... or is the suspense killing me? Actually this was one of the mentally less demanding, yet physically pretty straining tasks on the Lada. Nevertheless the holders for the upper A-arm bumpers were more or less completely rotten and had to be swapped.
In theory the job's quick 'n' simple: Remove those holder cups, install new ones and get on with other tasks. In practice it has to be said, these had been out before and they probably are so rotten, because a certain someone just didn't bother to wash off all the dirt that had accumulated inside. Oh and on the question, how I know they had been swapped already? The bolts are installed the wrong way round, as they should be coming from the inside out, so one could split the nut, if they are really, really rusty or use a driver to punch them inwards should you have to lower the front suspension cradle.
Bit of cosmetics, while I was at it.
And as I had bought a pair of rear-axle struts, I also fitted the second one.
Probably the most difficult task in all of this is getting well hardened rubber bump stops into the new cups. (Getting them out was pretty easy, because the cups were so rotten that at most, they needed a single cut to split the retaining ring.) Let's start with plenty of lube. (It was Valentine's day this week after all...)
Align the bump stop in the vise.
And a suitably sized nut on the backside so it compresses straight. It makes a very satisfying plopping sound and that's it.
Oh and when you're at it: also shell out the few quid for new bolts. (M12x110(fine) is stock, but if you go with nyloc-nuts the more common M12x100 will do just as fine.) Please note that just to spice things up the Lada engineers went with a M12x1.25 thread pitch...
Also the reason, why the bolts were installed from the outside in (and thus seized in their holes rather happily) - alternator has to be at least partially removed from the engine to get to them.
Assembly is reverse of disassembly, but I can't overemphasize just how handy a one meter or longer breaker bar is to push down the upper suspension arm, as you have to work against the bump stop. (I mentioned it is "well seasoned", right?)
With the suspension dealt with there was another rat's nest to tackle: The electrics. Given the overall state of the car, aside from the radio installation and the towing hitch wiring it looked untouched. In both a good and a bad way. Good as nobody spiced things up with roughly thirty meters of speaker cable and bad as nobody ever cleaned or greased up the various plugs.
Then it was a case of plugging all sorts of front and tail-lights (not shown for obvious reasons 😏) and guess what, as soon as I chopped out the loom for the towing hitch everything started to work as expected.
Well almost everything, the window wiper motor was as burnt out as one can be. Literally ALL windings showed no continuity at all. Not even to ground.
And with the "economizer" Solex carb removed, even a bunch of wires had become surplus to requirements.
That's it. As far as I can test it so far all the lights are working, the horns will be too once I run new wires to them and the alternator charges the battery even at idle and stops just short of 14.4V.