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Author Topic: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project  (Read 6211 times)

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Offline Brentmo

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83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« on: January 24, 2014, 12:08:23 AM »
Hello fellow Eagle Denizens,

Been a while since I've logged on.  Always working overtime, family visiting for the holidays, and the eagle project moving at a snail's pace, you know, all the excuses.  But I do want to share what's going on, so here's my project, a 1983 SX4 (sport?) with 4.2 six and 5 speed stick.  Found on Craigslist in Washington and trailered home to Central Oregon.  The battery was dead in the camera, so no pictures until we got it up on a rack at our local shop.  Needs some of everything, but the body is fairly rust free.  As much as I wish I had a shop and the time to wrench on my own car, I'm for the most part chained to my desk.  So I'm relying on others to bring my bird to life.  Planning a major renovation, including new motor, interior and paint.  Limited to five pictures, so here's the before.  More to come in my next post.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 10:03:39 PM by Brentmo »
Take my advice, I'm not using it...

08 JK Unlimited - daily driver
98 K1500 HT383 stroker - pulling, camping, road trips
83 SX4 Sport - resto project underway

Offline MudPuppy

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2014, 12:33:49 AM »
Welcome Brent.
She sure is a beaut!

Definitely a sport and with a T5 , rear wiper & a clean undercarriage.... lucky!
Look forward to more pics and project updates.
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Offline Prafeston

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2014, 12:52:41 AM »
We seem to be in a close perdicament. I too have others working on my ride to bring it back to life. I opted for the 4.0 Cherokee route though. Looks like you have a great start to your project. I'm jealous of the rims (with center caps) and rear wiper!

My project too has been moving along pretty slow considering I bough the thing in April and it just fired up with the 4.0 in it this week! Look forward to following this build! If you wanna check mine out here is my thread. http://forums.amceaglesden.com/index.php?topic=42948.0

Also if you use an alternate photo sharing site like photobucket, flickr, or imageshack you can upload your photos to those sites and then just paste in the img code it's quite simple and you can post as many pics as you want in one post!
1983 AMC Eagle SX/4 - Penny

Offline 1985amceagle

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2014, 04:18:39 PM »
Welcome!
1985 Eagle Wagon

Offline Brentmo

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2014, 12:48:59 AM »
Thanks everybody for the encouragement.  Prafeston, I checked out your build thread and we're definitely on a similar journey.

I started and drove the SX4 when I bought it, but now that it's home two shops have confirmed the #5 cylinder doesn't hold compression.  For the price of a remanufactured motor with warranty, I thought that a better route than paying to rebuild the old one.  Once that decision was made I looked into getting a 4.0 litre head and fuel injection.  Then after more research and consulting, I couldn't resist spending the little extra to get a 4.6 litre stroker.  The toughest part was finding a shop that was reputable, willing to take on the swap, and reasonable.   

So now the engine is out and the shop put it on a trailer so I could get the engine bay pressure washed and take it to the painter to get the engine bay done.  I'm not yet settled on keeping it red, so we're going to paint the engine bay black.  We ordered the new stroker from S&J Motors in Spokane.  It's now sitting in it's crate at the shop and S&J even painted it AMC blue!  Here's some more pics:
Take my advice, I'm not using it...

08 JK Unlimited - daily driver
98 K1500 HT383 stroker - pulling, camping, road trips
83 SX4 Sport - resto project underway

Offline Prafeston

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2014, 04:18:26 AM »
Wow, you straight up bought a new stroker. That had to set you back a bit! Should be worth it though!
1983 AMC Eagle SX/4 - Penny

Offline Brentmo

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 10:23:36 PM »
Yes, but not as much as you might think.  Would you believe a remanufactured 288 (4.7 litre) stroker long block with 7 year, 100,000 mile warranty for $2,035 (plus $400 core chg)?  S&J says it's built for for reliability and makes only (for a stroker) 240 hp.  I asked for an RV cam so it should make a bit more.  I'm excited about the torque.

Of course that also requires manifolds, fuel injection, and OBD computer.  But after talking to lots of AMC and Jeep people, and reading on this forum and others, it seemed a worthwhile investment to be rid of the the electronic feedback Carter and the mess of vacuum lines.

