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Lada Niva

On June 5, 2001 I purchased a 1996 Lada Niva — my first Lada vehicle. I did some research on the Internet to see what I could find about Nivas and was astonished at how many people have web sites created about their Niva's. At first, I thought that I had stumbled on to some secret cult society. But, upon reading much of the information I discovered, I came to realize that because of the lack of available information in the real world, this was a great way for Niva owners to network (pun intended) and glean information from one-and-another. Since I will be using information that many of you have put up on the Internet, I feel it's only fair that I share what I learn through experience with my own Niva.

I have completed some projects and I have some ideas for a few more. It did not come with a tire-hold down, so I made one. In August of 2001, the exhaust pipe separated from the muffler and I welded it back on using my MIG welder. This repair held-up until May 30th, 2003 when I upgraded everything to a 2" exhaust system. The body was full of rust blisters that I sand blasted using a sand blaster I made in 1988. I did a bit of sanding. Then, I painted it yellow (click the thumbnails for a larger image). I purchased some aftermarket mirrors and have installed them on the Niva.. I have centered the driver's seat behind the steering wheel and upgraded the seats too.

In 2002, I built a set of nerf bars and heavy-duty front and rear bumpers. I'd like to build a bush bar to attach to the bumper. Eventually, I'll purchase and install high-wattage lights on the bush bar and upgrade the bulbs in the driving lights. Further down my list is to make some skid plates to protect the delicate bits underneath. As I'm not doing any serious off-roading, this is not a high priority. I'd also like to manufacture a roof rack for it.

I had a custom-sound system from a 1990 full-size Ford Bronco that has been sitting in boxes for over 10 years. I decided that since the Niva did not have a radio that I would install my old system.




Tire Hold Down


Sand Blaster

Sound System

Heater Shut-Off Valve (an Alternate Solution)

Seat Upgrade

Hood Scoop

Heater Valve Replacement

Heater Modification

Upper Longitudinal Radius Rod Repair

Front Brake Work

Re-Size Wheel Arches

New 29.8" Tires

Jack's Green Goblin

Subpages (1): Tire Hold Down