Larry Chen: EJ20-Powered Subaru BRAT/Brumby: The Ultimate Ute Video

Posted: 2023-08-09 15:00:14
Author: Larry Chen
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Larry Chen Video Transcript

Uh whoa so I’m walking around here at Cultura and my buddy Mickey hi Mickey he’s like hey you gotta feature this because our mutual friend Bucky Lasik would love to see this feature and watch this feature Steve is actually the owner and builder of this amazing

You guys called it a Brumby Rumbi yeah named after a horse in the U.S we call it a brat yeah but in Australia it’s called a Brumby but this is so far from stock this is not even I don’t even know where to begin what did this start life

As was this something like a like a beater car that you restored or yeah semi-restored it up so started from RE to the front and went through everything and yeah all built within newish or what you could find so then the big obvious thing is that it is STI swap now yes did

This come as all-wheel drive to begin with no brumbies or brats with front wheel drive and then you engage the lever to make it for all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive so then the Aesthetics of it it already had the same the rear diff in it did the Australian version have a different

Motor or a power plant package than the US no I think they were just a 1.8 liter carbureted version I know in different Subaru models they bought or maybe injected one out and a turbo one out over out of a Vortex if they call it I’m

Sure people that in the States but the easiest conversion is a double X conversion with little modifications what year is this one uh 1992 was it pretty hard to get this all to fit like it looks like honestly it looks stock and yeah the only mod to the is a cross member for

The up pipe for the turbo which is on that side and your chassis rails basically to um particularly your timing covers down there you’ll see that and they’re notched out I see what you mean yeah so then this is a legal swap here in Australia yeah it’s a yeah legal swap

It’s legal because it’s a newer motor newer cooler chassis and it falls within a percentage they allow you a certain percent and it still Falls within that so yeah I see and then what year did this come out uh 96 STI motor but then the intercoolers out of a no 08 to 2022

And then this how many liters is this two liter okay yeah and so it’s a EG all right okay yeah and then what about the front end this kind of the bar is off a Nissan r31 car yes yeah this is on fire 31 yeah

Nissan yeah and you got it to fit yeah it was an aftermarket fiberglass one sold here and then I took I think 150 ml out of the middle of it and shortened shorten the ends up because I didn’t want just the bumper look so this this kind of reminds me of Travis

Pastrana’s GL yeah yeah yeah the wagonyville yeah yeah it kind of reminds me of that so is this a like that’s a little Factory yeah Factory Brumby but you added on this logo and then the grills off um still a wagon the wagons come out with a straight Grille instead of a honeycomb

Grill and then just a newer style light in it but this is off off of like a GL wagon a Geo wagon yeah that’s wire mine yeah yeah that is yeah because they’re normally honeycomb sort of look yeah and then what about this lip that came with

It so I had to sort of shorten that up as well it came with the r31 yeah yeah in in Australia we got the GDs model and it was a Skyline GDs model and they had a I think a factory lip so I got both

With it this is so crazy so then how much power does this make Now versus stock um it’s 215 kilowatts at the wheels okay so it’s probably 300 brake horsepower which is probably three times the brumbies or the Bratz power yeah yeah yeah that is so cool

Um Mickey asked me to to ask about the hood scoop yeah what’s special about this oh it’s off on our way 2012 WRX so it’s been grafted in into the Bonnet instead of predominantly just sticking a double X scoop on it well who did this work oh that one of dad’s

Mate is an old school welder so we cut it and even as far as the bracing you you wouldn’t tell that it’s been it looks so good it looks yeah I’ll keep the bracing out of the Bonnet well the even the splitter yeah got that to work

So this is from the 08 or the 08wx yet and yeah and this is the actual Brumby Rumble Stock hood yeah was this originally a white car originally white yeah I was debating to paint it a gunmetal gray like a mother one of the other Subarus but I just want it on the

Road so I kept it white um this is so cool I love it um and then what about the rear end did you have to modify anything on the rear here now it’s all pretty much super direct slash Rumbi even the dish or in the chain so it’s got a 4-4 ratio

STI 5-speed gearbox with four four ratios the only thing you have to hybrid is the drive shafts because the brumbies run like a stub axle and the later model directors run the shafts in so and then strengthen the rear diff cradle all up in there that

Mustache bar as they call it you sort of got someone to laser cut one because with a double X it pushes the dick back so you strengthen all that up and then so what what kind of diff is that uh yeah r160 yeah four four ratios it’s

