AMC Automotive Repair Manuals

Interesting Facts About AMC You Probably Don’t Know – Common Problems – and PDF Manuals for Download…

AMC, American Motor Corporation was an American automobile company founded in the year 1954 by the merger of Hudson motor car company and Nash-Kelvinator corporation. At that time, this was the biggest corporate merger that ever happened in US.

There were already three big automobile companies present in US, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. AMC with its cars from different segments went on to compete with these three biggies. The cars with which AMC was competing included small cars like Hornet, Rambler American, Pacer and Gremlin; muscle cars like AMX, Marlin and Javelin; and America’s first true crossover, the Eagle (early 4-wheel-drive variants).

In 1959, American Motor Company began to experiment in the non-gasoline powered automobile segment and as a result it started a joint research with Sonotone Corporation. The aim was to produce an electric car that should be powered by a “self-charging” battery.

Sonotone was technology rich to produce sintered plate Ni-Cd batteries which could be rapidly recharged and were comparatively lighter than those typical automobile lead-acid batteries.

AMC, to stay in the competition, produced a wide variety of models in 1960 and was quick enough to add innovations long before the three big players could introduce. It added to the popularity of the manufacturer and the profits increased.

For example, AMC was the first to offer adjustable front seat backrests and in year 1964, Ambassador and the classic came with standard dual reclining front seats. This innovation was nearly a decade before the big three players introduced it as an option in their vehicles.

AMC also became famous as a small company powerful enough to manipulate the special market segments that were left untended by the big players. The company was also famous for the great design work by Dick Teague, chief stylist and future vice president. He was giving the best services to his employer in a low budget as compared to Detroit’s big three giants.

In order to compete with the big three auto manufacturers, annual styling changes were needed and it would require large expenditure. The company launched newer models but the sale didn’t turn out according to the expectations. In 1970s, the company developed several new vehicles and modified the earlier versions.

In 1977, Time magazine revealed that in previous two fiscal years AMC had lost $73.8 million. Time magazine also reported the record sale of jeeps and a backlog of orders for AM General’s buses.

AMC witnessed success but it was not regular, sustainability was missing. Seeing this as an opportunity, Renault showed an interest in acquiring AMC and in 1978, it succeeded to acquire a major part in AMC. Renault kept increasing its share in AMC and reached to 49 percent.

In later years, Renault itself faced financial crisis and the merger ended. The company was finally acquired by Chrysler. 1987 was the year of its demise. At that time, media said that AMC was a company that never had power or cost structure to confidently compete in the home market or abroad.


Common AMC Problems

Some of the common problems that AMC car owners report and may bother you sometime are as follows:

  1. Condenser: In some makes of 1968 Javelin, problems related to condenser are reported. When the car is left unused (not started) for about two to three weeks, firstly it will be hard to start and when finally, it starts, it doesn’t sound normal and die.
    When trying again and again, the same problem repeats itself. The car doesn’t stay running. This might happen because of failed condenser or chain. Time to seek a specialist.
  2. Seats: In the AMC models launched between 1970-1972, individual bucket seats were used. The problem with some makes is faced while tilting the seat forward and backwards. This happens because the screws used to limit the forward move of the seat get rusted.
    It becomes difficult to remove them and if an individual tries to remove them on their own, he may end up with stripped head of those screws. It is recommended to take professional help in this matter.
  3. Exhaust System: The AMC car models of 1968 face certain issues related to exhaust system. Some of the makes use standard steel exhaust pipes which after covering several thousand miles may get rusted and cause improper exhaustion. This finally results in heating of the engine and gives rise to other problems. The popular solution to this problem is sidewinder system.
    It is a side-pipe exhaust system that is bracketed to the underbody of car and uses heat shields made up of slotted-aluminium. If your make has this sidewinder system, then you might not face any such problems but if it is not there, then keep checking for any issues.
  4. Undercar Components: Most of the muscle cars when not properly maintained may get problems in their components present underneath the car. Components like leaf spring and rear axle are the reason behind most of the consumer complaints.
    In 1984 CJ model, these kind of problems have been observed most. Keep a track with any problem underneath your car and if found any, consult a specialist.
  5. Electric Fan: In the 1964 model of American 440, this problem with electric fan is commonly reported. After being used for several years, some makes may get this problem. The voltage supplied to fan may drop and the car’s performance gets affected. Check it on your own or get the professional help.
    Firstly, check the voltage supply, use ammeter and see what it is doing. If the volts go below the rest voltage when trying to charge, the 35-amp generator might be overused. The supply to fan should be rechecked and restored.


Although, every car maker takes ample steps to make the perfect vehicle but because of certain limitations, like price of the car or how it is used by end consumer, some of the models comes up with certain problems.

Some of the common problems related to AMC cars are mentioned here, you may take a note of them. These will help you to detect any problems in your AMC.


Purpose of this is to catalog and include one of most comprehensive, useful and accessible “automotive repair PDF manual” database on the web for all AMC models.

It’s your go-to source for learning all about AMC – when you can’t find it elsewhere.

To get started, select the intended car model below…

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