Jump to content
Ultimate Subaru Message Board

1979 Brat Dual Carb EA81 Swap


Recommended Posts

After about a year of searching for a good Brat for a project I stumbled upon a 1979 Brat on craigslist in Wyoming for $100, a deal too good to pass on. I convinced my uncle in law to make the three hour journey to go pick it up for me and drop it off at my grandpas property in Montana, which is where it currently sits until early May when I have a trip planned to go pick it up.

The previous owner had intentions of rebuilding the EA71 and had the heads disassembled and a few other things torn down as well.

A few weeks later I saw an ad for a 1983 Brat that was so rusty that the rear end was about to separate from the unibody. The car looks very deceiving but it has almost no drivers side floor, rocker panels and the back half of the bed had already been replaced with a patch panel. The Brat came with the rear jump seats, headrests, seat belts, and even the bags that cover the seat belts. The car came with a lot of other miscellaneous parts as the guy I bought it from has supposedly owned like 10 different Brats and this was the last one he had.

My plan is to swap the EA81 with a Dual Carb set up I picked up into the '79 along with the 4 speed D/R for now until I can find a 5 speed D/R to swap into it.



  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, this is the Brat from Worland.

The ad was strange advertising it as strictly for parts only(this could be because it was not assembled when for sale)but it did come with a clean title and everything checked out.

I went out to see it over Thanksgiving break and it seems to be pretty solid and for the most part complete other than a few odds and ends mostly engine stuff that I don't need with the swap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got the engine pulled from the 1983 Brat and began to start the tear down. My plan for the rebuild right now is EA71 pistons, Decked Head (0.02"?), 3 angle valve grind, and some mild porting and polishing.


Here are some picture of the '83


On the trailer taking it home



Brat 2 on trailer by Loukoffman, on Flickr


Got it running before pulling the engine




EA81 Running by Loukoffman, on Flickr


Engine Pulled




Pulling EA81 by Loukoffman, on Flickr


Snapped a bolt while taking of the Intake




Intake Bolt by Loukoffman, on Flickr


I'm on break this week so hopefully I can get the intake bolt out and get the rest of the engine torn down so I can be on my way to getting my engine ready to go when I pick up the '79 from my Grandpa's.

Edited by LouKoff
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Because the rear body panels on the 1983 Brat are in decent shape I decided I would try to make a trailer out of it down the line. I decided I would try to tackle some of the spots that were still salvageable from the rust because I don't have much experience with bodywork and I anticipate having to do a fair amount on the '79 I thought it would be good practice. I used a wire wheel to get rid of the bondo from someone's previous repair and to get it down to bare metal, used some rust converter stuff, wire wheeled again, then sanded and prepped and primed.


17030169227_8eea7db847_s.jpgBefore by Loukoffman, on Flickr


17211645496_2b7925be8b_s.jpgDuring by Loukoffman, on Flickr


17237046401_2fc347a49c_s.jpgTaped off by Loukoffman, on Flickr


17237609205_820e40d89a_s.jpgPrimed by Loukoffman, on Flickr

Edited by LouKoff
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The original seat belt bags I had were in pretty rough shape so I tried my hand at making some new ones.

I created a pattern using the original bags and sewed them up with using marine grade vinyl and UV and abrasion resistant thread, with elastic to keep the bag snug over the belt, as well as nickel plated eyelets with a peice of paracord to attach the bag to the belt.

I sealed the seams of the bag to provide extra protection from the weather as well. I had some left over material and made some extra bags which I will post for sale in the near future.


17237670211_8c641c634b.jpgNew vs Old by Loukoffman, on Flickr


17030802697_412af392a8.jpgBag and Belt by Loukoffman, on Flickr


16615791254_cd6e45d1bd.jpgBag over Belt by Loukoffman, on Flickr

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Sorry it's been so long since I've updated this, things got a little crazy at the end of the school year and then I immediately started working a full time job. Among the craziness and other projects that needed to take priority I've finally started to get back to working on the Brat.


First off here are some better pictures of the Brat


18030689349_c18a70c095_z.jpgFinally Home by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


17596306933_a85583ac29_z.jpgMean by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


18029103248_fb32c3eb58_z.jpgFront damage by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Whoever repainted the car before seemed to like Bondo


18216664915_d5fcc2cdd9_z.jpgPerfectly Straight by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


18218176061_343b57ae66_z.jpgBondo door by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


The truck has more rust than it originally appeared after chunks of bondo started to fall off


18216678485_6c5b2c2b4f_z.jpgRust by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


18028827758_4591312e81_z.jpgRusty Door by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


18029198100_268ebca7f1_z.jpgRocker panel by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Now on with the updates. I tore into the interior and took out the seats and carpet and some other random bits finding nine dead mice along the way. I got stuck when trying to pull the steering wheel. I got the horn and the nut holding the steering wheel off and it feels loose but it wont come off the shaft, I tried using a mallet and hitting it and pulling it along with soaking the shaft in pb blaster but still have had no success. Anybody have suggestions? I might try to fab up a puller somehow using the little threaded hole that keep the horn retainer thing on.


