1973 AMC Javelin

Started on Aug. 17 by Javelin

Ride Rating

37

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! I finally own my original dream car, an AMC Javelin! Granted, it's the 70 Mark Donohue that have always intrigued me, but this will do, as it can be a 73 Trans Am Championship car (which was a dealer-ordered fender decal).

It's a 1973 AMC Javelin SST. Trans-Am Red, Black interior with White vinyl high-back buckets. 360ci V8 with a 4Bbl and dual exhaust. 727 Torque-Flite transmission, full length console with a floor shift. Power brakes, front sway bar, power steering, and electric wipers.

Mods so far: MSD Coil, K&N open-element air cleaner, 1970 high-flow non-emissions exhaust manifolds, 2.5" dual exhaust with Hooker Aero Chamber mufflers and downturns, KYB shocks, Weld Rodlite wheels with BFG radials, and a factory AMC front disc brake swap.

Project costs:
Car: $250
Transportation: $150
Solenoid & cables: $36.49
Remote start & ignition switch: $25.93
Plug wires: $24.72
Tune-Up parts: $100.72
Points & coil: $75.39
Air cleaner: $33.99
Brake lines: $168.32
Water pump, etc: $168.84
Wheels & Tires: $400
Fuel pump, hoses, shocks, etc: $181.72
Turn rotors, rebuild calipers: $52.00
Brake hardware: $34.40
U-joints and starter button: $78.63
Transmission and differential service: $212.01
Drums: $77.90
Mufflers: $152.00
Exhaust: $188.83
Optima: $169.09
Battery Return: -$66.01(CR)
Oil change & wipers: $78.96
Lug nuts: $57.62
Spacers: $25.00

Total: $2676.55

6 comments on this ride

Latest updates

Feb. 23

Cherry on top

One thing that was really bugging me in the engine bay was the original oil filler cap. It had a breather tube (sort of like a pseudo-PCV) that had been capped and vented when I swapped on the open element ...

Feb. 23

Charging system complete

Here's the Optima I had to buy to make it through the autocross. This stupid thing cost more than an entire season's entry fees! At least I will keep it charged and it should last a good, looooong time. (The ...

Feb. 23

Alternator drama

The big news since the autocross is that my original alternator was dead (which killed the battery while we were there). A lot of poking, prodding, and book-looking finally led me to a few points. The Motorola unit on my ...

Feb. 22

Conclusions

Even though the Javelin still has teething issues, it really does drive well. Plus I drove it 50 miles to the track and 50 back, plus my co-driver and I both got 6 runs. The battery did die on us, ...

Feb. 22

And what's not working

Okay, so now for the truth. My codriver got DFL, and I only beat a handful of total novices. The tires hurt us the most, but there are definitely other issues. Item one is rear traction. Even when it was ...

Feb. 22

Wheels are working, tires are not.

So we had the car on jackstands before our run group went to decide on tires. We had a set of 17" RPF-1's with 275 Kuhmo wets, and the 18's with the V710's. It was damp, clear, and a drying ...

Feb. 22

So far, so good!

Well it can make it around a course! Nothing has broken, nothing is leaking, and we didn't kill or maim any corner workers.

Feb. 22

Oh yeah, here we go!

Can you believe that less than 10 weeks ago this thing drove for the first time in 25 years? And yet, here it is on the starting line of an autocross track.

Feb. 22

Better light

I finally got the stupid lights to all work, too! I had to replace the headlight switch as my rebuilt one was still just too worn out to make the contacts work correctly. I also replaced all the remaining bulbs ...

Feb. 22

Catch can

One of the glaring defaults with my car is the lack of a coolant overflow bottle/catch can. They just weren't installed in 1973. Unfortunately, you have to have one for drag racing and most autocrosses. I picked up this plastic ...

Feb. 22

Landing pad

More time, more drives, more miles. Just driving this thing on mundane trips, like here to the hospital for an appointment, are fun. Parking garages and V8's just go together...

Feb. 22

The fronts, not so much...

That same wheel is horribly sized for the front, however. The 285 is the absolute max you can get on a stock front suspension and fender. This is with a 3.5" spacer. The 2.5" didn't fit inwards enough. Honestly, this ...

Feb. 22

285/30/18

That's the size of the Kuhmo V710. The height is okay, but it could be taller. We are at maximum fitment inboard, there's about 1/4" to the leaf spring there. There's still a good *three inches* outwards we could go ...

Feb. 22

Test fitting some big wheels

In preparation for the upcoming autocross, I borrowed a good friend's Enkei RPF-1 from his FD RX-7. Looks good from this side.

Feb. 22

Natural enemy...

An old boss and friend of mine owns this 1969 Trans Am (clone, but done right), a natural enemy of the Javelin. We got some good pics. He sold it hours after this photo for a 1957 Chevy Bel Air ...

Nov. 07

Size...

When you look at pictures of just the Javelin, it looks massive. In reality though, it's actually quite small. That's an older Accord behind it and a Cavalier in front of it. It's very low compared to nearly everything out ...

Nov. 07

Stop! Re-do everything!

On a drive home from work I started to get a growl, then a squeak, and then a clunk! It took an entire weekend on jackstands, but it was really a lot of things in one. One of the spindle ...

