Last post on Jan 06, 2011 at 1:45 PM
You are in the Speed Shop Tuning and Modification
What is this discussion about?
AMC Eagle 50, Jaguar XJ-Series, Eagle Talon, Performance Mods, Engine, Classic Cars, Coupe, Wagon
Mar 01, 2009 (10:24 pm)
I have only one question
If you want to go jag, do go the 12 lots of complexity and things to go wrong (that do expensively) If you insit on going jag you would be better with the AJ6 or the V8 of the same era. If you are going Jag 12 because you can get one cheap. There is a reason you are getting it cheap. (Run away. FAST)
#27 of 35 Re: [grahampaige]
Mar 20, 2009 (6:43 am)
As an Eagle owner of many years, I can tell you a few things about modifying them. Many here seem to feel that these cars are poor handling pices of junk. In reality, when the Eagle was introduced as an '80 model with full-time 4WD, they were considered to be excellent handling cars for their time. They could outhandle most American built cars of the era. If you lower the car on the suspension, put sticky tires on it, and add some subframe connectors, it will surprise many other more expensive cars when the road gets twisty. The problem is getting more power into them. When the V-8 swaps are done, the person doing the swap is generally looking for more power to go off-roading with. And in the interest of increasing the trail worthiness of the rig, they will also convert it to a straight axle in the front. The Eagle was the first 4WD with an independent front suspension (IFS) IFS does not lend itself to lifting the suspension, nor is it as durable in extreme off road situations. The IFS is very smooth on the road, as well as good handling. A straight axle swap will do away with the Eagles good road manners. The front axle on the Eagle was mounted directly to the engine block. If you want to keep the IFS, you will need to fabricate a front axle mount for it, which won't be easy, but can be done. I am assuming you would do the Jag motor for speed rather than trail running, and thus would want to keep the IFS. Your best bet would be to build the Six popper up. They are bulletproof motors that can take an enormous amount of abuse. The bottom ends are especially stout, having 7 main bearings to support the crankshaft, rather than the 4 or 5 main bearings that most inline sixes sport. As a show of what can be done with this engine, in 1978 (?) AMC built an AMX show car, and turbocharged a 4.2 and got 450 hp out of it. The stroker motor can be a very good way to go. Take the stock 4.2 liter crank & rods, and put it into a 4.0 liter block, and you have a 4.6 stroker. A little more mixing of parts, and you can get it up to 4.8 liters. Add a turbo, injection, and some headwork, and 275 hp is not unrealistic. However, the torque will be monstrous. It will make more torque than a small block V-8 will, and at a much lower RPM as well. You will scare the Hell out of a lot of other cars on the road if you go this route. You will need to beef up the driveline though, as they were engineered to handle the 110-130 hp that the Eagle originally put out. A note about stroker motors though: Due to the extremely long stroke, they don't like to be revved all that high on any kind of regular basis. Building a 4.2 won't be as cheap as say, a small block V8, but you will spend a LOT more money getting the V8 into the Eagle and having it be safe. I love my Eagle wagon, an '86. It is my daily driver with over 200K on the clock, and still purrs like a kitten. Last weekend, I took the old Bird on a 1500 mile road trip. It was perfectly comfortable cruising at 70, returned a bit over 18 mpg, and used only 1 quart of oil. The engine has never been opened. They are great cars, don't let anyone tell you differently. Over the years, I have run into many AMC "experts" who have told me what awful cars they are, while never actually having owned one. Like any other car out there, it depends on how they were treated by previous owners. Remember though, the newest Eagle out there is now 21 years old.
A website you really need to check out if you want to do this is:
They have info for everything you could ever need to know. There are members there who have built stroker motors, as well as V8 conversions. You will learn a lot through this site. Check it out. Good luck, and keep us posted...
Mar 20, 2009 (7:45 am)
Thanks Capt Carl---interesting stuff.
I think the point was that your mods are what was necessary in the first place. In its stock form, it was underwhelming. But the early 80s were not America's high point for auto manufacture. Look at the poor '80-81 Corvette.
#29 of 35 Re: [captcarl]
Mar 20, 2009 (8:54 am)
Thanks for the vote of onfidence in our cars! I actually started drifting to the thought you mention... keep the stock engine and keep it simple. strengthen drivetrain to handle the new power of the worked motor and stiffen chassis - upgrade brakes and suspension and good to go! By the way - I am AMCDREAMS on the eaglenest site. I have the Eagle parked now for about 2-3yrs waiting to resurrect it - so all that time i'm putting thought into how to do it right - I get some over the top ideas but i find they are not really too outlandish and can actually be done. Somebody got an automatic transmission Lamborghini.. it all just takes money!
#31 of 35 Re: [somedai1]
Jan 02, 2011 (5:07 pm)
Funny - I ended up selling the AMC Eagle - then ended up getting an '82 v12 Jag xjs - then sold that too! Ships passing in the night- never meant to be! Now all I have is an '07 Hyundai Santa Fe AWD - hmmm - what will I get to do with this? I still have a nitrous bottle I never used... hmmm LOL!
Jan 02, 2011 (8:20 pm)
For a while there the fad was to put nitrous in your minivan, so what the hey - go for it.
#33 of 35 Re: [steve_]
Jan 03, 2011 (6:40 pm)
I would really want something more permanent like turbo or supercharger if I could seriously get it done...
#35 of 35 Re: haters [wevk]
Jan 06, 2011 (1:45 pm)
nuttin but love for ya! Love it - even tho' I wouldn't have lifted it - and would have to keep it 4wd - but still - very cool!