I put a 383 stroker in my 98 Chevy K1500 in 2005.  After 9 years and 110K miles that truck still puts a grin on my face every time I drive it.  It wouldn't win at the drags, but it moves out with authority, pulls any load the suspension can handle, and is never lacking for more gas pedal.  Long story short, I'm a big fan of my Chevy stroker.

S&J lists their remanufactured 4.0 for $1,417.  After considering the total cost of the install and FI conversion, another $600 seemed not too much more to live the stroker dream in my Eagle.
Take my advice, I'm not using it...

08 JK Unlimited - daily driver
98 K1500 HT383 stroker - pulling, camping, road trips
83 SX4 Sport - resto project underway

Offline Brentmo

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 10:29:05 PM »
OK, I just turned 50 this month.  My SO says of the Eagle, "at least it's not a blonde"!
Take my advice, I'm not using it...

08 JK Unlimited - daily driver
98 K1500 HT383 stroker - pulling, camping, road trips
83 SX4 Sport - resto project underway

Offline Prafeston

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2014, 10:42:19 PM »
Yeah, but it is a redhead! :)
1983 AMC Eagle SX/4 - Penny

Online eaglefreek

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2014, 09:03:11 AM »
OK, I just turned 50 this month.  My SO says of the Eagle, "at least it's not a blonde"!
:laughing4:
1986 AMC Eagle Wagon 4.2L/4.0L head, AW4,NP242, Chrysler 8.25" rear.
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Offline amchornet

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2014, 06:40:48 PM »
Yes redheads can be expensive!!!! :D
Joe Washburn
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Offline DownwardFlame

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2014, 05:10:27 PM »
Just out of curiosity, where in Washington did you find it?
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Offline Brentmo

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2014, 09:55:42 PM »
It was near Tacoma last fall.  I saw another driver SX4 listed near Seattle after I bought this one, I think for 2,000.  There was also another red sport with the 258 and manual trans listed on and off last year in Spokane.  That one was a driver as well and had fuel injection and  a lot of other work.  The seller was asking 3,000, which in retrospect is sounding like it would have been worth investigating.  Don't know if it ever sold or not.  I still regularly check C-list in Seattle and Portland.  Just keep looking, there's not always one available, but they do come up every now and then.  Good luck!   
Take my advice, I'm not using it...

08 JK Unlimited - daily driver
98 K1500 HT383 stroker - pulling, camping, road trips
83 SX4 Sport - resto project underway

Offline Baskinator

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2014, 03:35:11 AM »
Wow, I am envious of where this is heading! $2,000 for a 4.7 Stroker with 100,000 mile warranty??? That is quite impressive, and I thank you for the reference. Looks like you need to have a mixture test done by a shop to validate the warranty, but still... I haven't seen any strokers with a warranty over 30,000 miles! I'd love to go this route when I get a job out of college and can afford it. Plus my Eagle's already setup with the 4.0, so it would be a simple swap. Can't wait to see this completed!
1982 AMC Eagle SX/4 (Work In Progress)

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Offline vangremlin

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2014, 08:49:21 PM »
Keep us posted on your progress.  Getting a completely rebuilt motor for those prices is a heck of a deal.
1981 Kammback 258 - "Pepe"
1980 Coupe 258 - "Ginger
1972 Gremlin X 304
1978 Gremlin 4 cyl 121 - sold
1964 TBird 390 - sold

Offline DownwardFlame

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2014, 07:17:00 PM »
I was just wondering because there used to be one here in the moses lake area that looked just like it.
-1970 Mustang Coupe
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Offline Brentmo

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2014, 12:50:14 AM »
OK, heard from the painter.  The engine bay is done and it's time to pick up the car and take it back to the mechanic for the engine install!  Unfortunately the shop's buddy with the car trailer sold it  :censored: So it's beg, rent, or pay for a tow.  We'll try some begging, then looks like renting.

