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My 1976 Lada 2101 - Nikita: Keeping Hobbyweld in business.


St.Jude

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The seats look like they'd benefit from AS-standard decontamination; unbolt and remove, wet down with neat cleaning unguent of choice and then attack with a jet wash, rinse and repeat if necessary. A summertime job obviously unless you have space to dry them inside afterwards.

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40 minutes ago, Mrs6C said:

A scrim used for cleaning is something like this:
https://www.spontex.co.uk/product/brilliant-scourer-pad/

More generically the term describes a tough, open weave fabric or mesh.

Ah! Thanks for that.

11 minutes ago, somewhatfoolish said:

The seats look like they'd benefit from AS-standard decontamination; unbolt and remove, wet down with neat cleaning unguent of choice and then attack with a jet wash, rinse and repeat if necessary. A summertime job obviously unless you have space to dry them inside afterwards.

I'm undecided as to whether I'm keeping the seats or not. But yeah that's what I thought about doing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

To paraphrase one of my favourite scotch men of all time, Mr.Malcolm Tucker, I'm well fuck annoy. 

So this lad with the trailer has let me down really. And I can be honest now as I've gone past the point of jinxing it, I sort of knew when he saw it he didn't want to move it anyway. It was meant to be picked up Saturday just gone but I get a text on the Friday saying he's doubled booked. So he suggests the Sunday, which I say fine. I call him Sunday and he says it'll be about 5:30pm. So I get to my moms for 5pm. 

5:30pm comes, no trailer.

6pm comes, no trailer.

So I call him, and it rings out, and he picks up - says nothing - hangs up. Well you can guess what happens next.

Absolutely... nothing. No calls, texts or anything from him. So I move on to finding someone else who'll do it for a reasonable bit of cash. There is nothing in the world that annoys me more than being let down by people who just can't be honest and say "no".

The other, less annoying thing, is that I'm in London this weekend for St.Patrick's day weekend, so it won't move home this weekend. Gives me 2 weeks to find someone though. 

On the plus side the Lada's given me it's first gift. I've had a weird throat since I first tried to move it, yesterday it's gone to a proper sore throat. So yeah, mold spores for the win. 

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17 minutes ago, Mrs6C said:

Not sure where the Lada is located or to where you want it moved, but @worldofceri does that kind of service very well and is based in the Midlands, while further down south in the Thames Valley @Wingz123 does a fine job of it too.

The Lada's resting up in South Birmingham, and it'd be coming to Stourbridge. It's about 13 miles door to door. 

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Thanks @Mrs6C

Yes, I’m not far from your neck of the woods. Drop me a message with details if you like; I should be able to move it for you without drama.

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On 1/10/2020 at 12:10 PM, wuvvum said:

Alternatively you could fit a VAG 1.8 turbo engine, convert it to FWD, stick fake wood down the side and then sell it on as an unfinished project.

Guilty as charged.......happy now?

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^^ this place gets a bit bogged down at times and the above project and this thread are good to spice things up a bit.  Some people get a sweat on with a Korma and should stick to the house omelette.  Crack on regardless, this looks fantastic!

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12 hours ago, worldofceri said:

Thanks @Mrs6C

Yes, I’m not far from your neck of the woods. Drop me a message with details if you like; I should be able to move it for you without drama.

Will do sir!

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  • 3 weeks later...

How goes the revolution of house arrest comrades?

Thanks to @worldofceri, this happened:

IMG_20200328_105137999.thumb.jpg.1f5155b55cdc900535df3525475486d4.jpg

That is a photo of a polaroid of my Lada inside my garage. And just like me in jeans, it's a bit tight. I spent Saturday making a video of it, which can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/70mXmNMyEho - I will work out how to embed the video. 

Since then, well Sunday, I took all the seats out and gave them a bit of a clean before stuffing them in to the donor Rover 25/MG ZR. I'm certain now I'm not going to keep them, but I need to measure the seats in the Rover before I get rid of the Lada seats. I started attacking them with some Cilit Bang, but realised the stuff stinks of bleach. I hate the smell of bleach, so I went inside for a break. The wife decided to decorate the dining room, so I got drafted in to that instead. Meaning one door card has been sprayed but not scrubbed, but at lunchtime (hopefully) I'll go in and I'll attack more of it. 

