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Author Topic: Eagle Buying Tips  (Read 10525 times)

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Offline IowaEagle

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Eagle Buying Tips
« on: June 20, 2005, 09:53:43 PM »
I am finding these using the AMC258 Google method.  I will paste what I find.  

UPDATE: I've condensed this topic, and I've removed irrelevant posts.  
Any further good suggestions will get amalgamated to this post.


Outer:

Rear hatch hinges and gasket, remote hatch release if equipped.  
Rotted front "frame" rails.  Rotten battery tray;  
rust on undercarriage.
doors may sag(hinge pins).


Engine bay and drivetrain:

check oil color/smell and trans fluid.
amc stuff-leaky valve cover (a given).  
Other engine/trans leaks.  
Make sure 4wd works.
Check the condition of the boots on the CV joints. If they are torn, you may be replaceing the shafts soon.
Check operation of heater valve (the in-line one under the hood); radiator for signs of leaking, seepiing or fixed with stop leak; and the fan clutch are a few more.


Road Test (driving) and the rest:

runs rough/stalls when comming to a hard stop-clogged idle jet,vaccume leaks*****.
tires, brakes, lights, turn signals, all switches, locks windows, door levers.
sagging rear leaf springs/worn out shocks f/r.
and dont forget the mystery dent or the set of mandatory vice grips to get the hood open.
good luck.  




Fan clutch extension: fan blades will turn somewhat freely when engine (and thus fan clutch) is cold.  After test drive or 10-15 minutes of warmup the fan clutch should be warm or hot and should then be more difficult to turn, depending on how hot but any change is a good sign that it isn't completely shot.

Also while fiddling with fan, try to wiggle it in all directions perpendicular to the shaft direction and see if there is any movement, this is a check for the water pump bearings, if it is anything but tight then the water pump likely should be replaced soon (before it breaks).

While test driving weave left to right left and right at a reasonable speed (25-35 MPH or so) and listen for any rumbles from the front, this can be a sign of worn wheel hub bearings.  Drive a few complete circles in a parking lot or similar with wheels turned to full lock and listen again for any rumble or repetative speed-relative popping and such, this is a test for the CV joints on the front axle halfshafts.  Any other popping during the above swerve and hard circle tests could mean it needs ball joints.

Take a vacuum gauge along and hook it up (without creating a leak of course) to a manifold vacuum port (tee near firewall on top of intake manifold is the usual spot I use, I unplug the hose that goes to the distributor advance via the coolant temperature switch on the side of the intake manifold just in front of the carb (thing with 5 ports on it, a row of three and a row of two).  Then watch the needle as it idles, it should hang out rather steady around 17 in-Hg, anything less than 15 is not good and can mean a simple carb tuning problem or sticky valves (usually the carb though).  Then raise and hold RPMs as steady as possible at somewhat mid-range (unless you have a tachometer handy or the dash has one, then it'd be around 1600 RPM) and again check the vacuum gauge to ensure it is above 15.  It will spike higher when you first hit the accelerator and drop to near zero for a moment when you let off again which is why you need to hold a stable RPM range while checking.  Aside from vacuum leaks and such this test will help predict if the transfer case mode selector will have enough vacuum to work, by spec they require at least 15 in-Hg of vacuum.  Much lower than that especially on a partially worn out transfer case shift actuator and it won't have enough pull or push to properly change modes.  A lack of vacuum or a "nervous" needle that flips more than a few markings to either side of center reading can be a sign of bad valvetrain including worn out cam or worn out lifters.

Some of this is difficult to do prior to purchase, so sometimes I pull into a parking lot and quickly do all the odd vacuum gauge tests and such so the seller doesn't get annoyed or feel like you're being too picky or whatever.

Def check that 4x4 but on the later eagles its not as common a problem as the early ones. With the power windows...if one of them goes up slower than the rest you might wanna ask if  you can check under the door panel (or just assume either that motor or cable is about shot)... I think someone on the fourm had to pay like $75 for a new cable. Door handle springs also go on our cars... they are $10 a shot from DC. If the car still has a working trunk area pully covering thing (yeah... you'll know what i'm talking about if it has it) that is a huge plus (from a collecting point of view). I suppose if you make a big deal about any of the things on my list its just being a nit pick... put you can look for them and mention them... as psyc ammo for price conversations

Eagle buyers out there, you better be able to read wiring and vacuum diagrams and at least be able to bake a cake . . . not that baking has anything to do with Eagles . .  its more about being able to follow a recipe(instructions) . . and repair it yerself, because there are very VERY few mechanics who know anything about how to work on a car that doesn't diagnose itself.

