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  • January 23, 2020, 06:29:10 AM

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Author Topic: 1986 AMC Eagle Wagon cheap rehab  (Read 1825 times)

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Offline AMC of Houston

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Re: Pinging
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2019, 01:26:50 PM »
Re the overheating; wonder if someone put a V-belt water pump on a serpentine-belt engine (or vice-versa).  Pump would be spinning the wrong way then.   Wouldn't be the first time I've seen that.
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Offline mudkicker715

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Re: Pinging
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2019, 04:59:06 PM »
A lean motor runs hotter and a mistimed motor can run hotter (either retarded or advanced).



Manitowoc WI

Offline MIPS

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Re: Pinging
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2019, 08:48:01 PM »
Did the 86 year have a weighted mechanical advance in the distributor? I've seen the weights stick and cause an incorrect advance.
Also if you are still running the Carter and presumably the computer you cannot adjust the fuel mix without the computer cancelling it out. Is the stepper currently set to full-rich because either the O2 sensor is detecting or is stuck in a hard-lean condition?
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 09:10:55 PM by MIPS »

Offline zeebo76

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Re: Pinging
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2019, 12:45:36 AM »
Thanks for all the replies, everyone.  I’ve got a few updates to my situation, I’ll try to respond as I can to all those who have offered suggestions.  This is going to be a long one...

I think everything that’s happened to the car up until now (cutting out, pinging, that knock I described in the long post, also the absolutely horrible gas mileage I for some reason have neglected to mention until now) is related to fuel delivery pre-carb.  I took a while to do more research and drove the eagle for a while and the clunking got worse to the point that it would cut out repeatedly on acceleration, which also happened to feel exactly like what it did on the highway.  I bought some more testing equipment (I’m only 19 and don’t have much money or experience, so I’m taking it slow and careful so I don’t mess up), hooked a fuel pressure gauge up behind the fuel filter just in front of the carb.

The gauge flickered rapidly between 0 and 2-3 PSI when the car ran, and didn’t seem to change when I throttled her up.  Although, the gauge sprung a leak after just a few minutes of me starting to read it, so I’m not sure if it was too accurate.

Nevertheless, I decided to start fixing a few things regarding my fuel system, mainly under the hood.  Replaced the filter, replaced a few lines, bought a Schrader valve tee fitting (for easy fuel pressure testing in the future)  and installed it inline after the filter - also got rid of the weird curvy hard fuel line between the filter and the carb.  I also disconnected the inlet line on the fuel pump and blew compressed air back down into the tank.  Sounded reasonably clear, but doing that procedure brought a question to mind:

Is there a filter between the tank and the mechanical fuel pump?  If not - this car sat for about a year, maybe two, without being driven while it’s head gasket was blown.  I drove it on bad gas for a little while because I didn’t have a choice, so if there’s no filter between pump and tank it’s possible that the fuel pump has swallowed some gunk and gone mostly bad.  I know there’s supposed to be a pickup sock in the tank, I’m just not sure how it would hold up to age...  Given the reading from my questionable fuel pressure gauge, the fact that the old fuel filter still seemed to be good, there didn’t feel to be anything stuck in the line when I gave it a good squirt of compressed air, and I couldn’t spot a fuel filter under the car...  I’m leaning toward the pump being my issue.  It looks original, and if it IS bad, I could’ve just been leaning out this whole time and not known it until the car started sputtering.

I’ll work on the car some more tomorrow, and after I can get the fuel pressure stabilized I’ll work on resetting the carb to IS-12E standards.

ANYWAY, onto the responses.

Did the 86 year have a weighted mechanical advance in the distributor? I've seen the weights stick and cause an incorrect advance.
Also if you are still running the Carter and presumably the computer you cannot adjust the fuel mix without the computer cancelling it out. Is the stepper currently set to full-rich because either the O2 sensor is detecting or is stuck in a hard-lean condition?

I’m not sure if the advance is weighted, but a few months back I did  pull the distributor off, clean the advance mechanism, and verified its operation.  Not sure if it’s proper though.

