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Episode Transcript

(Pat)>> It's probably safe to say that the AMC Javelin is unappreciated.

(Mike)>> But it's also a lot of fun. Today on Engine Power the guys from Detroit Muscle gave us the chance to give this Javelin more power.

(Pat)>> And we think they're gonna like what we've done. [ Music ]

(Mike)>> Here at the Powernation shops vehicles come and go. There are all types of them too. From side by sides that get played with in the dirt to old muscle cars that burn up the asphalt. I can't forget about the Truck Tech guys either with their diesel street rigs, gas street rigs, even Jeeps that hit the trail in awesome fashion. The moral of the story here is we always have something going on. If you like to go fast or modify your ride.

(Pat)>> A few weeks ago Marc and Tommy from Detroit Muscle rolled in here with a car that has a tight group niche following, and the plans that they have for it will interest you no matter if you're a Ford, Chevy, or a Dodge guy. It can be a bit of an eye sore for some but a sparkling jewel for the next, and the company has a rich history racing in the Trans Am series where they proved they could be a top contender. This is the 1973 AMC Javelin second generation.

(Mike)>> Generation two was redesigned. It has a slightly longer wheel base, was wider, and the designers incorporated an integral roof spoiler and sculpted fender bulges. It rolled off the assembly line with a few extra pounds and the new design was said to give the car individuality, even at the risk of scaring people off.

(Pat)>> Options were plentiful for this model. Several engines were available from a 232 cubic inch inline six to a 304 cubic inch V-8, and if that wasn't enough how about a 360 inch or even AMC's famed 6.6 liter 401?

(Mike)>> Alright guys, like we've said this is a car you either love or you hate. It's really hard to be in the middle and find anything there. Why did you pick this car?

(Tommy)>> Well we wanted to be a little bit different and well really with buying this thing we're a lot different.

(Marc)>> Yeah you've got to say this is one of those cars that's very polarizing. There aren't that many people that are into AMC's, but the people who are into them are completely into them, and I've got to tell you this is not a car that I love or hate. There's things about it I love and then there's things about it I hate.

(Mike)>> Now with a build like this there's not a lot of aftermarket support. So what are your plans?

(Tommy)>> Well I'd like to see some pretty big power under the hood. Now we all know that the motor that's in there, there's really nothing wrong with it but in all reality you can make a lot more power, a lot more efficient wise, and cheaper with going something a little more modern.

(Pat)>> Well that's not that hard to do because there's plenty choices, and there a few obvious choices, and I think we got something that perhaps we could use that's just kinda sitting in the wings right now and I think would be a good fit for this one.

(Mike)>> There's a couple of them sitting in there. The thing is what's the premise of the car?

(Pat)>> How much power do you want? We'll start there.

(Marc)>> I'm thinking 600 horse.

(Tommy)>> Maybe plus, maybe a little more.

(Pat)>> Is it a drag car? What are you doing with it?

(Marc)>> No I think more of a road race car. Think like period correct Trans Am.

(Mike)>> Going back to the history of it. I like it!

(Marc)>> So maybe like 9,000 r-p-m red line.

(Mike)>> We can get you 8,500.

(Marc)>> We can bargain a little bit.

(Pat)>> Now this is a special edition car by the little badge on the fender. Tell me a little bit about it.

(Tommy)>> I'm gonna let you carry that one cause I know you're such a fan.

(Marc)>> Okay well I mean it's a Pierre Cardin edition, and if you don't know who he is he's a fashion designer, an artist if you will, but it's very period...

(Tommy)>> Unique!

(Marc)>> Yes, very '70's. I mean if we can carry that on to the rest of the build that would be awesome, but just the fact that it has the correct interior, or some of the correct interior still in it just makes it kinda unique.

(Pat)>> I'll be honest with you, I did man because of the uniqueness, and I think what you're gonna do to it it's gonna be awesome.

(Mike)>> A couple more questions I have for you with the Trans Am thoughts going on in my head. Obviously some wicked suspension. Are you guys gonna keep an automatic in it, are you going manual?

(Tommy)>> Stick in it.

(Mike)>> Alright, awesome! Cage?

(Marc)>> That's in the air still.

(Tommy)>> You can build a track car but it's also handy to have one that you can drive on the street, and sometimes a cage kinda gets in the way and really shouldn't be in a street car.

