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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Subaru Brat as a daily

Subaru Brat

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20 replies to this topic

#1 Tye


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Posted 25 July 2014 - 01:29 PM

Hey Guys

I was just wondering who daily's a Subaru Brat ,

and if y'all have problems with the power, or lack of?

#2 thornleyjacob


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Posted 25 July 2014 - 01:55 PM

I just purchased an '84 Brat 2 weeks ago and it is my daily driver; wife is using the '00 Impreza as her's.


Lack of power? None; the car is lighter-weight than most vehicles these days so the low HP engine is not crippled.

Edited by thornleyjacob, 25 July 2014 - 01:55 PM.

#3 Kevint143


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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:55 PM

I was daily driving mine for months. My first gen was capable of cruising at 80+ mph great on gas and loved the awesome looks I would get. Took it off the road for an EJ22 swap tho as soon as it is done it will be my daily again

#4 brat82


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Posted 25 July 2014 - 03:48 PM

I've had this 82brat for 10 or more yrs. and it has been a daily driver. I got it with original engine, tranny that didn't work. It had sat for 2 yrs. and the carb was all gummed up(old gas varnish). I got the original motor(1.8) running, put in a different trans(took it out of an 84, and it had 81 in wrecking yard crayon on it). I hit black ice and slid on pass. side, slammed into the cutbank, really messed it up...switched out that motor with a used one, only got 10,000 miles and it gave me all kinds of problems. The ORIGINAL MOTOR has 363,000 miles on it and I was still getting 30 or more mpg., even with all my rafting gear and food for 3weeks and off to UTAH for trip down the colo. river/Grand Canyon.


I now have a rebuilt engine, getting close to 1000miles, and a tranny that had 154,000 on it. It has really good power, and gets that good milage on reg.gas. I write all this cause I hear the newer ones don't get the mileage like the old ones. I'm hoping this is the last car I own, although I also have a 72vw bus, a 1945 chev. truck, and a 59 morris minor.


Some parts are getting hard to find as the other styles just don't match the brat.

#5 jonas


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Posted 25 July 2014 - 04:31 PM

*raises hand*

#6 jono


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Posted 25 July 2014 - 05:41 PM

nearing 16 years and the lack of power can be altered a bit or a lot, your wallet will have same variable deminishing effect depending on how much power you want. They only have one cam, eight valves and 1.8 litres of 1970's technology ! Pump the tyres can be cheapest, then service and tune it checking timing marks as engine increases revs to ensure distributor working correctly. A new clutch and cable might make a difference. Willy Fisterbottom paid some finer detailed attention to jetting his hitachi, fitted an unequal length header Y pipe exhaust and has a screamer EA81 to be green with envy about.


A full rebuild has always been my trick with a cam grind to suit. Newer learnings is EJ20 pistons or spfi will boost power a bit too :)


Currently run an EA82 OHC with matching 5 speed DR 4WD box, turbo cams and heads - just no turbo :(. It is not always as quick as I'd like but can surprise me sometimes. It is more a flatter torque run on it and able to haul a 300kg trailer up long hill runs at 100kph in 4th

Edited by jono, 25 July 2014 - 05:48 PM.

#7 cubastreet


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Posted 25 July 2014 - 06:23 PM

I've dailied a gen 1 for most of the last 8 years. Most of the time it's ok but it doesn't have much power for overtaking when I get stuck behind a slow car on nz's winding hilly roads

#8 Dinky26



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Posted 26 July 2014 - 12:13 AM

I've been daily driving mine for over a year and it's been awesome!!!

Swap out the carb for a Weber, that will boost your get up and go.

Shawn on here will get you set up for a Weber.

Edited by Dinky26, 26 July 2014 - 12:14 AM.

#9 Hsoj


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Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:53 AM

I've been daily driving mine for a few years now. I got it all messed up. Bad axle job, bad carb, ruined steering rack, so I put a 5 spd d/r trans in and an ej, gave her power steering..... Drives great!

#10 JuhaKankkunen


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Posted 26 July 2014 - 12:46 PM

Ok, mine it's not a brat but it's a wagon with the ea81 stock engine with manual 4 speed. I use it daily for almost 50 km and it runs really nice and smooth. 10 liters per 100 km . Stock hitachi carb!

