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1982 Lada Niva with a Peugeot diesel engine swap


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I see, well it is very close to the XUD9A with the crank, rods and camshaft being the same but the head has the injectors and glow plugs reversed like the TUD5:

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I don't know if it's better or worse performance-wise (it must be better for emissions) but anyway this head isn't built for a turbo engine so it's better to keep the XUD9TE one.

As for the head gasket the XUD9TE metal one should be good, the XUD11 one won't line up on one oil descent anyway.

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I got started tearing apart the little niva, it's like i've been there yesterday but its been a year. Started by lifting it and putting it on jack stands, then draining the coolant which looks awful then cooling lines, radiator, starter, alternator, distributor, spare tire support and a bunch more surrounding pieces. I'm doing it straticikli, so i don't need to do it twice, i need to make mounts for the front diff, because its bolted to the engine and the new engine has no provisions for those mounts.

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Today i started on the design of the adapter plate, i started with a piece of MDF with the design in wood i'll make it out of steel later. Drill couple of holes for the shaft on the gear box to slide into, the shaft on peugeot gearbox prouds 10mm and the shaft has no wobble. I marked the holes, and the outline, then i drill the holes. Then i spent some time finding the cut peugeot engine block, on which i check the holes are right, then got the cut gearbox part and checked the starter holes, they all match. Then i needed to put the lada gearbox on the other side so i can mark its holes. The shaft on the lada is shorter and has a bit of a wobble, i'll wrap some tape inside the sleeve to get rid of the wobble. Then i went to my machine shop, started with 20 mm piece of C45 drill the inside to 15mm then machined the other end again to 15mm, in other words i made an extension for temporary use till i make the adapter, i had to go back to my lathe to shorten it, it was too long. By the time i made it fit it was way pass midnight, so i'll continue tomorrow.

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I spent some of it working on the Little Niva. Took the hood off, took the front section of the exhaust, took off the the front metal shields, removed some of the wiring just to protect it and make more room. I need to disassemble the front suspension, so i can pull the front driveshafts and make mounts for the front diff, also i've been told i should make shield for the diff. It's a very strange way the diff is mounted, is bolted with 3 bolts straight to the engine, can't imagine the movement of the engine when it torques is good for the axles or the driveshaft.

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I've looked at others designs for mounting the front diff independently from the engine, mounting the front at the inner cv joints is no brainer, but at the back where the driveshaft bolts up there is no good place to bolt it to. Having the front mounts go all the way back may be a good solution but as memory serves there is where the exhaust passes thru. I've searched online how to properly support a front diff but there is nothing. Any advice or experience, if a support the front with two mounts should i run one or two also in the back, also how big or what size of rubber mounts to find and use to avoid noise and vibration inside, any thought is much appreciated.

 

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Yes, factory diesel niva's have aluminium mounts, and almost all broke, but lada drivers are handy so they just made new ones from steel, from what i've been told the mounts can snap downshifting uphill, being a lada it won't leave you stranded the diff will stay in place hold up by the inner CV joints rubbing on the frame but destroys the CV and the U joint on the drive shaft, because of that i'm considering to make it much stronger, i'm also debuting should i use 50mm solid rubber bushes for the mounts or use the 70mm torque mount bushes from a peugeot 405, the engine mount at the back next to the passenger axle, i really want to make it quiet, any thoughts.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is a spare factory Lada engine that i mounted to a stand for measurements, it shows one more thing i need to modify the oil pan, the front diff is located there. I took the oil pan off, is interesting to me to see the italian design, russian build, everything is twice as thick as it needs to be, haha.

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Last few weeks have been incredibly busy for me at work. I've been using what spare time i have left to do some cleaning in the big garage. I've also done some work on the Little Niva, started taking apart the front suspension, and released i'll have to to drop the entire suspension, because the springs are in the way. That means i'll take this opportunity to change the suspension bushings, i also got me two rubber bushings for the front diff mounts, they are old but still good to use, they are made in yugoslavia so that dates them at least 30 years old. On a another front my new lada centre cap stickers arrived, i bought black ones with the new logo now, you can see the difference, compared to the silver ones i used on the sprinter wheels. That motivated me to do the work left to finish those wheels, to fix the corrosion around the centre caps. I sanded down all the corrosion, then i apply some 2K gray primer, that i'll left it to dry and shrink down.

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Yesterday after work i stop by the steel place and bought me a piece of plate steel to make the diff mounts from. I also stop by a parts store and bought me an engine mount for a yugo new, and is also made in yugoslavia. This got me motivated to get things done, first part to come off was the passenger side suspension, i had to remove the spring to get the axle out, it will be a struggle to get them back in again. With the axle on a bench i removed the factory diff mount and oil seal plate. Then i did it all over again on the drivers side.

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I've been working hard on the little niva last few days, i'm trying to get the more difficult things done so i can focus on the fun stuff. I needed to measure and decade in which position i'll install the engine, peugeot originally set the engine at 30 degrees, but there oil pan is at 20 degrees, i have a spare oil pump which i also measured and got 18 degrees, then i remembered that they installed those engines on 15 degrees on smaller, so the angle of the oil pan is a compromas. That said i set my engine at 25 degrees, this way i'll have some more room at the back for a turbocharger. After getting those measurements, i set the gearbox straight, measures 25 degrees and marked the gearbox side, then i cut the outside and inside to size, i'll need to add a bit more at one off the bolt holes to have more stability but it fits pretty nicely. Now comes the hard part, cutting it from some 15-20mm steel with hand tools, i lay couple of 16mm thick pieces i had on top and i've seen it's much easier if i make it from couple of pieces that i can weld together, so that is the plan.

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Small update, i'm putting the diesel swap on hold because i'm racing the winter in building an inspection pit. I've had too many close calls of vehicles falling down. This is the perfect weather to do it but i need to get on it and finish it quickly. I hope you like seeing this type of construction. It will be concrete and steel. Every part till now had fight me in this project, digging is taking forever because of the hard ground, and the mini digger is breaking down constantly.

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I haven't been working on the Niva for more then a week now. We finished with digging the pit we have not hit not a single stone, but we hit clay and had to finish digging it by hand. The Cat mini digger had countless breakdowns but it finish the job. Then i made a steel surround for the pit, it will be supported with concrete under the surround to be as strong as possible. I'm installing sump with pump for liquids and extraction fan inside it.

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