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Jessekrs123's 1984 Subaru BRAT


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209 replies to this topic

#1 Jessekrs123

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 08:14 PM

Just bought this BRAT for $600. Pretty good condition for what it is, very minimal rust. Only 62,000 miles. It needs a fuel pump, some new shifter bushings, and some TLC but other than that it's a great car.

Spent around 6 hours scrubbing the car down and getting it nice and clean. It had been sitting for around 3 years, and there began to grow algae or something around the body. Here are some before and after pics:

Before:
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After:
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The previous owner began to switch the tan interior over to blue, but I've decided to keep it tan so I am refitting everything with the tan bits that came with the car.

Quick video of the car running temporarily on some gas I poured into the carb:
YouTube - 1984 Subaru BRAT Startup

I cannot wait to get this thing running well and track down the original owner to transfer over the title.

#2 Jessekrs123

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 08:35 PM

Spent about 5 hours today taking all of the interior apart. I removed everything except the dashboard. Chiseled out some of the sound deadening material to expose some of the rust that existed. Here are some pics.

Put the spare tire back onto the spare tire bracket in the engine bay. Also check out those new battery terminals. The old battery terminals actually wore out this morning so the new ones were needed.
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The interior with almost everything gone.
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Milk crate seat.
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Assessed the fuel pump today. I ended up snapping 2 of the 3 bolts that hold the splash guard and mount the fuel pump. To those of you who do not know, the older fuel pumps were not even located in the fuel tank, but they are located outside of the fuel tank. Jumped the pump with 12 volts and it just popped. No pumping or anything so I will be getting a new fuel pump and filters this week.
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More to come...

Edited by Jessekrs123, 08 May 2011 - 08:37 PM.


#3 Idasho

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 08:40 PM

Cool find.

Amazing to have such little rust seeing all of that growth on it.

Where was it parked, in a rainforest??

#4 pksjeep

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 08:42 PM

Don't spend any time or money until you get the title in hand. I have a friend that was in the same situation (no title/bill of sale) and the police took the car because they said it was reported stolen and he was out the cash for buying it. He bought it at an estate sale and it seamed like a legitimate deal. I think the previous owner just wanted it back. To my knowledge the title owner has all the rights.:eek:

#5 bheinen74

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 09:52 PM

even with the low miles, that BRAT has lots of upper frame rot i can see in the picture on the right side rocker. I bet the frame is shot under the frame rails, at least up front.

Be cautious of any work until you see how bad the rot is. Yeah low miles is worth something, but i just scavenge / try to go for bodies that are solid these days cause i seen too many rotted. Post some pictures of the frame rails up under the rocker panels, to where they arch up to the cowl area.

I hope its solid though cause 600 is a lot if not.

#6 Jessekrs123

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 10:19 PM

even with the low miles, that BRAT has lots of upper frame rot i can see in the picture on the right side rocker. I bet the frame is shot under the frame rails, at least up front.

Be cautious of any work until you see how bad the rot is. Yeah low miles is worth something, but i just scavenge / try to go for bodies that are solid these days cause i seen too many rotted. Post some pictures of the frame rails up under the rocker panels, to where they arch up to the cowl area.

I hope its solid though cause 600 is a lot if not.


The rocker panels are in great shape. It is just surface rust, no gaping holes. There is significant rust elsewhere though, I will have in depth pictures of rust tomorrow when I get a chance.

#7 Jessekrs123

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 09:08 PM

Assessed all of the rust yesterday. For what it is this thing doesn't have much rust at all.

Passenger's side rocker and door:
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Passenger's side foot well:
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Tailgate with working latch :D:
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Driver's side rocker and door:
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Driver's side foot well:
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And the worst rust IMO, rear wheel wells and bed:
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All of the rust will be removed and new panels welded in. The rust in the rear wheel wells will be removed and the rear shock towers will be reinforced.

#8 Jessekrs123

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 09:13 PM

Oh yeah, and I cannot forget the wagon wheels that came with the car. These will be sandblasted and painted white.
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I spent a lot of time yesterday cleaning the remainder of the interior.

I also spent 2 hours scrubbing down the blue air cleaner cover to try to take all of the rust out. It was slowly removed and I didn't even get it all off, but to my surprise the rust was slowly being scrubbed away.

