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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Dec 2015
      Posts
      172
      Country Flag: United States

      1968 AMX Pro Touring build, project "The Kenosha Corncob"

      I wanted to share the build of my 1968 AMC AMX that I have dubbed the "The Kenosha Corncob" and what my plans are going to be along the way...

      Backstory, in high school I bought a 68 AMX 390 Auto from the original owner. It was very complete and all original, but had faded paint with an interior to match. But for a 17 year old kid, it was a fast, fun, car that could do perfect donuts & figure 8's, brakes stands as long as the tires would hold up, and carry a friend & 2 beer kegs in the seat back area. Over the years it got restored back to stock specs because the car was never molested or hotrodded by the original owner, so all of the hard to find AMC/AMX specific pieces were there. Plus being a Southern California car since new, it made for a completely rust free car. I really loved the car but it wasn't that fast and didn't handle very well. So last year I decided to sell it to buy a car special to me, an awesome pro touring Valiant. Not too long after it sold my son told me how upset he was that the AMX was gone. It was a tough lesson to learn from a sad 10 yr old, plus the guy I sold it to did not want to sell it back to me. I had always wanted to build that car into a Pro Touring ride after seeing what Jimi Day did to his AMX, but also knew that it was too clean to cut up and swap an LS into. So recently the Valiant had to go to a new home sadly, but family is more important than cars, and it went to somebody that desired that car just as much as I did over the years. Ironically the same day I listed & agreed to sell the Valiant a 1968 AMX 390 popped up on Ebay in Salt Lake City, Utah, which was only a few hours away from me. That car was the perfect candidate to build the AMX that I had always wanted to. It was beat, but solid, rust free, and was all complete. I talked to the owner and made him an offer, but he let the auction go to the end with me being the 2nd highest bidder. High bidder lived in Canada and flaked a couple of days later so the owner called took my original offer!

      The car is an original 390 auto and has a special order paint color on it. It came with a bunch of spare parts including a grille, pass 1/4 panel, door, fender, NOS grille, and misc other parts. Its all complete, just a complete mess! The pass 1/4 has some pretty big dents in it, along with the door. The hood has been crunched in the front and fixed in the past, no worries as that will be replaced. It has dents in just about every panel.... which is where the "rough as a corncob" description came from. But I'd rather fix dents than replace rusty metal, which is not easy to come by for these cars. Yes, I probably could restore this car, as it is an original 390 special order paint car, but its been rode hard, wrecked, and put away wet. Besides, I have already gone down the purist road. So if you're an AMC purist I apologize now...



      So the plan is to get the car stripped down to sell off what I don't need.... complete running 68 390 & trans anyone? I'll swap the
      motor and trans for an LS & a T56, then suspension and brakes. I'll cage the interior and lighten the car up as much as possible. I plan to do most of the work myself and stick to a limited budget. Ohh and fix dents.....lots of dents.

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    2. #2
      Join Date
      Dec 2015
      Posts
      172
      Country Flag: United States
      Here is my old 68 AMX that I still want to buy back someday.Name:  AMXRER.jpg
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    3. #3
      Join Date
      Dec 2006
      Location
      Moving from Burbs of Detroit to my native homeland, the woods of Cascadia
      Posts
      1,734
      Country Flag: United States
      I remember the commercial for a Javelin or AMX- I forget which-

      "It's a great car dad- I just made it better."

      Good bones to start with. Kepp us posted. Am planning on watching this build.
      Greg Fast
      (yes, the last name is spelled correctly)

      1970 Camaro RS Clone
      1984 el Camino
      1973 MGB vintage E/Prod race car
      (Soon to be an SCCA H/Prod limited prep)

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Dec 2015
      Posts
      172
      Country Flag: United States
      Thanks Twentyover!

      First order of business was confirming it was a true 390, which it was. Then I rebuilt the carb and got it running, but without a radiator that run time was very, very brief. I'll do a compression test and pull the motor to get it sold and find a good LS driveline.

      I'm thinking of going with an LS1 pullout for now, then upgrading to a 6.0 motor later. That way I get all the accessories, trans, clutch, pedals, etc. It seems that if you piece it all together it costs more, although a bare 6.0 long block with good heads and cam is relatively inexpensive.

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Jul 2010
      Posts
      12
      Nice original amx you had. Can't wait to see what you do with this one.

