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79 Brat in Vegas


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#1 lvsarge

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 04:32 PM

Hey guys. I've been posting on and off in this community for a while. I did an introductory post but other than that I've been mostly here to ask and answer questions (mostly asking, to be fair). Since then I've been tearing apart my truck and trying to make it sound. When I purchased the truck, I think I was mesmerized by a fresh coat of paint and just being in the presence of a 1st gen BRAT, so I bought it without looking too close at it. It has it's share of problems, but overall it's still a pretty solid truck.

 

I'm also a member, and forum administrator for Flat4 Las Vegas. We are a group of Subaru enthusiasts, although I will admit that most of the folks in the club are very WRX-STI oriented, which is a mostly younger crowd. Nothing wrong with that. I enjoy Subarus of all years and models, but as I age, I really find myself enjoying my classic more than my STI.

 

Anyway, I started a build journal over on my home website, but I thought I'd also like to transplant it over here and see what you guys think -- and maybe get some suggestions along the way. Anyway, hope you enjoy it. There's quite a few pictures!

 

Here's when I bought the truck. I got it in Carson City. It's a good 7 hour drive from Las Vegas. Went up there, saw it, drove it, and brought it home the same day. Very tiring, but it was nice to bring it home. It has a fairly new paint job on it, although it's a Maaco paint job, and it's flaking off in some spots. Also the previous owner did cover some rust with it, so it's going to be coming off. Also the bed was rattle-canned, as well as part of the engine bay. I'm actually addressing the engine bay currently which you'll see below..

 

 

 

This actually came with two sets of jump seats.

I also got a spare set of tires in the deal, and the original tailgate and fender which were replaced. The tailgate is junk, but the fender is still usable so holding on to that.

 

 

And a spare quad-light grille!

 

 

Lots of original parts too, and spare things the previous owner stripped from junk yards. Door handles, mirrors, etc.

 

 

Interior as it came... Pay attention to the center/shifter area. He had a custom stereo solution done, which I was not a fan of. Basically chopping up the console, and using some fiberglass/cardboard to build a speaker box for some 8" mids. I removed it almost immediately.

 

 

 

An overflow tank which had seen enough.. Was leaking and eating through the rattle canned portion of the engine bay.

 

 

Sitting outside, after my first inspection..

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bed was pretty beat up, and I actually poked my finger through the driver side wheel well. Figured that was going to be a big problem. I've never done body work before, so I figured I'd try it out. Looking back at these pictures, I think I could have done a better job, but I think once I get everything sorted I can hopefully bondo some of the lows from welding and make it look fairly proper. I haven't addressed anything else in the bed since this, so I will be coming back to it.

 

 

 

 









Power blasting as much muck off the bottom as we can.



#2 lvsarge

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 04:32 PM

At this point, I was having some problems with the motor. I was only really using it for small commutes as I really had only checked and replaced essential fluids and hadn't actually mechanically remedied anything on the motor. I did replace plugs and wires. Two of the wires were corroded from moisture, and one of the plugs was burnt up pretty bad. After running them a few hundred miles, I was getting misfires in cylinder 2. Compression looked good, but what appeared to be the problem was a bad oil seal on the intake valve, which was seeping oil in the cylinder and causing a lot of unburnt gas to get expelled and backfiring like crazy.

 

So I got a little inspired, tore the motor down, painted things with a Subaru STi inspired flare.

 

 

Pressure plate got stuck on the trans pulling it out. :/

 

 

 

 

Cylinders were good. Pistons, other than carbon build up were pretty good.

 

 

Cleaned up the heads a bit by hand, but ultimately ended up taking them to a machine shop to address some of the valves and seating.

 

 

Exhaust valve seating was a little iffy.

 

 

 

Here's the busted seal.

 

 

 

So I took the heads away, and just started scrubbing the block down, and cleaning it all up.

 

 

 

Snapped a bolt off in the water pump...

 

 

Clean clean clean..

 

 

Found loads of old oil foil seals in the pan. Literally about 30.

 

 

Cleaned up.

 

 

Loads of parts. This is my first engine tear down too, so I didn't want to confuse myself. Labeled and bagged everything.

 

 

Scrub Scrub Scrub... Clean Clean Clean.

 

 

There was a lot of oil build up around the pan and the oil pump. After removing the pump I saw the oil ring got sucked in. Fantastic.

 

 

Heads came back!

 

 

 

I tried to address that broken bolt by backing it out with locked nuts and PB blaster. That didn't work...

 

So I welded a nut on there.

 

 

No luck. So I tried drilling it out, and welding it out, and then another nut on there....

 

 

 

Then another, and another and another... It was pissing me off. So I quit. Moved on to other things.

 

Sand down and paint other parts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to the bolt... Drilled it out and helicoiled the P.O.S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mounted the heads...

 

 

And more reassembly.

 

 

 

 


Edited by lvsarge, 17 June 2014 - 04:54 PM.


#3 lvsarge

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 04:56 PM

Trans time.. Dropped it covered in about an inch of dirt and gear oil. Rear crossmember was disgusting.

 

 

 

I have a bad leak coming from the gear selector. I found an old thread on this forum which referenced a seal, so I bought one from Subaru and this time I cheated.. My friend has a Trans shop so I took it to him for a full re-seal and clean up. It came out beautiful.

 



#4 SmashedGlass

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 05:14 PM

Nice work, man  B)



#5 Scooner

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 11:22 PM

Wow, damn nice!

#6 tominssti

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 12:26 PM

Great work so far! I like the white STI too  :)



#7 RustyBrat

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 06:34 PM

what kind of paint did you use on the intake manifold and valve covers?



#8 lvsarge

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 09:30 AM

Thanks for the praise guys.

