Author Topic: Thinking of doing a 4cyl swap.  (Read 3851 times)

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Offline DaemonForce

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Thinking of doing a 4cyl swap.
« on: March 25, 2012, 08:00:50 AM »
Since I seem to have so much transmission trouble with a 6cyl when making very long distance trips I'm thinking of doing a swap to a 4cyl but I'm taking things a bit further.

The Iron Duke is too rare for me but I notice a LOT of people seem to be somehow getting old DJ-5 delivery trucks and making them into powerhouse vehicles for street racing and simple parts hauling. They do a V8 swap and leave the 121 to sit and rot or sell it for about $100-300. Has anyone ever put the late 70s AMC 121 in an Eagle? What all would I have to change to make this work?
1983 Limited
AMC 258C {R2:11.Oct.12}
Carter 2681 {R2:28.Oct.12}
TorqueFlite A998 {R6: -20.Apr.12}
NP129 {R2:28.Apr.12}
M35-273 {???}
Compression: 10.5:1
Corrected Idle: 500RPM

Offline rollguy

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Re: Thinking of doing a 4cyl swap.
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2012, 09:42:26 AM »

The Iron Duke is too rare for me but I notice a LOT of people seem to be somehow getting old DJ-5 delivery trucks and making them into powerhouse vehicles for street racing and simple parts hauling. They do a V8 swap and leave the 121 to sit and rot or sell it for about $100-300.
That is because those engines have a LLLLLLOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTT of miles on them.   If you got one as a core, you could rebuild it and it would last a good long time.  If you just install a used one in your Eagle, it might be at the end of it's serviceable life.
1980 Eagle Turbodiesel Wagon (only 2 known to exist as of 2008)- 7-7-2011 Flight to it's new nest @ Rambler Ranch
1983 Eagle Wagon  Tan over Copper
1982 Eagle SX4 "ALTREGL"  (avatar photo)
1982 Eagle 4 Door Sedan  Copper over Satin Black
1985 Eagle Sport Wagon October 2007 ROTM (SOLD)
4 Biofuel powered Benzs ('98 E300, '82 300 CD, '82 300 TD (wagon), '80 240 D)
1983 GMC Van (6.2 Diesel)
1985 Mitsubishi pickup (2.3 Turbodiesel)


Offline rollguy

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Re: Thinking of doing a 4cyl swap.
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2012, 09:47:45 AM »
Also, you would need a 4X4 transmission that will bolt up to the 4 cyl engine.   Your 998 will not bolt up, as the 4 cyl is either the Chevy, or the later GM Metric bolt pattern  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_GM_bellhousing_patterns.
1980 Eagle Turbodiesel Wagon (only 2 known to exist as of 2008)- 7-7-2011 Flight to it's new nest @ Rambler Ranch
1983 Eagle Wagon  Tan over Copper
1982 Eagle SX4 "ALTREGL"  (avatar photo)
1982 Eagle 4 Door Sedan  Copper over Satin Black
1985 Eagle Sport Wagon October 2007 ROTM (SOLD)
4 Biofuel powered Benzs ('98 E300, '82 300 CD, '82 300 TD (wagon), '80 240 D)
1983 GMC Van (6.2 Diesel)
1985 Mitsubishi pickup (2.3 Turbodiesel)


Offline DaemonForce

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Re: Thinking of doing a 4cyl swap.
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2012, 09:58:29 AM »
I don't have a 998 yet. Will a T-5 or T-176 bolt up?
1983 Limited
AMC 258C {R2:11.Oct.12}
Carter 2681 {R2:28.Oct.12}
TorqueFlite A998 {R6: -20.Apr.12}
NP129 {R2:28.Apr.12}
M35-273 {???}
Compression: 10.5:1
Corrected Idle: 500RPM

Offline captspillane

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Re: Thinking of doing a 4cyl swap.
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2012, 11:35:37 AM »
I suggest a Mercruiser 3.0 boat engine. Its rated at 140 hp and they are extremely common. Just about three quarters of the boats 16 to 19 foot long had them. They have marine grade freeze plugs and some other upgrades.

The Mercruiser 3.0 started life as a 2.5 in 1977. At some point they started producing their own engines and used the same block but overbored it and stroked it. Its still in production today. The 1977 Chevy Monza engine already installed in my Kammback is the exact same block.

The 1979 Iron Duke was a very slight change, the head went from non-cross flow to cross flow and the distributor was moved forward to make room. Its a different casting but shared the same bolt patterns for the mounting points and the Chevy bellhousing pattern. That's the Iron Duke that AMC bought the tooling for from GM. The next year all the GM Iron Dukes had a different casting with different mounting and bellhousing patterns.

