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  • August 23, 2019, 11:56:31 AM

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Author Topic: Lots of front end repairs coming up and looking for pointers  (Read 438 times)

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Offline ItsaWykydtron

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Lots of front end repairs coming up and looking for pointers
« on: February 08, 2019, 08:46:07 PM »
Hey y'all, this is my first post. I've had my 85 Eagle about 2 years and I'm just finally making some progress.

In the next week or so I'm going to be tackling LF wheel bearing, springs (Javelin), shocks, front brakes and sway bar links. Anything else I should buy? My ball joints and bushings seem ok. I'm kind of worried about the spring/shock pivot thing but I haven't seen them for sale anywhere. Once I see how the front sits I'll figure out what to do in the rear to level it out.

Unrelated, I'll also be installing a retrosound headunit and leather wheel. I'm pretty excited about that.
1985 Eagle

Offline rmick

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Re: Lots of front end repairs coming up and looking for pointers
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2019, 11:30:29 PM »
Have done this to my AMC spring perches. http://worldpowersystems.com/AMC/bushings.html
72 Javelin AMX
72 Javelin SST
72 Gremlin with 4.0
81 SX 4

Offline ItsaWykydtron

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Re: Lots of front end repairs coming up and looking for pointers
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2019, 05:25:10 AM »
Thanks, I will do this too!

Edit: man that was a chore to find the right parts. I ordered  whites w21169 rear link bushings mazda 323/Nissan skyline. Looks to cross reference ok. It seems this old email you reference is part of AMC forum lore!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 06:24:13 AM by ItsaWykydtron »
1985 Eagle

Offline amarshall

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Re: Lots of front end repairs coming up and looking for pointers
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2019, 01:08:45 PM »
I did that to my spring perches too.  Somehow I stumbled across an eBay source for the bushings, they were listed for AMC upgrades.  I think I found it on another AMC forum, apparently it's sem design for other models also.  No regrets on this, but the bushings have wiggled around a bit and have not stayed perfectly in place.  Not a big deal, function is fine.

I have done all the ball joints, lowers are pretty scarce.  Rare Parts seems to be the only hope for a manufacturer, but rumors have it they may be coming back soon.  Really think about your A-Arm bushings, especially if you are doing any dirt driving.  I thought mine were fine also, but they failed pretty spectacularly on a 1000 mile trip on dirt.

Getting the springs out is a bear, you really want to take out the shocks and use an AMC style compressor down through the top of the shock mount.  If not, the internal style were possible but clearances were very tight.

How are your strut rod bushings?  I tried some rubber ones first but they ate themselves up.  Got some Prothane units and they have held up very well.

Last tip is this: If you have an oil pan leak or rear main seal leak, the easiest way to get the oil pan out is to take out the front suspension, including the cross member.  Trust me, I've tried it both ways.  If you have a leak, you may want to just go for it all at once.

Where are you located?  And post some pictures!
Wanted:  More time to work on my Eagle!

1988 Eagle Wagon - Overlander Build
http://forums.amceaglesden.com/index.php?topic=45852.0

Offline ItsaWykydtron

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Re: Lots of front end repairs coming up and looking for pointers
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2019, 08:35:14 PM »

>I have done all the ball joints, lowers are pretty scarce.  Rare Parts seems to be the only hope for a manufacturer, but rumors have it they may be coming back soon.  Really think about your A-Arm bushings, especially if you are doing any dirt driving.  I thought mine were fine also, but they failed pretty spectacularly on a 1000 mile trip on dirt.

Maybe I should do them. I'll have another look this week. I'm a euro car mechanic and I do all my own vehicles and the shop on off hours so I usually try to avoid long term projects. This front end work it's almost hard to know where to stop. It really could use everything.

>Getting the springs out is a bear, you really want to take out the shocks and use an AMC style compressor down through the top of the shock mount.  If not, the internal style were possible but clearances were very tight.

I haven't read the manual yet on the springs, im hoping we have a compressor at the shop that will work. We have a few different styles.

