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.