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Author Topic: The 1300 dollar fixer upper surprise project  (Read 49526 times)

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Offline tougeagle

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The 1300 dollar fixer upper surprise project
« on: July 04, 2009, 03:07:09 AM »
I got sucked into the Eagle vortex as it were, from the day I first checked out the car, and have since developed a  strong desire to restore the car, and I thought it would take a lot longer than it is... but four months after purchase, I've realized that I'm almost halfway done, which is an awesome feeling, because I live on a tight hourly income and expected to have to spend years saving to do what I've been doing in just a few months.

Ever since owning my 96 Cherokee sport, 5spd 4.0 (perfect condition at 114k when bought) and its sudden demise just before Christmas 06, I had fallen in love with Jeeps. I owned a 1991 Nissan Sentra SE-R for a while as something to highly enjoy driving through the tight curves on 30mph mountain highways, but got a bit too cocky with it. Well, I found this car, hopped in, and almost forgot was an 80's american car because it came with a smooth shifting manual and four wheel drive, a decently efficient inline 6 engine for the time (car makers today boast about 30 mpg, ours gets that stock on the highway, in good condition) and a fairly decent interior for the era. It reminded me of my cherokee, which handled very similarly in many ways, and very closely shares driver ergonomics, so I became familiar with it after driving it around the block once, before realizing it's a station wagon that has jeep capability, and plenty of power/handling potential = perfect project.




In an eggshell, It was bone stock when purchased, no modifications at all that I knew of at the time, and wouldn't stay running, overheated, wouldn't always start,  leaked oil like a sieve amongst a host of other issues... I decided after a month and a half of replacing every part of the ignition system, cleaning the carb out (and later discovering it was newly rebuilt) repeatedly, checking and double checking valve timing, vacuum lines, it failed emissions. So I decided it could only be the carb, since replacing the oilpan gasket  amongst other things, showed me the brand new bottom end. I ran every line the way it was supposed to be done, set the ignition timing as close as possible, and it still failed. I decided then to convert to the 4.0L head, and efi system, upon finding a 92 4.0 engine with head, mani's, dizzy, valve cover, cam and all for 20 dollars....
,


Pleasant surprise. So was the triple roller timing set discovered later :D



I figured an Eagle would make a great mix of decent fuel economy, power and all-around usefulness for me and mine to use for a whlie, and maybe fix up. Well, here's the parts list to date (close to in order). Some things were almost brand new, others were not...

Thermostat
vacuum tubes
Oilpan gasket
Rear main seal
Clutch (thanks to my lack of research, costly mistake at a shop, a place Caroline shouldn't be)
Fuel filter
PCV valves
brake master cylinder
driveline fluids
Front u joint and u bolt slipyoke conversion
Manifold gaskets
Starter
All before failing emissions the first time

Motorcraft 2100 carb
HEI dizzy, cap, wires






Failed second time

Now:

Discovered bad cat, clogged muffler
removed old wiring harness
sold head/ignition/manifolds from 4.2L

The general parts (most of)


4.2 head, dirty combustion chambers but new components


Pistons and cylinders are cool but a valve cover and manifolds is a better one, yet to be had. .030 pistons


4.0 head after dipping, before machining, first time around (I managed to dig the welds out, going to go JB and packing peanuts this time)


4.0 manifold with junkyard parts, 5.2l injectors, 98 fuel rail, 94 tb, autozone rice aisle intake tubing


Head/manifold mockup (couldn't resist placing valvecover, I got bored, painted it and wanted to see if it would match)


What it's supposed to look like (leaking water jackets not seen in pic :P)

Since I got a little impatient, and didn't leak test the head, I had to drill the welds out (per roomate's suggestion) and I have to have the head dipped and machined again, which might also mean valve stem seals, again, and does mean thermostat gasket, again. I screwed up one head gasket before bolting the head down, before replacing it and trying again. Filled it with coolant two days later, and heard the drip start... three more weeks behind, though I see it as an opportunity to get the head ported this time around as well, instead of kicking myself later.

latest

4.0 cam installed
Head going to machine shop next week, again
Intake manifold complete
Extra 4.0 throttlebody hand-ported




Not the greatest in the world, but the finish is deceivingly smooth. it was done more out of boredom and curiosity than anything.
Exhaust pipe fab/fitting
.
Transmission removed, sold (pending pickup)
Rear driveshaft removed (rear u joints)

Hearing that motor crank over again is my inspiration for finishing my eagle. I'm getting my license back soon, and the driver's seat's been cold far too long...

















