2006 Lada Update

A lot had happened since I last updated my web site. I made a huge mistake of hiring the Speed Shop of Loves Park, IL (the place that did the bodywork and paint earlier) to complete the restoration of my beloved 21011 Sedan. I had big plans - a hi-performance engine with dual carbs and a hot cam, air-conditioning, exhaust, etc.

Suffice it to say - after 18 months in the shop, and repeated lies about the progress, the car lay in pieces. I had to rescue the car (that was an undriveable wreck by that time), and finish the job myself with a help of a neighborhood mechanic. Here's what was done up to date:


I started off with a 1.6L Niva engine that I bought from Gavin Warren of Fiva fame, but I didn't leave it stock - it was bored and honed to 82mm (making it a 1.7L), fitted with new pistons, rings, bearings, etc. The head was redone with custom oversized stainless steel valves - 40mm intake and 33 mm exhaust. The plan was to install a Kent Cams LA4 rally-spec cam (306 degrees), and a set of Weber DCOE40 sidedraft carburetors, but this had to be put on hold until after I break the new engine in. For now, it's got a stock cam and the Weber 32/36 DGV carburetor. The linkage was converted from rods to a cable setup - this will make the future upgrade to sidedrafts a lot easier.

For the exhaust, I have found a new old stock performance ANSA exhaust kit for a Fiat 124 - it fit like a glove with only small modifications and a bit of exhaust tubing.

While I'm on topic of Fiat parts - I bought a new old stock air-conditioning kit for a 1974 Fiat 124. It looks like it can be fairly easily adapted to the Lada - the blower/evaporator is in a separate block that hangs below the glovebox, and it has all relays and switches included. Brackets for the compressor and condensor and tubing will have to be fabricated/modified, but other than that - looks like a definite possibility.

Transmission and Drivetrain

I bought a used 5-speed transmission (out of a Lada 2107 Signet) from a guy in Canada, and was assured that it was in great shape - it certainly looked nice and clean. After I got the car running, it turned out the 5th gear is out and won't engage... I took the transmission apart and it's not an easy fix. So I'm looking for a new 5-speed transmission.

As far as the rest of the drivetrain is concerned, all u-joints have been replaced, and a 3.9 ratio rear differential was installed instead of the stock 4.3 ratio - this is a lot better for cruising.

While I was at it, the clutch cylinders (master and slave) were also replaced.

Suspension and Brakes

The suspension has been completely redone - all bushings, ball joints, steering linkages, shocks have been replaced. The brakes are new as well - calipers, discs, pads, rear cylinders, drums, shoes, hoses were all replaced.

My little red Lada had also received a set of Italian 15" alloy wheels made by VOXX, complete with 195/50R15 tires all around - what a difference in look compared with the stock 13" 155/80R13s.....

In the summer of 2005, I attended a local car show in Mundelein, IL where my Lada took second place in Foreign category, placing behind an immaculate VW Beetle.

Here are some pictures of my 1976 Lada 21011 from the show - click on thumbnails to see full-size images:

1976 Lada VAZ 21011 at Car Show 1976 Lada VAZ 21011 at Car Show 1976 Lada VAZ 21011 at Car Show 1976 Lada VAZ 21011 at Car Show - Interior 1976 Lada VAZ 21011 at Car Show - Engine

This photo was taken after the show at my house - you can really see how nice this little red Lada looks with the new wheels.

Beautiful 1976 Lada VAZ 21011

Here are pictures of a few interesting cars from the show - click on thumbnails to see full-size images:

Car show Car show Car show Car show Car show Car show Car show Car show Car show Car show Car show Car show Car show Car show Car show

Not much has happened over the last year - I haven't had much time to devote to it, and now it's tucked in for the winter. When the warm weather comes - I've got more plans for it, the Weber DCOE40s are waiting on a shelf along with the air-conditioning and then who knows.... Check back for updates!