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AMC Eagle Registry

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Selected Comments

    “Love this car and plan to restore after I stop driving it every day.”

    “I bought this car two years ago for 500 bucks on eBay, sight-unseen. It was in good running shape then and it’s in better shape now: rear air shocks, 4WD aluminum valve cover, Thrush cherrybomb muffler, Sunpro tach, Pioneer CD stereo with new speakers and 12” subs, new paint, mopar cop-car wheels with 205/75/15 tires. Have been 4-wheeling with this car in snow, forest, and dunes; the other day it easily forded a flooded road that left the 4wd Subarus stranded. The car had a trailer hitch until it was rear-ended at low speed by a Porsche Boxter; did about $5K worth of damage to the plastic nose and hood of the Boxter, but all I got was my trailer hitch snapped off. And the best thing about driving an Eagle? Pedestrians get out of your way in a hurry.”

    “I bought this car three years ago, and after stop-and-go repairs it is now on the road. Replaced plastic valve cover with aluminum. Typical tune up parts. Cap and rotor, wires, plugs, belts, filters, fluids, brakes, rotors, calipers, rear pinion seal, fan clutch, battery and wires, hoses, front ball joints, carburetor, tires. Car has 308,000 km, and today it ran beautiful. Passed inspection with flying colors. Rode the road amazing once the tires were balanced. Lots of power to pass and smooth shifting tranny. Rides much nicer than my Chevy S-10. Cost to rebuild around $3K, but worth it I think since I live in the Rockies and need a good 4x4 to get to work. Also the body is in incredible shape, with no dents and no rust.”

    “I have owned and collected many cars; my Eagle is one of the most outstanding regardless of status or value. Love this car. 230k and still a joy to drive. Proud to have the first SUV years before it became a fad. Old reliable. Let it get too shabby until recently when I decided to give it a makeover.”

    “It is a great car. When I need it most, in the dead of winter driving up the hill at my house, it always takes me home—whereas many of my neighbors are walking up.”

    “Second Eagle (first one never really took off, but it’s what I learned to fix a car on). I’m 20 and love these things! Two months after I got it, the idler arm snapped and caused me to go straight on a winding road and then up a bank and the rolling the car on her side. Totaled of course, but I couldn’t let an ’88 eagle die, so I fixed it anyway (dumb insurance people just don’t understand). The body was a little scratched, but no one could tell she [had been] on her side by looking at it!”

    “Purchased in 1989 for $650. Driven 14 years. Cost $150 per year to keep running (including purchase price).”

    “This car has taken a real beating from its previous owners, and it shows it. The paint is fine but the interior shows a lot of wear, and the mileage is sky-high ... but, true to AMC form, the car is rock-solid reliable. Long live the Eagle, and long live American Motors!”

    “This is my first car (I’m 17), and I got it about a week and a half ago. It needs a little bit of work, but it is older than I am, so I understand, heh. I first saw my guidance counselor’s Eagle and fell for it immediately. I’m looking forward to enjoying this car to its—or my—last breath. Rock on Eagles! ”

    “Finally! My very own Eagle!!! I’ve always wanted one, but never had the time and money to look around. I will definitely be busy tweaking her up.”

    “This is the third AMC in my possession and has about 230,000 km on it, but is soon to have the engine and transfer case out of my ’88 ... this will knock almost 100,000 km off the engine and allow me not to worry about drive-cleaning the thing. When I switch the transfer case over, it will allow me to have ‘Shift on the fly’ 4x4. Everything else is great ... Everything power works, A/C is almost uncomfortably cold, it’s got a Class IV Hitch on it, and is a truly solid and amazing vehicle. I haven’t decided what the final color is going to be on this car yet; maybe midnite purple, or black.”

    “She’s my first car. I love her. I keep getting encouraged to get a more ‘reliable’ vehicle, but I will never find another car with so much personality. She is worth the work. My last boyfriend hated her, so he’s gone. Cheers to the diehard fans and thanks for the encouragement!”

    “My father had this great black-on-black Eagle built in ’83 and kept it till his death. I just sold it last week on eBay to Mr. C., who is going to have it restored and shipped to New Zealand! He asked me to register the Eagle for him.”