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Jul 2013
      Location
      Gilbert, AZ
      Posts
      934
      Country Flag: United States
      Nice, looking forward to this one. I always like the oddball cars, and I always liked the AMX.
      Josh Campbell- Pushing the limits of my HOA since 2011
      71 Firebird- 455, Ridetech front suspension. https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...04#post1124504
      67 Camaro RS/SS clone, Speedtech front suspension, coilovers, soon to get LT1/T56.
      82 Z28- cheapie beater, soon to get a 406.
      66 Mustang coupe- 393, T-5, sold. https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...-Coupe-GT393-C

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Apr 2007
      Location
      Utah
      Posts
      534
      Yay, Utah. That is going to take a little bit of work to get looking good. Nice to see it saved though. Good luck and please take us along for the ride back onto the road.
      Sam
      Northern UT.
      '68 Camaro "Bodacious"
      '56 210 2dr "Buckshot"

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Dec 2015
      Posts
      172
      Country Flag: United States
      Thanks for the well wishes! I've been busy with work but I finally got some time to play with it. I had these wheels leftover from another car and I bought some wheels spacers to get them to fit. Theres plenty of room in the back for more tire and wheel. I'd love to run 315's square, but I'm not sure if thats possible in the front with out flares, 275's should be doable though. I got the driveshaft shortened, as it was foot too long and for a Javelin most likely...but its still 1/4" too long (DOH!). Soo it will have to come apart again and be rewelded. It got cut 1/4 longer and when asked if it needed to be shorter I said "no, theres enough play" ..oh well. I'll pressure wash the engine off to clean it up a bit, do a compression test, and video it running so I can sell it for an LS engine.

      I am building this car on a budget and trying to do most everything myself. So with that I thought I would add a running total of what I have into the car, at least until I need to hide that total from my wife! I will just round everything up rather than put in every cent.

      Car $3500
      Transport $450
      DMV fees $45
      Wheel spacers and studs $127
      U joint $9

      Total $4081

      I am toying with building a tribute of the TEAM AMX, B/P SCCA racecar. It was an AMX race car put together by a group of AMC employees that raced it in 1969 and actually did pretty well. It only ran one season and then went to a private race team that was a part of big AMC dealer in AZ. The car has gone missing and nobody has proof it still exists. Since this car will be more for racing I want to paint it like the TEAM car, although thats a long, long, way off.

      Story about the TEAM car..
      https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/mu...y/1301076.html
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    9. #9
      Join Date
      Feb 2016
      Location
      Wisconsin
      Posts
      31
      That's a great car to build. I love the plan to do a version of the Team AMC car.
      As a side, those exact wheels are available here: http://transamraceengineering.com/pr...ebring-seb158/
      Unfortunately they are only available in 15's.

      As you look at wheel options based on your desire to run a 275's up front, you will need a 9 inch wide rim, and 4.5 inch backspacing assuming you move away from the trunnion front suspension. I think you would need to do some slight modifications to the lip, perhaps just rolling it, and trim the front corner of the fender's wheel opening. On my javelin, (same front fenders), I currently have 245/45-17 with zero modifications to the fender. The 275/40-17 is about 1 inch wider.
      Not sure how much room is out back on an AMX. With some minitubs or selective trimming and notching. You may be able to go to a 295 out back.

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Dec 2015
      Posts
      172
      Country Flag: United States
      I was reading that Trans AM Eng was going to real ease a bunch of their wheels in 17's soon, so hopefully those will be one of them. Thanks for sharing that, I thought I'd be painting a set of CP200's black. I want to run 17's rather than 18's.
      There is room in the back for more tire as is, a 275 will fit for sure. The torque links and springs are whats going to limit width even with a mini tub job, for now. I'm excited to do away with the trunnions in front and see what there is to work with. A slight flare may be needed but will be more subtle. Not anything like the Javelin race car clone that showed up at SEMA last year though. That car is some cool inspiration though!Name:  Freak2.jpg
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    11. #11
      Join Date
      Dec 2015
      Posts
      172
      Country Flag: United States
      This weeks update:
      After not being able to source a lower core support locally, and not wanting to pay $150+ for one on ebay, I figured I could fix the original one that was torn off. I drilled out the spot welds and opened it up. After some beating & banging I got it as close as I could and welded it back together then back onto the car. At the same time I straightened the radiator support to mount the radiator I got for free from an AMC friend. So I got a new hose to complete the cooling system. I was also able to straighten the grille support panel. Now all of the front end components can be bolted[together.

