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1982 WRX Brat SWAP!

wrx brat subaru swap turbo EJ

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22 replies to this topic

#1 ScoobieDoobie

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 08:23 AM

WHATS UP GUYS!!

 

Been browsing this forum for a few months trying to get ideas for my project and I finally decided to join and build it along with you guys!

 

Open to any advice/criticism but doesnt necessarily mean I will listen to it! :P

 

The beginning of this thread will basically be a copy and paste from an existing thread I have on another forum!

 

I'm planning to do wrx engine, trans, suspension components, even dashboard!

currently(10/30) I nearly have the front end completed (for now)

as it sits now, I am currently on this setup

 

  • stock brat crossmember modded to accept EJ engine mount and wrx control arms
  • stock brat manual steering rack
  • 1" crossmember spacer
  • wrx control arms
  • wrx knuckles
  • wrx/sti struts
  • 04 sti stock springs
  • stock brat 2 bolt top hat (temporary)
  • brat radius arm mount bracket modded to fit wrx control arm
  • custom tranny mount







pic of it arriving at the shop.. yay for selectable awd




ouchhh.. nice and crusty :(



time to get a good look at her



found this girl as my drivetrain donor (parting out other parts)




time to cut her all up



#2 ScoobieDoobie

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 08:24 AM

most of the cancer cut out of the rear sill



pic with the sti ;)



stock carb had issues and we were sick of pushing so we rigged an old Chevy single barrel on there with a custom throttle cable setup lol




time to get some solid metal back in the rear end



pic with the daily



stripping out all the old sound deadening and finding the cancer underneath


 

 

more cancer to cut out.. was thru the cab wall.. no good.





new piece fits good, time to weld it in..





tacked in..




fully burnt in LOL



not so bad for a first timer ;)



andddd all seam sealed up inside and out..

 

now it's time to get back to the rear end and finish it up...

this is what we left off with... need to make some new corner curves ourselves.. was very fun lol not really




first we have to cut out all the bad stuff..





first piece made...





pieces have been made and tacked in..




other side fully welded in by my buddy, the pro...




looks good to me :)



tailgate fits good




all sealed up..



#3 ScoobieDoobie

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 08:33 AM

time to attack driver side inside rocker and floor ...

rocker is pretty much complete in first pic..



getting it shaped and tacked in ..





time to attack the floor section






and nearly all finished for this area...

 

 

starting messing around trying to see how the wrx interior will fit, doesn't look bad to me.




 

bed is fully primed.. think I'm just going to do por-15 for right now then Bedliner later after wrx suspension is fitted.




also dashboard and all hvac had been stripped out..


 

more updates, made a bunch of templates yesterday.. welded in the 2 side pieces for the support member near front driver wheel..



waiting for por15 to coat the inside walls and then weld the bottom piece on..

 

driver side floor all welded up.



seam seal and por15 next and then onto the passenger side

 

here is the driver side floor mostly stripped all the way down getting ready for por15

 

driver front floor section has been por15'd



support member underneath driver floor has been built and inside por15'd



patch piece for rear section of driver floor



and the bed raptor lined :D

it's gonna get another 2-4 coats nice and even after all the fab work is completed underneath for the wrx suspension

 

got the motor and trans out today.. very easy compared to a wrx.. lol




 

oh my.. look what we have here...



 

I started tearing into the front end and figuring out how to make the wrx suspension fit..

So first things first... take all the brat stuff out !



next was mocking up the wrx member..



wrx member is way too wide!

originally was going to weld the wrx member to brat frame rails but decided against that..

brat crossmember fits wrx arms and engine mounts with barely any modification (minor)







now that brat member is bolted back in time to make the wrx stuff fit..



temporarily using brat top hats on sti struts untik i figure out the top hat mounting..





only one piece left before suspension is fully bolted in.. have to make custom bracket/mount..




some 17s with big snow tires for my lifted impreza... not fitting... lol





and after all that realized the brat subframe doesnt droop nearly as low as wrx one so spacers will be made.. (nearly finished today)

rear end is coming next


 

spacers fitted in place..



little bit of mockup action..




time to make this brat bracket fit wrx control arm







slowly getting there... next is fab up a tranny mount.. next updates coming Sunday..

the bracket will also be reinforced

 

 

second mount point for control arm made and ready to be tacked in






time to put the real deal and see how it fits..



