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Noll's '82 Lada Niva


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It's nowhere near as bad as the Z was happily, I'm making steady progress 🙂 .

 

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Decided to get the front fender patch mostly on today. Didn't do the top seam yet as it'll need a bit of tweaking to sit right by the wheelarch and I didn't feel like it today.

 

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figured out what I needed to cut:

 

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Welded:

 

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And cleaned up. Body line/crease isn't perfectly alignes, but good enough for me (I sure wasn't about to modify the new panel to adjust it, and that would be what would have to happen) and I honestly doubt it was amazing from the factory given some of the other craftsmanship I've seen on this car haha.

 

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I'll do the top edge and final finishing of the panel another day, and then this corner of the car is fully done as far as metalwork.

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Got the fender repair all done today, and threw some paint on the rocker to see how it'll look. I'll be going over all the imperfections from welding with a skim coat of filler of course. Rattlecan paint i found isn't perfect, but good enough for now so the car ends up being all blue instead of primer everywhere. SHe'll get professionally painted eventually, but for now, getting it on the road is the goal.

 

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Onwards to the little bit of work the door needs and the rear wheel arch.

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On to the door today.

Cut out the bad section of outer skin:

 

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Made up a 180deg flange, and welded it on. I realized as I went that the door has a bit of a bulge along its length; I could have pulled the piece that I'd made off but I didn't think I'd be able to get it perfect anyway so I opted to weld it on as is and will give it a skim of filler to smooth it out later.

 

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Seam-sealed the inside lip too, and then gave it some paint (pic after paint was terrible so didn't include):

 

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On to the rear wheel arch and the brace panel inside the inner wheelarch.

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17 hours ago, ]2eDeYe said:

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Nice collection 🙂

 

I have been rather lucky to end up with some neat stuff over the years 🙂 . Just need a rally-spec 510 for a year-round daily driver now haha.

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More progress today, got the driver's side footwell painted so I can put the carpet etc back in soon:

 

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And dug into the rust behind the wheelarch brace piece thingy. Was worse than I'd hoped but about as I'd expected. the reinforcing "rib" in it acted like a moisture trap I suppose, and all went downhill from there. Really bad design IMO, I may abandon my plan to re-create a replacement panel and instead try to add some bracing to the inside (in the cargo area) as it'll not see water there and shouldn't repeat what happened here.

 

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I'll get to chopping and patching next time.

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On 1/4/2022 at 7:16 PM, Lockleaf said:

Hahaha.  Did you just pull lightly to remove that reinforcing plate?  Geez.

 

it took a bit of cutting/grinding, but indeed not much lol.

 

Got the new piece made and in yesterday. The template will be handy for the other side when i inevitably have rust there too.

 

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Now just to decide what to do about the brace piece (may make something on the inside-the-car side, possibly)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Picking away at little jobs on the niva today. Got the inner arch repair panel all seam sealed and painted the inside:

 

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And did some careful initial cuts to figure out how much I'm going to chop out of the rear wheelarch. The inner arch flange rusting is a pain, but nothing I can't solve.

 

Not sure yet if I'll remake the factory 90deg bend and slot-welded connection, or just remake the inner vertical bit and stitch-weld it to the (repaired) outer skin like I did with my Z - that would make it easier to trim for tire clearance in the future if desired and should also be less prone to rusting again than the 'two-layers-sandwiched-on-each-other' stock method that seems to always result in rust in every car eventually.

 

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13 hours ago, Noll said:

Not sure yet if I'll remake the factory 90deg bend and slot-welded connection, or just remake the inner vertical bit and stitch-weld it to the (repaired) outer skin like I did with my Z - that would make it... less prone to rusting again than the 'two-layers-sandwiched-on-each-other' stock method that seems to always result in rust in every car eventually.

 

I think you answered your own question.  😁

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On 1/21/2022 at 7:43 AM, datsunfreak said:

 

I think you answered your own question.  😁

 

Fair lol! I heavily considered it, but in the end realized that I could make my life easier by using the old set of wheelarches I had bought that wasn't nearly as crisp as the inner skin, just like factory. I'm happy with the end result, and will spray some fluid film etc in before I put the interior trim back in so it seeps between the new inner and outer skin.

 

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Today I got the Niva fired up to turn it around to start on the passenger side rust. Considering it sat for a year since it was started last it fired up nicely, no starting fluid etc required at all.

