1981 AMC Eagle: A Mostly Complete Restoration is up for Auction

Alan Cesar February 20, 2015 All Things Hoon


Restoring cars is not often a money-making endeavor. This is especially true of unloved cars like the AMC Eagle. Though the concept was ahead of its time and the 4-wheel drive technology in it was pretty advanced for 1981, AMC’s best-selling car couldn’t keep the brand afloat. That’s why you, the AMC afficionado, can be money ahead by buying this nearly complete, restored Eagle. Details after the jump, but you’d better sell your Metro on Craigslist now: The Bring A Trailer auction ends next week.

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Project Subaru Justy: It Could Be Zero

Old cars break. I keep forgetting this fact.

I’ve been chasing a rough idle and rich running condition ever since I bought this Justy in… October. Alright, a few months isn’t forever, but I am a little disappointed to have bought a rolling restoration that gets 20 mpg instead of a finicky-but-economical daily driver.

I had changed the spark plugs, cap and rotor, and bought a new fuel injector for cylinder No. 2. None of this made a difference, so, I thought, there might be a problem within the distributor or somewhere else in the engine. It came time to run a compression test and discover the exact “somewhere else.”

It’s just a compression test. How bad could it be?

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Project Subaru Justy: Sorting a Sloppy Shifter

Alan Cesar February 4, 2015 Project Cars


Finding gears in my Justy was a guessing game. The shifter was sloppy and vague, with long throws between gears. There had to be some way to improve this. It was diagnostics time.

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Upgrade Your Garage With a Huge Whiteboard for $14

Alan Cesar February 4, 2015 All Things Hoon


I have entirely too many projects to keep track of inside my increasingly crowded head. This includes two project cars, a finicky daily driver, and all the various issues that come up when you own a house. My wife wanted a whiteboard to attach to the fridge so we could plan weekends and keep a running honey-do list. But even small whiteboards are fairly pricey.

My wife found a cheap idea on some other blog, and we tried it out. The whiteboard failed on the fridge — we couldn’t get the board to stick, and didn’t want to screw into the fridge — but it’s been great in my garage. This project affords plenty of material for all the whiteboard you might want: You’ll start with a 4-foot by 8-foot sheet.

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2016 Mazda Miata Horsepower and Torque Specs Now Available

Alan Cesar January 30, 2015 All Things Hoon


The spec we’ve all been waiting for is here. Mazda has been teasing us with details on the next-generation MX-5 Miata for months, first releasing a drivetrain photo, then the bodywork and a handful of details. Light weight was the first big news: Some purists decried the (modest) weight gain when the third-generation NC-chassis cars were released in 2006. Everyone is enthusiastic at the target weight of a metric ton, or 2200 pounds — same as the first generation. But how much power and displacement will it actually get? Hit the jump to find out.

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Project Subaru Justy: Bad Omens and Junkyard Luck

Alan Cesar January 29, 2015 Project Cars


Put the car in gear to pull away from the stoplight. Slowly let up on the clutch. A moment that feels almost like forward motion is followed by grinding. Feel that gut sink. Try again with same results. Open the window, then the door. Step out. Reach in and turn the wheel. Put a shoulder to the door frame.

Push the car off the road and onto gravel. Call a friend who hopefully has a tow rope, and while waiting, try to imagine the best and worst-case scenarios for what might be broken. Then consider the possible solutions when dealing with an abandonware car purchased for $1,300.

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Project Subaru Justy: Itty Bitty Wheels and Tires


My Justy’s previous owner sold the car to me with a brand-new set of tires mounted on alloy wheels. He said he had spent a good amount of time finding wheels that were the right size and period-correct. It was clear the man loved the car and was interested in taking good care of it, but that also meant the Justy rolled with balloons on the same sort of wheels I’ve seen on dozens of Pontiac Grand Ams.

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Turbo AMC Spirit Does Wicked Burnouts


When you add boost to the legendary Jeep 4.0-liter inline 6 engine, magic happens. If you put that magic inside a yellow and brown box of delicious defunct automaker and take it to an automotive competition, you might just win.

But it’s more likely you’ll end up mid-pack in competition as the crowd favorite, especially when they get a peek at that interior.

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Project Eagle: Diagnosing a Driveline Problem


When I last spoke of this Eagle, it was a mere introduction — both of myself and of this project. I hinted vaguely at its “some kind of clutch problem.” Honestly, that’s about all I knew at the time. Shortly after, my dad came over for a visit and we spent a couple days yanking the transfer case, transmission and front axle out to see what was up.

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The Diesel Truck of your Dreams is in a Florida Junkyard

Alan Cesar January 22, 2015 Thursday Trivia


Your enthusiast fanboy dream truck is here, and at the right price to boot. It’s 4 wheel drive with a manual transmission, mated to a diesel engine. The short bed and standard cab mean it’s perfect for maneuverability when you’re out muddin’, or simply trying to get to your cabin. It’s already fitted with big tires and some auxiliary gauges. The caveat: To row your own while rolling coal, you’ll have to extract it from a junkyard and find out why it went there in the first place.

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