Nov. 07

Still messing with lights

My lighting problem came and went and came again, and I finally traced it down to the original headlight switch. Well, these are not available anywhere, so I took it apart and cleaned and sanded all of the contacts and ...

Nov. 07

Topping Off

It's been a few hundred miles now, and the old 360 ate/dripped about a quart, which for it's first oil change since 1986 isn't too bad! I do like the factory fill tube, I'll miss that when an intake change ...

Nov. 06

The age of knowing how to get things done...

We've all seen that commercial. Old dude in a Camaro, it overheats, he stops for water and is on his way, while Mr. Narrator talks about ED and knowing how to get things done. Well, on the drive back I ...

Nov. 06

Vancouver, ho!

And now it's time for the big road trip! I took the Javelin ~40 miles each way down to my other office in Vancouver and back. Doesn't sound like much, but it's all 70MPH interstate. The drive down was very ...

Nov. 06

Cinching up

The new exhaust collector gaskets needed to be tightened as well after a few miles, and I checked all of the exhaust manifold bolts as well (no gaskets to the head). Everything is torqued to spec and there's no more ...

Nov. 06

Adjustments Part 2

I started with the squeaky belts. They stretched as they wore in, so I had to adjust them a bit. Alternator was still charging and the battery checked out fine. The power steering developed some nasty weeps, but after cleaning ...

Nov. 06

Electrical fault!

Suddenly the Javelin's brake lights went out, and then the taillights and parking lights followed. The fuses all checked out fine, and I replaced all of the bulbs. Break out the multi-meter...

Nov. 06

Coastal drive

Now that the Javelin is running and driving, it's time to start putting some miles on it. I had to go about 25 miles for work one day, so I took the Javelin and enjoyed the sunshine and the Columbia ...

Sept. 05

Take the long way home

Do you see the busy road on the left? That's I-5. I don't like that road. I like the twisty 2-laners that roll through hills. I took the Javelin on my favorite driving road. It's no 944 (or RX-7, or ...

Sept. 05

Driving to work

After the show and cruise I ended up taking the Javelin to work nearly all week. I often have to run errands so it was a good chance to get some miles on the car and see some new spots ...

Sept. 05

First cruise!

The big draw of the Unique Tin show is actually the cruise in at night. The town closes down a nice portion of the main drag downtown and all of the cars that were on the show field get to ...

Sept. 05

First car show!

All of the flurry of work was to get the Javelin ready for this car show. It's one of the biggest ones in my area and it's put on by the Unique Tin club. I bought my registration 6 weeks ...

Aug. 31

Where else would I go?

And the first stop after the new exhaust? Why the parts store, of course! Actually I was just showing it off to all my friends there, but I did buy some vacuum hose and replace it in the parking lot ...

Aug. 31

New exhaust installed

With the new manifolds in I was finally able to make it to the exhaust shop and have new duals welded up. They are 2.5" from the manifolds back, with no h-pipe (AMC's run better this way). The mufflers are ...

Aug. 31

More power from better flow

The original exhaust manifolds on the Javelin had EGR provisions, which are these tubes that go deep into the exhaust port in the head. The PO had taken off the outside components and very poorly plugged them with a variety ...

Aug. 31

PHR ink!

My Javelin got picked as one of the cars featured in Popular Hot Rodding's annual "Reader's Projects" issue! I was the only AMC picked and they seemed to have really liked the car. It was so cool seeing this in ...

Aug. 31

Foiled!

I originally brought the Javelin into the exhaust shop a few weeks ago but not only were the manifolds so bad as to need replacing, but the fuel tanks started leaking! Turns out the new gasket and old lock ring ...

Aug. 30

Close up

Compare this shot to the earlier ones in the build and you can really see the smoothness difference. Now I can do a Duke's slide across the hood! I also installed a starter button under the dash.

Aug. 30

Phew!

And quite a few hours and many 6" buffing heads later... Voila! Again, it's not a miracle, but it's at least an improvement. "Polishing a turd" is how Mrs. Javelin put it...

Aug. 30

Break out the polish!

I was tired of the outside looking like absolute trash, so I spent a day with the polisher. The fender is washed, cleaned, and polished with the Porter-Cable, the door is just washed. See the difference? It's not "saving" the ...

Aug. 30

Driving places!

Now I can finally drive this project places, like to work! It's still loud (no exhaust), ugly (flat paint), and unknown (25 miles in the last 28 years...) but it got me there and back!

Aug. 30

More cleaning...

Lots of vacuuming, de-carpeting, scrubbing, de-molding, etc, etc got me to here... You can ride in the car without a bio-hazard suit again! No more mold growth plants, either...

Aug. 30

Finally!!!

The rest of the front suspension finally arrived! My special welded LCA's got damaged beyond repair in shipping, so these are stock ones with new bushings and a stubber (my car was only built with one...). Now I just need ...

Aug. 30

Repeat steps 1-100...

The passenger door didn't even open when I got the Javelin. It took longer than I want to admit to coax the passenger door open, but once I did accomplish that I repeated all of the steps from the driver's ...

Aug. 29

Door complete!

