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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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'85 Brat frame/wheel well rebuild progress photos (UPDATE 7/13)


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48 replies to this topic

#1 ettev

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 09:11 PM

I'm working on an '85 Brat for the kid. He gets his drivers license next summer. Here's a link to the progress photos: I just started the chopping out of the bad and rusty areas on 7/1/08 and hope to have everything structurally sound so I can get this down to another local USMB brother for a 4" lift install. I'll keep updating as the work goes on. If you see me doing something wrong please let me know so I can fix it. Any feedback would be appreciated.

#2 moosens

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 07:41 AM

Wow,that's gonna be a heck of a project. Good luck with it,Mike. Please keep us posted and if there happens to be anything I have left to donate I sure will.

Nice score of the wheel arches. Are rockers stil available?

#3 ettev

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 07:50 AM

Are rockers stil available?


Yes, but I don't think I want to pay the asking price. I may change my mind in a few days however!

#4 edrach

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 08:48 AM

Yes, but I don't think I want to pay the asking price. I may change my mind in a few days however!

I have some used rockers that I cut out of a "donor" brat a while back. Not perfect but if you're interested, drop me an email address and I'll send some pics. It'll certainly be less expensive than new (if they're available) even with the shipping.

#5 Durania

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 10:26 AM

I am surprised to see you restoring that. I would have just took that Brat straight to the junkyard.

#6 SubPar

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 11:57 AM

"Hey PennDOT.....keep spraying calcium chloride on the roads." :)

#7 zenzor

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 12:07 PM

I'm working on an '85 Brat for the kid. He gets his drivers license next summer. Here's a link to the progress photos: I just started the chopping out of the bad and rusty areas on 7/1/08 and hope to have everything structurally sound so I can get this down to another local USMB brother for a 4" lift install. I'll keep updating as the work goes on. If you see me doing something wrong please let me know so I can fix it. Any feedback would be appreciated.


Where did you find those wheel arches?

#8 subyrally

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 01:27 PM

the body is worse than mine was, but mine had more rot in the floor pans and rockers.

good luck with the project and remember to take a lot of pics as you go.

#9 ettev

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 08:49 PM

Progress photos of 7/2 added (click the original link in the first post). Not much to show for 3 1/2 hours. Lots of hand fitting and prep.

#10 Durania

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 11:42 PM

Looks like it would be a pretty straight forward replacement. Cut out and weld in.

Here is my white parts brat when I got it. I know your feeling.

Posted Image
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#11 SOOBOUTLAW

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 11:04 PM

Now that's a true redneck Brat.

#12 ettev

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 02:02 PM

No work on 7/3 & 7/4. Frame tube steel to go in this weekend. Check back.

#13 ettev

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 08:10 PM

Took the weekend off. Got back on this tonight (7/7). Chickened out on tackling the tube steel on the rear bed frames today so we went at the floor pan and the other wheel well. Making progress! Tomorrow should be the tube steel work then we go underneath the beast for some torsion bar repair, floor pan work along with other good things. Hope the kid appreciates this!

On another note, does anyone know if that heavy, tar mat that Subaru put on the inside of the floor pan is still available? If so what's it called (please don't say heavy, tar mat).

Check back daily for more progress photos. I'm trying to wrap things up this week.

#14 subyrally

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 09:46 PM

just get dynamat, or roofing tar strips. the roofing stuff is lighter and cheaper and i hear that it works pretty well, just smells funny for a while.

#15 ettev

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 08:52 PM

Most of the top side structural work is done. Tomorrow its underneath repairs to the torsoin arm mounting frame areas, some front frame repair and possibly a few rocker panel patch welds. Also want to fit up the front brush guard. After all that I'll hang the new (old but in better shape than mine) left front fender and two better doors plus maybe a hood. Then its off to USMB member subaru360 for the lift kit install. Check back tomorrow for more progress photos.

#16 Hocrest

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 05:04 PM

Looks good, let me know when you want to head over the hill and do mine ;)

#17 ettev

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 08:38 PM

Tedious work tonight. It all started with about a one-hour rain delay and was cut short because we ran out of argon gas mix for the welder.

Tonight we went at the rear frame areas where the torsion bar mounts. A critical area in any case but even more so considering the soon to be installed SJR lift. Figured it had to be relatively sturdy in these areas or the lift tubes wouldn't be of much use, nor the entire car for that matter. Lots of careful template making, plate cutting and bending, etc. Very tight conditions for grinding, wire brushing and all other prep not to mention welding! Looks pretty good now though.

Man, I have to vent here. These things had to have been designed as disposable transportation. Talk about super thin frame sections! I can't figure out how you west coast and northwest corner folks manage to keep yours as rust free as you do. Our state highway group, affectionately known as PennDOT, uses this really neat stuff for road pre-treatment before winter storms that is absolutely killing all types of vehicles underneath. My inspection mechanic tells me that in all his years (and thats a lot of them!) he's never seen undercarrige damage like he has since PennDOT started using this crap. With these vehicles already having been made from not much more than commercial kitchen aluminum foil its no wonder they literally fall apart.

Anyway, check back tomorrow for more work

#18 The Beast I Drive

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 08:54 PM

Here in the NW, our cars last cuz they dont salt the roads :headbang:

#19 McDave

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 10:33 PM

Here in the NW, our cars last cuz they dont salt the roads :headbang:

Thus the usefulness of 4wd. Also explains why my Seattle/Texas car is rust free (rub it in Dave). :grin:

PS I'm enjoying the project ettev. How do you manage to grind, weld, and take photos at the same time? :grin:

#20 ettev

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 05:52 AM

PS I'm enjoying the project ettev. How do you manage to grind, weld, and take photos at the same time? :grin:


I've taken all the photos. The person you see in them is my brother-in-law.

#21 subyrally

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 07:45 AM

I've taken all the photos. The person you see in them is my brother-in-law.


its nice having someone to help out, isnt it.

#22 ettev

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 09:30 AM

its nice having someone to help out, isnt it.


It's more like me helping him. He's a fabricator/welder/machinist by trade. Pays to know (or in this case, be related to) the right people! ;)

#23 subyrally

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 10:02 AM

i could have used someone like that last year when i was working on my brat. i am still going to need some fabrication on mine before too long here. but then agian, i am going to be doing a lot of custom stuff on mine as well.

It's more like me helping him. He's a fabricator/welder/machinist by trade. Pays to know (or in this case, be related to) the right people! ;)



#24 ettev

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 10:46 AM

i could have used someone like that last year when i was working on my brat. i am still going to need some fabrication on mine before too long here. but then agian, i am going to be doing a lot of custom stuff on mine as well.


I would have really liked to have gotten a bit more "creative" with this one but beggars can't be choosers.

#25 subyrally

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 11:17 AM

ive owned my brat for over a year and havent driven it yet. but i know whatyou mean by that. my gf bought it for me last year while i was going through chemo. it was something for me to work on the weeks between treatments since i couldnt get a job and really didnt have anything else to do.

ive got most of the rust taken care of, but there are a few spots that i would need help with, like the "frame" that comes from the engine bay to become the floor pan supports. and a few cosmetic sections.

i am planning on removing the tortion bar and fabbing up mounts for rear coil overs. i am also going to do a 5 lug swap and swap in an ea82t and 5spd trans for it.

ive also got a few different ideas for some of the stuff, like the exhaust and intercooler set up. its going to be fin when i finish it,if i ever finish it.



I would have really liked to have gotten a bit more "creative" with this one but beggars can't be choosers.






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