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Time for upgrades to the Brat

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Thie is my daily driver Brat, 82 DL single range completly stock except for the weber and a loud exhaust, had it for a few years and driven the hell out of it for not a lot of input,

I have been collecting parts for the required ugrades

- so around thanksgiving it was time i pulled it off the road - the oil was finnally leaking out of EVERY gasket, all 4 front axles boots were torn, tranny was jumping out of gear etc etc.

now it is back to running again with a few minor issues to sort out - exhaust and tranny mounts.

now it has

regasketed engine

complete tune up - plugs,wires, cap ,rotor etc

new OEM t'stat and intake gaskets

one piece radiator(as opposed to the 2 piece one it had before)

"new" exhaust - gutted cat, old 18" cherry bomb, side pipe - needs more modification

new EMPI axles

dual range 5 speed

new lengthened rear driveline

rear disc brakes

new front pads

6 lug hubs

6 lug wheels OEM mazda pickup alloys - perfect offset and the suby caps fit:grin:

fronts are 205/75/14 rears are 245/60/14 -


i know they are different - about 1/2" in height - thats what was on the wheels and the 245 fit on the back -they look MEAN and i will be careful in 4x4 till i get them all the same





still have some stuff to sort out

exhaust hits rear driveline....grrr

shift linkage binds on tunnel - need to drop the x/member a bit

get carb tuned so the thing will run right

get the interior/console fixed so i can mount the stereo instead of having it zip tied to the dash

also have to figure out the wiring dor the tranny - got some diagrams from here so will look at that this weekend

am really considering a paint job too - i have always wanted a British Racing Green car...so i may just do it (don't think i will ever own a Jag) i think the Brat would look cool in green...


a big thank you to this site:clap: everything went as it was stated here - these were the easiest upgrades i have done to any vehicle, the info gathered here is invaluable - thanks


will post more progress here as it happens.

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Well its about time that you showed back up, and with an update too, pics included...priceless. :clap:


Waiting to see what lies ahead :popcorn:


When you gonna lift it and EJ it :brow:;)

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if it gets a lift it will be very small - 1-2" to clear some cooler/tougher tyres

EJ may be in the future but we'll go with what we have for now...

i want to get the rest of it organized first - interior, paint, barwork etc

i figured i would get in trouble if i didn't have pics:D

will try to get one soon with the whole stable of brats (3)

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did some more over the weekend,

finished the exhaust - blocked of the egr, and mounted the tailpipe, even had a big chrome ricer tip...:) exits right in front of the LH rear wheel - sounds good

also had to space the crossmember down about 3/16" to clear all the shift linkages on the tranny

then gave it a quick wash and took a couple pics





still have som interior work to do

i used all the console parts from the 85 so i have to fabricate something to transition from the dash to the console

that is where my stereo will mount - about where it is now but not zip tied......




then lined up the 2 running Brats




the brown one is my farm utility vehicle - gets used a heap around the farm

i just cut out all the rusty parts

it will be getting a kubota orange paintjob this spring


then finnally the black one will be my wifes farm vehicle -got it for $100 its pretty rusty in the floor and needs a little work to run and drive

then it gets painted bright yellow...:banana:


Edited by wallaby
add pics

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i have the Brat back on the road,

everything works well -

drives very different with the bigger/wider tyres



have a vibration/noise through the drivetrain under accelleration,

gets worse the harder you drive it, take it easy and it is not apparrent.

(and taking it easy is NOT an option.....)


driveline was professionally lengthened and balanced


could the flywheel be out of balance with the engine?

clutch was used but good, could it be out of whack?


seems to not happen while cruising

i am thinking i will remove the rear driveshaft and see if that makes a difference


any ideas???

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...then it gets painted bright yellow... :banana: ...


Gotta Love Yellow! :headbang:


Nice Brats, I Like how those six lugs Rims' Looks there, specially with the Beefier Tires on the Back.


Those rims Looks to have close like Stock offset.


Kind Regards.

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Nice. You'll love that 5speed with the Weber. :)


The vibration could be tranny mounts. I know mine did that under hard acceleration. When I checked the mounts had ripped apart. At the time I jacked up the trans to where it needed to sit, cleaned them really good and used a bunch of 3M windoweld on them, that cured it. That was several months ago and it lost it's adhesion, proly didn't get them clean enough working under the car. I'm gonna buy some new mounts and beef them up with the stuff before putting them on. (I ended up using EA81 mounts on my 5speed, not as beefy as the EA82 mounts, but the fab work was easier at the time as it only required drilling a few new holes rather than making a custom crossmember)


A front inner DOJ will do that too (I've also had one of those happen years ago). But you noted that you just put new axles in.

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i did the same with tranny mounts -EA81 mounts and crossmember, just had to drill them to fit the 5 speed - they were pretty dodgy - maybe new ones would be the go...thanks

and yes the wheels are perfect...really like the fat tyres on the back:)

Edited by wallaby

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Hi I was wondering how the empi front axles fit on your brat. I recently replaced the front Driver's side axle on my 85 and it's rubbing on the steering column. I looked at my steering rack mounts but they look to be in good shape so I was wondering if you experienced any weirdness getting them in there. The axles that were on my brat had significantly smaller DOJ cups than the empis do but I was told that the cup size isn't related to the size or application of the axle and that as long as the splines were correct it should be okay. Anyway just wondering if you noticed a similar difference in size and whether it caused you any problems or anything.




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dont bother with 1" lift. completely pointless. not worth the trouble of the ten dollars of new bolts and washers.


go 2 in rear, 2.5 in front.


its mild and minimal, as you desire, but at least enough to be worth the time and energy.


if you lift it 1 inch, why not 3/4"? why not 0.5 inches?


i like the 2" option, cuz the driveshaft is still tucked up somewhat, and the exhaust is still out of danger. <mostly>.

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lift may come in time....

tyres clear at the moment, i like that it sits higher on the bigger tyres - i don't wheel it so i don't need a lift, i just want GOOD quality A/T tyres for gravel and farm roads. when these wear out i will be trying to fit a 27 x 8.5 or simmilar on it...might need a lift then.

for the moment it is giving me fits, had the carb tuned but the guy said he had to remove the PCV hose and block it off to make it run...???

so i changed the PCV valve for another used one - seems to work right now...

the guy also said i should run premium in it.....so i put $20 worth in to see what happens,i'm not convinced - uses more fuel, no noticalbe difference in power. also seems to have less power now, dosen't pull hills like it did when the engine leaked and the carb idled at 2500 rpm?????


does the 5 speed have a different 4th gear ratio - i thought it was a 1:1 like the 4 speed

my cooling fan is not working at all and it runs really hot - even on the highway and it blow coolant out...

my suspicion is a head gasket but the symtoms are incomplete????

i will get to fixing the trans mount this weekend too, might be able to drive it harder then:):)

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