After a thorough scrubbing of the door panel pieces and a coat of 303 Aerospace Protectant, I put the door panel back together with the new hardware. I also cleaned and polished the chrome latch handle and door lock, and ...

Aug. 29

Upholstery work

Don't be afraid of interior upholstery! After fixing the plastic inner piece's cracks with JB Weld Epoxy, I glued the original rubber outer back on with 3M adhesive and liberal application of vise-grip.

Aug. 29

Door innards rebuild

Of course the main reason for popping the door panels was to rebuild the innards. I took the glass off the track, rebuilt all of the seals and felts, lubed the winder and tracks, and reinstalled. I also took the ...

Aug. 29

Door panel disassembly

The next item on the list was to rebuild the doors. I started with the driver's side and pulled off all of the parts. I bagged and tagged the hardware and went and bought all new stuff at the local ...

Aug. 08

And into the shop with you!

Trip three was to the local repair shop staffed by some good friends. They are going to do the 727's filter and fluid (you can drain the torque convertor in these) and the rear end grease. These are two jobs ...

Aug. 08

Started scrubbing the interior

After getting some gas in the car (trip 2!) I decided it was high time I took some elbow grease to the inside. I cleaned the mold up, vacuumed, and generally wiped things down. It ain't anywhere near done, but ...

Aug. 07

Save the paint?

Here's what 5 quick minutes of hand-rubbing with a mild polish got me... I do believe that with my Porter-Cable and a lot of elbow grease I can get this "orange" at least back to glossy!

Aug. 07

Adjustments

Well if you watched the first drive video, you know the brakes were dragging. The rears would lock up as soon as I let off the gas. I took this to mean that I messed up the install, but the ...

Aug. 07

Another pressure washing

With the Javelin out in the sun it was time for another pressure-washing. Goodbye mold, mildew, dirt, cat prints, and other grit! Hmmm, the paint looks good. Maybe I can save it?

Aug. 07

First Drive!!!

And there we have it! The first drive under it's own power since 1986!!! Video of the actual first move: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVPYWeuTBkE&feature;=g-upl

Aug. 07

Down on all fours!

This is the first time in over a year that the Javelin has been on it's own four wheels and tires! Next step is to make it drive...

Aug. 07

Disc swap

The disc swap portion of the brake job was actually stupid easy. These are the factory Kelsey-Hayes discs that would be on 360 and 401 Javelin's and AMX's optioned with them from 71-74. Everything came off of a Javelin and ...

Aug. 07

Movement!!!

The jackstand test of the transmission shows movement in both axles and all four (including reverse) gears! Let's put the wheels on...

Aug. 07

Exhaust fail

The original duals have had it. Both mufflers were completely rusted out and both pipes were smashed. Sawzall took care of all that weight... Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVO2X0oVQEc&feature;=g-upl

Aug. 07

Brakes are done!!!

With the correct spacers for the booster in hand I completed the brake rebuild/upgrade with a rebuilt booster and new master cylinder. I had to install one conversion fitting and bend the original lines a bit to get it all ...

Aug. 07

Trunk floor

It took a lot of unloading and cleaning, but here's the bare trunk floor. There is some surface scale, but no rust holes! I will wire-wheel this, prime it, and paint it with AMC splatter paint in the near future.

Aug. 07

Dropped the tank

Part of the rebuild process was to get the Javelin off of the fuel can and onto it's own fuel system. As the earlier updates showed, I had replaced the fuel pump and all hoses already. The last step was ...

Aug. 07

26 years off the road...

Yes, these are the original 1973 Oregon plates. Don't be fooled by the "98" registration, it's actually an 86 registration upside-down. This car spent 26 years off the road!

Aug. 07

Finally got the trunk open, too

And boy was it full! Two tires, a wheel and tire, and a wheel, plus some cool old metal boxes of light bulbs, the original plates, and a *pile* of 727 TF internals! I think the repair the Javelin got ...

Aug. 07

Fan issue solved

This took way longer than it should have, but I finally got the right combination of bolts, washers, and spacer to make the fan and pulley work correctly. Belts and upper radiator hose followed it in.

July 22

Brakes are closer...

And I finished off by finishing mounting the spindle, caliper bracket, and dust shield on the driver's side. Popped the rotor on, too. I have the new sliders for the caliper, so I can plop that on next, then the ...

July 22

More air

The new K&N filter is in and some general cleaning and maintenance performed. I want to drive this car so bad! I was supposed to be debuting it at the Woodburn Dragstrip Mopar / AMC meet today. I missed the ...

July 22

Problems!

Then the problems started! The new water pump has a different shaft and snout compared to the original (even though it was ordered as a direct replacement for my exact car) which meant the pulleys wouldn't line up. I finally ...

July 22

Alternator repaired and installed

The new GM-style alternator I have from a Wagoneer won't work on my Javelin without a Wagoneer bracket, so I fixed the broken wire on the back of the stock alternator, cleaned it up, and installed it. The bracket is ...

July 22

Hoses and wires

All of the heater hoses are now in and done. Everything is new, even the hose clamps. I also added wire separators to the plug wires and re-routed them.

July 15

More work on the engine

I kept going on the engine today. The thermostat has been replaced, and I'm glad I did it because the one in the car was a very incorrect 195 degree one! The correct factory 180 degree one is in there ...

