Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

85 Brat Restoration Project


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 VABrat

VABrat

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Round Hill

Posted 31 May 2007 - 07:27 AM

Need to make a hard decision, and would like some advice. I am the original owner of a 1985 Brat, which I drove daily for years. Developed a hole in the y pipe about 3 years ago, so I couldn't get tags renewed. So my baby has been sitting in the driveway, wasting away. Had some time last weekend--so I charged the battery, fired the Brat up, and it still sounds great. Need to get the inspection current, and thru emissions and then decide whether or not to begin a full restoration. Couple of questions:

1. The Brat has rust in the usual places--rear wheel wells, rockers, lower doors. What should I look for on the frame and undercarridge to decide wheter the rust has gone too far?

2. Brakes have lost hydraulic pressure. Replaced Master Cylinder with no result, so I'm guessing the wheel cylinder(s) have dry rotted, or maybe the caliper pistons. Any tips on troubleshooting?

3. Have found an aftermarket y pipe replacement online, but I know a shop that does their own bending. Will I an need impact wrench to do it myself?

Thanks for any help,

VABrat

#2 backwoodsboy

backwoodsboy

    vintagesubaruparts

  • Members
  • 1,058 posts
  • upstate NY, in the woods

Posted 31 May 2007 - 07:52 AM

Impact tools arent necessary, but can be helpful sometimes.
I would say for exhaust replacement, a good pentrant such as PB Blaster will be your biggest help.

As long as there arent quarter sized holes in your main subframe, I would say go for the restoration!

....and post pics:grin:

#3 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

Loyale 2.7 Turbo

    The Mighty "BumbleBeast"

  • Members
  • 5,841 posts
  • Roatán, Honduras.

Posted 31 May 2007 - 08:45 AM

I Say: Go for Restoration Too!!! :headbang:

...

2. Brakes have lost hydraulic pressure. Replaced Master Cylinder with no result, so I'm guessing the wheel cylinder(s) have dry rotted, or maybe the caliper pistons. Any tips on troubleshooting?

...


Can`t it be the Booster`s Vacuum too?

Good Luck! :burnout:

#4 subyrally

subyrally

    Trust your Turbo-Lust

  • Members
  • 2,888 posts
  • frederick, md

Posted 31 May 2007 - 10:15 AM

id say to restore it, its a shame to see brats get junked or just tossed. if you decide to et rid of it though, i wold gladly take it as a donation, :lol: .

i guess i am a bit mental for those cars. always wanted one, could never get one that was worth anything though :(

#5 s'ko

s'ko

    RIP

  • Members
  • 1,722 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 31 May 2007 - 10:39 AM

Go for restotification.

Basically.. Start the restoration process, but while you are at it modify parts for better performance.

Like upgrade you rear drums to EA82 discs. If you can find XT6 parts, get a set for 5 lug hubs.

EJ SWAP would get you more power but also increase the complexity of the project.

5spd tranny swap would be nice, but it would also take a bit of work.

Have fun.

BW

#6 thealleyboy

thealleyboy

    Subaru Derelict

  • Members
  • 2,079 posts
  • Bexley, OH

Posted 31 May 2007 - 03:16 PM

VAB:

and then decide whether or not to begin a full restoration. Couple of questions:

When you say "restoration", what exactly does this mean to you? "Restoration", and "reconditioning" are not the same thing. I'm assuming you mean this literally, and my answers are based on approaching this as a true restoration project.

1. The Brat has rust in the usual places--rear wheel wells, rockers, lower doors. What should I look for on the frame and undercarridge to decide wheter the rust has gone too far?

Regardless of what kind of project you are doing, I recommend you pull up the carpeting, interior panels, and the inner access panels in the bed. You can't really assess the extent of corrosion without doing this. If you then decide to attack the rust, I would finish stripping out the interior, and remove the doors and fenders, so that you can do a thorough job.

A body restoration would require welding metal patches on the unibody, and replacing any bolt-on panels that are beyond repair.

2. Brakes have lost hydraulic pressure. Replaced Master Cylinder with no result, so I'm guessing the wheel cylinder(s) have dry rotted, or maybe the caliper pistons. Any tips on troubleshooting?

