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1982 Lada Niva

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RJSakowski

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Maybe they should start putting lead in the tires for demolition derby cars. Or how about junker drag racing. The first car across the finish line with 90% of the starting weight wins.
 

GoceKU

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After fighting with the rusted bolts for couple of days a good shake like that would made my job a lot easier.
 

GoceKU

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Today after a visit to the tool/flea market i bought some heavy duty concentrated degreaser and pressure wash the rear axle with it. There was years of caked on grime also lots of rust, my dilemma now is do i leave the housing alone just clean it and paint it or do i reinforce it and make it as good as it can be, it won't cost me much just time and supplies, what are your thoughts?
IMG_20190901_094732_1.jpgIMG_20190901_094829.jpg
 

Latinrascalrg1

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It depends on what your long term goals for that car are gonna be! If you plan on keeping it and driving it until the wheels fall off? Then yes Absolutely invest in the upgrades but if you plan on flipping it for a profit then paint that axle and reassemble and move on.
 

GoceKU

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It depends on what your long term goals for that car are gonna be! If you plan on keeping it and driving it until the wheels fall off? Then yes Absolutely invest in the upgrades but if you plan on flipping it for a profit then paint that axle and reassemble and move on.
After all the work i've done to it, it is staying, the plan is to drive it till i can and do improvement along the way probably during the summer as is better in the winter than my daily driver. Now the question is do i reinforce the axle from the bottom or from the top?
 

Latinrascalrg1

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Is the rear axle a know weak point and if so how does it "Usually" tend to fail when one decides to self destruct?
 

GoceKU

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They are known the get bent, the ends up from jumping, and back to front from hitting stuff. I've seen one with welded pieces from the bottom.
 

Latinrascalrg1

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Looking at it if i were to flip that jotted i would probably start by removing the spring, slick and brake mounting brackets then i would find a adequate steel pipe that would fit completely around the axle, split it into 2 long wise and then clam shell it around the existing axle and welled it up so that the original axle is incased in the pipe. Wild the brackets back on, paint and put it back on the car. You shouldn't lose any clearance to cause interference issues either.
 

GoceKU

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Looking at it if i were to flip that jotted i would probably start by removing the spring, slick and brake mounting brackets then i would find a adequate steel pipe that would fit completely around the axle, split it into 2 long wise and then clam shell it around the existing axle and welled it up so that the original axle is incased in the pipe. Wild the brackets back on, paint and put it back on the car. You shouldn't lose any clearance to cause interference issues either.
I presume you are talking something like this.
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GoceKU

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The new brake discs arrived from russia, i bought original Lada front discs to use in the brake conversion.
IMG_20190902_181223.jpg
 

GoceKU

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Today i finally found few hours to get something done on the little niva. The big garage is full of cars and a big mess because i started cleaning it and stopped in the middle, so i took the axle outside and started the clean up there i wirebrashed it, then i used a scraper to clean around the bolts and then i used couple of different wrenches to unbolt the 16 bolts to take it apart, pulling the axle shafts wasn't too hard, then i pull the brake backing plates, after doing that on both sides i took the diff carrier out, and everything looks good inside, no real wearing on any of the gears, freeplay feels tight, the spline on the axles are not twisted of warn and as expected the gear ratio is 4,3 : 1. Then i clean the diff carrier some more and painted it factory correct, gloss black. By this time it was pitch black outside but i continued giving the axle housing wirebrashing one more time and sprayed it down with anti rust acide and left it to work.
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GoceKU

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Today after finishing the brake job from hell on the octavia i spent the rest of the afternoon over my lathe machining the axle shafts of the little niva. The little niva is an old school vehicle an the bake discs are hold on by the wheel studs on the back of the wheel flange. So i chunk up the axle to the wheel hub and supported the other end with a live centre. I checked the axle for runout on all machined surfaces and found minimal runout, then i took small cuts till i got to the 108mm size and faced the vertical side to clean the face for the disc to seat flash. Then i did the same on the other axle and made sure the discs fit. I wasn't surprised or impressed with the quality or the machining on the new OEM Lada brake discs, you can see they have been machined on a lathe, probably same as my with a very dull cutter lots of chatter, something that is not acceptable in my machine shop i may just use them like that, they'll worn down with use if i get vibration is easy enough just to pop them out and turn them on the axle shafts. The Axle shafts themselves are in excellent shape, straight, bearings feel good splines look good, seal journals look like new, much better then the housing.
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GoceKU

