Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

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badlyworntoy

Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

Post by badlyworntoy » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:28 pm

Hi everyone

I was speaking to Guy this afternoon, and he's prompted me to introduce myself and start a thread on what I'm doing...so here it goes.
My names Ian and I'm a HV Engineer working For The National Grid. I've also had a Hobby/obsession for making Lame cars look and go better for years. I've got a good CV or retro and performance classics under my belt,Lotus Cortina's and GT's a Vauxhall Viva HC C20XE 16v and a Rotrex supercharged Citroen BX 16v to name but a few of recent years.
Now Going back almost ten years now most of you will know or remember the Top Gear 'Lotus Lada',This is a car which has intrigued me for years it stands for everything I believe in as it proves that the one of the most unreaputable, undesirable and unrefined cars of the last 40 years can, with a little hard work and know how be turned into a Legend.
Now I always promised myself I'd copy it when I had the time and space to do so,now with hindsight this may have been a bad idea as finding a suitable donor car had proved much more difficult than I expected!. I actually bought 2 cars blind off an internet auction site which turned out to absolute Sheds and weren't even worth working on. Now as it turned out the £300 purchase price of the first one actually turned out to be worth the money for the laugh I had with it,as the vendor I bought it from was a very funny elderly Russian gent called Nicolai who had many a tail to tell. However it was simply just too rotten and poorly worked to get the quality of finish I was looking for so it was broken up for parts. The second car was better but the boot floor and inner sills and wings where shot so that was sold on for 10 pound more than I pay'd for it. Now severely disheartened over this and in the mean time looking at several others over a 6 month or so period I'd almost gave up so in a last ditch attempt to get this project underway I made enquiries to the VAZ factory in Poland that still makes the 2105 Riva,I considered buying a brand new left hand drive shell delivered for about £800 plus Vat but that would have meant buying yet another car to get all the parts I needed,as I didn't keep everything from the first car which i broken up. Luckily however my long term associate had spotted a Lada Riva 1300 for sale in 'Buy and sell' whilst working in Nottingham which turned out to have done 9500 miles from new and had never been welded and had been wax oiled at the dealership before it was put on the road.The only issues with it was minor panel damage to the front of the wings where the old gent had crashed it into his garage whilst trying to ark it, I'd struck gold parted with £500 and I even drove it 150 miles home on a 3rd of a tank.

I've been steadily doing various modifications and just playing around with things mainly on the wheels/suspension and stance, trying to get the wheel and body relationship where I want it as well as rebuilding a standard 2.0 131 supermirafiori engine but doing the rest of the installation I.E Oil,Exhaust, Ignition and cooling systems ready to cope with One of Guys engine's at a later date so I can simply just swap it over. I've also fitted GM EPAS assist from a Vauxhall Corsa and moved the steering column by 5 inches as I plan to mount the seats further back.Ive also ordered a full bolt in Safety Devices cage from Chris Birkbeck as well as sexy bucket seats and harnesses.

I've included some pictures,sorry they're a little small but I'm having trouble getting them to the required size.

I'd really love your thoughts and advice.

catch you all soon

Ian
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cleanest Lada shell left in the UK!!
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new stick and Quaife Knob for the 131 racing gearbox
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badlyworntoy

Re: Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

Post by badlyworntoy » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:43 pm

Appologies aswell Guy I meant to say I did take note of what you told me about Weber and Webcon Uk and will be Deleting the Yamaha motorcycle carbs when I change to one of your engines,I simply have too much money in this set up to let it go to waste at this stage.I had it made before I'd spoken to you or read the book.Hope you don't delete/shout at me.

Ian :-)

WhizzMan
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Re: Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

Post by WhizzMan » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:38 am

Very nice project. Keep the pictures coming!
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Guy Croft
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Re: Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

Post by Guy Croft » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:00 am

Good to see this here Ian!


G

Slawo2000
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Re: Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

Post by Slawo2000 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:08 am

I made enquiries to the VAZ factory in Poland that still makes the 2105 Riva
Ladas have never been produced in Poland, they were and still are (probably) produced in Russia. In Poland up till 1991 was produced Fiat 125p (FSO 1300/1500), which was silimilar to Lada.

