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Niva at maximum speed: how to turn an ordinary SUV into a “powerful fighter” on and off-road

Niva at maximum speed: how to turn an ordinary SUV into a “powerful fighter” on and off-road
Niva is a small and compact all-wheel drive SUV, without exaggeration a symbol of the Soviet automobile industry. This is a universal car that feels good both off-road and on smooth, high-quality surfaces.


However, the Niva has been produced since 1977, and during this time it has undergone virtually no changes. Despite the high maneuverability and reliability, it is far from ideal. There are many tools and tools for tuning a Russian SUV, and in this article we will analyze them in more detail.

Is tuning needed?


Depends on what goal you are pursuing. If you just go to the dacha to pick up potatoes, the standard equipment is quite enough. But if you are a fan of extreme rides at high speeds (not only on autobahns, but also on rough terrain), tuning is simply necessary. It is quite possible to carry out a number of actions to refine the main components and turn your “old lady” into a suitable off-road SUV with high load capacity.

Engine tuning


For a long time, Nivas were equipped with 2106 engines, but with an improved oil receiver and a new oil separator cover, as well as a radiator with an increased volume. Refinement of the internal combustion engine will increase dynamic characteristics and useful output. There are two directions of tuning.

The first is minimizing non-production losses. It is possible to reduce the energy costs of internal combustion engines to ensure their own operation. To do this, lightweight components for the piston group are installed, and the crankshaft and flywheel are balanced. The second is an increase in engine productivity, that is, its ability to absorb a certain amount of fuel energy per unit of time. To do this, you need to modify the ignition and injection system, reduce the resistance to the movement of mixtures in the exhaust and intake tracts.

Geometry improvement


To increase traction by changing the geometric data, the cylinders are bored to a larger diameter (for example, by 3 mm). The piston stroke is increased by replacing the crankshaft. The carburetor is being modernized - fuel jets with a large cross-section are installed on both chambers.

Нива на максималках: как превратить обычный внедорожник в «мощного бойца» на дорогах и бездорожьеUnder the hood of the Niva. Photo: YouTube.com

It is also necessary to increase the diameters of the valves and make sure that they fit tightly to the seats. Thanks to this, the thrust of the internal combustion engine will increase by 10%. When tuning the carburetor, the timing camshaft is changed. The average cost of boring one cylinder is at least 800 rubles. Standard pistons can be replaced with lightweight forged ones. This will reduce the friction force and increase the power of the unit.

Refinement of the timing belt


In the gas distribution mechanism, you can replace the standard valves and bushings with lightweight ones. This will help reduce resistance to the flow of the fuel mixture. A tuning camshaft and a cut drive gear are installed. This will help increase the filling of the combustion chambers with gasoline. To compensate for the load on the valves, titanium valve springs are installed. The cost of a split gear averages 1300-1500 rubles.

Tightening the cylinder head bolts. Photo: YouTube.com

You can install a 8V cylinder head on an 16-valve internal combustion engine. At the same time, the spark plugs and air filter are changed. On fuel-injected SUVs, to increase engine power, the injectors are tuned and the control board of the control unit is replaced. 16-valve heads cost on average about 18-19 thousand rubles.

Oil pump modernization


As engine power increases, the load on the rubbing elements will increase, and the oil pump may not be able to cope with this. It is recommended to immediately purchase a one-and-a-half pump (5500-6500 rubles), but there is also an option to improve the gear pump from two old pumps. To do this, it is necessary to change the housing, make one-and-a-half gears and remake the shafts. The task is quite complex, so it is better to turn to specialists.

Transmission upgrade


Refinement of the system involves installing a subframe, which “unties” the transfer case from the body. This will “cure the disease” characteristic of the Niva - reduce vibrations and noise of the transfer case. In addition, the subframe will protect the box body from stones, potholes and other off-road “surprises”. The cost of the device varies around 3000 rubles.

The standard cardan shafts are replaced with new shafts with CV joints. Due to this, vibrations are practically absent. The peculiarity of this modification is that installation does not require specific knowledge, and the design does not disturb the balancing of the transmission. The cost of parts depends on the chosen brand. For example, the price of the Hammer and Sickle rear driveshaft is about 14 thousand rubles.

Body refinement


Let’s analyze body tuning from the point of view of practical benefits; accordingly, we will abandon the massive thresholds that reduce the Niva’s ground clearance and cross-country ability. A kenguryatnik is also not needed, since this is a more effective solution for frame SUVs. If you want to install additional light, it is better to place it on the roof. The cost of LED headlights varies from 400 to 3500 rubles per unit.

Since we are talking about practicality, it would not be superfluous to install a winch. It is better not to use devices with metal cables - give preference to elastic ropes. They are strong, reliable, do not corrode and do not tangle on the reel. The cost of the winch is from 16 to 43 thousand rubles. on average, but you can find cheaper/more expensive options.

Arch extensions will protect the body from stones and dirt that fly from wider wheels if they protrude beyond the boundaries of the body. Made from plastic, rubber, fiberglass, fiberglass or metal. The cost of a set of extensions for standard arches is on average 3000-7000 rubles.

Installation of expanders. Photo: YouTube.com

To give additional rigidity to the body, spar reinforcements are used. In fact, this is an upgrade of the supporting structure, which is especially important for cars that are often used for off-road driving. The spar is an important part that provides the necessary resistance to longitudinal and lateral loads. The average cost of a set of front amplifiers is from 2000 to 3000 rubles, rear amplifiers are around 4000-5000 rubles.

Interior modification


The most important thing is noise and heat insulation, which helps combat vibrations. How much this is needed is something everyone decides for themselves, but silence in the cabin is one of the factors that determines comfort. The cost depends on the materials and can be either 25000 or 60000 rubles.

If you decide to get serious about the interior, but do not plan to integrate speakers into the door cards, then you can simply replace the door trim and the trim on the trunk lid. The market offers a wide range of products for internal tuning. The cost of one door trim can vary from 3000 to 4000 rubles.

Tuned door cards in Niva. Photo: YouTube.com

A grill separating the trunk from the passenger compartment can be useful. Thanks to this, the driver and passengers will be protected from falling loads, which is especially important when you are driving on bumpy roads. The price for such a spare part will be about 3000-5000 rubles.

To improve the Niva's off-road qualities, you can install wheels with a diameter of 29 inches with mud tires 235/75 R15. For such tires you need a suspension lift (RIF with gas shock absorbers costs about 9000 rubles apiece). Thanks to all these improvements, even the old Niva, which has deservedly received the status of a people's car, will be able to find a second life.

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Photos used: youtube.com

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