If you get a 80 HP Iron Duke Eagle you simply pull that engine and drop in the Mercruiser. All the hardware is the same. Its a bolt on 140 HP upgrade. Your Eagle will already have the 3.54 axles to perfectly match the T5.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 02:15:16 PM by captspillane »
Currently Inspected and Insured as of Jan 2013:
-1985 Eagle Station Wagon 258 T5 Stickshift
-1980 Eagle Station Wagon 258 Auto Fuel-injected with GM TBI

Minor Repairs Underway:
-1982 Eagle SX4 258 T5
-1981 Kammback 2.5L Iron Duke T5

Restoration Efforts Near Completion:
-1982 SX4- 401 NV3550
-1983 SX4- 4.5 MPI NSG370 (6 Speed)

Restoration Efforts Underway:
-1985 SW- 4.0 MPI AX15
-1982 SX4- 4.0 AW4
-1981 SX4- SD33T NV4500 (Turbodiesel 5 speed)

Future Rescue Efforts- '85 Maroon SW, '87 Limited SW, '84 Limited SW, '87 4 door Sedan, '81 2 door Sedan, '88 White SW, '77 4 door Hornet, '74 2 door Hornet, '79 Spirit AMX, '81 Kammback.

RIP- Red '81 SX4, '84 4dr Sedan, '84 SW, '81 SW, '80 Spirit, '83 SW, '83 4dr Sedan

Offline carnuck

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Re: Thinking of doing a 4cyl swap.
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2012, 01:23:03 PM »
It's too bad the T18A I have for sale has the long input or I'd suggest it for the Eagle. Did you see there is an '80 Cherokee full size 2dr and a '90 Grand Wagoneer for $500 each on CL? Both will be 727 (if the Cherokee is a 6 cyl, it could be the 999)
FOR SALE
'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 BenM

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Re: Thinking of doing a 4cyl swap.
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2012, 11:21:49 AM »
The 121 VW sourced engine uses a specific transmission set up for the bell housing. The manual trans was a Borg-Warner HR1, so it's not an obscure make but you would have to ask a local transmission guy if they could be converted to 4wd easily during rebuild. It was used with a 904 as well, with the VW group pattern; the 904 would be an easy conversion during a rebuild.

I would suspect that there's a lot of support for it in the aftermarket, my brother-in-law is a VW guy and there are just an incredible number of aftermarket parts for all years of VW.

You could also go with the AMC-150 from a late Jeep. TBI and MPI engines produced as much power and close to the torque of our 258s and it's another engine that's easy to come buy as a lot of guys buy old Wranglers for rock crawling and pull out the 150 for a V8.

The 121 would by far be the smoothest running four cylinder, and it's got a high redline. I'd love to hear someone's experience with one as they sound like they'd be much better then the 151 but were unpopular.
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Offline carnuck

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Re: Thinking of doing a 4cyl swap.
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2012, 01:00:14 PM »
I have been told by several VW guys that the Audi (It's not really a VW motor) 2.0L RWD engine used in these and postal Jeeps has a different bell pattern than the FWD VW motors. I was looking into it to do a VW diesel conversion on my Comanche using the trans from a 2.0L '79 (only year) Postal Jeep DJ5-G I had.
FOR SALE
'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 captspillane

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Re: Thinking of doing a 4cyl swap.
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2012, 02:01:04 PM »
Its a good thought and I went to check. The wikipedia article comes straight out and says that its a different pattern than a VW Rabbit. It's apparently a very common question.

I do own a VW Rabbit. It's the slowest most humble vehicle I've ever encountered. My Turbodiesel VW Quantum is considerably better, but still slower than a little girl on a bicycle.

An 80's VW diesel in an Eagle would be downright shameful. You'd be lucky to reach 35 mph. There is some hope for a newer VW since the current generation is very quiet and much more powerful.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 02:10:34 PM by captspillane »
Currently Inspected and Insured as of Jan 2013:
-1985 Eagle Station Wagon 258 T5 Stickshift
-1980 Eagle Station Wagon 258 Auto Fuel-injected with GM TBI

Minor Repairs Underway:
-1982 Eagle SX4 258 T5
-1981 Kammback 2.5L Iron Duke T5

Restoration Efforts Near Completion:
-1982 SX4- 401 NV3550
-1983 SX4- 4.5 MPI NSG370 (6 Speed)

Restoration Efforts Underway:
-1985 SW- 4.0 MPI AX15
-1982 SX4- 4.0 AW4
-1981 SX4- SD33T NV4500 (Turbodiesel 5 speed)

Future Rescue Efforts- '85 Maroon SW, '87 Limited SW, '84 Limited SW, '87 4 door Sedan, '81 2 door Sedan, '88 White SW, '77 4 door Hornet, '74 2 door Hornet, '79 Spirit AMX, '81 Kammback.

