Navigate by either by hovering over and clicking the flyout navigaitons to the left of this site, or by sleecting from the top which section of the website you'd like to navigate to.

The Flex Pane

This window you're reading is the Flex Pane. Its a window designed to present content to you without breaking the flow of reading the website. To the right are the controlls you'll need to operate the flex pane. to the right you can find Contact information, Email forms, Checkout using our webcart, and Search. You can also find hotlinks to these controls at the bottom of your screen.

Adding Items to the Cart

The website will present to you shop boxes like the one below.

You can click on these shopboxes to add items to your wishlist and web cart. your webcart and wishlist can be accessed by clicking the cart icon to the right of this help menu. You also checkout using the same window.

Contact Novak:

By Phone:

By Mail:

Novak Conversions
PO Box 3367
Logan, UT 84323-3367
United States
(USPS or private company only)

Packages or Returns:

Novak Conversions
648 West 200 North Suite 1
Logan, UT 84321
United States
(see Return Policies for RMA info)

Email Novak:

Please fill out the following form to email Novak.

Consider the following before mailing:

We wish we were able to answer general technical questions, but the sheer volume of mail we get requires that we focus only on our customers and prospective customers to whom we have a duty.

We focus generally on GM powertrain swaps into Jeeps, and with some expertise in classic Ford swaps into Jeeps, and some limited classic Dodge swaps into Jeeps, and other products as outlined in our Catalog. We are not likely able to help outside of this.

If you are exchanging parts from Jeeps to Jeeps, consider the truism that "the hardest parts to swap into Jeeps are Jeep parts" and that we probably don't have the answer to help.


Take an entertained moment and scan our Mythology vs. Actual Observances article. If one could condense four decades of Jeep conversion sense into one short article, then we think we've done it.

Your Details

It is most helpful to us for you to let us know as many relevant details about your Jeep and project as possible. Tire size and axle ratio (actual or intended, to the best of your knowledge), anticipated use or style of driving (trails? street? rocks? racing? all the above?) can be very useful.

Let us know your name, so we will know to whom we should respond. Your full name and your postal code are helpful if you are requesting components and would like a shipping estimate. Note our emphatic Privacy Policy if you are concerned about spam.

Requests for Instructions

Existing customers may request that product instructions be sent to them. Please have your invoice number and contact your salesman directly, or contact us through our phone system for express support.

Any other requests for instructions will be passed over.

Subsequent Messages

When responding back and forth with us, keep our previous conversations intact. A few bytes of text are cheap yet informative.

Your Email Provider

If you are mailing from an account that may have been implicated as a source of spam, it may not make it to us. If you've not heard from us in a few short days, you may wish to resend from an alternate account.

Note that our replies occasionally bounce back from certain mail services or those with full mailboxes. Hotmail, AOL and a few others have been problematic in some instances.

Not A Jeep?

Information requests for vehicles other than Jeeps are prioritized on our knowlege of them. Where our focus is so heavily on Jeeps, we will probably not have any helpful information about swaps in other vehicles.


Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.


User Controls

Confirm Order

Add by Part Number

The Novak Guide to the

AMC / Jeep V8 Engines

amc_v8AMC V8's have always been well-liked engines. AMC made a good automobile, and though they may not have enjoyed the mainstream sales and success of the "Big Three" automakers, their cars and engines remain cult classics of sorts today. It's been said that some of America's best engineering talents worked for AMC, and there was always a strong culture of performance within that company.


The AMC V8 as known by Jeep enthusiasts was first introduced in 1966. Though AMC did have a V8 prior to this, they were large block motors, and though capable of great power, they were less suitable for a market that had been increasingly dominated by the innovative Chevy V8 and Mopar V8 Small Blocks (since 1955) and the Ford Windsor V8 (since 1963). This new AMC engine defied categorization to a degree in that it was more of a "Mid Block" engine instead of having either a small or big block design. All displacements shared the same block, though heads varied. These engines featured iron blocks and heads, hydraulic lifters, overhead valves, a front-mounted distributor and a variety of carburetors and intakes. The first displacements from 1966 to 1969 were 290, 343 and 390. 1970 saw the introduction of the 304, 360, and 401 engines, each released with revised heads for better breathing.

The idea of putting a V8 into a Jeep was not a new one by this time. Enthusiasts and the aftermarket (with Novak being at the forefront) had made a cottage industry of installing Chevrolet V8's into Jeeps. In production terms, Buick V6 & V8 engines had pushed Kaiser Jeep into the muscle era in the mid-60's, and AMC picked up on this immediately when they purchased the Jeep line from Kaiser in 1970. The 1971 "J" Series was the first to receive an AMC engine (the 304), replacing the very capable and benchmark Buick Small Block V8. They began to phase their engines into all Jeep models in the following two years. 1972 was the first CJ to see the V8, AMC having lengthened the CJ's front clip to accept the longer I6 and V8 offerings. 


>Keeping an AMC V8 cool is usually more of a challenge than with similar displacement motors. There is some discussion as to coolant and oil flow dynamics of these powerplants.

Jeeps with AMC V8's should have an agressive cooling system. Principles of cooling are found here.

While it would seem intuitive that these engines should be easy conversion candidates into Jeeps, they actually swap only with difficulty and expense into pre-1972 Jeeps. Chrysler-era Jeeps also accept them only with special modifications, and emissions requirements for many jurisdictions prevent these obsolete motors from powering later model vehicles. If comparing swap options, several other engines provide better efficiency, more compact dimensions, greater technological gains, broader parts support and the economy and reliability associated with them.

AMC V8's are often confused with Mopar V8's, especially the 360. These engines are the same in designation only, and share no compatibilities.

Flywheels and Bellhousings

It should be noted that the balance characteristics of these engines are all different. They are externally balanced by the flywheel/flexplate and harmonic dampener. Flexplates and flywheels - though they share the same crank flange - must not be interchanged between 304, 360 and 401 versions.

early_amc_crank_flangeAMC I6 (and V8) engines do not share block bolt patterns with any other engine, including all Willys, Kaiser and Chrysler engines.

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 Ford style transmissions or if adapting to GM SM465, or SM420 style 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.

Transmission Compatibility

The AMC V8 is natively and otherwise compatible with several great transmissions. Some popular choices in Jeeps include:

Manuals, non-native upgrades

sm420_thumb sm465_thumb t18_thumb np435_thumb
SM420 (*) SM465 (*) Ford T18 (**) Ford NP435 (**)
* Adapting the AMC V8 to GM SM420 or SM465 Transmissions
** Adapting the AMC V8 to Ford transmissions

Manuals, Jeep native

t14_transmission_thumb t15_transmission t150_thumb t176_thumb sr4_thumb
T14 T15 T150 T176 SR4
t4_t5_thumb ba10_5_thumb ax15_thumb nv3550_thumb nsg370_transmission
T4 / T5 BA10/5 AX15 NV3550 NSG370

Automatics, non-native upgrades

The TH-350 Transmission The TH-400 Transmission The 700R-4 Transmission
TH350 TH400 TH700R4 / Early 4L60-E
Adapting GM HydraMatics to the AMC V8



The earliest versions were ambitious motors, but as with most engines in the mid-70' to mid-80's, they were detuned and emissions saddled. The last AMC V8 was produced in 1991 and went into obsolescence with the Grand Wagoneer, having seen no principal improvements in many years.


  • The Novak archives and installation projects 
  • Novak customers and their project input

We welcome any contributions or clarifications to this article. Contact us here.