Heres how the interior currently sits after I used some liquid nitrogen to remove tar sound deadening until i ran out.


19643094002_e8978b05c4_z.jpgInterior 7/12/15 by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Removing the sound deadening revealed some small holes from rust


19623947416_9c90d3730a_z.jpgHoles by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


The passenger wheel well has a few holes too


19462118938_278e415106_z.jpgPasenger Wheel Well by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Heres how the car currently sits


19654601761_ba1da64858_z.jpg7/12/15 by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Onto the engine update.....

I finally have the engine torn down and have been porting the heads, hoping to finish up this week so I can get everything off to the machince shop to get the heads machined and a valve grind. Plans for the engine have changed though as I found out piston 2 and 4 from the EA71  were pretty chewed up, so it looks like I'm stuck with stock EA81 pistons.


19462083118_ff28900516_z.jpgPiston 4 by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


19623935796_8d25172e8e_z.jpgPiston 2 by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Pulled and pressure washed the dual range tranny from the '83 while I was at the cabin today


19029157663_f6f99c6745_z.jpgDual Range by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


I also started to tear down the dual carb setup carefully documenting how it was set up as I went. I looked over the carbs everywhere and couldn't find a marking saying which model carb they were. Anybody know what gasket set I need to get for this thing, the Australian guys said fuelmiser ht-425 which says is for Hitachi Model DCX-328 but that kit is more than I'm wanting to spend at $50 a peice. Anybody know what other model would share the same carb so I could order a kit off rock auto or another kit to order?


19476021511_185df7cdaf_z.jpgDC~2 by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


19285575589_df40ed2d55_z.jpgDC~6 by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


19476017531_ec6b6904bf_z.jpgDC~5 by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


18851094133_93d82d6fa5_z.jpgDC~1 by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


16768957388_952188cb5c_z.jpgDual Carb-Front by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Expect more updates in the next few weeks

Edited by LouKoff
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Sorry for the lack of updates once again.


The head have been in the machine shop for a couple weeks now and should be done by the end of next week. I've been working on sandblasting and painting valve covers, oil pan, alternator bracket and other little parts as well as some peugeot alloys I picked up from TheLoyale a couple monthes ago.

I've also been sanding and cleaning up the floor pans and front end so I can start cutting and welding some new peices that my Dad and I made to patch the worst spots. 

Pictures to come.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah it should be a fun car if I can ever find the time to finish all of the things I'd like to do with it, but with school starting next week it might not be driving until next year. 

About the seat belt covers, I've got three sets made and I could make more if there's interest but it might take me a while to make more now that I'm starting college.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since I got my wisdom teeth removed yesterday morning I figured it would be a good time to do an update.

I took the carbs off the intake manifold and am hopefully going to sandblast it and paint it along with the valve covers and oil pan this weekend. I finished sandblasting and painting the alternator bracket and crank pulley, and I sandblasted the peugeot alloys but I still have some work to do to clean them up a little more before paint.


I've been working on cleaning all of the tar residue off of the floor pans using 3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner, so I can paint the whole floor right away after I patch the holes by the back of the transmission tunnel.


20917166751_0d55bbb454.jpg3M Adhesive Remover by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


20883585946_c09a45ccc1.jpgFloor Pan Holes by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Here are some pics of the 90 degree bent pieces of steel my Dad made with the sheet metal break at his work to patch spots on the front end.


20723105009_0035362a34.jpg90 Degree Bend-1 by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


20288844653_fb1ebd53ba.jpg90 Degree Bend-2 by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


These are some of the spots I need the patch. There is similar rust on the drivers side that also needs patching.


20909865955_0a2ce1b737.jpgRusty Lip 2 by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


20721836370_12a6312293.jpgRusty Lip 1 by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


I also picked up an '05 Sti Catback and plan to use the axleback portion on the brat.


20288847583_657838907e.jpgSti Catback by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


20883595536_af069267c8.jpgSti Muffler by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Since I've got some down time because of recovery from my wisdom teeth I'm planning to work on making some more seat belt covers tomorrow.


I stopped by the machinist today to drop of some valve guide seals I forgot to give him, we looked over the heads again and he says he'll have the heads done by Friday and the work he has done already looks great!

Edited by LouKoff
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This week I worked on the front end rust, reconditioned the peugeot alloy lug nuts, painted the oil pan, primed the valve covers, test fitted the transmission, picked up the heads from the machine shop, and my Dad cleaned up the engine block for me.


I fixed the Rusted out lip on the passenger side of the engine bay.

