1970 AMC Hornet, June 2004

I didn't get a lot done this month, but I got the engine and transmission in place. The motor and trans I bought from Joe Fulton who pulled it from a 1969 Javelin. He saw it "run for five minutes", so it's somewhat of a gamble this thing is any good. It seems reasonably well cared for, with inked on compression values on the valve cover (130 and up). The transmission has been opened up, witness the red RTV, but a peek in the cover shows the synchro dogs to be OK and no excess loose metal, so it's probably OK.

I intend for this engine to be temporary, hence it's just washed off, not detailed in any way. Hopefully it'll run long enough for me to select and build the "real" motor, which will be another six. (I had always assumed it would be a 232 (this being a pre-72 transmission and bell-housing) but I am seriously evaluating the "forgotten" AMC aluminum six.)

I installed the engine with the clutch assembled, without the transmission. I just don't have a big enough lift (rented) and big enough flat area to install both assembled. It was no big deal to get the engine in, though I did faintly nick the firewall paint. I just went slow.

Of course something must go horribly wrong, and it did -- the front mounts didn't line up! There are at least two different cushion brackets that put the cushion fore and aft depending on the chassis. (I took a photo of them side by side but I seem to have lost it). Luckily, I had the "other" bracket set in my junk pile. Whew!

So I was left with installing the transmission under the car. It was a horrible ordeal, as I didn't rent a transmission lift. RENT A TRANSMISSION LIFT. I basically wrestled it into place. I had the disc and pilot lined up beforehand, but it's a good chunk of metal to lift. What I did was stupid.

(I was able to tighten only three of the bolts holding the transmission onto the bellhousing; I honestly cannot figure out how to tighten the fourth. It's in an ear with a lump of housing right behind it, and floor pan above it. There's no room to attach a socket or wrench or even a crows-foot. I'll figure it out eventually. Another argument for putting the assembled engine-trans in as a unit.)