IMG_20200329_123221.jpg

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A better thing for cleaning the vinyl seats with is stupidly named Doktor Power soap.

20121104-122316.jpg

It's available pretty much everywhere.  If you apply with the sponge provided and then scrub well with a stiff bristled brush - nail or floor brush is fine for this - it brings vinyl up a treat.  Wipe down afterwards with clean water and/or disinfectant and you shouldn't have a reoccurence of the mould.  Honestly, with vinyl, there's not much point cleaning the mould off with generic mould removers like Cillit Bang, they don't really shift the bulk of it.  As long as you're sensible with gloves and mask/working outside, you shouldn't come to any harm.  Harder plastics can usually be cleaned up with regular dish soap and a combination of stiff plastic bristled brushes depending on the shape and size of the bit you're working on.  A wipe down afterwards with some sort of automotive vinyl care product should keep things clean and stop the mould coming back.

If you find anything that's leather, like steering wheel covers, avoid abrasive soaps like the Doktor Power, it can rough up the surface.  Those sorts of things are best done with the dish soap and brush approach before a good dose of leather feed of some sort afterwards to keep the leather from drying out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Progress has been made on the Lada, in terms of more cleaning!

I took @vulgalour's advice with Doktor Power and used it on the head lining of the Lada. Christ it made so much of a difference the Cilit Whimper! 

More rust was found, but it's all documented here for 30 minutes. Hope it kills some time and gives you all some enjoyment for the Easter. I've spent the last 4 hours today scraping off the sound deadening, so I'm going for a beer now.

 

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Scrubbing everything with a nail brush or similar and plenty of water - fresh or soapy - will get rid of the last marks on the headlining, usually.  It should come up pretty well.  Have to say it's one of the worst mould growths I've ever seen on a headlining in that car so much rather you than me doing that job.  Got to be satisfying seeing it coming clean again though.  Be very careful removing those rusty clips on the headlining edges too, that vinyl is going to be brittle and those clips will want to tear it, if you can spread them apart and sort of unfold them you'll reduce the risk of damage a lot.  All of the materials for your headlining and C pillar trims are readily available so if you do need to redo them eventually, you can, it's all fairly straightforward stuff once you've got the glass out.

With the door cards, if it's just the hardboard that's gone wobbly you should be able to cut new sheets and then use the old vinyl and trims on them once cleaned to make them look new again.  Providing the only damage to the vinyl is dirt, it's usually good to go again with a little care, saving pennies on getting replacements and giving a little more satisfaction that you've done a bit more yourself.  It really does look like a good car is hiding in there under all that grime.

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On 4/10/2020 at 5:14 PM, vulgalour said:

Scrubbing everything with a nail brush or similar and plenty of water - fresh or soapy - will get rid of the last marks on the headlining, usually.  It should come up pretty well.  Have to say it's one of the worst mould growths I've ever seen on a headlining in that car so much rather you than me doing that job.  Got to be satisfying seeing it coming clean again though.  Be very careful removing those rusty clips on the headlining edges too, that vinyl is going to be brittle and those clips will want to tear it, if you can spread them apart and sort of unfold them you'll reduce the risk of damage a lot.  All of the materials for your headlining and C pillar trims are readily available so if you do need to redo them eventually, you can, it's all fairly straightforward stuff once you've got the glass out.

With the door cards, if it's just the hardboard that's gone wobbly you should be able to cut new sheets and then use the old vinyl and trims on them once cleaned to make them look new again.  Providing the only damage to the vinyl is dirt, it's usually good to go again with a little care, saving pennies on getting replacements and giving a little more satisfaction that you've done a bit more yourself.  It really does look like a good car is hiding in there under all that grime.

Yeah I didn't want to do too much with the head lining, I just wanted the worst of the mold off it so that I could work inside it without contracting tuberculosis or the Colavirus. It was less satisfying and more of a relief because I didn't really want to have to find a new head lining really. But then I was sat in it over the weekend, and as I waited for the dust to settle after grinding the metal, I looked up at it and around at it and thought it was beautiful. Well as beautiful as head linings go. It's not often you see a car with a vinyl perforated headlining, let alone sit in one, so it will be a nice place to sit when it's done. Sort of reminds me of the interior of the Peugeot 2008. But more reliable and less shit.