      I also did a compression test and all cylinders were between 150-175, oil pressure was high, so I'm going to see how it runs and drives with the 390 for now. That will make it easier to keep it mobile while doing the cage.

      Previous total:
      $4081
      + 9 Hose
      =
      New total $4090
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    12. #12
      Join Date
      Dec 2015
      Posts
      172
      Country Flag: United States
      This weeks update...

      I pulled the front end off, fixed some dents, straightened metal, went through the extra parts, pulled the seats out, and did more cleaning.

      Upon pulling the fenders off I was very surprised to see they were NOS fenders! I put the NOS fender extensions that came with the car on them. This car is proof that good deals can still be had on Ebay, if you know what you're looking at. If the The drivers fender had some dents which got straightened out. I pressure washed the front suspension/ fender well area and removed some of the undercoating. Then I reassembled the front end with all of the parts that I straightened or had in a box. I wasn't sure if the hood was bent in the middle or not, but now I know it is for sure..gotta ponder how to fix that for a bit...
      I also pulled the seats out and dropped in some Recaros that were taking up room in the shop, just for looks.
      Things are a little slow with the flow of new parts right now, as I'm waiting for my 76 BMW 2002 to sell anyone interested?

      Total:
      $4090
      - $1 +in change that was under the front seats.

      New total= $4089
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    13. #13
      Join Date
      Feb 2016
      Location
      Wisconsin
      Posts
      31
      Nice! I like the diamond stitch on the seats. it maintains the era of the car.
      I have the Corbeau seat brackets/sliders, may want to look into those for saving some time mounting the seats? They aren't perfect, but did save me a few fabrication hours. If your going to do track days, and your near or over 6 feet tall, be sure to mount the seats as low as possible to get helmet clearance.

      You obviously have some good metal working skilz, so the damaged hood looks like a good candidate to modify with some vents or heat extractors to get hot air out, and any other ideas you might have?

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Dec 2015
      Posts
      172
      Country Flag: United States
      I have a set of Scat Procar Rave seats I threw in and my helmet hits the roof support, theres maybe an inch to gain adjusting the seat, but its not enough. I have a spare set of Scat adapters from a Bronco (came with the seats) I was cutting to snug up to the floor. But the Recaros have the most room, granted theres no tracks yet, but the seats are smaller in the butt area. Oddly enough I have a black leather Momo type wheel with red stitching that matches the seats leftover from the BMW....

      Thanks. Yeah, I was thinking about opening up the vents in the hood, but nothing obnoxious. I'm leaning more towards a TEAM car clone, and may be closer to finding out more details of its build. Fingers crossed.

      My goal will be running the Spring Fling Speed Festival at Willow Springs in 2018.

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Dec 2015
      Posts
      172
      Country Flag: United States
      A brief update.

      Finally got the car scaled in its stock form minus driveshaft, carpet & headliner..... It weighed 3159 lbs
      Its nose heavy at 1910 lbs/ 60.5% Front and 1249 lbs/ 39.5% Rear,

      So I will be doing a weight update as well as budget in future updates.

      3159 - 13 (misc front end parts /crap) = 3146 new weight

      Previous budget total $4089 + $20 scale rental = $4109

      BMW should officially find a new home on Wed!
      Here is a cool inspirational video of the 68 Trans AM Javelin effort.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDJ6BhUrsak&t=30s

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    16. #16
      Join Date
      Feb 2016
      Location
      Wisconsin
      Posts
      31
      Overall weight looks great as a starting point. My Javelin is the same car basically with 12 inches added in the middle. My total weight was 3,181. I've made a few slight changes from when it was last weighed, it might be closer to 3,150 now.

      I have aluminum heads, intake, tube headers, no power steering booster, battery in the trunk, Aluminum brake calipers, fiberglass hood, and all the other basic stuff.
      Front 879/828
      Rear 709/765
      Front Weight Bias is at 53.7%. I was pleasantly surprised with this result!

      Given your vision on the car with LS power, I suspect you can better my end results easily.
      It's interesting that the back of your car is 225 pounds lighter than mine! Estimating my battery at 50 pounds, my extra 12 inches of sheet metal in the chassis, and rear seat weighs about 175 pounds.

