Sub. question... whats the freakn Difference - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-27-2003, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Sub. question... whats the freakn Difference

hey....i dont know if anyone will actually answer this...but here goes 2 questions.

1) i saw an old BRAT for sale...and i also saw an old GL wagon, the thing is...they look like the same vehicle minus the station wagon vs. pickup body..

was there any difference between the brat and wagon drivetrain, suspension etc ??

2) subarus are know for rally car skills..... im looking at mid 1980's models....should i avoid any specific model of subaru. or will they all work well enough......i was lookig at GL wagons, Loyale, and the XT's......i like the XT's they look kinda neat and if they are 4wd should do well.....

let me know what you gusy think
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-29-2003, 12:27 PM
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Re: Sub. question... whats the freakn Difference

Hey,
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?

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-08-2003, 02:03 AM
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Re: Sub. question... whats the freakn Difference

I have an '87 Subaru Wagon. It's a decent car. The timing belt ate itself after a month, but was pretty easy to change and didn't damage the motor at all. Now I have HORRIBLE carb problems, but don't know the first thing about fixing them. When I get the $125 needed, I'm gonna have a guy at a local Subara shop rebuild it for me. I too have been told to stay away from the Turbo models. I think they had some headgasket problems. Atleast that is what I have been told. The Brats are pretty awesome cars IMHO. I don't know of many around in my neck of the woods. The few I know of are buried in weeds at my ex-girlfriend's house. My Wagon has 4wd with low-range. This car is GUTLESS, but once you pop it into low, it goes pretty damn well! Good luck!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-22-2003, 12:32 AM
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Re: Sub. question... whats the freakn Difference

Hey James, have been to the Soob junk yard out in Laurelwood (outside of Beaverton) Miles upon miles of part.
Me and a buddy were going to buy a wagon and chop the top, turn it into a offroad terror, but sadly have not done it yet
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-22-2003, 01:14 AM
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Re: Sub. question... whats the freakn Difference

Yeah, I know where laurelwood is. I didn't have any idea there was a soob junkyard. Maybe I'll go grab a new carb for my beast one of these days. Any idea on the name? Thanks!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-27-2003, 08:47 PM
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Re: Sub. question... whats the freakn Difference

I have owned quite a few subarus. I really, really, really like the 5 speed manual transmissions the best. I have owned both carbuerated and fuel-injected models. The fuel-injected 88 DL I own still runs great @ 230,000 miles. My brother has my old 86 which has a carbuerator and also runs great at 220,000 miles. We use his for off-road all the time since it has low range 4wd (the 88 fi one I have does not have low range). It is supreme off-road, even at high speeds (if you know what you are doing). It kicks the pants off the 87 wrangler I had for high speed off-road driving. I have no experience with the turbo ones. I would recommend the fuel-injected models if you don't need low range (if you're not going up anything extremely steep, you won't need it). The carbuerated models have a problem with backfiring. It has something to do with the carbueration and egr system, but we've never been able to fix it. The fuel injected one hasn't shown any of these problems.

With subarus, if you off-road them a lot (or even floor it a lot [meaning, every time you drive anywhere]), you will wear out cv joints left and right. They are kind of a pain to replace, but after you've done it a few times, it becomes easier.

I can't recommend subarus enough. I have owned many types of cars, and these are the only ones that consistently reach extremely high miles with no major work (my sister's has 240,000 miles on it). The main problem is that they're under-powered (DO NOT GET THE 1.6 liter engine!), which is why I recommend the stick. The fuel-injected models also came stock with about 15 more horsepower than the carbuerated ones. I have proven this as I can smoke my brother in a race (well... not smoke, but I can win).

I have a DL model which basically means you don't get tilt wheel, cruise control, electric mirrors, etc. The seat also seems to be less comfortable > Good luck with your subaru.
post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-01-2003, 12:14 AM
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Re: Sub. question... whats the freakn Difference

not mine but some ideas

http://www.subarubrat.com/mybrat.htm

I had an 82 Wagon, and even though it was carbed, it was faster and torqier? than my 87 wagon. The FI motor looks like it would fit in the older Brat and wagons, and they are far superior to the Carbs.

The carbs have some goofy electronics that when they go bad no one wants to touch them to fix it.

I used to jump crap all the time in the woods w/ my wagons and they took a beating and still crawled out if the bushes just fine.

Lots of ways to put bigger tires on a Suuuub.

Don't forget the XT6, its got 150hp and lots of torque. That would be a hell of a sleeper in a Brat.
post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 01:42 AM
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Re: Sub. question... whats the freakn Difference

fancy seein you here greg!

the only new car i've ever bought was an '86 brat.

LOVED IT!

way underpowered but fun to drive on & off road( i actually just about pushed a 300Z off an exit ramp after he cut me off and tried to outdo me on the corner--bit nerve-wrackin watching his rears loose it, but VERY satisfying lol)

had all options save a/c, 4 spd w/ low range, delivering pizzas at the time and she never even thought of getting stuck(and Nashua has plenty of hills to park on)

as for the turbo, cant speak to long term reliability, however my brother worked at the local dealer when the XT was around, and the mechanic showed him how to crank up the boost, think he said it came set at 8psi, they cranked it to 16psi. bro says they went out and that thing would lite em right up(yep-all four) in all but 5th gear. course if you crank it like that, your motor wont live much past 40-50k miles
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 04:36 AM
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Re: Sub. question... whats the freakn Difference

Hey Greg ,

I had a 79 GL wagon , a red one ! It was a great little car , I took it places a lot of people wouldn't even believe and pulled a couple Bronco's and Blazers out of snow drifts with it too .

If my memory serves me correctly , there was something different between Brats and S/W's to do with the number of splines on the CVJ's as wierd as that sounds .

I currently lease 600 acres in NW , PA with over 5 miles of roads on it and I sometimes wish I could find an old Brat just to drive on the property instead of my daily driver . HEll ..... they make ATV's that are almost as big as the Brats where !

Just my two cents ..... check out my Subar' Pick up thruck on the attachment . *W*
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