With the door cars the hardboard is knackered really. There's more to it in my head. There is a plastic chrome effect strip that's sort of perished on at least two of the cards. It's having black seats put in when the body is sorted so I was going to paint the red vinyl black. But I quite like the idea of making/designing my own door cards, something which I've toyed with before I got the car in to the garage. So I'm keeping the door cards and going to attempt making my own, and if they're crap or don't work then I'll replace the hardboard.

Over the Easter weekend I sanded and wire brushed the driver's side footwell, and there is a lot of pitting to the floor but nothing that lets my screwdriver go through. So I'm going to apply a rust remover/remedy thing to it. Sand, then apply some body filler to it (after a primer). There's a hole in the sill by the wheel arch, right in the middle of it, but other than that and the hole in the floor the panels to weld are quite small. Which must be some sort of miracle for a 44 year old Lada?

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I was editing this video, I realised there's only so much grinding and stripping of floor pans you can film before it loses interest. So I'm trying to keep these videos no longer than 20 minutes now. But here's a new installment of the work on Nikita! 

There's also a small write up here: https://www.mywifehatesthiscar.com/nikita-the-lada-1200-russian-metal-part-one/. And I mean small.

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Timing is quite crap. Not long before you started this thread, my mate sold a 2.0 Fiat twin cam engine, gearbox, prop, exhaust etc etc. I understand it has somehow miraculously found its way back into a Fiat but it would have suited you well, especially for £150...

 

Anyway good luck, I really like these old Ladas so will be watching with interest.

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16 hours ago, bunglebus said:

Timing is quite crap. Not long before you started this thread, my mate sold a 2.0 Fiat twin cam engine, gearbox, prop, exhaust etc etc. I understand it has somehow miraculously found its way back into a Fiat but it would have suited you well, especially for £150...

 

Anyway good luck, I really like these old Ladas so will be watching with interest.

Everything happens for a reason, I'm not really sure I'd have even plumped for a Twin Cam even if it was available though.

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  • 1 month later...

It's been a month since I did an update on Nikita. So here is the next update!

If you don't want to read and would rather watch, here's the video: 

Following on from the last update where I stripped the sound proofing out of the inside of the car, I then went underneath to see what the steel was like under the car.

I started out on the rear left drivers arch and for the most part it's alright. Some scabs of rust but nothing major. I carried on with a wire drill and angle grinder under the drivers side of the car. Didn't find too much that was alarming until I hit under the driver's footwell. I managed to pierce the chassis arm with my screwdriver. You don't have to be metallurgist to know that I shouldn't have been able to do that. And it turns out that the driver's front wheel arch is a treasure trove of shoddy repairs and shot strut towers. The front wing itself isn't in great shape, and it turns out most of it is actually filler. The front valance of the car is just slightly thicker than tin foil at the moment. And the strut tower looks like someone took a shotgun to it. There's a hole about a dairyleigh triangle in size on the tower.

After all of this I had a week off, because with all the cleaning I was doing some of the stuff fell in to my ear which resulted in an infection. Not at all pleasant, it was like having really bad toothache. But I carried on after I recovered with the passenger side. The passenger wing seems to be in much better shape than the driver's side. To be honest, other than the outer sill, the passenger side is in much better condition. The driver's side sill, amazingly, looks to be in great condition internally. So I can wax that!

So the running total of major, structural, corrosion issues is 5. Holes on both the driver's footwell and passenger footwell, hole on the driver's inner sill. Hole in the strut tower. Weak/holy chassis arm on the driver's side. But none of these are any bigger than a cheese single. Cheese should really be the definitive unit of measurement when it comes to rust patches on a car.

The plan now is to look further at the state of the front wings, doors, and rear wings. The driver's front wing I think I will buy a replacement for and change as a whole. The door skins though I may fix myself using sheet steel. That goes for the rear arches too where it's been filled, although I may just source some repair panels for those.

I wrote about it more if you want to have a longer read while you're on the shitter in bed tonight if you so wish to read more! https://www.mywifehatesthiscar.com/nikita-the-lada-1200-russian-metal-p2/

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  • 2 weeks later...

