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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Restoration project question

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12 replies to this topic

#1 ShawnW


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Posted 02 March 2008 - 01:48 AM

Your opinion on this o great Historic forum members.....

I have aquired a pretty nice 84 Turbo Brat. It has no rust and was rear ended hard but not in an unrepairable way so I am going to fix it. I know this isnt a 70's model but its rare and kindof a gem that I am treating with the 'treat it like its gold' motto right now. To me this thing as as precious as a GSR to some of you.

It has the original 3AT tranny in it and it shifts great when warm and bad cold (classic governor clogged symptom). I am going to rebuild the governor and install it...assuming the repair fixes the problem what is your opinion on converting it to a 4spd Dual range eventually?

Does that kill the "restored" feel to you or does the "upgrade" of sorts to a more reliable and fun to drive setup make it less desirable as a restored/original vehicle? There werent that many of these in 84 let alone now.

Does putting alloy wheels on it make it less original if they were the 1980 special wheels (alloy wagon wheels) and not 84 specific alloys?

Thanks for your time!

#2 moosens


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Posted 02 March 2008 - 08:13 AM

your opinion on converting it to a 4spd Dual range eventually?

Does that kill the "restored" feel

Not to me. You keep the bodystyle going and be realistic about functionality. Screw automatics unless you need to sit in traffic.

I know this isnt a 70's model

No biggie,it's a rare bird and certainly vintage at this point.
For some time now my feelings have been that we need to subdivide the Historic Forum into Vintage pre-80 (Gen I Brat included) and vintage EA81.
Maybe now we can kick it around. Not trying to offend,but we've added everything from Vanagons (again,not poking at you,etc.) to Vendors,Trail runs,beer runs,etc..... so one more little change shouldn't be too big a deal....I hope. We'll see what the "Vintage Resistance" squalks about. :lol: Oh,I am the vintage resistance....nevermind.:-p

ok,back on subject...

Does putting alloy wheels on it make it less original if they were the 1980 special wheels (alloy wagon wheels) and not 84 specific alloys?

Dress it up! You can always put stock wheels on if you hear enough noise from the :rolleyes: .....whatever they are.

#3 carfreak85


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Posted 02 March 2008 - 01:42 PM

Really you should just give it to me so I can complete my EA81T collection! :banana:

On a more serious note, I think that the 4 speed can integrated in a seamless manner. Factory 4 speed console, etc. Nobody but a subie nerd would know the difference. The alloys are so rare at this point that you should just put on whatever you can get your hands on.

Then give it to me!!!:cool:

#4 Flowmastered87GL


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Posted 02 March 2008 - 03:51 PM

I think a 4 speed dual range would be good since its period specific. Maybe even a 5 speed DR could be justified as its such a nice upgrade. Same with rear discs and stuff.

EJ swap = too far from original
5 lug = too far from original
pugs = too far from original

Keep her on some factory 13's of SOME sort and I think its close enough :)

just my opinions

#5 waimaks


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Posted 02 March 2008 - 11:56 PM

My opinion is also similar on this one. As long as it doesn't detract from the originality or someone else has already f*ed with it, Its fair game.
That means ea81's, dualcarbs, 5 speeds (if do-able without major butchering), and other things are OK by me.
Of course unless you have the uber original mega straight old-man original special.

#6 tailgatewagon


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Posted 02 March 2008 - 11:57 PM

shawn i would leave it a 3at and here is why.

one if its a restoration then it should be numbers matching(i know there not numbered like you would think of a corvette or anything like that but to have one just like it rolled off the showroom floor would be ideal. if your going to keep it orgianl then keep it orginal. dont chop it up if your going to modify it then do this

sell the ea81t people are always looking.
put in a ej22 with a five speed. and you will have a restomod brat

anyway hope this claifys in your mind what your looking for in this brat...

remember a true restoration is down to the nuts and bolts. a resto mod just needs to look kinda like the origanl. when you replace the junk 3at then you will be making it a resto mod.....

anyway post pix of this gem when you get a chance.

#7 hatchsub


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Posted 03 March 2008 - 07:14 AM

as for wheels i say gold enkeis would look awesome with the gold turbo brat badges and your silver brat (that is the one we're talking about right?). Wheels are something easy to change back to original. As for the tranny..dump that 3at. Its terrible and ruining the true fun u could have with that turbo motor.




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Posted 03 March 2008 - 04:37 PM

I say keep the AT. (Put in a cooler though for long life).

Once you start modifying, you lose the appeal to many buyers..... if you ever choose to sell. Minor and removable things, like wheels, are no big deal. Do what you like on that front. You switch wheels out easily. (No Pugs though)

If you switch to manual, do it as nice and clean as possible. As least invasive as you can. If you do it professionally and it shows that way, you will retain much of the classic car charm.

There...my 2 cents.

Oh...the older you get, the more you appreciate automatic! (And you are getting older now)!


#9 bratsrus1


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Posted 03 March 2008 - 11:54 PM

Hi Shawn This is Jerry, only 3 things to do #1 install a 5 speed dual range tranny and use the 5 speed kit you know you use to own my old brat with the 5 speed in it #2 rear disc brakes #3 wheels. Super cool ride:headbang: Thanks Jerry

#10 s'ko



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Posted 04 March 2008 - 05:08 PM

Having seen this baby in person, I think that it's really your call.

The previous owner was getting ready to do a 5 spd swap and also put discs in the rear. If you have the means to fix the auto then it might be worth it for "classic" status to keep things the way they are. Since you have a fleet of soobs, you can afford to make this one bone stock.

In my experience most part people are fascinated and impressed with the fact that I have a BRAT on the road. The lift and the EJ makes it that much cooler. A true Subaru connoisseur will appreciate that you have the automatic and kept everything true to how it came from the showroom floor. But then again, the same connoisseur would also understand that the auto trannys are craptastic and agree with the 5 speed swap.

I think that the spirit of the turbo BRAT, which is it's distinct styling and lines and the unique engine is what is important. The EA81T should stay in there. The rest is what you want to do with it.


#11 ShawnW


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Posted 06 March 2008 - 10:40 AM

Thanks for your responses.

For now I am going to keep the 3at and the originality. If the governor and a modulator replacement for good measure dont make it drive somewhat respectful I will explore options then.

Alloys are definately on the list. Im going to do a wheel restoration on a set of these:
Posted Image

#12 Leeroy


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Posted 07 March 2008 - 03:50 AM


They have always been my favourite factory alloy wheel.

#13 newsoobdude


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Posted 07 March 2008 - 03:14 PM

Granted I don't count but I have a 85 Brat that I'm resto modding with simple bolt on upgrades (lift, H/P EA81, rear discs, and Pugs), but I figured since Brats are becoming rarer as the years go by, I'd still personalize mine but keep it easy to return to stock if wanted. I was originally going to go EJ powered and put in Bratus1's 5spd D/r kit, but figured since mine won't see much hiway action I'll keep the 4spd for now. Yeah I'm going to cut a set of fenders and doors down, but not the originals.

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