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5 lug swap complete...notes etc


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27 replies to this topic

#1 LPGsuperchargedBrumby

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 08:47 PM

well my 5 lug swap onto my brumby is finally done....after alot of issues....basically anything on the front end that could give me attitude...did.

Parts List
XT6 rear backing plates hubs and calipers
XT6 front hubs complete with brakes & rod ends etc
EA81 control rods reamed out to take legacy balljoints
brake lines off XT6 plus assorted spare clips an stuff that came with the brake lines
axles i cut and shortened


the rear end was pretty straight foward apart from having to shim both caliper carriers outboard by 4.5mm so that the carrier was centered on the disc.

the front end gave me a few more problems.

first off if your doing a swap on an EA81....USE 16 INCH RIMS OR BIGGER....i used 15 inch rims and had to machine up 5mm hub spacer plates for the front so that the XT6 steering rod ends miss the inner corner of the 15" rims on full lock.

axles i made from legacy ones that i cut 85mm out of the middle of and sleeved and welder back together( had to cut the axles with a cutoff wheel on a grinder...the ceramic tip on my partoff tool for the lathe wouldn't even touch them...they are VERY VERY hard)

i had to machine the steering rods to allow me to put another 30mm of thread length on the rod(14x1.5mm thread pitch)....which allowed me to cut 15mm off the end of the rod...the XT6 steering rod ends had bottomed out on the thread about 6mm short of enough toe in and didn't allow enough thread to put the locknut on the rod.

i got the top hats off a pair of EA81 struts and swapped them onto a set of 2WD impreza struts...just had to file the flat spot in the hole in EA81 round...and fitted them to the XT6 hubs...with a 6lb club hammer and a 1" dia punch:grin:...they are a bit of a tight fit.

i also had to push the strut tower with a hydraulic jack and pushing form to expand it on the outboard side to allow the strut top to come out as the suspension comes up

also had major issues bleeding the brakes...but i think this was my fault for not following the proper sequence i.e. corner to diagonal corner
i also had to get longer brake lines made because the XT6 ones i had were too short to allow full steering lock at maximum suspension travel.

got a steering alinement done yesterday...( my 8x2 plank and ruler 'get me to the tyre shop' alinement was only a 2.1mm out on the left side and 3.4mm out on the right side:lol:

after a couple of very frustrating and busy weeks i'm finally on the road...and it drive's really nicely...

there's a couple of things i still have sort out...i have a 'clonking' noise in the right front side somewhere when i hit largish bumps...having a look for what that is tomorrow...and i don't like the feel of the brake peddle...it stops 'ok' and will lock up the fronts...it takes alot of pressure on the peddle and and the peddle feels....odd...can't really explane it more than that

next move i think is to fit a larger master cylinder to see if that sorts out the brake issue....then its time to dust off my supercharger...and become nameworthy again:banana:

and i lost a couple of days in the middle because my GF ended up in hospital with gall stones...one very unhappy lass at the time...but all better now

i have pics of the axles i modded but can't upload them cos they are too big...so heres a link

http://s458.photobuc...tud swap stuff/

Edited by LPGsuperchargedBrumby, 18 December 2009 - 10:25 PM.


#2 grossgary

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 11:10 PM

nice info and good job!

#3 Numbchux

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 12:36 AM

Sweet!! awesome info, and glad to hear you had success!!


first off if your doing a swap on an EA81....USE 16 INCH RIMS OR BIGGER....i used 15 inch rims and had to machine up 5mm hub spacer plates for the front so that the XT6 steering rod ends miss the inner corner of the 15" rims on full lock.


I'd like to pin this down. do you have any pics of that? do you know you had the rod ends on the correct sides? they are shaped specifically so that they will clear the inside of the rim at full-lock. gary had this issue with his '6 just a week or so ago, rubbing when he got the 14s back on and it turned out he had a rod-end on the wrong side.

I haven't taken any measurements at all, or compared them side-to-side. But the only reason that I can think of that the chassis would effect clearance there would be if the steering rack was much further forward relative the control arms. XT6s come stock with 14s. I've run 15" steelies on mine (both XT6 and 5-lugged EA82) quite a bit. zero issues.




