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1978 Subaru Brat. From death to life and everything in-between


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98 replies to this topic

#1 spicypeanut

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 02:33 AM

Hey all, I've had Subaru's for the last 8 years or so but this is my first old school one. I just picked up a nice 1978 Brat. Well I'll let the pictures speak for  themselves. This is one clean car (except for the interior. Its pretty rough). The motor on this one is toast. I'll try to take a picture of why in a minute but until then here are some quick pictures.

 

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The goal for this car is to get it back in running condition and enjoy it for what it is. I believe the interior used to be brown but the previous owner did some painting of some of the panels black. I also ripped out the nasty speakers from the door panels. Is there anything that looks off that anyone can tell right away?

 

Just added the picture of the end of a valve that wanted to say hello.


Edited by spicypeanut, 22 March 2014 - 09:54 PM.


#2 BratRod

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 02:44 AM

Is that a push-rod?



#3 skishop69

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 10:15 AM

Nope. that's a valve that the head broke off of and punched through the cover. ouch!  Nice paint job. Looks great so far! Interior will be fun but worth it.



#4 spicypeanut

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 12:48 AM

Okay, so I did a little more cleaning today. I took off the god awful "3way" speakers that were just screwed into the door panels. I also took out the larger speaker that was installed under the glove box. I don't really know too much, heck I don't know anything about Brats. Do either of those speakers look factory? I highly doubt it but I really have no clue. Anyways the dash is pretty badly cracked but at least its clean now. I also need to clean the dash mat. I really think there is a panel or something missing from below the glove box. I saw a photo of a Brat that had AC and there was some panel there (which isn't on mine). The wiring under the steering column is pretty messy. Was that tachometer something that was from Subaru? ( I doubt this also). If not I am going to remove it. I didn't really know what to take pictures of but here are a few snaps I took.

 

 

I'm finding all sorts of things in this car....

 

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Edited by spicypeanut, 22 March 2014 - 10:00 PM.


#5 petey

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 01:03 AM

Can't see pictures....is it just me?

#6 spicypeanut

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 01:41 AM

Can't see pictures....is it just me?

This forum automatically formats it. You can go directly to my flikr page, it might work for you that way.

 

http://www.flickr.co...s/48004531@N06/


Edited by spicypeanut, 10 December 2013 - 01:42 AM.


#7 TomRhere

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 03:57 AM

Good platform to start with, well worth the cost.

 

Gotta say, that valve sticking out of the cylinder head is a 1st for me in some 45 years of wrenching on vehicles. Be interesting to see the rest of the damage in that cylinder.



#8 spicypeanut

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 03:05 PM

Good platform to start with, well worth the cost.

 

Gotta say, that valve sticking out of the cylinder head is a 1st for me in some 45 years of wrenching on vehicles. Be interesting to see the rest of the damage in that cylinder.

I'm planning on pulling the motor and doing some sort of a tear down. I'll be sure to post pictures. My friend and I were talking and we think maybe the valve retainer let go. But really who knows lol.

 

I need to start making a list of the things that the Brat needs. So far I can tell already that the mirrors are wrong. They have FoMoCo stamped into them...



#9 spicypeanut

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:46 PM

Plan for tonight.

 

1. prep ashtray and ashtrak trim surround for black re-spray (whoever painted it black before did a awful job)

2. remove both bucket seats

3. remove carpet

 

Here are some pictures of the tear down.

 

I was able to strip the god awful black pain on the ashtray, and re-install the now clean dash cover. Much much better.

 

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The carpet is pretty nasty, so that's going in the trash. Also, there is a lot of what looks to be thick cardboard floor coverings. All of that is pretty much dry, cracked and just falling apart. So all those parts are going to get trashed also. The plan is to get the Brat over to an upholstery shop and have them carpet everything. 


Edited by spicypeanut, 22 March 2014 - 10:06 PM.


#10 lvsarge

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 01:44 PM

A lot of this looks familiar. The guy I bought my brat from had a horrible stereo setup where he butchered the radio console and created a custom speaker box from cardboard and fiberglass. That came out on day 1. Ha. Good luck with the restoration.