Do not avoid buying a '86 model just because of the transfer case.  It can be easily swapped to the NP129 (or other) case.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 11:09:57 AM by Whuntmore »
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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
1995 Jeep Cherokee Sport;
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe;
2008 Jeep Patriot Sport - Freedom Drive II

Offline way2phastphil

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Re: Eagle Buying Tips
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2005, 10:39:14 PM »
     Also check the heater/ac controls in the dash. The levers may move, but the part behind them could be broken. This means that the dampers won't move when you want to use the defroster instead of the heater. Make sure the blower motor works in ALL speeds.
     Check the metal brake lines for any "weeping" or severe rust. Check the rubber brake hoses for cracking, etc. Check the parking brake to make sure it works.
    Areas most prone to rusting include, but are not limited to, the inner rocker panels, outer rocker panels (hard to check due to plastic trim), behind the rear tires,( rusts from the backside), in front of the rear tires, at the end of the rocker panel.
   When I go to look at a car, my wife goes with me. She tends to check things like seat/carpet condition, paint, glass, etc. Between the two of us,we generally find a page of things which can be used to negotiate the price . (unless it's really cheap to start with.  ;D) Sometimes the second set of eyes will see things that you miss.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2005, 10:42:09 PM by way2phastphil »
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Offline longcut

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Re: Eagle Buying Tips
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2005, 01:37:13 AM »
     Also check the heater/ac controls in the dash. The levers may move, but the part behind them could be broken.
this may sound stupid, but my heater quit working, a very bad thing to happen in NW PA at the end of november.  the blower still works at all speeds, but its all cold.  i thought it might be the heater core, being as my temp. gauge is still functioning and my coolant level is where it should be.  could this be the problem, and would this be an easy thing to try and fix, or is that why its in the 'watch what you buy' section?

help me oh eagle elders
POW-MIA
For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know

Offline IowaEagle

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Re: Eagle Buying Tips
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2005, 06:59:46 AM »
Make sure the heater control valve is working.  Its located in-line on the heater hose (under the hood) nearest the fender.  Usually they go bad so the AC blow hot -- but yours might be stuck closed, not allowing hot water to get to the core.  There is a vacuum line that goes to the top of it.  Make sure it is connected if it is the little linkage itself on the valve may be rusted in the closed position.
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
1995 Jeep Cherokee Sport;
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe;
2008 Jeep Patriot Sport - Freedom Drive II

Offline eagle88

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Re: Eagle Buying Tips
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2005, 08:29:51 AM »
low coolant level can also cause this to happen.  I would bet on the valve though.
1988 AMC Eagle Wagon

1999 Ford Explorer
1997 Chevy Astro
The problem with the world is stupid people.
I'm not advocating capital punishment for stupid people.
I'm just suggesting we remove all the warning labels
and let the problem solve itself.

Quote from a magazine I have.
Owning an amc is like having candy when no one else does


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rollen d. montoya

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Re: Eagle Buying Tips
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2006, 10:29:13 PM »
my advice on buying an eagle is get all the receipts from the seller. it helps to know the whole story about the eagle. i was lucky as the guy i got my eagle from had all the maintenance records and lived 4 houses away from the original owner.he was the second owner.

Offline IowaEagle

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Re: Eagle Buying Tips
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2006, 10:30:23 AM »
The torque converter may have issues around 80,000 miles or so.  Input lugs may crack.  Blame it on MoPar.
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
1995 Jeep Cherokee Sport;
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe;
2008 Jeep Patriot Sport - Freedom Drive II

Offline IowaEagle

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Re: Eagle Buying Tips
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2007, 07:02:00 AM »
Our TSM CD covers the '82 and '83 models but covers most of what you need for '84.  Very little was changed over the years.
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
1995 Jeep Cherokee Sport;
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe;
2008 Jeep Patriot Sport - Freedom Drive II

Offline bobmik

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Re: Eagle Buying Tips
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2009, 05:36:19 PM »
Is there any 'best' year to buy?? with not many repairs??
00 Toyota Sienna- wifemobile
99 Saturn- daughter's
96 Suburban- hauler
95 Volvo 940- son's
84 Ford F-150- plowboy
84 Eagle Sport
63 Caddy Convertible- sweet & for sale

Offline IowaEagle

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Re: Eagle Buying Tips
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2009, 07:18:22 PM »
Not really.  Eagles did not change a whole lot all 9 model years.  Some prefer the 1980 model because it had a decent valve cover, a heavier crank and all the time 4WD.  Mostly depends on the care a particular car received during its life time.  And 20+ year old cars, despite who built them, are going to need work.
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
1995 Jeep Cherokee Sport;
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe;
2008 Jeep Patriot Sport - Freedom Drive II

 

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