Journal

This might be tough. I'll add pics as I come across them. So far I'm up to 50 cars! Don't even get me started on bikes :P

A couple pics of my faves to get started:

  1. 1947 Jeep CJ2B. Does it count if it was a project I started and never finished? To be fair it needed A LOT of work. I totally took most of it apart and put it back together though. A couple big issues which popped up stopped my inexperienced 14 year old self from finishing it.
  2. 1986 Ford F-150. This one actually ran and drove when I bought it. Then I started working on it. It's been parked for 15 years now. I'll get to it.
  3. 1990 Ford Bronco. It technically wasn't mine, but that didn't stop me from getting up to all kinds of shenanigans with it. I also crashed it. A couple times.
  4. 1996 Ford Ranger. It came and went from my hands to my parents' hands over the years but ultimately ended up mine. By the time I retired it, it had 285k km, all of which were "in the family" (mostly me). I rolled it once. It was a tank, probably the most memories were had with this unit.
  5. 1997 Lada Niva. It was technically my parents'. But I adopted it. Then a lady pulled out in front of me and I wrote it when I hit a fence avoiding her. This is the car that lit my passion for Nivas. So much fun! It's still at the farm. Due to go to scrap.
  6. 1997 Lada Niva. This replaced the one I wrote. I painted it yellow. I drove it for years. So many fun memories! It is in dry storage at the farm. Going to bring it home soon.
  7. 1996 Lada Niva. I bought this one to use as a beater. It was blue. I painted it bluer. I drove this one for years too. I ultimately lowered it, turbo'ed it, and then melted a piston. What did I know about turbocharging? It spun all 4 tires on dry pavement in 3rd gear though before the piston melted. I ended up building a nice high-compression NA motor for it and ran it for years after that. Sent it to scrap years ago.
  8. 1993 Lada Niva. Project. I bought it and "restored" it. It was supposed to be a beater. I tried to safety it and the mechanic found that the frame was rotted out. I kind of abandoned it at that point. It is due to be scrapped.
  9. 1996 Lada Niva. It was white. Had a blown motor. I started restoring it and ended up scavenging it for parts for my other Nivas. Still at the farm. Due for scrap.
  10. 1993 Lada Niva. Bought cheap and scavenged parts. Due for scrap.
  11. 1989 Lada Niva. My parents bought this new way back, I actually came home from the hospital as a newborn in this. I then scavenged parts out of it 17 years later. Went to scrap.
  12. 1987 Lada Niva. Scavenged for parts. Went o scrap.
  13. 1995 Lada Niva. Bought a shell to restore, but never did.
  14. 1998 Lada Niva. Bought a MINT shell. It will be coming home soon.
  15. 1998 Lada Niva. My parents bought this but I eventually adopted it and drove it for a couple years to school. It's sill at the farm in "storage".
  16. 1996 Lada Niva. Someone in Montreal actually gave this to me for free because it didn't run and he thought it had a blown motor. He figured I could use it for parts. The body ended up being mint, and after I replaced spark plugs, it ran like a charm. I dry stored it at he farm. It will come home soon too.
  17. 1996 Geo Something-or-other. I bought it from a guy at school for 100$. I chopped it and ripped around the farm with it, did some burnouts and blew it up, sent it to scrap.
  18. 1992 Isuzu Something-or-other. Bought it for 200$, was planning to fix it up, started and got it mostly don,e but there was some issue with it, I can't remember, and it was never going to pass safety, so I gave it to someone to go racing.
  19. 2002 Hyundai Accent. This was the first car I bought that was relatively new and nice. I drove it to college for a few years and had some adventures with it later in life as well. Ended up trading it to my parents for the 96 Ranger when I graduated and needed a truck.
  20. 1983 Mazda RX7. Bought it for the motor, I really wanted to put a rotary in a Niva. I never got past pulling the motor. But I did some burnouts with it first. It was so tight inside I could barely fit let alone move or control the car.
  21. 1996 Dodge Intrepid. I bought this on eBay and fixed a few issues. I was going to drive it. Then I was like "Why did I just buy this?". And I sold it.

So while we're waiting for the end of the turbo story to brew, let's have a look at some of the other tasteful mods I did to this speed demon.

You'll notice in the first pic a few cool things. You'll see I've added some sweet momo pedals for more feel and control when heel-and toe-ing. Notice the sweet seat covers for more seat control. Stereo. I re-located the windshield washer fluid bottle to the car's interior. The pump on the stock unit failed and this one was out of the summit that I stole those injectors from. It fit there like a glove, and with improved washer squirter pressure and flow, visibility was vastly improved. On the heater control filler panel you'll notice an indoor/outdoor thermometer and compass, with clock (this is what we had before GPS, kids!). Voltmeter in the glove box door, as well as my potentiometer for fuel control, notice the notes CCW+ meaning turn counter clockwise to richen the mixture. I've also ditched the right front interior panel and horn pad on the steering wheel (weight savings?). I seem to have also dyed the back-half only of the headliner black (?).

You'll also notice in the next pic I've added a "start button" to my heater control panel too. I think they ignition cylinder may have failed forcing me to come up with another solution. I also painted my subwoofer rack and made some brackets to locate it. Painted the rear panels, added some carpet from the summit to keep things from sliding around back there when I had cargo. Oh and I rolled over 80k km. Pretty much getting up there for a Niva.

The last couple pics are of a headlight mod I had to do. The little black nub was a headlight height adjuster. Normally there's a plastic "receiver" on the headlight ring that it sits in, and via a knob on the dash you could turn, the headlight could be aimed up/down. The plastic received tended to break and fall out causing headlights to droop. So I just put in a sheet metal screw with a rounded-off tip to adjust it once and forget it.

So, as I'm sure you can imagine, by now the Lada has like 80-90hp more than stock thanks to the intake, exhaust, strut brace, and roller paint job. But we can't stop there. Because it's such a rocket ship, a more aggressive stance and stiffer ride is needed.

You'll see in the pics below, at this point I've welded a random scrap of flat mild steel to the front as a bodykit, doing a front bumper delete at the same time, and painted the thing black poorly.

You can see the process of lowering. Basically just take your spring, and lop two rings out. Reinstall. Done!

In the front, you'll need to actually cut the bumpstop because the thing pretty much almost sits on the bumper at stock height. Just have at her with a hacksaw blade until it's not in the way anymore. You'll notice I replaced all the hardware with SS units.

In the last pic you'll notice the rear lowering is done and sport tires fitted. #stancenation

Legit the ride was actually much better thanks to the stiffer spring rate from cut springs.

I thought for this installment, I might go back in time a bit to when I first got the blue Lada you see in the pic here. So the story was, I had been driving the yellow Lada for a while and it was needing some little repairs, but I had big plans for it, so rather than just fix it I thought I should get another Lada and drive that mother trucker for a winter. So I actully started out picking up the grey Niva you see here, it had some small issues but I tweaked it a bit and had it running nice with a cool Weber 32adfa carb off a Fiat and some other fun things. Unfortunately though, when it came time to pass a safety, the structural integrity field generators were offline and the mechanic put a hammer right through one of the front "frame rails". Le sigh. Back to the drawing board.

The blue Niva was for sale locally, so I negotiated a deal and drove it home. It had been a meter maid vehicle in Gatineau and was quite bagged. But no stress.

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