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Tire Hold Down

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My Niva did not come with a tire hold-down clamp so, I decided to make one. On June 16, in Renfrew Ontario, I had a visit from a Niva owner, Jack Tweedie who is a recent member of the Lada Owners Club of Canada. Jack had several great Niva stories to share with me and he loaned me a couple of the gazettes he receives. Also, Jack let me take a look at the hold-down clamp in his Niva. I traced the parts and on June 18, 2001, I made the clamp. It worked great!

For those of you who want to know how I made the tire hold-down, I've included the methodology I employed (as well as an alternative one), some digital pictures of the components, and a technical drawing of the parts I made.

  1. The first step was to determine what the thread diameter and pitch was for the "screw" part. It is a metric thread 10 x 1.5
  2. One of my manufacturing students then made the "wing-nut" part.
  3. Then, I bought a 300mm (about a foot) long threaded rod. A bit too long; however, this was what they had in stock. I threaded on a flanged nut and then held the unit vertically against a 1" diameter rod clamped in a chop saw with an abrasive blade in it. Very carefully, I lowered the blade into the end of the threaded rod and made a cut similar to the notch in the end of an arrow that the bowstring fits into. This notch is to accept the "wing-nut" part.
  4. I put all of the pieces together and welded them using a MIG welder.
  5. Not liking the bulbous weld this created, I took the part over to an engine lathe and turned the the weld down cutting into the hex part of the nut. This made everything round and pretty!
  6. After all of the manufacturing was done, I cut the rod to size using a hack saw.
  7. I chamfered the end to make threading it into the mount easier using a bench grinder.
  8. Using the tracing I made from Jack Tweedie's clamp, I had the same manufacturing student heat it up using the oxygen/acetylene torches and bend it to fit the shape outlined by the tracing and drill a 7/16" hole in the top section (see detailed drawings).
  9. Then, I sand blasted the metal parts to clean them up using a sand blaster I had made 12 years ago and spray painted them black.

Alternatively, one could cut the metal for the clamp to length using a hack saw. The bending could be done cold as the steel is relatively thin. And a bolt of the correct length could be bought and installed eliminating the welding I did to make the "wing-nut" part; however, you'd need a wrench to get your spare tire out. Or, a longer bolt could be used and cut to length with a hack saw and the end filed to create the chamfer.

Check out some pictures of the finished product.