Where's the Lada Niva Thread??


Well-Known Member
The forum is called 4x4 Earth.
The Lada Niva is a very alien vehicle to most.

Maybe a sister forum called 4X4 Niva could be started:D:D:D


All you can really do is use the non model specific tech thread. Or of cause the Australian Niva forum, but saying that sounds a little exclusionist.

I'd like to know what mods you've got NINJA!

Mine's pretty stock beyond repairs, sometimes with LHD or ??? parts, and damage. About the only things I've really done to really change it are a '"Putin" snorkel and thermo fans from a Pajero.


Niva's are in a league of there own.. just not sure what you would call it though - LOL

Our 4WD Club was once known as the Brisbane Lada Car Club - notice the "Car" part :)

Seriously they are a good 4WD provided you have a fuel tanker following and a fully serviced pit crew to bolt back on the parts that keep falling off!

And yes I own a Toyota but our club has one Lada Niva left.. or at least only one member admits to still owning and driving one :)


yeah unfortunately because of the legal rubbish I'd probably need to get it engineered to install an auxiliary tank. Like most older design vehicles it has a 42L tank. Like any vehicle I've had with a tank of around that capacity it's a problem. My biggest goal is to get at very least the parts to make a double jerrycan holder. Even on my normal non-fun driving I have to carry a jerrycan in the back which I don't like one little bit.

Pit crew is a bit harsh. They came with all the tools needed to put the bits back on that fall off. :D
They aren't that bad. Just the cheap price tag attracted cheap people. I'd consider them an implement and a machine, because really they are. For people that haven't had a good look at how one is put together they are in a league of their own. They aren't simple vehicles but they have been laid out simply so all but the most hardcore repairs can be done by the average person out in the (literal) field.
Pretty much everything can be stripped, rebuilt and repaired too. Because of the vehicle's origins it wasn't designed as a commercial product with a built in lifespan. They were designed to get people where they were going no matter where.

All that said they are a very hands on vehicle. I like that. When something breaks I know what it is and I can fix it usually with what I have on hand. That's actually very important to me having lived in rural areas most of my life.

Lada sold more than just Nivas. So I'm guessing that's a part of the reason behind the club name. They can't be called a truck anyway. Their body isn't very truck like. the drivetrain and suspension are the goods though. 5 link rear. IFS but laid out pretty well considering. Forged steel wishbones and all that.

Definitely not a vehicle for everyone but they are stupidly fun for the right person.

Blacked out windows. Hm. I wonder if they've been filled in with metal. It's really common for people to turf the back seat and use the whole rear as storage. It took me a while to find one that still had the back seat. My kids love the Niva. My other half hates it, but I expected that. My youngest struggles with talking but he named it "Brum Brum". The name stuck. The oldest calls it "the big car" which I find absurd. The other car gets called the small car. It's a Fairlane. She told me it's because of the height. Fair enough...

If anyone has a chance to have a shot at driving a Niva, and you don't mind loud, agricultural vehicles, heavy steering and cramped pedals (RHD conversion issue) give it a go. They are different to to the big boys like Toyotas etc. that I grew up with, but I wouldn't consider them any less capable by any means.


Had a Lada niva once . 60mm lift and 30 inch muddy's. Had to pump the pedal 3 times to get brakes and that was after replacing the entire braking system.
Low range was inadequate and it was full of rust.

But fun and it wouldn't give up. I'll try find some pics.


Well-Known Member
I always tell people (about any vehicle) "Don't knock one till you've had one"

Drove a Niva once - that was enough for me - I could see it would be something that you couldn't kill with an axe, provided you could keeping bolting the required bits back on as they fell off :rolleyes:
Mind you, I once owned a petrol (with LPG) Series I Disco :eek: - since that experience I will never, ever, knock anyone's fourby. Well, ok, just a little good natured ribbing. :p The one thing I liked about the Disco was I could just about walk under it - made it easy to work on - which was essential! ;)


Active Member
The forum is called 4x4 Earth.
The Lada Niva is a very alien vehicle to most.

Maybe a sister forum called 4X4 Niva could be started
Lada Niva nowadays is called Lada 4х4. In Russia and the CIS countries it is very widespread car. Still if I am not mistaken in Germany these cars much. There in my opinion even there is a club of fans and owners of cars the Niva. Personally this car isn't pleasant to me and I didn't plan to buy to myself it and I don't plan. Bad quality and low reliability push away me from desire to get this car. Those people in Russia who buy the Niva, buy it because the price of it low.

Rusty Panels

Well-Known Member
I would have guessed that the mods were blutack, cable ties and coat hangers in no particular order. The highly modified one's use duct tape as well!


Well-Known Member
I would have guessed that the mods were blutack, cable ties and coat hangers in no particular order. The highly modified one's use duct tape as well!
I believe the go was to replace with later model fiat parts, this improved reliability, and were more available back in the day.


Well-Known Member
There is a good looking 1980's one parked outside the Buff Club, Darwin every other day.... no wonder the bloke drinks !
GEMCO Groote Eylandt had them as Company site vehicles in the 1980's courtesy of big mobs of Manganese being sold to the Russians, who took their revenge on the Capitalist BHP pigs by foisting Stalin's Revenge upon unsuspecting Aussie miners....
Anecdotally they couldn't pay the bill at some stage so delivered Ladas as payment in exchange....