 

The paint is VHT Wrinkle Red with the reccomended VHT primer for it. All cured in the oven. You have to lay it on real thick to get that wrinkle effect. The manifold turned out very textured, but the valve covers are more smooth.



#9 lvsarge

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 02:56 PM

I've been stripping paint in the engine bay. A very tiring process here in Las Vegas when it's over 102 every day. So, nothing very exciting to post but I did find this fun picture I thought I might share. Posing the Brat on some SSR GT2's I got for my STI.

 



#10 stewartkb

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 04:59 AM

Nice, any progress lately?



#11 lvsarge

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 01:45 PM

Hey guys.

 

The wife and I took our honeymoon to Alaska (in July) and since then, I have hardly touched this thing at all. In LV it's so damn hot out that I really have little drive to do anything. However, this last Labor Day weekend I was very excited to get some things done. I did finish painting the engine bay, but sadly, I didn't get much further than that. In any case, with the bay painted, I'm much more clear to getting this thing back on the road. I wanted a friend to come by to help me stab the transmission in, and not scuff up the paint, but he flaked on me.... so I cleaned up some parts and masked up the hood for some painting (on the underside)...

 

Anyway, here's some progress:

 

I started with this:

 

 

Guy I bought it from either didn't care or was just pretty bad at painting (No offense, Mark, you're still a nice guy...)

 

So since there was a lot of surface rust, and some fairly bad spots I just decided to strip to bare metal, repair what needed to be repaired, and then re-primered and re-painted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#12 lvsarge

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 02:17 PM

And this is all taking place in an itty bitty one-car garage. I am so ready to move. I want to finish this truck but I hate working on it. I have the engine and trans in the bed. Good thing this is a truck, else I'd have nowhere to put that stuff.



#13 lvsarge

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 12:27 PM

Okay nothing super crazy this time. I got the wiper motor, washer tank, and fuel pump all mounted up. Did some painting on the brake line guard (wrinkle red), and then I started running the wiring harness. I found some wire conduit I had in periwinkle, and decided to run it and see how it looks. It's so clean compared to how it looked before. Can't wait to see how everything looks in there.





#14 lvsarge

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 09:53 AM

Transmission is back in :D

 

 

I will need to put this into gear real quick. My wife and I just bought a new house! Sucks that I'm going to have to move this project, but I'll be going from a 1-car to a 3-car garage! Can I get a hell yeah?? :D



#15 Scooner

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 05:51 PM

Yup, hell yeah.

#16 lvsarge

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 01:34 PM

Had a really long weekend consisting of:

 

Fixing transmission brace alignment. It was off-center, and wasn't able to get all the bolts in. It's good now.

 

Changed front brakes

 

Painted the underside of the hood

 

Bolted fenders on

 

Pulling the motor out of the bed and getting it back into the garage -- putting on the new clutch disc, pressure plate, and primed a new oil pump and bolted it on.

 

Sweet!

 

Thanks wifey for helping me bolt that hood on.

 

 

 

When/if I get new motor mounts that fit I will drop this thing in...



#17 belacane

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 10:06 AM

I'm loving this thread! Congrats on the new house and garage. I am mega jealous :)



#18 lvsarge

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 03:05 AM

Motor's in...

 



#19 Carmen

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 11:09 AM

I like how you rebuild engine , that is love !



#20 lvsarge

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 02:05 PM

Okay, so I keep telling myself, "ok just need to do this one last thing, and I'll get to start it and drive again.." Well, that just never seems to work out.

 

So, I put everything back together, and I decided it would be a fine time to do the brakes. So I start with the driver's front side discs, change the pads, and when I put it back together... the Caliper is oozing brake fluid right out of the seals. Wonderful. So I ordered up some caliper seals and went about rebuilding the Caliper... Took me a while as I've never done one before, but it really wasn't all that bad.

 

Pulled the piston:

 

WP_20141107_015_zps82132433.jpg

 

Piston pulled, boot removed, and all cleaned up before pulling the spindel

 

WP_20141108_001_zpsbed03541.jpg

 

Piston re-installed.

 

WP_20141108_002_zpsc4e83709.jpg

 

Handbrake fed through the guide and getting greased up

 

WP_20141108_003_zpsa1fc60c2.jpg

 

Voila

 

WP_20141108_004_zps085d8a31.jpg

 

 

Sweet. So I rebuilt my first brake caliper. I haven't done the other side yet, so I ended up buying a second set of seals just in case. I also had some new rotors, and since the calipers were off anyway, I thought I might as well pull the hub and slap some new metal on there since the old ones were just starting to get a bit of a lip.

 

....aaaaand that just uncovers some busted grease seals on the wheel bearings. They are cracked and falling apart. So... next step is another thing I haven't done.. cleaning and re-sealing the bearing housing (and replacing the bearings if need be...) Wish me luck.


Edited by lvsarge, 10 November 2014 - 04:49 PM.


#21 lvsarge

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 02:21 PM

So you can see what I mean..

 



#22 Scooner

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 06:45 PM

Hey, that seal is guaranteed to not let any water or foreign contaminants in...just leave the car in the garage and don't drive it and you won't have a problem.

#23 lvsarge

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 06:47 PM

^^ Sound advice :D



#24 lvsarge

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 10:24 AM

Hey all. So I'm having a problem with getting my bearing housing off of the bolts from the ball joints. Seems to be stuck on there really good. I've given it  a few solid upward whacks with a rubber mallet, and also tried to force it up with a spacer between the castle nut and wheel bearing housing (as suggested in the Keep Your Subaru Alive book), to no avail. I end up popping the spacer out before the assembly travels upwards. They've been marinating in PB Blaster for about 3 days now, and I'm still stuck. I'm thinking of going to get a pickle fork to see if I can wedge them up, any other advice before I set out to do this?



#25 lvsarge

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 10:31 AM






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