View Full Version : 360 Distributor Conversion and date code

08-15-2005, 01:02 PM
Hi, I have a 74 Javelin 360(1970?) 4speed car(1968). I just put a new pick up an pan gasket on the car(what an ordeal the guy before me welded the k-frame to the frame). But now Iím having trouble pushing the dipstick all the way down, it seems to be rubbing. Is there an easy fix for this problem or will I have to take the pan back off(I think it may be hitting the pick up). I have been having some issues with the timing and I am thinking about upgrading to an electronic distributor. I have heard it would require me to upgrade my whole ignition system to an electronic ignition. I was just wondering what that would involve, just to get a rough price estimate on it being Iím pretty much broke. Another alternative would be to get a new points distributor and buy an electronic conversion kit for it, but Iím not sure what the best route would be. Another thing I was having trouble with was decoding the date of the block, the only numbers on the block are the raised 360 numbers on both sides under the motor mounts and a small raised #2 I believe it is on the passenger side of the block. The exhaust manifolds are dated 1970, I donít know if theyíre original or not though. The heads on the motor have threaded holes for the rocker posts and I was told they probably came off an earlier AMC V8 due to the lack of push rod guides and smaller push rod holes in the head. Maybe Iím looking in the wrong spots for the numbers? The motor has an 11Ē clutch plate, which seems to match 71-74 3speed cars only. So I am pretty confused on the date of things at this point. If anyone had any advice I would be much appreciated. Thanks

08-15-2005, 07:58 PM
Hi, you must get the numbers from the back of the engine located the driver side where the bell housing mounts (just behind the cyl head). You will need a mirror and flashlight if still in stalled on the car. The number will cross refrence to the proper year. Since a lot of AMC's have been tricked a bit by bolt on stuff. I would think it is more likely that one of the owners had added non-smog exhaust manifolds which is really not any better than just plugging the AIR tube holes with pipe plugs. Just looks cool thats all... well any way you must get numbers in order to properly id any part.

Also it is best to just get a performance kit for GM distributers (3 spring sets and a vacume advance)... It will do better than any stock distributer. you will need to follow the directions to the T to get dialed in. This is a must since any time an engine is not mated up with original drive train including intake and exhaust. After all the OEM distributers are setup for 100% original engine and drive train and are useless if any changes are made to the engine or drive train without such a kit installed.

Hope I helped.

08-16-2005, 07:53 AM
Yes thank you, you have been extremely helpful. I just have a couple more questions about the distributor. I am not sure if there is something wrong with the bearings in the distributor because it seems like no matter how I adjust it(even at TDC) it still runs rough. So for this kit should I buy another points distributor and then buy the kit? Where can I find a kit like this and what would it be called? Thanks

08-16-2005, 06:38 PM
Hi, I would check your dwell first and make sure that it is within spec.

Everyone has had good experience with an after market electronic conversion. It keeps the stock look while upgrading the internals of the old GM style distributor. Since I am using a GM HEI distributer setup, I cannot say if it works as well as some have spoken here.

The only way you are going to know for sure about the bushings being good, is to have the distributor out and have it checked.

For me a good check is to disassemble it completely and clean up the shaft and housing bushings real good. Spray the shaft with WD40 and slide it back into the housing about 2/3 of the way. Hold the housing in your right hand and with the left pull down and up with the shaft head (you don't need to be forceful). If you notice that the shaft seems wobbly loose, you will need the housing re-bushed. You may get by with having the shafts bushings knurled.

The rough idle may be just from the points or your carb or even the cam timing... if your dwell varies outside the norm you may check the cam lobes on the distributor for wear... this can be done better while performing the above test, since you have the distributor apart.

08-17-2005, 08:19 AM
A local racer got tired of continuing points/condenser problems with his 360 Spirit and converted to electronic. Needless to say the problem went away - now it's been over 2 years since he even had the distributor cap off. Check out: http://www.vintageperformance.com/retrorockets/ignitor.htm

08-17-2005, 10:00 AM
Where could I find a kit like that? Could I find one at Summit or is there a cheaper place? Thanks

08-17-2005, 10:01 AM
Sorry scratch that last question I didn't notice that recent post. Thanks