I am still running the carter WITH computer, BUT I have adjusted the fuel mix and it definitely makes a difference.  I can hear the car’s idle change when I fiddle with the screws, and after I found out that I didn’t have one of them set right I adjusted it and the idle went from choppy and low to a better sound and feel.  I’m not sure about the stepper motor, how to tell what it’s set to.  Carbs are still new to me - the oldest thing I’ve worked on before this is my ‘89 Cherokee, and it has port injection.  Waaay simpler.

A lean motor runs hotter and a mistimed motor can run hotter (either retarded or advanced).

I’m pretty sure I’m running lean.  Would LOVE to have a method of actually checking if I am or not, but I’m not sure how.  However, I’m only running 12 BDC at idle, and the advance bumps it higher depending on RPM’s.  I don’t think that’s far enough off to cause issues related to mistiming.  I do have misses on different cylinders from time to time, however.

Re the overheating; wonder if someone put a V-belt water pump on a serpentine-belt engine (or vice-versa).  Pump would be spinning the wrong way then.   Wouldn't be the first time I've seen that.

If the pump were spinning the wrong way, wouldn’t that cause a MUCH higher temp?  From the readings my infrared thermometer has been giving, I’m running 160-190 at idle.

Come to think of it, I am having issues to get my heater to blow warm even after I bled my system, and there was a fair amount of residue in the line leading to the heater core...  Too much for my comfort, especially because that’s a brand new heater core.

EDIT:  I forgot to mention this, but I can actually feel the fuel line pulsing when she’s running.  Not sure if that’s normal or not, but since the gauge flickers too I’d take that as a sign that my gauge isn’t bad but that there is in fact a delivery issue.  There doesn’t seem to be a pressure regulator anywhere either, which is odd to me - but I guess that since this isn’t exactly a high-pressure application like fuel injection is it isn’t really necessary.

EDIT EDIT:  Last edit, I promise!  I’ve heard some rumors about 1986 eagles having the option for a crappy transfer case, or something.  I took a look at the identification plate on mine and I have an NP128 AM.  Is this the good kind, or the bad kind?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 01:10:50 AM by zeebo76 »

Offline zeebo76

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Re: Pinging
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2019, 08:51:52 PM »
Picked up a new fuel pump today, installed it, and ran it for a few minutes.  The gauge told me that the pressure was steadier and a touch higher, but before I got to actually drive it I noticed a fuel leak coming from the pump itself.  No bueno.  I tried removing the fitting that the leak was coming from but I guess it’s integral to the pump or something because it would never budge.  I ended up bending the whole thing.  Waiting for another replacement pump tomorrow, it’ll be covered under warranty.

Offline MIPS

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Re: Pinging
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2019, 10:00:03 PM »
Quote
Is there a filter between the tank and the mechanical fuel pump?

Depending on its condition, there should be a sock on the inlet tube in the tank. For the 82 year at least there shouldn't be any other filters between the tank and pump but it doesn't hurt to install one before the pump anyways in case the sock fails or you have loose deposits in the fuel lines.

Quote
I am still running the carter WITH computer, BUT I have adjusted the fuel mix and it definitely makes a difference.  I can hear the car’s idle change when I fiddle with the screws, and after I found out that I didn’t have one of them set right I adjusted it and the idle went from choppy and low to a better sound and feel.  I’m not sure about the stepper motor, how to tell what it’s set to.

Hmm, it shouldn't do that. The stepper motor is non-adjustable and can only either fail with an open winding or seize and stop responding to computer control. Optionally if the O2 sensor or its single wire has failed the computer will only sense a full-lean condition and force the metering pins into the rich position but then allowing you to tweak directly from the screws. Electronic carburetors are really finnicky things.

Offline zeebo76

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Re: Pinging
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2019, 01:14:00 AM »
Last night I pulled the fuel tank - I got all the old hoses replaced, and replaced the pickup sock too.  Put the tank in today along with it’s new hose work and the eagle started running super, super rich - a great sign, really!  The old sock was clogged, and my jury-rigged replacement is in much better condition.  Lot of the old hoses were dry rotted too...

