Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bedliner for the Brat - Gator Guard PT1

Not much to write other than the bed of the Brat was getting pretty beat up from actual use, and any place the paint came off, rust formed almost instantly. So with the help of my father and father-in-law over the July 4th weekend, we spent a few hours sanding away any rust and priming it, filling in some holes with body filler, scuffing the entire bed with 80 grit, then cleaning with denatured alcohol. After some tedious masking, the bed was ready to be shot. I was using a two part epoxy liner called Gator Guard. So far, I'm very happy with it. We will see how well it holds up. Part two will show off the finished product. The last picture shows the first half of the bed finished.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Illinois and back

The Brat's speedometer has been getting howlingly loud recently, and on my way back from Illinois is stopped working. I assume that either the cable has broken (unlikely) or that the little magnets that spin the needle have worn out from inadvertent contact with something. Either way, the quiet is nice now, but I would like to have my speedometer back. I suppose I'll take it open sometime this summer, but we have quite a bit coming up, so perhaps it will wait until later. I have also discovered what I think might be the source of my coolant leak. My wife noticed that there was a little tiny part of the windshield that was always fogged up right next to the dash. Upon inspection, it looks like a little bit of coolant is evaporating out of the dash onto the windshield. Must be the lines that run to the heater core, which never was that hot. When I pull the gauge cluster, I'll probably replace the coolant lines and clean out the heater core. I got some white bed liner that I intend to install in the Brat bed this weekend, I hope it will help protect it from rain and rust. I didn't want the black liner, but I'm not sold that the white will look good. We will find out!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Caddy & Brat

I'm starting to be seduced by the joy of Diesel. I love my Brat, so perhaps I should get a Caddy to help spread the miles around. Then all I need is a dodge rampage to complete the Trifecta.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Gas Springs

Got my snugtop even better now, the gas springs I ordered fit excellent, and are about the right weight. The hatch opens most of the way on its own, and you can raise it farther than it goes by itself, and it will stay. It makes it so much more useful. Funny story, when the Brat went to MAC track for the fist time, the gate was down and the hatch was propped open with a big stick. 3 people were sitting on the gait, and then two got up to leave, and one knocked the stick out by accident, causing the hatch handle to fall squarely on the head of the person seated in the middle. Which happened to be Ann Barrans. She was not a happy camper.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Brat Rear Discs Conversion

RAYBESTOS # WK2019 is the correct caliper repair kit for these fine rear disc brakes. It's a 38mm piston, for reference. I kept ordering the wrong size, getting large boots. Installing the new boots was a bit tricky, but thanks to a tip from Bob Hanstra, I was able to get them on. He suggested to take a strip of plastic cut from a small bottle, and then roll it up tight and insert it into the boot. Then use the plastic to spread the boot out wide enough for the piston to drop in. Then remove the boot. An excellent solution. The swap is pretty cake, although the hydraulic hard lines tend to be pretty stuck in place. For sure use a flare nut wrench instead of a regular open end wrench, and even then, I couldn't get the line off the hub side. I had to remove it from the flexible line up top, and then slide a 6 point box end wrench all the way down the hard line to get it removed.
It's fun to stomp on the brakes now, this thing really stops much better now, although I still should put some sort of regulation of the pressure for the rear, because the discs back there seem to be doing most the stopping. Perhaps because it's a truck with no weight in the back, but I can skid those back tires pretty good if I stomp on the pedal emergency stop hard. It is fun to squeal your tires, and since I've got 78 hp I'm not doing too much squealing under power.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Brat Camper

I was driving up to Goshen the other day, and began day dreaming of a camper shell that extended over the roof of the brat to the front windshield. It would be very tall, and be finished on the inside like a set-in-bed truck camper. The exciting thing would be in addition to the rear door, you would remove the passenger t-top from the BRAT before putting the camper on, and it would clamp down into the spot where the t-tops where, and you would have an access hole up into the camper. You passenger could even stand up in the seat and stretch while you were driving. I was poking around and found some pictures of the Subaru "truck" model in Scotland. Lo-and-behold, the best topper ever made for a Subaru BRAT. All the great stuff never came to America, I'm pretty convinced. This isn't exactly what I had dreamed, but ITS REALLY REALLY CLOSE!!!! I'd love to have it, but unfortunately the owner doesn't want to ship it, and it's a bit farther than reasonable driving distance.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

81 Hatchback

This is the most beautiful hatch back I've ever seen. I want this one so bad. I really wish the plaid seats in my Brat weren't completely destroyed. Brown and tan is such a great color combo. The 81 and 82 subarus were the only ones to come with the plaid seats and cyclops light, as well as the 4 spoke 4 horn button steering wheel. They got it right on the first try. Man do I want this car as well. I guess I'm just greedy.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snotorious BIG & the BRAT

Up until recently, I've had no need for my studded snow tires. Then the ice storm of '11 came, and it was nice to have them. Driving through that ice accumulation was like driving on sand. It was interesting, because it didn't really compress, and if you got going fast enough you were sort of planing on top of it, like a boat comes up out of the water. Just stomp on the brake pedal though, and those studs dig down into the road and stop you like you've tossed an anchor out the back. It's nice to have a car that not only can accelerate in the slick, but actually stop. This car is the best, ever. Although, my wipers have frozen up, I'm not sure what is up with them. Fuse is good, I'm guessing water got in around them and froze solid. I'll take it open maybe this weekend and re-grease everything. It feels great to go anywhere. This car is probably making me over confident.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mystery Oil Leak

From somewhere, oil is getting onto some spinning thing in my engine and making a mess! I need to find out from where it is coming!