I'm also curious why you didn't run the EA81 rod-ends. might have saved you some modification anyway. I ran them on my loyale, with lots of thread left un-used.....

#4 LPGsuperchargedBrumby

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 02:35 AM

i'm getting more pics of what i have done tomorrow morning when i go hunting for the noise in the RH suspension

i didn't use the EA81 rod ends because they hit the rims even worse than the XT6 ones....and yep i have the rod ends on the correct sides

#5 wagonist

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 09:08 PM

Can you PM me what the shipping cost from the US was. I'm looking at doing a similar conversion to my 88.

I've got one of the CrossBred kits, but its been too much @#$%^ing about with handbrake cables, etc to get it to work (& the rear hubs aren't perfect either with no wheel locator).

I've also heard that the Impreza/Legacy struts aren't a direct fit onto the hubs, like your effort.

#6 grossgary

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 11:28 PM

I haven't taken any measurements at all, or compared them side-to-side. But the only reason that I can think of that the chassis would effect clearance there would be if the steering rack was much further forward relative the control arms. XT6s come stock with 14s. I've run 15" steelies on mine (both XT6 and 5-lugged EA82) quite a bit. zero issues.

yeah - XT6's do not rub on 14" wheels, i've run all sorts of rims on them. they do rub if you install the tie rod on the wrong side with 14" rims, which i did because i was out of the other side and didn't remember that when i went from 16" to 14" snows. very odd yours are rubbing - some geometry is off somewhere.

is this lifted?

chux - how about a lift affecting it, does that make sense? it angles the tie rods "up" and cause them to rub a bit as clearance is lost. i noticed that with my XT6 - although i still don't have rubbing even with a 2" lift (no spacers on the crossmembers) and 14" wheels....but it is tighter and i think it rubbed for a second, like after having it off the ground - then put it back on the ground and driving for a second before the suspension settles out to nominal. but i was confused that no EA folks have mentioned this before, so i've been wondering?

fitting legacy/imp struts isn't a big deal, if that part scares you, you shouldn't be doing this swap it's really simple. spread the flanges wider on the struts or grind the hub down, it's very simple and easy. it's not rocket science.

Edited by grossgary, 22 December 2009 - 11:34 PM.


#7 grossgary

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 11:36 PM

you can get shipping estimates from usps.com. try 50 pounds, though i think 60-ish is the limit, so try two 35 pound boxes as well in case it's 70, etc. you'll get a feel for what you're up against.

#8 LPGsuperchargedBrumby

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 03:22 AM

well my wheels rubbed with the 15" factory Outback Wagon rims that i have on...and i have the tie rod ends on the right side...pretty hard to screw up considering they have LH & RH cast onto the top of them.

one thing i have an ongoing issue with is a clunk in my front suspension somewhere...it only happens when i hit a "sharp bump"....like a small pothole....but it doesn't do it when i hit a "smoother bump"...like a pothole that has been patched but sagged/settled a bit.

all bolts are tight so i don't understand whats making the noise...whatever is doing it doesn't affect steering or braking...although being on the brakes means you don't need as big a bump to get it to make the clunk

the noise sounds like its coming from just in front of and just above my feet when i'm driving

#9 grossgary

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 08:29 AM

the noise i had that was similar to what you're describing ended up being strut related - i think it was the top strut mount.

is your vehicle lifted at all? or maybe EA81 steering geometry is different?

#10 LPGsuperchargedBrumby

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 04:41 PM

yeah i'm thinking it must be the top of the strut....altho i'm not sure how it can make the noises i'm hearing but i'm basically out of other options of what it could be.

and yeah i'm thinking the the steering geometry must be different on the EA81's...most people that have made comment on the tie rods hitting the rims seem to have been running EA82 platforms...

maybe the EA82 being that little bit wider in the wheel track allows things to clear

#11 grossgary

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 07:45 PM

yeah i'm thinking it must be the top of the strut....altho i'm not sure how it can make the noises i'm hearing

:lol: that's exactly what i thought when mine was "clunking" on potholes too. i should clarify though - i ended up swapping the entire strut assembly (strut, coil, top hat), entire assembly and the noise went away. so actually it was probably the strut that was bad in that case.

