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First 4wd?


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35 replies to this topic

#1 Jack in Norfolk

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 10:25 PM

What was the first model and year that subaru offered 4wd? I remember a neighbor growing up whose parents had two old subaurs (pre 1980). One was front wheel drive and the other 4wd. You could tell because it said the words "front wehhl drive" in chrome on the fender (I think).

#2 SuBrat84

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 10:50 PM

Well I saw a 78 or 79 brat 4wd...

#3 Jack in Norfolk

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 10:56 PM

Well I saw a 78 or 79 brat 4wd...


Yeah, I have seen those too. Weren't all Brats 4wd?
My old subie mechanic had an old gen 1 wagon that he had put a D/r in, and I think it had an ea81. It was 4wd, but I'm not sure if it came that way from the factory.

#4 SuBrat84

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 10:59 PM

I don't know for SURE but I think the first year or two brats came in FWD and/or 4WD...

#5 Jack in Norfolk

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 11:02 PM

I don't know for SURE but I think the first year or two brats came in FWD and/or 4WD...


really? a 2wd brat, that has got to be rare. I thought that brat stood for Bi Range All purpose Truck (or something to that effect) and so that the bi range (dual range) would correspond directly with a 4wd transmission. But now that you mention it, I think I might remember somone on this board from Florida with a 2wd gen 2 brat.

#6 SuBrat84

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 11:05 PM

Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter. It's a "backronym" .. they named it the Brat.. then came up with the Acronym.. As far as I know. But don't quote me on this. :brow:

#7 Jack in Norfolk

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 11:13 PM

Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter. It's a "backronym" .. they named it the Brat.. then came up with the Acronym.. As far as I know. But don't quote me on this. :brow:


That sounds a lot more accurate than my attempt.

#8 SuBrat84

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 11:14 PM

That sounds a lot more accurate than my attempt.

Yeah... looked it up on Websters once.. for some reason it just stuck.

#9 carfreak85

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 01:21 AM

I'm about 99% positive that all brats were 4WD regardless of DL, GL or anything like that. The first 4WD model was back in the early 70's and it was a wagon.

#10 SUBARU3

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 01:22 AM

All BRATs, Gen 1 or 2 were 4WD. Gen 1 (1977-1981) There were no 2WD BRATs that came that way from the factory!
Sometimes people replaced the fenders and left the "front wheel drive" badge on the fender. Subaru had many cars that were just front wheel drive in the 70s.

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#11 GLCraig

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 02:49 AM

I remember parting out a 75 4wd wagon when I work at a Subaru shop about 8 years ago.

#12 SakoTGrimes

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 05:47 AM

1975 was the first year 4WD was offered in the US. And I'm better than evreebody cause i no it!

#13 moosens

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 06:16 AM

Yup,it was '75

I parted one out just a couple of years ago and wish it could have been saved.

So,now that there's even more of us that are going to be looking for one as an historical valued vehicle,let's not all drive up the prices too fast.

For one thing,they aren't the same body as a 2WD,so forget about making one out of the 2WD.THere's some differences in the front radiator support,and of course,the underside,and rear of the unibody.

If one shows up on eBay or in Hemmings,etc. I'll likely be bidding on it.
At that point I might even give up my '78 if I have to.The '75 is a much better 1400 than the earlier versions.If you find a '75 or '76 1400 you'd be a good soldier to keep those engines for someone like me,who really would like a properly restored 1975 4WD wagon.

Good luck guys.Happy hunting!!


one last thing.....ME FIRST,ME FIRST!!!!:lol:

#14 captainkettel

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 02:17 PM

If you want more details on the early 4X4 which WAS 1975, go to the homepage on this site and look at the Brochures 68-79.
There are pictures and details listed. Nice resources! Look under 68-79. Also lists newer years and models with different listings...

#15 subGSR

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 09:23 PM

Not sure but I think mid 70s. There was a 4wd two door and four door sedan models available about 1975. They used to advertise them in playboy magazine. If you can find some 70s copies you will find that subaru did alot of promotion in playboy.

