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Home made el-cheapo six inch lift kit for the EA-81 Subey Sedan / Wagon / Ute.

The side photo of Scott's black Brumby (Brat) that started me into doing my 6" lift.

First step in lifting your Sube is to sit down, crack open a coldie, and start thinking along the lines of old mate Zen. Ask yourself why do you want to go up in the world six inches, or 150mm? Is it coz you've got low self esteem, lacking in the ego department, or you just wanna be one of the few elites to have a subey so high? Ok, now that the crap is outta the way, lets get cracking.

The only blocks that are required to be the strong babies are those that are on top of the macpherson struts at front, and the four holding the rear torsion bar in place. The front two of these four blocks are usually 99.9% of the time in tension, whilst the other two rear-er blocks of the torsion bar setup are in compression. I say 99.9% of the time - 0.1% is reversed when you've got six feet of air underneath your self, such as those silly times when your showing off jumping your subey. And upon impact really wishing you hadn't of just done that...
The two long 175mm engine blocks, six gearbox blocks, and rear diff blocks are basically in tension all the time. They are holding their various components up off the ground. Loosen the bolts, and they'll fall down. This may seem simple enough, however this basic explanation should make it all that much easier for a first timer person crawling underneath and looking up whilst scratching their head.

There are around 14 points that need to be lifted.
Front macpherson struts (1 block each side) - 2 blocks. Running tally: 2
Engine (1 block each side) - 2 blocks. Running tally: 4
Gearbox (3 blocks each side) - 6 blocks. Running tally: 10
Rear suspension (2 blocks each side) - 4 blocks. Running tally: 14.

Extend the front brakes, steering, engine wiring, the radiator and fuel and vacuum hoses, and either get extended rear shocks or lower the top mounting or raise the bottom shock mounting, extend the gearbox and transfer case levers and she's done.
Sounds easy ain't it.

Quick check list of the basics:
* tie up springs.
* lift front
* take off tyres.
* mark and outline with texta or marking pen 4" below air conditioning compressor if you have one.
* unbolt the air conditioning compressor and move out of way.
* cut sheet metal below the air conditioning compressor
* loosen struts.
* undo steering.
* undo engine mount.
* undo radiator hose.
* undo all vacuum and fuel hoses, loosen all wiring.
* loosen engine.
* loosen gearbox.
* loosen front brake lines. Either replace entire hose, or add another front or rear set
* lower engine. insert blocks. do up bolts.
* lower gearbox. insert blocks. do up bolts.
* gear-stick.
* lo-range.
* Bolt front struts back in.
* Engine stabiliser bar.
* measure diff height.
* undo shocks.
* undo tyres.
* Lift rear.
* cut the mounts that hold the rear brake lines. Bend brake lines slightly.
* loosen suspension bolts.
* loosen diff bolts.
* lower suspension.
* take out blocks.
* front rear suspension blocks in. bolt in.
* rear rear suspension blocks in. bolt in.
* tack weld front and rear blocks of rear suspension together. Take out. Weld properly.
* Bolt back in.
* Cut diff holder. lower diff to height. unbolt diff blocks.
* Weld new pieces on. Bolt back in.
* Weld new shock mounts. either top or lower. Whack back in.
* lengthen radiator hose
* lengthen fuel and vacuum hoses
* lengthen wiring to engine, starter motor?
* fix engine stabiliser bar.
* lengthen and fix steering.

Front engine blocks:

Inner gearbox blocks

Two outer gearbox blocks

blocks for on top of Macpherson struts.

Inside engine bay:

Rear torsion bar suspension blocks. Left side of picture goes towards front of vehicle. Big long cross-chassis RHS goes towards the rear.

Closer look at rear suspension blocks. Measured fairly accurately but left unwelded until bolted in place. Will then be tack welded, pulled out, welded fully and then re-bolted back in.

Rear diff carrier blocks. Something like the engine block, but a bit shorter.

How the blocks will go in to Subey. Facing from rear towards the front.
I stuffed up laying out the blocks when taking these three photos. This one is the correct layout after my record breaking two minutes and 25 seconds of digital manipulation in paint shop pro.

Incorrect layout of blocks - side view.

Incorrect layout of blocks - side view.

Sometime around September, got stuck in one Friday night and installed the rear 6" lift. Started at about 6pm, and finished around midnight. Fairly strong... I've done approximately 8 to 10 ute loads of blue metal, each being roughly 1/2 tonne. 100kg over the 400kg payload maximum. No sweat.

Come the weekend of 29th-31st October '04, finally got stuck into it and lifted the front. Took approx 26 hours - didn't help much that I was doing it all in a rush to have it back together again by Monday 5am to go to work. So I was in a bit of a panic to get it all done in one weekend. Having a mate or three around would have helped heaps - I'd recommend either having a bunch of loyal mates around giving a hand, or another vehicle and doing this over, say a week or two. Both options were out for me, I don't have any mates...

Plenty of little Gotcha's when doing this kinda thing. Some were:
Air conditioning pump brackets - it has to be raised about 3 to 4 inches to avoid hitting the chassis rail.
Fuel and vacuum lines - About four brackets had to be made to extend/lower the existing mounts that hold various lines. Fuel filter had to be relocated about two inches.
Gearstick and transfer levers - Biggest headache (and currently still is), is the gear throw. Heaps of time was spent getting reverse working correctly, but the gear throw is still off putting. About 30mm between 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th. She's a racing car gearbox now - and I cant stand it. Its either in or out.
Hand brake lines needed to be re-directed a fraction.
Needed to bang in the inner guards a fraction to get the 27mm offset in place for the front Macpherson struts.
Sump guard/bash plate needs to be extended and re-bent and re-designed and re-welded etc to fit lowered engine
Front driver (aussie driver side) lower panel needed to be removed to lower engine.
Accelerator cable needs to be re-directed.
Clutch line just fits - any more and would need something else.
Engine support needs removing, adding more length and re-mounted
Brake lines need to be extended, but fortunately I did this 2+ years ago, using 8" proper brake lines
Steering - interesting design I came up with. Cut and lengthed with double welded with additional over-sleeve. Uses 25mm x3mm pipe. RTA still wont like it though coz its been welded.
Upper and lower original radiator hoses were fine. I was very worried about these.

Then six weeks later, the RTA pulled me over and I got a nice red sticker on it, which basically means "unroad-worthy". And got slapped with a $600.00 fine.
So the lift was then taken out. Sux big time.

My old steering wheel...

More photo's HERE of my old girl and other lifted Brumbies/Brats.

Download Stuff:
Out of Town lift instructions are here (.PDF)
Back yard boys lift instructions are here (.PDF)
Lanny's lift is here (Word 97 .DOC)
Piccy of Subaru Lift advertisments in Australia.

Lanny's old site. Full explanation of 6 inch lift with photos. Reproduced without permission.
Lanny's current Brat site. 6 inch lifted Subey.
Scott's Brat site. 6 inch lifted Subey.

Subey Page

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Created: 03/03/03.
Last updated:15/06/05.