AMC 360 rebuild ideas

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Rinkle_Stinkle
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Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:22 am

AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby Rinkle_Stinkle » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:15 am

First, I know it would be more cost effective to just get another engine and swap it out. But I'm trying to keep this jeep as original as possible.

I have a 88 grand wagoneer I purchased about 4 weeks ago. There are quite a few things that need to be addressed but the most costly will be the engine. It has a rod knock that isn't too bad yet so I'm going to drive it through the winter and if finances allow swap it out and then rebuild it.

Option one:

This will be my first engine rebuild and I can almost guarantee you that I have no clue what I'm doing :D .

My goal is to fall within the 250-300 Hp range.

I'm looking to throw in a few bolt in mods to the engine to get me to that level and could use some suggestions. Keep in mind the easier the better for me as I'm not looking to get in too over my head and I don't want to constantly tweak the engine after the rebuild to get it to work right.

if I do the rebuild i'll probably purchase a basic crate motor and get a shop to swap it for me so I can continue driving it and then transport the engine to my house for the rebuild, because lets face it, I'm going to be very slow.



Option Two:

I had a shop look over the jeep before purchasing it. This shop has amazing reviews and seems to be very knowledgeable in Wagoneers and restoration of them. The owner actually owns one he restored. When he was looking it over on the prepurchase inspection he mentioned the rod knock and a possible near future rebuild needed. I asked him ball park cost and he said 6-7K..... that dropped my jaw immediately but I thought in the back of my head that he may be thinking full on performance upgraded to the hilt, bored and a premium rebuild.

My question is:
what the hell could cost that much for a rebuild? yes I could ask and will ask when I'm ready but I'm curious now haha.

What is a good ball park cost for a 360 rebuild by a reputable shop?



I know I'm all over the place right now with my questions but I appreciate any suggestions and or advice.
1988 Wag
AMC 360
All original
166K

ShagWagon
Posts: 489
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:13 pm

Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby ShagWagon » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:34 am

I sent mine to S&J. $50 for shipping. And $1700 for a basic rebuild. I had to pull it and put it on a pallet.

I had them do a performance cam, oil tube mod, roller rockers and better chrome moly lifters for about $900 more.

There's a guy on here somewhere that does rebuilds SC397 or something that seems better but I had already sent mine off.
87 Grand Wagoneer Rebuilt 360 by S&J, Fitech GO EFI 600, Fitech FCC, Skyjacker Hydro 4" lift, BFG AT KO2 30", Dynamax Muffler, MSD distributor, MSD 6al box, Blaster2 coil, ACCEL 8mm wires, .045 gap, Edlebrock perf 4bbl intake, Elgin perf cam, Oil tube mod, Roller rockers, chrome molly lifters, HD alum radiator, Powermaster 150/100 alt, Aluminum HD water pump, Serhills tailgate harness, Cowl screen mod, Evil Twin grab handles, Rstep's custom AMC door lock knobs, all electrical works.

Rinkle_Stinkle
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:22 am

Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby Rinkle_Stinkle » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:23 pm

ShagWagon wrote:I sent mine to S&J. $50 for shipping. And $1700 for a basic rebuild. I had to pull it and put it on a pallet.

I had them do a performance cam, oil tube mod, roller rockers and better chrome moly lifters for about $900 more.

There's a guy on here somewhere that does rebuilds SC397 or something that seems better but I had already sent mine off.


Awesome! I will contact S&J to get a quote.

do you know what HP you ended up with after the rebuild?
1988 Wag
AMC 360
All original
166K

440sixpack
Posts: 206
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Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby 440sixpack » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:22 pm

Anyone with a little help can rebuild a stocker type engine. it's mostly a matter of desire. the machine shop does all the tough stuff you just check their work and bolt it together.

I would run screaming from a $1700 rebuild. parts and machining will cost lots more than that for even a street build, short cuts have to be plentiful in that price range . there are only 2 flat tappet lifter manufacturers, your options are cheap junk and for a few bucks more not real great but they'll do.

for my 2 cents worth, If you don't want to do it yourself have a reputable shop do your engine. or someone like SC397, I don't know him personally but I've read enough of what he's said I'd be confident in his work.

