1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

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The Dark Side of Will
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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by The Dark Side of Will » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:26 am

Thanks!

Yeah, the diff's pretty ugly. If it didn't have the extremely rare 3.54 gears, I'd just get another one. Also, Dana 30's are dirt cheap to rebuild.

After seeing the way the diff snout bracket and exhaust manifold dance, I'll probably just make a new bracket from scratch

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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by ericjon262 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:48 pm

I don't understand what's so special about the 3.54 gears, summit has gears for the dana 30 for $150 all day.
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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by The Dark Side of Will » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:32 am

My understanding is that the pinion offset on the front diff is slightly different. I guess that the rear end 3.54 gears would fit, but the carrier is unique to that diff.

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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by ericjon262 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:48 am

gotcha, thanks for the clarification
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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by The Dark Side of Will » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:36 am

The 3.54's only came in 4 cylinder Eagles, which were a very small fraction of the production run.

On http://www.Car-parts.com there are 7 listings for 4 cylinder front diffs, but dozens for 6 cyl fronts.

Not sure if the 3.07 towing gears for the 6 are rarer than the 3.54's for the 4 cyl or not...

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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by ericjon262 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:19 pm

Saw these two beaut's in the enlisted lot at NNPTC today and thought I'd check in to see if anything new happened.

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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by The Dark Side of Will » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:01 pm

LOL... Awesome!

There's a guy on the Jeep Strokers forum with a back-halved Spirit, STOCK 4.0 with a turbo and a built 904. He's pushing 400-450 to the ground depending on E85 or normal gas and running low 10's... Race weight is down to about 2200.

I snagged a piece of 1/4 x 2 flat bar to use to make a new diff snout bracket.

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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by ericjon262 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:05 pm

the 4.0 is a tough motor. I think this one has a 5.0 V8, but I haven't met the owner(s) yet. looks like it could be a pretty fun.
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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by The Dark Side of Will » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:46 am

Ford 5.0?

My dad picked up an Eagle SX/4 (Eaglized Spirit) into which some idiot had swapped an AMC 304. The 304 itself isn't a bad idea, but the guy did a bunch of dumb shit swapping it in. It could be pretty nice with some work, but getting power out of AMC's will always be more expensive than getting it out of Chevies or Fords... especially if you're talking roller cam conversions, link bar lifters, EFI manifolds, etc.

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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by Series8217 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:36 am

The Dark Side of Will wrote:LOL... Awesome!
There's a guy on the Jeep Strokers forum with a back-halved Spirit, STOCK 4.0 with a turbo and a built 904. He's pushing 400-450 to the ground depending on E85 or normal gas and running low 10's... Race weight is down to about 2200.
Wow, that sounds awesome. Link?

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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by The Dark Side of Will » Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:59 pm

Series8217 wrote:
The Dark Side of Will wrote:LOL... Awesome!
There's a guy on the Jeep Strokers forum with a back-halved Spirit, STOCK 4.0 with a turbo and a built 904. He's pushing 400-450 to the ground depending on E85 or normal gas and running low 10's... Race weight is down to about 2200.
Wow, that sounds awesome. Link?

I think I subscribed to his build thread... I'll have to go find it.

I'm replacing the profiled stamped diff snout bracket with a straight piece of 1/4 x 2 and some spacers. The flat bar bolts to the block at the lower location. The spacer at the upper location should be 1.310. The face of the diff mounting surface is 1.700 from the face of the flat bar.

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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by The Dark Side of Will » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:17 pm

Found it:
The Dark Side of Will wrote:Boost on a Jeep 4.0: http://www.jeepstrokers.com/forum/viewt ... 285#p13285

Lots of work in the body: back halved AMC Spirit at <2200#
Stock 4.0 and built TF 904 trans. 400 HP/450 TQ on 10 psi with E85. 10.7's best.

I will NOT be doing this with my Eagle... just showing what a 4.0 can do with a little extra manifold pressure.
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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by ericjon262 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:22 pm

The Dark Side of Will wrote:Ford 5.0?

My dad picked up an Eagle SX/4 (Eaglized Spirit) into which some idiot had swapped an AMC 304. The 304 itself isn't a bad idea, but the guy did a bunch of dumb shit swapping it in. It could be pretty nice with some work, but getting power out of AMC's will always be more expensive than getting it out of Chevies or Fords... especially if you're talking roller cam conversions, link bar lifters, EFI manifolds, etc.
a guy on base said it was a 5.0. not sure of flavor though.
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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by Aaron » Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:55 pm

Time for a rant, but it also serves to subscribe to this topic, which I've been meaning to do. So not completely useless (But mostly).

His build surprises, and disappoints me. First he chooses the 4.0. It's a decent engine, for a tractor, and they have a fairly good reputation in the Jeeps (Which is pretty much tractor duty). This guy has professional experience with the BMW 6s, far superior in every way, and he even praises how great they are. Not saying he should have picked one, but it highlights the 4.0's shortcomings for his use. Big, heavy, inefficient, and a very bad platform for performance. He blew his engine the first time out not even making 100hp/l, at modest boost levels, low RPM, good AFR, without signs of detonation despite the 255* IAT's. And not even hitting 100hp/l at double ambient pressure would be enough to scare me back to a 325i.