    “Fantastic car. Absolutely unbeatable. Went through the trunk of a ’95 Nissan Maxima that pulled out in front of me at 45 mph and still drove it home. ... Will drive this car till the wheels fall off. Then I’ll put ’em back on and drive it some more.”

    “I bought this car new in 1982 and drove it in Africa and the Middle East before returning to the U.S. in 1995.”

    “I bought this car at 213,000 miles and just rolled over 226,000. I truly want it to last forever and will be quite happy if they bury me in it. Any advice about the electrical system would be welcome as I am just coming into some problems with the alternator recharging the battery. My first step will be to replace the wiring harness, as I believe there is a short somewhere. This was a rural West Virginia mailman’s car for 15 years, so there is gunk aplenty. Thanks. P.S. Anybody notice how some of these new smaller, lower-profile SUVs on the road nowadays bear a passing resemblance? Just a thought.”

    “Total mileage: 332k miles as of 12/17/02. Steady, reliable runner. No body rust whatsoever. Original front brake rotors, rear brake drums, and transfer case. Best, most reliable automobile ever owned; has paid for itself many times over. Total driving experience: 50 years. Never bought any foreign auto. My opinion: The best, most reliable U.S.-built cars were maufactured in the 1980s and early 1990s.”

    “Fixing up one piece at a time.”

    “Set up for off-road fun. Three-inch lift, still has 258 six with 179,000 miles but runs like a top. Roof rack for spare tire and misc. gear, spoke wheels with BF Goodrich off-road tires. Car is painted like desert military vehicle with no chrome on car. Heavy-duty front and rear custom-made bumpers with tow hooks and 2” hitch to accept winch in front or rear of vehicle. 3:08 gears, auto trans, Ford rear end, transfer case converted to manual shift. Car gets lots of comments and is very unique. ”

    “This car sat seven years and with a few small repairs was driven 25 miles to its new home. The air even still worked! To all those folks looking down their nose at the world (while talking on their cell phone) from their mobile mortgage payment, I say S.U.Who? S.U.Eagle paid in full.”

    “This wagon is my car for the next 50 years.”

    “70,000 original miles, bought from original owner’s widow. Original paint, absolutely no rust, spotless clean underneath, was really babied and taken care of by the first owner. We only drive it on sunny, dry days, quite contrary to the Eagle theme of typical use!”

    “AMC 401 V8 w/Indy 401-SR aluminum heads, 10:1 compression, Comp Cams cam, forged pistons, Edelbrock Torker intake, Edelbrock carb, Mallory distributor, AMC (Chrysler) 727 automatic, 9” Ford limited-slip 4:11 rear, 1985 Corvette seats, rear outside door handles removed and filled, VDO gauges, and other stuff (still under construction).”

    “I have successfully transplanted a [Chrysler] 318 (5.2 liter) with a carter 600 cfm 4bbl into my eagle. I have also removed all chrome, smoothed the rain gutters, lowered the suspension 2.5 inches, upgraded swaybars and retrofitted a Pinto rack-and-pinion steering setup.”

    “I have owned this car since 1990, and it is the bar-none best car I’ve ever had. Even though I have had to do a lot of work on it, I still wouldn’t trade it or sell it for anything else. It has 158,000 miles and still looks like new. I have added gauges, fog lamps and many engine and suspension upgrades along the way.”

    “I owned an AMC before, did not know what I had then. This 1982 two-door LTD has every option that was available from the factory, and is a beautiful ‘beast.’ Just purchased her 1/4/02—with 106,000 miles—plan to keep this car for the rest of my life. She has been babied; now that she’s 20, I’m gonna let her paint the town red!!! Plan to corrupt her a bit—she has come of age!”

