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  • Michael's AMC Javelin Build

    Hey y'all, long time BS blog reader, and then forum lurker, and now it's time to add the project car on here.

    It’s a 1973 AMC Javelin SST I bought in 2010. Trans-Am Red, Black interior with White leather 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.

    The story goes the original owner brought it to a shop in ~83-84 to have some work done and never came back for it. The shop owner stored the car for the next 20 years, finally selling it when he closed the shop and retired. A local AMC guy bought it and held it for a few years until the wife told him to fix it or clear it out. That's when I bought it (over email) and had a friend go pick it up and trailer it back for me.

    Delivery day:











    I'll work on getting everything up-to-date, it's been a long and interesting road.
    Last edited by Javelin; May 30, 2012, 10:23 AM.
    Michael Pinto

    1973 AMC Javelin / 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix / 2006 Mazda5

  • #2
    At this point I had $500 in the car and $150 in gas and beer for my friend. This money started off out of a 73 AMC Hornet I bought to restore that turned out to be too rusty, so I stripped it and made quite a bit. At the same time I bought and sold a 304 V8 AMC Concord Wagon with a wicked tan/orange/black/cream interior as well. My family are long-time AMC'ers (Grandpa bought a 68 AMX 390 brand new when they first came out and was a 69 S/S AMX owner, as well as founder of one of the largest AMC parts companies; Dad bought a 68 AMX 390 at 15 that he still has and he still builds race motors and does restorations) and they are helping me out immensely with this project, both with parts and advice.
    Michael Pinto

    1973 AMC Javelin / 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix / 2006 Mazda5

    Comment


    • #3
      Great to see another AMCr over here, can't wait to see more.
      When I look at those pictures all I can think is how much work is to be done, yikes! Delivery day on any project is a strange day, exciting and overwhelming at the same time.

      Comment


      • #4
        It's definitely odd to be the only AMC at most events and even forums, so yeah it's great to see others! It did (and still does) need a lot of work, but I really enjoy working on it. It really helps me de-stress from working in the office all day.
        Michael Pinto

        1973 AMC Javelin / 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix / 2006 Mazda5

        Comment


        • #5
          So 8/17/2010 is when I bought the car.

          Let's get started! Aug 19, 2010



          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.

          Instrumentation



          Did a little cleaning and some more inspecting. The interior was in pretty decent shape (which has since changed). I had noticed a few things though; first, no factory tach, and second, it has drum front brakes. Luckily both are easily added from the AMC parts bin. It’s really odd to have a 360 4Bbl with the SST package and have power brakes and be missing these two parts though.
          Michael Pinto

          1973 AMC Javelin / 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix / 2006 Mazda5

          Comment


          • #6
            looks like with some elbow greas it would clean up real well, and it looks solid. Neat car, I do have lots of love for AMC...
            If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. - Mark Donohue

            Comment


            • #7
              That's a real pile of crap. I'll be more then happy to removing it from your driveway free of charge. I use to have 72 Gremlin X that had a 304. I swapped in a T10 out of a Javelin, installed a set of headers and dual exhaust. Fun car! Oh yeah, use to have a '58 Rambler in HS. Those 50's fins were great!

              Your Jav is going to be nice...I mean it is nice!
              Tom
              Overdrive is overrated


              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Huskinhano View Post
                That's a real pile of crap. I'll be more then happy to removing it from your driveway free of charge. I use to have 72 Gremlin X that had a 304. I swapped in a T10 out of a Javelin, installed a set of headers and dual exhaust. Fun car! Oh yeah, use to have a '58 Rambler in HS. Those 50's fins were great!

                Your Jav is going to be nice...I mean it is nice!
                I always said that the folks on this site were full of goodwill... well, maybe I said they were full of something...

                anyway, nice car

                although

                as welcome, I have to ask. So the smell in Kelso, AMC or papermill?
                Doing it all wrong since 1966

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks everyone! It is a nice solid start for a project. Just wait till I get you caught up to today.