Drilled out the spot welds the used the angle grinder to cut out the bad sections.


21057301141_c580d9ba62.jpgTwo layer section by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


21023442746_c150fcb269.jpgCut by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Then I primed the new section and the existing section with weldable primer, ground down my welds, and then primed it again. The welds aren’t the best looking but they won’t be visible and at least they are sturdy.


20862880019_6604d2770b.jpgPassenger Side Done by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Same thing on the drivers side but I didn’t finish.


20861792358_08f214df1f.jpgDriver Side Repair by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Repaired a spot on the passenger side by the headlights too.


21039691492_c74e0f9a61.jpgFront finished by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


20861757298_f11e7f7127.jpgFront Painted by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Wire Wheeled the Lug Nuts



20752685569_c715523221.jpgRaw Lugs by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Then Primed


20316840884_8a6f661048.jpgPrimed Lugs by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Then Paint the Lugs with leftover Rustoleum Engine Enamel


20929685872_864cc8ae44.jpgPainted Lugs by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Oil Pan Painted with VHT Engine Accessory Black


20478190783_ddea758186.jpgOil Pan by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Only had time to prime the Valve Covers with VHT Flame Proof Primer


21106952121_8e5c103e5a.jpgPrimed Valve Covers by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


The heads turned out great. All in all the machinist fixed the exhaust threads, a spark plug thread, and intake thread, put on a multi angle valve grind and milled the heads .001" because they were slightly warped.


20911354128_5276bb2905.jpgHeads by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


My Dad polished up the block for me using a scotch brite polishing wheel on a drill and soaking the halves in degreaser.


21089166082_94d5106bbe.jpgBlock by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


This might be the last post for a while because I’m living in the dorm, but I’ll be going back home on the weekends and such to work on it more.

Edited by LouKoff
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Small update but I finished up the driver side lip tonight.


21129226585_5390de9b1d.jpgDriver Side Lip by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Forgot to mention how the transmission fitting went in the last post so here goes.

I'm sure this has been documented already but to get the transmission mounts to line up on transmission crossmember I had to move the tranny mounts back further, to where they would be if looking at the original single range. Like many other threads have said before the transmission is wider and interferes with the steering linkage, so I'm either going to grind the bellhousing or do something with the linkage, I'd kinda like to get rid of the rag joint anyway because mine is in poor shape  so I'm thinking I'll adapt the linkage or both.


Original 4 speed d/r mounts


20861822328_148416343d.jpgOriginal Location by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Relocated Mounts


20427090744_be482fb3ff.jpgRelocated Mounts by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Barely clears without the rag joint heat shield/protector


21023711386_72cbca74e2.jpgTranny fits by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

On winter break so I've been working on tackling some of the rust.


Finished up the holes at the back of the floor pans, started to work on tricky spot in the wheels well/engine bay area, and am working on prepping the the floor for paint and undercoating the underside of the car. Hoping to get a lot of work done before I got back to school


Here's a few pictures of some of the work....more to come

Cut out the worst of the rust in the back.


24055261855_7126b13909.jpgDriver Floor by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Here's the repair.


23428476033_21c87fbc4d.jpgDriver Floor Repair by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finished up a tricky spot in the passenger wheel well today. Still have to tackle the same spot on the drivers side.


24153879536_6a68da1a9d.jpgPassenger Wheel Well Rust by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr

24179960135_266a53cc28.jpgWheel Well Partial by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr

23812148249_c1ac9fe98f.jpgWeld Thru Primer by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr

24153939936_a4fce5fda5.jpgWheel Well Primed by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


About the bags, I got out the sewing machine a few days ago and have been slowly working on making a few more sets and hopefully will have a few to sell soon.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Finished the floor and fender well rust this weekend.


Painted the floor and the e brake lever.


25472205130_46471abe13.jpgFloor Painted by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Undercoated the fender wells.


25677795531_4118650f4e.jpgRight Fender Well by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


25746846226_5681e42acb.jpgLeft Fender Well by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Refinished some seats rails I picked up. The old seats where held in with 1x2 peices of wood bolted to through the floor.


25677807731_a69e242a43.jpgSeat Rails by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Little update


Painted the intake and valve covers with a little inspiration from sti


26088922686_31c1ecb606.jpgWrinkle Red Intake by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


25842015430_788cb117ce.jpgWrinkle Red Valve Covers by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


Finally finished painting the pugs as well, color is oil rubbed bronze but it looks more of a gunmetal grey in person


25512235903_0cf52a508c.jpgBronze Pugs by Luke Hoffman, on Flickr


The engine is ready to be reassembled as soon as my bearings, pistons, and gasket set arrive. I've been working on rebuilding the carburetors and am almost completely done with one but have yet to dig into the other one in case I need to use it as a reference.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...