1982 Lada Niva

GoceKU

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Today i spent good amount of time on making the new panhard bar. Started in the machine shop, chucked the tubing and bored face and chamfer the end. Then i worked on the insert for it, drilled, threaded then cut down to the bored tubing size, i made it a press fit. Then i started on the adjuster, cut down the 30mm hex to 20mm and used M20x1.5 threading die, that way i can make adjustment every half turn or 0,75mm. Then i machined two more bushing ends and took them all to the big garage. There i assembled them and welded them, i waited for them to cool down a bit, give them a quick sending and painted it first primer then same top color as the other 4 suspension links.
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stioc

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Did you figure out how you're going to go about balancing the driveshaft? I'm curious too.
 

GoceKU

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I've been working on installing the rear end in the little Niva, i'll be figuring out that next.
 

GoceKU

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Today i've been hard at work on the little Niva, started by installing the new bushings in the new panhard bar. Then i installed all the suspension links to the axle, i greased every bushing with as much grease as i could i also submerged all the bolts before installing them in grease, then i rolled the axle to the car and started installing the links, this was easy at first but last couple did put on a good fight then i took couple of measurements and had to redrill couple of holes and adjust the panhard bar, this took me couple of hours to get right. At this point i stopped i'll have to torque all the bolts and attache the shocks, brakes, install the spring, driveshaft later.
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GoceKU

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Last couple of days i've had to stay out of the garages to let my eye heal, this morning finally stopped leaking so i got back to working on the little niva, i started to make couple of plates on my lathe for the back wheels to take the space of the brake drum. They were too small at first i wanted to weld them up but because of my eye decided to cut new one that i still have to add on material but much less i used my 4" grinder to cut them off and prep them for welding but just about to start welding them i got a call and had to leave to get something done.
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GoceKU

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Today i continued with the spacer plates i was working on yesterday, i welded one of the plates so i can get a 190mm diameter out of a square piece, i'm not worried about the edges, the plate needs to be almost half the thickness it is now. Then i started back on the rear suspension tightening all the links to specs installing the springs, shocks.
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GoceKU

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Today i spent some time both in the big garage and in the machine shop. First i finished welding the second plate, then i took the drive shaft apart so i can mount it in my lathe. I took the slip yoke off and mounted a diff flange in the chuck. After indicating the flange i mounted the driveshaft using the factory D bolts, then i used a wire brush on an angle grinder to clean it and take off the old paint, then i checked it it is 0,5 mm out of round at the diff side, 0,75mm in the middle and 0,75mm at the slip joint end , also the slip joint is 0,75mm out of round, all in line because of that i think the centre drill is out. I did spin it up to 2000 rpm as much as my lathe will go, no vibration. Spinning it that high the U joint started to make very little noise and found the pop off valve has unscrewed itself, so i clean it as much as i could and used loctite 243 because it can be used on oil parts. Then i span it slowly and paint it gloss black. And left it to dry in the machine.
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GoceKU

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Today i spent some time on my lathe turning the welded up square in a circle. I vent thru couple of inserts because of the interrupted cut but otherwise it turn out good, i'll finish the second one like this then swap the jaws and drill and bore the inside. On another note i need to get rid of the chips in my lathe chip pan they are getting out of control.IMG_20191012_214245.jpgIMG_20191012_214710.jpg
 

GoceKU

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Today i got back from work and straight in the big garage to get the rear suspension all button up on the Little Niva. Every bolt got checked with a torque wrench then i maked them with marker paint, also i connected the hydraulic brakes and the handbrake, i had to fight with one of the brake calipers to get it adjusted so both the foot and hand brakes work, also bleed the brakes. Now is ready for a new shake down test.
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stioc

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Nice progress! BTW was the center-drill hole already there on the tailstock end of the driveshaft?
 

GoceKU

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Today i had a plan to finish the second plate on the lathe, started with drilling it and just about to start threading it got a call and had to drop working on it, but i took a picture, you can see the setup, i run a fine thread bolt with a chunk in my lathe chuck. The centre that is not machine will be drilled out or bore ed out because it needs a 100mm hole in the middle.
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GoceKU

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Recently i've been getting a bunch of messages where in brooklyn will i be. Apparently there is a same color and year Niva driving in New York as my. I found this article on Jalopnik, and things get clearer what's going on. Here is the article, is very well written with beautiful pictures and that Niva is pristine and rolling original SSSR tires. Link: https://jalopnik.com/the-story-behind-the-bright-orange-soviet-4x4-rolling-t-1838401948?fbclid=IwAR28CbPifQGksy5ho9H0aCwEN5AG1B0Uts0lG10Z2WupvkAshzExP20LBKA
 

stioc

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Cool story, always liked these cars for their simplicity and toughness but there only a very few here and command a high price. In my mind similar to the Lada Niva is the VW Beetle (which we have a lot of, just don't see myself driving one) and the Trabant (never seem one in the US) ...in terms of quirkiness, yet tough in their own cute way.

The biggest problem I've found with old cars is finding parts like the rubber seals that go around the windshield or little plastic bezels or parts on the inside that are missing or broken. Mechanical parts are the easiest to find, fix, make etc.
 

