Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Northern Idaho
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Re: Sub. question... whats the freakn Difference
I'll answer with what I know, partly because I like to help when I can, I like soobs, and because this board needs more action.
Personally I like the generation 1 cars, up through '79. (81 for brats, untl they ran out of bodies, I think) I've had 2 different '79 wagons. A very good freind of mine has driven nothing but soobs since '78, maybe earlier. (about 15 of them) He's a brat guy.
1) I don't know of any difference in the drivetrain or suspension between a brat and a wagon, for a given year, in '80 they went from a 1600cc to 1800cc engine and the option of a 4 spd that had a low range. In '85 they changed the body again, and had an optional 5 spd with low range. If you want to do any kind of wheelin' besides rallying around, try to find one with low range, makes a huge difference in climbing, and clutch life.
Some had adjusters in the front springs and you could also adjust up the rear but that took a little dis-assembly/re-assembly of the rear bar, and wasn't needed on my cars, the rears sat pretty high. I was able to fit some pretty meaty tires on it. (still 13 inchers, though.)
I think the brats are a little lighter weight, but the wagons seem better balanced, front to rear.
2) They will all work pretty well, but like I said above, low range is nice to have. The XT (yes they're 4wd, at least some of them) had some kind of on the fly ride height adjustment but I don't know anything about it.
I've always been told to stay far away from any of the turbo models, so I have. The 2 people I've personally know with turbos had nothing but problems, one of them spent as much for a new turbo unit as he did the car. (about 1200 bucks I think, on a '86 wagon)
Hope this helps, if I come up with anything else I think is important, I'll post here.
If you have any specific questions, maybe I can pick my freinds brain. (He's had everything from '75's to '87's)
Just wondering, what type of terrain are you gonna use it in?