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Author Topic: Frustrated New 87 Eagle Owner  (Read 1618 times)

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Offline eagles87

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Frustrated New 87 Eagle Owner
« on: April 17, 2014, 01:18:44 PM »
Hello all!  Just thought I'd introduce myself.  Looks like a cool site with lots of information.  I tried to search for the info that I needed, but was unsuccessful. 

I just purchased an 87 Eagle Limited and love the car (well, the exterior more). I purchased the car from a guy who owns 5 others and kinda went off most of what he was telling me as fact.  I know about older cars and the amount of time/effort that you have to put into them to get them to run well.  But I've had a lot of problems with the vehicle's carburetor. 

First, I was told by the guy that I bought it from that only the front exhaust was leaky and he gave me the part to fix the problem.  Well, I took it to a mechanic here in Milwaukee and he told me that the entire exhaust system was shot and needed to be replaced.  I was able to attain the rest of the parts from the previous owner and my mechanic installed the exhaust.  This really quieted the car and she ran much nicer.  But then after driving her around town for less than a week, I started having problems with her stalling out on me, even when she was warm.  So I called the mechanic back and he recommended a full tune up which I agreed to.  This again seemed to only fix the stalling problem temporarily.  Now she was stalling all the time and kind of pulling on the highway (where she previously ran much better than on city streets).  I was told that it could be that the engine is not getting enough gas.  Something possibly with a problem with a vacuum pump.  Mechanic trouble shot and said the carburetor needed to be replaced.

Ok, so he put the carburetor on, an inside loop carb, and the problems that I was experiencing only got worse.  Now she diesels after I turn her off every time and black smoke comes from the hood, and also from the rear of the car when driven.  My mechanic is now my former mechanic because he refuses to work on the car any longer.  He says that I need a closed loop carb and he could not source one.  I told him that I had found one from the previous owner who would sell it to me for $100, but he still wanted nothing further to do with my Eagle.  At least he took responsibility and told me he would give me a refund. 

After several calls around town to different mechanics, including a reference from a co-worker to her own brother, nobody wants to touch her!  Said it wouldn't be profitable to try to install a closed loop carb and several said it probably wouldn't even fix the problems.  I found an old-timer in the country who will do the job with the closed loop carb from the previous owner.   

Now my question to all of you is do you think that this will fix my problems with my Eagle?  Any suggestions or weblinks regarding my issues would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks,
Desperate in Milwaukee

Offline IowaEagle

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Re: Frustrated New 87 Eagle Owner
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 02:45:05 PM »
Welcome to the Den.  Most first time owners suspect carb issues when what is happening to you happens.  Usually, its vacuum related.  Bad, rotten, misrouted, missing vacuum lines.  Until you sort that out it will run like crap.  Also, check to make sure the intake manifold bolts are all tight.  With the time the front and rear ones like to loosen up.  If you live where there are no smog checks you can get rid of most of that smog garbage.
Click for Toledo, IA Forecast" border="0" height="100" width="150   


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 mudkicker715

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Re: Frustrated New 87 Eagle Owner
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 05:04:32 PM »
Welcome from up the road in manitowoc.




Manitowoc WI

Offline BenM

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Re: Frustrated New 87 Eagle Owner
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2014, 12:38:34 PM »
There's a very specific way to adjust the engine timing on Eagles because the computer will compensate for your changes (within reason) as you try to change things. My suspicion is the mechanic did that wrong, then put the wrong carb on to try to fix it.

Rebuilt carburetors for the Eagle were available at most auto parts places last I looked, and the big Jeep catalogs all have them. It's the exact same engine as put in an '87 Wrangler.

The problem was most likely a bad vacuum line to begin with.

