Author Topic: Redback Brumby  (Read 2009 times)

Offline el_freddo

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Redback Brumby
« on: March 21, 2015, 11:41:49 PM »
The latest addition to my Subaru family:  Redback Brumby.
 
This is how I picked her up in May/June 2013.  AFAIK I'm the third owner:
 


The previous owner was a bit of a talker/player.  I went out to check her out as a bit of a tease for me, it was local enough for the drive - I've always wanted a targa top since Sunnie the Brumby that we got for my mother inlaw.  I would've loved a blue one but beggers can't be choosers.  The owner said a fella was coming up from Melbourne that weekend so I bid him good luck, he was asking too much for my liking.  6 weeks later it was still there so I made an offer - he still played a hard card so I told him to offer it to the other guy at the price he mentioned and I let it be.  Less than 5 mins later he called me back and said deal.

As you can see from the pic above there's some front guard damage, pity, it's pretty straight otherwise!  The engine wasn't working - reckoned it just stopped one day on the way to work and has been sitting like this for 6 months.  I thought blown HGs straight up - empty radiator and creamy oil told the story.  In the tub it had a rubber mat that concealed some foundation sand/packing sand (the orange stuff) that had held the moisture and rusted the middle of the tray.  The main areas where rust shows up were pretty decent which I was happy about.

After getting her home she moved around the yard a few times before making it into the shed for some work.
 


Family photo:
 

 
First up was pulling the engine - pretty easy in these things!  I had to entertain dad as a decoy for his surprise 65th - he sat and watched for most of it :/

Once on the stand we drained the "oil":
 

 
Second bucket:
 


~15 litres of water and oil in total.  Now thinking major head gasket and a possible engine replacement.  Continued stripping the engine before jumping to conclusions though.

Heads removed, such a pretty sight (not!).  Never seen this as bad as this before:
 

 
This was the culprit - and the previous owner's story checked out at this point:
 

 
That's a Welch plug that dropped out, dumping the entire contents of the radiator into the engine, stopping things pretty quickly I'd imagine!
After getting busy with work and other things (4wd trips etc) Dad came up and put the long block back together for me while I was at work - this saved me loads of time!
 


Once the engine was all back together I got it running - it blew a lot of blue smoke and I shat bricks.  It was also running as rough as guts.  Turned out that I needed to adjust the valve clearances better than I did - it was running on two cylinders, just.  Once all 4 were back online it blew more blue smoke.  Not happy Jan!  This finally cleared up and ran without any smoke.  Very stoked.  One of the things we had to do was remove rust from the bore.  This was a cheap build for a daily cruiser - so instead of a rebuild or even a hone and new rings we hedged our bets and went this way.  No1 cylinder had a couple of small pits at the very top of the cylinder so we left it this way and ran with it.

Now it was time to look at other parts of the vehicle.  Redback got her name when I was working on the rear end pulling drive shafts off that had probably never been removed before.  While hammering away a redback dropped out from behind one of the rear wheels.  Sorted that one quickly!  It wasn't the last - I think there were five all up from memory, so a name was born for this beast.
The rear bearings were an unknown and seemed rumbly and one of the rear brakes was leaking.  So after a small investment in parts:
 


This was done - Rear end being worked on:
 


Rear diff was out as well, swapped in for one that leaked less instead of swapping seals!  Home made tool for bearing retainer nut removal:
 


All coming back together well:
 


"New" rear drums were sourced from one of the parts bombs, the originals had a decent 2-3mm groove dug into them!  The new ones barely looked like they'd been used!

Then it was off to a mate's place for some detailing - 4 hours of degreaser and pressure washing!  Only got a phone pic of that, it's not been uploaded :(

At some point, either in the transit there or back I managed to get a stone chip in the windscreen, just a small one but right in the driver's view.  Again, stole a windscreen from a parts bomb.  This one cleaned up very well - I was stoked.  This also gave me the opportunity to replace the old hard windscreen rubber and tackle the rust that I knew was under the front right corner:
 



 
Putting the windscreen back in - always fun.  Had to look it up on ausubi as to how I did it last time on Sunnie the Brumby.  Once that was read the windscreen was in within 20 minutes:
 


A new heater hose above the water pump was sourced - I use another unit from a Toyota Camry, just trim to size:
 

 
A few other things along the way and it was time for a roadworthy inspection (bent silver bar removed!):
 

 
^  I didn't like the original rims, different offset and to me they didn't look that great on this brumby.  I also had a set of black sunnies in the shed with my snow tyres on them which easily swayed my decision.  I reckon they look way better even if they're only 13 inch and don't fill the guards.
 
So she didn't pass her RWC first go.  A few excited rookie mistakes:  
1/  Didn't fill the wash bottle
2/ Didn't bolt down the passenger's windscreen wiper arm, so that didn't move!  
3/  Apparently I had a front indicator that was blown - I didn't find it on my check so dunno where they got that from.
and 4/ worn front tail shaft uni joint.  