RIP- Red '81 SX4, '84 4dr Sedan, '84 SW, '81 SW, '80 Spirit, '83 SW, '83 4dr Sedan

Offline DaemonForce

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Re: Thinking of doing a 4cyl swap.
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2012, 02:37:04 PM »
I am never going to find the 151. It's just not going to happen. Though the 121 may be a direct swap from the sound of everything. I live in a weird area where all the common stuff to you guys is something I want but it never shows up here. Instead, all the super weird rare junk grabs my attention first and it's kind of what was mentioned:
Buy junk Wrangler
Pull 4cyl
Put in 8cyl
Profit

That's the common idea, right? It's NOT happening to the old Wranglers like I expect. It's happening to these old DJ-5s that probably have over 2 million miles on them or so. Some oddball gets ahold of a sweet decomissioned delivery truck, strips whatever paint is left, pulls the engine(and MAYBE the transmission), puts in a big I6 or V8 block and it becomes a high speed ratrod. After a few months the transmission or starter clunks out. They can't figure out why this happened and they give up looking for parts. The drivetrain gets sold for cheap scrap. This is an incredibly easy fix. I can do it to the late Gremlins, I can do the same to a Hornet or Eagle.

I checked out some old VW vehicles at an auction yesterday and was disgusted by how much is wrong with them. Busted hood latch, busted inner door latch, missing electronics, floorboard leaks...The only thing I liked was the sideways engine and the 5SPD auto transmission. Either is likely to fail at this point so I left them alone. At least I can work on an AMC when it finally blows up and the longer I continue living with a "professional mechanic" of 60+ years, the far greater chance that has of happening very soon. :/
1983 Limited
AMC 258C {R2:11.Oct.12}
Carter 2681 {R2:28.Oct.12}
TorqueFlite A998 {R6: -20.Apr.12}
NP129 {R2:28.Apr.12}
M35-273 {???}
Compression: 10.5:1
Corrected Idle: 500RPM

Offline carnuck

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Re: Thinking of doing a 4cyl swap.
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2012, 02:58:03 AM »
There's a Comanche shortbox here I was looking at for parts (dollars are too short to get it and my other project can wait) with fuel injected AMC 4 cyl and 5 speed for $700. I need a box and cab rear 1/2 to extend the cab of the longbed standard cab I plan to build up (long box that will become a longcab with a shortbox, using XJ 2 drs on it)
FOR SALE
'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 eaglefreek

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Re: Thinking of doing a 4cyl swap.
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2012, 09:11:02 AM »
Not trying to be a jerk, but why would you want to go backwards because your trans issue? If you have the 998 properly rebuilt, with a proper torque converter that has a reinforced snout, you won't have any tranny problems for quite some time. The stock 258 is quite anemic, I couldn't imagine an old 4 cyl. in there. If you really wanted to go with a 4 cyl., how about a Ford 2.3l Turbo engine. I don't think it would take much to mate the AMC T5 to the Ford T5 bellhousing. Also, there a few modern 4cyl. that have quite a bit of horsepower. This company has  quite a few options for adapter plates http://quad4rods.com/. Just food for thought.
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Offline Psomion

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Re: Thinking of doing a 4cyl swap.
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2012, 03:51:00 PM »
I gotta agree with Eaglefreak if the only reason you are doing this is because of the tranny. The 998 is a beefy 904 and there are lots of parts for these. If you look up the TF727 rebuild book (HP Books) they talk extensively about the 904 being built for drag racing. The transmission is of good design. Nothing against a 4cyl swap, but it seems like more work (and money) than fixing the transmission to me.
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Offline HappyPappy

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Re: Thinking of doing a 4cyl swap.
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2012, 04:18:15 PM »
I suggest a Mercruiser 3.0 boat engine. Its rated at 140 hp and they are extremely common. Just about three quarters of the boats 16 to 19 foot long had them. They have marine grade freeze plugs and some other upgrades.

The Mercruiser 3.0 started life as a 2.5 in 1977. At some point they started producing their own engines and used the same block but overbored it and stroked it. Its still in production today. The 1977 Chevy Monza engine already installed in my Kammback is the exact same block.

The 1979 Iron Duke was a very slight change, the head went from non-cross flow to cross flow and the distributor was moved forward to make room. Its a different casting but shared the same bolt patterns for the mounting points and the Chevy bellhousing pattern. That's the Iron Duke that AMC bought the tooling for from GM. The next year all the GM Iron Dukes had a different casting with different mounting and bellhousing patterns.

If you get a 80 HP Iron Duke Eagle you simply pull that engine and drop in the Mercruiser. All the hardware is the same. Its a bolt on 140 HP upgrade. Your Eagle will already have the 3.54 axles to perfectly match the T5.

[/quote
  My neighbor has a couple of the Mercuiser engines he may willing to part with on has a cracked block, the other one may be seized up, he never opened it up