He has a pretty nice looking resume, and other components on that car at least appear to be first class, but then I see that engine build and wonder where all that experience went. The headers aren't bad looking, but a guy with his credentials is probably capable of a much better setup. And it's free horsepower, doesn't come at the risk of engine internals, in fact it can be argued it's better for engine internals. He's clearly got the room for a wild set of equal length headers/y-pipe, and they wouldn't even be that wild as primaries are short for turbo motors. Then he skips an intercooler, despite having more than enough room for one, and a definite need considering his IAT's and the 4.0's inefficiencies. There may not be much in the way of alternatives for the intake manifold, so I won't fault him for that (It's also a fairly poor investment when it comes to cost/benefit on a turbo build). And the rest of the engine I can't fault him for either, those cylinder heads are obviously junk but it's not like you can swap a BMW's right over, and I can understand someone not building the shortblock the first time out.

It's a neat project I guess, and I'm a perfect example of starting with an illogical base point because of a love for the engine, but let's be honest here, what is there to love about the 4.0? I've put thousands of miles on two of them, and didn't fall in love with anything about them. Alternatively I've put thousands of miles on a BMW I6, and within the first couple hundred can see why Car & Driver wouldn't have anything but.
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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by The Dark Side of Will » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:40 am

He could have lots of reasons... maybe he's showing off his skills by making a turd fast :wink:

The 4.0's big downfall is that the chambers overhang the bores, leading to huge crevice volume. They can barely run 9.5 compression on pump gas. I will admit to being curious about what one of those engines could do if the chambers were welded so that they didn't overhang the bore... but I'm just not going to put that much effort into it. At some point, someone passionate about the engine will come up with a decent cylinder head for it, but that's probably not me.

Summit lists half a dozen Offenhauser manifolds for the AMC I6's, but I'm pretty sure they're all set up for carbs, so installing injector bosses would be a certain amount of work. There are two different production manifolds, with the later one being better, but (I *think*) you have to have the matching cylinder head, which is prone to cracking.

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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by Aaron » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:35 am

Sounds about right. Someone could come out with a slick crossflow or DOHC cylinder head, but at what point is it easier to do an engine swap and call it a day? LS1, GM 4.2 I6, BMW 3.0, or the Jeep motors (3.7 or 6.4).
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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by The Dark Side of Will » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:34 am

Non-cross-flow heads can still flow well. After all, it's an inline valve engine, and *THAT* characteristic is what really dictates max intake valve size and thus port flow potential.

In a cross-flow pushrod engine, one set of ports has to be compromised for the pushrods (unless you go with more expensive offset shaft mount rockers like Hemis do). That's the intake side on Chevies (and even LS1's). On non-cross-flow application, the pushrods are on the opposite side from the ports, so the ports can be straighter.

The only real problem is the potential transfer of exhaust heat to the intake charge.

I forget who, but there is a company that took the most common production 4.0 HO head (the mid-90's, I think) and reproduced it in aluminum. Those are fairly expensive and don't flow any better than the production head, but are obviously easier to port, easier to weld and reshape and can run higher compression.
Since that's already been done, it shouldn't be very hard to raise the valve cover rail, rocker bosses and valve spring seats to create an aftermarket performance head for it...

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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by Aaron » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:14 am

The Dark Side of Will wrote:Non-cross-flow heads can still flow well. After all, it's an inline valve engine, and *THAT* characteristic is what really dictates max intake valve size and thus port flow potential.

In a cross-flow pushrod engine, one set of ports has to be compromised for the pushrods (unless you go with more expensive offset shaft mount rockers like Hemis do). That's the intake side on Chevies (and even LS1's). On non-cross-flow application, the pushrods are on the opposite side from the ports, so the ports can be straighter.

The only real problem is the potential transfer of exhaust heat to the intake charge.

I forget who, but there is a company that took the most common production 4.0 HO head (the mid-90's, I think) and reproduced it in aluminum. Those are fairly expensive and don't flow any better than the production head, but are obviously easier to port, easier to weld and reshape and can run higher compression.
Since that's already been done, it shouldn't be very hard to raise the valve cover rail rocker bosses and valve seats and create an aftermarket performance head for it...
They can flow well of course, it's the inefficiency that'd worry me. Not sure how bad that is, but it also doesn't stop at the head. The intake manifold suffers from the same pre-heating, and I'd hesitate to believe optimal intake manifold design becomes a compromise, having to work around the exhaust manifolds.

It probably wouldn't be difficult to create a performance head, but I'd still go back to the purpose when any number of factory engines are better stock.

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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by The Dark Side of Will » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:09 am

Aaron wrote: They can flow well of course, it's the inefficiency that'd worry me. Not sure how bad that is, but it also doesn't stop at the head.
As a counter-point... the Nissan/Datsun L series engines used in the 240/260/280Z's and Old Skool Skylines (and I don't know what else) are non-cross-flow, but they flow pretty well and make good power with boost.

And the BMW M20 (and distant cousin M70 V12) is a cross-flow design that doesn't flow all that well and needs a good bit of work to make power. In fact BMW's lackluster 2 valve chambers are what turned me off to turboing the M30 in my E34.

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Re: 1985 AMC Eagle wagon build

Post by The Dark Side of Will » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:02 am

I have acquired a piece of 1/4x2 flat bar for fabbing the new diff snout bracket.

I drilled the holes in it that bolt it to the bolt and cut the spacer which goes between the flat bar and the upper hole in the block.

I cut the diff end off an extra snout bracket we had hanging around.

I realized that I should snag the first couple of feet of a Cherokee exhaust pipe and build the bracket around it rather than guess and end up having to build more of the exhaust system from scratch.

Once I get the diff snout bracket finalized and the diff overhauled, I'll pull the 4.0 off the engine stand, bolt up the flywheel, clutch, transmission and transfer case and tuck the whole assembly in the corner while I put my S62 onto the engine stand and get it ready for Bad Idea

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