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#1 SubaruBratBoy

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:52 PM

I just became the proud owner of a 1986 subaru brat. I want to fix it up but i really don't know where to begin. I have never been real knowledgeable when it comes to fixing cars. But I have an idea of what I would like to do and was wondering the best way to go about it. I will be picking the car up tomorrow and will then be able to get an up close and personal look at it. It's a 1986 subaru brat GL. I want to get some more HP to it. Always wanted a vehicle with a turbo, possible to buy a turbo and install it? Would that require a new tranny? Lifting doesn't seem like it'll be that hard but for shocks if i lifted would that require new shocks? I am just bubbling over with questions. I haven't been sleeping well lately because i have been so excited about getting this car. I don't know much about these definitions such as EA81 and EA82. I have come to understand though that i think my car has an EA81. Would love to have a mentor that could break this jargon down into dummy language :) Thanks so much!
Danaan

#2 dfoyl

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:24 PM

You have an EA81, there is a EA81T (turbo) variant out there but it's not just a bolt-on job. The standard (4 speed manual) transmission isn't really suited to much power (and has a horrible gap between 2nd and third gear), so the EA82 ("L" series) transmission (5 speed manual) is a good bolt-up option - there is a kit offered by a member here which makes it easier to install. You should fit the EA82 turbo rear discs at the same time - they must be off a 4wd turbo and not a 2wd turbo. A few member have them f/s for around the $100 mark.

There are plenty of other options - EJ motor from later models (90s era), 5-stud bolt pattern swap from XT6, etc. Read through the retrofitting forum and you'll see plenty of upgrades and ideas.

Dean.

I just became the proud owner of a 1986 subaru brat. I want to fix it up but i really don't know where to begin. I have never been real knowledgeable when it comes to fixing cars. But I have an idea of what I would like to do and was wondering the best way to go about it. I will be picking the car up tomorrow and will then be able to get an up close and personal look at it. It's a 1986 subaru brat GL. I want to get some more HP to it. Always wanted a vehicle with a turbo, possible to buy a turbo and install it? Would that require a new tranny? Lifting doesn't seem like it'll be that hard but for shocks if i lifted would that require new shocks? I am just bubbling over with questions. I haven't been sleeping well lately because i have been so excited about getting this car. I don't know much about these definitions such as EA81 and EA82. I have come to understand though that i think my car has an EA81. Would love to have a mentor that could break this jargon down into dummy language :) Thanks so much!
Danaan



#3 SubaruBratBoy

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:29 PM

http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem
That's the engine i was looking at to put in my subaru. Is that a possibility? You mentioned rear discs. Do you mean brakes? Or is that something for the transmission? Again im not sure what a lot of this stuff means but i am really interested in learning about it.




You have an EA81, there is a EA81T (turbo) variant out there but it's not just a bolt-on job. The standard (4 speed manual) transmission isn't really suited to much power (and has a horrible gap between 2nd and third gear), so the EA82 ("L" series) transmission (5 speed manual) is a good bolt-up option - there is a kit offered by a member here which makes it easier to install. You should fit the EA82 turbo rear discs at the same time - they must be off a 4wd turbo and not a 2wd turbo. A few member have them f/s for around the $100 mark.

There are plenty of other options - EJ motor from later models (90s era), 5-stud bolt pattern swap from XT6, etc. Read through the retrofitting forum and you'll see plenty of upgrades and ideas.

Dean.



#4 SubaruBratBoy

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:48 PM

okay having read more on the forum im trying to figure out what i want now. EJ22 or EA82 turbo. Ive seen more for the EJ22. Don't know anything about installing engines or wiring them up or the such. I would like to have this car on the road, i want to lift it, i want bigger tires as well. Though I would like to take it off road every now and then but nothing serious like major mud slinging. It's 4wd didn't know if that made a difference in the required engine. So if it's not to o much trouble could you give some pros and cons to each engine? Thanks

#5 86BRATMAN

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 07:58 PM

Both require about the same amount wiring work. The ej22 make more power in non turbo form than the ea82t does. And the ej series is so much more reliable than the ea82's. There are lots of good resources on this board for your swap. And the board members are very helpful with questions.

There are some, like me, that would even travel a bit to lend a helping hand if you really need it.

#6 Numbchux

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 08:51 PM

Both require about the same amount wiring work. The ej22 make more power in non turbo form than the ea82t does. And the ej series is so much more reliable than the ea82's. There are lots of good resources on this board for your swap. And the board members are very helpful with questions.