ShagWagon
Posts: 489
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Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby ShagWagon » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:29 pm

Rinkle_Stinkle wrote:
ShagWagon wrote:I sent mine to S&J. $50 for shipping. And $1700 for a basic rebuild. I had to pull it and put it on a pallet.

I had them do a performance cam, oil tube mod, roller rockers and better chrome moly lifters for about $900 more.

There's a guy on here somewhere that does rebuilds SC397 or something that seems better but I had already sent mine off.


Awesome! I will contact S&J to get a quote.

do you know what HP you ended up with after the rebuild?


I don't know the HP not sure where to Dyno test out here in the country.

They have a 100k ten year warranty on it. You just have to mail it back to them lol.
87 Grand Wagoneer Rebuilt 360 by S&J, Fitech GO EFI 600, Fitech FCC, Skyjacker Hydro 4" lift, BFG AT KO2 30", Dynamax Muffler, MSD distributor, MSD 6al box, Blaster2 coil, ACCEL 8mm wires, .045 gap, Edlebrock perf 4bbl intake, Elgin perf cam, Oil tube mod, Roller rockers, chrome molly lifters, HD alum radiator, Powermaster 150/100 alt, Aluminum HD water pump, Serhills tailgate harness, Cowl screen mod, Evil Twin grab handles, Rstep's custom AMC door lock knobs, all electrical works.

rocklaurence
Vendor
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Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby rocklaurence » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:59 am

ii went through BJs for a rebuild and they worked real hard at delivering the item. THey're prices are resonable also. I'm in the process of stabbing it in now and will report on how it runs.

Rinkle_Stinkle
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Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:22 am

Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby Rinkle_Stinkle » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:05 am

rocklaurence wrote:ii went through BJs for a rebuild and they worked real hard at delivering the item. THey're prices are resonable also. I'm in the process of stabbing it in now and will report on how it runs.



Good to know! I will look into them. could you tell me the mods you selected with your engine?

I appreciate any updates once installed. :-bd
1988 Wag
AMC 360
All original
166K

ShagWagon
Posts: 489
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:13 pm

Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby ShagWagon » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:11 am

BJs has S&J do the rebuilds.
87 Grand Wagoneer Rebuilt 360 by S&J, Fitech GO EFI 600, Fitech FCC, Skyjacker Hydro 4" lift, BFG AT KO2 30", Dynamax Muffler, MSD distributor, MSD 6al box, Blaster2 coil, ACCEL 8mm wires, .045 gap, Edlebrock perf 4bbl intake, Elgin perf cam, Oil tube mod, Roller rockers, chrome molly lifters, HD alum radiator, Powermaster 150/100 alt, Aluminum HD water pump, Serhills tailgate harness, Cowl screen mod, Evil Twin grab handles, Rstep's custom AMC door lock knobs, all electrical works.

FSJ Guy
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Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby FSJ Guy » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:00 pm

Figure $3,000 if you have the machine shop do the fancy stuff and you fit everything together.

BTW, your final cost will end up around $4,000, of course. LOL!!
Ethan Brady

http://www.bigscaryjeep.com

1987 Grand Wagoneer. Slightly longer than stock.

Rinkle_Stinkle
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:22 am

Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby Rinkle_Stinkle » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:22 am

FSJ Guy wrote:Figure $3,000 if you have the machine shop do the fancy stuff and you fit everything together.

BTW, your final cost will end up around $4,000, of course. LOL!!


4 k is right around where I need to be.

but I guess my question is what is this "Fancy stuff" :lol:
1988 Wag
AMC 360
All original
166K

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nograin
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Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby nograin » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:58 am

That's about right - Depends on where you live and what type of shops are near you. Shop rates can vary considerably depending on their overhead. That is, if they are renting in a location with high property costs, have service manager in addition to the owner, things like that can drive shop rates over $100 / hr easy. Other places with low property costs, owner operator, and so forth can be $55 - 60. Both within an hours drive of me. Other places price the work by 'the book' and its up to the technician to get it done in the estimated time.

I had an engine rebuilt for under $ 2000 from a long time shop which had good history. That included boring .030" over and new pistons to match. But they got lazy (or stupid) and re-used the rusty valve springs and rockers. Talking with my buddy who has a steady stream of engine work to get done, we discovered afterwords that things were sliding downhill that year. But a stock rebuild can be anywhere from 1700 to 3000 IMO. Removal and install for probably $750 to $2000 depending on experience and location. The question is what is may get done during the swap. If there is transmission fluid coing out of the front seal - will they address it then? How about if the exhaust manifolds need some off engine work? Will the stop and give it to you? Will they do it themselves or will they ignore it?

