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The Niva's gearbox is its only real weakpoint. One of its problems can be bearings. Frequent and generous oil changes will help preserve them, but replacement with quality bearings (like SKFs, see parts no.s below) can be desirable. However, many once reputable companies like SKF and Timken are now inreasingly sourcing their bearings from China - so unless you know you're actually getting high quality bearings they may actually be a downgrade.
An advantage of using the genuine Lada bearings is that once start to get noisey they usualy last a while before giving out - ie giving you plenty of warning. Other bearings may last longer, but are not so considerate and if they do fail it will be without such warning.
Quality bearings are not a magic bullet (I personally think the bearings are simply designed too small for what's asked of them) and there are also other gearbox issues, so the gearbox should still be cared for.
Ahma's SKF replacement bearing list:
2101-1701033 - Bearing, SKF 615722*
2101-1701108 - Needle bearing, N/A (only available as a Lada part)
2101-1701190 - Bearing, SKF 6306NR
2107-1701073 - Bearing, SKF 613441
2101-1701068 - Bearing, SKF 616073
2107-1701073 - Bearing, SKF 613441 (2 pieces)
2108-1701031 - Bearing, SKF NJ205ECP
*Red_ant's input bearing measures up to a SKF 615721A
Unknown SKF replacement bearing list:
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