There are some, like me, that would even travel a bit to lend a helping hand if you really need it.



well said. I don't think it's a stretch to say that the EA82 is probably the worst motor subaru has ever made (rivaled only by the early DOHC 2.5s, but once the headgaskets are done on those, it's not really a problem), and the phase I EJ22 is probably the strongest.

same amount of work

similar power, different place (the turbo will have a little more peak hp, but less torque in the low end)


and see my post in other thread.


and certainly don't pay $650 for an EA82t engine (you'll still need the whole wiring harness and an EA81t crossmember (or custom exhaust) to make it work). you can get a whole legacy donor car (everything you need except adapter plate and some random hoses and stuff) for much less than that!

#7 SubaruBratBoy

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 08:55 PM

Yeah i think the Ej22 is what ill go for. I would much rather have reliability. I figured there are other things i can do to add more power as well. This won't require a new transmission will it? I thought it would be a good idea so i purchased a chilton's manual for the 1986 subaru brat. My big thing is this: I have no way of removing or installing a new engine. I could buy the engine have it shipped and probably get the other required materials for installing. But actually lifting to put it in eeehhh. I am very serious about fixing this vehicle up. It's in great condition and is a car that i could really be proud of. Again im not very knowledgeable when it comes to vehicles. An engine must be designed for a turbo correct? I could not just buy an EJ22 and add a turbo to it? If i am correct in that assumption would a turbo EJ22 be just as unreliable as a turbo EA82? I hope i don't get too annoying with my simple questions there's just so much going through my mind. Picking the car up in roughly 12 hours and i know there's not going to be sleep coming to me tonight. I have never been more excited about anything ever. I already have a general repair manual for subarus that i have been reading because i really have nooooo idea whatsoever about all of these different parts and i believe that this manual will help me have a better understanding of what everyone else may have to say. Thanks for your quick responses! If interested ill have photos tomorrow.



Both require about the same amount wiring work. The ej22 make more power in non turbo form than the ea82t does. And the ej series is so much more reliable than the ea82's. There are lots of good resources on this board for your swap. And the board members are very helpful with questions.

There are some, like me, that would even travel a bit to lend a helping hand if you really need it.



#8 86BRATMAN

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:03 PM

You could put a turbo on a naturally aspirated ej22, run low boost levels and be ok. And it would still be more reliable than the pos ea82. There is also the possibility of finding a wrecked/rusted out 91-94 turbo legacy as a donor. The ej22t is quite possible the best turbo motor that subaru has EVER built... But you would need an ea81t engine crossmember and probably be a good idea to upgrade to a different transmission, the ea81 4spd will not hold that kind of power.

I've got an engine hoist and a good bit of mechanical ability about me. When the time comes, and you have every bit together that you need to swap in the motor, just let me know. I am probably about 2.5-3 hours from ashville. And I would be more than glad to load up my hoist and tools and take a weekend road trip.

Oh yes... Pics are a must...

#9 SubaruBratBoy

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 09:25 PM

Thanks so much! Alright so if i could find a EJ22t what type of tranny would i need? Im guessing it wouldn't be too terribly hard to find the ea81t crossmember. Would lifting the vehicle affect how the engine was placed or anything of that sort? But yeah if you could tell me what type of transmission i would need for that engine im sure i could find it :banana:

#10 86BRATMAN

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 10:09 PM

If you are wanting somethin with a simblance of a dual range 4wd that will hold up good then a 5 spd from a late 80's rx model, make sure to grab the driveshaft, rear end, and a 5spd kit from jerry a.k.a bratsrus1 on the board. And the lift won't affect engine fitment, it will make it a little easier to fit the a 5spd tranny though.

The ea81t crossmember is not going to be easy at all to find. Two years were all they were availible, 83&84, and not all too common. You can modify the n/a crossmember if yo have some welding equipment handy though. I've got pictures of what each crossmember looks like if you would like to compare.

Which ever engine you decide on, make sure you get the entire wiring harness from where the dash plugs into the rearward wiring of the car. Its best to get a whole car as a donor, but if you can't do that make sure you know that the junk yard will have the particular car on hand untill after you are done...

One more question though. You mention lifting it, is this going to be a off road truck or just a lift for looks?

