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Author Topic: Help - Desperately need Lower Thermostat Housing for Iron Duke  (Read 3148 times)

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Offline scotc1t

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Hello - I am new to posting to the forum but have been reading the forum ever since my son decided he desperately wanted an Eagle.  This site is an amazing source of information so thanks to everyone who contributes.  We scoured ebay and Craig's list for months and then finally found and purchased a 1982 SX4 for my 16 yo son in Mitchel, SD.  It has been a long road for the car and my son so far.  Please bare with the long story, but I just wanted to share the details of why I say we are desperately in need of the part to get the car back on the road.

We drove up to SD with my dad and a ton of parts to help ensure we could coax the car home.  The owner said it was fully driveable but she had never driven it much on the highway in the several years she had it and never that kind of long distance.  Upon arrival the car appeared in fairly good condition other than significant rust underneath.  I was reluctant to purchase it but my dad volunteered to help us deal with the rust so my son wouldn't be disappointed.  The car drive home to Denver, CO without issue and has been mechanically fairly sound despite having over 100K miles and sitting in a barn for a number of years.  All four bumper caps were disintegrating but luckily we found a wagon in a salvage yard and my father helped us use these to fabricate new back caps and paint and put these on the car.  It looks great as it had been repainted at some point fairly recently by a prior owner.  The car is pretty rusty underneath and we had to do our best to replace the drivers floor pan along with the parking brake cables.  The clutch reservoir was gone so we purchased a small generic one for a motorcycle and installed that.  We put new fog lights on the car and ran down an electrical problem as well.  It was running well and passed emissions just in time for my son to get his license.

Unfortunately he had a seizure the very next day and was diagnosed with epilepsy.  The doctor put him on anti-convulsant meds and recommended he not drive for 6 months.  He has done great with no further seizures and the doctor just recently cleared him to drive again.  He was a bit hesitant to do so at first but once he got back behind the wheel, his confidence came back and he became eager to finally start driving on his own.  He said he thought less about his epilepsy while driving which was refreshing.  He didn't seem to lose any of the skills of operating a manual transmission car so we think he is about ready to start driving to school, etc.  Unfortunately over the past few months the car has had a slow antifreeze leak from the radiator that just recently got dramatically worse so we decided we better tackle this so he didn't get stranded.  Upon removing the upper thermostat housing to replace the thermostat and hoses since we had the radiator out, one of the bolts broke off in the housing.  Upon trying to get the bolt out using a bolt extractor the lower thermostat housing cracked.  If anyone has any ideas on where to find one we would greatly appreciate it.

After 2 years of waiting, working on the car, working at a local greenhouse to pay back the cost of the car and looking forward to driving on his own in his car, we would really like to help finally make this dream come true for my son.  Frankly at this point I don't care what the part costs us.  Again any help would be so greatly appreciated!

« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 09:18:38 AM by scotc1t »

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Re: Help - Desperately need Lower Thermostat Housing for Iron Duke
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 01:25:36 PM »
Those are super-hard to find.   My only advice is to start calling any and all scrap yards specializing in Jeeps; as those 151 engines were used in CJ's.   I'm really surprised Crown hasn't yet started repopping those at a ridiculous price.

For reference, the AMC part number is 8134147 (later on J8134147).

Good luck.
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Offline vangremlin

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Re: Help - Desperately need Lower Thermostat Housing for Iron Duke
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 02:11:28 PM »
Thanks for sharing your son's story!  People on the Den are super helpful and I'm sure they will find a way to source the thermostat housing.

First off, sounds like you're in the Denver area - so am I, along with several other Eagle owners on the Den.  We used to try to get everybody together every once in awhile to talk Eagles but it has been a couple years now.  Also, if you are into Eagles, and AMCs, we'll have to arrange a trip to the Rambler Ranch, near Elizabeth.  Terry, the owner, has what must be the largest collection of AMCs, Ramblers, Nashes, etc, and is a great host. 

Since you are dealing with the Iron Duke motor, would the part you need also be on the GM version of the engine?  Denver has several junkyards that have their inventories online, and that could be a source if you check there weekly.  Let me know if you need the links to these yards.

Good luck, I'm sure the Eagle community will get your son's car back on the road!
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Offline scotc1t

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Re: Help - Desperately need Lower Thermostat Housing for Iron Duke
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2019, 07:26:20 PM »
Hello.  Thanks so much for the replies.  I am sorry we didn't follow up sooner.  Life with two teenagers keeps us busy.  We were unable to find a replacement part, but since the crack appeared to only be on the outside of the bolt hole we took a chance and put everything back together and luckily the car was able to run fine with no leaks.  Unfortunately we were only able to keep it running for about 6 months before the car stopped starting.  We believe the timing gear has some worn teeth that finally worn down too far.  I am posting a new thread for help on that topic.

My dad is familiar with the Rambler Ranch and we do need get my son out there sometime!  Thanks for the info.  :)   

Offline TheBirdman

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Re: Help - Desperately need Lower Thermostat Housing for Iron Duke
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 11:08:50 AM »
Hey, I live an hour from Mitchell, how dare you deplenish my local supply of eagles!?

JK, glad you gave it a new home and some new life.
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Offline maddog

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Re: Help - Desperately need Lower Thermostat Housing for Iron Duke
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2019, 11:32:17 PM »
I know you said that you already put everything back together but did you try looking on Rock Auto for the housing, because it looks like they have some in stock.,1982,eagle,2.5l+151cid+l4,1003251,cooling+system,thermostat+housing+/+water+outlet,10337


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