Had a heck of a week at work, and thought I was going to do some Saturday hours too, until I got a last minute reprieve from the boss man!  Picked up the SO and headed to our favorite local gooey cheese Mexican restaurant for dinner & margaritas.  On the way there, saw the shop roll-up door was half open and the light was on, so stopped in to visit the new motor.  The mechanic had the old and new motors side by side and was transferring all the needed parts.  Here's some pics:

   
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 10:05:23 PM by Brentmo »
Take my advice, I'm not using it...

08 JK Unlimited - daily driver
98 K1500 HT383 stroker - pulling, camping, road trips
83 SX4 Sport - resto project underway

Offline maddog

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2014, 02:38:11 AM »
oooh shiny. that engine looks very nice dude.
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1983 AMC EAGLE LIMITED WAGON(PROJECT AND FUTURE DAILY DRIVER) SURVIVOR (gone)
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Offline Brentmo

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuellie project
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2014, 11:24:27 PM »
oooh shiny. that engine looks very nice dude.
  Thanks Maddog.  Can't wait till it fires up!

So, was able to borrow a trailer  :hello2: and pick up the Eagle from the painter.  Not too much to report.  Did get a new battery tray and had it powder coated before install. It is nice and clean and looking like a good home for the new motor! Project has far to go....  Here's some pics:


 
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 03:21:58 AM by Brentmo »
Take my advice, I'm not using it...

08 JK Unlimited - daily driver
98 K1500 HT383 stroker - pulling, camping, road trips
83 SX4 Sport - resto project underway

Offline Brentmo

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2014, 02:24:05 AM »
Hey   Denizens!

Sorry to be away so long.  While I've been working long hours, the motor found it's way into the Eagle.  Used the 4.0 FI intake and header style exhaust manifold from a Cherokee.  Using Ford 4.6 litre injectors to feed the stroker. In spite of all I've read, the mechanic says the exhaust manifold fit no problem and required no bending.  The Cherokee catalytic converter also mounted right up to the stock Eagle mount.  Tried to fit in the Cherokee radiator as well, but it was too wide.  So I sent my stock radiator to get refurbished and triple cored.  Had to pull three OBD1 computers before we found one in a 94 Cherokee in complete working order.  The mechanic had fashioned a hybrid wiring harness out of the Eagle and Cherokee harnesses in order to connect the computer to the Eagle's electronics.  Could be tidier but it's working and head and shoulders above what I could have done.

Finally got the call at work on Friday that the motor was ready to start!  Showed up after work to find the Eagle with the hood up, oil pressure and fuel pressure gauges connected to the motor, and a diagnostic computer hooked up to the OBD1.  The motor started without hesitation and purred at 750 rpms.  As it warmed up it smoked off lube and grease from the install.  Once the thermostat opened, we topped off the radiator and took it up to 1400 rpms to run in the cam.  Oil pressure was 80lbs and fuel pressure was 30.  Temperature  at the cylinder head was just  over 220.  After about 15 minutes we brought it back down to idle, then shut it off to cool down. 

Next we took it around the block to see how it drives.  Clutch was easy and the engine had plenty of torque to start the car moving with minimal throttle.  Transmission shifted through the gears fine.  Twice the car stalled when coming to a stop, which the mechanic said was the computer learning how to control the motor.  Both times it restarted readily.  Since one side of the block is Hwy 97, I took the opportunity to start out with a little more gas pedal.  Didn't give it too much, but enough to feel the motor will have no trouble moving the car out when it's broken in.

That's my news.  The car is still at the shop to be readied for the road: oil changed, cold air intake and tailpipe installed, and everything buttoned up.  Hope to be driving it soon.  My attention will now turn to the body and interior and then finally a repaint.  Still leaning towards gold.

Here's some pictures:

« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 03:34:24 AM by Brentmo »
Take my advice, I'm not using it...

08 JK Unlimited - daily driver
98 K1500 HT383 stroker - pulling, camping, road trips
83 SX4 Sport - resto project underway

Offline Draekon

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2014, 11:27:19 AM »
What year Cherokee was the exhaust manifold from?

Offline Amc1320

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2014, 12:58:40 PM »
thanks for the update, great news!
Rob c
84 Eagle Limited Wagon (driven everyday)
81 Eagle Kammback
81 Spirit (undergoing surgery)
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Manchester, TN

Offline Brentmo

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2017, 03:46:02 AM »
Test
Take my advice, I'm not using it...

