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Project Cheap:Build Lifted 86' GL Sedan Advice + Build


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#1 DrKrazy

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 12:36 PM

Okay so my newly aquired 86' GL Sedan, D/R 5pd, Carb'd EA82 has become what my wife and I are calling "Project Cheap". Our goal is to get this thing totally legal (currently has an Oregan title that has been signed twice, but never switched to colorado title, and has been sitting for 3 years out here blah!), moderate 4" AA lift, 15" wheels & tires, and totally reliable & ready for 4wheeling for under $1500 total. Going to be hard but will manage with some major freebies from my friend at GroundControl4x4.com. With gas prices so high my Chevy truck is just too expensive to take camping/4-wheeling anymore. So this will not only be a thread for all you experts out there since I'm totally new to the lifted Roo world, but will also track my progress and pricing. So let's start:
The day I bought it for $100, 161k miles threw a battery and a missing spark plug in and drove 2 blocks home.
Posted Image

Replaced all the cooling hoses (free, all were in the trunk brand new), Replaced fuel filter (again in the trunk). Did a full oil change & tune up (roughly $50, mostly carb cleaner lol). Got a different Y-pipe for $30 (thanks XSNRG) to fix the major leaks that it had. Also add a Grille for $15, corner light out of my stash, RX hubcabs out of my stash, and of course a major inside cleaning. Ends up looking alot better, running a ton better, still idles rough, but only have 50 miles on it..and some bad gas that still needs to get run out/diluted more & more.
Posted Image Posted Image

Now I have a 4" moderate lift on order from AA...about $330-$350
Need to figure out if it's in the budget to get hubs drilled for 6 lug, or just drill out some chevy rims for 4 lug...Advice??
Need to do a couple CV's and rear disc conversion, there's a few hundred dollars..
Looking at just buying 5 cheap US Wheels 15x6 6x5.5 Rims for about $150, then trying to get some cheap decent tires from my brother's shop..any recommendation on the cheap side and size to run?
Needs a clutch...happen to have one in my stash that's good, along with an almost full engine reseal kit.
Need to fix a strange cooling problem, not losing coolant, thermostat working fine(new), but still climbs to 3/4 and sits there..radiator most likely so another $100.
Friend is going to build it bumpers, skid plates, rockers for me since I host his website..so Freebies there!
Will want to convert to LSD, few hundred there....
What am forgetting to make this thing trail ready and safe??

Total spent so far: $195
Money I know I need to spend: round $750 not including tires, hub/wheel drilling/cv axles, getting the damn thing legal.

So close to a grand already and getting tight. I will be building this rig to make 100+ mile trips and then rock crawl with a few jeeps & scouts of my wife's family for camping..so gotta represent Roo power something fierce. So recommendations from all you experts on upgrades, how much things cost, tires & size, how to keep up in a fully independant suspension/lower HP car (only really crawled in my big rump roast chevy truck, the RX doesn't like to go 4-wheeling) etc...
How many of you out there have a lifted EA82 Sedan?? I don't seem to come by them very much on the board.

#2 operose

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 02:55 PM

rock crawling eh? .....

might wanna add D/R tranny to the list?

#3 DrKrazy

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 03:24 PM

rock crawling eh? .....

might wanna add D/R tranny to the list?


Already has one :brow:

#4 operose

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 03:25 PM

Already has one :brow:


t3h sweetness! yeah, sorry I missed that in originally post

#5 Numbchux

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 07:18 PM

Sounds like you've got the right idea, my vote is for drilling out to a 6-lug pattern, not too much more expensive, but looks WAYYYYY better, 6-lub wheels drilled to 4-lug just looks half-@$$ed...just my opinion

Rarely seen a lifted sedan...should be cool!

tires...look for some cheap all-terrains, or all-seasons. I have all-seasons, just cause that's what fell into my lap, and they work great! they cake with mud a bit easier than I want, but are pretty solid on most any terrain, and quite on-road.

keep us up-to-date!