#11 Numbchux

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 11:32 PM

the 22t is the strongest motor subaru has ever made. but as a result, extremely sought after. and as a result, usually way more expensive than their worth.

the N/A motor has been proven to hold up to 300awhp with lower compression pistons, and a piggyback ECU. but no EA-series tranny will hold up to that kind of power for very long. especially with oversized tires.


like I said in my other post. be patient, and do your research. watch this forum, and read everything you can find. aswell as places like www.nasioc.com www.rs25.com www.legacycentral.org and www.sl-i.net

I'd also highly recommend searching for a local subaru forum. www.mnsubaru.com has been one of the most valuable resources I've ever had. not to mention the fact that their all local, so people can come over to give me a hand if I need it.

The EJ22t may sound like the perfect candidate, but a turbo drops in a whole host of issues. things like engine management, exhaust routing, more things to fail, etc.

in my opinion.....you'll be happiest if you just get your hands on a non-turbo '90-'94 legacy with a 5-speed, and drop the whole drivetrain in your brat. if you don't plan to do any extreme offroading, you won't need the lo range. especially with the 4.111 axle ratio of the legacies. you'll have to fab up a transmission crossmember and some shift linkage stuff, but you won't need an engine-tranny adapter plate....


go the the USRM (link at the top of the page), then click the engine section, then look for a post by me about the EJ swap write-up. download EA2EJ.pdf, and read it 6 or 8 times. that'll probably answer most of your questions.



and remember, BE PATIENT!!!! don't rush these things. the beauty of subarus is the amazing range of modifications that are possible. this means 2 things:
1. it's easy to get exactly what you want out of them
2. it's easy to drop a lot of money for stuff you don't really need

so do the research. take the build one step at a time. drive the car a lot, find out what you want out of it, and how you use it, so you can modify it to accommodate. I'd also highly recommend finding a local club, and see if someone will let you drive their WRX. a turbo is very definitely not for everyone.



also, if you find a local car enthusiast club, I'm sure you can find someone with an engine hoist you can borrow. if not....they're like $200 at Northern Tool....

#12 SubaruBratBoy

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 05:48 AM

Awesome, thanks for being straight up that's really what i need. Well I will be picking up shortly and will finally get the chance to drive it and see what id like to change about it. Thanks everyone for your posts! I'll be sure to get pictures for you :) I really want a brush guard too! I saw at subarubrat.com how to make a really tough one but i don't have a welding machine.

#13 Skip

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 08:08 AM

I agree with Chux
but
you need to learn to walk before you can run.

Do a bit of reading on doing a carb swap to a Weber 32/36.

Take the muffler off and replace it with a free flow unit.

i.e. start small -> work up

Like Chux says - drive it and enjoy it, get comfortable with
wrenching - then dive in the deep end.

I have been on this board a long time and have seen
too many over zealous projects end up in disaster
due to many things.

Just a thought from an old wrench.

I must add.
Nice to see such enthusiasm and I wish many
miles of smiles in your new Roo.

#14 SubaruBratBoy

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 06:36 PM

!!!!!! Well I am home with my new roo! Named him and everything. The name is Steve in memory of my uncle cause he had always wanted a brat. Unfortunately no pictures today cause my camera requires these weird things called batteries. But I am already in love with the car. It has a roll bar which was inconveniently placed over the spot that the brats have the hereditary problem for rust and was WELDED on. It already had a hole on either wheel well. Not to mention the seats in the back were welded on as well. There was tons of dirt and crap back there and the seats were in piss poor condition so i took a dremel to the welds and ripped the seats off. Unfortunately under those welds were some bad rust spots that ripped up a little squarish section of the bed. But with that out of the way it leaves me room to remove the roll bar, derust it, fix the rust spots on the wheel well, and since i am a blacksmith i figured i could actually forge the end of the roll bar that set on the wheel well to actually conform to fit evenly. As to hold it down i was thinking bolts and make sure no rust can get in. I know it's hard to picture without images but any suggestions? I figure there are tons of seats out there that people are trying to get rid of so i could get a new set and bolt them down instead of having them welded :dead: On the drive home i noticed it has a little bit of a problem with heating up, especially on uphills in 4th gear, once it gets hot it starts loosing power i guess due to the expansion. If i was wanting to get that EJ22 would i need a better radiator? What could i do to help it with its cooling for now until i am ready to have the new engine? It was kinda funny because at first i didn't have my dremel, all i had was a cold chisel and a drill hammer and a pry bar. I had half of the seats off before i remembered the dremel. But you still don't get between a boy with a hammer, chisel, prybar and a good understanding of physics....... WHOOA!!

#15 86BRATMAN

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 10:58 PM

Thats the way the seats come stock. Welded in... It sound pretty decend from what you've said, just needing a few little things.

