This is my 1983 BRAT that I bought this summer. It was in pretty good shape when I had bought it, but it needed a paint job for sure, haha. The previous owner had put hours into it, and it was running well. He had also cut out and re-welded all of the large rust spots/holes. I had been looking for a BRAT for a while, and this one was in good enough shape to give me the gumption to purchase.
Here is a complete list of what the seller did to it before I got it (besides body work and rust replacement):
At 167,000 miles
Converted Trans to 4 speed single range 4WD Manual out of an '81 GL
Front right wheel bearing replaced
Engine/Transmission swap. 4WD Dual-range, 4 speed Manual trans with a bigger clutch from an '84 GL wagon. Engine still an EA81. 135,000 miles on those.
Valve cover gaskets, oil pan gasket, 2 crank seats, carb gasket
New clutch disc, new pilot bearing, new fluids
New balljoints, new tie rod ends, new brake rotors, rebuilt calipers, remanufactured CV-axles (auto zone), new brake pads, front wheel bearings repacked with fresh grease, alignment
New performance exhaust
Front shocks/struts out of a low mile '86 Brat
New Monroe rear struts
Bucket seats from an eagle talon installed
Custom rear bumper installed
Front and rear body cut flush with bumpers
Then, when I was in the process of buying it he sealed the undercarriage and coated it with Rhino Liner and coated the bed with Rhino Liner also. After I bought it, he did extensive body work to both doors and the front fenders, primed it, and painted it (double stage paint job with pearl metallic black paint with red flecks that show when the sun shines directly onto the car) He also installed another step panel, so now both sides have the secret step panel. I then put in a carpet kit (which wasn't even wide enough for the car, which was great) and have spent many many hours cleaning and detailing the interior. I also broke all of the plastic fins off the vents because the plastic was all crumbly and nasty. It looks pretty clean now.
Since I have bought the car, I have made it my mission to get it to stop leaking, so I have since had new oil pump housing gaskets installed and the crank seal replaced. When we bled the brakes, the master cylinder froze up, so we installed a new master cylinder. It was still leaking, so we replaced a large part of the oil pump that was cracked and put in a new oil sensor. Then the water pump and front brake calipers started leaking so we replaced those. I just barely ordered new rear drum brake adjuster screws because the old ones are completely worn out. I also have new KYB front struts, but haven't put them on yet.
The mechanic told me that the only thing that they can see that is still leaking is the rear main seal, but I am waiting to replace that since the engine must be removed to replace that one. I am hoping that it will definitely not leak after this.