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collected Lada Niva
Technical resources & modifications.
When I first bought
a Niva I started collecting helpful do-it-yourself maintenance and modification
resources off the ’net. Sadly within a year or so many useful Niva sites
& resources started disappearing - hence the creation of this site to save
such knowledge and information and keep it easily available.
have a resource that would be helpful to other Lada Niva owners and would like
it hosted here, e-mail me (address below).
and I can not vouch for the trustworthiness of all of this info . see the disclaimer below
General Info Advice for Newbies
, welcome to
the world of Lada Niva ownership, now here's a couple of things I wish I had
known... Essential resource Also see Buyers
- magazine article (4x4Mart, May
2006) Also see Buyers
- magazine article (Australian
4x4 Monthly) Also see Niva
as a Daily Driver? (Baxter)
Also see Niva
Rejuvenation article (French) (4x4 Mondial,
Lada Niva 1600 Owner's Manual - very handy resource (1.1M)
Niva Workshop Manuals
(AvtoVaz, ) c/o
- 1600, 1700, injected, & Diesel Highly
(AvtoVaz, ) c/o
- part numbers for every single part of your Niva 2121/3/4/5/7, and specs for
every bolt etc.
Drawings and Numbers (/ AvtoVaz Cloggy)
text in Russian, but
quality photos of gearbox strip-down, CVs, brakes & suspension disassembly,
etc - photos of every job - James
May Reviews Niva ( TopGear
Magazine, Jan 2011)
Development History (Ivan
Shevelenko) - a comprehensive history of the
development of the Niva with lots of prototype and pre-production images (1.3M)
Oddities - a hand-full of odd things you probably
didn't know about Lada & the Niva.
(Marx & Engles)
Handy Modifications - make your Niva more versatile
& easier to live with: door pockets, raised seat brace, central locking,
door-mirrors - like to be able to see when
reversing or changing lane? (Mk 1).
the lightswitch - make sure you never switch
the lights off instead of the heater (Mk 1 only). Seat
Swap (Baxter) - mount the seats from a Honda
etc in the Niva.
the Seats into a Bed (various) - My conversion,
some badly translated Russian ones (images look simple to follow), and pics
of a couple of others.
Gauge Calibration (Szentirmai) - yep, I panicked
too the first time I looked at my oil gauge at idle (200K).
Soundproofing (Andrei/Baxter) - yes, it can be done relatively easily
Steering (Cloggy). - Toyota Cressida steering-box
into a Niva
Upgrade (Jack, 400K), Heater
Upgrade2 (crb247, 1.5M) - replace
your tired old fan with a modern one.
Engine Upgrades & Service
and dead easy. Essential
the Niva - grades and volumes for the engine,
gearbox, TC, and diffs etc. Alejandro's
guide to more power
(Alejandro Gabatel) - tips to ringing a few more hp out of the Lada lump.
Carburetor Swap guide (Baxter et al) - cheapest
and easy mod to up your power and drivability; if you can find a good Weber
these days. Popular
to Injection Swap
(Mats Ahlberg) - convert a carburetor Niva
to single throttle-body injection. Junkyard
(Torok Imre) -
convert a Carburetor Niva to multipoint-injection using junkyard
Ignition Swap - swap in an electronic distributor
from a later model Niva (500K).
Compression Cylinder Heads . - Riva 1200 head
swap and Head planning
Engine Rebuild Part 1 (2M) and
Part 2 (1M) (Alejandro
DOHC Engine Swap - Need more power or torque?