I ordered a new fuel pump today and I will be replacing all of the fluids. I'm sure once I get it running well I will come across more things to address.

#9 bheinen74

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 09:22 PM

please post a pic of when you have the left front supported by a jackstand, and the frame rail center.

ps the shock towers are toasted, basically not close to safe to drive. You have lots of money to fix, like 2-3g to fix that to safe.
\your 600 dollar brat will cost more than a solid 2g brat on ebay to run and drive it.

Edited by bheinen74, 10 May 2011 - 09:25 PM.


#10 MilesFox

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 10:59 PM

I contest that it costs 2 stacks to drive this car. I have similar body rust, althoughnone on the inside of the rocker, butt I got about 100 bucks in material to fix the framerail, and half the cost was primer and undercoating.


The best investment is a quart of por15. I treated rust with a knotted wire wheelon an angle grinder, and a wire brush. I used some naval jelly here and there.


Your efforts remind me of when I had a few ea81 back in the day. You seem toknow what you are doing well, and have access to the equipment to do it.

They say you can bring one from out west. Bt then it will rust also. T ere is an art to knowing where these cars rust out by seeing enough examples. You can presrve specific areas to prevent rut to begin withwashing off road salts is the best defense

#11 bratman18

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:25 AM

My Brat was far worse than that. It does not take much money at all to fix it, as long as you do it yourself. Just take your time and cut out all the rust, and replace with good sheet metal!!

#12 Jessekrs123

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 08:55 AM

Figured I would throw this in as well, while on the subject of old Subarus.

When my father was younger, him and his friend who was a 19 year Subaru tech would buy old Subarus (back then they were only a few years old), reinforce them, fix them up to run and beat the living snot out of them.

My father told me he would jump them all day, hardly ever smashed oil pans or bent up the radiator. They would flip them over numerous times, flip them back onto the wheels and flip it again. They purposely tried to kill these engines, and he said that you just couldn't kill them no matter what you did.

Here are just a picture of a few. If I were to ballpark it, they had well over 10 Subarus that they had fun with. And when they finally stopped running, they left them in the woods.

Here is an old hatch jumping:
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And if you look in the background there is an old coupe:
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He has more pictures, and when he comes across them in the basement, I'll post them here.

#13 1982gl4

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:13 PM

Awesome project, I also like the pics of your dad's old stuff! My brat was easily as bad as yours if not worse, took me a long time to get it together (and its apart again now) Keep at it and don't give up and she will look great soon!

#14 Jessekrs123

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 09:20 AM

IT LIVESSSSSS MWUHAHAHAHAHA

Got out of school this morning at like 7:00.

Went to NAPA to pick up the fuel filters, the kid only ordered one but at least the one that came in was for the fuel pump and not the one in the engine bay.

Then I headed up to the Subaru dealer and got the fuel pump.

Headed back home, hooked up all of the fuel lines and the new fuel filter and connected the fuel pump. Had to keep turning it over for a good minute to get everything primed and ready to go. Then it started. I had to sit on the gas for a little while to cycle through all the old gas but after about 2 minutes it started running smoothly.

Oil pressure gauge works, coolant temp gauge works, gas gauge does not work though, I'll look a little more into that. Cooling fans also work, heater blower works.

Here is a video of me driving it around :D:
YouTube - 1984 Subaru BRAT Driving

Next step will be a complete fluid changeout. New oil, oil filter and coolant. The car stayed cool, but the coolant smells like a dirty lady.

The transmission works beautifully. Every gear works, hi/low 4WD works. Shifter bushings are shot, but it shifts in and out of gear wonderfully.

So excited!!! :banana::banana::banana:

#15 Jessekrs123

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 06:12 PM

Replaced the second fuel filter, oil filter and changed out the oil on this rainy day. Luckily there was enough room in my garage to peek the BRAT's head in so it wasn't too bad.

I will be getting new radiator hoses tomorrow and installing those along with some new coolant.

Finished school today so now it's just BRAT and work.

Then I will be assessing the interior rust and rocker panels so I can fix that, get the interior all back together and get this beast on the road. I will deal with the outer body rust after the interior rust is removed and interior put back together.

I'm also looking for jumpseats with the seatbelts. If anyone has them and wants to get rid of them let me know. I have to be able to haul around more than 1 person, especially with summer coming up.

#16 Jessekrs123

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:19 AM

Changed out the radiator hoses and coolant yesterday.