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This morning i had few minutes to spare so i thought i'll do something for the little niva, the two upper bolts for the links on the rear axle are very specific length and size and very difficult to found new. So trying to fix the ones i have, i grabbed the front in my lathe and cut down the mushroomed end then i centre drill it then i clean out the threads with a die. Then reposition it so i can hold the hex with the chuck and supported the other end with a live centre, then i cut off the bushing sleeve. I can easily made new ones from steel but they will rust like the originals, i'll keep my eye open for some stainless rod in that size.
IMG_20190906_203402.jpgIMG_20190906_205744.jpgIMG_20190906_204653.jpgIMG_20190906_210930.jpg
 

Latinrascalrg1

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I realize lots of times its a matter of working with what you have available But I have a feeling you are the type of person who, regardless of how easy it would be to just go buy a new "one", would see if it could be repaired before being replaced and I Admire that in this throw away world! Keep up the Good work.
 

jsh

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I take it you may have to go with a stud with longer splines since the rotor is on the back side of the flange.
Look forward to more of your project.
Jeff
 

GoceKU

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I do like to use new hardware when i can find proper quality and keep the old ones in my spare bolts baskets for a rainy day but is getting harder and harder to find true 8,8 grade bolts. About the wheel studs i asked around also visited the better supplied parts stores they did not have anything close to them all the studs are shorter and smaller, i'll have to take my measurements and may have to make the wheel spacers thinner so i can have safe number of threads on the wheel studs.
 

GoceKU

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This evening i spent some time on my hydraulic press, pushing in wheel studs on the littles nivas rear axles, then i got busy assembling the rear calipers, greased the sliders, installed the new brake pads and they fit over the brake disc. I had a real plan about the axle housing but then i talk with couple of lada owners, and they changed my plan. Their argument was, Why would you spend the time and cost of reinforcing it when is the same as the Lada sedans, and you can buy one for 10$ in the junkyards they apparently don't bent easy one guy said that you need to lend it from a metre high loaded to bent it. And with all the rust that my has i'll be better off just paint it and put it back to use.
IMG_20190908_184505.jpg
 

just old al

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Just found this - really looking forward to seeing the bracketry you'll use to mount the calipers to the axle.

BTDT on a Land-Rover Defender 110 - thankfully the brackets were available as spare parts, and required little modification other than a reduction in thickness (trivial on the mill).

I await the next installment!
 

GoceKU

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Just old al, there is nothing off the shelf for a Lada so i'll be making them from scratch. Anyway today beside working hard all day i did not take pictures of the progress, but what i did is weld on a new stud for the brake lines, and then spend the next 4-5 hours grounding off the rust. Then i spent some more time cleaning it outside and inside. After letting the solvents evaporate i sprayed on a very special primer paint, made to be used on rusty metal and add thickness so it can be abused, on top of it i applied a grey paint to break up all the black undercarriage. By the time i was painting the sun had come down so i painted it with my phone light. Any suggestion on the color for the axle links ?
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GoceKU

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Today i was busy with my day job but when i got back home i did found time to make one more piece for the little niva, i made a new breather coupler, the idea is to run a teflon hose to the front, to a breather manifold connected to the airbox. I started with a piece of 17mm hex, first i turn down the end to 8mm, 20 mm in length and made couple reges, then cut couple of radiuses freehand and drill it thru. Then i used my parting tool to cut the back side down to 8mm and part it of, after a bit of clean up i threaded this side with M8 same as the housing, chamfer the holes and then made couple of graphite gaskets.
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markba633csi

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Regarding the video in post #29: "I'm being told there is something wrong with the wheel"
Umm, maybe 40 pounds of lead in the tires?

I did get a chuckle out of it though
 

GoceKU

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Today i spent some more time on my lathe, machining some more parts for the little Niva. Started with sorting the material, the long thin rod is for the bushings inserts, the short chrome plated shaft is also for a bushing inserts for the strong lower arms and lastly the red thick piece is for the outside of the bushings. Started by making the tool for the inner piece of the bushings, i used the end of the chrome plated shaft, not to waste material. Then i chucked the thick piece and started with couple of clean up cuts, then i drilled the inside to 30 mm and cut a taper of 20 degrees, chamfer the edges and parted it off. Repeated one more time then took the two pieces i just parted and cut a 20 degree taper in the other side. Those pieces will form the new rear suspension links for the little Niva but they do take time, hopefully they will outlast the vehicle. Also this is my 1000 message on this forum, hope i'm not too boring.
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dulltool17

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Not boring at all.
In fact, I'm "watching" the thread.
-brino
That makes at least two of us. I doubt this thread/subject could be boring, even if everything went perfectly. The fact that you've been able to overcome so many challenges on this project is pretty cool in and of itself!
 

savarin

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As I said in an earlier post, I am in total awe of this project and what has been overcome.
A worthy read with many valuable lessons.
 

just old al

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Add me to the above. I own and repair/rebuild old British iron and know well the types of insanities that one gets into, and I have serious respect for the way this is being done!
 
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