It sure is tight....







stock rad still fits






way too close for comfort tho..

Also tranny mount fabbed up today forgot take pics. of that.


rear end coming soon!

 

started to attack the wrx wiring harness today


jeeeeezzzzz....


 

first day i had no diagrams really and i forgot to label everything when i took it out of the wrx

delete pile from the first day.  mostly just airbag wiring...



then i downloaded some wiring diagrams...

who can make sense of this?? hahaha









piles getting bigger..



yikesss...





i think im done... hopefully



bout 2 or 3 5 gallon buckets of loom and tape...



hopefully i dont need any of those...




engine bay harness pretty much done..

 

poor wrx..



accidently broke the rear windhshield... ugh




time to get cut into pieces... sorry....


 

took off work all last week to put in time on the brat...
worked a solid 50 hrs i would say but progression is still really slow lol


ok time to start working on fitting wrx interior...

first up is dash support bar.. time to hack it up



its in there...



time to make the actual dashboard fit..



its in there but wayyy too wide for doors to close..

next is steering wheel...





looks good enough to fool some idiots on the internet



yayy the doors close now! barelyyyy....




next cut out the rusty spare tire well and make room for pedal assembly mounts and slave cylinder etc...



next is fitting wrx tranny tunnel..




rough cut..



test fit...

 

continued...




all cleaned up ready to weld..



and heres a pic of us shortening the stub on the brat brake booster... (wrx one is nearly impossible to fit)

 

got some more progress for those interested...

first up ill show you how to make a wrx steering column fit a brat steering rack



tranny tunnel getting burnt in place



time to cut up rear end of wrx for strut towers  crossmember and trailing arm mounting points



towers braced and cut..



crossmember mounts cut out



not much left ..



temporary crossmember made up so we had somewhere to lift from while we figure out trailing arm mounts.



initial crossmember mock up.. before we realized we would have to lower it 3" down to get correct suspension angles



tranny crossmember mocked up



rear crossmember in place after 3" dropdown

 

dat fitment tho...











lol thats just a fixed piece of metal holding wheel in place.. wont stay like that forever but i do like the way it looks lol

will probably be around the final full droop height



so nice to see matching wheels



time to start cleaning and undercoating the areas that will be boxed in and never to be seen again





pitch stop mount tacked in place..

 

 

Okay and there you guys have it, you are all caught up now on the progress!

 

Next to do is fab up trailing arm mounts and cut out brat wheel wells to make room for wrx ones!



#4 silverhelme

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:44 AM

Darn, I used up my months data allowance to read  ;) but following.



#5 ScoobieDoobie

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 12:24 PM

Darn, I used up my months data allowance to read  ;) but following.

 

 

hahah sure is a lot of pictures but i just wanted to make sure you guys got the full picture of what's going on!

 

I hate reading all these threads with all this talk but no pictures!



#6 Numbchux

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 01:11 PM

Wow, I'm impressed. We've had a lot of people come on here and say they're going to do this, but once they realize the difficulty.....yikes. To my knowledge, it's only been done one other time.

 

Keep the information coming, and I'll add it to the FAQ.

 

 

I suspect you'll need custom axle shafts, as the EA81 front crossmember will have narrowed your track width fairly considerably.



#7 ScoobieDoobie

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 01:29 PM

Wow, I'm impressed. We've had a lot of people come on here and say they're going to do this, but once they realize the difficulty.....yikes. To my knowledge, it's only been done one other time.
 
Keep the information coming, and I'll add it to the FAQ.
 
 
I suspect you'll need custom axle shafts, as the EA81 front crossmember will have narrowed your track width fairly considerably.



hahaha tell me about it! I scoured these forums for hours trying to find a finish one!!

So far I've seen one in UK that did a whole floorpan swap and another in Australia or some other country (RhD) that took the same approach as me.

I'm aware of the need for custom front axles. Thank you! I might end up changing my mind down the road and using the wrx front member but it made more sense to do it this way for now, easy to bolt up.

I plan on finishing this no matter what it takes!

I

#8 ScoobieDoobie

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 01:43 PM

I also want to let everyone know that all parts will be for sale that are coming off the brat! some have already been sold!

let me know you guys need anything! I plan on making a for sale thread in the marketplace on here!