#11 spicypeanut

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 10:01 PM

Over the last two days I was able to make some progress. I went to the local bar supply store and bought 20 pounds of dry ice. Once I got it home, I smashed it all up and spread it around on top of all the old sound deadening material. After the old nasty material got cold enough it just popped off with a few hits of a hammer. Underneath all the old material there was a few spot of minimal surface rust. Which I dealt with using a wire brush on a power drill and a quick coat of Rustoleum black paint. Once I got into painting mode I got a little carried away as you can see most of the interior floor is now black. :)

 

I think I must have taken nearly 15 pounds of old nasty sound deadener out of the cab. I didn't take any pictures of the actual frozen mayhem but it was fun and DIRTY work. After the paint dried I made a few rubber grommets with some thick rubber to cover the factory floor plug holes. I used some silicone caulking in order to create a water tight seal. Next time I plan on laying down the new hush mat I bought. But here are a couple pictures. 

 

It's the first time its sat in the sun in at-least a year.

 

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The bricks and weights are to hold the rubber in place while the silicone dries.


Edited by spicypeanut, 22 March 2014 - 10:09 PM.


#12 spicypeanut

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 11:44 PM

New carpet and a replacement turn signal lens are now on the way. Thank you ebay! Now if I can just figure out what the deal is with the side mirrors. I don't get it. Did these cars come with side mirrors? If I do a google image search some gen 1's have side mirrors and some don't! Which is it?



#13 Bantum

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:07 AM

Tacho & Speakers definitely not original, they did however have door mirrors ( there should still be evidence of holes for them ) ... :)

Will see if I can find a picture for you ... ;)

 

Cheers, Bantum ...


Edited by Bantum, 16 December 2013 - 11:31 AM.


#14 spicypeanut

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 11:29 AM

Not much progress has been made in the last few days. Sunpro Tach is now gone. There seems to be a couple of loose wires I need to figure out where they belong. I've mocked up the sound deadening on the floor, just need to peel and stick! I'm taking the seats to my upholstery guy shortly. There is a metal bar under the drivers side that sits right above your legs. It seems to connect to the heater box and to the drivers side cabin wall. Its very loose so I need to figure out what the deal is with that. I wish I had someone that knew what all this stuff was rather than me guessing.

 

Just dropped off my seats at the upholstery shop. Should have them back in a few weeks.


Edited by spicypeanut, 21 December 2013 - 12:54 PM.


#15 spicypeanut

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:40 PM

All the sound deadening is now in place. I could probably use a few more pieces to really get some good coverage but I've pretty much got most of the previously covered area's covered again. I was also able to fix the passenger side kick tray, driver side bar and interior fuse panel. There was a little bit of rust at the battery tray, that I was able to hit with the wire wheel and some black rustoleoum spray paint. Its really starting to look good. Next up on my to do list is going to be...

 

To Do List:

1. 2 more pieces of sound deadening

2. run 4 wires for speakers that I plan on mounting at the rear of the cabin

3. run 8 wires for off road lights that I plan on mounting onto the rear roll bar

4. fix wiring for passenger side door ajar sensor

5. fix wiring for drivers side door ajar sensor

6. decide what to do with the steering wheel. (wheel has a 1/4 inch crack at top dead center. do I wrap with tape and put a leather cover or replace it with an aftermarket nice looking steering wheel?)

 

Waiting For List:

1. molded carpet from Australia

2. seats being re-upholstered at Victor's Upholstery

3. waiting for a complete passenger side turn signal assembly via Ebay

4. waiting on NGK plug wires set via Ebay

5. waiting on replacement Weber carb air cleaner assembly and filter via Ebay

 

I love Ebay :)


Edited by spicypeanut, 22 December 2013 - 11:52 PM.


#16 spicypeanut

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 06:58 PM

Here are some pics of the progress that I'm making. 

 

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All the sound deadening should be in. I also took a pic of the bar that goes from the heater, into the fuse panel. It was installed upside down when I got the car and was falling off. Now its sturdy and strong and not going ANYWHERE! I also got some plasti-dip and sprayed the passenger side foot-well panel on both sides. It will make the interior look a little-bit nicer.


Edited by spicypeanut, 22 March 2014 - 10:13 PM.


