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To restore or rat the brat...?


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28 replies to this topic

#1 BlindSight

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:36 PM

So I picked up an old ratty 79 Brat.(and I do mean that literally...found multiple nests under the dash :-\). I am debating on what I want to do with it. It will eventually become my daily driver so im mostly worried about getting it running like a champ but while I have the dash and everything out im considering going ahead and re-doing the interior and restoring things...or just ignoring anything not functional. I plan on cutting out and patching any major rust and keep it as dependable as possible but should I spend the money to completely restore it and make it pretty or just leave it ratty and maybe drop it a little bit? I really love the hoodride/ratlook style stuff and appreciate the idea of working with what youve got and seeing the beauty and character in the age and patina.

Here are some VW caddy examples that I reallyl like. (can't really find any other brats that have done anything like this other than maybe that one they threw an rx7 motor in and drifted)

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HERE IT IS...
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Edited by BlindSight, 07 March 2012 - 02:16 PM.


#2 Subruise

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:49 PM

rat it.

#3 Idasho

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:07 PM

Patina is great, but from what Ive seen, if then entire body has natural patina, the car is such a rust bucket that it is about to fall apart.

Rust bucket body on a chassis rat rod okay, but a unibody? That just sounds dangerous.

I would advise to find a middle ground between rat rod and full resto. Make it a solid daily driver, and enjoy it. Just because you are fixing things doesnt mean you have to hide the age and history of it.

#4 Ionlyhave3suubs

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:48 PM

Definitely rat it!

Focus on it being mechanically sound and structurally safe. Re-inforce if needed but don't sweat the shine. Most older antique rats I've seen in my area (1920's through 1950's) have a theme. That could be a good concept to go with. Most of all make it safe. So many of the local rats look like (and probably are) deathtraps.

#5 BlindSight

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:07 PM

Yeah I want it as safe and dependable as possible....just not sure if I want to spend the time and money doing a full restoration. Anyone have any pictures of lower brats? I have also been trying to find any pictures of brats with any of the alloy or different rims like the snowflakes or enkeis but not having any luck. guess I could photoshop them.

#6 Giant

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:34 PM

give it the "two lane blacktop" flat grey paint job. looks rat without letting the rust take over

#7 BlindSight

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 01:15 AM

yeah might just take care of the bad rust and then spray the car with clear to keep it from getting any worse and such.

#8 ivans imports

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:48 AM

i'm restoring one right now must have over 80-120 hour in it and it had no rust right from the front bumper to the rear all gone through crazy amount of work one down two more to go

#9 shortysayhi

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:40 AM

You should post some pictures! :clap: I would say with out really seeing the car is to make it run amazing and you can always come back and restore it to tip top shape.

#10 BlindSight

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:31 PM

Some nice rusty pics up! Pulled the dash and heater/blower out monday, trying to get some electrical issues sorted out from the rats.(Another thread on here if your interested in helping with those)

#11 ironworkerboomer

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:44 PM

Ouch! but not the worst I've seen! just make it run like new. Reinforce the sub-frame if necessary, and drive the wheels off it.:drunk:

#12 Subruise

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:55 PM

i believe you have a set of jackmans on there. rare wheels. i still say rat it.

#13 bonvo

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:56 PM

enjoy
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#14 BlindSight

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 04:18 PM

Yeah I love the wheels on this thing, those I might actually get cleaned up and painted. The rust in the quarter panels around the rear wheels is pretty bad but its nothing structural so it shouldn't be too hard cutting out those really bad spots and welding in some fresh sheet metal. Still not sure the best way to tackle the bed other than finding someone with a scrap brat that could cut out their bed and just weld the whole piece in, I mean its not the worst so I could just patch it and por 15 or rhyno line it?
-nice bonvo...that thing looks new compared to mine :-p

#15 O.C.D.

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:57 PM

Saw an old VW truck like the ones you posted a few days ago. Man was it a looker. I say restomod. Make her sound and still retain that vintage look.

I am heading down this same path - resto and small drop with some bigger wagons and camber.

#16 O.C.D.

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 08:03 PM

enjoy
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Ok, that is freakin bad @$$!!!!

#17 Idasho

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 08:54 PM

Yeah, I dont think Id touch it cosmetically.

Build her up to make a great daily driver, and run it! :headbang:

#18 bonvo

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 05:23 AM

Ok, that is freakin bad @$$!!!!


i know isnt it? it makes me want to lower my goon but that would totally defeat the point of having a 4x4 lol

#19 BlindSight

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 07:13 PM

well 4x4 isn't just about going on rocky trails and crossing over deep holes, its also about keeping traction in bad and fast conditions....great for autocross or rally style racing which you want the car to be low to avoid rolling and such.

#20 bonvo

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 12:06 AM

yeah around here there are alot of fun places to go and do some rallying and i bought it for the 4x4 traction in the snow and ice so maybe i will lower it :P idk i havent seen alot of lifter first gen wagons though

#21 tundrabrat

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 01:57 PM

Way less rust then what I've seen people attempt to restore. If you're not planning to drive during winter I would Por15 the rust (discretely) and Polish what's left of the paint and I would make the interior a nicer place to be... the original graphics are way to cool to cover up.

If you plan to drive during the winter you need to restore or you won't be enjoying it for more than a year or two.

#22 BlindSight

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 02:36 PM

Well its in Texas now so I don't think winter will be much of an issue :). After hunting down some of the parts I need for the interior and either fixing of finding a new wiring harness ill get this thing back on the road and work on it bit by bit. I have around 2 years before my little sister starts driving so ill have my Scion XB to drive around until then if I need to tear this thing apart.

#23 tundrabrat

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:06 AM

Just spent 4 hours shoveling 4' of snow off my roof... I hating on you a little right now.:mad:

#24 BlindSight

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:56 AM

Yeah I think we have had maybe 1" of snow this year that lasted for about 2 hours before it melted, sorry.

#25 BlindSight

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:09 PM

Not much progress, picked up a new blower assembly but it needs some work still, started fixing it up but a bit to go before it can go back in. Main issue is I got a new harness but its for a wagon or something and isn't matching up so going to take me a while to either find a new one that actually fits or bite the bullet and start cutting and splicing :-/. I did get some random junk fenders for free so going to practice my sheet metal welding asap and hopefully get confident enough to start cutting out rust and welding in new patch pieces. I also got a new set of tires while discount tire was having their sale for $180, just need to find somewhere to mount them for cheap.




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