Just found this part of the forum, and I've been working on this car for a while and documenting it elsewhere, so I figure I might was well post it up here too.
Some backstory. Back in early 2015, a prior neighbor of my family (from before we moved) let me know that an elderly gentleman who he had been taking care of for a number of years had just passed away, and a Lada Niva was found in his garage. He, knowing that I was into cars, offered to sell it to me for very cheap. At the time, I didn't really know what a Niva was, but there was a possibility for me to get an essentially free car, so I jumped at the chance.
It turned out that "garage" in this context was a very liberal use of the term, so a bit of time was spent extricating the Niva from the half collapsed remains of a shed; one main beam stopped 1-2cm from hitting the front end:
Got it home, and promptly got the tow truck stuck:
Fast-forward to December of last year, and it is largely unchanged. I did manage to get it running (just needed a new starter solenoid, started right up with the 15 year old gas in the tank), and cleaned out the inside & stripped a lot of the surface rust off, but it has three major roadblocks to getting it on the road:
- clutch plates rusted together
-brakes are siezed and need a rebuild
-rust; while the car only has 22000km on it, 15 years with half a roof was not kind to it. Behind the front arches needs work, as does in front of the rears, as well as the rear wheel arches themselves.
On the plus side:
- the 1st owner (I'm the 2nd) never drove it in bad weather or the winter; the rust is just from sitting.
- everything electrical works perfectly and is original.
-interior is pretty much perfect other than a couple dangling wires and one small rip in the driver's seat.
- fuel system is good, too; car happily started right up after the solenoid replacement with the 15 year-old gas (until it ran out of gas lol).
-doors, hatch, and hood are fine other than a few minor bits of rust on the bottom door seams.
I decided to tackle the rust first, and bought 500$ of stuff from the Ukraine. Not bad value for money at all to be honest.
Starting on the driver's side front quarter rust.
Cleaned up a bit:
Layers of badness:
Chopped out neatly:
and from behind:
I didn't think the floor was this bad, but oh well, not a huge deal:
body trimmed up and new fender piece mocked up:
Luckily new subframe bits are available pre-made, saves me a lot of work. the one on the other side is even worse than this:
Front panel rust turned out to just be surface, so that's nice:
In addition to all this, I replaced a few gaskets in the carb and exhaust system, but this is already pic-heavy enough as-is and I'm sure you've all seen similar stuff before.
I'm going to have a chance to work on the Niva for a week as of this Saturday, so I'm going to be updating this as I weld in the floor (I hope) and related bits. Planning on getting this on the road before I continue on my basketcase 260z so my family at least has some of their garage back haha.