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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Don't laugh but....I want to build a Subaru bracket racer!

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12 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Brettm57_*

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 01:12 PM

Here's the deal. I've got this '87 hatch 2wd, EA81, automatic, just setting that I've got roughly $0.00 in.
My son and I have been talking about something motorsports-wise to get involved in next. I got to thinking maybe we should build this old hatch into a bracket drag racer. I told him that in bracket racing, a car doesn't have to be fast, just consistent. I used to have a 5.0 Mustang that I took to the drags on occasion, and I remember how the slowest cars usually ended up winning because it's easier to get consistent runs out of them. I'm thinking I'll just leave the automatic in it, but rebuild the engine and tranny so we know they'll work good, and go through the rest of the car so we know that it's good mechanically. I see our local drag strip runs an import class, so we've got a place relatively close to home to run it. I've already got a trailer big enough to haul it on, so we don't have to worry about getting home if we break something. It might be kind of a fun father/son type project this winter.

I would like to know if anybody else is doing something like this with a Subaru, and if you have any advice for us?


#2 Guest_GlCraigGT_*

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 01:25 PM

my advice,

1. have some fun
2. don't brake out
3. practice practice practice

#3 Guest_james hogan_*

Guest_james hogan_*
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Posted 29 July 2003 - 02:35 PM

get a 32/36 Weber, you have the better disrtibutor(quicker advance), put 2 1/2" exhaust on it push the timing as far as you can go on CAM2, strip the interior, manually shift, find some 14" pug wheels and get some drag tires.

Might want to stock up on CV's if you get the slicks, though.
heh heh

Regards and have fun,


#4 Guest_crimefyter_*

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 06:03 PM

I stay with 13 inch wheel/tire combo. Lighter weight, less expensive tires. Go with higher compression by using the 1600 pistons in a 1.8 block (same diameter piston, stroke is different). Lighten the flywheel. Reground cam.

Should be fun


#5 Guest_Brettm57_*

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 09:23 PM

It never dawned on me until I read your message that I've got a 2wd distributor. Duh! I rebuilt the dist. in my 4wd '88 hatch last winter. What exactly is the difference between the two? Are the flyweights different? I wish I would have thought to compare the two when I had the chance.

I'm thinking 13" wheels; short tires = low gearing. I'll need all the help I can get in that department. Can't lighten the flywheel, there isn't one on an automatic. Besides, for drag racing you want a heavy flywheel, it helps the launch. I'll have to research the piston deal some more. Can the heads be milled any? I'd like to get up in the 10/11 to 1 compression area. Will an EA82 manifold bolt up to this engine? I understand they're better flow. I plan on cleaning up the ports. Oh, if you install a Weber, what do you do with the huge mass of hoses on the engine now?

This is getting really interesting now!

#6 Guest_jcdenton_*

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 11:48 PM

"The 2WD distributor has a different advance curve and provides full advance ''sooner'' than the 4WD version. The difference means better low-end torque."

That is a direct quote from a ea81 performance page.

<a href="http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/80s/ea-performance-page/subaru-ea-performance.html" target="top">The Subaru EA Performance Page</a>

there is some other stuff on there.

#7 Guest_Adam N.D.J._*

Guest_Adam N.D.J._*
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Posted 30 July 2003 - 02:56 AM

Here's the thing. My turbo is an auto (of course). And it is CONSISTANT! Stick with the auto, 4wd is better, but if all ya got is 2, go for it. You don't have to do ANYTHING to the car. Just put it in drive, hold the brake and hold it at 2K, when the light goes green let off the brake and mash the gas and hold it. I assure you that if you get good at the light, you'll hit the same dial in everytime. Fast isn't the name of the game here. And if you keep it at 2K while waiting for the light, and hit the gas AFTER you let off the brake you won't spin the tires. Go for it, I love seeing the old Soobs in the brackets. honda guys seem to think that they are the only ones that can run in it. Oh yeah, if you strip the car down to bare essentials, you'll get time that are lower than your average 10K$ honda (we're talking mid 17's to high 16's in an NA 2wd). Most of the honda's in my parts only run in the 16's to 17's. Competition in your area may vary though. Lotsa luck to ya, Catch ya Laters.

