My Eagle Leaks Oil
If the AMC Eagle you are planning to purchase or already own leaks motor oil and oil is burning off the engine after it warms up then in most liklihood you have a leaking valve cover gasket. This is especially true if you have a 258 with a "plastic" valve cover. For owners of 1980, 87 and 88 258 Eagles and 4 cylinder Eagles you just need to replace the gasket. Not so easy for owners of 1981 - 1986 258 owners. You will need to replace the valve cover too. Information on how to do this can be found here: How To Upgrade Your Valve Cover
A little 258 Valve Cover History:
AMC used three different, non compatible, valve covers on the 258 engines (including Jeep).
1. 1980 engines used a steel valve cover. This is the only year Eagle had these, although prior year AMC 2WD's used them.
2. 1981 - 1986 and some '87's. The dreaded platic valve cover. This leak prone, never, ever really fixed, despite recalls, cover was used on all 258's. NONE of the earlier or later metal covers will work on these cars. When upgrading to an aftermarket aluminum valve cover you must make sure it is for that span of years. Buyer Beware: Some vendors of metal valve covers state the cover will work on 1978 - thru 1986 engines -- there is no such valve cover -- these covers only fit 1980 and earlier.
3. 1987 and on. Sometime in 1987 AMC began using a new aluminum valve cover. This cover will fit only the heads from the change over on.