    “Jeep rims, full stainless steel exhaust split to dual, high/low range transfer case, custom rear drive shaft, disengaging front axle operated by a cable, 215/75 BFgoodrich all-terrain tires, 4.0 h/o cylinder head on an ’87 4.2 block, and of course a push bar. :)

    “I just got an ’81 SX/4 DL Sport off a guy who redid the car for his son. His son wanted something bigger he could fit his buddies in and cruise around town with. The brain-dead kid wanted a cookie-cutter, rustbucket, full-size Blazer instead. I got a ton of spare parts with it and have some minor work to do it. The engine (258 in-line six) is from a destroyed ’83 SX/4 and runs well. It will be my winter car to supplement my Slant 6-powered ’83 D150 fullsize shortbed truck in North Pole, Alaska, where it gets to -70°, so it’s fitted for severe winter duty. Future plans are a Pioneer CD player outfitted with an amp and big sub, new alloy wheels with oversize tires to replace the obscure AMC alloys that have hard-to-find center caps, new paint job to either dark gray metallic or bright yellow, custom plates, Optima battery and a host of other goodies. If anyone wants to talk about the SX/4 in general or 258 I-6 upgrades, feel free to drop me a line at”

    “I love my Eagle. If Chrysler would make them again, I’d buy them to replace all my other cars.”

    “Four-wheeled quite frequently. Has 4-low, thanks to 1982 full-size Jeep Wagoneer. Converted a/c compressor to air compressor for filling tires, running air tools etc.”

    “Had the car for about five years. Currently has 173,000 miles—a great car. Only 2,306 1988 Eagles were built. This car was a test car, used at the proving grounds in Burlington, Wis.
    “Had this [second Eagle] for about three years. Currently has 240,000 miles on it; all still original. My daily driver.”

    “As of September 2001, have gone 315,000 miles on the way to 500K!”

    “My brother gave me this car because he knew I’d fix it (Thanks, Thom), which I did, and I absolutely love this car. In my opinion, the Eagle is a rugged and dependable car that was way ahead of its time; it’s easy to work on and it will go anywhere. Subaru has a lot of nerve saying that they made the first 4X4 Wagon, and as for ruggedness, dependability and ease of maintenance, the Eagle wins hands down! It’s a shame AMC never got the credit or recognition it so greatly deserved.”

    “A legend, and that’s how you drive it.”

    “I have owned this car since 1991. I got it with 40,000 miles, it now has 165,000. It has been very reliable, especially considering the amount of money I have had to spend on upkeep. This is the best car I have ever driven in snow. I also have two Subarus, and while they are both very good in the snow, neither is as good as the Eagle. I think there is a relationship between traction, tire footprint and vehicle weight that optimizes snow performance. The Eagle seems just right; the ’95 Imprezza tires are too wide, and the ’91 Legacy is in-between.
    “My Eagle has a 5-speed, and I think it gets excellent mileage. On the highway I typically get better than 25 and have on occasion gotten up to 32 (tailwind?). The brakes are excellent, especially in 4WD, where I usually leave it.

    “The least reliable parts for me have been the carburetor (very sensitive to dirt) and the door hardware. The door hinges wear too fast (50K miles?), and the handles break too easily. ”

    “Ein schönes Auto. Leider sind Parts schwierig!”

    “I had an ’83 for years that I sold and regretted it ever since. I just found this 1980 beauty last October. Bought it off of the original owners, with all original documentation, including the window sticker. Has only 41K original miles on it. Heck, it even had the original tires that I just replaced with 205/75R15M+S last weekend. Has the ‘Sport’ package, limo black-tinted windows, and with the new tires I added a set of the alloy ‘Sport’ wheels to it to replace the original 4x4 hubcaps. Never thought I’d find one like this and am so happy I did. We’ll probably have it forever now, as when my wife tires of it (if she does—she likes it as much as I do), I’ll take it off of her hands. I drive it more than she does anyway. I’m interested in hearing from people who have performed the V8 conversion! That would be very cool. Keep those Eagles flying!”

    “I have restored this car from nearly salvage due to poor treatment by the previous owner. It’s now in great shape. I found a wrecked Concord and pirated cruise, power windows and locks. I added a Cherokee ceiling console with outside temp, compass, etc. The interior was originally red and has been redone in black with charcoal accents. The seats are from a Saab 9000 Turbo and are electrically adjustable and heated. I installed rear shoulder harnesses and new Jeep steel wheels. I really like the vehicle and am planning to install the EFI kit with a 4.0 head. I drive it more than my new Audi Quattro.”


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