Author Topic: Welcome Calvin_Bradley  (Read 789 times)  Share 

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Offline Administrator

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Welcome Calvin_Bradley
« on: December 28, 2018, 07:51:51 am »
Hi Calvin_Bradley  welcome to LOCSA, we trust you will enjoy your stay......

If you need any help on the forum, either post something under the appropriate section, or send a PM to one of the Admins or Moderators.

We would really appreciate pictures of your Niva.

Offline Calvin_Bradley

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Re: Welcome Calvin_Bradley
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2018, 11:30:55 am »
Stoked to find out there is a club of Lada enthusiasts in SA, and ways/means of getting parts and repairs. I fell in love with the Lada Niva years ago when I was in Croatia - where my wife is from - but was frightened away from buying one by the horror stories of constant maintenance and scarcity of parts.
And I still don’t own one, but have agreed a price and a sale with another member on these boards. Just waiting for him to return from his December holiday and we’ll exchange cash for machine. Thanks Richard!
So I won’t post a photo of it in case I jinx the situation, but will once I really do qualify for this club. I can’t wait.
In the meantime, I would appreciate one of the admins or members pointing me in the direction of a thread that might detail the most important maintenance jobs a Lada Niva requires, so i know what to check regularly. I barely own tools and don’t know much about engine maintenance, but my dad is an engineering guru and a mechanic of repute back in the day, so he’ll help whip me into shape. I actually look forward to opening the bonnet and taking a look around.
For the repair or maintenance jobs that are beyond my skill level (once I’ve been through a basic course with my Pops), I believe that both Chris Swales Motors and Ventzislav in Maritzburg have my back. So my Lada will be on the road (or preferably off it) for years to come.
I’ll update with a photo if/when my dream comes true.
All the best!


Offline Spikes

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Re: Welcome Calvin_Bradley
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2018, 06:45:17 am »
Welcome Calvin,

You can check out the "how to section" in this forum.

The best source of information is probably Baxter's niva page. There is a link in the forum under websites. There you will also find the complete workshop manual in pdf format and the spares manual. DO NOT print the spares manual it's a massive book. Download it. The workshop manual is worthwhile printing.

The forum is quiet as most discussion takes place in a WhatsApp group. The administrators are André and Ari to add you to the group.

Another valuable source of information is the old Proboards forum. http://locsa.proboards.com.  That is kept as a reference source. Don't try to join. It's closed.

Best of luck with your Lada. May 2019 bring you joy with your Lada.
Dry and windy in Mpumalanga

Offline Calvin_Bradley

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Re: Welcome Calvin_Bradley
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2019, 03:31:03 pm »
Howzit Lada Lovers, a little update to this post since I last logged-in:
The good news is that I did not jinx the sale and the Lada is mine – a 2001 1.7i Sidekick model with just 51000kms on the clock. The vehicle spent most of its life up in the Berg at the previous owner's holiday home, so did not get used frequently. It did make it up Sani Pass a few times though, and once even with a broken water pump – which echoes the saying I read on Baxter's Niva Site; "The Lada Niva – Always Half Broken, But Never Broken Down" ;)

Anyways, I dig the fact that it is fuel-injected, but dislike all the trims that they decided to put on the Sidekick model (the cheap fibreglass bumper and fender flares, the decals, etc). So one of my first jobs after giving the engine a dust-off, changing the headlights and restoring the faded plastic interior, was to remove the decals on the doors. Wow, did I f*&k that up... Because the foil decals were so perished they were pretty much melted into the paint and it took forever to remove all traces of them. I also removed some paint from the door and needed to re-spray. Eish!

Well, I'm a thrifty guy despite not knowing a thing about auto paint, and I popped into Mix & Match in Jacobs, KZN, for some K2 paint, hardener and thinners, thinking I'll arrange a compressor and spray gun from somewhere. But they had another option for me, a DIY aerosol sprayer that worked a treat – albeit with a little bit of spatter but that sanded smooth. See the attachment for the name of the device if you'd like to do touch-ups to your paint at home instead of sending it in.

Driving the Niva has been so much fun. I look forward to it each day, I just wish I had the budget to drive it constantly. I'm still trying to work out my machine's fuel economy or lack thereof – which raises the question; have any members fitted different (more accurate) fuel level sensors, or is it just a pre-requisite for a Lada owner to be good at maths and in-tune with the latest petrol price? I end up having to do some sums before each journey ;)

I've attached a before and after pic of the Niva too. The after pic is not quite 'after' because the door had just been re-sprayed and was un-sanded, so has a Matt finish. I think it looks a lot less sporty and more stately, which I'm comfortable with. When it needs to get dirty this little Lada will get dirty.

My next plans are to get the standard Niva bumper to replace this fiberglass one front and rear, plus a new grille because they butchered the ones on the Sidekick to fit that ugly bumper. Plus some sliding windows... Does anyone have a spare set for sale, of bumpers and/or sliding windows?

That's it for now, I'll report back soon – hopefully with something of actual interest to the members. Thanks for all the posts, they are informative and will definitely help me along the way. Maybe one day I'll achieve full petrolhead status ;)

Happy driving!
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 03:33:45 pm by Calvin_Bradley »

Offline kleynhap

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Re: Welcome Calvin_Bradley
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2019, 04:06:09 pm »
Very Nice Calvin, and congrats. I would rate changing all oils/fluids as important, especially on a vehicle that hasn't done much mileage. Note the comments about a slight overfill on the g/box (1.8 lt vs. the spec of 1.3 lt).
Anyway, perhaps you should start a new thread on the members Niva's section, so others can follow your progress.
Regards, Peter

Offline Calvin_Bradley

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Re: Welcome Calvin_Bradley
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2019, 11:28:39 pm »
Cheers Peter,

I'll post an update in Members' Ladas soon.

I've been busy with the new baby, and learned much in just a few short weeks.
Still a long way to go before the Niva fits the dream machine I have in my mind, but we're going step-by-step.

I wanted to get right into the bodywork repair (few minor areas where rust has set in), but it seems a more immediate concern is perished rubber all around. I've already replaced the one CV boot and am in the process of sourcing a dust protection cover for the lower right ball joint and outer tie rod end too – the original covers are torn. It's easier to find a replacement joint than it is to find just the boot it seems, so I'm probably just going to replace them totally. Unfortunately my budget right now after my initial investment will only allow me an aftermarket set, which other members have fitted to their Niva but have not really put them to the test in serious off-road conditions. When my budget stabilizes again I'll replace once more with imported OEM joints (and keep the aftermarket as spare).

And I've found myself some sliding windows for the rear. Got them off a rusted Niva in a scrapyard in Tongaat. Thankfully they were aluminum and unaffected by rust. Then I've been in contact with another member who is willing to trade his original front and rear bumper for the Sidekick trims I've removed.

Happy days, we're getting somewhere – slowly in my Niva ;)