4.0 Jeep Transplant: 1974 AMC Gremlin X

A restored Gremlin? I love the idea of someone pouring a ton of time and money into restoring a 1974 AMC Gremlin X, I really do. It’s not a Hemi Cuda or some other high-buck muscle car but this is something that I might do and it proves that I’m not the only one unusual enough to restore a Gremlin. This one can be found here on eBay in Manchester, Tennessee and the current bid price is $3,500 and there is no reserve. A killer deal, but there are still four days left on the auction.

This car looks almost like new, someone really put a lot of work into it. I can take or leave the wheels, I’d much rather have stock wheels, but that’s just me. I’m not sure if I have seen too many white Gremlin Xs with red stripes, it’s so crisp and clean looking.

The Gremlin was made from 1970 to 1978 when it was replaced by AMC’s new Spirit, and Eagle offered the 4WD Kammback with a similar shape. The seller says that this Gremlin X has been restored and has a lot of new parts, such as brakes and brake drums, clutch and pressure plate, new starter, new alternator, new manual steering gear, not to mention the whole engine has been changed to a Jeep 4.0L six. Cool.

I’m assuming that’s still a three-speed manual shown which this car would have originally had. I’m sure that the seats are uber-comfortable, but they’re from a Japanese car of some sort. They do look comfortable but I’d much rather have regular ol’ Gremlin seats. Again, that’s just me, I’m super boring when it comes to keeping my cars as close to original spec as possible.

Speaking of not original spec, this super clean and nice looking engine is a 4.0L inline-six from a Jeep. We don’t know the year or any of the other specs, but I’m sure that it has more power than the 100-hp that the original 232 inline-six would have had. It’s unusual that they don’t say how it runs at all, other than the gas gauge is off a bit and the turn signals don’t work. I’d have to assume that it runs fine. Any thoughts on this Gremlin with a Jeep six in it?


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  1. Howard A Member

    Weeeeeeell, I think it’s a fantastic deal, the 4.0 swap would seem logical, as I think it’s the same block as the 232, so no major mods there, it’s just, why would someone do that? It’s not like a V8 conversion, where there would be some real improvement in performance, a 6 cylinder Gremlin is still a 6 cylinder Gremlin here, the 232 did just fine. At least it’s still in the same family, and someone getting a nice car.

    Like 4
    • Mike H. Mike H.

      Howard, I’m right there with you. Even worse, they installed the 4.0L and put a carburettor on it? One of the best features of swapping in late(r) model engines is bringing along the fuel injection and electronic ignition, making the car more reliable and perhaps a bit more versatile, as you don’t have to screw with them for altitude differences or fuel qualities.

      Like 7
      • Mike

        Actually that has an aftermarket Clifford intake manifold on it which would allow for a four-barrel carb. I can’t tell from the picture the size of the carb installed.

  2. Jack M.

    More horsepower and torque is always the correct answer.

    Like 12
  3. Joe Haska

    I love it! If the bidding doesn’t go up, someone is going to get a super deal. When my kids were in H.S. I bought them Gremlin, at first they hated it, then they realized how unique it was and the other kids thought they were cool.
    My wife had a Jeep Wagoner with that engine, it was great, in this Grimlin it would be awesome.

  4. Matt G

    A lot of work for just 10 more cubic inches. Perhaps the 4.0 had other improvements in cylinder head design, etc that up the HP? And although ditching the fuel injection off the 4.0 in favor of a carburator increased the simplicity of the swap, I wonder what it did for the performance.

  5. James Martin

    I always thought the x had a 304 in it. Didn’t know they opted a 232 As Well. So what is the big deal of the gremilan x

    Like 1
  6. JT

    The X package was an option package— stripes, tilt wheel, and engine choices, interior upgrades, rally steering wheel, etc. I believe that only 40,000 were 304 s.

    Like 2
  7. Ron

    In 1988 I paid $125 for a Gremlin X, loaded 3 friends into it, went to find snow banks to get stuck in, grinded that tranny and always got out, best times of my life. The 4 of us in the cockpit rocking back and forth to get unstuck. Teenagers!!!!!