From the last update video, there should've been two other "scenes" as it were in it. But the video would've been stupid long then. The first one is a tour of the underside of the Lada:

The second is how I removed the windscreen. Well I say that, how I was an idiot and thought I could prise it out with a flat head screwdriver. Second part of the video I remove the rear windscreen properly.

So during the weekend just gone I tackled the dashboard. There will be a video on that bit as the removal of the dashboard of a Lada isn't well documented, not in the English language anyway. The removal of the speedometer is a particular pain in the arse if you have shovel hands like me. But you can see the steps I went through here:

IMG_20200613_110919.thumb.jpg.53b86a0c8250ed2c04f4924c39bbbe6f.jpg

IMG_20200614_132448.thumb.jpg.f7af2810beb60de8ac9e4736c674379b.jpg

IMG_20200614_132619.thumb.jpg.edc7e5e341c862489344589624ca0e55.jpg

Now I'm in a position to cut the rot out of the car. I've made a start, then realised I would be better off doing this on a saturday when I have the whole day to do it. As it involves removing part of the chassis arm.

IMG_20200616_173828.thumb.jpg.616489a19e9d336b1324807f79b24092.jpg

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This one is a proper fucking madam.

IMG_20200620_172012_115.thumb.jpg.a0a33cfbb229ff6f56272171c7b26fea.jpg

Took my steel out that initially thought, as the chassis arm was hiding more rotten steel than I could see. Especially a section of the sill! Ended up slipping with the angle grinder to ended up cutting closer to the sill edge than I wanted to.

But I got steel, and I got this fine stead to melt to sheets of metal together

IMG_20200615_130034_568.thumb.jpg.e6e6fb4a1e08d30dbcfe08f3740d8804.jpg

Gasless, using the finest of 0.8mm flux cored wire. It'll do pig, it'll do.

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Best laid plans etc.

Last weekend I near gave up with the patch. It was Father's Day so my mind weren't in the right place for it (member's of the Dead Dad Club will understand), and I felt brilliant about cutting the patch out for a butt weld.

IMG_20200621_132838.thumb.jpg.7bd3ff001c2354ede7eca75eb08aa486.jpg

Obligatory artsy photo for the old instagram.

Anyway, I've magnets (big ones) and the sheet kept dropping as I manipulated it. After about the 9th go I just thought fuck it I want dinner. At 2pm. 

Today being Friday and a weekend ahead, I thought I might as well try this again and at least tack weld this panel in to place so that tomorrow I can weld it in properly. Except that didn't happen, because the welder decided to die. The motor whirrs, the lights are on, but no wire comes out. Took it apart, greased the drive wheel, and it moved freely enough. Put it back, and it just wouldn't move at all.

Now I'm not a welder, and this welder cost me £40 a year ago. What I didn't know is that you can purchase replacement wire feed contraptions for welders. And the £15 I saw on eBay looks more or less identical to the one I have. So I thought, given that the wire feed is just a screw on job to the sheet metal of the welder, I might as well buy one and see if it gets the show going again. It's £15 lost if it doesn't work, but if it does work it'll weld the Lada.

So until that comes, there's feck all going on really. I'll probably give the garage a clean as I've a bad habbit of taking things out and not putting them back. It's ok to begin with, but then when you're doing hard work you don't want to be tripping over a bag of sponges and a can of brake cleaner.

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  • St.Jude changed the title to My 1976 Lada 2101 - Nikita: Crappy Welder Stops Play.
  • 1 month later...

It's been a month, and I've still done feck all with the Lada. I've a new welder, sat in the garage in the box, I just haven't had chance to do anything. 

But I finished the video documentary on the removal of the dashboard from the Lada. It really, really annoys me that there used to be a resource freely available on the internet where you could find information about the Lada in english. Now that's under lock and key meaning you're left to either your own devices or asking on Facebook. Doesn't seem fair or right really, so hopefully these videos help people who are considering buying a Lada or just want to see some poor clown with more enthusiasm than brain tackle one of these things. 

 

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  • St.Jude changed the title to My 1976 Lada 2101 - Nikita: Progress, like a glacier, is both moving and slow

Small, tiny, update.

This is still going on, although I've been on holiday and (as you'll see on the noisy neighbour thread), the wife has demanded asked me to do some DIY work in the house, time for the Lada has dried up significantly. 