« Last Edit: July 04, 2009, 03:21:37 AM by tougeagle »
1983 "Special Edition" 5 speed wagon, power leather seat conversion, flexfuel, ax15+np249, 2.73s, High Output 4.2 - 1995 4.0 EFI/head/cam conversion on royal purple - 45k ign, 60mm bored tb, poly swb, sport wagon rsb, 2.5" headerback ex, 2 cat, cherrybomb,  The one and only dd, the first true "crossover", and true to AMC form, a unique classic..... Up for sale, with a dead cylinder.

Putting mental sanity at risk every time I lift the hood

A dream car does not have to be beautiful in the eyes of others, it's not theirs.

Offline IowaEagle

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Re: The 1300 dollar fixer upper surprise project
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2009, 10:03:50 AM »
Excellent photos.  You are doing some fine work there.  I bet the new bottom end and triple roller timing set were a really pleasant surprise.
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Not a Jeep.  Not a Car.  Its an AMC Eagle!

1982 Eagle SX/4 Sport;
1980 Concord DL;
1970 Ambassador 2 Dr HT, SST
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe;
2008 Jeep Patriot Sport - Freedom Drive II

Offline tougeagle

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Re: The 1300 dollar fixer upper surprise project
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2009, 12:06:32 AM »
Excellent photos.  You are doing some fine work there.  I bet the new bottom end and triple roller timing set were a really pleasant surprise.


Thanks! And Yes indeed. Back when we first bought the car and it started looking like it was going to be quite a bite to chew, I got discouraged until I dropped the oilpan :D
« Last Edit: July 05, 2009, 12:41:04 AM by tougeagle »
1983 "Special Edition" 5 speed wagon, power leather seat conversion, flexfuel, ax15+np249, 2.73s, High Output 4.2 - 1995 4.0 EFI/head/cam conversion on royal purple - 45k ign, 60mm bored tb, poly swb, sport wagon rsb, 2.5" headerback ex, 2 cat, cherrybomb,  The one and only dd, the first true "crossover", and true to AMC form, a unique classic..... Up for sale, with a dead cylinder.

Putting mental sanity at risk every time I lift the hood

A dream car does not have to be beautiful in the eyes of others, it's not theirs.

Offline tougeagle

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Re: The 1300 dollar fixer upper surprise project
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2009, 12:06:24 AM »
Head dropped off at the shop today :D Awaiting payment/pickup for trans, and arrangements for ax15 in NM. Just need an external slave bell housing now, and 4.0 flywheel.
1983 "Special Edition" 5 speed wagon, power leather seat conversion, flexfuel, ax15+np249, 2.73s, High Output 4.2 - 1995 4.0 EFI/head/cam conversion on royal purple - 45k ign, 60mm bored tb, poly swb, sport wagon rsb, 2.5" headerback ex, 2 cat, cherrybomb,  The one and only dd, the first true "crossover", and true to AMC form, a unique classic..... Up for sale, with a dead cylinder.

Putting mental sanity at risk every time I lift the hood

A dream car does not have to be beautiful in the eyes of others, it's not theirs.

Offline 83Eagle!

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Re: The 1300 dollar fixer upper surprise project
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2009, 12:30:59 AM »
Nice write-up.  Thanks for the pictures.  Can't wait to see what else you do with your Eagle.  Glad to hear it is going to serve you well.
Click for La_Vista, Ne Forecast" border="0" height="100" width="150

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1983 Eagle Wagon
2003 Saturn LW200
2007 Saturn Ion
1985 Mallard Class C motor home

After our fiasco with the Toyota Corolla I got for my wife I believe I am done with Japanese vehicles.

Dude you are preaching to a choir member that is close to becoming an AMC Minister if you know what I mean.


Offline tougeagle

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Re: The 1300 dollar fixer upper surprise project
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2009, 01:16:24 AM »
Nice write-up.  Thanks for the pictures.  Can't wait to see what else you do with your Eagle.  Glad to hear it is going to serve you well.