There are likely multiple problems, so a complete overhaul isn't unreasonable. I would especially pay attention to brake lines, and get replacements if at all possible. The discs/drums/pads/shoes are a given. Wheel cylinders and calipers wouldn't be a waste of $$ IMO. This is a safety issue.

3. Have found an aftermarket y pipe replacement online, but I know a shop that does their own bending. Will I an need impact wrench to do it myself?

It doesn't sound like you have much choice if your state requires e-checks. If you plan to show the car (not drive it regularly) you might be able to get by with historical plates, and those may not require the e-check.

I wouldn't buy any pipe-bending equipment yourself. Most commercial muffler shops are worthless for what you want to do. Find a shop that specializes in hot-rod and custom exhaust systems.

Thanks for any help,

VABrat


good luck, John

#7 VABrat

VABrat

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Round Hill

Posted 31 May 2007 - 04:44 PM

Thanks for all the advice, excluding the vacuum booster quip. Treat all newbies like that? In Virginia, I can get Historic Plates at 25 years, which excludes me from emissions test--but that's a couple years away. My goal this summer is to get the Brat safe for the road, inspected, and start to treat the rust problem. OR--sell my love--not donate it.

#8 86BRATMAN

86BRATMAN

    Subaru Master

  • Members
  • 3,412 posts
  • Tazewell Virginia

Posted 31 May 2007 - 04:52 PM

What part of VA are you in. I have got some parts from an 86 that was killed by our winters and previous owner's neglect.

#9 86BRATMAN

86BRATMAN

    Subaru Master

  • Members
  • 3,412 posts
  • Tazewell Virginia

Posted 31 May 2007 - 05:14 PM

Oh and rust like seen here are a sure sign that its not worth the time...

http://www.ultimates...36&postcount=40

#10 thealleyboy

thealleyboy

    Subaru Derelict

  • Members
  • 2,079 posts
  • Bexley, OH

Posted 31 May 2007 - 05:28 PM

My goal this summer is to get the Brat safe for the road, inspected, and start to treat the rust problem. OR--sell my love--not donate it.


This isn't a bad idea at all, and will leave open the possibility of a full resto down the road. I would suggest though that you get the rust contained ASAP, even if you can't do the body work right away.

But first things first. I would assess the structural integrity before dropping another dime on this car. If it is "too far gone" you need to know this up front.

The idea of keeping a car like this intact is not always clear cut. I personally believe that Brats will be collectable someday, while others laugh at that idea. I think it's safe to say that the number of Brats has dwindled considerably in the past 10 years, while the interest in them has remained strong. You can do your own math.

Doing some mods (brake upgrade for example) will make the car safer, but may "ruin" the car in the eyes of a true collector. Whatever you do, try to keep all the original parts (in boxes, if necessary) so that it can be restored in the future.

good luck, John

#11 VABrat

VABrat

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Round Hill

Posted 31 May 2007 - 07:31 PM

Alleyboy and 86Bratman,

I really aappreciate your advice. Rust is not nearly as bad as the pics you posted--I had the Brat treated by a Quaker State Rust Protection Dealer when it was new--carried a lifetime warranty--but after looking at the fine print--saw that I needed to get a booster treatment every 3 years.

John,

I agree with you completely. My Brat has been sitting idle in my driveway for almost 3 years. No "For Sale" sign--but I have at least 6 unsolicited offers to buy my Brat every year. This car is collectable--and judging from the Brats for sale nationwide--restored cars are selling for 5-9 thousand dollars.
Investment possiblities are nice, but the bottom line is, "I really love this car." I love the lines, I love the simplicity, I love the performance and economy.

86 Bratman,

I'm in Round Hill--not too far from Tazewell--if you know of any boneyards that have fenders, parts, etc.--would love to hook up with you and compare notes.