Like a brand new car underneath yeah you’ve changed so much you can buy here in Australia you can buy these Believe It or Not brand new still still is it because this was a pretty popular pretty popular car yeah and it ran for over a ran for over eight nine years I think

Yeah you guys really love your Utes yeah we really I feel like in the states only have two popular ones the Subaru you know and then we have the El Camino yeah um this would fit inside in our community exactly exactly but but um I’ve I’ve seen these on the road and of

Course in the U.S what these are famous for are the jump seats yeah but that was like a legal thing what’s the story behind that I think in in the states to get them in they were going to get taxed a lot because they were a ute so the way they

Overcome it is became a four-seater car so technically it wasn’t a ute anymore where here we didn’t obviously get them and there was never an option but they probably would never let you sit in the back anyway I don’t know if they did in the states I think

They did I think it was okay growing up in the states in Los Angeles it was very common for people just to sit in the bed of a pickup truck or a U or whatever yeah sometimes a lot of times without seats or seat belts so I’m assuming

Around the time when the car when the vehicle was new it was okay but of course now it’s not okay yeah yeah with that said is that something that you want for this Brumby I do just for the aesthetic look that it’s different I think one of my other friends in

Queensland’s got a set and it’s just same thing it looks different you know it looks cool and people know that know yeah will be yeah happy to see them on this vehicle so is it a pretty big Community the Brumby community yes it is like everything gets online on Facebook

As in modified ones you could probably count them on one hand like a fully modified ones but as they start to come out people get more and more ideas and you know I built one 15 years ago from ground up same thing you get married and

You sell all your toys and then you get back into building them again you know so can you okay so let’s talk about the wheel and tire setup and then we’ll talk about the inside yeah so um what’s going on with the wheel and tires Billet is

From the states VMS I wanted a a raceier looking wheel to it I used to have um Works wheels on it had 18 by tens all around believe it or not they fit better than these running 15s had to trim the guard out because of the the tire size

Because they’re such a square Tire opposed to when you run a 18 you you run a really small tire and they roll off very quick this is so cool so it’s a square setup like the same size front and back yes yep yeah because of all-wheel drive then

Put the rubber X brakes front and rear the only thing I had to shave the caliper a little bit because running a 15 inch rim opposed to them brakes are only cement to fit on sort of a 16 inch wheel so then did you buy a entirely different

Car to put it into this vehicle no just Source bits and pieces like gearbox and diff bought from a wreckers or a mate then engine you know yeah you could but as the cars get older the bits get harder and harder to find and they’re worth a lot more money now because the

Cars have gone up let’s take a look at the interior whoa I was not ready for this the varnal or the gray why is it so new it looks like a brand new vehicle uh being restored yeah so just so you re-dye them or uh just paint vinyl paint they yeah they

Sell vinyl paint here and just um pretty much the same Gray that they come out with it looks so clean and all of this plastic trim too because I’ve had a few a few over the years I sort of ratted out and kept the best bits out of them

And so then I had to put a race seat version in them because I’m over six foot tall the brumbies do have a lot of seat room behind the seat but the factory seats never went back that where you put them on aftermarket Runners I could get them to go back that extra

Mile yeah and I’m assuming this is a probably pretty it’s pretty cool yeah I don’t know if it’s out of the right ear it Subaru but it’s definitely out of the Subaru I’m assuming that it’s special because you have it in here yeah that is that’s just your yeah yeah wheel brakes

And stuff yeah then the custom flush mounted the head unit in there and running a gc8 that Rex cluster in it um what yeah opposed to the brat Brumby one this is just such a hybrid of all Subaru things even the mirrors are down to BRZ mirrors no way yeah just little

Things that you know um that is so cool and then like what about this is some this is the campaign Factor either the hazards oh no that’s the double x because it has a a spliced harness in it so it’s got double X slash Brumby or slash brat

Harness in it so they put the hazard light switch there it is so cool I love it and what what’s going on here oh no that’s me other part for me other car yeah it’s me screaming piping climbing it back so I put a little Sub in it and

Speakers you know tucked in behind the seats because this is a street vehicle yeah so does this have air conditioning still no I didn’t do I’ve got other cars I got AC for the summer um this is a good winter car then yeah good winter car yeah

