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Swap jag v12 into AMC EAGLE

somedai1somedai1 Posts: 416
Yeah - probably crazy - but can anyone offer any help on this swap - can it be done - want to keep the 4wd function and put a v12 in a '88 amc eagle - had a Jaguar XJS HE V12 and loved it - so anyone???
the other option i wanted to explore was a 4cyl turbo like from eagle talon or twin turbo 6cyl like from 300zx


  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    The Eagle is such a foul-handling, clunky car that I think putting a lot of power into it before re-working the chassis *considerably* will result in a very disappointing vehicle. The Eagle is really a truck and should be approached more like one would build say an off-road competition vehicle for the Baja or something. Putting a huge powerplant in the front end would be disastrous I think, to say nothing of the spotty reliability of a Jaguar V12.

    A hot small turbo motor would work a lot better, IMO, preferably Japanese with no Chrysler overtones. Also the Eagle had a pretty anemic motor, so I don't know how much power the stock drivetrain can stand.

    I'd build it simple and rugged, to suit the vehicle you have selected. Mating sophistication with the primitive is more like a street rod, which is "show", not "go". That's why I was suggesting a good chassis overhaul before you even think about motors, unless of course this vehicle is to be trailered around.

    If it's all for show, you can do whatever you want, because the eyeball value is the goal, right?

    Visiting Host and his two cents :P
  • somedai1somedai1 Posts: 416
    thants for the 2 cents - i mostly get no response on this - so thanks - the fastest i ever drove this eagle is about 100mph - handled pretty good considering... but i don't think the v12 either from a jag or bmw would be much heavier than the cast iron inline 6 i have since thery're aluminum - v8's have been done - so i'll probably end up going that route ultimately - cause no one is willing to entertain the thought of a v12 - as far as japanese turbo - do you know of any that might work - i'm not familiar with those and it would most likely have to come from one with rear wheel drive - got any suggestions?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    Well the Eagle handles like a truck---it's stiff and I guess as long as you are on a smooth road and don't do anything SUDDEN, you'd be okay. But start turning fast on bumpy surfaces, and I think you'd pogo-stick right into a tree. This is a primitive car remember.

    A V8 is certainly the cheapest and easiest way to go here---crate engines are SO CHEAP for the power you get. I really don't see any advantage of a Jaguar V12---they are gas hogs, they catch fire with alarming regularity, and they are expensive and difficult to work on.

    Really a V12 is built for smoothness, not power. Making an AMC Eagle "silky smooth" seems like a contradiction.

    Japanese turbos? If you dare, a Mazda TT from an RX-7 would be pretty hot, and that's a RWD car. It's a bit of a delicate engine however, prone to detonation. So you have to be religiouos about premium fuel, frequent oil changes and very efficient engine cooling. But that engine will pull like you wouldn't believe once you get the revs up. Not a torque motor though, not at all. Maybe a Nissan 300ZX? it would probaby fit.
  • somedai1somedai1 Posts: 416
    yeah - the 300zx twin turbo was a thought - mind you - my whole approach with this car is to modernize it so it won't be such a clumsy ride. i remember the smoothness of the jag - i never smoked the tires with that car - but smooth power is good enough - and losing torque is not something i would want... i'll keep researching to see what the best way to go will be for me - the biggest deal is that i want it to be different if not radical - almost every hot rod has a 350 chevy...

    i know i'll have to upgrade some stuff with additional power - i didn't think about the chassis though - i was using KYB shocks all around, poly bushings on the rear springs (the entire front end will have poly when i'm done) and the wheels in the rear are 10" wide so the cornering was much improved - will do rear disc brakes conversion too - so i'm gonna get it up to speed for this modern era eventually - the power plant is the only thing that I am unsure on...
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    Actually Hemmings Muscle Machines magazine this month has an article about building a 4.0 AMC stroker motor.
  • somedai1somedai1 Posts: 416
    any idea what horsepower the stroker motor produces - i saw something like 190hp - nice but i'd like more - if worked right the same 4.2 motor can produce 235hp but costs around $4k - changing to a 4.0 head with various other mods gives about 210hp (6=8 clifford performance) lots of $$$ too - i expect to spend - but the cost to benefit ratio has to be good/acceptable
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    I think he was predicting 250HP. You really never know until you get on a dyno and then dyno-tune. Two identical motors can produce different results sometimes.