But anyway, your project looks impressive :)

Slawo
Slawo
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badlyworntoy

Re: Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

Post by badlyworntoy » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:02 am

Slawo
Your probably right,I simply made an enquiry through the Lada/Parts/Russia website which I beleive is VAZ,you will maybe know more than me? They replyed and gave me a price and said I would have to be sent from Poland? I never followed it up as It was simply just an off the cuff enquiry I'd made in despiration.
I'll see if I can find the Email and send it to you.

best regards

Ian

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Re: Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

Post by Guy Croft » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:21 pm

Here is the Lotus Lada that Ian is basing his car on.

Would have liked that he could call his a 'Lotus Lada Replica' but Lotus said no. Which is their right of course, the original was copyrighted and carried a Lotus-issued vehicle homologation plate.

G
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Guy Croft
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Re: Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

Post by Guy Croft » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:47 pm

and the 'raw material' I was given to work with - 10 days to spare before filming.

Knowing nothing about Lada gearboxes and associated flywheel I junked that and used 131 2 liter items. That cost me a day as I had to go to Cambridge and buy one second-hand. Of course I did not know if the box would be any could because to test it you have to put it in a car - panic ensued on first drive - the test driver at Lotus could not get 3rd gear. Mercifully it turned out to be the nice alloy bit they made fouling the gear stick..

On test the oil pressure gauge tube caught on the ex header and caught fire. Another panic - smoke pouring from the engine bay and oil everywhere. I immediately assumed I had fitted the crank rear seal badly. You do that when you're the engine builder, always fear the worst.

You would not believe the corners I had to cut. I fitted a GC inlet manifold but did not gasflow the inlets - theory - they would not know. I gasflowed the ex ports cos they would see them. The donor block was already at 85mm - the biggest size you could ever get rings for - no time to find anything new - Flex-Honed it and re-ringed. Old TRW flat-top pistons. Miracle it survived the thrashing it got on Top Gear.

One of the better quality films (there may be others I only did a very brief search) is here:

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/583262/am ... s_tunning/

No doubt a gross breach of copyright but not mine.

It would have been a more fulfilling project frommy prespective if Clarkson hadn't opened his big mouth and bragged about how it was 200bhp and £100,000. More like 150bhp but with a terrific torque curve. But after that cost-exposure there was no chance the phone was going to ring and frankly it made a laughing stock of the whole thing. I crossed them off my Xmas list after that. Then came cooking on the engine 'Lamb a la Lada' which is, to put it politely, a rather childish thing to do even by their standards, best not say too much on that.


G
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badlyworntoy

Re: Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

Post by badlyworntoy » Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:32 pm

The Lotus Lada is my Favorite car of all time,and I'm not just saying that either because this is a thread about it. I can't believe knowbody has had a go at copying it, I know Fiat twin cams have been put in Ladas for years but I've never seen the colour sceme and or concept copied. I'm hoping to try and generate some interest back into ladas by getting Retro Cars magazine to do a feature on it when its finished,they've provisionally said they would be intrested but will decide when the cars finished.I smile warmly inside when I tell my associates about what I'm making and as soon as they hear the name Lada they tear themselves in half laughing. They have no Idea :-)
I also read a thread somewhere on the Lada Uk forum that the Lada owners club have been contacted again by the BBC, this time for 3 Lada's for the Top Gear trio. sounds like they will be slowly destroyed on their way to Russia to the VAZ/LADA plant to witness the last Lada saloon being made after nearly 40 years sometime next year.
Maybe someone In Russia or Eastern Europe will know more about this?

Guy

Do you have any other pictures of the engine bay from different angles? Theres a few things I'd like to get a better look at which can't be seen in those 'Official' pictures.

Thanks

Ian
thanks

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Re: Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

Post by Steve H » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:38 pm

This is a great thread, as I am in the process of restoting a 124, not to concourse, I am mighty interested in what you are doing with the Lada as most of the things you do will transfer over to the 124.
It will be good to see it evolve.