#9 Jack in Norfolk

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 06:40 PM

Amazing work, and great documentation! I have been scheming to re-power an EA81 car with WRX running gear for years now. Glad to see somebody taking the bull by the horns!



#10 ScoobieDoobie

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 09:42 PM

Amazing work, and great documentation! I have been scheming to re-power an EA81 car with WRX running gear for years now. Glad to see somebody taking the bull by the horns!


Thank you! I appreciate the kind words! Would love to see some more people take on the project!

#11 el_freddo

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 11:51 PM

I'm aware of the need for custom front axles. Thank you! I might end up changing my mind down the road and using the wrx front member but it made more sense to do it this way for now, easy to bolt up.

Have a read of this build, post 16 would be the one to read about how they did the WRX front end in the brat.

A guy over here did a full conversion like this to the GLF hardtop (coupe). He grafted in the whole WRX firewall to make a lot of things easier and to run the WRX climate control gear in the cab with the matching dashboard.

Turned out really neat (and is up for sale again) but unfortunately all his pics of his build are lost on the interwebs :(

Cheers

Bennie

Edited by el_freddo, 21 January 2018 - 11:51 PM.


#12 ScoobieDoobie

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 05:59 AM

Have a read of this build, post 16 would be the one to read about how they did the WRX front end in the brat.A guy over here did a full conversion like this to the GLF hardtop (coupe). He grafted in the whole WRX firewall to make a lot of things easier and to run the WRX climate control gear in the cab with the matching dashboard.Turned out really neat (and is up for sale again) but unfortunately all his pics of his build are lost on the interwebs :(CheersBennie

hey thanks for that link! that's some neat stuff right there! I think for now I am going to keep the brat crossmember.. I already have the wrx column mated to the brat steering rack and I don't plan to have any climate controls other then a basic defrost function that I will do myself. as of now the plan is to eliminate all the systems I don't absolutely need, power steering, A.C, airbags, cruise control, etc. I wanna keep the car as light as possible and as clean and sleak as possible when it's all done.. I want it to be somewhere between a racecar/show car/ weekend warrior hahaha

If I was trying to go Wrx steering rack and stuff I would be trying to fit the wrx front member but I really don't think it's necessary. just pushing the car around at slow speeds it turns great with the manual rack.

Also for now I haven't really hacked any of the front end up so I can always change my mind and go back and make the wrx xmember fit but for now I am happy with the brat x member..

Btw, what's up with this guy? ^^^^^

Edited by ScoobieDoobie, 22 January 2018 - 06:00 AM.


#13 iceageg

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 08:26 AM

Russian spam-bots have been mucking up the site for a while now.  They get banned and their posts deleted.  All is quiet for a while and they come back.  Pay them no mind and certainly don't click on the links.  Keep up the good work!



#14 ScoobieDoobie

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 01:40 PM

Russian spam-bots have been mucking up the site for a while now.  They get banned and their posts deleted.  All is quiet for a while and they come back.  Pay them no mind and certainly don't click on the links.  Keep up the good work!


thank you!!

#15 subyrally

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 05:59 PM

would you be willing to help out with my brat build? looks like you arent too far away, lol.



#16 ScoobieDoobie

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 06:17 PM

would you be willing to help out with my brat build? looks like you arent too far away, lol.

 

 

What are you looking to get done to it?

 

I don't have the room to do 2 of these at once but maybe once I'm done. it's not any easy or quick job at all. insane amount of fabrication job. 

 

 

It won't be cheap.



#17 subyrally

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 10:39 PM

Mainly i was looking for a bit of help fitting the front and rear subframes to the brat so that i can run wrx suspension and brakes.

I am planning on making it into a rally car. Looking at trying to get it in for ARA's Naturally Aspirated 4wd class.

I am only planning on running an ea82 from an 89 xt with the 5spd from my 86 rx. Figured that would be the easiest and most cost effective way for me get my start in rally since i already have most of the parts, lol.

Doubt i could afford to pay someone to do the build for me, im generally broke, lol. Life has kicked me a bit more than usual the last year, so im trying to do as much as possible on a tight budget.

#18 ScoobieDoobie

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 07:35 AM

Mainly i was looking for a bit of help fitting the front and rear subframes to the brat so that i can run wrx suspension and brakes.

