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  • April 22, 2019, 12:19:51 AM

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Author Topic: The Turd Burd  (Read 135 times)

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Offline TheBirdman

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The Turd Burd
« on: April 05, 2019, 12:01:38 AM »
figured Id intro my unique eagle.
Two falls ago, I was out at a fancy dinner with the wife (fiance at the time), and I checked my phone, to find that one of my friends had sent me a craigslist link to 3 eagles in various states of disrepair, for around $300 a piece. My eyes lit up and the next day I was one town over with a socket wrench making sure the most complete one wasnt siezed up. I got my buddy to bring his trailer down and I took it home for $350. At that time, it had been sitting on a concrete slab for a very long time, and since the tags were last updated 20 years ago, Im inclined to believe thats how long it sat. One side was beat up and sun baked, the other (facing north) was covered in tree moss. Two of the tires wouldnt hold air, the left rear drum was rusted siezed, and we had to drag it onto the trailer with the sellers tractor.
Two days later I had the mouse turds vacuumed out, the hood off, and the 258 idling... and blowing smoke out the breathers like a freight train. I popped the head off, and found out it had a melted piston in #4. So the 258 came out, got tore down, and after verifying that the bores were so egg-shaped that Id need to have it machined, I ended up driving my crown vic home from the junkyard with a 4.0 in the trunk. So, I stripped out all the cec junk, eliminated a few miles of useless vacuum line, and essentially turned the 4.0 back into a 258. Transplanted the oil pan, distributor, intake and carb, and the entire accessory drive from the 285, and booped it right back into place. Started up the first crank.
Over the next few weeks, I would follow the set procedure of 1. rig it up enough to drive, 2. drive it until something breaks, and 3. fix that thing. rinse repeat. At first it was open headers, but it was blowing exhaust onto the tranny cooler lines, so I pie cut the old down pipe about 30 times to make it bend around the driveshaft. The first few drives, fuel was supplied from a juice bottle tied to the hood hinge, because the pickup in the tank was stuffed solid with varnish, so I drilled out the pickup line, cleaned it up, resealed the tank about 3 separate times (eventually got a new tank). The transmission was a bit sloppy, so I put a transgo TF-2 shift kit in it and flushed it a few times, it works decent enough now. Aside from when its below 15F, the main servo drags so it crawls forward in neutral and doesnt like reversing until its warmed up. Another neat thing to point out, someone has been in there before and replaced the main band with one from a 727. neat! there has a good dozen or so rust holes in the floor, so they got cut out, and patched with bent aluminum sheet pop riveted on. Aside from the right front leaf spring perch, which was on its way to becoming emancipated, so I plug welded a 3/8" steel plate to everything structural that was left, and its sturdy as a brick doodyhouse now.
This break things, fix them process has been going on consistently since then, but the occurrence of breaks has been going down, so Ill take that as a sign that Im doing my job well. Among the victims were:
both front CV joints
both front wheel bearings
rear drums
melted headlight switch
driveshaft u-joints
exhaust fell apart a few times
various tuning niggles, eventually I got sick of having no power, so I got a MC2100 off craigslist, and an HEI off ebay. Rebuilt and rejetted the carb, recurved the hei for more mechanical and less vacuum advance, tweaked the TV rod to shift later, and now its a whole different bird.
Last summer I got sick of the torn up body panels, so I bought a $100 hazard fraud stud welder, and over a few months pulled, cut, welded, and bashed the body panels back into shape, although both wheel arches on the passenger side are permanently 1/2" shorter due to the impacts. The rocker panels got some rust cut out and fresh steel welded in too. A little bondo, a little sanding, one aresol can mixed to the original paint code, and bam, the bad side became not so bad. I then went back to the guy I bought it from, and pulled a fender flair, some trim I didnt have, cute lil chrome mudflaps, ect off an old fire damaged eagle, and painted them, the plastic rockers, and a stripe along the bottom of the entire car with black roll-on bedliner. One part for looks, One part because the local DOT insists on melting all my cars with sodium chloride and its deadbeat ex-con brother, calcium chloride.