I fixed the other easy little issues straight up, had to order in the uni joint so got two and did them both at the same time.  I also smashed my thumb pretty good doing this - only now is the damaged nail almost grown out about 6 months after the event!

Once those things were sorted the RWC was issued and I was off to rego.  Vicroads now make it nearly impossible to get an appointment!  I was pissed that I didn't get one before the weekend, but got one Monday and had to take some time off work to do it - just frustrating!  The blessing was that my birthday/christmas/birthday pressie rocked up in the mail at M&D's (home base for important mail!) - so I was able to use them during the rego process, saving me some extra coin on not needing new plates:
 
At Vicroads just after rego was granted:
 

 
Back at home:
 


Used her for driving to work, loved it!  Didn't have to worry about rain (I'd been on the scooter prior to this!)



And of course, hanging with the family members:
 

 


Since this pic Dad borrowed Redback for a few months.  I missed the old girl, the scooter's fun but there's just something about a brumby, plus it can do over 55kmp/h without trying hard.  It's easier to speed in than Ruby Scoo IMO.

While Dad had her M&D headed overseas and I had a conference close to their place, so my wife and I crashed there and I drove to the conference in Redback.  The issue that came up after frying a few alternators (dad went through this issue) was a severe lack of performance - the exhaust would become blocked at certain levels of acceleration.  This got worse until I was stuck on the way to the conference travelling at 60km/h, and that was before hills!  Not fun!  Pulled another Y pipe from the parts bomb and that sorted it.  This wasn't an ideal fit due to some spacers on my EA81 for the ERG system that wasn't on the earlier year parts bomb, but it works and Redback goes very well for an EA81!

I've also got to fix the choke - dunno what's wrong with it but it doesn't work properly.  The carb could probably do a with a rebuild too, she runs too rich overall for my liking.  I've solved the slop in the gear stick with the classic slot and bolt arrangement prior to RWC inspection:
 

 
The Welch plugs were sorted by Dad's idea - massive grub screws/threaded plugs:
 


They've worked a treat!
 
I've been hunting for a bullbar - found one in Talem Bend, got a mate to pick it up for me.  So I need to roadtrip to the city of churches to pick that up soon.  I've since found an ideal bar that fits the bill for what I want.  It arrived a couple of weeks ago while M&D have Redback (mum's car is now dead too - NOT a good time for them!).  Dad put the light bar and added some LED indicators as he felt the ones on it were not adequate:






 So now the first one purchased might end up on Sunnie the Brumby if it's better than the one already on her.  I've also been tossing up the idea of a lift kit, but it really comes down the right price at the right time - I don't want to go all out like Ruby Scoo lift/tyres.

One thing I would love to do is make the engine run with the stock L series MPFI system.  I'm a true believer in EFI over carb setups.  I don't know if I can do this due to space constraints without converting the auxiliaries to the EA82 setup - not an easy task unless you've got the EA81 turbo brackets and crank pulley.

Also an AWD gearbox would be great.  Will have to build one up and fit it in at some point.  EA casing an EJ gearbox can be done without issue ;)

Cruise and remote central locking would be sweet and I'd like to add a neat little tacho, oil pressure and coolant temp on the steering column in a manner that doesn't cover the other gauges.  It's just a case of time and money for those things - after all this is meant to be a cheap build and I've just spend more on that bullbar... couldn't say no at that price!



Can't wait to have Redback in my "possession" again - I've been missing her since she's gone to help out M&D!

Cheers

Bennie

Offline el_freddo

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Re: Redback Brumby
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2015, 11:16:53 PM »
Well, I managed to get close to Redback this week as M&D are borrowing her.  The only positive thing to come out of Mum's car being written off is that I got the after market cruise thrown my way. 

So after a day of stuffing around with some new connectors, wrapping wiring, making brackets and getting confused with a wiring issue I now have sorted the cruise control.  I've used the AP60 kit, usually retails for between $230 and $250, about the same price as the "base" level speeding fine in Vic.

Here's a few pics of how things have been fitted; first up is the actuator mounting position and the cable fitment:





Speed sensor pickup - the mount took some time and stuffing around to get it right.  I prefer to mount off the gearbox so the sensor moves with any drivetrain movement eliminating the sensor rubbing on the magnets:



And the all important control pad which is also mounted on a tin plate that's been shaped to fit as best I could behind the little coin tray/storage bucket thing in the dash on the right hand side:



Then I pulled this from the parts bomb the next day:



Cleaned that up, put a new set of boots on and fitted it to Redback.  To get the rack in you need to typically drill out the four spot welds that hold the jacking plate to the engine crossmember:



The brake booster vacuum pick up gets in the way of the PS pump, so I relocated it to the other side of the manifold and extend the hose to fit.  The bung from the other side is moved to plug this hole.  I then had to shave it down to allow the pump to fit without rubbing on the bung or manifold:



And a longer thermostat housing needs to be fitted to clear the rear of the power steering pump:



Here's a dodgy pic of the power steering pump fitted in place - it's hidden pretty well by the air cleaner, the reservoir lid pokes up behind the air cleaner:



This mod transforms the feel of the Brumby - it makes the vehicle feel much lighter than it actually is and now I can throw the vehicle around much easier than previously.  The exact same experience I had after fitting PS to Sunnie the Brumby.