And then so it does have five-speed transmission yeah five-speed SDI yeah same thing kept the center console a lot of people put the double x console in them I wanted to keep it sort of original original with a Twist to it you know so cool can you turn it on

It certainly sounds like a Subaru yeah so what did you have to do with the exhaust uh so it pretty much nearly bolts on it it wrex exhaust a few modifications to hangers and bits and pieces but predominantly because the engine’s in there yeah yeah it’s and believe it or

Not they’re not too much difference in wheelbase as in yes in in whip but in lamp yeah I just can’t believe how OEM you made this look yeah I try to a lot of my builds I try to keep them Factory issue looking and then you have

Coilovers while I was in the front yeah they actually make it for this bar no how did you get it to fit wrex because it’s got double X hubs on it directs hubs and then the Reese hybrided I think they made them in the states they selled you a conversion kit to

Convert to five in 100 from the ugly horse that Rumbi ones amazing are you gonna go on the cruise with us where you cruise I don’t even know I think these guys are going cruising yeah I really want to ride in this can we go for a rep around the block real

Quick yeah hell yeah hey come on baby come on yes come on let’s go yeah I’ve never ridden in a brand before yeah I’m excited yeah what a cool car [Applause] I just want to hear what it sounds like from the back Let’s go for a quick ride around the block before they get upset at me I’m so excited and the old school windup Windows right this is great because um was this in a okay condition to the point where you could keep driving it or was this already something where you had

To no I was in a pretty good condition um so you wanted to start with a pretty good condition yeah they were they renowned for like most of them rust in the rear um in the tray just because water sits in there it’s got nowhere to go whoa

That sound is really impressive yeah that is unlike any and this does this can’t weigh that much I think 1100 kilos so this is going to be faster than the Reza SDI that it came out of yeah yeah just the sheer white you know to 300

Kilos out of here out of the car weight you know and it’s putting it all the power to the ground yeah all four wheels so so cool so then did those ones have like an active Center diff or anything not that I’m aware of I think in 97 98

They started to come out with the active Center diff so yeah this is non-dc-d gearbox basically yeah so it’s got quite a good pickup yeah so it is it tuned or is it like stock uh it’s cheap it’s got a link a link computer in it um

And it’s running on E85 oh I smell it yeah yeah it smells good yeah so what a cool car can put more power in it but we have um valve spring issues that won’t let it boost over 16 PSI so anything more it falls over but it should be good

Tuna set for 270 to 280 kilowatts so putting another 60 in it would change the characteristics of it again it it already has so much power for what it is what it is yeah I mean you’re not trying to win any races but I’m sure this is so

Much fun just driving around town yeah it is gets the attention because the same every day you have to build it you know to be different I love it it rides really nice too this suspension is really nice yeah for a car that’s been put together

Um I suppose another Rarity you know it is the um power steering oh yeah yeah geez that is so cool so then oh I think it’s right here they it never came with power steering no they they came in um I don’t think they were even a factory

Option they were in a wagon or or a different type of Subaru but yeah well thanks for showing this I really appreciate these kind of home builds yeah I think they’re so cool and so inspiring and it it’s awesome to be able to update this for the modern

Just for Mott just modernizing this I think is super cool you know it’s a shame they didn’t really bring a happy a little powerful Ute out in any anyone that Nissan Toyota you know I think as far as we got was it that proton we got

Them here called a Jumba and people do Evo conversions to them but yeah I know Subaru tried to bring it back with a Baja I don’t know if they yeah that’s he was called an Outback it looked like an Outback with the rear wagon bit cut off on it you know yeah

But it didn’t do so well uh no it’s a beautiful car bro it’s so cool right isn’t that a 94 95-96 yes 94 95 96 Dash yeah oh Liberty yeah very very nice because early it’s a 94 to 96 engine yeah but you’ve got SDI manifolds on it you just painted them no

It was originally STI but the intercoolers off the newer model I then run that little angled intercooler they normally this is what I was going to do years ago I done the blue one years ago we’ve done I had a blue one as well goalie yeah he had the ready one or the

The yeah yeah yeah I was gonna do when I used to have the panel shop yeah yeah this is so cool you see you’re turning heads everywhere you go yeah that’s it awesome thank you so much for showing this to us um yeah enjoy no worries thank you bye

Thank you hey thanks for watching if you want to support us directly go to I print and sign every single one of these this is the perfect gift or it’s the perfect piece of art for your wall Thank you [Applause]