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 Post subject: 1974 AMC Javelin build
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:30 pm 
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started this build thread for my 1974 AMC Javelin that I'm building for American Iron. Hope to make the first 2011 race! I'll have many questions so I'm hoping you guys can help keep me pointed in the right direction. below is a pic of what I'm staring with. Here are some things I know:

1. I will be running an IFS from http://freakride.com/amc.pdf

2. I am planning to use this Wilwood front brake kit with the IFS: http://wilwood.com/BrakeKits/BrakeKitsProdFront.aspx?itemno=140-9801-D%20%20%20%20%20

3. I'm thinking of running these Enkei wheels. Do these seem like a good choice? Any other recommendations? They are 16.5lbs each: http://www.enkei.com/rpf1.html#

4. I will be running a 3-link Ford 9" in the rear but I haven't figured out what housing to use or where to get it from (suggestions?).

5. Plan to build a 401 AMC motor for this with the Edelbrock aluminum heads.

6. I *think* I'm going to run a TKO 500 trans.

looking for any and all feedback EXCEPT feedback about how it would be WAY smarter/cheaper to buy an already built Mustang/Camaro. I know that but I'm an AMC guy so I really have no choice :)

Oh, and I've heard that there may be others building AMCs for AI. If you're out there PLEASE post about your projects! Thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:03 pm 
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Welcome to American Iron. It would be cool to see some vintage stuff running.

1. Make sure the aftermarket stuff is strong enough and race proven. Autocross and spirited street driving is not the same loading. Stuff that's fine in those two arenas is likely to break in racing if it's never been tested. Don't get them powdercoated, just spray them with rattle can paint, that way you can see cracks easier on inspection. It might not look as cool, but it'll look a lot better then the car in a wall. Stock parts may be heavy, but they're usually stronger and almost always designed with a lot greater safety margin in design.

2. Make sure you get solid rotors instead of drilled rotors for the brake kit. It's not if the drilled ones will crack, but when.

3. RPF1s are a strong wheel, but make sure you can design the setup so that you can use the same backspacing all the way around. That way you can rotate tires to help the budget.

4. 3-link Ford 9" setups are great in the class, but make sure you pay attention to the geometry and get it right. I used a circle track outfit in Iowa, but I had to do some additional things to get it to bolt up to modern wheels. Coleman Racing can probably get what you need, but be ready to chase leaky axles seals often.

5. I'd make sure the engine won't make too much torque for AI at 401 cubes. HP is easier to dial down, but torque can be a pain. Very few AI engines are over 358 cubes and even less are in competitive cars. Lots of HP/TQ means lots of weight. That can do OK on large tracks with lots of straights, but it's a pain on smaller ones.

6. If you're going to run a TKO 500, you might as well run a T-10 or AMCs version of it. The 500 doesn't have a good 5th gear (that I recall). The 600 would be better if you're stuck on a 5 speed, but you can do well with a 4 speed too if it's not a wide ratio box.

I'd go ahead and run the car in some HPDEs before you go blow the budget and find out the car isn't competitive. I'm not saying that you can't do it, but just looking at the wheelbase and where things ought to mount, it's going to need a ton of fab work to run competitively. Don't let it discourage you, because I heard some of the same concerns, but be aware that it's never as easy as bolting on some shiny stuff and going to the top of the heap.

Good luck and remember that this is about FUN! :D

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:11 pm 
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Great questions and great responses by TJ!
Welcome...and as said before, we LOVE to see the vintage stuff come into American Iron with some cool projects.
Dip your foot in the pool here...test the waters...but develop a relationship with your regional series director and the guys in the class in your area.
They are going to be your best resources....the internet sometimes promotes an atmosphere to "pounce with intelligence", especially when pictures are posted. :wink:

All in all...it's all about the FUN, and we all have the same blood going thru our veins.
Speaking of which...is your profile pic your Tattoo???
If so, you've got some strong-ass AMC blood runnin' thru those veins!!! LOL
Good on ya!

-=- Todd

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:29 pm 
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Sounds like a cool project! Good luck!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:25 am 
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nape wrote:
Welcome to American Iron. It would be cool to see some vintage stuff running.

1. Make sure the aftermarket stuff is strong enough and race proven. Autocross and spirited street driving is not the same loading. Stuff that's fine in those two arenas is likely to break in racing if it's never been tested. Don't get them powdercoated, just spray them with rattle can paint, that way you can see cracks easier on inspection. It might not look as cool, but it'll look a lot better then the car in a wall. Stock parts may be heavy, but they're usually stronger and almost always designed with a lot greater safety margin in design.

2. Make sure you get solid rotors instead of drilled rotors for the brake kit. It's not if the drilled ones will crack, but when.

3. RPF1s are a strong wheel, but make sure you can design the setup so that you can use the same backspacing all the way around. That way you can rotate tires to help the budget.

4. 3-link Ford 9" setups are great in the class, but make sure you pay attention to the geometry and get it right. I used a circle track outfit in Iowa, but I had to do some additional things to get it to bolt up to modern wheels. Coleman Racing can probably get what you need, but be ready to chase leaky axles seals often.