July 15

Because I can, that's why

Yes, I painted my calipers bright red. It's my car and I'll do whatever cliche's I want! I actually think it will look pretty good once the car is painted, because it's supposed to be bright red, too. So this ...

July 15

Rotors turned

The used rotors I have were able to be turned and I got those back from the machine shop this week. I also had them remove the old bleeder screws in the calipers, bought new bleeders, and the neutral safety ...

July 15

And new water pump, too!

I removed the original water pump while I was doing the fuel pump for better access, and because I was replacing it. This replacement is an aluminum one, saving me about 4-5 pounds right on the nose of the motor. ...

July 15

New fuel pump is in!

Next up was the fuel system. I took the old fuel pump off. It had a good wear pattern on it, so I installed the new one in the same spot. It's just a stock replacement, but for now it ...

July 15

Mocking up the front disc conversion...

Time to start attacking the front brakes now. I cleaned, sanded, and painted the various brackets. Test fit looks good, so I went ahead and dropped of the discs to get turned...

July 15

New wheels fit well on the back

With the drums completed on both sides, I polished up the new Welds and mounted them up. They fit really nicely, albeit with small tires. The 215's on here have many, many inches of clearance all the way around. When ...

July 15

Rear drums completed

With the correct wheel cylinders in hand it was a snap to get the drums together. I also figured out that my axles are good, but the differential is an open one. But, no brake drag, no seized bearings, and ...

July 08

Wrong parts!

And then I hit a snag! The rear wheel cylinders didn't fit. The bolt pattern and the way the lines entered were both different. Back they went! Luckily the right ones were the same price and in stock. Never did ...

July 08

Power steering pump

I cleaned and painted the power steering pump off of the bracket and reinstalled it. Came out nice!

July 08

Yet more blue

Since the alternator is out it was time for more blue! I know it's not the greatest job, but once all the brackets are back in it will look pretty good. At least it's clean so I can spot fresh ...

July 08

KYB's

The new shocks are KYB's. Not anything fancy, but since the suspension is stock right now anyways, they'll do just fine.

July 08

Shock mounts in

The shock tower hats/mounts are re-installed all cleaned up. The old Monroe shock is on the fender. The new shocks bolt to this mount first, then the whole assembly goes into the car. It's a slick way of doing it ...

July 08

New drums

Since the right rear drum was shot I had to buy new drums. The ones that came in are finned! Woohoo for unintentional upgrades! I'll keep the good old drum around as an emergency spare.

July 08

Scrape, scrape, scrape

There was a ton of oil and sludge buildup on top of the oil pump, which is par for the course in a 39 year old car. More scrubbing and scraping...

July 08

Blacked out the back

Since the rear was up on jackstands and everything was apart, I blacked out the wheelwells in the rear to match. Once again I scrubbed all the dirt out and found surprisingly good metal. The only rust in the quarters ...

July 08

Stuck axle solved

When I had the Javelin delivered the right rear axle was frozen solid and the car dragged across the ground. It took days of soaking in penetrating oil and the biggest hammer I own to get the drum off. (Yes, ...

June 09

Organized!

I finally cleaned out the shed and got all of the Javelin's parts in one spot. I didn't realize how much stuff I had or how much of the house and garage it all took up. I even have spares!

June 09

Wheeless, too

I sold the old P71 steelies off the car, and I need to do the rear brakes, so the Javelin is up on 4 jackstands now..

June 09

Brakeless

The master cylinder, brake booster, and some of the lines are removed. Threading in the new lines will be fun (not).

June 09

Shock mounts

I took the front shocks out to replace them and cleaned and painted the mounts and hardware.

June 09

More new stuff...

I also ordered up a new aluminum water pump, thermostat, some gaskets, and that K&N finally.

June 09

New suspension - Part II

All the suspension parts (sort-of) came in! I'll explain; I wanted to get a spare set of control arms to have the bushings pressed in so I could swap everything at once. Unfortunately, one of the lower control arms I ...

June 09

Fan & Cooling

Got the fan and pulley cleaned, sanded, primed, and painted. Cleaned the spacer bracket as well. Not shown is the plastic fan shroud that was cleaned and redyed.

April 23

Roof primer is holding up

The roof primer is holding up well. There's no bare spots or rust besides a little trickle where the quarter panel lead seam is. Good! My protection plan is working. You know, I can't stand the cheap roof rails modern ...

April 23

Weight savings

The front plate mount was large, steel, mangled, rusty, and heavy, none of which are desirable qualities. Since my state only requires a rear plate on classics, off it comes! Much cleaner and lighter.

April 23

Problem found

Since I was already there I decided to pull the original 55 amp alternator out. Turns out it has a broken wire on it! Luckily I happen to have a spare GM-style 1-wire 100 amp alternator from a Wagoneer that ...

April 23

Keep taking stuff apart!

Now I've got some good access to the front of the motor. Obviously I need to do some cleaning and painting in here! I might also change the water pump, we'll see. I'd really like a new harmonic balancer, too ...

April 23

While you're in there...

I have a seriously bad habit of going "while I'm in here" with this car... I also took out the fan and shroud for a little clean-up. I might even replace the fan. The radiator works great and is all ...