#8 Guest_Brettm57_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 04:46 AM

OK, we went up to the drags last night. There were quite a few Hondas, but there were a few Subes (thank God!). The boy is pumped on this idea now! He was getting a little discouraged during time trials, thinking our hatch would get smoked, but I said to just wait till the racing starts, then you'll see. Slower is definitely better. Most of the fast cars either red lighted or broke out trying to run down the slow car.

Now I got a few questions:

crimefyter: Are the 1600 pistons a direct bolt in? I looked up the specs and an 1800 is about .300" longer stroke than a 1600. If everything alse is the same, that would put the pistons well up into the heads! Maybe the wrist pins heights are different? It sounds like a great idea, but I need a little more info. Is there a web site that explains it better?

Adam N.D.J.: Do you really think a stock hatch will run in the 17s? I used to have a Honda CRX, and I know that a GL hatch wouldn't come close to that car. You're right about the Honda times, they were pretty much in the 16 to 17 second range. I'm thinking that some engine work will be in order, which is fine. I can't stand to leave stuff bone stock! I know that fast isn't a necessity, but I want to go fast enough to make it fun.

Thank you for your support!

#9 Guest_hodakarider_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 12:25 PM

I second the Weber idea. Easier to tune properly, and should be a lot more consistent than the stock carb. The auto should also give you good consistancy - assuming the trans is in good shape.
1600 pistons (from what I've read here) are a drop-in. Don't know if anyone's really checked to see what the final CR is, but seems to be 9.5 or 10 to 1. Mill the heads a little, but remember that if you take too much off, it throws off the valvetrain geometry and you will have to modify the intake manifold to compensate for the shorter distance between the heads. If you do a complete rebuild, make sure everything's nicely ballanced in there. If you don't go for the regrind, call up CCR for a Brat cam - supposed to give you better torque.
Strip out the interior, or at least the rear, and definitely put good stiff shocks in the rear. The lower weight in the rear, combined with stiff new shocks, will reduce weight transfer to the rear, giving you better traction and a better launch.

PS: On the EA-81's the distributors are different than on the EA-82's - so the EA performance page notes don't necessarily apply here. I have the actual advance curves for the different EA-71 and -81 distributors somewhere if anyone is interested.

#10 Guest_Adam N.D.J._*

Guest_Adam N.D.J._*
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Posted 31 July 2003 - 03:40 PM

well, maybe not a STOCK hatch, but it can look stock. My buddie has a GL-10 turbo, full car, power everything, and it ran 17's no problem. So the hatch should do it with a little weight reduction, and motor mods. The 1600 pistons to drop right in, they give you close to 9:1 compression, and make a world of difference, I would reccomend running at least mid-grade fuel though, not the low grade with the new pistons. Also if you go with a different cam, talk to these guys <a href="http://www.stratus2000.homestead.com/files/stratusnew/index.htm" target="top">Stratus Aviation</a> They do cam grinds to your specs, and are pretty good at it. I got a cam ground for my Brat and they did a great job of it. The going price nowadays is about 150 for one. Oh yeah, one of my friends over hear has an older 70's VW Rabbit thats running in the 13's, and he's got less that 1K buck into it (thats including the price of the car its self). Lotsa luck to ya. Catch ya Laters.

#11 Guest_Brettm57_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 07:41 PM

Do any of you know the gear ratios in the three speed auto tranny in my hatch? When I get bored at work I like to play with the numbers of stuff like this. Maybe I'll make an Excel spread sheet to figure wheel speed in every gear at an entered rpm and tire size. That might be handy.

#12 Guest_Konrad_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 11:39 PM

i'll be starting simular project in fall, i want to make a frame(rollcage) for 82-84 sedan, 101% of usage will be off-road,...
i'll use EA 81 with 4spd D/R, the thing will be flying on 14" pegout rims, i won't do any modes to the engine becouse the whole thing would be like most 1000 lbs. thats preaty good for the EA 81 hp,.....good luck with youre drag racing


1989 DL Wagon 5spd D/R with LSD
1984 GL Sedan RWD
1982 DL Sedan 4WD

#13 Guest_ShawnW_*

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 12:23 AM

Boy Im not laughing at the bracket racer idea, what better example than a Subaru for consistancy. An automatic would be even more consistant.

Good luck!

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