Thanks guys,

Chris
VABrat

#12 thealleyboy

thealleyboy

    Subaru Derelict

  • Members
  • 2,079 posts
  • Bexley, OH

Posted 31 May 2007 - 07:35 PM

Oh and rust like seen here are a sure sign that its not worth the time...

http://www.ultimates...36&postcount=40


Yeah BM, I would say that one ain't lookin too healthy...a good example cause the outer body rust is not representative of the "big picture". That uni is pretty well hosed. Can't think of any scenerio that would justify a "restoration".

That being said, you could patch together a rolling chassis that would get you a few kicks before the uni folds like an accordian. It's just a matter of knowing what you got, and not going overboard on a lost cause.

Hopefully, VA's Brat has little more upside...

John

#13 86BRATMAN

86BRATMAN

    Subaru Master

  • Members
  • 3,412 posts
  • Tazewell Virginia

Posted 31 May 2007 - 08:06 PM

I'm not sure where Round Hill is exactly, what is it near? I do know of a good junk yard near Lebanon, VA that has some old gen stuff in it. I've also got a bunch of stuff here from various cars you might be able to use. If you want just send me a pm whenever you come across something you need or want for it. I'll see what I can do.

#14 thealleyboy

thealleyboy

    Subaru Derelict

  • Members
  • 2,079 posts
  • Bexley, OH

Posted 01 June 2007 - 08:32 AM

Rust is not nearly as bad as the pics you posted--I had the Brat treated by a Quaker State Rust Protection Dealer when it was new


Good deal. Those aftermarket treatments are "hit-or-miss", but it sounds like it was effective in slowing down the corrosion a bit. I would try to keep it out of the salt until you neutralize the rust that is present.

If you just enjoy your car, don't worry about market value or what car snobs think of it. I have a 67 Mustang that I am trying to "restore". This car is original down to the licence plate frame, and dealership key chain. But this has been both a blessing, and a curse. Let me tell you, Mustang guys are some of the most serious fanatics you'll ever meet!! On a true resto, every nut and bolt has to be original - else the car is "ruined". You end up scrutinizing every last detail. As a result, the Stang has sat for long periods of time, and I haven't enjoyed it a whole lot.

The point I'm trying to make is that you can take a "restoration" project to extremes, if you aren't careful. If you like driving your car, let that guide your decisions. Else you might end up with something you can only drive in July 4th parades.

good luck, John

#15 Scott F

Scott F

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 82 posts
  • SoCal

Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:12 AM

The smartest way to start a restoration would be to buy a rust free west coast BRAT, like my original low mileage 84 Turbo BRAT. :banana:

#16 thealleyboy

thealleyboy

    Subaru Derelict

  • Members
  • 2,079 posts
  • Bexley, OH

Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:19 AM

The smartest way to start a restoration would be to buy a rust free west coast BRAT, like my original low mileage 84 Turbo BRAT. :banana:



:horse: yeah, we know...west coast rules, everyone else drools...

#17 subyrally

subyrally

    Trust your Turbo-Lust

  • Members
  • 2,888 posts
  • frederick, md

Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:35 AM

stupid wrong coast getting all the good brats.

#18 86BRATMAN

86BRATMAN

    Subaru Master

  • Members
  • 3,412 posts
  • Tazewell Virginia

Posted 01 June 2007 - 10:49 AM

stupid wrong coast getting all the good brats.


Not all of them. I know a guy with a absolutely perfect maroon 86 w/59k on it about an 45 minutes from my house.

#19 subyrally

subyrally

    Trust your Turbo-Lust

  • Members
  • 2,888 posts
  • frederick, md

Posted 06 June 2007 - 11:52 AM

yeah, but i bet its not for sale and if it is, for way more than is reasonable :(

Not all of them. I know a guy with a absolutely perfect maroon 86 w/59k on it about an 45 minutes from my house.



#20 86BRATMAN

86BRATMAN

    Subaru Master

  • Members
  • 3,412 posts
  • Tazewell Virginia

Posted 06 June 2007 - 08:50 PM

Well he would sell it if the money was right. Probably not under 4k however...

#21 Scott F

Scott F

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 82 posts
  • SoCal

Posted 07 June 2007 - 08:49 AM

All BRATs were equal leaving the production line. It's not our fault that your government applies sodium chloride to your frozen precipitation. :grin:




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users