Lastly, I checked out some seats from another vehicle to fit as I was pretty keen to swap the original seats out, even though they're not a bad example of MY seats.  I came up with a bracket that adapts the Honda Integra (early 90's model I think) seats to the MY rails for a direct bolt in application.  Pretty stoked and the seats are awesome, even though the ones I'm using are pretty worn out - I wanted to make sure they would fit and work before I really invested in this mod.  Total cost for these seats to be fitted is $15 on 2m of two inch right angle steel.  They fitted much better than I thought they would.

Pics to come on that mod - I want a better set of seats for the pics!

It's been a busy few days and an amazing change in some vital areas of a vehilce.  You wouldn't think this is the same vehicle going by the feel of how it drives.  I also took the time to track down a whistling sound that occurred since putting the bullbar on - turns out it's the mounts for the LED light bar...

Now I can't wait to drive it for some time!!!

Cheers

Bennie

Offline Phizinza

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Re: Redback Brumby
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2015, 06:15:13 PM »
Looking good. Can't wait to get power steering on mine and hopefully cruise will come later down the track.


Offline el_freddo

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Re: Redback Brumby
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2015, 12:45:32 PM »
Personally I'd try to get the cruise first, then the PS.

But if you've got the parts for the PS and are waiting for money to get boots etc I can understand why you'd go the PS first.

Either way, both of these are an awesome addition to your brumby/MY/L series.

I've got this cruise kit on Ruby Scoo, Sunnie the Brumby and now Redback.

Cheers

Bennie

Offline Phizinza

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Re: Redback Brumby
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2015, 08:04:00 AM »
I'm waiting for the ej before I put the PS on because I'll put the EJ in while it's sitting on the crossmember that has the power steering. That way I can plumb it all up ready to go before I rip the car apart!

Offline el_freddo

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Re: Redback Brumby
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2015, 06:31:51 PM »
Yeah that's fair enough too Phiz, I did that with the EJ conversion into Ruby Scoo the same way ;)

So I was this close *holds index and thumb very close together* to having Redback with me once again.  I got about 30km from home when the small convoy had to pull up.  I could smell burning oil, a little stronger than usual but didn't really think anything of it - until I saw the small puddles on the ground upon return to the brumby :(  Not happy Jan!

I limped it home at 80km/h - it seem that the leak occurs from the crank seal at and above a certain rev, but not having a tacho I don't know where that point was, so the drive back to M&D's was a bit of a gamble.  Needless to say I was watching the oil pressure warning light like a hawk!  Got there safely.

This issue should be an easy fix, but I can't get the crank pulley off as I think the previous owner has put lock tight on the crank before they put the pulley on.  Very frustrating!  I've had the new crank seal and oil seal kit ready to go for some time now too!

So I need to organise a weekend to get down there, pull the engine, take it to my uncles for some gentle heat (unless we get the crank pulley off before this step), replace crank and rear main seals and reseal the oil pump.  While I'm there I'll add the oil pressure sender unit for the 6 gauge dash that I was lucky enough to pick up in a parts yard - it was my surprise find :D

A bit frustrating but I'll get there.  The only issue is that the wet weather seems to be here for winter now and a roof for commuting would be awesome...

Cheers

Bennie

Offline Phizinza

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Re: Redback Brumby
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2015, 08:10:55 PM »
Have you tried a pneumatic rattle gun? A good quality one, as cheap ones are only about half the Nm.

Offline Phizinza

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Re: Redback Brumby
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2015, 08:11:47 PM »
Oh, and may I use some of your photos for articles I write. I'm wanting to write an article on how to fix a 4 sp sloppy shifter. Thanks

Offline el_freddo

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Re: Redback Brumby
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2015, 10:30:59 PM »
Have you tried a pneumatic rattle gun? A good quality one, as cheap ones are only about half the Nm.

I got the bolt off with a breaker bar, it was quite a bit of effort!  What I couldn't do is get the actual pulley off the front of the engine.  Levering with a screwdriver only started to damage the pulley.

So last weekend the engine came out after what seemed like a month (was about two weeks!).  Awesome weekend to do it in terms of the weather!



While out it copped a new rear main seal, new sump gasket, front oil seal and a seal kit through the oil pump.  Engine out Saturday morning, midday spent in the big smoke, afternoon back at home I managed to reseal the oil pump and clean up some stuff before dinner.  Sunday a new sump gasket was made, oil seals fitted and the engine refitted into the Brumby.  I drove it back to Shepp that night :D 

And with good timing - it was wet as this week gone!  So glad to have a roof on my ride again!

And this is how it should be - when Sunnie the Brumby rocks up!



Very stoked!

Cheers

Bennie

Offline el_freddo

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Re: Redback Brumby
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2019, 11:25:24 AM »
Testing testing...