(Pat)>> Now I agree with that. Street friendly is where probably it will see the most duty.

(Marc)>> Absolutely, yeah this is more of a tribute, not an actual...

(Tommy)>> Purpose built track car.

(Pat)>> Zeus fasteners everywhere, no exhaust.

(Mike)>> So the thing with having the tribute for the late '60's, early '70's Trans Ams car, are we gonna get any modern with it?

(Tommy)>> Like with it in all reality the perfect scenario would be fancy suspension, big brakes, big wheels and tires, late model injection, late model power, overdrive transmission. Something to get pretty rowdy.

(Pat)>> We got it.

(Marc)>> How about this? Before we figure out what engine's going in there, why don't you see what the engine under the hood now will do? See if it'll go do a burnout right now with one of you guys.

(Pat)>> The first question, will it start?

(Mike)>> Hook the battery charger up. It's got a bad battery in it. I'm gonna give her the raspberries. [ Music ] A bad battery, why don't you leave the keys in it?

(Pat)>> That's double theft protection.

(Mike)>> Alright here we go.

(Pat)>> Probably the best thing that can happen is somebody steal this.

(Mike)>> Turn the timer.

(Marc)>> There we go. [ engine starts ] [ tires squealing ] [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Pat)>> You see that? It was the one tire fryer.

(Marc)>> It did it.

(Pat)>> The rear end's gonna fall out.

(Marc)>> It didn't like it but it did it.

(Pat)>> Leave it running.

(Tommy)>> I think I got some AMC on me. [ tires squealing ] [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> That was some Dukes of Hazard looking right there if I've ever seen it.

(Marc)>> That was awesome.

(Mike)>> That's so cool. [ engine revving ] [ tires squealing ]

(Marc)>> Save some for the rest of us.

(Pat)>> That was cool! [ Music ] [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> Yes, I love this job!

(Mike)>> Up next the Javelin gets 427 cubic inches of naturally aspirated horsepower.

(Pat)>> Not installing your distributor correctly can lead to a lot of problems. Here's the right way in today's tech tip.

(Steve)>> The correct way to install a distributor is first remove the number one plug. And then place your finger over the hole. Rotate the engine until you feel air pushing your finger off the spark plug hole. Then look at the balancer and watch for the top dead center mark coming up on the timing pointer. Place the mark slightly before the pointer. This ensures you're on a compression stroke and not on a split overlap. Wherever you have decided number one is on your cap mark the location on both the cap and distributor housing with the gear lubricated. Drop the distributor in so that the rotor points at the position you have marked. Make sure the distributor is fully seated in the block by turning the engine over until it indexes. The gear is engaged in both the cam shaft and oil pump drive. So turning the engine over is not an issue. [ Music ] Now you can run your plug wires, start your engine, and set the timing.

(Mike)>> When you work with someone on a daily basis and get along you start to notice making the same decisions and thinking alike comes natural. So when Marc said he needed a bullet that made at least 600 horsepower and revved to the moon Pat and I had the same thing in mind. Now a high revving engine like this needs to have excellent hardware from the rotating assembly all the way up to the valvetrain.

(Pat)>> The oiling system has to be scienced out so it avoids cavitation and starvation, which means it needs a good oil pan. Also the induction is super critical. The cylinder heads and intake manifold have to flow enough c-f-m to optimize the combination. Back to what Mike was saying about thinking alike. We knew we had one engine in the building that met every requirement that was mentioned, and it is our 427 inch LME LSX. Now we think this will be the perfect Trans Am tribute engine and will definitely meet Marc's 600 horsepower requirement. Originally this engine was dressed out with an 86 millimeter Precision turbo and a big air to air intercooler. It had a Holley e-f-i system that turbo god Kenny Duttweiler used to tune the engine. It made north of 1,200 horsepower on low boost and it was installed in our rolling dyno we called the test sled.

(Mike)>> You may be saying that engine was specifically built for a turbocharger, and you are 100 percent correct. That's why we're going to disassemble it, check all the bearing surfaces, clean everything, and see if there's anything we can do to optimize the naturally aspirated capabilities of this awesome little engine, and we think we can do it.