The ea81 radiator will do fine for the ej22, I would say that you might need a new one though.

Like everybody else has said get a feel for Steve before deciding on what to do with him. Each vehicle will have its own personallity about it. He will let you know whats right for him.

Whenever you get all the issues worked out on the body and stock motor and cooling system, then worry about getting more power for it. Plenty of super great info on this site for anything you might run up against...

#16 SubaruBratBoy

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 01:03 PM

I understand completely. I have been reading the subaru repair manual but it just isn't the same without actually being able to get in there and see for myself. Bought myself a jack and jackstands so tomorrow im going to raise him up and get up under there and take a look at everything. The rims have a lot of rust on them so im going to work on those first i think. It also came with two snow tires on subaru rims so ive got extra just incase. Unfortunately i can't play with Steve today cause ive got to go to work. Since i have weekdays off ill be spending lots of time outside. He drives great :) will keep you updated. Someone recommended taking the carb apart first, something simple. So I think once ive got some of the body work done ill start with that. Thanks everyone that posted here. Good to know theres a community for brat people!

#17 Matty B

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 08:39 PM

Good to know theres a community for brat people!


Remember some of us are Brumby people when you are searching.
Same thing, other end of the earth.

#18 SubaruBratBoy

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 08:43 PM

brumby what exactly is a brumby? My first real task today was finding a place to put the jack to lift up my car. Man there isn't much for it to rest on but i finally found a semi sturdy place. My second task was getting the nuts off the tire... those things were in super tight!!!! it actually BENT my tire iron, twisted the head of it about 90 degrees. I finally got it off with some lube on the nuts but at a closer looked i noticed the rotors aren't in very good condition so im going to replace those then ill get a lower thermostat so i regulate water faster. The autoparts store has rotors for 33.37 each which shocked me! So anyway things are going great i have been sanding away the dust on the rims and painting some rust proof enamal on them. Things are going great :)

#19 86BRATMAN

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:06 PM

The Brumby is exactly what you have in your driveway. But never came with the jump seats, and are RHD. Same exact vehicle, just named different in the land down under, and a few other places. Europe they were called MPV, and middle eastern countries they were just simply the Subaru Pickup.


BTW... Check out some of MattyB's posts... (you'll enjoy them)

#20 86BRATMAN

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:10 PM

Wait Wait Wait... Your thermostat is on the top water neck on the motor, not the bottom.

And explain a little better the not having a sturdy place to jack...

#21 EastTN

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:26 PM

Welcome to the wierd little world of owning a subaru. I found that they are kind of exotic. The first thing you need to do is save up $400 and buy a 4" lift kit. Put on some Tocoma wheels, and you will have the coolest ride in town. Everyone will comment on it, even little old ladies.:headbang:

#22 86BRATMAN

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:30 PM

Welcome to the wierd little world of owning a subaru. I found that they are kind of exotic. The first thing you need to do is save up $400 and buy a 4" lift kit. Put on some Tocoma wheels, and you will have the coolest ride in town. Everyone will comment on it, even little old ladies.:headbang:


Or you could lower it, do a 5 lug swap, and have everyone wondering what you were thinking...:grin:

#23 SubaruBratBoy

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 10:27 PM

Or you could lower it, do a 5 lug swap, and have everyone wondering what you were thinking...:grin:




haha already decided on the 4inch lift kit! About the thermostat my car is heating up too quickly so i need a thermostat that regulates faster, a lower temp thermostat. I would love to get some nice tocoma wheels. About the jack, my little jack that comes inside the hood just didn't seem sturdy enough to me on my gravel so i bought a craftsman 2 1/4 ton hydraulic jack with two jack stands. the original jack is supposed to fit in that groove just under the doorframe. I don't know any good spots to put my jack so as not to mess up my car, and i also want to use my jackstands.

#24 86BRATMAN

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 10:31 PM

Lol, I had to put my plug in there for what I'm doing...

As long as the structure is still sound, or even halfway sound. You can jack it up under the subframe rails, or use the middle of the engine crossmember, and the outsides of the crossmember right by the y-pipe for the jackstands.

We still wanna see pics of your brat...

#25 SubaruBratBoy

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 11:16 PM

Pics shall be taken tomorrow! :) So about the post earlier for an ej22 engine, you mentioned getting the transmission of a late 80's rx. I am just trying to do some searchinh and reading about all the possibilities and costs. Now i have four wheel drive, that requires a different transmission correct? But is it called the subaru RX transmission? cause i can't find anything about an RX.




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