 plate to replace the oil filter adapter.Another factory weakness is the stock oil filter adapter and its oil filter bypass assembl Professional Products offers two dampers for AMC engines. The one we used is SFI certified, so we can use it to drag race; the other is not. The dampers come with an assortment of counterweights for the 304, 360, and 401 engine. You'll need to switch to the four-bolt accessory pulleys to use these dampers.Professional Products offers two dampers for AMC engines. The one we used is SFI certified PARTS LIST PART PN SOURCE PRICE AMC short-block N/A guy on eBay $500.00 Distributor 8523 MSD 354.95 Dipstick that fits N/A Bulltear 36.99 750hp carbs 82750 Holley 476.95 each H-beam connecting rod CRS6000H3D Eagle/Summit Racing 588.67 Camshaft 17-UF37-UF35-110 +4 Lunati Call Cylinder heads 401-H1-1AS Indy Cylinder Head 2,095.00 Intake gaskets 800G Mr. Gasket 12.95 Sheetmetal tunnel-ram N/A Hogan's Call Head gasket 8266PT-1 Fel-Pro 19.95 each Engine gaskets KS2002 Fel-Pro 92.95 Spark plugs C57CX Champion 6.39 each Plug wires 35859 MSD 83.95 Rocker arms 85390 Lunati 285.95 Pushrods 401-P5-9K Indy Cylinder Head 145.00 Pistons Custom JE Call Valve covers AMC Indy Cylinder Head 255.00 Rings J100F8-4210-5 JE Pistons 174.95 Engine bearings AMC 401 Clevite 116.29 Water pump AMC 401 Chrysler 45.17 Oil pan 30260 Milodon 443.33 Oil kit 24050 Milodon 313.54 Balancer 90101 Pro Comp 211.95 Timing chain CCA-3118 Comp Cams 61.50 Nickel-plated timing cover/gears N/A Bulltear 350.00 Tri-Flow bypass 534 Bulltear 134.00 Cam/distributor gears N/A Bulltear 119.00 Engine Specs Cam bearing clearance: 0.0025 Crankshaft endplay: 0.003 to 0.008 Compression ratio: 11.13:1 Displacement: 438 Deck height: 9.180 Dish: 0.175 Final stroke: 3.934 Final rod journal: 1.889 Final bore: 4.210 Head gasket: 0.040 Main bearing clearance: 0.003 No. 1-4; 0.0035 No. 5 Piston compression distance: 1.213 Pin diameter: 0.927 Pin length: 2.750 Pocket: 0.250/0.250 18 degrees Rings: 1/16; 1/16; 3/16 Ring gap: top and middle 0.015; bottom 0.015 to 0.055 Rod length: 6 inches Rod bearing clearance: 0.003 Rod side clearance: 0.007-0.010 To get the intake ports as large as they are, the Indy heads have extra material around the intake ports that push stock intakes up. Note in the photo above, there is a gap between the block and the Edelbrock Performer RPM intake. The photo on the right is the Indy 401-3 single-plane intake. To use the Hogan's tunnel-ram, Mike from JMS built a spacer to fill the gap.To get the intake ports as large as they are, the Indy heads have extra material around th Another oiling trick is to match the cam and distributor gear in terms of hardness, gear-tooth depth, and proper gear angles for long-term use. This and making sure that oil gets through the cam gear on the timing chain ensures you won't eat the cam and distributor gears.Another oiling trick is to match the cam and distributor gear in terms of hardness, gear-t We went right for a massive, solid flat-tappet cam for this build. Since we've always run Lunati cams in the AMC, we chose a brutal 260/263 at 0.050 stick with 0.608 lift using a 1.6:1 rocker arm.We went right for a massive, solid flat-tappet cam for this build. Since we've always run The Indy 401-SR cylinder heads are a step up from the Edelbrock heads we've used in the past in terms of intake port size and valve sizes. With an intake port of 235 cc and an exhaust port measuring 105 cc, the Indy heads flow 262/209 cfm at 0.700 lift. The 2.10/1.65 valves need reliefs in the pistons.The Indy 401-SR cylinder heads are a step up from the Edelbrock heads we've used in the pa We also used Lunati 3/8-inch 1.6:1 rocker arms on the AMC. Note the huge fulcrum on the Lunati rocker (left) compared with Brand X.We also used Lunati 3/8-inch 1.6:1 rocker arms on the AMC. Note the huge fulcrum on the Lu On the dyno with a set of Holley 750-cfm carbs and a really cool Hogan sheetmetal intake, the mill squawked out 550 hp at 5,800 with a hugely fat torque curve and a peak of 548 lb-ft at 4,650 rpm. We're gonna need more tire.On the dyno with a set of Holley 750-cfm carbs and a really cool Hogan sheetmetal intake, Jeff at JMS set the cold lash at 0.018 on the intake and exhaust valve. As the engine heats up, the lash will grow about 0.004 to 0.005.Jeff at JMS set the cold lash at 0.018 on the intake and exhaust valve. As the engine heat Bulltear also offers a cylinder head porting service for stock iron heads, Edelbrock, or Indy aluminum heads. Matt at Bulltear posted 310 cfm in the intake side at 0.600 lift.Bulltear also offers a cylinder head porting service for stock iron heads, Edelbrock, or I Bulltear also offers a complete serpentine system if you need to swap from the three-bolt pulleys to the later four-bolt stuff. It also eliminates belt slippage usually associated with the stock systems.Bulltear also offers a complete serpentine system if you need to swap from the three-bolt SOURCES Autotronic Controls/MSD Ignition 1490 Henry Brennan Dr El Paso TX 79936 915-857-5200 www.msdignition.com Powermaster 1833 Downs Drive West Chicago IL 60185 630-957-4019 www.powermasterperformance.com Comp Cams Inc. 3406 Democrat Road Memphis TN 38118 800-999-0853 www.compcams.com Milodon Inc. 2250 Agate Court Simi Valley CA 93065 805-577-5950 www.milodon.com Lunati 11126 Willow Ridge Drive Olive Branch MS 38654 662-892-1500 www.lunatipower.com Eagle Specialty Products 8530 Aaron Lane Southaven MS 38671 662-796-7373 www.eaglerod.com Summit Racing PO Box 909 Akron OH 44398 800-320-3030 www.summitracing.com Bulltear Industries 30401 Neal Ave. Lindstrom MN 55045 651-257-7917 www.bulltear.com Indy Cylinder Head 8621 Southeastern Ave Indianapolis IN 46239 317-862-3724 www.indyheads.com Eagle Specialty Products, Inc. 8530 Aaron Lane Southaven MS 38671 662-796-7373 www.eaglerod.com Holley Performance Products/Brands 1801 Russellville Rd. Bowling Green KY 42101 270-781-9741 www.holley.com Galvin's AMC Rambler Parts 634 East Lockeford Street Lodi CA 95240 209-365-6315 www.ramblerparts.com JMS Racing Engines El Monte CA 626-579-4567 www.jmsracing.com Hogan's Racing Manifolds Inc. 303 N. Russell Ave. Santa Maria CA 93458 805-928-8483 www.hogansracingmanifolds.com By Douglas R. Glad Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!