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Al Zhiemer

New member - Meet Ruby Doo

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Hi to all USMB members... Just joined USMB after hunting for Brumby mod tips and seeing what people have done, so I thought I'd share the story of Ruby so far.


The basics...


1992 Subaru Brumby


4 speed dual range transmission

Air Conditioning

2" exhaust straight through with a single muffler box on the rear

Other than that, bog stock.


(Once I've worked out how to, I will post up some pics.)


I bought Ruby almost 12 months ago for $400 in Brisbane, she was sitting on the side of the road with no carby and half of the interior missing or not put back together. The poor old girl was looking pretty sad and sorry for itself but for all that was wrong with her, she had a good body on her with minimal rust. And for $400 I was willing to spend what was neccassary to bring her back to life. After all, Ruby is nothing more than a glorified dog box and kayak rack, all I needed was something I could cart the dog around in and something I could get my kayak down to the river or beach in. Pretty simple requirements.


In the quest to get Ruby up and running again I have stripped out;

* "L" series wagon for the 5 speed dual range and a couple of other trinkets I will mod, $250.

* 83 Leone sedan for almost new 14" speedy rims, 6 gauge instrument cluster and a few trinkets and spare parts, $200.

* 83 Subaru Brumby for alloy ladder bars and a few spare parts, $50.

* 83 Touring wagon for the power steering, electric windows and a unmolested center console, trinkets and spare parts, $200.


So far...


Well the old girl is back on the road and registered, so far the list of work has been just getting the basic mechanical's back up to being reliable. I've replaced;

* Front and rear wheel bearings

* Front and rear brakes totally rebuilt, shoes, pads, new rear wheel cylinders, reconditioned front calipers, machined front rotors and rear drums.

* 2.5" extended braided brake lines ready for the lift kit.

* Changed all the oils and filters, replaced the entire ignition system with new plugs, leads, coil and a what ever else I may have missed.

* New 32/36 weber with solenoid kit for the air conditioning, can't recommend this enough, the improvements in fuel economy and power has been totally worth the expense.

* Reassembled the interior, installed the 6 gauge instrument cluster. Totally stripped the interior while I was doing this and resealed the heater box/air conditioning unit, this has been a big improvement in air flow through the vents.

* Re-upholstered the roof lining with modern cloth trim.

* Replaced the under-felt under the vinyl floor, I also lined the rear wall with this as well before re-installing the plastic trim.

* Doors, roof and floor has all been lined with Dynamat for sound deadening. What a difference this has made to driving it, has made the interior quieter and cooler.

* Mounted 3 Hella Rallye 4000 Spotlights I had laying around from a previous build (2 spots on the outside with a center spread beam) on a roof rack that came off of the L series, mounted them on a roof rack for easy removal without having to adjust the lights everytime.


 I think that's about it at the moment but I'm sure more will come to mind after I finish this post. There has been a lot of other smaller jobs done but nothing of any real importance.


Still to do;


* Fit the 5 speed dual range gearbox.

* 3" lift kit.

* 27/8.5X14 Kuhmo MT KL71's.

* Fit the power steering.

* All new bushes through the suspension.

* Mount the Recaro seats I have in the shed.

* Coat the underside with body deadener and rust proofing.

* Cut out the little bit of rust she has before it gets to out of control.


That's pretty much well the basics. Its a long term project that I'll keep until her or I die permanently and oneday I may even decide to paint her (I'd like to paint her the new Mazda metallic red) but at the same time I kind of like her the way she is, if she gets a little knocked around and a few bumps and scraps here and there, its not going to bother me as much as it would after having her freshly painted. A couple of other mods down the track include welding the rear storage box out of a "L" series wagon into the front of the tray, I'll modify this to take the second battery and to store a few bits. Mounting a 12 volt air compressor with a small tank where the spare wheel use to go, make it more convenient for airing up and down when going off road and to also run the air horns. I have a fresh EA81 with EA71 pistons that I will drop in at some stage, may even do that when I swap out the steering. I was thinking about doing the whole EJ conversion but for all I need, the EA81 with a few little mods will be ample. And eventually I would like to look at putting 4.11:1 or 4.44:1 final drive in to the "L" series 5 speed but a little more research to do before I undertake that task and at the same time, look at installing a LSD of some kind in the rear diff.


In the short time I've had the old girl on the road, I haven't really had the opportunity to go to far or do to much with her but we have managed a few little outings and has handled everything I've thrown at her with ease and I can't see me doing anything worse than what I have already done, with the lift kit and tyre's on her, she should be a real little weapon.


Most importantly though, the dog loves being able to go on road trips again :-)





Edited by Al Zhiemer

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The Brumby was actually sold in Australia till 94??? No WONDER they're all over down there! That makes me slightly ill...


And we never got the van, can't get a diesel or a dual-range either... makes no sense to me.  :banghead:


Good looking Brumby ya got there! Welcome to the forum!  :drunk:

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Hi and thanks... Yeah she is getting there, I'm happy with it as it serves the purpose I need and its still a work in progress.


Its strange over here too... A very popular little ute over here but a lot of parts seem to be mostly available in South Australia and Western Australia, or at least anything I seem to want anyway. So far I've been lucky in eventually finding the parts I need and want within a 200 km radius of where I live. Hence the reason I've been buying them and stock piling the parts, constantly doing a 4 hr round trip drive sourcing parts is a pain in the rectum!!!


Sucks not getting the dual range!!! Luckily I've got two 4 speed dual range gearbox's, one sitting gathering dust and one still in the car until the 5 speed transplant. Also have two 5 speed dual range gearbox's laying around, one to go into ruby and one as a spare. Have a 5 speed FWD only box laying around that came out of the leone sedan I scraped, probably of no use to anyone and will eventually find a new home in the scrap metal bin.


To my knowledge (someone may know different) we never got the van over here either. The only small vans we got over here were either the little Suzuki or Daihatsu models.


I would have liked to keep a lot more spares than I have but I just don't have the storage space, as it is, the Wagon is full to the roof. The only empty spot is the drives seat and floor so I can at least drive it to move it LOL


But at least you guys got the chicken tax seats for the tray, I'd kill for a set of those but the cost of getting them over here just makes it un-affordable seeing as they would only be decoration as we can't sit in the tray over here, it seems a waste of money at the present time. Maybe in the future if she gets a re-spray.





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Well I thought I'd spend the afternoon attempting to install the electric window regs into Ruby, after a fair amount of head scratching and reading a

how to that el_fredo (??) ((Beenie)) wrote up on another forum. It was time to get out the hammer and grinder. Well its not that severe but it requires a little

modification and in goes electric windows into the Brumby. Its not perfect as I tried to go a slightly different way, on the positive side, I only have the

window sticking about 15mm above the weather strip. Can be easily fixed and when I get to doing the RHS one tomorrow I know what I need to do slightly different.

Ended up being alot easier than expected.


Now to go and strip out the wiring harness to run the windows with.

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