Rare Bird - Bill's Eagle SX4

Specs, Mods, Photos

MODEL YEAR
1982
MAKE
American Motors
MODEL & TRIM
Eagle SX/4 Sport
COLOR
Red
ENGINE
Originally AMC 258 I6, now 1994 ZJ 4 liter
TRANSMISSION
B/W T5
PACKAGES
Sport
FACTORY OPTIONS
reclining seats, tilt wheel, heated rear glass, rear glass wiper/washer, fog lights, aluminum sport wheels, front skid plate
MODS - POWERTRAIN / DRIVETRAIN
1994 Jeep ZJ 4.0 liter injected engine, Bosch 4 hole injectors, Comp xtreme 4x4 cam, H-S roller rockers, MOPAR performance valve springs, head shaved .024", ZJ PCM and PDC, designed cruise switch circuit to use ZJ cruise control.
MODS - EXTERIOR
Louvers on quarter windows, rear window louvers, installed factory optional sun roof, Spirit grill, 2" receiver, factory optional splash guards, YJ black door handles, Spirit clear front turnsignal/parking lights
MODS - INTERIOR
Added power windows, power locks
MODS - IN-CAR ELECTRONICS
Alpine speakers and head unit, remote lock system
HISTORY / EXPERIENCE / COMMENTS
I bought this car from a guy in California, had 154,000 miles on it and had been sitting in a grassy field for 10 years. Both rear springs were broken, left front spring was broken, interior was a disaster, ripped seats, driver seat frame broken, carpet half eaten away. Slowly resurrected it. At about 160,000 miles the original 258 started losing oil pressure. I opted to rebuild a Jeep 4.0 and swap in. I used the ZJ's PDC and PCM, made a circuit to change the AMC cruise control switch signals to match what the ZJ's PCM expected so I could have cruise control. I routed the Eagle's AC controls through the PCM and routed several of the Eagle's electric systems through the PDC. I rebuilt the T5 transmission, found a NOS NP219 transfer case. I have rebuilt every major part of the drive-train except the front differential. Many dozens of NOS parts were located and used. I added power windows and locks, all gauges are new old stock. I modified the fuel tank sending unit so I could mount a Jeep in-tank fuel pump inside the tank without modifying the tank.
All work, including body, engine, transmission, differential, brake, suspension, steering and so on was done by myself except for re-machining the wheels, spraying the red (I did all body prep and priming and blocking), and seat upholstery.
The car won gold in the AMO driven class in 2015, Gold in the junior non-stock 70-88 class in 2018 and gold in the senior non-stock class in 2019 as well as the Chapin award which is for best of show 70-88 non-stock non-Javelin/AMX class.
It currently has over 193,000 miles on it, the engine over 33,500

The Eagle idea was actually "nixed" by the AMC board in the early 1970s - the board responding to the design team that no one would want such a thing as a 4 wheel drive car, it would never sell, gas was too expensive, people wanted smaller, lighter, cheaper and more MPG.
The team tried again in the late 1970s and the board was now desperate for something new and said OK. The Eagle was introduced in the 1980 model year as a station wagon based on the Concord wagon. It was an instant hit. In 1981 model year they introduced the SX/4 - based on the successful Spirit hatchback platform. With the Eagle series leading the way, for the first time in AMC history they were unable to keep up with orders for cars.
The Eagle became the predecessor for the unibody Jeep platform. Some call the Eagle the father of the Jeep unibody models. The Grand Cherokee was already on AMC drawing boards and in the works when MOPAR took over.

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