For as close to stock as possible, what parts needed will all depend on the condition. If the bore is scratched up or worn too deep, it will need oversized pistons and reboring to the new size. Otherwise, the existing can be reused. Rust on any part - replace. Heads - may need some work - depends on condition. The valve need to seal and the stems move freely but not sloppy or it will burn oil. New seats and valve guides will drive up costs. Those are the main tasks I would consider Machine Shop jobs (valve jobs, valve seats, valve guides, boring). I'd have a shop do the cleaning too (hot tank).

Does the knock get worse or better with warm up? If so, if better it may be piston slap and you can get by for a while. If the knock gets worse under load and with increasing rpm - more likely bearing and it will only get worse.

Rinkle_Stinkle
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:22 am

Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby Rinkle_Stinkle » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:42 am

nograin wrote:That's about right - Depends on where you live and what type of shops are near you. Shop rates can vary considerably depending on their overhead. That is, if they are renting in a location with high property costs, have service manager in addition to the owner, things like that can drive shop rates over $100 / hr easy. Other places with low property costs, owner operator, and so forth can be $55 - 60. Both within an hours drive of me. Other places price the work by 'the book' and its up to the technician to get it done in the estimated time.

I had an engine rebuilt for under $ 2000 from a long time shop which had good history. That included boring .030" over and new pistons to match. But they got lazy (or stupid) and re-used the rusty valve springs and rockers. Talking with my buddy who has a steady stream of engine work to get done, we discovered afterwords that things were sliding downhill that year. But a stock rebuild can be anywhere from 1700 to 3000 IMO. Removal and install for probably $750 to $2000 depending on experience and location. The question is what is may get done during the swap. If there is transmission fluid coing out of the front seal - will they address it then? How about if the exhaust manifolds need some off engine work? Will the stop and give it to you? Will they do it themselves or will they ignore it?

For as close to stock as possible, what parts needed will all depend on the condition. If the bore is scratched up or worn too deep, it will need oversized pistons and reboring to the new size. Otherwise, the existing can be reused. Rust on any part - replace. Heads - may need some work - depends on condition. The valve need to seal and the stems move freely but not sloppy or it will burn oil. New seats and valve guides will drive up costs. Those are the main tasks I would consider Machine Shop jobs (valve jobs, valve seats, valve guides, boring). I'd have a shop do the cleaning too (hot tank).

Does the knock get worse or better with warm up? If so, if better it may be piston slap and you can get by for a while. If the knock gets worse under load and with increasing rpm - more likely bearing and it will only get worse.


Wow, thanx for the details!

I'm leaning towards swapping out the engine to do most of the rebuild myself. I think having a shop do the very detailed work is a smart plan as I'm pretty confident I can reassemble and if I get brave enough I may even try to do the install myself.

The knock seems to be worse in the morning on a cold start. Over time it tends to fade but never fully. The shop I took it to before purchasing it said its something I can drive on for 6 months or so but would need to think about a rebuild around that time.
1988 Wag
AMC 360
All original
166K

440sixpack
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Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby 440sixpack » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:23 am

If you need to drive it buy a 360 off craigslist and rebuild it in your spare time , they're cheap. and then sell yours after the swap.

Rinkle_Stinkle
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Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby Rinkle_Stinkle » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:19 am

440sixpack wrote:If you need to drive it buy a 360 off craigslist and rebuild it in your spare time , they're cheap. and then sell yours after the swap.


well I want to keep the original engine. Its still the original and would like to keep this as original as possible. I guess I'm just weird like that.

BUT, I am thinking of purchasing a crate 360 motor and doing a swap and then taking the original home and do the rebuild myself over the next year or so. that way I can drive it while its out (cause lets face it, i'll be really slow) and then when I'm ready I can put the original back in.
1988 Wag
AMC 360
All original
166K

440sixpack
Posts: 206
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Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby 440sixpack » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:19 am

I'm all about matching numbers so I get what you're saying. but the only way to tell your 360 block from any other is the valve cover tag.

If it were me I'd build up the 360 I wanted and swap it when you're done. it will be cheaper and less work in the end.