What was the first model and year that subaru offered 4wd? I remember a neighbor growing up whose parents had two old subaurs (pre 1980). One was front wheel drive and the other 4wd. You could tell because it said the words "front wehhl drive" in chrome on the fender (I think).



#16 Seahag1978

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 09:46 PM

Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter. It's a "backronym" .. they named it the Brat.. then came up with the Acronym.. As far as I know. But don't quote me on this. :brow:



Yes. They came up with a "cutsie" name and then came up with a "meaning" for it... which is what a backronym is. Who would have ever come up with that description otherwise?

BTW, some parts computer systems ask if it's 4WD or 2WD. This is after the Brat is part of the equation. I thought that odd since my understanding was that all Brats were 4WD.

#17 Jack in Norfolk

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 01:20 AM

They used to advertise them in playboy magazine. If you can find some 70s copies you will find that subaru did alot of promotion in playboy.


Yeah I have noticed... uh, er ..um I mean heard that from uh.. people that read playboy or something.:D

#18 Skip

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 09:49 AM

I believe there is a missing comment to the statement
"All Brats _____ were 4wd"


That statement being
"imported into the US of A"

IIRC there has been mention of 2wd Brats in middle east countries.

#19 Sweet82

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 10:08 AM

Good Post,

I have always wondered when 4wd began with Subarus too?

Did the 75's have the DR tranny or was it just 4 hi?

If not when did the DR begin?

When was the last year of 2wd for Subaru?

....I take Subaru Trivia for $30...."Alex" :lol:
(wonder if Ken Jennings would know)

#20 mudduck

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 06:59 PM

I think they had single range trannys at first, but I have haerd that there was no hi range, just low range in the first ones.

#21 Skip

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 07:26 PM

Sorry MD, other way round

single range - high only

is a warning that 50 MPH max though

#22 moosens

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 07:32 PM

Yeah,call it a single range medium :lol: was from '75 to '80,with some leftovers in '81 as I know it.


Wagons only untill the Brat came along....at least here in the US.We didn't get a 4WD sedan untill the 80's

#23 subGSR

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 10:19 PM

While we are talking about 4wd I have a wee hint for anyone who is doing up a motor in a brat or wagon. Stage one the cam. It makes a difference when you are 4wding and in steep country. I did it to my Leone and the off road performance was noticeable. It helps give you a bit more power when you go to 14" rims as well. Try it you won't be dissapointed.

What was the first model and year that subaru offered 4wd? I remember a neighbor growing up whose parents had two old subaurs (pre 1980). One was front wheel drive and the other 4wd. You could tell because it said the words "front wehhl drive" in chrome on the fender (I think).



#24 Seahag1978

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 10:44 PM

Sorry MD, other way round

single range - high only

is a warning that 50 MPH max though



My little sticker only states not to engage over 50mph or while cornering. Does that mean it shouldn't be driven over 50mph in 4WD? Not that my yellow %$#^* will ever get over 50mph, let alone in 4WD :(

#25 tailgatewagon

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 11:55 PM

hum i beg to differ, in some ways (sorry here we go) :rolleyes:

anyway 74 was the first year for 4wd, i have personaly seen alot(4 or 5) 74 wagons that were 4wd, they use the same taillights as the 72 and 73 tailgate wagons. now they may have been called 1975 model years but they were perduced in 74 before june. now the yard in missula montana used to have a bunch of 74-76 wagons and sedans coupes also. but they were all crushed about 8 mounths ago. since then they have only gotten in one 75 wagon.

as for the change here is why i know it was 74, (at least i think) anyone who knows the 72 73 split tail gate wagons, knows the floor sitts much lower then 4wd modles its a differnt platform if you want to think of it that way, after 73 the platform changed it used a higher floor like in the 4wd's but also in the 2wd,(just like a 80s wagon 2wd and 4wd use the same platform) anyway in 74+ they all use the 4wd platform in the wagons.

other funny things is,,

72 73 wagons had drum front brakes, no parts are avalible from the dealer or other places brakeshoes, wheel cylinders exctra,




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