#17 spicypeanut

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 08:36 PM

Today we made some more progress. I removed the front push bar, and the rear roll bar. I bagged the bolts and put the bars in the truck in preperation of taking them to get blasted and powder coated. Anyone know if its possible to do a dull or mat powder coat finish? If not I bet the shiny black brand new powder coating will stick out from the rest of the car. Thoughts?

 

I was able to get the battery cables (both positive and negative) cleaned up. There was some massive corrosion on both of them. Rather than buy brand new ones I just used a polishing wheel that's mounted on the bench and cleaned them right up. Now they look brand new! Did a little wire repair on some random wires floating around the engine bay.

 

I borrowed a buddies power washer (that I couldn't get to run for more than 15 seconds). So I just hit the entire engine bay with cans of de-greaser, brake cleaner and then hosed it all down. It looks 100% better. Now when we get into pulling things from the engine bay we wont get absolutely grungy (nearly as fast at least). 

 

I received my replacement Weber air cleaner assembly from Ebay, which looks great. So once the plug wires come and I can get the truck to my mechanic I'll be able to get this thing running!

 

I pulled out an old alpine cda 7892 single dinn head unit that I would like to install into the brat. But really I don't know the first thing about wiring it up. 



#18 RustyBrat

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 10:31 PM

holy crap you got a cherry! super nice brat and man are you lucky! no rust on the floorboards! check out mine haha, no floorboards left before i "repaired" them



#19 BratRod

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 03:27 PM

I spot O-Scale stuff... 


Edited by BratRod, 27 December 2013 - 03:28 PM.


#20 spicypeanut

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 07:35 PM

Hey all I've got a little update to share. I really haven't had much time to work on it myself, but here is where I stand currently.

 

Interior is nearly done. I had the old nasty seats redone. The god awful door panels have been redone. The carpet has been replaced. All interior trim (besides the dash, steering wheel, and steering column) is now black. Brand new seat belts (almost fully installed). But take a look at the pictures and let me know what you think. I also need to re-install the passenger side shelf thing. Which looks better than brand new! But I would say its coming along nicely.

 

The motor is currently out of it along with the transmission, exhaust, and axles (front).

 

 

 

 

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Edited by spicypeanut, 22 March 2014 - 10:17 PM.


#21 skinny664521903

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 10:34 PM

How much did you pay for the brat.



#22 spicypeanut

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 02:00 AM

How much did you pay for the brat.

I would prefer not to say. Just enjoy the before and after pictures! 



#23 Bantum

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 10:39 AM

That looks pretty smick ... B)

I would try & keep it as original as possible, go for a leather wrap on the steering wheel in a colour to match the rest of interior ... :)

 

Cheers, Bantum ...



#24 bendecker

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 02:21 PM

On the steering wheel, I've seen some very tempting tutorials on using epoxy putty to fix the cracks, followed by a spray of plastic paint. I have a black steering wheel and plan on doing that when life allows it. I figure that in the worst case scenario, if it doesn't look good, no harm done and I'll just cover it up with leather wrap.

 

I can totally relate to your work on the interior and got a good chuckle out of the pics of the passenger-side shelf thing and the ashtray -- both of which I just redid in the same manner.

 

One thing that bugs me in my Brat are the red buttons in the seat belt receivers. The plastic is pretty baked and you can literally scratch it with your fingernail. On my to-do list is to source some new ones so they look as good at the rest of the interior.

 

Looks great. Please keep us posted on progress.


Edited by bendecker, 05 February 2014 - 02:23 PM.


#25 spicypeanut

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 05:16 PM

Ok so I was able to make a little progress today. I fully installed the new seat belt mechanisims after figuring out where they actually bolt up to. I needed 2 more Grade 8 bolts before I could install the seatbelt buckle itself. I also received my new radio antenna. The PO cut the antenna wire awful short and I had a hell of a time trying to repair it. But since I can't open the door all the way (since the car is sitting on a lift) I can't look up under the dash when trying to fish the antenna wire through the A pillar. That will have to wait until next time, so for now the old broken antenna has been removed. I was also able to get a look at the motor (which is partially torn down). Take a look at the pics:

 

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Edited by spicypeanut, 08 February 2014 - 05:23 PM.





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