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Putting a 440 into a 74 AMC matador

Discussion in 'AMC, Eagle, Hudson, Nash, Willys' started by berg621, May 23, 2016.

  1. berg621

    berg621 Member

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    I bought a 1974 AMC matador, previous owner started a V8 swap. has V8 springs, K member, etc.. but still has a the strait 6 in it. I also acquired a 440 motor and trans from a motor home. I doubt anyone has tried to put one in, but if anyone has, tips would be appreciated. Trans is the big block 727. would any of the mounts even be close or am I better off fabricating them? The car is more for cheap thrills then a show car, so don't mind if I got to build anything.
     
  2. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    Is yours the 2-door coupe? AMC had 3 different V8 engines that year, the largest being 401 cubic inches. You might want to research whether the mounts were the same for their sixes and V8s; if not, you'll have to change them for the 440. The drive shaft might not fit, and a stronger rear end is recommended.
     
  3. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    It's going to require custom mounts. The AMC motors were not related to the Mopar motors so ther eisvery little chance any mount will be useful as is, though the transmission probably is a Mopar based one. If so, you may be able to use the transmission mount as the fist point, then make engine mounts to properly place the engine based on the transmission's location.
     
  4. dana44

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    Time to break out the tape measure first. Get the straight six out of her, measure the distance from the transmission mount to the existing motor mounts, compare it to the 440/727 first. Guaranteed fabrication will be needed. Also check some widths within the engine bay, how far forward it is to the radiator, and exhaust dump locations, all valuable measurements for clearances. Since the transmissions in AMCs were based off the 727, good chance the tunnel itself won't need alteration to fit. And yes, the rear end will probably need upgrading, along with driveline, exhaust will probably be the most fun, ensure clearance for the master cylinder/brake booster, that may become an issue with the valve cover and exhaust manifold.
     
  5. GLHS60

    GLHS60 Well-Known Member

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    The Matador will have a 904 style trans but the 727 was available so the trans should be no problem especially if you could find an AMC 727 driveshaft.

    Not sure what exhaust manifolds the motorhome engine has but you will probably need a rear sump 440 truck pan to fit the chassis. Rear Sump Oil Pan P5249064 is the one I last used.

    I put a 455 Olds Engine in a 1979 AMC years ago and it was a snap so the 440 shouldn't be a problem other than fabricating mounts and the usual stuff. I also installed a Chrysler 8 3/4 rear end, as I had a spare Sure Grip unit, wheel bolt circle is the same .

    Post some pictures and good luck!!!

    Thanks
    Randy
     
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  6. berg621

    berg621 Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I build and race circle track cars so I got a lot of fab experience. I do anticipate getting a new drive shaft made up. What gear would be a good ratio to start with? I don't know if I should put money into beefing up the stock rear end, or get something else.
     
  7. GLHS60

    GLHS60 Well-Known Member

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    The AMC 20 diff was pretty stout with ratios usually 3:15 or 3:54

    Widely used on Jeeps so other ratios and various limited slip/lockers are available.

    Weak point is the 2 piece axles that most had, but the ring gear is 8.78".

    Considered at least as strong as a D-44 with its 8.5" ring gear.

    Thanks
    Randy
     
  8. pt006

    pt006 Active Member

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    berg; the 727 was available with diff engines, even 6's 'with H.D.transmission'. It is likely that they used the Chrysler tailshaft assy. A good starting point if true. Truck oil pan should work, or at least be able to be modified easily. Since stock AMC V-8 exhaust are rear dump, big block pass car 'log manifolds' might work. Aluminum dual plane intake and aluminum water pump housing will take some weight off the front end.
    I would go for a new timing chain. The timing gears wear slowly in my experience. 440's like big radiators.

    When your done: call it the Rambassador.
     
  9. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, I should have added that earlier.
     
  10. GLHS60

    GLHS60 Well-Known Member

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    Scaramanga if its a coupe!!

    Thanks
    Randy
     
  11. page2171

    Level 2 Supporter

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    With a 440 I bet it really will fly. ;)
     
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  12. berg621

    berg621 Member

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    Its a coupe. I might go with a be cool radiator, the place they make them is about a 20min drive. I found out the motor was rebuilt like 8 years ago, has 5,xxx on the rebuild before the motor home became a cabin.
     
  13. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    Good find on the motor. I was about to add that it'll make a good sleeper, but that body style will provoke too many double-takes. No matter what you think of its looks, it was very aerodynamic for its day. I'm probably not the only one who will appreciate an occasional progress report.
     
  14. ka9yhd

    ka9yhd Active Member

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    If that 440 is from a motor home then it is considered a truck engine which will have a lower compression and the 727 trans also from a motor home will be called a Load Flite which is a heavy duty version of the Torque Flite.
     
  15. berg621

    berg621 Member

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    Ill do my best. I don't know how to load pictures.
     
  16. dana44

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    Yeah, but the lower compression is simple piston replacement, easy enough. Also, the transmission should (I believe) have a shorter tailshaft, which really isn't that big a deal, and at the same time, lower shift points with the (name alludes me) centrifugal shifting mechanism located on the output shaft, which can be changed (why can't I remember the name of that?).:eek:
     
  17. GLHS60

    GLHS60 Well-Known Member

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    Governor!!!

    Thanks
    Randy
     
  18. dana44

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    BINGO!!!
    Talk about a brain fart. Guess I'm getting old. But definitely, they are interchangeable and it will need to be changed, shift points are around 4200-4500rpm for the truck/motor home application, 5200-5600rpm for the performance cars. Easy to change, little e-clip plug and play adjustment from a car transmission needed.
     
  19. pt006

    pt006 Active Member

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    berg; remember you are talking about a 40 year old engine. Many things could have happened over the years. Original engine? Car engine? Truck engine, 440-1 or 440-3? Note that a 440-1 [light duty truck] is very similar to a car engine, at least in 1976. CR is 8.2 to 1 ; same camshafts [260/268 duration]; etc. ----- And what does 'rebuilt' actually mean?

    I wouldn't mess with the trans governor at this time. But I would peek at the timing chain and check for slop, even if only through the fuel pump opening. It should have a double roller, but Chrysler did a lot of mix and match back then. You have a torque motor, and it should light up street tires without effort. This combination may make you happy ---as is.
     
  20. pt006

    pt006 Active Member

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    Dana; I thought the short tailshafts were only used on the A bodies. However, this is pulled from memory. Worse, however, is that it is pulled from MY memory.
     

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