5. I'd make sure the engine won't make too much torque for AI at 401 cubes. HP is easier to dial down, but torque can be a pain. Very few AI engines are over 358 cubes and even less are in competitive cars. Lots of HP/TQ means lots of weight. That can do OK on large tracks with lots of straights, but it's a pain on smaller ones.

6. If you're going to run a TKO 500, you might as well run a T-10 or AMCs version of it. The 500 doesn't have a good 5th gear (that I recall). The 600 would be better if you're stuck on a 5 speed, but you can do well with a 4 speed too if it's not a wide ratio box.

I'd go ahead and run the car in some HPDEs before you go blow the budget and find out the car isn't competitive. I'm not saying that you can't do it, but just looking at the wheelbase and where things ought to mount, it's going to need a ton of fab work to run competitively. Don't let it discourage you, because I heard some of the same concerns, but be aware that it's never as easy as bolting on some shiny stuff and going to the top of the heap.

Good luck and remember that this is about FUN! :D


TJ for President! ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:44 am 
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hey TJ (and everybody), thanks for the reply.

1. the guy who builds the IFS system runs a tube frame comet on track at speeds above 150mph. I think (hope!) it's been design to be strong enough.

2. thanks for that tip. I'll just get the slotted rotors then.

3. good call. I was planning to get same backspace all around.

4. there are so many places that make 9" rear ends I just don't know where to go. I haven't really found a place that claims they specialize in road racing. mostly it's street, dirt racing or drag... There's Strange, Moser, Chris Alston, found a circle track outfit named Schreiner, Howe, the list goes on...

5. this is the comment that really piqued my interest. AMC used the same block (size/weight) for their 304, 360 and 401 I believe. A 360 would be a lot easier to find so if it's true that a 401 is going to be harder to keep the torque number where I need then I can build a 360. the 401 is just sexier... :) anybody else agree that the 401 will make too much torque???

6. I'm not stuck on a 5 speed. I was thinking TKO because I have one in my street javelin and like it, and I feel like the internal shifter vs. side rail shift is an advantage in terms of feel/speed of shifts. but the main reason I didn't think I could use a T10 is that the research I did showed the stock T10s can handle 300 tq and the richmond super T10 can handle 375 tq. isn't 375 tq right about what I should be putting to the wheels? so the engine will make more than that... is a T10 strong enough? if it is and no one thinks the side rail shifting is a liability then I'll definitely consider a 4 speed. I had a T10 in my street javelin and between the mechanical clutch z-bar/bell crank and the hurst shifter and side rail rod shifting the whole thing felt like a rube goldberg machine :) my hydraulic clutch/slave cylinder and TKO trans just feel great in my street car so that's why I was considering replicating that setup...

I've done 9 track days this year, 6 in my street Javelin and spent this past weekend with NASA in HPDE 3 at Thunderhill. Are you saying run the race Javelin in HPDE? I'll have to build it first at which time if it's uncompetitive I'll have already spent the money :) I think the biggest disadvantage for the Javelin will be ME (my driving ability). That an the fact that I don't intend to run a giant wing on the back... I have no fantasies about running at the front. I'm going to build it and see what happens.

If anyone's interested in seeing the street Javelin on track there are lot's of track videos on my blog: http://asifnyc.com The latest videos have some GPS telemetry overlaid so you can see how slow I'm going :)

Keep the advice coming!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:04 am 
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oh and Todd, yes my avatar pic is my tattoo. I've had it over 15 years now and have never regretted it 8)

here's a pic of my street Javelin from Thunderhill this past weekend...
Image

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:29 am 
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1. That's good. It's always nice to have the parts proven before you have to run them.

2. Slotted should be fine too. I always just run blank ones because they're cheaper and haven't ever had issues for me.

4. Whoever makes your 9", you either want a full floater (bolt on hubs) or you want Big Bearing/Torino 9" ends on it. Don't let anyone sell you a setup with straight, roller bearings. With what we do, you need tapered roller bearings.

5. Engine choice will really be dictated by race weight of the car. Since you've already got a street Jav, you can probably estimate what the race car will weight. I used Desktop Dyno to try out engine combinations when I was trying to figure out what to build. I basically figured out that I couldn't run a SBC 350 unless I was heavier then 3150 post race due to the torque number, so I built a SBC 305 and it's within 100lbs on HP and a little more on TQ, but I wanted to run as light as I can instead of ballasting up.

6. I've never shifted a Tremec, but my T-10 shifts way better then my T5s ever did. It's an old circle track trans and the shifter uses AL tube and heim joints to get rid of the sloppy old linkages. I still use a hyd. TO bearing, but it's NASCAR throw away parts from ebay. As far as a T-10 handling the power, I wouldn't worry so much about the older ones. I have heard that Richmond QC and metallurgy has went to shoo-shiddily-diddily (most parts cast/machined in China) and the new T-10s are absolute junk.

No worries if you're already running HPDEs in a similar car. Some people have pipe dreams that never materialize due to biting off more then they can chew (wanting a race car yet never having any track time), but it looks like you've got the right progression going.

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'09/'10/'13 Midwest & '10 Great Lakes Champ


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:41 am 
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you could run your street Javelin in Time Trials to get an idea of what kind of times it turns - could use that to project what the race car would turn. Plus its a good way to polish your driving and ease into racing :)

Have fun!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:21 am 
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Welcome aboard

Cheers

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