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The Hatch Patrol story-the unveiling(with pics)


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67 replies to this topic

#1 Qman

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 09:53 AM

The Hatch Patrol Story





It all started back in 1999. A few of us had met through the Ultimate Subaru Message board. We decided to attend a local event called the “West Coast Subaru Show”. We all drove in as a group and were deemed the Hatch Patrol by the promoter of the show, Geoffrey R. Back then we had only one lifted Subaru. That was Mike W’s Hatchback.



We started talking about making a club for our little hobby. We decide that the direction we wanted to go was off-road. Since that day we have tried to raise the bar for what is expected and accepted for our Subaru’s. We have done things like rear disc brake conversions, 5 sp conversions, 6 lug conversions, radiator relocation, dual E-brakes, High performance engines, building bumpers, roll bars, installing different seat options, LSD conversions, XT6 alts, GM alts, on-board welders, on-board air. 3”-12” lifts, even V-6 swaps, and the latest, transfer case mods.



Some of our exploits have taken us from the mountains to the shores to the desert. We were the first recorded and documented group of Subaru’s to take on the Rubicon Trail. We have driven the thousands of miles off-road. Seen some extraordinary country and made life long friends along the way.



Our experience at the Rubicon Trail plus taking a few runs with some local rock crawling groups has lead us to find ways of increasing suspension travel and reliability. With this in mind, take into consideration the Eric Zap, John(Mudrat), Robert(lumpycam) and I have been discussing different options for the last 3 years. What I am about to show you is the culmination of those thoughts and the efforts of some very creative people. The finished product is still a couple weeks off but I have driven it(without brakes and exhaust) and I think it will make the Brat a formidable contender on any and all 4WD trails.

http://usmb.net/gallery/album255

#2 ezapar

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 10:27 AM

Can you say itching to share with the world?
Can you say First to Successfully Do That?


Here's to 4 more years kicking rump roast on the bigrigs! Go Hatch Patrol!

#3 mudrat79

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 10:32 AM

Just couldn't Hold Out Could You......... :burnout:

Man My wheels Make that thing look almost Sexy......
Even for a Monster..... :brow:

See you Sunday.......John

#4 carfreak85

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 10:46 AM

Fingers crossed that the solid axle you used on that has some connection to FHI! (I happen to like the "All Subaru" approch to building Subes) Also how did you get 10" of lift? Blocks on the rear, but what about the front? Is the solid rear all that was done? My friend and I were rolling this idea around a couple years back, but I got more into the street thing because my first sube was a turbo wagon and I was discouraged by board members from running it offroad. I'm planning mods on this sort of level for next year at WWU (I will have a CNC mill at my disposal and a sube to test fit on, plus tracks to test the mods on). I'll keep you guys informed of what I have done as long as you guys keep me on the board in my spare time as I wont be bringing my wagon up to Bellingham. Cool rig Ken, I hope the Bellevue crew and I can see it in action some time soon!

#5 VaporTrail

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 11:30 AM

very nice.... :)

#6 Subarutex

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 11:33 AM

I think that was the fastest i've woken up in a good while. Thanks Ken.

How is the articulation? Rearend locked? When is the maiden voyage?

Looks awesome, it will perform good. Can't wait to see it in person.

#7 chef_tim

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 11:45 AM

VERY nicely done gentlemen!!! How about the power plant to move that thing???

#8 soobme

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 11:56 AM

U beat me to it!!!!!!!!! I'm doing the same thing to my wagon ;) I have the H190 rear with 4.37's and an R180 with 4.37's for the front, and the transfercase.
How did U do the front? I plan on custom long travel struts for mine.
How much lift is that all together? And what size tires are they?
It looks GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#9 ShawnW

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 12:05 PM

Impressive. :drunk: to all involved!

#10 Capman2k

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 12:16 PM

Very nice... Now figure out a solid front axle and a V8... few more inches of lift... maybe 33" tires... :slobber:

#11 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 02:18 PM

Looks pretty cool. Should be able to go anywhere now.

-Brian

#12 Adam N.D.J.

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 02:35 PM

Wow, I was thinking right!!! The pic with jes the rear done, kinda hinted towards it.