I managed to cut out some rot on the driver's side floor, where they all go, and I'm pleased to say that I welded in a newer piece of steel in it's place. I used 1.2mm thick steel which seems to be thicker than what's on the floor anyway. Used a lap weld and welded inside and underside of it. Chassis arm is prepped, so the holes are made and the weld through primer has been applied. And that's where it's at. I need to go under and weld that piece, and a small 50p sized hole on the sill and the driver's area is more or less sorted out.

I have recorded it, but christ know's how it's going to pan out given the length of time that's gone by with it. And I fully expect critque of the welding, good and mostly bad. 

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  • St.Jude changed the title to My 1976 Lada 2101 - Nikita: Pandora's rot box

Chipping away at this, given that the weather's gone to crap, the evenings are dark, and the wife is now content for the time being with the work I've done for her. 

Saturday gone I carried on with the little bit of the sill which I thought would be the last bit for this little section of the car. Oh how wrong I was!

IMG_20201107_151127.thumb.jpg.d8cbffbba8fdd43a0d181fa65e59a89a.jpg

Hiding behind it was a little hole, no bigger than a pea. So I thought OK, I'll just weld a blob on to that. No bother, until I checked the wheel arch and realised it's in a section of the arch that was rotten anyway.

IMG_20201109_132723.thumb.jpg.2077e338fef79c46c1d61bff9ccfb06a.jpg

You can (just about)the black line where I thought I'd need to cut along to repair the steel there that's obviously gone. For the uninitiated - like myself - the gap you see that's rotten between the arch edge and inside wing was the home of a bit of rubber. So I extended the black line, and hit it with my angle grinder and hit two snags. The angle grinder is too big to get in to cut the 2" strip I need to remove as there's a wing in the way. The second snag is that I'm not sure the best way to remove the wing.

IMG_20201109_134916.thumb.jpg.b4e6e1b191914f4668d3dfa808e748f2.jpg

I've asked on facebook, and I think the best way to go is to drill out the spot welds on top (where they live with the bonnet) and cut along the A pillar as well as the front. The front valance is rotten anyway so I reckon I could just tap it and it'd fall apart. I'm still very much in the mindset of keeping this wing and patching it with fresh steel, as I'm not sure I can justify $80 for a new wing. I could pre-COVID, not so much now. 

Also, because of the mindset I'm in, I don't think I'm going to put the Mazda gearbox in and I'm going to try and hunt down (at the very least) the bell housing for the FSO Polonez Caro. The 1.4 versions had a K-Series engine, so I'm going to go down that route. Which, I think, helps me with the historic car points system I spoke about earlier. 

The video will be interesting, in so far that I have feck all idea what's gone on for the last 5 months.

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47 minutes ago, scdan4 said:

I’d just treat and plate over that personally. It will be a lot of hours to do it prettier.

I don't mind the hours, I just want it strong. It's gone over 40 years in one piece, although with the help of filler, so don't mind giving it proper stuff to keep it going for another 40. He says contemplating a K-Series swap!

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6 minutes ago, theshadow said:

lidls tiny cordless grinder would get in that gap..

My Dremmel would, but the discs I have just break the moment they see steel. 

Seen some of these, which are different to what I've got.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rotary-Cutting-Fiberglass-Reinforced-Grinding/dp/B00SUYLSEA

So I'll give them a go and see what happens. 

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Cutting in tight corners with a grinder has been my nemesis so far. Like you I've found that the grinding discs on a Dremel are utter shit, but have got me out of a tight spot (ha) once or twice with much tedious changing of shattered discs. I've been informed the OEM Dremel cutting discs are a hundred times better but they are proper expensive.

The other option is to use the angry grinder with heavily worn cutting discs without the guard on. I'm not a fan of this and would wear my welding helmet doing so, as I've had chunks of disc bounce off of it that no doubt would have got embedded in my face otherwise.

The other options:  make a rough hole and use a nibbler drill attachment. They are really inaccurate but are good at chomping away material in hard to reach areas.

Also, sometimes the old fashioned way is the easiest.. make access for hand tools such as aviation snips or shears, making lots of cuts and bending / fatiguing the metal out.

 

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