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Author Topic: Front Subframe Replacement  (Read 2522 times)

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Offline amcfool1

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Re: Front Subframe Replacement
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2016, 11:39:44 PM »
hi, believe it or not, those wood pieces are FACTORY! Also, if you check the rear panel of the rear seat, you will find a piece of honest to god plywood. Talk about old school, eh! good luck, gz

Offline RallyX-SX/4

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Re: Front Subframe Replacement
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2016, 09:35:42 PM »
That's really funny about the plywood, but I guess it was a different time!

I brought the 4.7 stroker home last night, so now I have another reason to hurry.  I removed the original 4-speed transmission and the transfer case tonight, so the entire drivetrain is now out of the car.  You can see how much oil from all of the engine leaks was covering the transmission.  I was amazed that the four nuts that held the crossmember to the frame all came loose without any trouble, but that may have been a positive result of the oil bath.  The next step is to raise the car up higher so it's easier to get to the rusty parts underneath it.  In addition to his welder, I'm also borrowing my brother's set of extra large Harbor Freight jack stands for that reason, so I might be able to start cutting tomorrow. 

As far as the front gears go, from what I have read, gears up to a 3.54 ratio use one carrier and anything 3.73 and up use a different carrier, so I hope I have the one that I need.  I hope to find out this week when I get a little further into it.  So far I've rationalized the purchase of a slide hammer and an axle bearing remover set just to tackle that front axle, so this project is definitely going to expand my tool collection.

There's still a tremendous amount to do, but I feel like I'm making some progress.

1981 AMC Eagle SX/4

Offline amcfool1

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Re: Front Subframe Replacement
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2016, 01:13:07 PM »
hi, looks good! remember, you may have to put the 258 oil pan on the stroked 4.0, also cut out the lower block rib so you can mount the motor to the axle on pass side. also may have to fab some mounts. good luck, gz

Offline mudkicker715

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Re: Front Subframe Replacement
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2016, 01:27:08 PM »
Yup eagle pan and oilpickup tube. The eagle pan is eagle specific.



Manitowoc WI

Offline RallyX-SX/4

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Re: Front Subframe Replacement
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2016, 02:18:15 PM »
I reused the original oil pan and oil pickup tube from the 4.2, so I should be good there, but I'll have to take a look at that block rib.  I appreciate the tip, especially while the engine is still on the stand.  Maybe I'll mock up the axle mounts while the differential is out of the axle housing.  I may be able to hang it off the block right on the stand.  I haven't heard anything more on the subframe rails, so I'm assuming that the ones they cut out of the car weren't in good shape.  That would be a setback, but I'm sure there's a usable set out there somewhere.  In the meantime, I'm going to get to work on the rocker panels and the floorpans.

Please keep the advice coming.  Every little bit helps.
1981 AMC Eagle SX/4

Offline mudkicker715

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Re: Front Subframe Replacement
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2016, 02:36:10 PM »
You really only have the rib where the lazy s bracket bolts to the motor, to dry fit. So drivers side s bracket.



Manitowoc WI

Offline amcfool1

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Re: Front Subframe Replacement
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2016, 02:42:03 PM »
hi, new rocker panel are available through Summit. Part #SHI-003-00R,  and # SHI-003-00L. About $40. each. I just bought a set a few months ago. good luck, gz

Offline RallyX-SX/4

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Re: Front Subframe Replacement
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2016, 06:45:47 PM »
Thanks for the information.  I recently bought a set through Show Car Parts in Canada.  I wonder if they're the same ones?  What I really need are inner rocker panels, but I haven't found anyone who sells those.  I just got the car up in the air and cut out the rusty parts of the passenger side floor, and I'm starting to feel a lot better about this.  That's probably not reasonable, because I've never done anything like this before, other than putting a purchased replacement floor pan right over the rusty floor in a Wrangler with sheet metal screws for a friend a few years ago.  I haven't welded anything on my own since I was in college, and that was quite a long time ago.  However, on the bright side, I'm going to get a lot of practice with this project, and I bet I can already weld as well as most other attorneys (I know, that's not much of a yardstick).  There's a surprising amount of solid sheet metal around the rusty parts of the floor, and the bracket that joins the two pieces of the subframe together appears to be in good shape, so I'll have something to attach the front pieces to if I ever get them.  The tricky part will be cutting out those inner rocker panels, but now that I have some momentum, I think I'll get to work on drilling out all of the spot welds and then see what's left.

Thanks again.
1981 AMC Eagle SX/4

Offline amcfool1

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Re: Front Subframe Replacement
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2016, 07:49:33 PM »
afaik, inner rockers are not available anywhere and have to be fabbed, on a positive note they are really just a straight piece of metal. good luck, gz

Offline mudkicker715

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Re: Front Subframe Replacement
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2016, 09:23:12 PM »
If your going this far, just a thought.,you could run 1"square tube from the center so called frame andbolt it to the back frame. Than you would have subframe connectors.  They however run into the rear pass footwell and back out. It will stiffen the car, but sacrifice rear pass foot room. I did this to a wagon once. I ASSume the same could be done to your sx4. If your doing floor pans might be a consideration. It sorta takes unibody out and frames it, if done right.



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Offline RallyX-SX/4

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Re: Front Subframe Replacement
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2016, 09:49:42 PM »
That doesn't sound like a bad idea, and it would probably reduce the chances of the door openings getting out of whack when I cut the rockers out.  I'm going to take a look at that.

Thanks!
1981 AMC Eagle SX/4

Offline RallyX-SX/4

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Re: Front Subframe Replacement
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2016, 10:23:54 PM »
I just ran out there to take a look at it, and I see what you mean about how it would intrude into the rear footwell.  However, the skid plate hangs down about another four inches, so I bet I could fit some 1-1/2"x2" tubing below the two subframes to connect them and not have to mess with the footwell.  That's what I did with my Mustang and it made a huge difference.  I'm going to start coming up with some options tomorrow.  I also have to order a rollcage before I get too much farther along so I can accommodate the mounting pads.  So much to do!
1981 AMC Eagle SX/4

Offline amcfool1

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Re: Front Subframe Replacement
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2016, 07:53:41 AM »
hi, just as an option, Freakride makes subframe connectors for AMCs. They don't list one for Eagles specifically, but do for Spirits, which is more or less the same car. I just had a set of their Hornet connectors installed into my 84 Eagle Sedan, and they fit with very minor fabbing. Good, solid pieces. check 'em out. good luck, gz

Offline RallyX-SX/4

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Re: Front Subframe Replacement
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2016, 11:18:41 PM »
I took a look at those subframe connectors and I'm definitely considering them..

Something I noticed tonight is that the hatch doesn't have any provisions for opening it with a key, and since the engine is out, I can't easily reconnect the battery in order to use the release button in the glove box.  I guess I should have opened the hatch first before tearing the car apart.  I need to remove the plastic interior trim panels before I do any welding in back of the car, and I need to get the hatch open for access before I can do that.  Is there some trick to opening it without the release button?
1981 AMC Eagle SX/4

Offline RallyX-SX/4

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Re: Front Subframe Replacement
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2016, 11:24:48 PM »
I should have spent another five minutes searching before I posted.  It sounds like there's place inside where you can release the hatch with a screwdriver, so I'll look for that tomorrow.
1981 AMC Eagle SX/4

 

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