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Cooter UberDork
3/30/19 9:08 p.m.

So, the Alto is sold, and a friend has committed to buy Chico The Street Eagle, and I was minding my own business when a friend posts this up for sale.

(I don't need another project, I don't need anoth... how much??)

So, I guess this probably should start with a bit of "Learn me AMC suspension tricks"


brad131a4 Reader
3/30/19 9:22 p.m.

AMC body on top of a 2019 corvette chassis. Best thing I could come up with. Plus in the long run it may actually be the cheaper route.


Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
3/30/19 9:32 p.m.

Well, we made one work with hand built front coilovers, spring sluders. Custom leaves, hand built strut rods, and seam welding. 

Cooter UltraDork
3/30/19 9:35 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

I was waiting for you to chime in.   Yours was one of the ones that made me want this.

Cooter UltraDork
3/30/19 9:55 p.m.
brad131a4 said:

AMC body on top of a 2019 corvette chassis. Best thing I could come up with. Plus in the long run it may actually be the cheaper route.


You must be new here.

Cooter UltraDork
3/30/19 11:13 p.m.

So, this is the basic formula I'm looking to start with, suspension-wise.

I already have several Exploder 8.8s laying around, and the U-Pull has plenty mre where those came from.   I will need to figure out what I want from the rest of the drivetrain before deciding grabbing another.   I have 4.10s right now, but might go with 3.27 or 3.55 with this one.

wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/31/19 8:23 a.m.

Nice Score!


RossD MegaDork
3/31/19 8:33 a.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy :

Please, no comic sans. Please, more AMC.

GTXVette UltraDork
3/31/19 12:14 p.m.

Rare Enough Birds That it would be Awesome to see Two at One Event.

hhaase HalfDork
3/31/19 12:38 p.m.

It's stupid-easy to drop an AMC V-8 into there, as they're all dimensionally the same, and came equipped from the factory for the first year of the Spirit AMX. 

Though the 258 is a great motor on its own.  A bit too much stroke to rev it up high easily, but a great torque curve in the sub-5k RPM range,  so plan gearing accordingly.  Take the top-end out of a Wrangler/Cherokee 4.0 HO motor for an easy and very effective power increase....Straight 6's really come alive with multi-port injection and the high-port 4.0 head is a huge improvement. Most carb intakes for I6's have drastic runner length differences and poor atomization on the end cylinders. 

If it's got a 2.5,  could either be an Iron Duke,  or AMC I4.   Same bellhousing boltpattern between the two,  which is NOT the same as the 258.   The AMC motor lived all the way through the 2001 Durango,  though don't know if any bolt patterns changed during the Chrysler era.   If it is the AMC,  however, same deal with a late 2.5 EFI swap I believe,  but never done that one myself.  

Only suspension issue that ever had me really concerned when I had my SX4 was that the rear perches for the rear springs are easy to rot out and come up through the floorboards.  Probably end up needing some reinforcement.  

Stock transmission, if it's a manual, is a grenade with a pulled pin.   Just a matter of time.   Doesn't matter if it's an SR4, T4, or T5 during that era.  The automatic is decently tough and absurdly easy to rebuild.  




Cooter UltraDork
3/31/19 1:55 p.m.

In reply to hhaase :

I'm no stranger to the drivetrains, as I have had countless Jeeps and a few AMCs. The AMC 4 cylinder has the same bellhousing pattern as a Chevy 2.8 V6; the Iron Duke is the same as the Chevy small block/4.3 V6.  

This one has a 258 and a 904 based transmission.  Most likely a 998. I done plenty of 904/998/999 transmissions before. The 258 is said to need a carb.   If that is truly all it needs, I may just do that and drive it for a while.

My Eagle has a 4.0 stroked to 4.5, and if I swap another 6 cylinder into the Spirit, it will be a 4.0. I won't bother with a head swap when complete 4.0s are so cheap.  If I go through the trouble to go V8, it will likely be a 5.9 Magnum, or a 5.0 Ford.  I have more MoPar stuff than Ford, but the Ford would fit better.  But I have swapped MoPar V8s into Jeeps before.  We'll see.

The car is a Florida car, and very solid.  Not rust on the outer body, and very clean underneath.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
3/31/19 3:33 p.m.

I have more time now.

Seam welding made an incredible difference. However, most the front structure spot welds were broken. We then caged it, so i can't commenton subframe connectors or the ultimate difference of seam welding alone.

In the front: we boxed the lcas. Left the poly inner pivot and stock length, as we were running bias ply slicks. We said the hell eith it on geometry changes. The strut rods were heim joints at both ends, to a 1/4 plate that bolted where the stock bracket went. Jeep grand Cherokee steering box was a direct bolt in except for having to make hoses to adapt to the ford drivetrain. We seam welded the crosdmember before install. We also removed tje factory spring and shock setup in favor of a piece of 1/4 or 3/8 plate made to recieve a 5 inch coil spring and eyelet style 4x4 s10 shock. Used a threaded sleeve and 5 inch coil spring cup on the upper end of tbe shock. Mounted to the cage downtubes directly above the factory spot. 