Now I'm on the lookout for some sheet metal and maybe some rocker panels if I can find them. If not, I'll have to make a stencil and send it to an auto body shop, or fab it up myself.

Compression test will be done when I change out the spark plugs, just to be sure.

Anyways, I haven't had any new pics of the car, but my father did find a lot of pics of him and his friends' old Subarus, so I'll put them here for your viewing pleasure.

Enjoy.
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#17 Jessekrs123

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:21 AM

Moar...

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#18 Jessekrs123

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 06:51 PM

I actually found a company that makes rocker panels for the older Subarus. Mill Supply Inc. has rocker panels that are for the older wagons, but the bodys are all very similar with eachother, so all I have to do is cut off the rear quarter and everything should fit in very nicely. Even if they aren't identical, they should be close enough.

I just ordered those so once those come in, the old quarter panels will come out and the new ones welded in.

Still looking for some good sheet metal for the cab floor.

Nothing really new since I got the car running. The gas gauge does infact work, I'm thinking that the float got stuck after sitting so long so it just needed some new gas in there to get it moving so now all of my gauges work.

Also the passenger's side front blinker bulb is on it's way out so I will be replacing that.

#19 Twitch de la Brat

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 10:55 PM

Ahahahahahaaaaaa!!!!
You call that bad rust?
Lolz, I've rallied my 85 and it has more rust than that.
The doors don't connect at the bottom any more.
The driver's side floor board is being held on in that corner by the carpeting!
The rear strut towers have 10x the rust on them, to the point I had to screw
some old sheet metal over the holes to keep mud from splattering up on my
rear window! :lol:

Have fun restoring it and don't let it intimidate you.
Mine will run me into the ground if I let it think it intimidates me.
Thanks for the name drop on the company that does rocker panels, I'll be
looking them up.

Sweet pix, but poor cars.
Esp that red hatch, it was beat to hell and back.
And I noticed all of the cars were EA81's and EA71's.
Not an EA82 of the bunch.
Doesn't that say something, all you EA82 guys?!? *prepares to duck*

Twitch

PS: Sweet BRAT, hope you can keep it going for a long time :)

Edited by Twitch de la Brat, 21 May 2011 - 10:56 PM.
Missed a detail


#20 Jessekrs123

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:25 AM

And I noticed all of the cars were EA81's and EA71's.
Not an EA82 of the bunch.
Doesn't that say something, all you EA82 guys?!? *prepares to duck*

Twitch

PS: Sweet BRAT, hope you can keep it going for a long time :)


Yeap, just waiting on the rockers and some sheet metal so I can weld up the interior and put it all back together. And yes, no EA82s. Definitely not as reliable as the 81s and 71s.

#21 1982gl4

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 08:06 AM

Awesome pics, and I have used those rockers they work really well! They are a little short for an ea81 but it's not even noticeable. I used them on my wagon! I also got the rear quarters they offer, and it came out pretty good. Good luck on your brat project, I need to get back to mine....

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#22 The Dude Abides

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 10:24 AM

Good luck on your project, its def not as bad as others ive seen.

#23 bheinen74

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:53 PM

New buyer picked up the 98 RS at 7am today and took it with his trailer.

Went to the Nascar Nationwide race today. Fun time, tailgated in the BRAT.

Today I pulled off the Continental Snow Kings winter snow tires, installed my summer tires.
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the mud you see is from the parking lot at the Iowa Speedway we have had rain lately, but the race was dry. 35 miles east of the race, they got 20 minutes of hail marble sized.
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#24 Jessekrs123

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 08:13 PM

New buyer picked up the 98 RS at 7am today and took it with his trailer.

Went to the Nascar Nationwide race today. Fun time, tailgated in the BRAT.

Today I pulled off the Continental Snow Kings winter snow tires, installed my summer tires.
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the mud you see is from the parking lot at the Iowa Speedway we have had rain lately, but the race was dry. 35 miles east of the race, they got 20 minutes of hail marble sized.
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Wow your BRAT looks spectacular. It is identical to mine minus the rust, dents, missing trim pieces, black bed liner, lift, front bar and wagon wheels.

#25 bheinen74

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 11:15 PM

oops, sorry , my post got on wrong thread. Mods move if you want. otherwise just accept as a quirk of nature.




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