#11 bratman2


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Posted 26 July 2014 - 04:16 PM

Owned my for 17 years and commuted with it to work daily for nearly 8 years. Only thing that has slowed the mileage down was adding back a motorcycle to the mix. Several things that have improved the driving/riding aspects have are seats out of a 2003 Impreza back in 2004, replaced all the rubber bits underneath along with new struts/shocks and a weber. Upping the tire size to 14" rims and 185 tires helps too. Mine gets just over 29 mpg regularly. I have done a 300 mile round day trip to purchase another bike a few years ago. The Brat did exceptionally well with a 540 lb. bike in back and interstate speeds of 70 mph.

#12 Subieguy


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Posted 27 July 2014 - 12:28 AM

I drive my 78 Brat almost every day. Love it! And it can go 75 on The highway too. Just takes a bit to get there.

#13 tundrabrat


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Posted 27 July 2014 - 03:05 AM

If the sun is out I'm driving it... Torque grind cam, decked heads, ea82 pistons (higher compression) and a webber. No problem keeping up with traffic
and cruise all day on the highway.

#14 bendecker


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Posted 27 July 2014 - 07:14 PM

Not in So Cal. I used mine as a daily driver for years, but taking it on the freeway now is a death wish here. I'm jealous of areas where driving a Brat as a DD still makes sense.

#15 Indrid cold

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 10:44 PM

Mine is daily driver to and from Park & ride for van-pool.  

Or I may take it out to work which is about 90 miles round trip.


It's kind of fun to be driving a car that you rarely see another of.  I think how I park at the local Mall where there are hundreds of cars and mine is the only one like it.  Mmmmmm...... special warm feeling.

#16 subsnjeeps



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Posted 17 August 2014 - 01:58 AM

Got an 85 for free- it sat for 14 years. My oldest son was turning 16,so a week and about 300 bucks later he was learning to drive stick! Fast farward a few years, now he and his younger brother are driving my air conditioned automatics to school and im in the Brat everyday! No A/C - im in arizona- but other than that i love it! Reliable, great mileage, and thumbs-up from other drivers all the time.

#17 TomRhere


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Posted 17 August 2014 - 06:00 AM

Bought my 1st BRAT in '02, a '86 GL. Since then I've had '82, '84 Auto, another '86 and a '85, all GL's.

All were DDs until I either sold them or parted them out do to rust.

Still have the '82. One of these days I'll get it going again.


Not much highway driving done, mostly back roads, and the drive to/from work is 64 miles. Upper twenty's for mileage stock carb or Weber.

#18 spicypeanut


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Posted 18 August 2014 - 07:27 PM

Since I've rebuilt my 78 Brat I've used it quite a bit. Put probably around 1000 miles on it or so. If I had AC I would most likely drive it every day. But without AC, I can't show up to work all sweaty so until that day comes. It's only used for weekends. :(

#19 Twitch de la Brat

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 12:33 AM

I daily drove an 85 BRAT for several years and loved it.

But it was my baby too.

Hard to beat reliability wise though. Probably had over 300k (speedo cable came apart at 270k) on it when I got rear-ended.

Never left me stranded unless it was my own stupidity.

Took far too much abuse in that time as well.

So, yeah. A gen2 makes a kickin' DD. A little slow, a little loud, but hell if they aren't drop dead reliable and beasts in the snow.

Also, that low end grunt. :headbang:



#20 ironworkerboomer


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Posted 19 August 2014 - 05:03 PM

Not in So Cal. I used mine as a daily driver for years, but taking it on the freeway now is a death wish here. I'm jealous of areas where driving a Brat as a DD still makes sense.

I was scared driving my Baja there.  :)  But when Im home in Idaho my 81 is my ride.

#21 Dania02525


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Posted 22 August 2014 - 09:34 AM

Daily driver here- fixing the Ac, already fixed the radio, what else do you need?? Its certainly not the slowest car I ever driven, plus its cool and earns respect.  It may sound crazy for most to think an 82 would make a good daily driver, but if you have the money to put it together right and you watch your guages, its a fine car to drive everyday.  Remember, we aren't talking about an MG or something, this is a japanese made car.

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