I am planning on making it into a rally car. Looking at trying to get it in for ARA's Naturally Aspirated 4wd class.

I am only planning on running an ea82 from an 89 xt with the 5spd from my 86 rx. Figured that would be the easiest and most cost effective way for me get my start in rally since i already have most of the parts, lol.

Doubt i could afford to pay someone to do the build for me, im generally broke, lol. Life has kicked me a bit more than usual the last year, so im trying to do as much as possible on a tight budget.

 

 

I'm still using the brat front crossmember.. if you're not concerned with power steering I would keep the brat x member.. much easier.

 

as for rear.. it's quite the task. personally I cut the frame rails from the wrx.. I bolted the crossmember to them.. then I used a screw jack to hold it up while I took measurements and got it centered.

 

I had to add a 3" dropdown spacer so the wrx suspension would be sitting at the correct angles.

 

I then tacked it place and started working on the trailing arm mounts.

 

the entire rear end basically has to be refabbed.

 

I know all about being broke and doing things on a budget... hence why I'm not paying someone to do this build...

 

I would love to help but I can't afford to do 40+ hrs of fab work for free.. I got way too much stuff that I need to do myself.

 

I'll always be here to answer any questions you might have tho.



#19 subyrally

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 11:08 AM

looking a the differences in the suspension designs, using the 2012 wrx parts i have might make it a bit easier since the newer chassis doesnt have the tall rear strut towers like the older models. It is my hope that the mounting points wont be too different between the brat and GR chassis.

 

hopefully, i will be getting started on this soon, i will let you know how it goes.

 

maybe once we get our cars done, we can have a meet up



#20 Numbchux

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 04:43 PM

looking a the differences in the suspension designs, using the 2012 wrx parts i have might make it a bit easier since the newer chassis doesnt have the tall rear strut towers like the older models. It is my hope that the mounting points wont be too different between the brat and GR chassis.

 

hopefully, i will be getting started on this soon, i will let you know how it goes.

 

maybe once we get our cars done, we can have a meet up

 

This sounds like a huge amount of work for negligible gains. I know XT6 parts aren't common, but still hugely simpler/cheaper than fabbing an entire suspension system in there. Especially when the gas tank and a governing body is involved (make sure you check the rules about that. I have a feeling that running a fuel cell in the bed will require some specific precautions).



#21 ScoobieDoobie

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 04:57 PM

This sounds like a huge amount of work for negligible gains. I know XT6 parts aren't common, but still hugely simpler/cheaper than fabbing an entire suspension system in there. Especially when the gas tank and a governing body is involved (make sure you check the rules about that. I have a feeling that running a fuel cell in the bed will require some specific precautions).

 

 

What he said.. if you're just concerned about 5 lug and better suspension components you are better off sourcing XT6 parts..

 

I don't see the point in doing all the work just to have the suspension components..

 

like numbchux said.. it seems like a waste of time honestly.

 

not trying to discourage you but just giving you food for thought..

 

the crossmember is not going to be close. I can almost guarantee that.

 

I was hoping for the same but it wasn't even close.

 

Gas tank is a whole nother ball game.. 

 

you should have some sort of fabrications skills before taking this on...

 

also  i would recommend investing in a plasma cutter if you really decide to go on with the project.



#22 sparkyboy

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 05:45 AM

You have been showing your brat some love! What is her name? That thing is going to smash when you get to drive her. Beautiful car. Do you have a set of jump seats?

Oh and the reason that you accidentally broke that rear window is because you didn't scrape those cheesy stickers off sooner 

There are some cool builds on here, guys doing wrx swaps into ea81s and twin turbo LS swapped xts make me jealous!

Keep up the good work man



#23 ScoobieDoobie

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 08:18 AM

You have been showing your brat some love! What is her name? That thing is going to smash when you get to drive her. Beautiful car. Do you have a set of jump seats?
Oh and the reason that you accidentally broke that rear window is because you didn't scrape those cheesy stickers off sooner 
There are some cool builds on here, guys doing wrx swaps into ea81s and twin turbo LS swapped xts make me jealous!
Keep up the good work man


thanks brotha!

I didn't break the rear window tho?

I need to get working on her more but it's hard when I have other projects for other people going on that pay the bills ya know.





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