Regards Steve
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Re: Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

Post by Urbancamo » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:06 am

Always nice to see Twin Cam engined Lada. And nice to hear some backround info from Guy, i remember i was like 13 years old when Lotus Lada came out, and it was the coolest thing ever!

If you have specific questions about this conversion, feel free to ask, i'm fiddled a lot with TC conversion on Lada.

Keep us updated!
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badlyworntoy

Re: Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

Post by badlyworntoy » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:49 pm

Thanks Tommi I really enjoy all your posts about your Lada's.

I have a question in relation to the gearboxes.When the Fiat 131 5 speed is in the Lada,the propshaft needs to be shortened as the this gearbox is about 50mm longer,but the mount is in the same postion,this is what I don't understand. You have used the lada gearbox,I was wondering do the belhousings still sit in the same position? I was wondering because they is an option on the Fiat twin cam block to bolt the engine mounts on in 2 positions. The engine in your Lada looks like it has clearence issues against the bulkhead, but on the lotus Lada it looks as though they is a good inch gap or so.

Thanks

Ian

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Re: Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

Post by Urbancamo » Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:08 pm

Hi Ian!

As i'm used Lada gearboxes, i have not much info on Fiat gearboxes, but i know the basic principles of them when installing them on Lada. I have tried to install Fiat 131 box with TC engine, but that project never finished.
gearbox comparison (Custom).jpg
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As this photo shows, rear mounting points are in different spot when bell housings are in line.

Fiat block has two different mounting points as you noticed, but center ones must be used. Back ones throw engine in totally wrong position, i've tested that in the past. Engine will collide the front stabilizer bar also...

- Use Lada engine mounting brackets, because they have little different angle than Argenta/131 ones and they wont rise the engine that high.

- Use Lada Niva or Volvo 240 rubber mounts, or general rubber mounts (60 Shore A hardness is preferred). Thread is M10x1,25 in Lada mounts. Hight for rubber mount is max. 50 mm or 2 inches, and if you find lower ones, nice.
OE Lada Riva rubbers with internal spring are very soft even they are new. I use Lada Niva rubbers in my own Lada, they are nicely solid rubber.

Lower the engine sits, more you have clearance to the bulkhead due engine/gearbox angle change. In optimal case there is approx. 3-5 cm to bulkhead when measured in the end of cam box.
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Fiat 131 Mirafiori engine bay.
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For the comparison Fiat 131 engine bay. No way you could mount engine in Lada that way (straight, even little lean forward) your propshaft will point to back seat!

All Lada-type Fiats (or vice-versa) share this same backward-oriented engine mounting angle due structural reasons. I wish i had that much space in Lada than 131 does...

T
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Re: Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

Post by TR-Spider » Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:17 pm

I wonder why Lotus let the battery mounted that far front in the engine compartment instread of placing it in the trunk?
Sure it will eat luggage space, but in terms of weigth distribution it should be an obvious thing to do.

Thomas

PS:
regarding the 131 gearbox mounting: when I exchanged the my 124 box with the 131 box I think I could use the stock bolts on the chassis with a mix of parts from 124/131 rubber and crossmember. However its so long ago that I dont remember exactly and it was on my 124 Spider.
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badlyworntoy

Re: Guy Croft Lada Riva Twin Cam replica

Post by badlyworntoy » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:24 am

Tommi

Top man thanks for the info, I'm still a little bit confused though...if you lined up the gearbox mounts, the 131 bellhousing will surely sit a good inch or two further forward than its Lada counterpart thus solving the bulkhead clearence and Exhaust/starter motor problems that you have on your twin cam lada. I'm suprised you never opted to do this, or maybe I'm missing something? I know you say they is clearence issues in the tunnel but Guy doesn't seem to remeber having any when they did the Lotus Lada,except for the hole with the Abarth remote. I've yet to offer the 131 engine and gearbox in my Lada and are considering adding a whole 132/argenta gearbox tunnel in but don't want to if I dont need to.

Here is a picture of a tunnel I prepared earlier

Any further thoughts?

Ian
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