Cloggy's full write-up of a DOHC swap,
power-steering, and more. Popular
a Niva More Grunt -
Fiat DOHC swap article
(International Off-Roader, March 1993), and photos of various DOHC swaps
Gearbox & Transfer-case
Over-fill - easy &
protection for your gearbox. Essential
- how to remove the gearbox (2.6M)
- with handy pictures
& Rebuilding the Gearbox (Volodjushka &
others) - fixing the Niva's only real weakness
Bearing Alternatives (Ahma)
Gearbox Swap info . - it's 90mm longer, but handily
it's bell-housing bolts to Niva engine (30K)
Alignment - mysterious tranny vibrations (ew,
er)? Try these fixes... Popular
Doughnut tricks (Various)
Gearbox Swap (Baxter
et al) - includes magazine article (International Off-Roader, Feb 1993).
Transfer-case Modifications - lower
your TC's low ratio gear; includes the "French Crawler Mod".
joint Double CV Substitute (Stief) - replace
the doughnut and universal with 2 CV joints (100K).
- more of the same (200K).
Braces & Mount Upgrades - Beefed-up TC
mounts or braces to minimise movement.
Transfer box, Tyre and Wheel Ratio calculator
Tricks, Tips & Replacements etc
Parts that fit Nivas Under constant construction
- Please feel free to e-mail me (address above) substitutes you've
tested that work - and ones that don't work.
Fiat 124 Based Cars - what
else can I crib other bits off?
Removing the Starter-motor
- it's fiddly on
a rhd, best to do it from underneath with a ratchet, long extension, and uni-joint.
tracking, Camber & Castor adjustment (Hoodoo)
that Crappy Steering - feel like '50s truck
steering? Sort that weaving, wooliness or bucking bronto... Rust
- common Niva rust traps & prevention.
Pump Overhaul (unknown author) (2M)
Crank-start Handle (Huffman et
1600 (2121) Wiring Diagrams - good copy with
colours of the wires visible, and a guide .
1700 (21213/4) Wiring Diagrams
diagram cyrillic colour guide
) ( Gadgetboy
Improvements (Giovanni) -
an automotive electrician's electrical upgrades
Wiring & Removal ( Ahma )
Alternator Swap (Huffman) (100K) Wiring
a internally regulated Alternator in a 1600
Electric Radiator Fan
- with kill switch for water-crossings, see below
in Off-Road Mods Raised Alternator Brackets
- keep your alternator out of the river ,
see below in Off-Road Mods
Wheels & Tyres
Tyres (Baxter) - how big can I go?
vehicles with Niva PCD / wheel stud pattern (Baxter)
- what can I borrow rims off? Guard
Trimming (Baxter) - dolly or cut back
your wheel-arches to fit larger tyres.
Brakes, Diffs, & CVs
Brake Adjustment (Baxter) - do it
once (well, once every 6 months or so) and do it right.
Brakes (GM404) - freeing sticky pistons
and replacement seals.
CV Joint Disassembly & Rebuild (Alejandro Gabatel)
Disk Conversion (Niva Nuts) (400K)
Rear Disc Conversion
- lots of photos (1M)
Self-adjusting rear brake
- Anyone got pics etc of this swap?
Diff into a Riva Housing
Diff-lock options - Protrack
- fitting notes and report.
brake aka Poor Man's LSD
- a twin handbrake set-up that can simulate aspects of an LSD (1.3M).
Off-road Upgrades & Modifications
Niva (Baxter et al) -
options to lift your Niva for better ground clearance or to fit bigger tyres;
includes world famous DIY Hoodoo 2" lift. Very
Lift Fitting Instructions (Jonno)
Also see Tube
Lift (Dalibor Lon)
a variation on the Hoodoo, using tubes instead of wedges (1M).
Prototype Install (Baxter) -
all around rubber ring lift (avoids raising coil platform).
Also see Niva Gets a Lift -
magazine article (International Off Roader, October 1992)
Lift - Simon Allen's guide to a Niva x-member
Lift - a Spanish guide to cross-member lifts
(Spanish) (900K). Increased
remove 40mm from all of the front bump-stops and remove the front anti-roll
Mounts - Cloggy's 50x50mm box-section solution
to the Niva's lack of a " chassis "
to mount hooks.
