I am new and locked out of the Eaglepedia so...................

I'm asking for pointers
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Getting started - knowing what I've got
« on: December 14, 2011, 10:58:15 PM »
Hi Everybody
Poll? Post? I'm confused as usual - anyway here I am - lost...
I am new to the forum and really want to get my mind (and hands) into what it is (exactly) that is under my hood for example what combination of drivetrain components I may have or should have - What to examine or look for as trouble areas inherent to the Eagles...(beside common mechanic vehicular components)
My 1988 wagon - soon to arrive - has a 258 under the hood, and aside from that - yeah, I know that it's got tires...oh yeah, and they're on rims. The type of rims is only a guess....where do y'all suggest that a new owner with an enguiring mind begin deciphering in order to assess his Eagle find and begin making plans for roadability?
For instance - I'm bringing her home Saturday and without this forum I would not have been able (even) to find out what Trans fluid type is compatible - I'll be using VI. I figure eevryone here has been where I am (sorta) at one time or another - and - I'm not a Jeep guy - so I am really interested in the transfer case components - maybe someone can point me to a few links because I'm hunting and pecking here for tidbits - I'm dying for the beef and it's not at Wendy's
This post also serves as one post closer to the magic number 10 posts - where hopefully my world will open up to the Eaglepedia
Even if Chilton could suffice (and it may for many) for me there would still be a need for Eagle forum comaraderie
Thanks in advance
Forget my tractor - she thinks my Eagle's sexy

Offline WoodenBirdOfPrey

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Re: Getting started - knowing what I've got
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2011, 11:44:06 PM »
Pretty much anything you want to know about what's under the hood of your can be found by browsing the forum in the related sections.  But with the 88 you probably have the non-lockout 998 automatic trans which is a 3 speed based off the Chrysler 727.  The transfer case is going to be an NP129 which is a single speed unit with on-the-fly 2 or 4wd, and the front and rear wheels are linked together with a viscous coupling so it can be driven in 4wd all the time, even on dry roads.

Overall there aren't a lot of trouble spots on the Eagles.  It seems like most of the issues are the same issues you'll find on any car that's getting close to 30 years old. 

A lot of people seem to have trouble with the Carter BBD carb and either bypass the computer system or replace it with the Motorcraft 2150.  If you've been looking around on the nest for 5 minutes you've probably already read about it.  I say if it's running fine for you, let it alone though.  The previous owner of my car did a good job keeping the feedback system working properly and I intend to do the same.  Bypassing it or replacing it will be a last resort solution for me.

There are a few areas prone to rust that should be checked, and addressed if rust has started.  The front subframe below the firewall area, the rocker panels, and a couple "shelves" in the front wheel wells that catch and hold road dirt and moisture.  Rust is mostly an issue on cars that get driven on salted roads in the winter.

Like any older car, the front suspension should be looked over good.  Ball joints, tie rod ends, idler arm and pitman arm, cv joints/boots, shocks, steering stabilizer, and strut rod bushings should all be checked.  Replace anything questionable and get the front end aligned, it'll make for a more enjoyable vehicle to drive as well as keeping tire wear even.

At the age our cars are at, most of the rubber hoses that were factory installed are probably in need of replacement if they haven't been already.  Vacuum lines can be a nuisance when they crack and leak, but the ones you really need to look out for are the fuel lines and brake hoses.  My 87 still had the original fuel lines under the hood, and they were scary looking to say the least.  And with the fuel filter being positioned above the exhaust manifold, even a pinhole leak can start a fire and render the car a total loss.  The brake lines on my 87 were also originals, and when I checked them I was actually able to pick them apart with my fingers.  Not good.

That should give you plenty to look at when you get it home.  Have fun!
87 Eagle Woody Wagon "Virginia" 4.2 Auto 174k


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Re: Getting started - knowing what I've got
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2011, 11:27:51 AM »
Thanks WBOPYour on the spot - pretty much what i have been thinking butalso looking forward it's imperative for me to identify the trans and t-fer case - I have no hesitation digging-in -
I actually haven't discovered much on the site yet - I'm apparently missing some of the ways to get in and out and around to loocate stuff - I actually have better luck googling my search and most times it sends me here - but now that I'm registered and "in" shoot--fire I'm not finding even the stuff I found on gooogle- I suppose I will get saavy over time but it's frustrating
Quik-Q - Once I know for sure those 2 main components - the t-fer and trans it will be easier to figure out what's working off those 2 - it seems that it will  be a np129 but how do you suggest 100% positively identifying the trans model (go to a trans shop?)
BTW- supposedly all new brakes incl master - and they couldn't keep er pumped- I'll bet a donut  and coffee that my lines tooo are like peanut brittle - all new tires and an interior that looks better than most 3 year old cars - minimal exterior problems and all electric seem to be perfect (knock-on-wood)
Trans level is below the stick and I'll add dex-Iv for the 40 miile trip home - check the level about 10 miles out once it gets hot- aside from that ---- it's time and money --- errr money and time
ps- what do you know about the difference between the two types of towing hitch packages?

Offline WoodenBirdOfPrey

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Re: Getting started - knowing what I've got
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2011, 05:21:34 PM »
The only reason you'd have anything other than the 998 or 129 is if somebody replaced them at some point, probably unlikely.  The transfer case has a round red plate on it with the model number.  I'm not sure about a way to make sure of the transmission though since they all seem to have the same outer casing, its the internal components that are different.

As far as towing packages, I don't know a lot for sure.  I think it varied year to year. 

According to my 87 owner's manual:

The "extra light" duty towing package was available with any transmission and didn't require heavy duty cooling or air shocks., max weight 1000 lbs.

The "light" duty towing package was available only with the automatic transmission, and required air shocks but still had standard cooling and standard 2.72 gears.

The "medium" duty towing package was available only with the automatic, required air shocks and heavy duty/max cooling, and had 3.08 gears.

So the towing packages mostly varied by other optional equipment, not the actual tow hitch or wiring.  Also, I'm not sure if they actually offered the different towing packages, or if there was just one towing package and the transmission, gears, shocks, and cooling upgrades were the recommendations to safely pull the higher weights.  the way the manual is worded makes me believe that it's actually recommended equipment vs actually having different levels of the tow package.
87 Eagle Woody Wagon "Virginia" 4.2 Auto 174k

Offline carnuck

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Re: Getting started - knowing what I've got
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2011, 12:15:43 AM »
Just a little nit: The 998 is an upgraded version of the Dodge 904 (heavier duty rear band and slightly more clutches and steels) If they had actually upgraded the front pump to accept the same converter as a 727, it would've been a MAJOR improvement in strength! ;)

As you were!
'87 Comanche 4.0L AW4/NP242 3.73 gears, lifted 5" on near new 33" tires $3500 obo
'82 Eagle Wagon (Brown Betty) 4.2L/727/NP229 and soon 8.25 rear axle and non-vacuum 3.08 front to match. 235/75/15 tires. It's down to minor body work (someone creamed my driver's door but I have another in good shape) almost rust free and interior work (seats are worn and carpet torn). $2000 but about to go up due to more work being done.

Pics of my other for sale stuff http://tinyurl.com/jimsclads

Offline iAMCheap

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Re: Getting started - knowing what I've got
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2011, 08:47:48 AM »
If we know where you live, someone might be close enough to help you.
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Offline milliard431

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Re: Getting started - knowing what I've got
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2011, 07:05:26 PM »
Once you get your Eagle if you post picture of it on Photobucket then we can walk you through thr copy and paste process of listing them on the forum.
this helps us help you. Plus we like checking ouy other Eagles!