Honestly though, I am a little disappointed, due to the fact that whots the real difference between your rig and say an S-10, or a Toyota? Straight axles are ohkay, but you won't see one under my rig, Subaru prides themselves with the 4 wheel independant suspension, and with that I will stay. Besides, the only other rig that's even a formidable apponent to the Soobs with 4WIS is the H1, thought to be the leader of the offroad community, I have no problem being compared to an H1!!
Don't look too bad, I'll have to take a look when I come up. I'm actually prolly going to be in the area on Sunday. Did John get a new shop, dropped by the old one and it was empty, N-E-Ways, is that where ya'll meetin on Sun? If'n I can get directions I'll drop in and hang out for a while.

#13 ezapar

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 03:08 PM

Honestly though, I am a little disappointed, due to the fact that whots the real difference between your rig and say an S-10, or a Toyota? Straight axles are ohkay, but you won't see one under my rig, Subaru prides themselves with the 4 wheel independant suspension, and with that I will stay.



I can give you a couple reasons to go solid rear. No more broken rear axles. No more broken stub axles. No more exploded rear diffs. All these, with more travel and the ability to add a proper locker. (Whoops, five)

Ken can still have pride in the fact that his brat is still powered by an ea81, not a big 6. . . Goes both ways Adam.

#14 nicky nighteyes

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 04:23 PM

well, i'd say you guys raised the bar a little (no pun intended) ;)


looks good!

#15 Dr. RX

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 04:26 PM

I think Ken said that they used Nissan parts, if you look at my post on one of the LSD posts, you'ii see the connection between Nissan and FHI and Subaru.

#16 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 04:39 PM

Adams right, it is a cheap way out... but its one of the only solutions we have at this time. It will be very hard to keep up with Ken now on the trails, even if you aren't in a Subaru.

Did Ken go with a locked rear end? or is it welded? I assume the front end is all stock?

-Brian

#17 MorganM

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 04:40 PM

Who cars what axle is under there; thats feak'n great! Just cuz its got a solid axle rear doesnt change the fact its a Subaru BRAT.

My friends Jeep ismostly GM and Ford parts now; you still call it a Jeep....

I'm curiouse to the power plant also. I know an EA series engine could move those tires fine but whats under the hood specificly ?

When should we expect to see a T-Case mod + solid axles Font and Back ? 8)

Capman2k: I bet 33"s fit on as it is! :D Width is a more limiting factor then height with the struts up front.

#18 VaporTrail

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 05:15 PM

Ditto what Morgan said. Still a soobie in my book.

I like it...

#19 carfreak85

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 05:39 PM

I'll disagree with McBrat and M Morgan. It is less of a sube now (Unless those are Nissan parts). I can't think of one sube to ever have a solid axle, but I can think of tons of Jeeps that came with V8s and burly axles from the factory. I'm with Adam N.D.J., I'd rather keep it all in the family... Just my opinion, but I still think this is a step in a positive direction (Although maybe not in the right one!!!:grin: )

#20 Subarutex

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 05:46 PM

Nissan is still in the FHI family.

#21 bushbasher

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 05:59 PM

From the way he and the rest of us subaru off road freaks used to talk about solid axles, I would never have believed he would be the first to put one in his rig ;). But the truth is, the ifs has so many parts that are all only slightly stronger than each other, so trying to beef it is a pain in the arse. And for what? a few extra inches of clearance and and sentimental value? Even if people decide it's not really a subaru anymore, theres still just as much fun to be had in that rig now, if not more!

edit: so those rear shackles look like they were mounted where the old tow hooks bolt in?

I will never be able to do a sas in my wagon, because my t-case is to far rearward, making the rear driveshaft way to short to be flexing. :banghead:

#22 Qman

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 06:16 PM

I'll start the replies with this. They are Nissan parts. For those that don't like it, that's OK. No really, it's OK. I(we) didn't build it for you.

The specs; 10" lift in the front(combination of body and suspension lift), transfer case, solid rear axle(4.37 ratio) with stock Nissan leaf springs. I will be changing the gear ratio to 4.63 or 4.88. The motor is the same EA81 that ran the Rubicon. Approx 120 hp with a high torque cam and Weber carb. 5sp D/R trans. Still haven't decided about the new exhaust. It will run 31's. There are a couple other things as well but they must be proven to handle the stresses before I let people in on them. I don't want anyone getting hurt.