08 JK Unlimited - daily driver
98 K1500 HT383 stroker - pulling, camping, road trips
83 SX4 Sport - resto project underway

Offline Brentmo

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2017, 04:18:41 AM »
Hello Denizens, Wow does life change!  Joined an accounting practice in West Los Angeles and living in Santa Monica.  Never imagined I'd be back in LA.  Still have the house in Bend, it's a much needed refuge.  Loaded up the Eagle and brought it down to a shop in Chatsworth.  A friend of a friend who builds cars for the movies when he's not building Jeeps.  Left La Pine in the early afternoon and made it to Gorman at the top of the Grapevine before spending the night in the back of the truck.  750 miles from the snow to the sun!
Take my advice, I'm not using it...

08 JK Unlimited - daily driver
98 K1500 HT383 stroker - pulling, camping, road trips
83 SX4 Sport - resto project underway

Offline Brentmo

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2017, 05:16:51 AM »
Starting the body work. Pulled off all of the body moldings and got to see what we were dealing with.  Not too bad considering it was literally a barn find in Western Washington state.  Turns out it is a Ziebart dipped car.
Take my advice, I'm not using it...

08 JK Unlimited - daily driver
98 K1500 HT383 stroker - pulling, camping, road trips
83 SX4 Sport - resto project underway

Offline Brentmo

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2017, 05:52:20 AM »
Ground out the rust and pulled the dent.  Then filled and sanded the body straight.
Take my advice, I'm not using it...

08 JK Unlimited - daily driver
98 K1500 HT383 stroker - pulling, camping, road trips
83 SX4 Sport - resto project underway

Offline Brentmo

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2017, 06:30:52 AM »
I was leaning towards gold, but wanted one that really popped. Jeep Aztec gold could be a natural choice. It looked good in the sun but seemed too dark and orange in the shade. It was a tough balance to find, not too orange but not too green either.  I had been looking through paint books for months. Then I finally saw it driving home from Vegas on I-15! It was on a Scion Xb, "Inca gold mica," a limited edition color offered only for a year or so.
Take my advice, I'm not using it...

08 JK Unlimited - daily driver
98 K1500 HT383 stroker - pulling, camping, road trips
83 SX4 Sport - resto project underway

Offline Brentmo

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2017, 06:56:47 AM »
I could not source a replacement gasket for the rear window. It has a metal trim strip insert. The body guy was careful and able to save and reuse the original.  Other shops had told me it could not be done and they would just have to tape off the rear window for the repaint.
Take my advice, I'm not using it...

08 JK Unlimited - daily driver
98 K1500 HT383 stroker - pulling, camping, road trips
83 SX4 Sport - resto project underway

Offline Brentmo

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2017, 07:32:55 AM »
Putting the car back together.  Loving this part!!  :rotfl:
Take my advice, I'm not using it...

08 JK Unlimited - daily driver
98 K1500 HT383 stroker - pulling, camping, road trips
83 SX4 Sport - resto project underway

Offline mudkicker715

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2017, 09:52:04 AM »
Looks stunning.



Manitowoc WI

Offline Prafeston

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2017, 11:09:07 AM »
Wow, long time no see! Thanks for the updates! Car looks great! Now enjoy driving it for a change!
1983 AMC Eagle SX/4 - Penny

Offline vangremlin

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2017, 12:28:54 PM »
Looks great!  Enjoy!
1981 Kammback 258 - "Pepe"
1980 Coupe 258 - "Ginger
1972 Gremlin X 304
1978 Gremlin 4 cyl 121 - sold
1964 TBird 390 - sold

Offline maddog

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2017, 10:33:53 PM »
wow that turned out really nice it's sure to turn some heads.
1980 AMC EAGLE WAGON(DAILY DRIVER/PROJECT) EAGLE EYES
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Offline SnowEagle

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Re: 83 SX4 stroker fuelie project
« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2018, 01:34:08 PM »
How is that engine holding up?  You say you asked for a RV cam, which one did you get and would you recommend that one again?  I'm looking at the S&J stroker now for my sx4.