#6 75subie

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 07:29 PM

Sounds like you've got the right idea, my vote is for drilling out to a 6-lug pattern, not too much more expensive, but looks WAYYYYY better, 6-lub wheels drilled to 4-lug just looks half-@$$ed...just my opinion




what he said.



i wonder why people usually don`t lift sedans??the style looks pretty good.are you doing any engine mods?with freebies, i think it can be built in your price range.too bad your not closer to ny because i have 2 nice sets of 6 lug alloys w/ exellent tires for $75 a set.

#7 DrKrazy

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 07:39 PM

Sounds like you've got the right idea, my vote is for drilling out to a 6-lug pattern, not too much more expensive, but looks WAYYYYY better, 6-lub wheels drilled to 4-lug just looks half-@$$ed...just my opinion

Rarely seen a lifted sedan...should be cool!

tires...look for some cheap all-terrains, or all-seasons. I have all-seasons, just cause that's what fell into my lap, and they work great! they cake with mud a bit easier than I want, but are pretty solid on most any terrain, and quite on-road.

keep us up-to-date!


Is 28" the biggest you get could on your wagon, or just what fell in your lap? Starting to look at sizes, and searching the board..but you have the AA lift also, so curious how much space you have. I don't mind doing some hammering and trimming...was hoping for at least 29" or 30".
Defintely looking into the 6 lug drill-out, just need to find a good cheap machine shop and see what they would charge me. Or I can try myself at my brother's/or GC4x4's shop, at least there is a drill press at both those places.

Anyone seen the new off-road Toyo's? My brother is telling me that they are the goods and that's what I need to put on it. These ones, plus he can get me a decent deal on them.
http://www.toyo.com/..._road/opmt.html

Will get the engine running good, and most likely do a EFI conversion on it down the road when I get some more cash. Maybe beef up the spark system and redo the cherry bomb exhaust...but probably not much else unless I find a good EJ22 donor..unless I need to.

Also forgot to say that this will NOT be a daily driver unless one of the other Subes breaks down, and only till that got fixed. I will continue to drive the RX as my daily...just love it too much. Also this car will not have to pass any type of emissions ever like the rest of my cars that stay registered at the family's house in the mountains. So basically anything goes but still has to be able climb the mountains on the highway to get to the rocks and fun!

#8 Numbchux

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 08:39 PM

I didn't do any cutting to fit my 28's, but quite a bit of banging, and still some rubbing...MorganM's got 29's on an old 3" BYB kit, but he's got a ton of trimming.

just looking at the link for those toyo's...they don't make those in anything under 33's...and they're mud-terrains, is there much mud there? I thought it was more rocky, might be better off with A/T's

#9 DrKrazy

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 08:48 PM

Whoops yep posted the wrong link, I meant to post the link to the A/T's....

http://www.toyo.com/..._road/opat.html

Mud, Snow, Rocks, Streams, Sand, we basically have it all in Colorado.

#10 singletrack

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 09:20 PM

http://www.toyo.com/..._road/opat.html
Mud, Snow, Rocks, Streams, Sand, we basically have it all in Colorado.

Save yourself some cash and get Liberators. Also, I say no bigger than a 27"-28"... so go with 14's. Our cars just don't have the gears for anything bigger.

A Weber is prolly more important than the LSD or rear discs.

#11 Jibs

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 10:00 PM

Those US Wheels shouldn't cost you too much, I run 2 different sets of US Wheels on the Brat. I bought mine new from summit for close to 21$ new each. Well, I guess plus shipping. But yeah convert to 6-lug, it DOES make the soobs look better. I wouldn't go bigger than a 28" tire either, it makes our soobs a little sluggish. A lifted sedan would be SWEET!

#12 kingbobdole

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 04:28 AM

Dr crazy if you get lazy......(he he)
I have a "tool" that you bolt to a 6 lug wheel in order to drill the other two holes out... "right"
You can borrow it if you wanna.

#13 Numbchux

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 11:26 AM

Whoops yep posted the wrong link, I meant to post the link to the A/T's....

http://www.toyo.com/..._road/opat.html

Mud, Snow, Rocks, Streams, Sand, we basically have it all in Colorado.


Those look great. if you can find them for cheap. Singletrack is right though, the Liberator A/T's from WalMart are an unmatched value, if you've got a budget build, these ARE the tires for you!

