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Cooter
Cooter HalfDork
5/19/17 9:30 a.m.

I'm sure some of you remember back in December when I bought two train tickets to San Francisco without a solid plan on how I was returning home within a week? And what I decided to do to make that shaky plan a reality?

Well if not, meet Chico.

The trip went off without a hitch (well, technically, there were TWO hitches, a 2" receiver in the rear, which has served me well pulling trailers for my business when my Sprinter was unavailable, and a second up front, which would be perfect for spotting trailers into tight areas, if I ever did that anymore.) Follow along as I get you caught up to date on Chico, the Street Eagle and what we have been doing the past 6 months. It will mostly consist of minor mods and tweaks to an already wonderful little automobile.

Cooter
Cooter HalfDork
5/19/17 10:31 a.m.

So, after I made it home, wouldn't you know it, hardly any snow. Never needed 4wd. But I did take it to work anyway when things looked like they might get slick...

Anyway, from the moment I saw this beauty, I had a pretty good idea what I wanted to do with it. (Besides get home safely in the middle of winter) A '80s style overland build would be the plan. I wanted a cargo basket for the roof, but most of the ones out there are either too small, too expensive, or both. Fortunately, as I was researching yet another CL roof basket, I inadvertently found that Cabela's had a sale on their branded roof basket with the extension for $99. So I drove right out to get one.

Probably would have been good to have a basket to haul that thing.

That's better!

But even though I had added capacity, it still looked kinda cheap. No worries, I had some other ideas to help with that. (to be continued)

Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
5/19/17 11:12 a.m.

Yes, yes I remember! You went with your daughter and rode bicycles

Great start.

edizzle89
edizzle89 Dork
5/19/17 11:24 a.m.

i dont think im ever not going to want an AMC eagle, that thing looks pretty clean

dropstep
dropstep SuperDork
5/19/17 1:07 p.m.

Man my uncle used one of these every summer to take me to my grandmothers when i was a kid. Severe soft spot for these. That thing handled the 14 miles of west virginia dirt mountain roads no issue.

Saturnguy
Saturnguy New Reader
5/19/17 6:28 p.m.

Love it always wanted one subscribed

chandlerGTi
chandlerGTi PowerDork
5/21/17 8:16 a.m.

That roof rack is perfect! There is a black eagle up a lane near my house, I want to drive back there but there are some pretty big dogs as well lol.

Billy_Bottle_Caps
Billy_Bottle_Caps Dork
5/23/17 11:34 a.m.

I remember reading about your trip! Look forward to following your build. I have had a couple of these, and still want another. Great cars

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
5/23/17 2:59 p.m.

Eagles are great! I've had a few. One thing I learned the hard way........ they are fantastic as long as you use them for what they were intended for----as an all-weather car. I took my last one off-road and rally-crossed it, and it promptly broke....often. They really aren't meant for heavy-duty offroad use without a bunch of modifications. Use it on the road (and gravel roads / light off road) and you'll be fine.

Watch out for the rear axle snapping in two. I guess it's a fairly common problem. My passenger-side axle snapped. If I wouldn't have noticed it early--- I would have lost a wheel!

Good luck! Fun cars--- way ahead of their time!

Cooter
Cooter HalfDork
3/5/18 7:25 a.m.

Oh, my. I need to update this thread a bit...

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
3/5/18 7:29 a.m.

Please!

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
3/5/18 9:12 a.m.

That thing looks fantastic with the rack and lights, and the steel wheels are perfect. Is that factory height or has it been lifted a little?

Woody
Woody MegaDork
3/5/18 9:45 a.m.

How closely are these things related to the Hornet Sportabout? I'm wondering if you can do some easy/awesome backdating on the grill, lights and bumpers.

fidelity101
fidelity101 UltraDork
3/5/18 9:50 a.m.

This is awesome, I love all the cubbie holes in the interior - its the perfect road trip car! plenty of space to put snacks and luggage!

Cooter
Cooter HalfDork
3/31/18 4:31 a.m.

In reply to Joe Gearin :

I'm not too worried.  I have my Jeeps for heavy lifting, and this one already has a 4.0 stroker, AW-4, and a NP231 swapped in. As for the rear axle, that will be going away soon enough, to be replaced with a JY sourced 8.8. The front end... well, the D30 part will live well enough, but I need to make sure the half shafts stay alive. I'm actually pretty gentle on my drivetrain, believe it or not, it's the bodies that take a licking, as avatar can attest. But, again, this one will see a fairly sedate life of commuting, gravel roads, and an occasional trip to the dunes. 

Cooter
Cooter HalfDork
3/31/18 4:33 a.m.

In reply to ultraclyde : It has been lifted just a bit, and the factory fender flares are off, making it look even higher than it would otherwise. 

I have a set of V8 Javelin springs to put on the front, as the ones that are on there have sagged a bit. 

 

Cooter
Cooter HalfDork
3/31/18 4:37 a.m.

In reply to Woody :

Being AMC, the tooling didn't change all that much from the original Hornet it is based on. Full front end swaps have been performed, but the rear is a bit more problematic .

Cooter
Cooter HalfDork
3/31/18 5:28 a.m.
Coote wrote: That's better! But even though I had added capacity, it still looked kinda cheap. No worries, I had some other ideas to help with that. (to be continued)

Now, back to our story. Please forgive me, as I have my Ingo and photos on several different platforms and devices, including a now-dead Chromebook that was the easiest way to post to this forum.  Trying my best from a Kindle Fire right now...

 

So, the basket was mounted, but looked a bit cheap to my eye, and not very period correct. What to do? Add lightness! And (minimal) strength.

Dimple die FTW!

Cooter
Cooter HalfDork
3/31/18 5:31 a.m.

Quite an improvement, IMO. 

Finished. 

 

Cooter
Cooter HalfDork
3/31/18 5:35 a.m.

Well, with the Con-Ferr style holes, anyway. 

Still more to come...

 

thestig99
thestig99 Dork
3/31/18 6:48 a.m.

This is amaing. 

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
3/31/18 8:21 a.m.

Me likey

Billy_Bottle_Caps
Billy_Bottle_Caps Dork
3/31/18 8:47 a.m.

Nice to see the updates.

Cooter
Cooter HalfDork
4/1/18 2:20 p.m.

The rack proved to be very useful, and I put it to work straight away, hauling a set of wheels to a friend's house so we could mount some tires. It was easier on the rack than in the back, believe it or not. 

The Chrysler Town & Country appreciated the assist. (I really have wagon issues- please send help)

 

Cooter
Cooter HalfDork
4/1/18 2:27 p.m.

But the roof basket still didn't give the Eagle enough of an '80s vibe; something was still missing. 

 

Time to go through my hoarded extras...

 

Hmm, onsies.  Need to keep digging...

 

There we go!

Jackpot.  

 

I had these for a couple decades. Almost forgot I had them. 

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