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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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To lift or not


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13 replies to this topic

#1 dave valiant

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 08:53 PM

Took the topper off of my Brat to clean out all the crap that was in it when I got it and the wheel wells are rusted out badly. The rust is spreading pretty bad back there so I'm thinking about just putting a 3" lift on it and use it to play in the hills.
So anyway I'm talking to a guy at work who likes Subes,tell him my plan and he says "man those Turbo Brats are seriously rare only made em 2 years you should fix the rust and restore it".
Well as a Mopar guy I have heard the word Rare abused badly.
So does this guy have it right would it be worth the time effort and money to restore this 84 Turbo Brat or is he blowing smoke?
If not I'm planning on lifting 3" doing the six lug conversion putting a 4 speed D/R and beating the hell out of it lovingly of course. Any help would be appreciated thanks.

#2 MilesFox

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 09:07 PM

i would say restore it in the sense of getting it mechanically sond, new seals, axles,

turbo brats are kinda rare, only 83 and 84 it has the EA81 motor, the pushrod version of the 1800.

later 85 and up have EA82 timing belt motors

but since its starting to rust, that make it grounds for a project!

make it a good running off roader.

#3 northguy

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 10:06 PM

How much do you want to put into it? It could be a money pit that you'll never recoup. Personally, I'm going to lift mine this Spring and keep it on the road until it rusts badly (probably 2 -3 years here) and then turn it into a mudder. My .02.

#4 VaporTrail

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 10:18 PM

I used to have a black turbo brat from Sioux Falls... the guy I got it from put a 4/3 BYB lift in it, but there were some issues with the rear shock top mounts bolts breaking off. he also put a 4 spd D/R in it... it was a blast to drive while I had it... it had other rust issues, as you can see the panels I replaced :)

http://usmb.net/gallery/album93/tbnew2

I did some cutting, and put 30x9.50x15 tires on some re-drilled Chevy wheels... with the 4 speed and turbo, it was real easy to spin 'em....

the turbo brats are rare. I'm on my second one now. it's had a fair amount of rust repair done to it before it came to me from the east coast. it's still all stock, and will most likely remain that way until I sell it....

#5 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 04:18 AM

He's not blowing smoke - they are definately rare. Worth restoring if the rust isn't horrible. They were technically made in 83, but most of the ones I've seen or heard of are 84's - not sure why, but the production numbers for the 83 model year may be lower. At any rate they didn't make many of these. It's not just the Brat either - they only made THAT ENGINE for 2 years - the 83 and 84 were the only years of the EA81T. The replacement to it was the EA82T, which is similar, but is OHC, with timing belts.....

Thing is - the turbo motor doesn't make a good hard core off-road engine - too complicated, and too rare to find parts to easily fix. Plus they don't have the low-end. Too much restriction with the turbo when it's not spooled, and difficult to keep it spooled at low speed. And the turbo engine is only making 95 HP compared to the N/A engine at 73 HP. The N/A engine can easily be brought up to 120 HP+ with just a few mods (cam, deck heads, weber, turbo muffler, etc). If you want something to play in the mud, get a regular Brat that's in the same shape or better and let someone restore the turbo - I'll bet someone would trade you.....

GD

#6 Qman

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 08:08 AM

Yes, Turbo Brats were a limited run from Subaru, only 1983 and 1984. EA81T is the predeccesor(?) to the EA82T. It does run well when tuned correctly. The problem with off-road turbos is that they need more rpm's to operate correctly. Most of my off-roading is done at under 2000 rpm's.

Miles, all Brats run the EA81. (Except for those that have been converted/modified by their owners).

If the rust is repairable I would say fix it. As long as it doesn't get into the thousands to fix. You may be able to find another Brat body and swap your set up into it. Granted, it is alot of work but could be worth it.

Or... you could just sell the Brat as is and get something that will suit your needs better.