#14 DrKrazy

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 11:41 AM

Looks to be about $42-$63 a tire at my (brother's) discount on those toyo's depending on size, now SingleTrack has got me in a debate though. If my GL doesn't have the guts to run bigger than 28",(and since he lives here in Colorado and makes the mountain climbs gotta think about what he is saying) than maybe I should just dump the whole 6 lug swap and just pick up some 14" or 15" Alloy Pugs to run them on. Would save me time and some cash....maybe..the US wheels are cheap also, and easily replaceable. Arrg too many decisions...
Also not worried about the weber cause this thing is destined for an EFI swap, I can't stand Carbs unless it's a big 4 Barrel Edelbrock or Holley that I can work on, and even then much prefer FI.

#15 Numbchux

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 02:49 PM

I wouldn't worry about wheel size, you could run 20's if you want, as long as the outside diameter of your TIRES isn't over 28/29"...though I wouldn't recomend that as that wouldn't get you very tall sidewalls, the point is that I wouldn't worry about it. if you'd like to run 16 or 17" 6-lug wheels, go for it, but I wouldn't recommend getting tires that are taller than 28"...especially on a carbed motor, until you get a weber, or SPFI (if you're that brave).

#16 singletrack

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 07:03 PM

I wouldn't worry about wheel size, you could run 20's if you want, as long as the outside diameter of your TIRES isn't over 28/29"...

My 225/70 Libs on 14" pug alloys give me big volume and a wide footprint. That's a 26.5 tire. Plenty!

$45 bucks is a deal, but I woulda bought them even if they cost more. Good quality product, great all around performance. With the demise of the Coopers (which are weak IMO) they're definetly the best 14", besides swampers which aren't very practical. Seriously, CO is never "muddy" per say, so don't bother with a mud tire.

Besides, 4x140 is so uniquely Subie, how could you give that up for 6 lug?

#17 WoodsWagon

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 08:52 PM

I would advise against going above 28" tires. With a 4" lift and 30"s on my wagon, I had to go nuts with the sledge hammer on the rear of the front wheel well. It's not good for the structure of the car to smash it in that far.

Make a disconecting pin to replace the bolts that hold the front sway bar to the controll arms, and weld the rear and get good at swapping the rear axel on and off. If you want to keep up with a family of jeeps, that will help a lot.

#18 Numbchux

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 02:50 AM

I would advise against going above 28" tires. With a 4" lift and 30"s on my wagon, I had to go nuts with the sledge hammer on the rear of the front wheel well. It's not good for the structure of the car to smash it in that far.

Make a disconecting pin to replace the bolts that hold the front sway bar to the controll arms, and weld the rear and get good at swapping the rear axel on and off. If you want to keep up with a family of jeeps, that will help a lot.


agreed on tires

sway bars are overrated, take it off! and learn to drive the RX hard, and the lifted rig...easy

welded, lsd, open....unless you're getting really hardcore, just learn to pic your line well, and you'll be fine. if you're getting into soft stuff, an lsd would be nice. if you're on rocks where you'll be frequently lifting 2 wheels, welded's the answer.

wheels, I agree with singletrack, my point was, there's nothing wrong with 15s, but if you're only going with a 26" tire, than 14s are probably the better answer. my 28s are perfect on 15s, but lots of pounding was required, and they still rub like mad.

#19 DrKrazy

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 11:33 AM

Seriously, CO is never "muddy" per say, so don't bother with a mud tire.


Yea not most places, and I won't be going with an M/T, don't even have M/T on my truck...run 33" BFG A/T's on that...You'll have to come out to the eastern slope and take a run with me out at C.O.R.E (http://www.coloradooffroadextreme.com/) and get in some mud etc...it's a huge rump roast 800 acre off-road park that opened not to long ago...my buddy who build's extreme 4x4's help build that place up and has already issued a challenge to bring "Project Cheap" and any other lifted Roo's that think they can handle it....Going to show him what a Subaru can do (though he knows, owned a stock hatch about 10 years ago). I want to go out there with as many lifted Roo's as I can find to come in the Spring/Summer of next year maybe. If I have "Project Cheap" ready by then.