I think my water pump is bad.  I hear a ticking that at first sounds like valves from inside the car, but it sure is awfully loud - and I don’t seem to have any circulation in the cooling system.  Small hose running from the thermostat is super hot immediately (150 F) while the rest are cooler (90-110), and the radiator is at about 70F.  After the car has run for a while all the hoses heat up to 160-180, but the radiator never climbs above 70-90 depending on the spot.  The heater blows warm either occasionally or after about 20 minutes of running/driving (after the cooling system has had a chance to warm up thoroughly).  I know I don’t have any bubbles, I’ve bled the system several times.

To MIPS:  I replaced the sock, and it made a world of difference.  Once I started her up again she plumed black, and I was able to adjust the mixture screws (screwed them shut right, then loosened them 3 full turns and seemed to do the trick) to get a good idle and exhaust feel.  So, I guess something is definitely wrong with the stepper motor.

UPDATE:  Got to take her out for a drive.  NO more hiccuping, and she has more power!  So, so much better.  Making up a list of things to do next.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2019, 02:35:34 AM by zeebo76 »

Offline zeebo76

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Re: Pinging
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2019, 05:25:09 AM »
Hey again everyone.  This thread should probably be moved to the projects section because that’s what this is turning into...

In the last week I’ve done a lot.

Added mud flaps, square stock-looking fog lamps on the front bumper, replaced thermostat, water pump + radiator, flushed + refilled tranny fluid and swapped filter (fluid was almost black, definitely time for a change), dropped the headliner and re-upholstered it ($30 total, looks and feels great), fixed the roof leak (roof rack was missing both front threaded bushings that originally held the rack watertight to the roof), and started tearing the steering column apart to fix the wobbly tilt steering wheel.

The first pivot pin remover I bought broke off inside one of the pins, but I bought another and it worked on the second - so tomorrow I’m going to be tacking a bolt to the stuck pivot pin and trying to yank it out that way.  After this, the only major roadblock for it being able to be kept outside as it enters rainy season is the leak in the back window.  After fixing that, it should be totally drivable, get decent gas mileage, have decent power, and be super cool!

Oh, also, I converted both of my cable adjust mirrors (which had gone floppy, no possible way to adjust them) to manual adjust, using the original housings and mirror glass and everything.  I can put out a short write up on it if anyone wants - the only exterior difference is one screw head visible on the back side of the housing.  They work great!  No wobbling, very tight, and only ran me $40 and a few hours of work.

Offline mudkicker715

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Re: Pinging
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2019, 06:52:05 AM »
Sure why not give a writeup and how it was changed to a manual mirror. Also i will move your thread. You may want a new title for it though? If you do decide to retitle it you should be able to do that?
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 06:54:36 AM by mudkicker715 »



Manitowoc WI

Offline amcfool1

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Re: Pinging
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2019, 07:32:56 AM »
hey, good work. i would be interested in the mirror repair. thanks, gz

Offline zeebo76

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Re: Pinging
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2019, 02:54:14 PM »
Alright, I'll post the writeup under rehabilitation how-to's and tips.  It's pretty easy, but it's not exactly a science...  Once you get started on the conversion a lot of it comes together via common sense and by feel.  Just need two universal mirrors from autozone, a tube of RTV, something to cut plastic with (I used a jewelry saw, but I'm sure there are other things to use), a drill, and a philips head screwdriver.

EDIT:  It's been posted!
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 03:06:21 PM by zeebo76 »

Offline zeebo76

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Re: 1986 AMC Eagle Wagon cheap rehab
« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2019, 03:36:11 PM »
Got a decent picture, finally.  Here she is about two weeks ago.  Wheels, tires, non-saggy springs, and a buff/wax are soon to come!


Offline zeebo76

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Re: 1986 AMC Eagle Wagon cheap rehab
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2019, 03:59:02 AM »
Busy day today.  Went to pick-n-pull for a pair of steering column pivot pins, ended up finding two laying on the floor of an old suburban.  Cost me $5. Came home and started going through miscellaneous fixes - ashtrays on the rear doors were filthy, so I worked them over inside with brakleen and a steel brush, then painted the insides black.  Don’t plan on letting anyone smoke in the eagle, so they’ll just be for trash or something, I guess.  Bought and installed a rear view mirror that doesn’t wobble, painted the parts of the dash that were supposed to be silver silver again.