April 23

Coolant system rebuild time

I also managed to start the coolant system rebuild. The old coolant actually looked really good! Drained this out, removed the heater hoses, crossover hose, and the radiator hoses. All of that will be replaced with new stuff (Goodyear, natch) ...

April 23

Grill header finished

The grill header panel is finished and reinstalled. The driver's fender needed a little tweaking (it's the damaged one) so it could go on how it's supposed to. It feels good to put stuff back ON the car instead of ...

April 15

New wheels!!!

This weekend was the giant swap meet at Portland International Raceway and the Portland Expo Center (it's seriously huge, and is a 4-day event). My #1 goal this year was to get wheels and tires for the Javelin. Although the ...

April 08

Cleaned up

So I pressure washed the car. All of the mold is now gone and the Javelin is clean again. Now if the freak snow fronts will stop coming through I can get to work!

April 08

Mold, ugh.

As a result of my carport being destroyed in the snowstorm and the crazy high levels of rain, the Javelin grew mold over the winter. Ugh.

April 08

Brake lines

The new brake line kit came in from Inline Tube. This is an all new set done to the factory specs for a 73 Javelin with power front discs, which is what I'm converting my car to (with factory parts). ...

March 17

New parts!

Say hello to a new set of KYB shocks, fuel pump and filter, and radiator hoses and cap. Thank you Summit Racing! Also arriving, but not shown, are new brake hoses and metal brake lines for the entire car. Slowly ...

Feb. 04

Finished (for now)

That wraps up the primer-thon for now. I removed the tape and I'll let it stand overnight, as it's supposed to be nice again tomorrow when I'll re-tarp it before the big game. I will just snap the window trim ...

Feb. 04

Primer bomb!

After hand sanding or wire brushing in the channels, using compressed air to spray all of the sanding dust away, and then wiping everything down with cloths, it was time to prime. I used some high-build primer on the quarter ...

Feb. 04

Pillar rot

Unfortunately, the a-pillars are rotted out. This is very common in cars this old, and ex-vinyl-top ones in particular. There's a little around the entire windshield area. It's okay, this is all actually quite easily fixable. That's a project for ...

Feb. 04

That's a lot of work!

An hour or so later, and many sheets of 80-grit gone, we had a somewhat sanded roof. Some areas were bare metal, but most of it still had factory paint on it. It was the surface scale, grit, and glue ...

Feb. 04

Prepare to sand

Today was a very nice day, so I had de-tarped the Javelin so the interior could air out. I decided now was a good time to sand that rusty roof...

Jan. 29

Re-covered

I was able to tarp the Javelin quickly after the collapse, but I wasn't happy. I was able to let the car air out pretty well yesterday and then I used the heavy duty tarp that was on the awning ...

Jan. 29

Top tip: Restore your hardware!

One of the reasons all these little jobs take up so much time is that I restore the original hardware, too. Not only is it cost-effective, it also ensures I have the correct fasteners for every part. Here's a tip: ...

Jan. 29

And of course, painted too.

The bracket then got coated in the original semi-gloss black. Every little bit helps on this project. Not only does it look better, but it will help protect the parts from any corrosion in the future.

Jan. 29

More brackets being restored

Even though the Javelin came from a dry area and has minimal rust, there's still 39 years of surface scale on everything. This is the upper grill support bracket. I wire brushed the whole thing and wiped it down, and ...

Jan. 29

Linkage restored

One of the next little jobs on the Javelin was to restore the throttle and trans linkage. I put everything back to the factory colors after sanding down the surface rust and cleaning off the grime. Re-assembled to factory spec. ...

Jan. 29

Close one!

I have to give my canopy credit. It may have collapsed, but it didn't damage the car! No cracks in the glass, no dents in the trim, nothing! I got really, really lucky!

Jan. 29

Mother nature gets mean

We had a freak snow storm drop 12" in 24 hours this January, which was way over the maximum weight on my car canopy. Needless to say, it collapsed! I woke up to this site out of my window...

Jan. 29

And supported, too.

The last thing to do to the control arms was weld in side plate supports. The arms had a tendency to bend and collapse at the corners. The Trans Am Javelins were actually the first to employ this modification! Both ...

Nov. 05

Driver's Side Blacked Out

I also finally got around to scrubbing, sanding, and painting the wheelwell on the driver's side to match the passenger. Yeah, I know the suspension is still rusty looking. The brake replacement became a front-end rebuild when I figured out ...

Nov. 05

Boxed!

So I boxed them! (Well, one in this picture...) I made a metal plate that boxes in the open underside and welded them together in the welding class I'm taking. This should make the arms much stronger for not a ...

Nov. 05

Control Arms?

Here's a spare pair of front lower control arms that came with the brakes. What's up with them? Well, as you can see, they are simple stamped steel pieces. That U-Shape is not very strong and the swaybar endlink attaches ...

Nov. 05

Brakes disassembled

I was finally able to get to the brake assemblies that my Dad sent and take them all apart. I found new upper ball joints and pads. I'm going to have the rotors turned and of course the rubber brake ...

Oct. 10

401 is going away...

