In my limited experience in this forum, and not-so limited time invested in all sources of such info, I have found this subject to receive a disturbing lack of respect, imagination, etc.

My Brat has had some terrible things happen to it, and it needed a performance boost before these things happened to it.
Everybody says to just swap out the engine with some EJ variant - Really?!?
Like these things are just legos and you can do it in a weekend for less than thousands?

I have read all about what is entailed in this, have spoken with EXTREMELY qualified and experienced people about it, and studied it in every way I can find, and this notion in itself is not practical in any way whatsoever.
I could have had it done - for a MINIMUM of $2500.00, and that was a low-ball generous offer.
The alternative is do do it myself, which also would require a lot of money, EXTREME modification of the vehicle, and again, a HELL of a lot of time invested.

If you do not respect the EA81, then you do not respect the very origins of Subaru, its genius in design, and the concept of Subaru itself! How many engines since the 70's have been dependable engines that do not even need a timing chain?
The EA81 is PROOF that a timing chain is not necessary in a good running, extremely dependable, reliable engine that can even take abuse. Personally, I think the EA81 design should not have been abandoned.
hat do we have today? Engine compartments filled to capacity with hoses, wires, components, etc. etc. etc. - mostly for just gas mileage. Given the choice between that and a simple engine with a few fairly simple long-proven modifications, and some cleaver adaptations is one hell of a better choice!

I personally know the unbelievable extremes of what these engines (and vehicles) can take.
I spent somewhere around 8 years of my life out in the middles of nowhere, rarely coming into a town for supplies, and I used a van and a Subaru do do my work, because I could bet my LIFE on an old Subaru to get me where I needed to go and back.
I have also won street races - not against race cars or performance-modded cars, but respectable sports cars, and my old Subaru Brats, with their EA81 earned respect from people who came to me afterward amazed at how well it did for an old, odd, low-HP vehicle.

In fact, the ONLY situations where performance has been an issue is going up a steep grade at an acceptable speed. which means 5mph above the speed limit, lol.
When is comes to gridlock, the Brat with an EA81 engine is IDEAL!
When it comes to relatively high-speed maneuvering of winding roads, paved or not, the EA81 is fully capable.
The EA81 is perfectly adequate for most situations of driving, and a truly and fully respectable engine.

I, for one, will choose to make what I have better, without gutting it and spending nearly $3,000.00 doing it!

I love the EA81, and it CAN be improved for FAR less that replacing the whole damned powerplant, dash, modifying half the engine compartment, etc. etc. etc. To me, the often proposed alternative of 'just swapping in' and EJ variant is the real joke, and the less intelligent thing to do by all practical measures.

If Tweety can do it with a trike, with all the space constraint and other issue he had to deal with, then there is no damned reason why it cannot be done in the original vehicle somehow!