(Pat)>> As we pull this engine apart you're gonna see the quality of the parts that LME uses in all of their builds. Now keep in mind this engine was purpose built to handle over 2,000 horsepower. So we feel it'll make a great 8,000 r-p-m plus combo as well naturally aspirated. It's tempting to rip through the tear down but if you take your time and take a close look at the condition of the parts as you go it can save you time and trouble in the end.

(Mike)>> Come here and take a look.

(Pat)>> Everything looks pretty good. The bore looks good, top of the piston looks fine. Most of that will just wipe right off. I mean the piston looks really, really nice. These are super heavy duty. These things are designed to make 2,000 horsepower. [ Music ] It's important to put each individual part back in its original location. These parts have established a wear pattern based on how they interact with the parts around them. Keeping everything in order will help decrease further wear and tear.

(Mike)>> Main bearings aren't gonna be a problem, I can tell you that right now.

(Pat)>> No!

(Mike)>> Look at this, beautiful! You always get to look like the tough guy.

(Pat)>> I am the tough guy. [ Music ] Well the tear down is complete and the block is ready to go in the cleaner, and you might notice we have everything laid out pretty nice.

(Mike)>> Man I am really stoked at how well all these parts look. I'm not surprised because of where it came from. It's gonna be awesome to be able to put this engine right back together using all the same parts.

(Pat)>> Right, and that's why we tore it apart and laid it all out because when you very carefully tear something apart and lay it all in order. I don't care how it is as long as you can see how everything came apart at any point you can catch something that's wrong. This is the time to do it. Now as this came apart nothing is wrong with it at all, and we're gonna use 99 percent of this stuff over again.

(Mike)>> Now obviously we're not gonna put each part in the washer individually. So we are gonna bundle some stuff. I'll get the engraver. We'll make some markings on everything so we know what cylinder number it goes in, and get it cleaned up for assembly. All I can say is let's get started!

(Pat)>> I like it. We used an engraver to mark everything. Never use a hammer and punch. It's too rough on parts. Our jet washer does a thorough job of removing dirt and oil using a combination of biodegradable detergent and 150 degree water. The CRC Smart Washer uses microbes to break down oil, grease, and carbon deposits without using harsh solvents. It makes quick work of cleaning parts. Coming up the Javelin's power plant gets rebuilt from the block up.

(Mike)>> Welcome back to Engine Power. We're rebuilding a 427 cubic inch LSX that's going into Detroit Muscle's AMC Javelin Trans Am tribute car. The main bearings are going back into the saddles the way they were originally installed. They have to go back like this due to the conformability of the housing. Permatex Ultra Slick assembly lube is covering the bearings for the utmost protection during initial fire up.

(Pat)>> This Callies Magnum 8 counterweight crankshaft was fully blueprinted by LME, and is the backbone strength of a build like this. [ Music ] The billet main caps were thoroughly cleaned along with ARP studs. New Ultra Torque was applied to the nuts and they were ran down until they barely made contact with the caps. [ Music ] Now they are final torqued to 60 pound feet on the inners and 50 pound feet on the outers. The side fasteners are torqued to 30 pound feet.

(Mike)>> A bump stick, or custom billet cam, is being reused. It's a solid roller. Duration at 50 thousandths is 249 on the intake and the exhaust is 255 degrees. Lift is 715 on the intake and exhaust valves, and the lobe separation angle is 116 degrees. [ torque wrench beeping ]

(Pat)>> With the timing set on we are ready to drop in the piston and rod assemblies. The rods are Callies Enforcers connected to custom diamond forged pistons. A couple of spacers on each stud will give the rotating assembly the room it needs to stay contact free from the windage tray.

(Mike)>> The oil pump was disassembled for cleaning. I always use blue Permatex thread locker when reassembling. [ Music ] A factory oil pickup is installed and the cam shaft is degreed. An alignment sleeve is used to center the timing cover to avoid premature seal failure from the balancer.

(Pat)>> At the back of the engine this dumbbell is installed in the oil gallery. Without it the engine will not have oil pressure. [ Music ] The oil pan speaks for itself. [ Music ] With the gasket and the head sat on the deck it is time to install the head studs using this new tool from ARP. It simplifies installing the studs in tight places, and eliminates the chance of aluminum from the head getting caught in the threads. [ Music ]

(Mike)>> We torqued the heads in three stages, 30 pound feet, 60, then the final of 95. The valvetrain is the last thing to go together internally. This is a shaft design that will withstand high spring pressures and r-p-m's. [ Music ] Alright Pat, our manifold choice may not be theirs.

