One thing you have to remember about the Eagle -- it's an OLD car now! The last ones were made in 1988, and there were only around 2300 made then (basically left over 1987 production). That makes the newest Eagle a 17 year old car, and there are more 82-85 models out there (20-23 years old). There will be pollution control device problems more than anything else. The solution is to take the time and effort to get all the emissions gear back in top condition, NOT to remove it (if legal in your state)! Removing it WILL restore some power and economy if it's not working properly, but not as much as if it IS working right. The most common culprit is leaking vacuum lines. If I bought an Eagle now the first thing I'd do is replace ALL the vacuum lines. Will cost $20-$30 and a whole Saturday, but worth it. Second most common problem is a stuck servo motor on the BBD carb (the thing the wires plug into on the carb). Looking down the carb you should see something move when the switch is first turned on. If it doesn't check the wiring then replace the motor. Finally, has the oxygen sensor EVER been replaced? Should be replaced every 70-80K miles. Most people don't.
An Eagle, if properly adjusted, is highly powerful and a joy to ride. They are old, however, and problems are ignored for years. I have gotten several parts cars cheaply because their engines and especially carburetors were considered junk. All those were easily adjusted and now refuse to die. The car was designed to be all wheel drive, and will never spin out on gravel, wet roads or snow. The select drive was added in 1982, but there is no reason to put the car into 2wd. The car is a tank, safe and more reliable than any Jeep. AMC raced Eagles on off road courses, not Jeeps because they were so stable.
This sounds like the same Eagle that my Dad sold. Any chance it's tan/brown and in lower NY?
I have an '85 Eagle Sport. I purchased it in 1998 for $900. It had a little over 50,000 miles on it. This was less than 4,000 miles per year. It sat unused for several years and as a result, much of the rubber belts, hoses, gaskets, etc. had dried and cracked. It was a chore to replace most, but it was well worth it. The car just turned 158,000. My Eagle is my daily driver. The biggest problem is with the transmission that is getting tired. The lock-up torque converter has locked up making acceleration dreadfully slow. But once up to speed, it cruises nicely at 70-75. The car gets a decent 20-21 miles per gallon. As with any older car, parts need to be replaced. It is a distinctive car. Just last week prior to Thanksgiving I was at the local mall. A lady about 30ish pointed to my car and said to her husband/boyfriend, "That's the type of car I want." They were driving a Subaru. He said, "Honey, they don't make that car anymore." I like my Eagle. It has given me a lot of miles and smiles. Keith.
I've had an '86 Wagon with the open differential and an '82 SX/4 with SUNROOF... Both were unstoppable in the snow and both pulled several drunks out of snow drifts...
I just purchased an '88 with 64,000 miles on it :) First modification is the horrible radio/sound-system (or lack thereof) and then saving up for a performance intake and replacement carb (4BBL upgrade.) There's many things available out there, including a dual-exhaust header. I've seen this engine (in a Jeep) running a turbo... There's a lot you can do with some time, including installing a Jeep xfer case with lever and just cutting a hole in the nice flat spot they put in the floor for one to be mounted...
Good stuff and only getting better.
RJ - Pittsburgh, PA.
Man, an '88 with 64,000 miles on it. That is so precisely what I need. Man. I could totally go for that.
I have a 1981 AMC Eagle. My four wheel drive quit working just recently. I have vacuum to all the hoses leading to the switch and transfer case, but it still won't engage. Does anyone have any suggestions or has have this problem. Thanks.
I just purchased a 1987 Eagle wagon limited with 44,000 miles on it. Perfect condition inside and out. The only thing I see is the headliner starting to come down. Other than that it looks and sounds like from the other comments it's going to be a good snow car.
I paid 1,500.00 for it. It was a one owner car the fellow just (passed away and his wife wanted to get rid of it. I drove it today and runs great.
I think I got a good price on it, looking @ others on ebay etc. Also I did not a possible manifold gasket leak.Can anyone advise me if this would be common with only 44,000 miles on it?
I own 2 amc eagles. Both I love dearly. One of them has a 5 speed overdrive. I swapped the 258 with a 232 from a 65 rambler classic. The motor only has 50k on it so it runs great. With an old Holley 2 barrel and manifold it bumped up the horses a lot. Since the back leafs were weak in both I added a new leaf to bump up the back. Now it sits high and can burn rubber all the way in to third. I'm a junior in high school and I LOVE my cars.
I own a 85 Eagle Wagon and just love it!!! I also just happen to be a apprentice mechanic and have fixed a few things on my Eagle.
When I first bought my Eagle, it had 130,000km on it, and had been sitting in a garage for the past six years.Wwe charged the battery and it fired right up.
I drove it home, and it was so gutless that it couldn't keep 100kph, even up the slightest hill. So I took it to the shop the next day; it turns out that the head gasket had completely rotted away (this is a very common problem in ALL year AMCs). After changing that it had better power, but was still horribly gutless.
After that, I took all of the pollution crap off, bashed out the catalytic converter, and replaced the muffler with a dinky little one. After that it had enough power to spin the tires a little.
Yhis car with the LTX Michelins on her, has gone through snow that was half way up the grille and never stopped! This car is horribly reliable (almost annoyingly so) and is a sharp looking car.
For information on parts and service, go to:
This is an invaluable forum that is open to all Eagle owners.
LOL The emissions junk is what I found to be the problem with my 82 sx4. I put a rather large cat on it one off my non street legal Blazer; wooo hoooo, open headers. The restrictions in the old one helped out so much, and leaning out the engine making a manual timing adjustment for on the fly and removing all the other emissions junk got me 28 MPG.
BTW I passed the carb junk and emissions test. Tune your engine right and you will pass. Also mine climbs rather well with 33's under her.