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"Supreme Subaphile Extraordinairre"
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1,274 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thats right....

Just bought a 1st generation, first YEAR, 1978 Subaru BRAT! :)

I've wanted one for awhile... been watching eBay for well over a year searching for the perfect project. I hate the later 80s model BRATS with the plastic bumpers and ugly grill.

Found this on eBay... I've only seen one other 1st-gen brat sell in the past year....... it sold for over $3000, and it didn't even run.

The seller listed it as a "1978 Subaru"...... not a "1978 Subaru BRAT" as he should have. Had no idea what he was sitting on (or he just REALLY needed to sell it fast)... and set the Buy-It-Now at only $1000. The very second I was able to secure a truck and a trailer... I bought it, sight unseen.

It has some rust issues that need to be dealt with.... but nothing I haven't seen before. The interior is in GREAT shape, and it actually runs pretty good, although it overheats after about 40 minutes due to a bad water pump.... no biggy.

I've already thought about the direction I want to go with this thing..... A WRX motor is definitely getting transplanted in the Summer after the bodywork is done. I'm going with black NASCAR style steelie wheels..... FAT.... gonna try to go with 17x10s. And I'm going to go with a matte-black paint job... rat-rod style. The suspension will be lowered.... not rediculous... just enough to hug the massive tires underneath.

I've already secured a rental Suburban, and a trailer... I'm headed down this weekend to go pick it up.

Wish me luck!!!







 

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congratulations man i wanna see that....
 

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SuperNova
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8,436 Posts
Thats awesome!! I have often thought of doing a swap like this.

Couple pointers:

17x10's probably will not fit without a cut out style pocket flare. ALthough a pocket style riveted on flare would look cool with your theme.

Buy actual paint when doing the flat black. don't settled for just primer as primers is porous and without UV protection so all your work will be for naught and rust will prevail beneath the surface. PPG sells a single stage "Hot Rod Flat Black" as does SEM Color Horizons. A two stage flat paint job is a nightmare as the matte clear is horrible to try and spray perfectly.

AS for the wheels, I always prefer these type with the large bead protector cause the hardware and gloss finish make them look mean!!



So are you gonna do a WRX motor RWD or WRX motor AWD? I think this may be a prime candidate for a WRX RWD transformation, using a Richmond Gear 5MT. As you can see they are very affordable (cheaper than Subi 5mt) and a quick call to Advance adapters will net you all you need to hook it up.
 

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"Supreme Subaphile Extraordinairre"
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1,274 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks.... and yes, those are the style wheels I want to go with.

I've thought about flares.... it would make that size wheel much more obtainable..... and it would allow me to cut out the parts of the fenders that are rusted... save a lot of work..... just gotta find the right set of flares.... most are made for lifted brats...... not lowered ones.

As far as paint is concerned..... there is NO WAY I'd try to get away with a rattle-can job.... I'm a perfectionist--LOL

Thanks all.... LOTS more to follow.
 

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Very cool, subscribed.
 

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"Supreme Subaphile Extraordinairre"
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1,274 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
^^^ Nope, going flat matte-black with the paint..... Gloss black with the trim, grill, and wheels.

Both front and rear marker lights are going to be shaved and blended

I "might" lose the front bumper to make room for the intercooler.

The only thing silver or chrome will be the headlights, maybe an emblem or two, the door handles, and maybe the lugnuts.

Thats my plan anyway.
 

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Nice bro!!I tried to buy one last year but the auction went over my max bid.Is it the turbo version?
 

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7,911 Posts
Sounds like a really cool project.

*subscribed for eventual results*
 

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Good news, everyone!
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2,013 Posts
Damn that sounds like a fun project. Congrats mang.
 

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"Supreme Subaphile Extraordinairre"
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1,274 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks all....

Truthfully, I'm far from a "BRAT" expert.... in fact, I've never even driven one.

Of course, I'd never driven a 914 the first time I bought one either--LOL

With that, I don't think the turbo brats were even available until well into the 80s.

It will be a turbo car though :)
 

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"Supreme Subaphile Extraordinairre"
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Discussion Starter #16
I would do something with the bumper, but I would make it TMIC, with a snow-shovel scoop:eek:
Honestly, I wasn't crazy about the design/direction that the brumby guy in Australia went.... although i can't argue with the power he's putting down though.

With that.... one of the things I REALLY liked about that car was the FMIC..... absolutely twisted-sick looking...... gotta have it.
 

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"Supreme Subaphile Extraordinairre"
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1,274 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Well... she's here... tucked away in my garage, where she will stay until I get her significantly cleaned up. Not too bad for a 30 year old Subaru.

The "plan" is to start with the interior.... then move to the body.... and then the engine.

Here's the good, the bad.... and the ugly. Obviously needs a lot of work..... but there are several aspects of this car I was pleasantly surprised about..... for a 30 year old JDM turd, I'm surprised it's held up as well as it has.

If you notice..... the rust in not in typical places... the floorboards are clean.... the bed is clean (except one spot).... and under the hood is clean. The rust is all in the wheelwells, and the rocker panels.... obviously snow/salt deterioration only.... the rest of the car held up really well.

I'll give a little rundown...... make a good "starting point"...... hopefully we can all "ooohhhh' and "ahhhhhh" after finish each project.

Here goes:

Here she is... in all her antique Subaru Glory:


1.6 liter, horizontally opposed, carburated, 4-cyl.... 72 hp--LOL notice the LACK of rust under the hood:


Jumpseats are IMMACULATE... with cool subie emblems... these are a sUPER rare find:


RF fender.... needs to be replaced (dented by the turn signal):


grill is almost perfect.... as is the nose section... already have a new turn signal assembly


WOW... look how perfect... these are worth some $$$$


headliner... perfect


steering wheel is ok... is going bye bye though.... dash is BAD.... already working on a seat/dash trade with a guy in cali.


passenger door panel.... almost perfect... one small split though


roof... couple minor dings..... but zero rust.... nice. obviously had a camper shell for awhile


god i love the grill on the 1st gen brats


little rust inside the door sills...... zero rust in the hinge area though... i can fix this


the hood is perhaps the most perfect part of the car.... zero dings, zero rust.... its damn near ready to be painted.


driver door panel is perfect ;)


passenger door sill... again.... not too bad... and the hinges are clean


weatherstripping..... perfect...... can you believe it????


OUCH... this is where all the work needs to be done


once again..... OUCH


this is going to require a pro..... honestly..... this corner panel concerns me more than anything else on the car


once again... PERFECT weatherstripping.... I can't believe it.... and the whole car is like this:


you would THINK that there would be rust under here.... nope.


rusted pretty bad.... but repairable..... this is from the wheelwells, and it's only on this side.... the rest of the bed is rust free.... weird.


tailgate is pretty banged up.... and then there's that dented passenger corner.... I'm looking for a new tailgate with straighter metal.


LF fender... actually, in pretty good shape


Already purchased a new taillight..... it's on it's way here


OUCH.... more work.... lots of it.
 

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wow! all in all it looks like its in awesome shape! especially for only a grand! cant wait to see what the final result will be
 

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wow! all in all it looks like its in awesome shape! especially for only a grand! cant wait to see what the final result will be
+1 great find nice car cant wait to see what you do with it.
 

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i have never even heard of that car before haha. The seats in the back are ****ing awesome.
 
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