The Novak Guide to
Adapting AMC I6 & V8 Engines to the
We've developed a method of joining an SM465 four-speed transmission to 1972-2006 AMC I6 and AMC V8 engines. No adapter is required, but only a few straightforward machining steps to an existing or new 1980-1986 Jeep CJ bellhousing.
AMC 232, 258, 4.0L, 304, 360 and 401 engines are all valid candidates and their power will be complimented by the strength and gearing of the Muncie 465.
The SM420 transmission is also a candidate for this procedure.
- Bellhousing, 1980-1986 CJ. SR4, T4 or T5 style
- Arm, clutch release, 1976-1986 Jeep CJ
- Flywheel; native to the engine being used
- Pressure plate; native to the engine and flywheel being used
- Disc, clutch, 1980-1986 CJ; usu. 10-3/8" x 10 spline x 1-1/8"
- Clutch release linkage; either mechanical or hydraulic, as per the Jeep
- Transmission front bearing retainer, modified
- Pilot bushing, custom
- Bearing, throwout
- Bolts, 5/16-18 x 7/8" socket head
- If you are using a Renix or Mopar 4.0L flywheel, you will need to use the appropriate 4.0L style starter for the proper starter gear to ring gear mesh
|You may send your *clean* bellhousing into Novak for this entire machining service. Turnaround is typically three days and we can ship it back with any other conversion components you may need. Cost is $79. plus shipping. Contact us.
We will machine the bellhousing rear face clean and square and drill and thread the transmission holes as required.
The AMC bellhousing must be bored open to 5.000". This is very straightforward work for any machine shop. After precisely centering the bellhousing to the machine, this can be done in a classic knee mill with a boring head, or in a CNC vertical machining center using circular interpolation.
The Transmission Bearing Retainer
There are two options here:
1. Modify a new or used SM465 front bearing retainer by turning it and sleeving the throwout snout.
If modifying a factory SM465 retainer, it is turned down to 4.995" on its OD register. Then, a steel sleeve should be made to 1.371" ID x 1.430" OD x 2-5/8" long. This sleeve can be lightly pressed onto the nose of retainer. It is recommended that the 1.430" be turned after the sleeve has been pressed onto the retainer, as some distortion can otherwise occur.
Install this modified retainer on the GM transmission using 5/16-18 x 7/8 socket head (Allen) bolts.
2. The installer can buy the Novak billet style SM465 to AMC retainer (purchase below) that is ready to install and we recommend this method as the simplest and strongest result. Bellhousing machining as described above is still required.
Transfer the Transmission Hole Pattern to the Bellhousing
Place the engine flange of the bellhousing face down - preferably on smooth wood or the table/bed of a milling machine. Use a transfer punch to transfer the four bolt pattern of the transmission front flange onto the bellhousing rear face. If a transfer punch is not available, you may use a bolt or pin or drill to transfer the four marks onto this rear face, though this is not preferable.
Align the top cover gasket surface of the transmission with the dowel pin holes in the bellhousing to make sure the trans will be level. Transfer the mounting bolt hole pattern of the transmission to the bellhousing. Drill the two upper holes with a letter "U" or 23/64" size drill and tap these two holes to 7/16-14.
Your 465 will have one of two types of lower bolt holes. One offers clearance for a bolt that comes through the transmission flange ear and threads into the bellhousing, as per convention. The other type of 465 is drilled and tapped for the bolt to screw into from inside the bellhousing. Either of these types will work with this procedure.
Threaded Style Lower Ears
If the SM465 has lower holes that are not threaded, proceed as follows: Drill the lower drivers side hole of the 465 through with a 1/2" drill. Drill the lower passenger side hole with a 27/64" drill and tap this hole 1/2-13 thread. On the lower drivers side hole, install a 7/16" bolt with the head inside the bellhousing and a nut and lockwasher at the ear of the transmission. Use a 1/2-13 bolt in the passenger side lower hole.
Through Drilled Style Lower Ears
If the 465 has lower holes that are threaded proceed as follows: Drill the lower drivers side hole through the bellhousing with a 15/32" drill. This bolt will be 7/16-14 with the head inside the housing. Drill the lower passenger side bolt with a letter U or 23/64" size drill and tap this hole 7/16-14. A 7/16-14 bolt should just pass through the lower ears on threaded type 465 transmissions. If not, a few strokes with a round file will provide clearance.
While these written instructions may sound complicated, the actual procedure is really quite simple and the end result is most worthwhile.
Crank Position Sensor
When working with the 4.0L engine, a crank position sensor is required. We can precisely install most existing sensors (from the installer's wiring harness) or a new sensor into an AMC bellhousing. We welcome you to contact us about performing this procedure.
Retainer Kit :
Novak Kit #465AMC-B
Full Bellhousing Kit :
Novak Kit #465AMC-M
Full Bellhousing Kit with 4.0L CPS Installation:
Novak Kit #465AMC-MC
Early AMC Cranks
Not all AMC crank flange bores are the same. Early motors 1971 and previous - as well as those with automatic transmissions around this era - featured a ~1.8" step (image, right) or a shallow recess instead of a ~1.8" centering bore as found on later AMC V8 engines. This distinction is important to make if adapting to GM SM465 transmissions. All early and late cranks (in our documentation) feature a pilot bushing bore that is just over 1" in diameter whether they have the above step-bore, or not.