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engine recomendations for 79 brat


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12 replies to this topic

#1 milkman111083

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 12:02 AM

I have read all the archived threads that i could find about engine swapping. I just wanted to clarify a few things and ask a few questions. the 79 brat came with the ea71 engine, the 81 brat came with the ea81 even though it was still a gen 1. There are a bunch of clearance issues and compatability issues with putting an ea81 into a 79. this makes the next worthwile replacement engine the ej22 but there are still a significant # of modifications that must be done. Therefore if my choices are between a ea71 and an ej22, how do they match up in terms of 1 Dependability, 2 difficulty of instalation, 3 quality of ride?

#2 cubastreet

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 12:36 AM

Don't think there are any clearance/compatibility issues re the ea81, they managed it in the factory.
If you put the ej22 in, you'll also need to uprate brakes, suspension, driveline... lots, if you want to make it safe and reliable.
ej22 is ohc, so much wider and will take a fair bit of chassis bashing too.
Don't forget you'll also have to change the fuel system (high pressure) and engine management.
I don't think many will recommend an ej into a gen1, it would be a major, costly job. You'd have to be VERY dedicated in terms of time and money to do it right.
The chassis wasn't built for that kind of power either so it won't ever handle as well as one that is....

#3 Caboobaroo

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 01:57 AM

ok now we gotta get a few things straight....

First off, the EJ22 is a very reliable engine and it WILL fit into that chassis without mods to the frame rails. However, the clearance between the valvecovers and the frame rails is very tight so I would slightly notch them for a little extra clearance. The EJ22 is acutally narrower then the EA82 and I've seen an EA82T put into a '79 Brat. The EA81 only came in the '81 GL Brats. You could still get an '81 with the EA71 but it was the top of the line '81 GL Brat that had the EA81 top mounted starter, d/r 4-speed, different instrument cluster with tach, plaid interior, wood grain trim in the dash, and so on and so forth. I have heard that you need an engine crossmember from the '81 Brat to put a EA81 into an earlier year but I've also seen a EA81 put into a '77 4wd wagon without it so basically its a fit and go type deal.

With the EJ22, there is a LOT of mods that have to be done like suspension, brakes, wiring, fuel lines, relocation of the master cylinder possibly, and a lot of other stuff like that. The EA81 will drop onto the crossmember, the wiring harness with a couple connector mods will work on it and the tranny has to be swapped. Then for the shifter linkages, the hole in the tranny tunnel has to be widened up, tranny crossmember will have to be fitted somehow (there's some recipe with parts to make one work), but the driveshafts and the axle shafts are the same. I did a full EA81 suspension and brake upgrade on my old '79 4wd wagon. I went from the stocker stuff to EA81 control arms with custom made radius rods, EA81 balljoints, knuckles, axles, vented rotors and calipers, and stock EA71 struts with "specialized" coils on them. With the EA81, you don't need to upgrade the suspension or brakes but the vented rotors and calipers will give you longer life on your brakes, prevent brake fade vs the solid rotors, and the parts are cheaper. Plus, they bolt directly onto the stock EA71 knuckles.

#4 SakoTGrimes

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 02:40 AM

EA81 or EA71, I say go with the larger one and avoid the electrical nightmare that is modern engines.

#5 waimaks

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 03:00 AM

As a pheasable vote, I go for worked EA81.
I mean, ej22 would be awesome, go for it if you think you can, but kinda awkward IMO.

#6 hatchsub

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 01:50 PM

EA81 would be easier and just as reliable as an EJ22 but with a lot less power :(. Advantage of the EA81 is no timing belts to change ever.

#7 milkman111083

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 05:32 PM

ea81 is looking like the best deal where could i go to get a more detailed description of the process

#8 shift

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 03:35 PM

whats the most power you can squeeze out of an ea81-t?

#9 carfreak85

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 09:12 PM

whats the most power you can squeeze out of an ea81-t?


Not tons, but enough to get any Gen 1 moving pretty quick. I'm shooting for 150hp in my 84 wagon, but I don't think upwards of 180hp is out of the question. This could be a possible project as I have an 84 T-coupe that wants an EJ20 turbo and my brother just bought a 75ish 4wd wagon that wants the soon to be abandoned EA81T engine. Oh, you just started the gears turning, Sir!

#10 shift

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 01:08 PM

Not tons, but enough to get any Gen 1 moving pretty quick. I'm shooting for 150hp in my 84 wagon, but I don't think upwards of 180hp is out of the question. This could be a possible project as I have an 84 T-coupe that wants an EJ20 turbo and my brother just bought a 75ish 4wd wagon that wants the soon to be abandoned EA81T engine. Oh, you just started the gears turning, Sir!

ea81-t? abandoned? i will take it off you good sir! :grin:

#11 carfreak85

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 01:33 PM

ea81-t? abandoned? i will take it off you good sir! :grin:


The engine is soon to be abaondoned. I still have another turbo car, so if the engine doesn't make it in the '75, I'll still have a back up for the wagon, sorry.

#12 shift

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 02:11 PM

The engine is soon to be abaondoned. I still have another turbo car, so if the engine doesn't make it in the '75, I'll still have a back up for the wagon, sorry.

awww. question, is there a computer ecu set up for these kind of engines? or is it just the same kinda set up like my ea71? or is it the spfi style?

#13 carfreak85

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 10:21 PM

awww. question, is there a computer ecu set up for these kind of engines? or is it just the same kinda set up like my ea71? or is it the spfi style?


The EA81T has it's own bespoke ECU and wiring. It is a multiport injection design with different heads than a standard EA81.




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