#7 MilesFox

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 07:13 PM

Originally posted by GeneralDisorder



Thing is - the turbo motor doesn't make a good hard core off-road engine - too complicated, and too rare to find parts to easily fix. Plus they don't have the low-end. Too much restriction with the turbo when it's not spooled, and difficult to keep it spooled at low speed. And the turbo engine is only making 95 HP compared to the N/A engine at 73 HP. The N/A engine can easily be brought up to 120 HP+ with just a few mods (cam, deck heads, weber, turbo muffler, etc). If you want something to play in the mud, get a regular Brat that's in the same shape or better and let someone restore the turbo - I'll bet someone would trade you.....

GD



i would disagree with trading a turbo off. the fact its turbo is good enough reason to hold onto it

if you dont mind swapping and taking things apart (that is the fun in a project!) i would say put a 5spd dual range, and chuck the auto
that in itself would be a standard mod for an off roader anyway

but the turbo will have its higher rpms and boost curve with the lower gears in the tranny

i had a dual range in my 83 turbo wagon and it off roaded quite nicely! wheel spin is what will get you thru mud, and the turbo will hold rpms

the higer rpm power curve would be better suited for the 5spds gearing.

if the motor gives you trouble, i would like to think an 85-68 ea82 turbo moor would work, having similar mpfi

but the turbo motor will fit in there for sure!

#8 dave valiant

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 07:20 PM

Thanks guys I appreciate all the help.
As for the rust I've found it in the rocker panels the wheel wells and the rear fender well lips.As for the fender rust I was planning on cutting them out and trying to make some fender flare work. The wheel wells I was just going to fab something together and the rockers I've found replacements(thanks to this wonderful board) and will be getting them income tax time.
I didnt even think about the bottom end power problem though. I'm probably stuck in the position of having coil plugs wires and exhaust being the only performance upgrades(all are coming at income tax time) that wont cost me an arm and a leg. As far as getting a N\A Brat the ones I've seen around here are beloved and not being sold, I completely understand that I really love mine.
I think I'll just fix her up and maybe get some 14" Pugs keep her stock height and buy a ea81 hatch or wagon to go the lift route with.Thanks for all the points of view.USMB forever!!!!

#9 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 07:59 PM

Awsome - yeah - totally fix it up. Actually - you can add an intercooler and a boost controller to get some more performance - several people have done it.

Another thing you should be aware of - the turbo itself on the EA81T's was a recall because it was originally oil cooled. These were found to be a fire hazard or something, and were replaced with water cooled turbo's. Your may or may not have the water cooled turbo. If it doesn't no problem because the EA82T turbo works just fine - you simply have to plumb in the water lines for the turbo. I think the EA82 Turbo is also slightly bigger, but will bolt right in apparently. You could easily get it up to 120 HP I would think with an intercooler, and a manual boost controller. Both are pretty cheap upgrades - you just have to find an intercooler, which can be a bit difficult. Look for saab's and mitsubishi starion's and things like that at the JY.

GD

#10 VaporTrail

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 08:39 PM

actually, the replacement turbos on the EA81T were both water and oil cooled. Oil cooling by itself wasn't enough....

Officially, the ea81T's were introduced as 83 1/2 models....

#11 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 08:44 PM

Well - water cooled, and oil lubricated I think would be the more correct terminology - but I do agree that the oil does in fact carry heat away from the turbo as it's lubricating - and the EA81T's do have an auxilery oil cooler, so I agree in principle with what your saying Mick. I just simplified it a bit ;)

83 1/2 - I'll file that away in my memory banks. No wonder I see so many more 84 Turbo's than 83's.....

GD

#12 dave valiant

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 10:38 PM

Yes intercooler as much talk as there is on this board I should have thought of that.I've seen them on ebay farely often.If I'm not mistaken one end of the intercooler is connected to the air box via ducting and the other end to the throttle body.Should I put it where the spare tire is currently and get a hood scoop placed directly over it to supply the cold air through the intercooler.
I know that alot of you are going Duh moron but just want to be sure about it.
USMB for life

#13 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 10:50 PM

Yep - that's the usual method. There's lots of guys on the board that have done it with EA82T's - a few with EA81T's. Really the engines are almost identical with respect to ignition and fuel systems, so much of what they have done will apply I'm sure.

GD

#14 MilesFox

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Posted 19 December 2003 - 04:47 AM

an ea82 turbo an crosspipe will fit on the ea81 block




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