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for all you AMC fans, heres a project i picked up!


boardmanMJ
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sorry I'm flooding CC with so many posts, i got out of my class early today and ill be sitting in the study lab for over 3 hours until my next class. anyway, here is my newest project i picked up:

 

 

 

 

its a 1983 AMC eagle sx/4 and she set the newsest record for the cheapest project ive ever bought ($325) its the sport model of the sx/4 so its has the black interior with the 4.2l and its stick. for being in the rust belt of the country she hardly has any rust (they came from the factory with ziebart undercoating) but the front fender will need replaced and I'm sure when i pull up the carpet i will need to patch a few holes but other than that she is as solid as a rock. my plans for it are to lift it a tad bit (cherokee front one inch spacer will lift the IFS approximetly 3inches and cherokee AAL will lift the back to match) while running some 30inch super swamper allterrain tires and repainting it either desert flat military tan or lime green and black (havent decided yet, opinions are welcome!) and building a possible 4.7l stroker.

 

 

 

Josh

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Have you been to the AMCEagleNest forums? http://forums.amceaglenest.com/ I go by the same handle there.

 

You have a relatively rare car, there. '83 is the last year for the Spirit body, and just around 5000 SX/4s were made that year. Yours is a Sport, and its the coveted red and black two-tone with the coveted factory alloy wheels(if you don't plan on staying with those wheels, you'll have no problem selling them on the Nest, and the bolt pattern is the same 5-on-4.5-inches as the XJ/MJ/YJ/TJ/Ford Ranger, so there are a ton of other wheel options out there). Manual trans should be a non-world-class T-5 5-speed, which isn't up to handling V8 hp, but is fine behind the stock or mildly warmed up engine. Is that a black interior I see in it, or are those some aftermarket race buckets?

 

The 1/2 shafts in the IFS can only handle the angles from up to 2" of lift, but there are those out there who have swapped in an XJ solid D30 front axle with its 4link suspension(custom control arms and subframe mounts). An XJ rear axle housing swap would be a real bonus, since the stock Eagle rear axle is an AMC Model 15(the predecessor to the Dana 35), and is has two-piece axle shafts like the CJs did(hub flange keyed & bolted to the separate shaft), and they're a fail-point when used hard. An XJ rear axle should have the spring perches already in the right places, but one of the shock mounts will have to be cut off and welded back on to the axle in the proper place for an Eagle. If you do an XJ rear axle swap, and want the front axle gears to match, you'll find its a real bear to get gears that will work in the Eagle D30 IFS front axle(its a long-pinion D30 like the CJ used, but the carrier is different, and aftermarket gears won't mesh). I had to buy an axle out a 4-cylinder Eagle and get it shipped from Mass to TX to get 3.54 gears into mine to match the 3.55 geared ZJ D35 I swapped into the rear of my car.

 

The stock transfer case doesn't have a low range in it, but you can swap in a NP229 from a full size Jeep Wagoneer or convert to an XJ/MJ t-case like a 231 or 242(to keep AWD on the street option) with driveshaft mods.

 

You can also swap in a 4.o, EFI and all, or just swap a 4.0 head on the 258 block. There's a great carburetor upgrade available to get rid of the Carter BBD - look for Motorcraft MC2100 2-barrel carb upgrades for the AMC/Jeep 258. If it still has the plastic valvecover, and you don't want to do the 4.o head swap, there are aftermarket aluminum valvecovers available. There is also an ignition upgrade available called the TFI upgrade, where you use the distributor cap from a Ford 300ci inline six, and do a minor wiring modification for the ignition control box, and use a different coil than stock and upgrade to 8mm plug wires.

 

All this talk of swaps and upgrades breaks down to this: be on the lookout for a cheap XJ to buy whole and cannibalize.

 

