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My 79 Brat build


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253 replies to this topic

#1 Kevint143

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:34 PM

Hey everyone so i figured I would start a build thread for my BRAT. I Picked it up at the end of Oct. and have been using it as a daily driver. Pretty excited to have picked this one up after reading all the hard work one of the former owners put into the rust repair. So first off if Waldoz reads this thanks for all of that!

Disclaimer: This is my first time ever working on my own car and I am learning everything as I go. I picked up a couple of repair manuals a tool set and am ready to go so even the most minor repair is some what of a big deal to me!

So far I have just been fixing things as they break or wear out. When I picked the car up it ran but needed a little bit of attention. First I flushed all of the fluids and after doing that I could already notice an improvement. For example the trans fluid was so gunked up it looked like mud and not fluid. After that I discovered the tranny mounts were broken so I had to replace those. Doing that was not as big of a deal as I thought it would be. My next venture was trying to track down a replacement window regulator for the driver side door. I am not sure what happened but the one in the car just seized up and would not budge. After searching the interwebs I had no luck locating one but I did come across the phone number and tip to check out Johns Subaru about 45 mins from portland and so I gave him a call told him what I was looking for and he had me come over and pulled the regulator out of a wrecked 78/79 brat. After getting that fixed I am beyond happy that I can roll my window up all the way especially in the NW winter time.

Some other things I have done was tuned the carb, changed spark plugs & fan belt, got the aftermarket tach that a previous owner installed working properly, the a/c blower, windshield wiper and lights kept cutting out so I had to investigate that and it turned out it was jut a bad ground in the wiring.

Other than that I haven't had too many problems with it. I am not really sure what direction i want to go with it. I know I have a little bit of rust that needs to be taken care of and also need to address the paint but I either need to find someone who is willing to help me out with that or wait until we move into a house in the next month or so that way I can have a garage and not only work on it when it is dry out.

ok ok ok enough rambling here are a few pictures and thanks for reading.

Posted Image
IMG_0157 by Kevin Talley, on Flickr

Posted Image
1979 Subaru Brat by Kevin Talley, on Flickr

Posted Image
1979 Subaru Brat by Kevin Talley, on Flickr

Posted Image
1979 Subaru Brat by Kevin Talley, on Flickr

Posted Image
1979 Subaru Brat by Kevin Talley, on Flickr

Posted Image
1979 Subaru Brat by Kevin Talley, on Flickr
Shift knob I made at work.

Posted Image
1979 Subaru Brat by Kevin Talley, on Flickr
Installed

Posted Image
1979 Subaru Brat by Kevin Talley, on Flickr

I will keep updating as I make progress or have questions.

#2 herb

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:51 PM

looks like you've got yourself a good platform, and you're off to a good start! I like that shift knob. good luck, and keep up the good work.

#3 Kevint143

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:04 PM

Thanks herb. Yeah I have been looking for a Brat for quite some time now but never felt confident in my lack of skills to pull the trigger on most I have seen on CL but then this one came up and was a good enough price and in decent enough shape that I figured I could handle it and I am sure glad I picked this one up.

#4 turbosubarubrat

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:39 PM

i have seen quite a few of these in the past few years all you have to do is keep a eye out for them. thats how there is 4 brats at my house:headbang: my 85 and my dads 78,78, and 79. you can even pick them up super cheap around $100-$350 if your lucky. glad to see another person found johns:clap:there is also a subaru shop in portland that has a lot of stuff has brats, sedans, wagons, even had 3-4 older stage 1 and stage 2 wagons. you should get a roll bar:brow:also you should get a factory subaru manual if you haven't already, they are full of tons of information that is skipped in others.

#5 Kevint143

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:42 PM

Yeah johns is a awesome place. I was surprised to see the brat handled the hills around his shop pretty easily. And I have been looking for a roll bar do you have a spare?:brow: I also have the brush guard that I need to clean up and paint before I put it on.

#6 turbosubarubrat

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:49 PM

nope i dont have a spare only have the one for my 85 and my dads 79 which i both have build threads on here for as well as my 83 ea81t wagon:banana: trust me brats can handle way worse than those hills take a look on utube

#7 Kevint143

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:51 PM

Oh I have read your threads from start to finish. I will probably end up making my own roll bar but will keep my eyes peeled for one until that day comes.

#8 biffanyus

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:29 PM

Very cool but in my opinion keep it stock. Any small pieces you might need??? Let me know I have a few odds and ends....

#9 Kevint143

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:35 PM

as of right now I can't think of much I need..I usually don't know what I need until it needs replacing. And I will most likely keep most of it stock. So far everything that has been replaced has been an OEM replacement part or off a scrap brat from the junk yard. The one thing that has been put in by a previous owner is a 2 1/4'' glasspack and then the exhaust was routed out behind the drivers door.

#10 biffanyus

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:48 PM

If you ever want to put a/c in your brat, I have all the parts with instructions to do so for sale...

#11 Kevint143

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:49 PM

The A/C seems to work its the heater that wont get warm..makes for some cold mornings.

#12 Kevint143

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:56 PM

Posted Image
1979 subaru brat by Kevin Talley, on Flickr

Random picture

#13 biffanyus

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:00 PM

Sorry but I saw the pic of the engine bay and there no compressor there so I dont think yours is equipped with a/c. All the panels on the brats say a/c on them but that dosent mean they are equipped with it. It was an option back then. Your fan will blow air and if its cold outside it will blow cold air in... Just from what I can see but Im not there to take a better look.. so double check that..

#14 Kevint143

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:02 PM

hmm you are probably right it does blow cold air. But that's good to know and I will look into that...would this have anything to do with why my heater doesn't ever blow warm air?

#15 biffanyus

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:04 PM

No it should sill have heat so you might have another issue there. Im in Florida so I never even checked to see if my heater works.

#16 Kevint143

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:12 PM

hm ok. I will look at it tomorrow. If I posted pics would you be able to for sure tell me yes or no that it is there?

#17 scole665

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:14 PM

Looks great. Good luck with it.

My '79 has A/C. You can see the unit installed on the inside just under the glovebox. It has separate control knobs.

Posted Image

Edited by scole665, 29 December 2012 - 11:27 PM.


#18 Kevint143

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:22 PM

Gotchta and the compressor is the unit just to the right under the air cleaner next to the alternator right?

Posted Image

#19 Kevint143

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:24 PM

hehe I found your photos and that's obviously your engine bay

#20 scole665

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:28 PM

hehe I found your photos and that's obviously your engine bay


Right, that's it ... right next to the alternator

Edited by scole665, 29 December 2012 - 11:30 PM.


#21 Kevint143

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:30 PM

Yeah i do not have that. good eye and thanks for pointing it out!

#22 turbosubarubrat

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:30 PM

looking over the old build thread it looks like it does not have ac but where in oregon you might use ac 2 at most 3 months out of the year so you dont really need it

#23 Kevint143

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:35 PM

Exactly I don't think I have used our a/c i the forester more than 2/3 days in the summer

#24 Kevint143

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:40 PM

The one thing I do need if anyone has one is the gas pedal. I don't wanna buy an aftermarket set unless I can't find an original matching one.

#25 biffanyus

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 12:45 AM

Gas pedals are hard to come by but they might be someone out there with an extra.




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