AMC Eagle Den Forum

1979 - 1983 AMC Spirits and 1978 - 1983 AMC Concords => '78 - '79 VW I-4 121 cid Engine => Topic started by: drock87 on March 25, 2013, 12:30:17 PM

Title: Spirit with this engine/4sp manual
Post by: drock87 on March 25, 2013, 12:30:17 PM
Hi all.

On a famous classified site, there is a Spirit with this motor and a four speed.  I wondered if anyone here had any experience with it as I have exactly....none. It is tempting me....

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Spirit with this engine/4sp manual
Post by: El Matador on March 25, 2013, 06:39:09 PM
I've never owned/driven/worked on one, but let me put it this way... if you ever rob a bank, don't use it as your getaway car.
Title: Re: Spirit with this engine/4sp manual
Post by: Amc1320 on March 25, 2013, 06:42:17 PM
I have never had a Spirit with the Audi engine, but I did have a Gremlin once with one, that was many years ago. I drove it in high school while I was fixing my Javelin up

I remember it got decent gas milage, was a little under powered for the weight of a Gremlin, but then again I was compairing it to my built 360 javelin!

Not sure how hard parts would be to find now days
Title: Re: Spirit with this engine/4sp manual
Post by: carnuck on April 01, 2013, 12:30:35 PM
It's basically the same motor used in Porsche 924 till '82. I was going to put the EFI and everything from the Porsche into the Postal Jeep I had with that motor. DJ5-G came with them and 904 automatics.
Title: Re: Spirit with this engine/4sp manual
Post by: vangremlin on June 02, 2013, 10:06:37 PM
Sorry I missed this post earlier.  We saved a 1978 Gremlin with this engine.  It had been sitting for 8 years but we were able to get it running without many problems.  It was pretty underpowered, and had problems going up the smallest of hills with much speed.

We sold the Gremlin to someone who put a 401 into it.  The new owner sold the engine and it now resides at the Rambler Ranch.

You can still see the masking tape we used to mark the plug wires!

(http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h109/brilliantd/IMG-20121012-00597_zpsfe3e170a.jpg) (http://s62.photobucket.com/user/brilliantd/media/IMG-20121012-00597_zpsfe3e170a.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Spirit with this engine/4sp manual
Post by: carnuck on June 03, 2013, 04:16:54 PM
They can be perked up a lot. A 5 speed with lower axle ratio would be good but they aren't the same as 2.5L.
Title: Re: Spirit with this engine/4sp manual
Post by: BenM on June 03, 2013, 09:02:32 PM
I suspect they're more for revving than the 2.5 and need to be geared accordingly. I find them interesting.
Title: Re: Spirit with this engine/4sp manual
Post by: jebidia24 on December 04, 2018, 01:34:05 PM
I have one of these, it came with my spirit coupled to an automatic.  They do not make much power but thank AMC for the single barrel carb for that.  They will never make a lot of power but being the only OHC engine available from AMC they offer some interesting characteristics.  The 121 can rev way higher than it's OHV counterpart.  When comparing one of these engine to an iron duke, i think the advantages come through.  Sure there are variations of the iron duke which can yield ridiculous HP, they require extensive modification, exotic parts, and/or complete engine swaps.  To take a stock duke and stock 121 and modify them both, the 121 will be stronger and produce more HP and torque but at a much higher RPM.  The duke will always provide more low end torque due to its push rod configuration.  The AMC 121 can also be fitted with dual weber carbs for more fuel/air capability and increased throttle response which is difficult to achieve with the duke.  FYI, I own both an AMC 121 and a SD-4 version of the iron duke and can't decide which one I like better.