Lifted 1987 Subaru GL Hatchback Page 2

So once we had it running it was time to make a lift kit. We decided to make a 6″ lift so we order some 2″ x 6″ x 4′ long rectangle tubing. We already had some 1/4 ” thick steel plate, some 1″ square tubing and some 4″ inside diameter pipe, (4.25 outside diameter) lying around. So the first thing we did was cut the 4″ pipe on a 14 degree angle with our abrasive chop saw. We cut a 14 degree angle because we are building the lift kit for a EA81. If you were making the lift kit for an EA71 it would be a 22 degree angle. If it were a EA82 it would be a 18 degree angle. Once we cut that end to an 14 degree angle we measured out a 6″ piece and cut it at an 14 degree angle with the angle going the same way as the other angle. Below is a picture on what they front strut block should look like and how they should be installed. They should be installed so that the block brings the top of the strut inward to give you the correct amount of camber.

Front Block Cut/ Install Picture







Now that have the pipe cut we can now cut the 1/4″ thick steel plate. To do this we took the top hat off the strut so we could trace it and use it as a template. So traced the oval of the top hat onto the 1/4″ steel and then used our plasma cutter and cut it out. We repeated the process until we cut out four ovals. Next we then knocked the bolts out of the top hat and place it onto the ovals we cut out and marked were the bolt holes were. We then used our drill press and drilled out for the bolt holes in all four plates. Once we had all four drilled we set two plates aside as they are done as they will become our top plates. Next we placed the top hat on top of the remaining plates and traced the inner circle so we could use the plasma cutter to remove it so that way the top of the strut could go up into the 4″ pipe. Once we had the holes cut in the two remaining plates we welded them together. The solid plate on top the 4″ pipe and then the plate with the hole in the middle as the bottom. Here is a picture of the front strut blocks completed and installed.


Front Strut Block







Once we had the strut blocks made and bolted in we cut two 8″ long pieces off the 2×6 rectangle tubing to use for the block to lower the engine cradle. Once we had the blocks cut the set them into position. Once we had them were we wanted them we drilled holes top and bottom inline with the bolt holes in the frame and the engine cradle. Once we had them drilled we installed/ bolted them in. Here’s a picture of them in place.


Engine Block







Once we had the engine cradle blocks done we moved onto the transmission / sway bar mounting bracket. We cut three 2″ long pieces of the 2×6 rectangle tubing. After those were cut we cut a 10″ piece off the 1″ square tubing. Once we had that cut we drilled holes top and bottom in the 2×6 rectangle tubing in them center of them. Once we had them drilled we slide them into place between the mounting bracket and the unibody of the car. Next we installed the bolts but left them a little loose so the blocks could move. Next we slid the 1″ square tubing between the three block at an angle for bracing to make sure the blocks can’t bend. Once we had the 1″ square tubing in place we adjusted the 2×6 blocks and then welded the 1″ tube to the 2×6 blocks. Once we had one side done we did the same thing to make the other side. Here is a few pictures to show you what we did.


Trans black rear view

Trans Block Side View






Once we had both sides of the transmission blocks done we moved onto the making the rear torsion bar blocks. We cut two 2″ long pieces off the 2×6 rectangle tubing and two 6″ piece of the 1″ square tubing. After we had them cut we drilled a hole top and bottom in the center of the 2×6 tubing. Once they were drilled we put them in position and started the bolts and then held the 1″ tubing on an angle on the out side of the 2×6 tubing and welded it in place. Once we had that 1″ tube welded in place we took the other 1″ tube and held it against the opposite outside of the 2×6 blocks at the opposite angle as the other side. To form an X and brace the blocks to ensure they don’t deform.


Torsion Bar Blocks



Now that we finished with both sides of the torsion bar blocks. We needed to lower the rear end. There are a few different ways of lowering it. Some people cut and add metal and weld the mustache bar. Some cut both the bushing housings off the mustache bar and then use square tubing and make there own. Some people use flat steel to make a mounting plate. Something like the pictures below.

Rear End Drop

Rear End Drop Plate


Another way and the way we choose to go was to use the 2×6 rectangle tubing and lower the factory mustache bar. So we cut two 4″ pieces from what was left out of the 2×6 rectangle tubing. Once we had them cut we drilled holes top and bottom in the center. Once we had them drilled we placed them between the mustache bar and the unibody on each side and bolted them in place. Here’s a picture of the blocks bolted in.

Rear End Block







Once we had both blocks bolted in for the mustache bar we need to figure out something for shocks. Some people cut the mounting bracket off of where it is and add metal to raise it up so they can still use a factory shock. We decided to search around for a longer shock.. After a while searching we came to choose a Bilstein Shock. The only problem was it had a stem style mount for the top and not the bar style like on the car. So we built a bracket to go from a bar mount to a stem mount. Here’s a picture of the shock and the mounting bracket.


Rear Shock

Upper Shock Mount






Once we had the lift blocks installed and the rear shocks in it was time to lengthen the brakes lines. So added a coupling and a 6″ piece of brake line at each tire and then bleed the air out of the system.  We also had to lengthen the steering shaft, transmission and four wheel drive shift linkage. Pictures below to show you what we did.

Front brake line extension

steering extension









Once we finished lengthening the steering shaft, transmission and four wheel drive shift linkage it was time to upgrade the wheels and tires. We wanted to upgrade from the original size a 185/70R 13″ wheel/ rim. To a 15″ wheel/ rim which makes it easier to find an offroad tire. So since there are almost no 15″ wheels that fit the 4 x 140 bolt pattern we re-drilled the hubs to the 6 lug 5.5 bolt pattern. Here is a video on how we did it.



We drilled all four hubs and reinstalled them on the car. Next we went on the hunt for a decent set of 6 lug 5.5 Toyota wheels. We ended up finding a clean set two towns over with the correct width and back set. They were off an early 90’s Toyota truck they are 15×7 and have a 3.75 backset. Ones off a Nissan hard body pickup truck will also work. Once we got them home we removed the valve stems and sand blasted them. Once they were cleaned up we powder coated them high gloss black. We just finished letting the last wheel cool down from being powder coated and our new tires came in. We went with a 235/75/15 goodyear wangler duratrac. The wheels we bought came with no center caps. So we bought a set online and also bought a set of stock Subaru center caps as well. Once they came in we used our drill press and a hole saw and we removed the Toyota logo from the middle of the Toyota center caps. Once we had the Toyota logo removed we glued the Subaru center caps into the Toyota center caps. We also purchased a few set of gorilla lug nuts in black to complete the look we were going for. Here’s a couple of pictures of the tires, wheels and the custom made center caps.

Toyota WheelsTires


Tires mountedCenter cap




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