How much are you willing and comfortable doing yourself?
NSS#47184

1987 AMC Eagle Sedan -- 1976 Pacer Coupe -- 1968 Pontiac Tempest Custom S -- 1940 Mercury (& a 2002 Jetta Turbodiesel, 5 spd., the Wife's Daily Driver)

Offline eagles87

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Re: Frustrated New 87 Eagle Owner
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2014, 01:12:43 PM »
Thank you for your responses Iowa Eagle, Mudkicker715 and BenM   I got the car towed to Burlington yesterday and have a closed loop carburetor at their shop.  I'm hearing vacuum related issues quite often.  I'm also hearing that the ethanol gas clogs the carb of the Eagle.  Not sure about the last one.  But I'm getting the correct carb installed on Tuesday.  Regarding the smog control systems on the Eagle, can a mechanic just rip all of that crap off and mainstream the insides?  If so, how would that be done?  I don't have any smog check in Milwaukee due to the Eagles' classic car designation.  And I really don't have the time or tools to do too much myself.  Just need to find the right man to work on it.   Hopefully I will have found that.  Thanks again!
Brett

Offline BenM

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Re: Frustrated New 87 Eagle Owner
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2014, 02:39:39 PM »
The vacuum lines are just old and neglected. Twenty five year old tires wouldn't be much good either with all those miles on them. Oxygen sensors age as well, I replace them with timing belts (60, 75, or 100,000 mi depending on interval in the manual) in other cars.

Running with the ECM should have better fuel economy than trying to remove it and there is no power difference with or without. The 258 was rated almost the same from '72 until 1990. In fact, it should adapt better to varying ethanol blends with the ECM working properly and the ECM prevents pinging by adjusting timing. The ECM also will detect stalling and attempt to prevent it by opening the throttle and adjusting the timing.

The fuel system of the Eagle was designed with "modern" ethanol and methanol fuels in mind, they will not hurt a thing.

The best advice I can give working with an older car is to get it running correctly first, before you change something. Only change one thing at a time, and if it makes things worse, undo it before you make another change. I have too many times read a thread where someone goes down a rabbit hole of removal and modifications until they're fed up with it. I've been there myself.
NSS#47184

1987 AMC Eagle Sedan -- 1976 Pacer Coupe -- 1968 Pontiac Tempest Custom S -- 1940 Mercury (& a 2002 Jetta Turbodiesel, 5 spd., the Wife's Daily Driver)

Offline IowaEagle

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Re: Frustrated New 87 Eagle Owner
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2014, 02:46:08 PM »
Great advice Ben.  I have had no problems running Ethanol in my AMC's.  In fact it cleans the carb while you drive and there is no need for gas line antifreeze in the winter.
Click for Toledo, IA Forecast" border="0" height="100" width="150   


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 eagles87

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Re: Frustrated New 87 Eagle Owner
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2014, 02:58:12 PM »
Thank you Ben for the sound advice.  After reading your post, you have enlightened me.  No reason to jump to rash decisions.  I am hopeful that I will be able to get the Eagle on to the Kettles soon.

Offline TwoEaglesForMe

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Re: Frustrated New 87 Eagle Owner
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2014, 08:44:21 PM »
Hello and welcome to the Den.  Sorry you are having so much trouble with your Eagle.  If you were in Jersey I would def get you back on your feet.  This is a great place to be and I'm sure with the help of these great folks here and a competent technician you can get your Eagle running well.  Hang in there it's worth it!  Don't be too quick to blame the carter carburetor they are great when cleaned and set up properly.  Vacuum lines and ignition timing are a good place to start.

Offline eaglefan

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Re: Frustrated New 87 Eagle Owner
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2019, 09:58:04 AM »
I have an 88 Eagle and have never had these kinds of problems.  The problem I had was the car not starting reliably.  It turned out to be the ignition control module mounted on the inside of the passenger side finder.

I noticed a lot of "replace vacuum lines" advice here.  I too have vacuum lines to replace, but I cannot find the small plastic lines that run from the inside to where ever in the engine compartment.  Does anyone giving this advice know where to find it?

Thanks and good luck getting your '87 running.

Eaglefan

Offline TheBirdman

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Re: Frustrated New 87 Eagle Owner
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2019, 10:46:15 AM »
I havent found any vacuum line of that teeny tiny size, but I have found that they are the right size for normal vacuum line to slide right over them tightly, making splicing easy.
83 eagle wagon 4.0

 

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