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Author Topic: Priya's SX/4 project  (Read 338242 times)

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Offline priya

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Priya's SX/4 project
« on: June 01, 2008, 05:14:05 PM »
I actually bought this car 10 years ago for $400 and I'm just now ready to start restoring it.  I had hoped to start on it about a month ago but my boyfriend is building a trailer and I can't get my car in the garage until he's done.   I originally bought what I had licensed as an 80 Eagle wagon however after being on the nest for a while I see the body style and plastic valve cover means it must have been an 81 or later.  I really loved my Eagle wagon and as I recall got around 30 miles to the gallon with it (I've seen most people on the nest don't get near that so I wonder about my memory, but it seems pretty clear) and it had I thought surprisingly good power for a 6 with full time 4 wheel drive.  I had a couple of front end accidents with it and the head gasket was leaking and when a wheel bearing went I parked it for good.  I used to have a 47 acre parcel of land but I sold it to move into the city with my boyfriend and unfortunately the wagon stayed there as we have no room for it in the city.  We pulled off CV joints, the trans a few trim pieces and engine accessories from it but it was a shame to leave so much behind.

I bought the 81 SX/4 with a leaking trans, head gasket but what looked to be a fairly good body.  I towed it a 150 miles or so with the drive shafts hooked up so I figure its transmission is toast but I pulled the one out of my old wagon to put in it. I had the hood off of it for a couple of months while it was outside and it appears water got down the carb although I had plastic over it.  When my boyfriend and I tried to turn over the motor with a strong arm on the crank it wouldn't budge so I'm planning on rebuilding a motor as well.   I bought  a spare motor from Shin-x which may be in better shape than the one currently in the car.  I also have a clifford 4 barrel manifold and header for the 258 as well as 390 Holley, performance/economy cam and matching lifters and valve retainers.  I don't remember the cam specs but it has around 10-15% more lift than stock with less duration and overlap than stock to retain higher cylinder pressures and give better performance and economy.  I hope to boost the compression ratio by half a point or so by milling the head but I can't find any reliable specs on compression ratio's for the 81 258 - some sites say 8.0 to 1, some say 8.3 to 1 and others say something else.  I don't want to go too high so I can still run it on regular gas.

The car is pretty basic with auto trans and no power options. It has a blue interior which needs some work as well.  I only plan on driving it in the winter as I have a 1980 280ZX I am also restoring for a summer driver.

As you can see from the picture below I started some dismantling quite a few years back




This appears to be the worst of the rust on the car, the rest of it seems pretty solid although I have yet to get underneath it and haven't taken most of the plastic body cladding off to see.  The 81(?) wagon I had was pretty solid underneath so I'm hoping this will be as well although I'm not really concerned if there are some problems as I've restored some quite rusty cars in the past although it did take me quite a while.  I'm tempted to replace the driver's door as it has similar rust on the inside and I'm thinking by the time I sandblast it off it'll be full of pin-holes and fabricating the metal for the lower right hand corner will be a challenge as once the rust is cut away there'll be no reference points for how tall or wide to make the metal or how far in or out to put it to match the door opening.  My boyfriend says no sweat though, we'll fix it anyway and he'll help, I'm a little less confident then him.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2008, 05:44:51 PM by priya »

80SpiritGT

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Re: Priya's SX/4 project
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2008, 09:52:53 PM »
Nice, looks like an easy resto.  ;D


Offline IowaEagle

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Re: Priya's SX/4 project
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2008, 09:56:42 PM »
If that is all the rust there is then you should have an easy time of it.  Thanks for the update and pictures.
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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 trapperjack

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Re: Priya's SX/4 project
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2008, 10:37:23 PM »
Looks like a great project. Have fun with it.
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Offline priya

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Re: Priya's SX/4 project
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2008, 02:15:37 PM »
Mudkicker are you talking about the corner of the door?  How did you know where to position the metal so the gap between the door and frame was right and the corner was flush with the quarter/rocker panel?

Offline priya

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Re: Priya's SX/4 project
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2008, 10:57:52 PM »
Woo Hoo!  After two months of waiting I finally got my SX4 in the garage as my hubby finally got his trailer done.  The hoist is going to be a nice addition, I've never had one before, its good to have a hubby who's a mechanic.





