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Buy and build?

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Hi everyone, as yall all know, I have been searching for a cheap brat since like July of last year and I think I may have finally found one.


Its a 1986 brat that is mechanically sound, but has some rust issues. He is asking 350$ for it. The guy says it runs perfect, but needs body work; my cousin is a welder, so welding is no problem. Also the rust is mostly under the car, which also worries me.


The thing that is limiting my decision is the cost and ease of a 4" lift kit; I want to be able to lift it. I am looking for a cheap, light, and fun off-road vehicle to drive in winter and have fun with. Is a brat the right choice? At 350$ its almost too hard to pass up :grin:


I am just worried about the cost of lift kit and tires?

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These 2nd gen Subarus are really quite simple to lift. If your cousin is a welder, and is any good; he should be able to figure it out quite easily. There are alot of threads on here about how to do it. You basically need about 5 feet of 2"x4" rectangular tubing, and then need to cut it up into a bunch of 2" wide blocks. Then drill holes in each end. These make up your lift blocks that seperate the front and rear suspension from the body. These then "should" all be linked together for strength. There is more to it, but, it really isn't all that difficult.


There are a few people on here who make, and sell lifts. In all honesty, they can't compete with the price you could do it yourself for. Buying a kit will save you some time, and cost you some cash. It all depends on your confidence as a fabricator, but, one thing I like to point out is; it doesn't matter if you buy your kit or build your kit, you're going to have to take it all apart and install it either way. So you may as well build your own, and you'll learn that much more.

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Ok sweet! I appreciate the help man... One thing though; I have been reading about the steering linkage? I think it needs an extention or something if memory serves me right. Is it hard to do/get to to extend? If anyone knows the best thread on here/most tried and true for lifting 2nd gen brats a link would be awesome ;)


Hopefully the rust will be fixable; if it is, there is going to be another subaru owner round winston! :grin:


I Just got in from doing some bodywork actually, on my IH scout II turbodiesel. Guess as soon as I get done with it, itll be time to tackle the subaru... might be a little more involved since its a unibody though :-\ If its too big a deal, im just gonna drive it around rusty...

Edited by Grimm

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350 for a running brat ain't bad. Rust can hurt you in a couple of ways. Obviously for structural integrity, but also for the difficulty of getting bolts to come out and then the new ones to go back in. One brat I lifted was really difficult, I had to use a long pipe at the end of a breaker bar to get all of the bolts out of the car. Just about killed me doing it.


The most diffiicult part of the lift is the strut tower blocks and getting them right. (What he said about the FAQ ^^) The steering extension is pretty simple, cut, sleeve to length, reweld.


The new longer bolts can be hard to source though.


Again and again I hear that it's cheaper to build your own, but no one factors in that time is money. Some of us don't have the time. If you do have the time, it really isn't all that complicated for someone with halfass metal shop knowledge to buld their own.


Good luck with it, pics when you score it and start on it please.

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