    The nice thing about a V8 crate motor is that you don't have to worry about computers and wiring harnesses---you can use a carburetor; otherwise you have to rip everything out of the donor car along with the engine, or alternatively, buy an aftermarket F.I. control system. That can get very tricky.
  • somedai1somedai1 Posts: 416
    you have many good points - it would also suck to get stuff out of a donor to find that it's crappy - so new crate stuff if more attractive to me but more expensive...
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    I guess you could get a throttle body injector motor out of a used GM car from the 1980s---that doesn't have much electronic control. Maybe a C4 Vette motor. They seem to be easily available.
  • i have a 92 talon and i am wanting to take out my stock air filter and put a k and n filter in it. but i have a air sensor on it. i have taken it off to see what it would do and it would not give any boost what so ever.. so if you can tell me what i can do to fix this problem,. i have already put the sensor back on.. i just want to get rid of the air sensor some how. if u could email anything to me..


    thank you
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You can't remove the sensor. You would need to get a K&N Intake that is compatible with the air sensor you have on your car.

    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • somedai1somedai1 Posts: 416
    i'm now considering getting a worked 4.2 I-6 that will put out about 275hp and a Powerjection I fuel injection system that mimics the look of a carb but is fuel injection... expensive but looks like the best way to go without having to do too many mods...
  • That's a very LONG motor. Think it will fit without intrusion into the firewall and lots of fabrication?

    I think a Buick turbo V-6 would be a fabulous way to go with this.
  • somedai1somedai1 Posts: 416
    the 258 4.2 I-6 is the stock motor.... a modified one could put out 275hp - but which buick turbo 6 could work?
  • Well it's going to be tricky with 4WD. I have no idea how one would engineer such a swap. I'm just dreamin'. :P
  • Great Idea!!!! I would stick to the jag v12 but beware of the BL jags once ford bought them out the engine became alot better I would go with a 90 or newer they are great mills. As long as you have a donor car for the modules and what not and as far as the 4x4 working just use a divorce box transfer from a 70's ford high boy. Drive shafts will have to be made as well as linkages but that is to be expected. I also like the BMW v12 from the 750 IL Good power. Sounds like a driveshaft twisting good time. The v12 will fit perfect in there being they came with I6's anyway.
  • somedai1somedai1 Posts: 416
    NICE! that was a feel good post! no one really thinks it's a good idea... i figure it's the type of swap that would need a blank check and a lot of time and a really good shop that likes a challenge...
  • My main issue with the concept is that the Eagle chassis is kind of lame. Basically you are putting a beautiful engine into a 1950s truck chassis.
  • this is a cool idea these cars are not that primitive the steering systems are the same that was used on the amxs and if i remember rite they wone a lot of nascar road course races not sure about the length of the v12 but wait isnt a 6 cyclinder half of a v12 ? the v8 would be the better idea but hay whatever floats your boat any way the transfer case not sure it would hold up to the input tourque of the v12 that and adapting the engine would be hard what you could use would be a t case from a olds bravada they are the same used in the cyclones they are a viscouse style tcase the part nm is bw4472c these were mated to a 4l60 tranny you can get build up and shift kits for these as well as a stand alone computer for the trannys brain at summit i was told that the older jag v12 had a chevy bell patern not sure on that so dont quote me the diferentials would hold up they are dana 30 although not the best for off roading they would be good for hauling [non-permissible content removed] on asphault google v8 eagle wagon there is a gut that did a v8 swap on an eagle check it maybe it would give you some ideas on design and fit up one thing if your going to race this car i would definately lower it they sit high throw some good anti sway bars on it stiffen up the springs you could have your self a cool cayon carver but do yourself a favor dich the bumpers there ugly as sin they look a lot nicer with out them i had an eagle but i built the six up offenhouser intake comp came split header and a holly 450 4 barrel carb i used to street race it for fun till i wrecked it i didnt win every race but they sure were cought off guard when it didnt spin a tire and blasted past them :)
  • The Eagle chassis is based on the Concord, first produced in 1978, and the Concord is based on the Hornet, which goes back to 1970. So yeah, it's a pretty old chassis setup and it never really handled any serious amount of power.

    I think you'd have to seriously strengthen this chassis or you'll twist it for sure.
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