I also have plans for a high performance AGR power steering pump, and adjustable ratio gearbox, early next year :D Along with new rear leaf pack and new shocks on all four corners.
1983 "Special Edition" 5 speed wagon, power leather seat conversion, flexfuel, ax15+np249, 2.73s, High Output 4.2 - 1995 4.0 EFI/head/cam conversion on royal purple - 45k ign, 60mm bored tb, poly swb, sport wagon rsb, 2.5" headerback ex, 2 cat, cherrybomb,  The one and only dd, the first true "crossover", and true to AMC form, a unique classic..... Up for sale, with a dead cylinder.

Putting mental sanity at risk every time I lift the hood

A dream car does not have to be beautiful in the eyes of others, it's not theirs.

Offline 83Eagle!

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Re: The 1300 dollar fixer upper surprise project
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2009, 01:20:17 AM »
Sounds good to me.  Can't wait to see it.
Click for La_Vista, Ne Forecast" border="0" height="100" width="150

"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they
are genuine."

- Abraham Lincoln


1983 Eagle Wagon
2003 Saturn LW200
2007 Saturn Ion
1985 Mallard Class C motor home

After our fiasco with the Toyota Corolla I got for my wife I believe I am done with Japanese vehicles.

Dude you are preaching to a choir member that is close to becoming an AMC Minister if you know what I mean.


Offline tougeagle

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Re: The 1300 dollar fixer upper surprise project
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2009, 01:33:59 AM »
I'll post pics and updates on this thread as they come along :)
1983 "Special Edition" 5 speed wagon, power leather seat conversion, flexfuel, ax15+np249, 2.73s, High Output 4.2 - 1995 4.0 EFI/head/cam conversion on royal purple - 45k ign, 60mm bored tb, poly swb, sport wagon rsb, 2.5" headerback ex, 2 cat, cherrybomb,  The one and only dd, the first true "crossover", and true to AMC form, a unique classic..... Up for sale, with a dead cylinder.

Putting mental sanity at risk every time I lift the hood

A dream car does not have to be beautiful in the eyes of others, it's not theirs.

Offline 83Eagle!

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Re: The 1300 dollar fixer upper surprise project
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2009, 01:38:13 AM »
Oh yeah I forgot to mention that I like the quote you have in the signature on your posts.
Click for La_Vista, Ne Forecast" border="0" height="100" width="150

"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they
are genuine."

- Abraham Lincoln


1983 Eagle Wagon
2003 Saturn LW200
2007 Saturn Ion
1985 Mallard Class C motor home

After our fiasco with the Toyota Corolla I got for my wife I believe I am done with Japanese vehicles.

Dude you are preaching to a choir member that is close to becoming an AMC Minister if you know what I mean.


Offline tougeagle

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Re: The 1300 dollar fixer upper surprise project
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2009, 02:19:16 AM »
Got the hood off of the eagle in my junkyard jewel post, 40 bucks :D. My other and I got all kinds of stares while attempting to stuff  it into the back of a 2008 subaru impreza wagon, which we did eventually accomplish  after twenty minutes,  very, very carefully. I was too excited to start working on it to take pics until most of the paint was gone. So here it is, almost done stripping it.





I'm still trying to figure out what to do as far as color-matching, since I can't drive the car to a body shop and have them get some paint matched for me, since it still doesn't run yet :P

Oh, I am doing this rattlecan style, but I'm gonna do it properly, primer, many layers of paint, and some layers of good clearcoat and sealer..
1983 "Special Edition" 5 speed wagon, power leather seat conversion, flexfuel, ax15+np249, 2.73s, High Output 4.2 - 1995 4.0 EFI/head/cam conversion on royal purple - 45k ign, 60mm bored tb, poly swb, sport wagon rsb, 2.5" headerback ex, 2 cat, cherrybomb,  The one and only dd, the first true "crossover", and true to AMC form, a unique classic..... Up for sale, with a dead cylinder.

Putting mental sanity at risk every time I lift the hood

A dream car does not have to be beautiful in the eyes of others, it's not theirs.

