1985 AMC Eagle 4.2 Liter 6 cylinder


Great car, plenty of quirks, not bad 4x4


Front wheel bearings and half-shafts needed to be replaced.

Door latches do not close when cold- driver's door rear passenger doors, needed to be greased once a year...

HORRIBLE acceleration, underpowered.

Carburetor/choke tricky, needed adjustment, overhaul.

Oil seepage from PLASTIC valve cover (to be expected)

Poorly adjusted carb resulting in poor fuel efficiency.

General Comments:

Only 16 mpg or worse.

All metal doors and latches freeze in cold icy conditions.

Overall- wonderful little car with lots of character and incredibly reliable! Recently started right up in -12 F weather and ran great as always. Four wheel drive Select Drive works excellent, vacuum engagement still works well after 20 years!!!. Goes through snow and slush like a tank! Very bad acceleration, but once up to speed this car cruises comfortably at 60-65mpg all day. Really funky AMC wagon- gets lots of attention, but still holds its own on the highway. I have used this car as a daily driver since December 2003, it's the best car I've ever owned. You have to get used to or crave the attention for the funky style, but the reliability and build quality is unbeatable- for the prices these go for, its worth far more for the money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st January, 2005

24th Jan 2005, 09:06

You say the car has "horrible exceleration" but you rated performance a 9/10?

Slow acceleration + 16 mpg or less. Sounds like a great car alright.

7th May 2005, 14:45

I have a 1982 Eagle wagon. It is under powered has mediocre fuel economy. To spite these traits I love this car. It is comfortable to drive reliable at least half of the time and fun to drive all of the time. That said... its not for everyone. This is the last real Rambler. Everything AMC learned from decades of making cars went into its design and production. No matter what Subaru says the Eagle was the first of that class of vehicle. every other 4wd car made since has borrowed much from the Eagles design.

1985 AMC Eagle Limited Wagon 4.2L 6 cylinder.




I had to have the choke & carb reset, cleaned. I had to have the exhaust replaced.

General Comments:

This is the crappiest car ever, and my other 2 Eagles were never this bad. This car has finally turned me against AMC Eagles forever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th December, 2004

13th Dec 2004, 20:58

Um, yeah, any 20 year old car is going to need work, most likely on things like floor, fenders, exhaust, fuel and brake lines, etc. So what are you complaining about? I see you said your other 2 Eagles weren't this bad, so why aren't you driving them? If you still have them, use 'em for parts. The carbs used on the 258 were never known for quality, clogged jets are an oh-so-common problem with these. One quick thing you can try is to place your hand over the air inlet, making a tight seal, then have someone work the throttle a few times. This might help loosen some stuck dirt, but most likely, as you experienced, you will need to rebuild the carb. I had a 1980 wagon and I had to sit in the car with my foot slightly on the pedal on cold starts to keep it from stalling, and occasionally I had flooding problems which means I too likely had clogged jets and a choke problem like you have. I miss my ol' red wagon like hell now, sure wish she was still around.

1985 AMC Eagle DL 258 Six


Useful, but odd car


Never idled right, too low or too high and ran rough even when warmed up, nobody can seem to fix that.

Door latches didn't work in cold weather, doors wouldn't shut.

Seat belts don't do anything, they never retract and I wouldn't trust them in an accident.

Heat works intermittently, most likely the vacuum solenoid under the hood.

Exhaust rusted off.

Odd clunk when accelerating, possibly u-joints.

Rear hatch never stayed up.

General Comments:

I had borrowed it from a friend for a few months and since it had such low mileage I thought it would be an OK car. Way too many quirks about it for me.

Good off-road, but not too comfortable on the road.

Steering is over assisted.

Rear brakes lock up too easily.

Not very comfortable, it looks luxurious with the fancy interior, but it's not, it's cramped, the shifter is against your knee and you can't change positions of your legs, cramped back seat.

Does ride nice on the highway once up to speed.

Interior woodgrain looks realistic.

Handles OK, but rides like a Volvo, very firm and stiff.

Embarrassingly slow acceleration, lots of engine noise/buzz in car.

Parts a pain to find.

Very good build quality.

Decent fuel mileage.

If you go from an old Jeep to this it'd be an improvement, but from a regular passenger car to this is like going from a Chevy Caprice to a Ford Festiva. I'd rather drive my odd El Camino than an oddity like the Eagle even if I can off road or blaze through snow.

Not my style, too weird- I did not like this car. It sits up too high in the back and people think the car has suspension problems, but that's just the stance. For the right person it's a good car, but definitely not for me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th April, 2004

7th Oct 2004, 12:41

Too bad your experience was a bad one. I have had several and they have been mostly good cars. Almost all eagles have quirks, if you can live with them they are pretty good cars. I think with a little work the car you had could have been fine. U-joints go out on any car. And the carb problem prolly attributed to the poor acceleration. I've had quite a few and most of them were not too bad accelerating, except my last one. I think it has a blown head gasket and worn timing gears. The thing was badly maintained before I got it though. And the carb was shot. I have a 92 chevy caprice too and the eagle rides just as well as the caprice. The eagle a good car for the cruddy roads that I live on. The basic body shell for the eagle came out in 1970 as the hornet. Which accounts for the odd styling. I also never had any trouble getting parts for it. Any good automotive parts store should have any parts you need for it. I have found parts cheap and plentiful in my area.

1st Jun 2005, 04:48

Eagles are a poor mans car, they keep going and going and going until you have the money to fix the problem if it ever happens, which with any car it does, but it never has a problem that causes you to be stranded on the highway, I had to a 82 sedan and an 83 wagon, I prefer the sedan over the wagon, rear hatch never stayed up, but a stick worked just fine, and the rear slid around when traveling down a slick hill, but other than that, I paid 1500 for the car used and had the thing for 7 years, hell if I tried I could probably bring it back to life, just needs repairs from an accident (not my fault) but I couldn't part with it anyway. love eagles, I would buy one in a heartbeat if they were still made. better than a ford, LOL, that's not even a comparison anyway.