GoceKU

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The biggest problem I've found with old cars is finding parts like the rubber seals that go around the windshield or little plastic bezels or parts on the inside that are missing or broken. Mechanical parts are the easiest to find, fix, make etc
One good thing i've found in the journey of fixing the Little Niva is that restoring or repairing a car that is still in production is very easy and cheap, absolutely everything is available OEM quality, not that means high quality. Parts are ridiculously cheap if you buy them from first hand venders example headlight with a Philips H4 bulb OEM glass and steel is less than 7$ a piece, new front diff around 200$, transmission 500$ because of that and as you said there simplicity to be fixed with a rock and a string in a field they are still popular. All the pieces on the interior evry small plastic piece and outside trim is available new, i opted not to spent too much time and money on the interior because is ment to be a workhorse.
 

stioc

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Shows how little I know about them, I didn't know they were still being made! wow. You picked a great car for a project then! :)
 

GoceKU

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Last few days i've been very busy and the Little Niva's been patiently waiting for me to finish it. Today i've been finally able to get few hours free at night to do some machining, i chucked up the second square, begun by taking facing cuts got that side square, then begin making it round, after chamfering it i flip it and clean off the other side and cut it down to thickness. After this i did a bit of a clean out pushed around some of the lathes chips. Then i flip the chucks jaws, grabbed the first piece and bored the inside to 100 mm the hub diameter, now it only needs 5 more 15mm holes and it will be ready to fit on the little niva i also need to finish the other one for the other side. On a happier note, i did a test on the brakes, with the niva jacked up i put it in gear and i can stall the engine with both footh and handbrake so in theory they both work.
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GoceKU

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Today i finally managed to finish the wheel spacers for the little niva, they are not meant to add any extra width to the car they need to take the space of the brake drum, because the new brake disc is mounted behind the axle shaft, on the second spacer i used a different tactic, i took as much material as i could with using a cuter so i had less width to cut with the boring bar then i drill holes for the jug nuts and chamfered all the edges. The little drill press started to make all kind of noises also the motor might be on the way out, keeps stalling also i can stop it by hand in the lowest gear.
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GoceKU

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Today i offered up the spacers to the rear axle and at first they had about 1mm play, the chamfer on the axle was bigger then the one i made on them, also the wheel studs had a bit of stick out so i took them back in my machine shop, made bigger chamfers on all 10 bolt holes. Then mounded them in the lathe and chamfer the hub hole, took them back to the littel niva and they fit like a champ. Next i want to bleed the brakes again, i need to install an additional spring on the handbrake and then i want to mount the wheel adapters for the Sprinter wheels.
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stioc

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Really nice work on the spacers! :encourage: Are they alumninum? did you cut/part them to thickness on the lathe or the bandsaw? I have trouble parting off large diameters but then your lathe is 10x more rigid than mine, no comparison there lol
Oh and how did you do the bolt pattern? Rotary table and the mill?
 

GoceKU

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Today i had the day off work so after finishing couple of tasks in the morning i started on the little niva, i wanted to mount the wheel adapters so i can mount the wider wheels, i had to install and remove them couple of times till i got them without any runout, i also use blue loctite on the bolts and torque the bolts to factory specs and then used bolts to hold the wheel to the adapter after finishing the back two i moved it and did the same on the front, checking them with a dial indicator. The new set of rims may look familiar because they are sold world wide.
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Superburban

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May be new rims, but the style looks perfect for the Niva.
 

silverhawk

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Have you tried and checked that the adapters don't cause it to be out of balance yet?

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GoceKU

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To be honest everything shakes and makes noise in the Niva is hard to check that but i don't feel any difference between this tires and the factory ones, only now is harder to turn when stationary.
 

GoceKU

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Well i gave the little niva a good washing, drove it around, got fresh gas in it but the driveline vibration got worse and worse, it gets stronger with speed and less if a let off the throttle, by the time i drove it home it was shaking the entire car in all the gears higher then first, also the brakes definitely have more air in the lines. So i pull it back in the garage, I'll be dropping the driveshaft, transfer case maybe gearbox till i find the cause. My suspicion is the rubber donut on the back of the gearbox when i inspected it, it was very dusty because it hasn't been driven in years and is probably the original 37 years of age. When i thought i've changed all the rubber parts, yea russian rubber.
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GoceKU

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Diagram of the 4wd on the little niva.
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I suspect the rubber donut circled in red.

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Latinrascalrg1

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That looks alot like a Harmonic Balancer (not sure of the parts actual name) for the driveline and if its in bad condition would Absolutely cause the problems you are having. I helped a friend replace the one on his 1995 Dodge ram truck 4x4 with a manual transmission. His truck would vibrate the fillings from your teeth when his went bad which he also thinks was caused by being stored for a few years without being driven. Also I remember the shaking would start and stop in a certain RPM range pretty much regardless of the actual speed the truck was moving.
 

stioc

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If it's anything like the Flex Disc on the BMWs then yes it will cause vibration. I used to replace mine every 25k. However, the tell tale sign was louder noise when you lift off the gas and vibration when you're on the gas.

If you suspect it's the driveshaft itself, since you have two, you can disconnect the one you suspect more to narrow it down.

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