    17. #17
      Join Date
      Nov 2006
      Location
      Ma.
      Posts
      5,460
      Country Flag: United States
      Hi Nice project. My buddy has one his first car, a Green 68 with white stripes Saddle interior. 390 4 spd all original, he bought it in 1972 and still has it. He was saying how the parts are hard to find. It's funny he needs one of the headlight pieces you replaced. I'm going to enjoy this. Keep us posted. subscribed!
      Wayne
      Car FINALLY home !!!!!! lol
      Project FNQUIK https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ghlight=FNQUIK

    18. #18
      Join Date
      Dec 2015
      Posts
      172
      Country Flag: United States
      Thanks Motown454! Some parts are hard to find, but thanks to the internet its much easier than it used to be in the 80's & 90's. Green 68's are near and dear to my heart!! Hopefully he gets it done soon!

      Thank you Mike for putting your weights up for me to see, I know I'll be in the right ballpark when I get close to them. The car was pretty complete when on the scales, and had roughly 5 gallons of gas. I know I'll be removing weight from the car, but moving it rearward will take some skill., theres not much room in the trunk. I know I can get close to 100 lbs off the front by moving the battery to the trunk and removing the non functioning A/C The short list of items to go are the: A/C compressor, heater box, tar paper insulation, and the seats.

      Speaking of seats, the stock seat with tracks and plenty of cat urine weighed in at 50 lbs, the Scat Rave seat with tracks were 42 lbs and the Recaros (minus tracks) weigh 31 lbs ea. I'll be sticking with the Recaro's!

      Other weights are:
      Front Bumper and brackets (no turn signals) 23 lbs This could get down to 10lbs with a glass bumper and swiss cheese brackets.
      Rear Bumper and brackets 17 lbs This will probably stay the same.

      My plan is to keep track of the weight from whatever I remove. Theres a really good thread on Moparts about removing weight from cars, its long but there is some very creative ideas.... http://board.moparts.org/ubbthreads/...d-it-cost.html

      One thing I noticed on the Team Amx's and Jimi Days Amx is their roll bars/ cage are behind the driver. Although Jimi's car has very low door bars that mount in the front. So i'll be doing something similar with mine. Keeping the weight low and rearward is paramount.

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Dec 2015
      Posts
      172
      Country Flag: United States
      This weeks update:

      I removed all of the tar paper, sound deadener, broken glass, mouse crap & nests, and thankfully the rest of the cat urine soaked carpet!
      I also canned all of the unneeded items such as the a/c box, a.c compressor, console, factory seat belts, radio bracket, and other miscellaneous items.

      I also was able to make seat bracket adapters for the Recaro seats and the factory tracks. In their current location they offer enough helmet clearance and are far back enough to be at a comfortable driving position. I can move the tracks back and down another inch possibly if needed. Now with seat in place, door panels on and dash in place I can fit the cage as its built.

      I've also been cleaning the floor to prep for the cage. I was also able to get the dash removed and gutted to help with easy removal for cage fitment if needed. The dash has a bunch of cracks in it that will need to get fixed so it doesn't crack in half! Extra parts are going on ebay or to the AMC club members.

      Costs,previous total $4109
      -metal for tracks & fasteners $ 56

      New Total $4165

      Weight, previous total 3146 lbs
      A/C compressor, box & lines -47
      Heater box & motor -14
      Tar paper, carpet, crap, etc -52
      Console - 5

      New weight 3028 lbs

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    20. #20
      Join Date
      Dec 2015
      Posts
      172
      Country Flag: United States
      Not a lot of progress to show this week, but some great things are happening. I worked on the rear body damage. I got the rear tail panel straight, taillights fit nice, knocked out the rear 1/4's and got the areas for the 1/4 panel patches measured out.

      The best part was scoring a truckload of AMC parts off craigslist for $400! There is a bunch of AMX parts that I can use or was missing along with a lot of race parts too. Some notables were a group 19 front spoiler, Torker intake, new window & door seals, trim, new auto meter gauges, heims, braided brake lines, etc! The Aluminum flywheel attached to the almost new Centerforce clutch assembly was the cherry on top. So I'll be selling off what I don't need now that I got it all sorted out. This week will be getting stuff photographed, listed, and buying some parts.

      Previous Total $4165
      -Craigslist parts $ 400

      New Total $4565


      Previous weight 3028 lbs

      Removed stock seats -102 lbs (51 lb ea)

      Added Recaros & tracks + 70 lbs (35 lbs ea)

      New weight 2996 lbs

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