(Pat)>> I think I like this a little bit better because they're looking for something that fits under the hood. So the way they're gonna see it and say hey, that's not the right one. That's gonna be pretty fun. One we've got to run it, and it's nice and easy to get it rigged up with this on the dyno. And then when they get in the car they can run their other manifold cause they're got to hook up their injection.

(Mike)>> Injection, yeah, everything, and you know what I think at the end of the day we give them the billet manifold anyways. They'll be happy. So we'll take this one back.

(Pat)>> Up next exceeding our expectations in the dyno cell. That did it!

(Pat)>> Now we're on to the dyno section and for the carburation, yes I said carburetor, we put on a 10-50 Dominator. It makes it easy for us to make sure it runs and doesn't leak, and the injection system will be in on the car with the other manifold. We couldn't resist putting like a real racing type drag race setup on it just to see what kind of numbers it will make. Now remember we're still on pump gas and we have 22 degrees of timing in it. So we're gonna have to be playing with it a little to see where we're at. This will be interesting. [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> That's a good carburetor.

(Mike)>> Great oil pressure, all the vitals are good. Man, man, man!

(Pat)>> 22 degrees of timing. Okay so their requirement was 600 ponies right? With no timing in it and we shut the pole down at 6,000, 594 horse at 6,000, torque languishing around 524 pound feet at 5,700. We're not even into any sort of tuning yet. We're gonna adjust some timing on it and make some real power pulls. So the next thing we're gonna do is dig into the MSD and crank some timing to it. Wow!

(Mike)>> MSD couldn't have made this any easier. Basically all you're doing is setting your way points, these little dots, for the timing value you want, which is 24 degrees in our case. Now the reason you can't just have one line go across without any dots is it actually needs to see certain points to the r-p-m range, and just in case you're wondering we have 12 degrees of initial during starting and then it's basically a locked out distributor all the way across at 24.

(Pat)>> Okay for the real power pull we're gonna knock the acceleration rate down to 300 r-p-m per second, which will load the engine a little bit harder, and we're also gonna increase the r-p-m's from 4,000 to 7,000, and we did sneak two degrees of timing in it. So it sounds like a lot of changes but we know where everything was before that. These are gonna be real power pulls. We're gonna start our data pulls from here. [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> Oh yeah!

(Mike)>> I saw some good needles there.

(Pat)>> So we have 633 horse at 6,400 r-p-m but the torque, look at the torque.

(Mike)>> 535 at 5,800, 5,900, but look how flat it is all the way across.

(Pat)>> This looks like our old six banger torque. It comes off and just levels off. That is a sign of a really, really nice cylinder head right there. Like a really nice cylinder head because it's still flowing big air to make torque all the way up there.

(Mike)>> Well right now 35 is our number on torque. So let's put another degree and a half or two in it and see what happens at 5,800, 5,900.

(Pat)>> Yeah, that is a winter blend 93 octane fuel, pump gas, and everything looks great. The ground strap looks great. The actual center electrode looks great. The porcelain is beautiful. Good tune up for a carburetor. I know it's not fuel injection but too bad. [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> Alright last timing change was up to 28 degrees of timing. Now you keep timing things until they level off on torque. The old adage for tuning is you time for torque and you jet for horsepower. I think it'll, well it's gonna do what it wants. [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> That did it, that did it right there. On some things I just want to keep going. I just want to keep going.

(Mike)>> 55!

(Pat)>> Made a 55! It's still making a 44 at 7,000.

(Mike)>> I know. What did the torque do? 61! Dude it loved two degrees. It absolutely loved it!

(Pat)>> I hate when this happens because we could literally spend all day here whaling on this thing.

(Mike)>> We don't have to. Our goal was 650.

(Pat)>> I know but there always, there's always more. Alright now they are gonna be a little ticked off that it has a carbureted intake on it, and look at my face. Do I care? Nice job!

(Mike)>> Over and out! For more information about the parts and equipment used in today's episode visit Powernation TV dot com.
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