Snorkels - aftermarket ones exist but can be
difficult to source; PVC drainpipe can make a fine DIY alternative.
Power-train Breathers (Alejandro)
- keep water out of your diffs, 'box and TC.
Raised Alternator Brackets (Hoodoo/Vipenzas) -
keep your alternator out of the river (6M).
High output alternator swap
- see above in Electrics
Rock-sliders & Sill Upgrade - protect your
sills from off-road damage.
& Diff-guards, and other Armour
Reinforcement - see Dakar rally preparation
Tyres & Wheel-arch Trimming see
above under Wheels & Tyres.
Transfer-case & Low-ratio Gearbox
- see above in Gearbox & TC.
- see above under Brake & Diffs.
& Fiddle-brakes - see above in Brakes &
Sand-ladders - perhaps a tad heavy, but look
cheap, effective, and easy to make (100K).
- with kill switch for water-crossings
Front Shock Mounts - stronger mounts for the
Well Sorted Nivas
Full Hoodoo - A well though out and prepared
Niva for green-laning etc. Before going bananas with modifications this is a
must read (1M).
a highly developed Niva built for exploring
Australia's outback, including LSD, disc rear, power steer, etc (1.3M).
Hawk - magazine article about Nissan V6 powered
racing Niva (Overlander, Nov 1989)
Hill Rally Niva - was once a great sounding
bit of kit (1.4M).
Niva - article on Simon Allen's Ford V6 conversion
( 4x4i magazine, Nov 2009 )(1.5M).
your Niva to survive the Paris-Dakar Part 1 )
(1M and Part
2 ) (1M -
Poch's preparation manual (extreme thanks to Hoverfrog for the translation,
here, 2M). Chepic's
- images of a European trials Niva
Also try searching:
UK Lada forum
The main English speaking Niva forum
(select Forum: "Niva")
UK National Niva Owners Club Technical
Russian Niva FAQ English/Spanish
Russian Niva FAQ
& Accessories section of my Niva Gallery
The After-market Goodies
section of my Links page
Credit: Unfortunately being originally
for personal use means I haven’t always collected authors’ names.
If you can give me credit details for a piece here
please e-mail me.
Much of the resources here and not mine.
Unless otherwise stated, please consider them under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
or similar licence ( ie basically you can't use them to make money without
the owner's permission). They are reproduced here in the spirit of keeping
hard-to-find Niva information online and available, and as far as I'm aware
is not a problem with the authors or owners. If
a resource here is yours and you don't want it on my site please let me know
(contact below) and I'll remove it.
Disclaimer: I can not vouch for the trustworthiness
of all of this infomation. While
the infomation posted is from mostly reasonably reliable or reliable
looking sources, I have not tested much of it myself. . Indeed
if you see something here that is misleading - or plain wrong - PLEASE e-mail
I take no responsibility if you do something suggested
on this site and ruin your car, hurt yourself, or break laws of your country
( however, if this does happen then please do tell me so I can update things).
The information in this website does not hold its authors, owners or hosts
liable for any damage or injuries sustained.
No liability is expressed or implied for any use of this information. Beware
that mechanical work, off-road driving, and life in general can be dangerous.
Make sure you put Important: something sensible in the subject-line
as I get a lot of spam and will likely miss or mistakenly delete your e-mail
if you don't.
I'm " Baxter" or " baxter"
on a number of Lada forums (though sadly don't regularly check into all of
You can telephone me on New Zealand 021-1146-753.
And please remember that
this is a non-commercial non-expert all-volunteer website.
While I will try to deal with everything in a mostly timely fashion, there's
nobody sitting behind some desk dispensing cheery greetings to callers, brewing
the morning coffee, doggedly researching the answers to your questions, and
giving professional advice. So if it takes more than a few days to get back
to you, please accept my apologies in advance. And remember there's always
the forum at
as an excellent source of advice. lada.co.uk
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