Part of the reason progress on the Javelin has been so slow is that my Dad bought a Jeep J-20 near me. After months of fiddling, it was determined that the engine was trash and it didn't run. Either way, ...

Oct. 10

More chrome!

And with that I cleaned and painted the hardware for this side and installed the aftermarket chrome valve cover. Much better looking! This cover was significantly harder to get in place as the power steering hoses, brake booster, and fuel ...

Oct. 10

Matching head, good valvetrain

I finally got around to the Driver's side valve cover and the numbers on this head match the other head and the block. As far as I can tell, this engine has never been apart, which is a good thing! ...

Oct. 10

Welding!

Was does this have to do with the Javelin project you ask? Well, the quarter panels both have small rust holes, and there's about 50 trim holes to fill from the no-longer-existing vinyl top. It was cheaper (and made more ...

Oct. 10

Covered work area

It may not look like much, but this metal and tarp contraption will allow me to work on the Javelin over the winter. It will also keep the interior dry while I pull all of it out for replacement.

Sept. 10

More blue

I finally started making some progress on the other side of the engine! The intake is now entirely the original EN-66 blue color and the chrome valve cover is ready to install.

Sept. 10

Ewww...

This is the fuel filter that I bought brand new for this thing for it's entire ownership here. I've been sucking gas from a new fuel hose through the original pump and into this before it hits the carb. The ...

Aug. 25

Welcome to the Jungle!

So the Javelin hasn't been worked on much (at all) lately, because I've been getting a J20 running for my Dad, so we can ship it cross-country with 3 AMC 401's in it's bed (and a TF727 trans). In the ...

Aug. 25

More stuff!

Another box from Santa (my Dad) came in containing everything I need to restore the rear drum brakes! All I have to purchase to complete the total brake rebuild and swap is a set of hard lines and a set ...

July 04

Happy Independence Day!

I celebrated July 4th by firing the 360 up and letting her turn some gas into sweet, sweet noise. Ahh, freedom. Anyways, the motor still runs great, and all of the finished electrics work, so another successful session!

July 04

Lens replaced.

Not the most exciting update, I know, but the broken lens would have failed the safety inspection, which I need to pass to issue the new title. Not only are all of the lenses now legal, the lights themselves work ...

July 04

And electrical system finished, too.

Now that the battery tray is solid and rust-free I was able to reinstall the battery, with the factory hold-down this time! I also was able to permanently wire the starter solenoid ground wire, get rid of the extra chassis ...

July 04

Battery tray is in.

The new battery tray is now installed with new hardware. Since the fender/framerail metal was still nice and solid, the tray was all that needed to be replaced. Going in took a lot less time then coming out!

June 25

And now for the other side...

I kinda hate to admit it, but my motor is only 1/2 clean and shiny... It's time to clean and paint the driver's side and install the chrome valve cover. This will of course all be easier with the booster ...

June 25

And in box #2...

I have to confess, I was nervous about this. See, there was supposed to be 3 boxes. One of the missing boxes held half of this picture. Luckily, it showed up the following day. Anyways, boxes #2 and #3 held ...

June 25

Presents!

Well one box contained a new power booster, a master cylinder, a radiator hose, a marker light lens, a set of rear brake rebuild kits, a rear proportioning valve, a trunk lock, and a battery tray!

June 25

Santa came!!!!

There were some heavy boxes left on the doorstep, I wonder what they could be?

June 05

Chrome, I has it.

That's why! After a few hours of cleaning, degreasing, scraping, and vacuuming, I was able to put the motor back together. All of the brackets that could be removed were and cleaned and painted separately (like the coil brackets), the ...

June 05

Original decals

These are reproductions of the decals originally found on my engine. Usually you got either the lid decal on the top of the lid, or the square decal on the side of the cleaner. So why do I have both ...

June 05

6090!!!

The 6090 (last 4 before the dash) heads are the second-best AMC casting after the 6291's. They feature the dog-leg exhaust ports that flow more, big 2.025/1.680 valves, and the early style single adjustable rockers with a 57.92cc chamber. This ...

June 05

Clean on the outside, clean on the inside

The inside of the engine is amazingly clean! There was no varnish or sludge in the valve cover at all and the rockers all looked clean, no over-heating discoloration, no bent pushrods, no metal deposits. This is exactly what you ...

June 05

A little more Blue...

I've slowly been able to de-grease the engine and get it repainted it's factory EN66 Blue color. This is important to me because it's the one part of the car I can make look better, and I like working on ...

June 05

Ready for re-installation

The battery tray bolts to the inner fender apron, and mine was pretty solid underneath. A few minutes with the wire wheel, some wire brushes, and primer and paint and it's good as new. At some point I will probably ...

June 05

Rust-B-Gone!

One of the worst areas of rust on the Javelin is pretty common amongst all cars, the battery tray. At some point in it's life some acid leaked onto it and it was heavily destroyed. Luckily these are both removable ...

June 05

Painted, too.

I wasn't really clear in my last update, but when I said stuff was getting primered I didn't mean that it was going to stay that way. I've been using my makeshift paint booth area to prime and paint brackets ...

May 20

Paint booth

Okay, so I get a little crazy with the spray paint when the ice thaws, the rain stops, and that giant ball of fire shows up in the sky, sue me. Once you sand the surface crud away, this car ...