#20 DrKrazy

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 08:59 PM

Well it finally got it's real start today...
Started putting on the lift, got the rear totally done, and the front strut mounts done, but still got aways to go and some fighting with the tranny blocks and whatever else wants to make my life hard. Liking the results looks big, just wish I had some wheels/hubs to put on it tomorrow when the lift is finished (hopefully). Have a set of some brand new 235/75 15" Bronco M/T's that I got for pretty much nothing sitting at brother's shop waiting for my wheel/hub decision. Here's a couple of update pics:

From this afternoon after I got the rear done in like less than an hour, Woot look at the height of the rear even with stock wheels/tires:

Posted Image

From tonight when I got sick of the dark and fighting with the tranny blocks, sitting there half taken apart no radiator, grille, engine and tranny sitting on jacks and stands, same with the body. Kinda sad looking:

Posted Image

More to come tomorrow, unless I get really lazy.

#21 Numbchux

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 04:50 AM

Woot look at the height of the rear even with stock wheels/tires:

Kinda sad looking:


isn't it awesome? I couldn't beleive how much bigger mine got with the lift even on stock tires!

mine looked uber sad, I was doing timing belts, water pump, oil pump reseal at the same time, it sat in the garage half-finished for a week+


looks awesome so far!!!!

#22 DrKrazy

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 08:47 PM

Okay lift did indeed get done today, also got a brand new 2 core radiator put in. Seems to have an ever so slight camber issue, maybe I did get my front strut extensions wrong, but it's very slight and has been barely been driven, less than 2 miles so far. Have some problems with steering wheel alignment, no skid plate (got to get that fixed asap), no more mechanical fan (EA81 electric will replace it), pitch stop being too short, and still got to crank down the front strut adjustment a tad too. Now I need wheels BAD so I can get my tires mounted. Grille still off since I'm going to pull the smashed bumper off...might put a spare RX grille I have in it's place anyways. Plus planning on putting my spare RX wing on the trunk with some mods. Yep it's going to look funky but that's what I'm aiming for. Next big project is to pull the engine for a re-seal, clutch, and EFI swap from the DL. Here's some finished lift pictures, looks good (minus the dinky tires/wheels):

Right after I finished it and the radiator:

Posted Image
Posted Image

Wife taking it for it's first drive:

Posted Image

A good comparsion look with the Roo's in my driveway:

Posted Image

Woot! At least a project or two out of the way on "Project Cheap". More to come.

#23 MorganM

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 08:47 AM

I wouldnt go any SMALLER than 28"s. 6 lug swap isnt that cheap; consider the 14 or 15 alloy pugs + tires. It's more than just drilling more holes; you have to buy more studs, more lug nuts, and hopefully someone has the right drill bit or you have to buy that also.

You'll want some real skid plates and sliders on the sides if you are going to be on the rocks. I've already beat the piss out of mine on the rocks. Stock skid plate is beat up, lots of new dents all around, it just wont hold up if you intend on keeping it a long time. Nice skid up front, sliders along the side, and gas tank at a minimum. Maybe not right away but after you get out on the rocks a few times you'll know where you want them :)

For camping and 4wheel'n I wouldnt have chose a sedan but it will get the job done. I like the room of a wagon for all my camping gear and spare parts. Then again I travel heavy to base camp :grin: It's already taking form; I'm sure it will be a neat ORV when you are done.

#24 FirstSubaruGLwagon

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 10:16 AM

Hey Dr.
Is ther a little sensor or meter that sticks out on your AC compressor
that now sits so close to the Radiator that even an electric fan will not fit there?

#25 DrKrazy

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 02:03 PM

"Project Cheap" has no A/C, so I can say no to that question. But if it did I'm sure that sensor your talking about would be completely in the way but.... The EA81 electric fans are extremely slim (like about 1" to 1.5") and smaller diameter and work great. Should fit in there with little to no trouble. I run two of them on my RX, one to replace the mechanical, one on my intercooler. Project cheap will be getting one in place of the mechanical one.

So am I the only one with the weird cocked steering wheel when the wheels are straight problem?????

Also moved my pitch stopper toward the passenger compartment a tad and redrilled a hole for it in the mount on the engine (left the original hole on the body alone). Works perfectly just a tad tight with the bolt for it.




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