    Like 2
  8. Vince H

    They are not my cup of tea. Really these were good cars for basic transportation.

  9. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I had a 74 Gremlin X I bought in 1981 for $450. It was green and had a 258 six with 3 speed on the floor. It was a great car, I put a lot of miles on it driving through nine western states. It pulled a u-haul trailer over the Colorado Rocky mountains with no trouble at all. It always ran well wheather in wet Washington state, through the warm Oregon highways, or the hot California Interstate, across Arizona, New Mexico, two years in Texas hill country, across the Oklahoma pan handle, up the east side of Colorado then west over the Rockies into Utah where I traded it for a Hornet wagon. Even then that little Gremlin was still running strong.
    God bless America

    Like 2
  10. Michael Abate

    Since this is NOT the EFI, but the Carburetor, isn’t this the 4.2? If I am set on a Jeep 4.0, I am going with the Multipoint EFI!! Not another carb. I agree, stock rims, and seats!

    Like 3
    • Matt G

      I imagine they could have just swapped the carbed intake manifold over from the old engine, along with the world’s tiniest air filter…

      Like 1
  11. Bob C.

    The 4.0 made anywhere from 173 to 190 horsepower from factory, but with fuel injection. With a carb? I don’t think so.

    Like 2
  12. Mitchell Ross Member

    Just a clarification, the 4.0 engine is an AMC engine. Chrysler inherited it when they bought and gutted AMC. It is a common swap on 232 and 258 cars when they have seized or knocking engines. This is considered not to be swap, but an update and is accepted as such in the AMC community.. The wheel covers are from a newer AMC, from the early 80’s

    Like 2
  13. Nate

    Mine’s got a 4.0 with a turbo. Fun car and always gets lots of attention.

  14. charlie Member

    Engine dead, not a lot of cash, 4.0 is available, put it in! Won’t ever be a 6 figure car, at least in my lifetime, so fix it up and drive it. I don’t care if the numbers don’t match, I did buy a ’39 MGSA with a Hudson Twin H power engine and transmission transplant, Ford truck taillights, a White truck 12 V generator and late 30’s Buick headlights, and a mass of wire under the hood to tone down the 12 Volts so the headlights and taillights would not fry. But to all appearances it was stock, except the front fenders did not quite match, and neither did the rear ones, one of the rear was homemade, the front off a different car, perhaps, but the paint matched. But it drove well at 45 mph on its 4.45 x 19 tires, and was really cool. Under slung chassis so low, compared to any mass produced US car of the time. Wish I still had it.

  15. Mitchell Member

    Ditch the wheels on there, swap a set of Gremlin X wheels on, pop a turbo on that 4.0 six, swap in a T5 with a Jeep bellhousing, go late-model muscle hunting.

  16. Jt

    Wrong stripes. 74’s had the “Hockey Stick” style

    Like 1
  17. CJinSD

    An injected 4.0 with 177 net horsepower instead of 100 net horsepower from a carbureted 232 would have been a neat upgrade.

    Like 2
  18. That AMC Guy

    With fuel injection the Jeep 4.0 puts out more power than the 304 V8. It’s pretty much the hot setup to update 6-cylinder AMC cars for those who want to retain a straight six. Early 4.0 blocks even have the mounting bosses for the Eagle front differential. It’s a lot of work to swap in the electronics for the fuel injection system though which is probably why this one wound up with a carb.

    Like 3
  19. jerry z

    Everyone talking about adding fuel injection. Go one step further and add a turbo! That will wake it up!

  20. Phlathead Phil

    A strange looking car phor sure. I think at the end of the day, looking back, say on it’s 100th anniversary, it will be hailed as “The Little Gem that Could.” Or, is that Grem?

  21. Nelson

    Where u go to bid. On car ? Or seller have a number.

  22. Matt Russell

    So this actually had a intake from a newer AMC that was modified to work with a small 2bbl carb. It would run but not very well. It now has a clifford 6=8 intake for a 4.0, edelbrock 500cfm 4bbl carb on it, some initial tuning and is running great. Several other upgrades including wheels and minor repairs and we have been enjoying and driving this car weekly since we were able to get it. Very cool to see it featured in this article prior!

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