>How are your strut rod bushings?  I tried some rubber ones first but they ate themselves up.  Got some Prothane units and they have held up very well.

They are dry rotted but still hanging in there. I'll look into prothane when I'm ready to do them. I guess really before I get an alignment now is the time. Where did you get them?

>Last tip is this: If you have an oil pan leak or rear main seal leak, the easiest way to get the oil pan out is to take out the front suspension, including the cross member.  Trust me, I've tried it both ways.  If you have a leak, you may want to just go for it all at once.

I have some leaks but nothing I'm ready to jump into right now. Maybe next year once I have a shop at home!

>Where are you located?  And post some pictures!


I'm near Frederick, MD I think the previous owner of this car was in Winchester VA. Not sure if he was on here, it seems like he was an enthusiast. I hope I can figure out how to use the interface here well on my phone. I don't get on the computer much. I totally botched trying to quote you and gave up. Bear with me. If I'm here enough I may need to get on the computer. I will have to learn how to post pictures. I haven't been on any forums for at least 10 years.
1985 Eagle

Offline amarshall

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Re: Lots of front end repairs coming up and looking for pointers
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2019, 10:20:12 PM »
Yeah, it's hard to stop once you start.  None of it is too tough, and you can tackle it in phases.  I eventually just bit the bullet and went for it.

Poly bushings are at prothanesuspensionparts.com, or at places like Summit or Amazon too.  May beat my car a bit, but I've blown through a few different rubber bushings and then switched to poly.  I don't think the modern rubber is as good as the old stuff.  Strut rod bushings and rear leaf spring shackles in particular have been lousy in rubber, for me at least.

The forum isn't very active these days but there is a lot of info here, and I can guarantee the people who remain are very invested and helpful.
Wanted:  More time to work on my Eagle!

1988 Eagle Wagon - Overlander Build
http://forums.amceaglesden.com/index.php?topic=45852.0

Offline ItsaWykydtron

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Re: Lots of front end repairs coming up and looking for pointers
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2019, 07:00:04 AM »
Good to know and thanks the helpful information. I ordered some prothane bushings on eBay just now that should arrive in time. Where is everyone Facebook? I quit FB in 2012. I know I'm missing some good content but I won't go back.

One last question. How crucial is the wheel bearing Oring? I didn't realize that was a thing until recently. Might have to try and go to the CAT dealer to get one.

Edit: one more thing, I've read conflicting reports of the Dayton leaf springs that it seems everyone sells online. Do you know if they're ok or do I need to track down a local spring shop?
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 07:02:36 AM by ItsaWykydtron »
1985 Eagle

Offline rmick

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Re: Lots of front end repairs coming up and looking for pointers
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2019, 02:03:49 PM »
I prefer the forum over facebook. Lots of great content here and easily searchable.
72 Javelin AMX
72 Javelin SST
72 Gremlin with 4.0
81 SX 4

Offline amarshall

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Re: Lots of front end repairs coming up and looking for pointers
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2019, 10:31:45 PM »
I'm not sure about the wheel bearing O-ring.  That was one of the few jobs I farmed out, and I can only assume they got it right.

I don't know about the Dayton springs.  I got mine from Stengel Brothers.  They had multiple versions, I chose the stock specs - and then I added a Cherokee full length add-a-leaf kit I already had on hand.  That was good for about a 2" lift in the rear.

Happy to answer questions, stick with it!
Wanted:  More time to work on my Eagle!

1988 Eagle Wagon - Overlander Build
http://forums.amceaglesden.com/index.php?topic=45852.0

Offline ItsaWykydtron

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Re: Lots of front end repairs coming up and looking for pointers
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 05:35:27 AM »
Stengel brother's and most vendors I've looked at are the same part numbers as what rockauto sells as Dayton brand made in Harrisburg PA. Doesn't mean they are the same thing, but it makes me think they probably are. Seems like half of the things I've read people complain about them flattening out. Maybe your add a leaf kept that from happening. Hopefully if my local place still does springs they can help level me out for less than $600. If not I'll be ordering from someone.
1985 Eagle

 

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