The reasoning behind our mods. After seeing what rigs run the most difficult trails with ease and success it was a no-brainer.

I can give you a couple reasons to go solid rear. No more broken rear axles. No more broken stub axles. No more exploded rear diffs. All these, with more travel and the ability to add a proper locker. (Whoops, five)


Now for the nay sayers. When does a 'yota stop being a 'yota? Most run diesel or Chev V-8's. When is a Jeep no longer a Jeep? Full tube frames and altered powerplants.

I expected this exact reaction. So, I am not upset by it. I knew it would be mixed at best. Most people that have seen it in person are overwhelmed and impressed by the stance, clearance and the obvious ability that it shows.

BTW, get used to seeing many more. I know of at least 3 that will have the solid rear. And once it is trail proven there will be more.

Thanks for checking it out. I will have more info to come.

#23 Qman

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 06:24 PM

Basher, I was hung up on the IFS thing. It is the future and I am taking it as far as I can.

Freak, that was kind of the idea. They are nissan parts and it is the first.

Junkie, cheap way out? I guess that depends on your definition of cheap. Compared to axle shafts that will handle the stresses of long travel then definitely.

BTW, something else to ponder. Anyone remember when a completely unknown guy from Newport Washington showed up claiming to have added a transfer case and 6" of lift? Considered blasphamy at first. Now people are lining up to do it. Open yourselves up to the future.

#24 iluvdrt

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 06:57 PM

i think its great. people have been adding parts of diffrent cars to their own for ever to make them better. this is no diffrent than putting dana axles under a yota, or a corporate 14 bolt under a ford. it is all in the name of modding. and with very littler aftermarket support to improve the ifs, this is the only alternative. ifs/irs has its limits, and will never be made to perform like a solid axle can. it has been tried in the rock crawling championships with walker evans ifs s-10. it didnt work. i think it is a great idea.

so my question is, is when is the front getting a live axle. i have thought so much about doing this to my wagon, but didnt think it could be done because of the unibody design.(never crossed my mind a cherokee is a unibody)

great job qman.:cool:

#25 subarubrat

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Posted 26 May 2004 - 07:12 PM

"Width is a more limiting factor then height with the struts up front."

Not so. Struts (now coil overs) fit just fine with 33x16s and a full turn radius. They did clear just as well with the full size springs. No problems there. You can't go much wider than that.

As far as the whole when is it not a sube argument, here is my two cents. Everyone has a line that they draw, a modification that they count as unnaceptable or going too far. Some would say that a BRAT body on a CJ7 chassis is still a BRAT, others say it looses sube status at the T case mod. I personally liked to be able to tell people I was 100% subaru for the engine, drivetrain and suspension. It took me a while to come around to the Tcase mod and view that as OK. I realized if I wanted to go from 8 to 12 I had to go that route. In the end, I came to accept it as adding to and not replacement of the subaru core design. As for the ER27 swap, that engine could have very well been installed in that truck with some sheetmetal changes like the XT6 recieved.

It is also about trade offs. In my opinion the 4 wheel independant is an upgrade from solid axle, and I love showing the suspension to other off roaders. It is capable of a great deal when given some help. That said, there is no arguing with the end to breakage problems in the rear end. On the flip side it does move the failure somewhere else (as does any mod of this sort) and with the IRS you can replace a stub in moments and it is an easily accesable weak link. I have not broken one stub yet because I back off and go easy rather than trying to grudge it up, now I did nuke a tranny in reverse though.

In short, to each his own. I could not go solid axle but there are pleanty of people who will not go Tcase as I did. A solid axle is not the route for me but it is definatly a major mechanical modification that takes allot of work. I respect it as I would like to have my own work respected. Although it has let up in most regards allot of people nay sayed and crapped on my work as I progressed. I can recall posting some news of a mod and having as many detractors as supporters. I didn't care for that when it was done to me and I won't do it to others.

"I(we) didn't build it for you."

Oh man have I used that line. When someone (usually someone who just got passed on the trail by the BRAT) gives some comment about "why a BRAT" or "it's still just a Subaru" I usually use that line. What is scarry is where it comes from..... A true Rocky Horror Picture Show fan will recall this one, Dr. Frankenfurter just made Rocky and ...... SOMEONE complete this, I know I can't be the only RHPS fan here!




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