                  BuickGuy: I'm in Lexington, which is north of Kelso on the Cowlitz River, it smells nice all the time. West Longview smells like papermill all the time, disgusting! Are you into old Buicks, too? (I ask because I helped my neighbor restore his 1959 Electra 4-door pillar hardtop, gorgeous car!).
                  Last edited by Javelin; May 31, 2012, 01:38 PM.
                  Michael Pinto

                  1973 AMC Javelin / 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix / 2006 Mazda5

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oct 2010...

                    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…

                    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 and spin until you get oil pressure. Absolutely essential for first-firings on an AMC, as they do not oil well stock.
                    Michael Pinto

                    1973 AMC Javelin / 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix / 2006 Mazda5

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Jan/Feb 2011...

                      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 on to the important bits. Being a 73, it has points, which I need to check. The rotor and cap did have some corrosion however, and one of the plug wires was broken.

                      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.

                      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 car…), spark plugs, plug wires, rotor, and distributor cap.

                      (Add another $175 for $825 total)

                      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 old one as bad (big surprise). I still don’t have movement at the starter so it will be replaced, along with the starter cable and ground strap (mostly because I have all that stuff as new anyways). Then it will be time to turn the engine over by hand, then by starter, then connect the coil…

                      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…

                      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% sure the starter motor makes more torque than a Rotary...

                      (Add $10 for the cables, already owned the starter. Total: $835)

                      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 of the column, and the key moves a metal rod with a hook that goes inside of this switch.

                      (Already owned switch from a previous car)

                      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 motor). So I dug into it this weekend to investigate…

                      First the multi-meter came out and I confirmed 12V at the battery, solenoid, and ignition. Unfortunately nothing on the keyed side. So I pulled the ignition switch under the column again, checked it, and it was okay. Still no power, even with “screwdrivering” the switch. So I re-installed that and went further down the line.

                      By un-doing the starter cable I could 12V to the cable! A-ha! The “new” starter was bad! (I bought it new last spring for my Hornet, which used the same starter). I took it back to NAPA and when they strapped it on the machine it nearly broke it with so much torque…

                      Hmmm… So I put the starter back in and took the battery out! It must just not have the amps. I stuck it on the charger and sure enough, it was low! After re-charging (note: I leave the battery un-plugged in the Javelin) still nothing. So I took the battery in to get tested…

                      And wonder of wonders it tested out fine. Where was I going wrong? A quick look at the factory service manual and the wiring diagrams leads to only 2 culprits. Either the neutral safety switch, or the starter solenoid (a Ford unit, mounted to the fenderwell).

                      So I ordered a new solenoid again. My theory is that when my momentary switch died it must have shorted out the “new” (again, left over from the Hornet) solenoid. Nothing short of throwing the starter cable on the battery is going to make it work if the solenoid is bad!

                      Keep your fingers crossed…
                      Last edited by Javelin; May 31, 2012, 03:57 PM.
                      Michael Pinto

                      1973 AMC Javelin / 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix / 2006 Mazda5

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Javelin View Post
                        Thanks everyone! It is a nice solid start for a project. Just wait till I get you caught up to today.

                        BuickGuy: I'm in Lexington, which is north of Kelso on the Cowlitz River, it smells nice all the time. West Longview smells like papermill all the time, disgusting! Are you into old Buicks, too? (I ask because I helped my neighbor restore his 1959 Electra 4-door pillar hardtop, gorgeous car!).
                        the fleet currently includes two Buicks.... the Skylark that is my avatar, and a 50 Sedanet (project is on here named "sledanette")


                        back to your beastie - you have checked that the engine is well grounded, as is the chassis?
                        Last edited by SuperBuickGuy; May 31, 2012, 10:08 PM.
                        Doing it all wrong since 1966

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Welcome aboard...Great thread and awesome write ups!
                          Reading , Pa
                          Good Guys rodders rep.
                          "putting the seat down is women's work" Archie Bunker.
                          Ban low performance drivers not high performance cars .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=Javelin;647224]
                            Nothing short of throwing the starter cable on the battery is going to make it work if the solenoid is bad!

                            [QUOTE]

                            I have always thought that was an acceptable test..... but I am a hack...... your mileage may vary.
                            http://www.bangshift.com/forum/forum...-consolidation

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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!
                              Michael Pinto

                              1973 AMC Javelin / 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix / 2006 Mazda5

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