Went around all the trim and found a lot of spots where screws were missing, so I threw some basic lath screws in and everything feels tighter now.

took all the seats out of the Eagle, gave the interior a nice deep cleaning.  Vacuum, carpet spray, scrub with a brush, wipe with a towel, then another pass with the vacuum.  Looks and feels a whole lot better.  Also wiped down all the vinyl/trim with 405 cleaner, and gave the spare tire compartment a VERY deep cleaning.  I actually hadn’t ever looked in there and it was just full of dirt, lint, miscellaneous garbage.  Scrubbed, cleaned, and wiped until it was as close to spotless as I could get it and then made a carpet insert.  Spare tire went back in, I put the roadside kit in there along with a bottle jack and a tire iron.

Isn’t showroom quality or anything, but when she’s back together I certainly wouldn’t feel afraid to take her to cars and coffee!

Tomorrow is going to consist of finishing up the steering column repair, cleaning the seats, fabricating some lift brackets for them, re-installing, then hopefully taking her for a test drive.  Fingers crossed!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 04:09:20 AM by zeebo76 »

Offline Mitch

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Re: 1986 AMC Eagle Wagon cheap rehab
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2019, 11:12:18 AM »
That's a real nice looking Eagle! I can tell it's only going to get better! I'm jealous.   :occasion14:

Offline zeebo76

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Re: 1986 AMC Eagle Wagon cheap rehab
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2019, 01:59:27 AM »
Thanks, Mitch!  Paint on her isn’t too good but she has no rust, she’ll clean up in no time.

Anyway, updates!

Got the steering column + cooling system back together and took her for a drive, and although she ran way cooler she started hiccuping again.  This time I happened to notice that it seemed very even and steady under load, so on a hunch I drove back home and hooked a timing light up to the coil plug and it was missing very steadily under load.  Threw a new coil in her and she drives good as new.  With all the new cooling parts she is MUCH cooler than before, and I actually have heat now, which is nice.

Trans flush feels super good, shifts are still firm but not as harsh as before.

Came up with an idea as to why she might be pinging and started feeling around the EGR valve.  After not feeling satisfied with how it felt, I pulled it and sure enough it holds no vacuum whatsoever.  Try to test it with a vacuum pump and all the applied vacuum leaks out immediately with the intake/exhaust holes plugged.  If I’m right on this, if the EGR valve was effectively stuck closed I’d have higher-than-intended combustion temperatures, which leads to pinging...  Could be the source of my pinging woes.  Will be picking up a new one tomorrow.

Steering wheel isn’t wobbly anymore, although the blinkers went out on my test drive and it took me a while (relative to all the rest of my progress) to get to figuring out why...  looked under the dash and found the flasher, rated for 2 bulbs, literally broken in half.  The right turn signal stopped returning to center after a turn, so once again I pulled the steering wheel and found that the return spring had somehow popped out of its little home.  Put it back in, and hopefully I now have a properly functioning right turn signal once I get the new heavy duty flasher.

My stepdad also helped me to put a 2 inch lift on the front seats using 4 pieces of 1/8” thick, 1” diameter square tube steel, and the driving position feels SUPER good now...  Although the steering wheel will need to always be in its upright position, I consider that a worthwhile trade off for not having to feel like my eyes are only a few inches above the hood while driving!

FINALLY, I realized that I’m supposed to have a license plate light.  Went around back and it’s definitely burnt out, so will be picking one up tomorrow.

Probably a $75 shopping list for tomorrow, but it’ll be worth it.  After all this, I think the next steps will be to finalize the waterproofing of the roof rack and back window.  After that, probably a well-deserved wash, buff + wax for the Eagle...  Lots of surgery lately, I think most hospitals give patients ice cream afterward, right?

EDIT:  I also kinda want to do the relay install for the headlights, except the low beams will stay on WITH the high beams when I turn the high beams on.  I just like the full quad-headlight look...  Though, I’ll probably need a better alternator.  I need a stronger one anyway...
« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 02:31:23 AM by zeebo76 »

 

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