I finally got a chance to look under the car and while not as good as I was hoping for it was better than I expected.  There's no rust in the floorboards or in the "frame" section.  The passanger side had about a 2 inch hole in the inner rocker although I'm sure more checking will reveal an area several times that size that needs to be fixed.  The passenger side rear wheel well has a cheesy area of about 4" diameter just in front of the rear wheel but doesn't have an actual hole in it so no mud got into the rocker area to widen the problem.  The driver's side Wheel well had a hole 2 or 3 inches in diameter ahead of the rear wheel which was full of mud and the inner rocker just ahead of the rear wheel is cheesy as well.  I'll have a better look tomorrow and get a feel for how big a repair that's going to be.  I still have to get the plastic body cladding off but so far so good and I don't see anything much that scares me.  The lower rear corner of the passenger door has a bit of rust on it but it doesn't look too bad either.  The lower door sill opening on  the drivers side has a couple of fairly rusty spots and although there are no holes in it a couple  of sections 4 or 5 inches wide and an inch or two high will need to be cut out but that area is flat with right angles so it won't be too hard to fabricate a patch panel and weld it in.

Offline IowaEagle

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Re: Priya's SX/4 project
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2008, 06:47:20 AM »
Great News!  We we all borrow your garage?
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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 priya

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Re: Priya's SX/4 project
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2008, 02:08:27 PM »
Well, we removed the trans, front diff, motor, and cvs.   The garage is getting pretty tight with all that stuff lying around.  I also removed the plastic body cladding and most of the interior except the headliner and dash.  I shouldn't have been surprised, but found more rust.  There's a couple of spots on the passenger fender, passenger outer rocker panel, behind both kick panels inside the car, and just above the front coil springs.  Sigh...Looks like it won't be as easy a fix as I was hoping.  After having thought more about the driver's door I'm feeling more confident about my ability to do that.  The part that scares me now is the inner rockers just where the leaf springs mount to the body.  They don't have holes but the surface rust is pretty heavy and they may need to be repaired.  I don't see how I can get cutoff wheel/ welder in there to work but once again my hubby says "not a problem" - he figures there's room or if necessary we'll cut off the outer rocker and patch it from the inside.  I'm leaving this one until he's around to show me how.

Offline priya

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Re: Priya's SX/4 project
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2008, 04:00:28 PM »
I got a start on the rust repairs, I decided to start with something easier since its been a couple of years since I did any welding.  This is the passenger front fender.

The welding on this patch was crude but acceptable.  I got some burn through on the lower edge of the repair as the metal is thinner there than I thought so I'm going to remove the fender and put in another patch to cover the lower flange where it bolts to the rocker panel, I also need to repair the rocker panel just below this patch as well.
 




After a little bit of practice the welding went much smoother on this piece.  Good thing as I haven't got much of these easier repairs to do, next is inside the car behind the kick panels and underneath in the inner rocker panels - I hate overhead welding, such a messy pain!



« Last Edit: June 24, 2008, 04:12:10 PM by priya »

Offline IowaEagle

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Re: Priya's SX/4 project
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2008, 07:29:16 PM »
You can come and practice under my car anytime.
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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 priya

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Re: Priya's SX/4 project
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2008, 07:43:56 PM »
Yeah, If I practice under your car you won't be able to see the mediocre work.   Could be a while though, given the rate I'm going on this one and I have another vehicle to restore after this yet.

Offline IowaEagle

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Re: Priya's SX/4 project
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2008, 08:19:55 PM »
Mediocre is 100% better than I can do.
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 priya

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Re: Priya's SX/4 project
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2008, 09:16:15 PM »
I started today planning on replacing about 6 inches of the outer rocker on the passenger side at the front.  After checking with a hammer and a scratch awl we found probably half the front part of the rocker was too rusty (scratch awl poked through).  I cut that off and the inner rocker didn't appear to have much left either, so I cut that out too.  The result was this:



More of a job than I was expecting on this car.  That's the floorboards you can see in the picture, fortunately they look pretty good. There's also a small patch I completed in the upper right hand corner of the picture - my welding continues to improve.  We don't have access to a sheet metal break until Wednesday so I'm not sure when we'll get around to putting in new inner and outer rockers.  My sweety says he's going to bend those up for me but after working all day Wednesday he might not want to hang around to do it.  Maybe next weekend we'll get the panels made and I can have a go at welding them in.  He also said we might have a go at it tomorrow with a piece of angle iron on the work bench, not sure if that'll work out or not.

Offline IowaEagle

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Re: Priya's SX/4 project
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2008, 09:53:42 PM »
You know, if he gets really good at making up inner/outer rockers then he might have a few dozen customers right here at the Nest he can cater to.
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 bigdog56e

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Re: Priya's SX/4 project
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2008, 07:28:29 AM »
  priya,
         I have had pretty good luck making bends with the the angle iron, using mild steel and aluminum.
                                                                                                                      Eddie

 

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