There are some things that will be difficult to find for that car. I hope the fuel gauge sending unit works, because they are not available. The factory tachometers tend to get killed easily, and if its stuck somewhere above zero while not running, then its toast. The seats are unique to the car, and the driver side seat tracks run in two different planes(I don't know why they work like that, but it does), making it very difficult to swap in seats from anything else, but I've been able to install some aftermarket seats in mine. Also, the rear bumper plastic end caps are not the same as wagons or sedans, and are not available new(no problem if you plan to build some off-road bumpers). The door felts and window glass are aslo difficult to come by, but the exterior door handles can be replaced with new ones from Jeep YJ/TJ 1/2 doors(but they're black instead of chrome), if they're broken(common fail). If the doors sag, replace the bushings in the hinges before the hinges get worn out, which can make them difficult to open, which leads to broken door handles. The hood release handle tends to break easily, so be gentle when you first open the hood and lube the heck out of the latch and cable. The steering column is a GM column, so you can easily swap in a Jeep XJ/YJ Sport steering wheel, but yours should have the coveted black Sport steering wheel with a center cap with faux allen heads on it. The clutch master cylinder is also a difficult one to get a replacement for(new ones are on evil-bay right now, also available from KennedyAmerican), but rebuild kits are available. Its a remote reservoir master cylinder, so hopefully your car's reservoir is still there and in good shape. In fact, I want to find out if yours has the tube-type reservoir, or a hard line to a plastic reservoir on the left inner fender that says "Girling" on the cap. Pics of the engine bay, please?

 

Look for rust in the subframe rails just below the driver and pass side foot wells - that's where it usually bites these cars the worst. Trans crossmembers also get bitten, as does the rear subframe where the leaf springs/shackles mount, and look under the rocker panel plastics. Hope its solid, or you have a lot of fab work to make it solid again. Its a unibody car, like the MJ/XJ, so if its got rust problems, it could become a parts car, unless you are a good fabricator. I had one that looked just like yours(red on black), good exterior, but completely cancerous subframe - it gave its life so that others could live on.

 

Congrats on getting the Eagle, they're as addicting as MJs. Great price, btw, but it'll cost a lot to get it to be as off-road capable as an XJ unless you get a donor XJ for it. Rarity be damned, make what you want out of it. More pics, please!

 

Here is a old pic of mine, on Ford ranger wheels and Kumho Ecstas, with a Spirit AMX grill.

Mine next to the blue one I recently sold.

And my engine with '99 HO intake, HESCO injection, HO head on 4.2 block, HO serpentine accesories, still a work in progress, but it should be a Mustang killer. Building for autocross.

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i did join the eagles nest under the same name boardmanMJ but I'm not as active on there as i am on here. i still don't know much about the car, but as i can tell, you do. i am picking the car up saturday. if the red with black paintjob means that the car is pretty rare, i might just repaint it the factory colors. i don't really plan on changing the wheels. yes the interior is black but its in pieces. the cowling had a very bad leak on the inside so the PO took the entire dash apart along with some other interor pieces and a few exterior pieces. according to him everything is all there its just in a bunch of boxes. here are some more pictures of it:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josh

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Holy bleep, the dash exploded.

 

Yup, they like to develope leaks at the base of the windshield where it meets the cowl.

 

I see the driver side fender has been chewed on. There's a vacuum reservoir hidden up in there that feeds the 4wd shifting stuff that has some steel hard lines that tend to get rusted out. You can manually shift the transfer case with a stubby 9/16 wrench(easier to shift with the little t-case skidplate removed), and the front axle shift motor can be manually shifted if removed, hose clamped into the locked position, and replaced after moving the collar to the locked position. Its a different shift motor than the Jeep D30 CAD, but it works the same.

 

Looks like its got some nice rear markers - those are also unobtainium.

 

You'll(eventually) notice the rear track width is narrower than the front - I cured mine with a set of billet spacers with studs in em(even needed the spacers after the rear axle swap). Makes the car look better with the rear wheels spaced out(pure opinion).

 

You'll probably really appreciate getting a hard copy of the factory full service manual. Search evil-bay, my copy is for an '82. Great manual, very detailed when compared to the FSM for my '89 MJ.

 

Good luck haulin it to yer place, hope the trip goes smooth. If you're trailering it, be careful where you strap the front end down - my car ate one of the straps when the suspension moved over bumps on the trip home(cut it like a giant scissors). Might just go with chain on the front and strap the rear axle tight rearward. If you're planning on using a car dolly REMOVE THE REAR DRIVESHAFT. Even with the car in 2wd, dolly towing will toast the viscous coupler in the transfer case, and the coupler is not available anymore.

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unfortunatly i won't be there to pick up the car. it will need to be towed on a full trailer but my dad will be picking it up as i have to be at work. He was an ironworker by trade so he has all the good straps and chains but it never hurts to bring a few extras. thanks for all your help i printed out a copy of this topic so i can use it as a refernce when i actually start working on it. i will snap some pictures of the motor when i get it to my shop. it does not have the plastic valve cover on it and it has an aftermarket distributer.

 

 

 

Josh

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