Hello all. I'm Dennis. I just bought my first Brat, a 78 that had last been registered in Arizona in 2009. It got shipped to a local guy here in central Ohio and sat in a garage until, well, it's still there. The seller is taking care of the title and arranging a trailer to bring it to me (no, he doesn't have my money yet!) and I should have it in a week.
Engine runs sweetly on gasoline dripped into the carb, no idea what condition the fuel tank/pump/carb are in. Brakes are firm and hold the car in place, and the clutch is at least functional. Trans shifts gears, 4WD seems to function, but the best part is that the body is super clean! It's had a Maaco respray in the last decade or so to white (over gold) but I'm not finding bondo, just a few lumpy dents and a small spot of paint bubbling ahead of the RR wheel. Very clean underneath too. I think that if I'm patient enough to clean it up and repaint the whole thing properly before getting it permanently back on the road it's going to last a very long time.
I mostly want to keep it stock, with any minor mods going towards a classic rally look, predictable handling, and excellent reliability.
When I read that there is a Subaru version of the old "how to keep your Volkswagon alive" book I started feeling very comfortable with the idea of buying an old Subie. I've read bits of it on my phone from the app someone here linked to, but if anyone has a .pdf to share I'd love to see it full size on my desktop! Please let me know how to hook up with one.
Aside from making sure the mechanicals are all solid, my first priority is to do what I can to protect this clean body from terminal rust. I live in a salty state, and I want to drive this in the winter. I'd love some recommendations on how to seal this thing up in a way that will look great and stay together for the long haul. I recently ran an old Renault as my daily car for about 5 years and with regular carwashes was able to keep it from degrading in that time, but I'm fearing the Subie tin might be a bit more prone to rust!
Thanks, everybody, for keeping this site so active. I've learned a lot already.