modification which I have made to both my Nivas is removing some 40mm from all
of the front bumpstops as well as removing the front anti-roll bar. This allows
the front suspension to move much more freely. In fact as you will see on the
next page, it is capable of moving almost as much as the rear suspension.
A good test of the vehicle suspension is to drive it up two ramps placed under opposite corners. This causes the vehicle to become "cross-axled" at which point it can no longer travel any further up the ramps as two wheels will come of the ground and will spin. This is assuming of course that the vehicle has no form of traction aids such as limited slip or locking diffs or electronic traction control. In these cases the vehicle may be or is capable of travelling further up the ramps even with two wheels of the ground. The centre diff lock in the Niva is no magic traction aid in a situation like this. In the following pictures you will see the Niva on two equal ramps placed under opposite corners. Note that the body is still near level. This means I have almost as much travel in the front suspension now as I have in the rear.
Also note the position of the bottom suspension arms and the spring compression. One arm is pointing up while the other arm is pointing down. This is normally not possible with a standard Niva suspension due to the bumpstops restricting the free movement.
At this position on the ramps the two wheels not on the ramps are still on the ground but very lightly loaded so that they would spin, even on the concrete, and the car would be in what is called "stuck in a cross-axled position". But this Niva has a locked rear diff and an obstacle like this is absolutely no problem. It will simply pick a couple of wheels of the ground and carry on regardless (provided of course I have engaged the centre diff lock as well) until it meets an obstacle of sufficient resistance that both back wheels and at least one front wheel start spinning.
Below are a couple more pictures of the wheels whilst in this position. Again note the difference between the two front wheels.