 

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And a look at what I'll be dealing with on this side:

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Started on the rocker today - no repair made yet, but bent the crushed jack point back down and cut out all of the bad in the rocker. It's going to suck to deal with the inner-rocker area that's rusted out under the rear jack point but that's a problem for future me.

 

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More choppage today, and a fair bit of welding too.

 

started with this mess:

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did some cutting (a PITA given the confined space and angles of all the parts involved):

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and made some bits. This is FAR from my finest work, but man this spot sucked to work in for either welding or grinding/cleanup. underneath the car, head 6" from the work being done, no room to move, not fun. It's all very structurally sound albeit ugly and will never be seen so whatever. I'll be cleaning up the underside a bit more before I weld the new jack-point on.

 

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Outer section done too, will never be seen so didn't bother making it pretty either, just strong.

 

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6 hours ago, datsunfreak said:

 

That's the entire design mantra of all Ladas.  😁

 

This is indeed true lol! Some of the factory welds/gaps I've seen on this thing...

 

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Some more misc. stuff done today. Welded on the rear jack point:
 

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And removed what was left of the front outrigger and jack point. It looks like a mess, but the floor is actually in surprisingly good shape considering; won't need a huge amount replaced.

 

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Little more today. Didn't feel like doing much so just chipped away at cleaning up rusty areas back to good metal to speed future work up and exposing how bad the rear inner arch really is (about the same as the other side was).

 

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Got that rear wheelarch section all fixed up. Inner skin repair:

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and outer:

 

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Inner side of this area is nice and easy to get at with all the interior panels out happily, will seal and wax-spear all of this (and make a new plug for the hole there)

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Ripped the rest of the rear trim panels out too to get access to the p/s inner arch rusty area:

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And cleaned it up so it's ready for me to make/weld in the patch next time.

 

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Floorpan all fixed up today. Not the cleanest patch I've ever done but hey, it is the floor after all. Seam-sealed part of it too, didn't do the lower bit yet as I have to weld the subframe outrigger etc on still.

 

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Seam-sealed a bunch of other now-completed areas too so I can paint them soon.

 

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Big progress yesterday. Thought about the best way to replace the rocker for a while, and in the end decided to go for a couple of shorter weld seams and plug-welding it to the inner rocker as factory instead of replacing the whole thing halfway up - would have been a heck of a long weld seam and some warpage would probably be inevitable.

 

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mocked up the new section:

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And welded it all in:

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Cleaned up all the welds, and I am really happy with the result; pretty darn invisible joins for the most part.

 

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(threw a bit of black paint on the top surface so I could stick the door seals back on).

 

Next up will be the rear wheelarch section, then on to the front corner and then the rust repair is pretty much done!

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  • 1 month later...

Ok, back at the Niva. Got the rear wheelarch all done today. Will need a bit of filler just like the other side, but pretty happy with it overall.

 

Just need to finish the front p/s corner now and then the welding is all done 🙂 .

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Spent the past few days finishing up the very last of the metalwork on the Niva. It's awesome to be done with that stage of the project now, on to POR15 and filler/paint next.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Got a bunch done the last few days. Got it up on blocks and pulled off all of the wheels, and sanded and painted them. Pretty happy with the result, would have had to sandblast them to get them perfect but the way they turned out this way I am perfectly happy with.

 

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Also got the underside sealed, POR15'd, and undercoated. Didn't take photos during the process because, well, it's the bottom of the car and hard to get any good pics (and a very messy job working below the car lol), but some of the finished product. Not a perfect match to the original finish, but decent enough for me.

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Going to bleed the brakes next, and then the wheels can go back on, hopefully for the last time. Exterior bodywork still needs to happen but that shouldn't be too bad to do with everything all together.

Edited by Noll
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Posted (edited)

Tried to bleed the brakes today, but the one brake line in the entire car that I didn't replace had other plans and blew out. The line had looked decent so I didn't bother replacing it (partially because it runs behind the transfer case in spots and is a big PITA to get at), but must have had one deep pit i didn't see. Going to wire-wheel the heck out of the rest of it and can hopefully get away with just grafting in a small section if the rest looks good after that.

 

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Yellow/orange is old line, red is the rough spot  of the break.

 

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On the plus side the clutch is now fully bled and with the new clutch m/c that was swapped in it actually engages at the proper point now.

Edited by Noll
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