Fiat-131, Fiat-132, Argenta gearbox in your Lada

(Szerző: (), utoljára módosítva: 2007.01.15.)

This article refers to the long-neck gearboxes which have their gear lever closer to the driver than Lada has. Therefore chassis has to be modified! Document is translated by z.

First of all you have to know that there is another type of Fiat131-gearbox, which makes much less problem: no long-neck (shift stick at the Lada shift stick's place) and the starter is at a better position. Now, back to our version: fit a long-neck Fiat gearbox.

What you have to buy:

- gearbox
- driveshaft (propeller shaft)
- brake (clutch) fluid

Step by step process:

1. This type of gearbox is 90-100mm (4") longer than the lada gearbox, therefore you have to obtain a Fiat131 or Argenta (132) driveshaft, and disassemble it. Its front part have to be installed instead of the lada front part. The mounting console has to be Lada too. This takes 15-30 minutes. Again: your driveshaft is now having Fiat front part and Lada rear part, this way you eliminated the length difference.

2. The gearbox fits bolt-on to the engine, but the starter is at another position. There are two ways now:

2.1. You use Fiat starter. You need Fiat flywheel now, and Fiat clutch assebly+disc. This is a bit expensive.

2.2. You cut the starter mounting console from a Lada clutch housing and fit it to the Fiat clutch housing. This requires a bit more job (welding aluminum, while keeping positions precisely), but it can be done.

Take care as the gearbox-to-engine bolts will be positioned a bit more rear, therefore it is harder to install. Also take care of the rigidity of the clutch housing. Because of its cast members I had to make one of the starter's bolts pass-through (with a nut), this way it is easier to fit. Two bolts are enough for the starter if it is too hard to insert and screw in.

3. gearbox mounting / member. This will require a bit of drilling.

4. Clutch is originally cable-operated. Therefore it requires some console on the side of the gearbox, to make it push the opposite direction (than originally). This also needs a longer clutch fluid line.

5. At the front (flexible) driveshaft joint (which is now 90-100mm to the rear) there will be less gap for the fuel and brake-fluid lines, these will have to be bent lower here, and bent upper at the front.

6. A 1kg hammer is neccessary to create some room for the gearbox at the floorpan / gearbox tunnel edge. Beware: you must stop doing that when the throttle pedal's free travel is in danger.

7. Cut the gearbox tunnel up to the seat consoles. When you can almost creep into the car through this new hole, it is almost big enough :-)

8. Remove the gearshift lever. Put the gearbox to its place. It's heavier than the original, you should not try it alone unless you're over 120kg of body wheight, meaning not fat but muscles :-). Anyways, they will fit together a bit easier than in the case of a Lada gearbox.

9. Assemble the gearbox with the engine. Don't be screwed when dealing with the screws :-)

10. Somehow you have to strengthen the body (the tunnel) at the seat console, this way the gearbox remains easily removable, while the body does not remain loose. You also need to cover the tunnel's new hole somehow. This cover has to be removable too.

11. Handbrake lever has to be removed 10mm or more to the rear. This is a bit of DIY job, not a problem.

12. If the gearbox is not insulated correctly, the noise will be terrific in the cockpit.

Experiences:

  • body cut into parts :-), car is a bit heavier
  • longer clutch pedal travel. You can drift the car easier which is required by the ratio of 1st gear
  • 1st gear has a low ratio, but the gears above have much closer ratios to eachother
  • it pulls from 1500RPM in 5th
  • top speed remained the same: 140-150km/h in 4th and 5th too
  • the ratio of the 1st gear gives a better acceleration. In 2nd it's easy to do some fishtailing
  • speedometer's cheat decreased. (diff ratio 1:3.9, tyre is 185/70)
  • noise insulation succeded
  • because of the larger gearbox the engine cannot be lifted enough to remove the oil sump
  • you'll need an additional spring for the clutch.

At the end:

I hope you won't ever decide to go through this all :-)