*** sorry i'm getting confused as i've had that issue, a broken spring, and failed top mount bearings all in the past year on different cars.

#12 Numbchux

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 12:26 PM

the most common suspension clunks are the bolts between control arm and leading rod. and top hat nuts (these can be difficult, as the spring keeps quite a bit of tension on them, but when you hit a bump, just a tiny bit of play can cause a major noise).

#13 martimus919

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 04:55 PM

Would there be a problem using the xt-6 strut and knuckle with this swap and just putting my top hats off of my brat onto them? I've got the whole front end and I'm planning on putting in an AWD Dual range as well, also how do you get the backing plate off of the rear i can't seem to do it.

#14 grossgary

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 05:03 PM

nope, you can use front XT6 hubs and struts just fine. AWD XT6's are all air suspension but you know that or have a fWD with coil overs.

#15 Jibs

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 05:10 PM

Would there be a problem using the xt-6 strut and knuckle with this swap and just putting my top hats off of my brat onto them? I've got the whole front end and I'm planning on putting in an AWD Dual range as well, also how do you get the backing plate off of the rear i can't seem to do it.


A lot of times the backing plate gets dirt and water in between them and the control arm and rust together a bit. Take a hammer and GENTLY tap the backing plate where the caliper mounts to the left and then to the right. it will eventually loosen and you can then tap it out (towards you) and it will come off. take some sandpaper or a file and clean the area on the car you are putting them on and they should go back on fairly easy.

#16 martimus919

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:21 AM

I guess these ones are pretty seased, i hammered for a while and nothing i guess I'll get a torch and some penetrating oil. But I'm picking the suspension and brake off of a 91 AWD auto XT-6 with coil suspension all the way around. Any body know if they have an LSD rear on the autos i can't see anything on it that says? I've already got one with my trans I'm putting in but I'm thinking i could get this one for my friends brat.

#17 Jibs

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 06:20 PM

I don't think any of the AWD xt6's had an lsd. If its in the yard and up on blocks, try spinning the rear tires. If both tires turn in the SAME direction = lsd. If they turn in opposite directions = open (non-lsd)

#18 Numbchux

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 10:59 PM

I think it was theoretically an option on 5MT XT6s.....but I've never seen/heard of one.

#19 martimus919

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:32 AM

Ya sorry I was mistaken it's a AWD Dual Range out of an RX

#20 LPGsuperchargedBrumby

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:04 AM

found what the is causing the noise i'm hearing when i hit bumps....the spring in the impreza strut is offset...the one on the old brumby strut is centered on the shock

the offset on the imp spring is causeing it to hit the bottom edge of the strut tower

i have a set of TEIN adjusty's that have a smaller spring diameter that should fix that problem

#21 martimus919

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 08:10 PM

What are the chances of taking the tie rods from a XT6 and putting it on a Brats power steering rack?
Looking at the 2 it seems like it would work but I'm not entirely sure. Or am i going to have to cut them down also?

Edited by martimus919, 07 February 2010 - 12:40 PM.


#22 LPGsuperchargedBrumby

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 02:44 AM

don't know about swapping XT6 rod ends on to a power steering rack, they should thread on...but best way to find out would be to measure the length of a power steer rack and compare it to the length of a non power steering rack

#23 Numbchux

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 12:38 PM

I don't know for sure if they are the same. But I know that they're interchangeable.


But why? just use the EA81 rod ends. the taper is the same size as XT6 and EJ knuckles, but they're shorter. then you won't have to cut anything down.

#24 LPGsuperchargedBrumby

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 11:21 PM

if your using ea81 rod ends make sure you use 16 inch rims or bigger...the 15 inch factory alloys i'm running needed a 5mm spacer plate to prevent the rod ends hitting the rim at full suspension drop

#25 Numbchux

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 11:35 PM

if your using ea81 rod ends make sure you use 16 inch rims or bigger...the 15 inch factory alloys i'm running needed a 5mm spacer plate to prevent the rod ends hitting the rim at full suspension drop


I still don't understand how that happened, but it obviously did. :confused:


do you think XT6 rod ends would solve that problem, though? I'm not clear where you were having the issue, so I'm not sure how to prevent it.




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