Offline tougeagle

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Re: The 1300 dollar fixer upper surprise project
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2009, 02:21:38 AM »
Oh yeah I forgot to mention that I like the quote you have in the signature on your posts.

lol thanks. Came up with it when i was trying to figure out why the car wouldn't pass emissions.
1983 "Special Edition" 5 speed wagon, power leather seat conversion, flexfuel, ax15+np249, 2.73s, High Output 4.2 - 1995 4.0 EFI/head/cam conversion on royal purple - 45k ign, 60mm bored tb, poly swb, sport wagon rsb, 2.5" headerback ex, 2 cat, cherrybomb,  The one and only dd, the first true "crossover", and true to AMC form, a unique classic..... Up for sale, with a dead cylinder.

Putting mental sanity at risk every time I lift the hood

A dream car does not have to be beautiful in the eyes of others, it's not theirs.

Offline tougeagle

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Re: The 1300 dollar fixer upper surprise project
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2009, 02:31:46 PM »
do you have more pics of your exaust work?


That's the exhaust that's on the car currently. I welded a new cat on pipe, but that's about it.
1983 "Special Edition" 5 speed wagon, power leather seat conversion, flexfuel, ax15+np249, 2.73s, High Output 4.2 - 1995 4.0 EFI/head/cam conversion on royal purple - 45k ign, 60mm bored tb, poly swb, sport wagon rsb, 2.5" headerback ex, 2 cat, cherrybomb,  The one and only dd, the first true "crossover", and true to AMC form, a unique classic..... Up for sale, with a dead cylinder.

Putting mental sanity at risk every time I lift the hood

A dream car does not have to be beautiful in the eyes of others, it's not theirs.

Offline tougeagle

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Re: The 1300 dollar fixer upper surprise project
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2009, 04:49:08 AM »
update:
Hood has a layer of primer, and I received my ax15 a few weeks ago, along with an NP249J transfer case out of a ZJ. I had to order a clutch arm last week (10 dollar ebay) which should be here later this week. I've stripped down the 4.0 harness and have it mostly wired in with the eagle's, at least the ignition circuit, along with about half the connectors. I also managed to grab an Eagle sport swaybar and tow hitch from the junkyard and have since installed them. I dropped my gas tank down to install the tow hitch, and discovered a hole in it, which has since been patched. I'll have lots of pics to come later on, but it's been raining on and off for a couple of days, making it hard to take pics.
1983 "Special Edition" 5 speed wagon, power leather seat conversion, flexfuel, ax15+np249, 2.73s, High Output 4.2 - 1995 4.0 EFI/head/cam conversion on royal purple - 45k ign, 60mm bored tb, poly swb, sport wagon rsb, 2.5" headerback ex, 2 cat, cherrybomb,  The one and only dd, the first true "crossover", and true to AMC form, a unique classic..... Up for sale, with a dead cylinder.

Putting mental sanity at risk every time I lift the hood

A dream car does not have to be beautiful in the eyes of others, it's not theirs.

Offline tougeagle

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Re: The 1300 dollar fixer upper surprise project
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2009, 05:49:46 AM »
Another update: my awesome camera was stolen out of my garage a while back, so pictures won't be as often... parents gave me their old 2.1 megapixel, which still takes good pics. Just ordered the ax15 clutch kit, muffler, o2 bung, header reducer  and mandrel bends. This will allow me to install the transfer case and transmission, fab/modify trans mount, fab a front diff bracket, and fab my 2.5" exhaust, which is going to be almost entirely hand made (other than of course the bending). I will also be able to go to the junkyard and pick up a few sensors and pigtails, and hopefully get the wiring completed, as I will be ordering the fuel pump and pressure regulator later on today. Hopefully I can also get my starter sold and find a 4.0 starter while at the junkyard. This will be the last step to actually having a running car!
« Last Edit: October 02, 2009, 05:51:49 AM by tougeagle »
1983 "Special Edition" 5 speed wagon, power leather seat conversion, flexfuel, ax15+np249, 2.73s, High Output 4.2 - 1995 4.0 EFI/head/cam conversion on royal purple - 45k ign, 60mm bored tb, poly swb, sport wagon rsb, 2.5" headerback ex, 2 cat, cherrybomb,  The one and only dd, the first true "crossover", and true to AMC form, a unique classic..... Up for sale, with a dead cylinder.

Putting mental sanity at risk every time I lift the hood

A dream car does not have to be beautiful in the eyes of others, it's not theirs.


 

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