Rinkle_Stinkle
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Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby Rinkle_Stinkle » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:48 am

440sixpack wrote:I'm all about matching numbers so I get what you're saying. but the only way to tell your 360 block from any other is the valve cover tag.

If it were me I'd build up the 360 I wanted and swap it when you're done. it will be cheaper and less work in the end.



I guess that is a possibility I didn't think about.
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All original
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Cheap Hobby
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Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby Cheap Hobby » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:45 am

When you are getting quotes from a machine shop make sure it includes valve job. And make sure they are familiar with our heads, they have some of the hardest valve faces made. Also find out when the take measurements to see if block and crank are good. Some will only do it after cleaning so you get stuck with a clean shiny boat anchor. Also ask what is included for the price. You don't want to be expecting an engine ready for paint and get a bare block and 3 boxes of parts.
Don't be scared to talk to the local shop that is known for vintage race or antique engines. They usually have the best knowledge base, best parts sources and often the best value for your money.
79 Cherokee WT QT Golden Eagle white with gold windows "Pigger" only blows hubs the night before a road trip or the clodest night of year. Has only been towed cause of stupid.

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tgreese
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Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby tgreese » Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:24 am

Couple of comments - Often, when a shop does not want to do the work, they will quote a price that should be guaranteed to send the customer away. Looked at another way, a high price may be their honest estimate of what it would take for them to work on a car they would otherwise not want in the shop. A Wagoneer is both old and an oddball, and there's some risk involved in working on a car you know little about.

If you find a local shop that will do the job for a reasonable price, and they have a decent reputation, likely they will want to install a factory-built long block using your engine as a core. This off-loads the risk of a bad engine to the rebuilder, since the engine will come with a guarantee. If something goes wrong, the factory will send the shop another engine and pay for their time to do the second R&R. If you bought the engine and did the install yourself, the factory likely would not pay for your time if you got a bad engine, since you are not ASE certified.

If you want to know more about the process, I suggest reading Tom Monroe's book https://www.amazon.com/Engine-Builders- ... 1557882452 - you will then understand the process much better, and be in a better position to decide how to proceed.
Tim Reese
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Rinkle_Stinkle
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Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby Rinkle_Stinkle » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:07 am

Cheap Hobby wrote:When you are getting quotes from a machine shop make sure it includes valve job. And make sure they are familiar with our heads, they have some of the hardest valve faces made. Also find out when the take measurements to see if block and crank are good. Some will only do it after cleaning so you get stuck with a clean shiny boat anchor. Also ask what is included for the price. You don't want to be expecting an engine ready for paint and get a bare block and 3 boxes of parts.
Don't be scared to talk to the local shop that is known for vintage race or antique engines. They usually have the best knowledge base, best parts sources and often the best value for your money.



That's awesome information!
1988 Wag
AMC 360
All original
166K

Rinkle_Stinkle
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:22 am

Re: AMC 360 rebuild ideas

Postby Rinkle_Stinkle » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:16 am

tgreese wrote:Couple of comments - Often, when a shop does not want to do the work, they will quote a price that should be guaranteed to send the customer away. Looked at another way, a high price may be their honest estimate of what it would take for them to work on a car they would otherwise not want in the shop. A Wagoneer is both old and an oddball, and there's some risk involved in working on a car you know little about.

If you find a local shop that will do the job for a reasonable price, and they have a decent reputation, likely they will want to install a factory-built long block using your engine as a core. This off-loads the risk of a bad engine to the rebuilder, since the engine will come with a guarantee. If something goes wrong, the factory will send the shop another engine and pay for their time to do the second R&R. If you bought the engine and did the install yourself, the factory likely would not pay for your time if you got a bad engine, since you are not ASE certified.

If you want to know more about the process, I suggest reading Tom Monroe's book https://www.amazon.com/Engine-Builders- ... 1557882452 - you will then understand the process much better, and be in a better position to decide how to proceed.



that's one of the things I'm most concerned about is being scammed on price and or quality. I know enough to verify most mechanics however engine rebuilds are not something I am very familiar with so I'm concerned that when I get quotes to do the work I'll be pitted against those not wanting to do it over those who will do it but the quality won't be there.

I appreciate the suggestion on the book. I may look into it.
1988 Wag
AMC 360
All original
166K


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