May 20

Temporary solution

So for now all I could do was sand it down with some 80-grit and a wire brush and throw a coat of primer on it. Eventually the whole roof will be primer where the vinyl top used to be. ...

May 20

Roof rust

This is my biggest worry on the body of the car. The roof and sail panels were welded together at the factory and seems that the joint has reacted with the vinyl top the car used to have and has ...

May 20

More engine clean-up

I can't help it. Old American V8's are probably the only truly pretty motors out there, so I want it to be pretty. More cleaning and painting in the original EN66 AMC Blue color. There will be some special parts ...

May 20

The first box has arrived!

The first shipment of goodies has arrived! This is one of the many cool parts going onto the car thanks to my family's help. These probably would have been useful before I started the motor, but whatever. Mechanical to boot.

May 20

Passenger side cleaned up

I also took the spindle off of the passenger front. You can see there's a simple 4-hole "pad" that accepts the spindles and brakes. AMC utilized this same part for decades meaning you can essentially bolt nearly any AMC front ...

May 20

Driver's side is apart

After much cursing and hammer beating I did finally manage to get the drum of the driver's side. That allowed me to take off the brake assembly and spindle as well. The brake line fitting are frozen solid though, I ...

May 17

Old School

I actually got this months ago, but am just now getting around to posting about it. This is a 1973 AMC Javelin 1/24 scale Promotional model by JoHan. Promos were updated each model year and given to dealers to give ...

May 17

Proof of concept

Well work on the Javelin ground to a halt. Between Mother's Day activities, making family time, and rain, there just hasn't been any good outside time available to me. Not a big deal, as I got a lot of stuff ...

May 02

MUCH better!

Ah! That should fix it! Yes, I realize there is nothing left but a spindle, and even that I won't be using. I am having the family send me a factory front disk brake setup for the Javelin. Since it ...

May 02

Gobbily-gook!

What manner of sorcery is this contraption! Oh, it's a drum brake in need of a total rebuild. I'll have to do something about that...

May 02

Cleaning from the bottom up

So I did! I hand-scraped the majority of the gunk off, took a wire brush to the metal, and then spent some time masking and painting a little. It was one of those nice "change of pace" projects that actually ...

May 02

Ewwww, greasy!

The Javelin is actually pretty clean underneath, but every car could use a good scrubbing and the engine was on the slimy side. I know I should be concentrating on other stuff, but dirty cars bother me and I am ...

April 25

De-molding

Well yes, the actual trim molding will come off too, but right now I'm talking about the stuff that grows in the shade and causes health problems. We had a gloriously sunny day on Saturday so I took a pressure ...

April 25

Engine work continues

Now that the Javelin is a confirmed runner I need to start focusing on other tasks, but I still have some minor details to attend to in the engine bay. Namely it doesn't have an air filter, the hoses are ...

April 21

New tiller

I picked this up at the swap meet at PIR a few weeks ago, an original 71-74 AMX steering wheel (in maroon!) to replace my horrific Javelin unit. I think this is one of the coolest factory wheels ever. I ...

April 10

Suspension?

While the suspension is no doubt tired, it should be OK for the inspection to get her road-worthy again. The shocks are actually recent (ish) Monroe Sens-A-Tracs and the springs are solid. The bushings all need to be replaced, but ...

April 10

Next step: brakes

The next step to getting the Javelin totally operational is to change the brakes. The system is totally dry and drums to boot, so it's all going away. I am working on getting the correct 71-74 Kelsey-Hayes front disc setup ...

April 10

Less smoke

Now that the engine has been run up to temp a few times and has clean oil there is noticeably less smoke out of the tailpipes. The 360 seems to be in very healthy shape!

April 10

Fresh oil.

After running up to temp again the old oil was drained. It actually looked pretty good! Minimal sludge, no metallic pieces, and the right consistency. It was slightly gassed down and there was obviously penetrating oil in there. A fresh ...

April 10

It's a gas, gas, gas!

This is how it's fueled for now. Basically, I have no idea what kind of shape the tank and lines are in so this fuel hose goes directly to the fuel pump. No leaks (yet) in the fuel system with ...

April 10

Fire in the hole: Part 2

Yesterday the Javelin got started again, she fired right up. The engine was run for a good 15-20 minutes and came up to operating temperature. The carb idled down, the throttle is nicely responsive, and the gauges all seem to ...

March 20

Future plans...

So now that the 360 runs, where to go from here? Well, here's the plan: * First I need to get the engine up to temp again and change the oil and filter. * The coil had a broken stud ...

March 20

RTFM

When in doubt, read the f-ing manual! This is an original 1974 AMC TSM (the 73's should be identical) that I have used for this project. It also has original wiring diagrams, which are invaluable! I also have to thank ...

March 20

IT RUNS!!!!

The smoke in the pipe lets you know the old girl is running! The engine actually fires right up and idles nicely. Revs pretty well (initial tip-in stumble though). It comes up to temperature, no leaks (oil or coolant), and ...

March 20

Fire in the hole!

So after months of trying, buying and swapping parts, testing things, and generally working my way up to it, it all came down to this very moment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dl9CkYMBCVA

March 20

But still no spark...