As far as interior goes, it was all surprisingly nice for how long it sat. The headliner was long gone of course, so I recovered that myself, then went on to paint and replace a few trim pieces, fix some torn upholstery with maroon duct tape, and built a center gauge cluster that holds my water temp, voltage, oil pressure, vacuum, and AFR guages, and also sturdies up the dash from rattling.

Lately Ive done a little suspension work to it. One of the coil springs had a snapped rung, and both were clapped out, so I put some javelin springs up front, and bolted on some leaf helpers in the rear, as well as replaced all 4 shocks. The leaf perches are far too rusty for me to justify trying to get the old leafs off. I was going to stick a small lift shackle on it, but truth be told Id rather not mess with the rusty butt rear perches either, so I might stick a 1" block under the axle sometime to level it out with the new springs in the front.













83 eagle wagon 4.0

Offline amarshall

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Re: The Turd Burd
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2019, 08:47:06 AM »
That's as good of an intro post as I have seen!  Pictures and everything, wow!  Sounds like you've done tons of work on your Eagle.  I can definitely understand wanting to avoid rust on the rear leafs.  I lost a rear shackle when a bolt snapped while removing, and those things are impossible to find.  Ended up cobbling something together from a bunch of Jeep parts.  One of my rear springs had a snapped front eye, so they had to come out.

Welcome (belated) to the forum!
Wanted:  More time to work on my Eagle!

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

Offline amcfool1

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Re: The Turd Burd
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2019, 07:24:14 PM »
hi, welcome to the forum! You are doing a great job saving another Eagle. Eagles, as an exercise in automotive engineering, have very few weak spots. The rear shackle mounting system, is, unfortunately, one of them. It's not a matter of "if", but a matter of "when" you will have to deal with this, if you plan to keep your Eagle long term. Been there, done that! good luck, gz

Offline TheBirdman

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Re: The Turd Burd
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2019, 07:52:14 PM »
Well, if the way my projects usually go is any indication, this is the way that will go:
Ill cut out the rust chunks in the spare tire compartment to replace them this summer, then once Ive got a good view, Ill find out that something important is hanging on by a thread, so Ill spend the next 2 months cutting, grinding, and welding, and probably end up fabricating new shackle mounts, and using a universal lift shackle to hold it all together. And maybe halfway through Ill find some leafs from a wankler, torch the eyes off, and stick it in the eagle pack, all without removing the front bolts, because even If I wanted to have to torch them out while cursing the day I was born, I cant because when I was fabricating patches for the floor rust holes, I completely covered up the front mount on the right side to protect the mangles remains of that mount from any more road slush.

But hey, summers a good time to have the eagle up on jackstands, because then Ill have an excuse to not fix the AC this year.
83 eagle wagon 4.0

Offline mo.eagles

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Re: The Turd Burd
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2019, 08:07:22 PM »
Welcome, good looking work!! You're off to a good start. 
'85 wagon Limited   tilt wheel , cruise control
power seats ,windows and locks
rear window washer /wiper 
tach and gauge package
A/C
 '85 wagon   power windows and locks
rear window washer/wiper
factory tow package
A/C
 '84 wagon parts

Offline DAVE

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Re: The Turd Burd
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2019, 09:45:32 AM »
Question did you have any issues putting the accessory drive on the 4.0 from the 258 I want to go the opposite and convert to serpentine belt and I was under the impression that the harmonic balancers were not interchangeable
Thanks

Offline TheBirdman

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Re: The Turd Burd
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2019, 10:49:37 AM »
No major troubles. There were a few things like having to notch the power steering bracket to work with the intake manifold a half inch higher up, and cut a little out to clear the 4.0 exhaust, and I think there way have been one other issue where one of the pulleys werent quite aligned with the harmonic balancer, but I got it lined up with a couple washers. If the harmonic balancers arent compatible, its news to me, Ive been using the 4.2 balancer on the 4.0 for almost two years now. I think the snout length on the 4.0 crank may be a little bit longer, and that may have been what caused my little alignment issue.

Also, I cant remember if I used the 4.0 or 4.2 timing cover, but I think theyre identical.

If you need any spare 4.0 accessory brackets, let me know, Ive still got them around and I have no reason to use them again.
83 eagle wagon 4.0

Offline DAVE

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Re: The Turd Burd
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2019, 11:45:14 AM »
Thanks, good to know this is way down on my to do list so won't need anything right now

 

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