One of the lucky finds that I came across though a friend from my home
town was an AMC 360 that started life as a crate engine installed in a
Jeep Grand Cherokee. The 360 was in the Grand Cherokee only long
enough to rack up about 14k miles before the Cherokee itself expired
around the engine. The 360 was yanked out and I ended up buying
it for a fraction of what a new crate engine 360 would have
cost. Along with the engine itself I also acquired all of the
accessories including the alternator, power steering pump, the air
conditioning compressor that will be converted to an air compressor
and the carburetor (will be replaced by a Holley fuel injection system
now living up on my shelf). Other items I acquired for the
engine were the flywheel that was machined prior to installation, a
stock AMC 258/304 bell housing, a new CenterForce II clutch, pressure
plate and pilot bearing, a V8 clutch type fan scored at a swap meet,
a started (also @ a swap meet) and some other stuff.
you have an AMC 258 much of the parts are interchangeable from the 304
and in this case the 360 with the exception of a motor mount frame horn. For that I had purchased a set of 304 V8
frame horns from Northfield 4x4. The bell housing was a 258
bell housing. From what I learned, some of the 258 bell
housings had multiple bolt patterns on the transmission side. The
engine side had the correct bolt pattern for my 360. I found one
that had multiple bolt patterns that worked with my T-18A.
Adapting the 360 to the T-18A required more work to the T-18A than the
engine or the bell housing. For more on that go here.
One modification that I learned from Mike at JeepFan.com
was to notch the the clutch fork to prevent binding on a stud
installed on the bell housing. This is more specific to the
T-18A than the engine but regardless it's an important tip. For
info on modifying the clutch fork read this.
Also for my purposes I needed to get a replacement for
my driver side exhaust manifold. The 360's manifold dropped down
right on top of my clutch linkage and a 304's manifold exits more
forward as to clear the linkage. A thanks goes out to Mike again
for graciously giving me the much needed 304 manifold. Thanks
Mike. I suspect that if you have an automatic, you may not
need a 304 and the stock 360 manifold will work but that I don't know
Prior to installing the 360, I cleaned and painted the
engine. I had removed the accessories and took pictures of how
everything bolted up including the brackets and belts. Having a
digital camera made this easier. I later printed out the images
for reference since I knew I'll probably forget something. For
cleaning the engine I used a process of spraying Simple Green and
water followed by suction with the shop vac where the water pooled in
the engine. I then let it dry. I had no rust on the block
itself so I painted it with an engine enamel.
All of the accessories were also painted, one by one
using a aluminum casting color and re-installed onto the engine after
it was mounted on the frame.
360 prior to painting.
|T-18A ready to mate to the engine.
||Original automatic ring gear was removed.
After the freshly machined V8 flywheel was
properly torqued onto the crankshaft a CenterForce II clutch and
pressure plate were bolted to the flywheel using an alignment tool
shown here. Be sure to use Locktite on the bolts rated for
Next, with the help of Mike from JeepFan.com we
raised the 360 and mated it with the T-18A/Dana 20 shown here on a
With the entire drive train bolted
together we raised everything with 2 hand winches, one on the
engine and one attached to the yoke on the Dana 20. We
roll the frame in and lowered it all down to the pre-installed
motor mounts and bolted it up. The skid plate was not
installed yet, pending some modifications to it so a floor jack
was placed under the transmission and the rear hand winch was
left in place until the skid plate was completed. For more
on the skid plate modifications click here.
My humble garage. Now there's some tight working conditions.