Hmmm, coil didn't do it (even though the old one tested bad). Only one thing left then, the pickup in the distributor. For some reason I thought this car (and all 73/74 AMC's) had electronic ignition. Surprise! It doesn't. My ...

March 20

New spark!

So after an off weekend to start autocrossing, it's back to the Javelin! First up is replacing that bad coil. With an MSD Blaster unit of course. ;) I'm not sure if that will stay or an HEI goes in, ...

March 08

But no spark.

After all of that diagnosing and churning it was time to lay fire into the engine and hear the roar! Unfortunately I had no spark from the coil according to ye old timing light. According to the factory service manual, ...

March 08

Fuel!

For the first time (supposedly) in 28 years, there is fuel in the carb! Of course it then started to leak, but what did you expect? The motor has now successfully spun over enough to establish oil pressure and get ...

March 08

Electrical round 7...

Yes, that is another new solenoid. I'm 99% sure the other two are actually fine now that I've found the grounding problem. Still, they are cheap and everything in this car is old and has been sitting. The big news ...

March 08

Grounded

Whilst chasing down the still no-start issue it was pointed out that grounds could be an issue. The Javelin's starting circuit has the negative battery cable going straight to the engine (which has been replaced) and a ground strap going ...

Feb. 28

Progress Stalled!

We got hammered with a snowstorm last week, and then again on the weekend. Hours after this picture you couldn't even see a car, it was just snow. Drat!

Feb. 21

Chasing down the issue...

Okay, a recap. The Javelin now sports the following new parts: battery, battery cables, ground cables, starter cable, starter, starter solenoid, ignition switch, and ignition module. Yet there's still no starting (as in not even a whir from the starter ...

Feb. 21

Ignition switch

Still had a no-start situation with the Javelin, so I grabbed a new ignition switch and installed it. This is a common 70's GM unit (as AMC switched to a GM column in 70). It actually bolts to the bottom ...

Feb. 21

New starter installed

Here's the new starter in place, with new cable. This old car is a joy to work on! The starter is easily accessible and held on with only 2 bolts and the cable. It is very heavy, but I'm 99% ...

Feb. 13

Getting closer!

Got the Javelin up in the air and the engine turned over by hand! Now it's time for that starter and some cables...

Feb. 08

Looking good so far!

Okay and a few hours later, everything is installed! We are *really* close to trying to start her up for the first time. You'll notice I also changed out the starter solenoid on the fender well as I diagnosed the ...

Feb. 08

New stuff!!

So it was off to the parts store! What you see here is a new battery, battery cables, fuel filter, fuel hose, oil filter, oil (yes it's "racing oil", for the high ZDDP content, this is a soft-seat, flat-tappet cam ...

Feb. 08

Plugs and cylinders

All eight spark plugs were then pulled both to assess their condition and to spray down the cylinder walls with oil lube to break the rings free if needed. Not bad, but their cheap so we'll replace them anyways.

Feb. 08

Assessing the engine

Now that the long, cold, and rainy winter is nearing being done I've been able to start working on the Javelin again. First step is still to get it running. The fluids look clean enough and there's no leaks so ...

Oct. 13

New tool!

This simple looking device is an AMC V8 engine priming tool. My grandfather actually machines these in his home shop. You take out the canted distributor and insert this down the hole. Hook up a drill to the other end ...

Oct. 13

Getting ready for a fire...

This is the original Motorcraft 4 barrel carburetor. First time it has seen the light of day in 15-27 years. I am preparing the 360 for awaking from it's long awaited slumber...

Aug. 26

Instrumentation

Did a little cleaning today and some more inspecting. The interior should clean up nicely! I have noticed a few things though. First, no factory tach :(. Second, it has drum front brakes :( :( Luckily both are easily added ...

Aug. 19

Let's get started!

First off, under the hood. I shop-vac'd up all the dirt and mouse poo and washed everything down. No water seeped into the engine. The oil still looks new, as does the trans fluid. Nice.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more AMC reader's rides.

Comments

Aug 18, 2010 12:06 p.m.
DukeOfUndersteer:
This vote is for you! Big up for owning your dreamcar!
Apr 28, 2011 10:53 a.m.
Matt B:
Big iron bucket-o-awesomeness. You sir, have made me a fan of Javelins.
Sep 16, 2011 1:46 p.m.
Jake:
How is the brake job coming along?
Sep 16, 2011 7:14 p.m.
Javelin:
Not well. No issues with the brakes, issues with me having time to work on the car :(
Dec 22, 2011 1:42 p.m.
Jake:
Hey Javelin, when you swap out the control arms for the boxed set do you have any plans for the old ones if they aren't trashed, I'd be interested in them so I can get the rebuild started on mine.
Jan 17, 2013 11:35 a.m.
crankwalk:
The before and after picture of the motor is jaw dropping. Great job with it!

You must be registered and signed in to comment.

Grassroots Motorsports Magazine

Subscribe Today

Also get your instant access to the digital edition of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine!

Learn More
sqzzUMoRlBeV490G61AZNDjYpQwPe3zdPEpNr5jJs02bhtSCxoJEiSYpobgAdAOS