Rear, we used the spirit main leaf, and ALL the leaves from a 4x4 explorer with the eyelets cut off. Clamped both ended of every leaf. Used nylong block spring sliders bolted through the floor to the rear cage leg landing plates. 8.8 explorer uncut with 3.73 and trac loc. 

15x10 wheels, 3ish inch backspace and 27x12x15 hoosier f40 circle track slicks. 

Car had AMAZING grip. But didn't transition well. Robbie and ian are working on fixing it.

4/1/19 12:17 a.m.

Could someone sell me on the AMC Spirit? I've heard before they're good contenders at autocross.

Cooter PowerDork
4/1/19 12:35 a.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

They are good at more than just that...


Robbie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/1/19 10:53 a.m.

I think the 4.0 from the jeep is a swell idea. At some point we'll have the orange one down from detroit to chicago so you can take a closer look too. 

Cooter UltraDork
4/1/19 2:14 p.m.

In reply to Robbie :

That would be awesome!   I really need to meet up with the locals more.  Once I get off these 11 1/2 hour night shifts I should have more tme.

Cooter UltraDork
5/4/19 1:13 p.m.

So, the car is still 100 miles away at a friend's house, but a few things that make this relatively simple.

  • I already have a HO 4.0 that has been waiting for the right AMC to swap it into.  Of course, decent, cheap AMCs became harder to find shortly after acquiring the 4.0...
  • I have been parting out a '98 5.9 Grand Cherokee Limited, so the 12.7:1 Saginaw box is easy to find, and better than free. (For those in the know, the 3 turn lock to lock ZJ box is the same ratio as the more difficult to find 2.5 turn GN/Monte SS/Camaro box, with steering stops that allow more rotation)
  • I have several 8.8s laying around here, but I may still hit the JY as all of mine are 4.10 geared. I will drill the welds, press out the long side tube, and cut it to accept another short side shaft.  This should put the rear at about the perfect width for the body.
  • I will definitely use sliders on the rear springs, as they work so much better than shackles, and help will get the rear as low as possible on leaves.  The tradeoffs with be more maintenance and noise.
  • Further lowering will simply be blocks and plates at first, until I figure out where I want it.  The blocks in the rear are self explanatory; lowering plates in the front are an AMC thing (the spindle bolts on)
  • Total vanity, but any AMC Spirit NEEDS an AMX/SX-4 spoiler on the rear to look right.   Hopefully I won't have to pay a third of the price of the car to get one.

    I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but I can always add later.  The plan is to try to get it running off a carb; I think I have a working one around here somewhere...




Indy-Guy UberDork
5/4/19 1:21 p.m.

In reply to Cooter :

That's a solid plan. Now, stay focused (stop buying more cars) and execute.

Cooter UltraDork
5/4/19 4:59 p.m.

In reply to Indy-Guy :

Can't execute until it is here.


Cooter UberDork
10/17/20 9:54 a.m.

This has been a very long time coming.  A friend finally picked up the Spirit this morning. 



Hopefully things will calm down enough around here in a few weeks for me to take a look at it in person. 

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
10/17/20 10:02 a.m.


do I need to flood this thread to youtube links to the new "state of the art" in "t-shirt overfender fabrication" ?

Cooter UberDork
10/17/20 10:26 a.m.
sleepyhead the buffalo said:


do I need to flood this thread to youtube links to the new "state of the art" in "t-shirt overfender fabrication" ?


Now that I have the Notchback Volare, I'm not sure which way I want to go with this one.  Still want to swap the 8.8 and 4.0/AW4, but beyond that, I'm not sure if I want to leave the body stock, set it up for handling, or make it look like a Street Freak with rake and big and little Torque Thrusts off the Tan Panther.

I just need close family members to stop dying for a a year or so...

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
10/17/20 11:11 a.m.
sleepyhead the buffalo said:


do I need to flood this thread to youtube links to the new "state of the art" in "t-shirt overfender fabrication" ?


Cooter UberDork
10/18/20 12:01 a.m.

The left rear brake was locked up, so my friend fixed it and swapped on the spare.   Then sent me a better photo.  It's not as bed as I expected...

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
10/18/20 2:25 a.m.

I wasn't sure from the first picture if that was blue or black... and I like the blue.

I went looking for the videos where people were using t-shirt material for fenders, and got reminded that one switched to Ceconite (B is for Build Huaracan), and the other switched to foam/mat (Build Create) after originally starting with  t-shirt-ish stuff stuff.

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