Three Engines for Every Lada

If you don’t live in a former Eastern Bloc country, odds are that you’ve never seen a Lada driving around your neighborhood. This car is ubiquitous in Russia and its neighboring countries, though, and for good reason: price. Lada gave many people access to affordable transportation who otherwise would have been walking, but this low price means that it’s a great platform for some excellent car hacks as well.

The guys at [Garage 54], an auto shop in Russia, outfitted one of these discount classics with two extra engines. This goes beyond normal bolt-on modifications you typically see to get modest horsepower gains from a daily driver. The crew had to weld a frame extending out of the front of the car to hold all the extra weight, plus fabricate all the parts needed to get the crankshafts on each engine to connect to each other. After that, it was the “simple” job of tuning the engines to all behave with one another.

This video is really worth watching, as the car was also upgraded with a dually setup on the back with studded tires for extra grip on their ice track. Odds are pretty good that this car isn’t street legal so this is likely the only place they’ll be able to drive it. Other things can be built out of Ladas as well, like lawn mowers for example.

Thanks to [g_alan_e] for the tip!

23 thoughts on “Three Engines for Every Lada

  1. That’s a Lada engines.

    They went on to add a 4th engine but it didn’t add much more. There were tuning issues, traction problems, and finally two of the engines threw off their distributor caps, one via disintegration of the rotor.

  2. “If you don’t live in a former Eastern Bloc country….[]”
    Or in Europe, South America or, or.. (Wikipedia)
    I’ve seen quite a few (Denmark).
    Like the first Skodâs, the were popular because of price and ..fixability.

  3. “If you don’t live in a former Eastern Bloc country, odds are that you’ve never seen a Lada driving around your neighborhood”.

    They were also quite numerous in the UK in the 80s/90s, mainly because they were cheap. They were the target of a lot of snobbishness. Don’t see them too much now, apart from the 4X4 models which seem to have lasted quite well.

          1. Americans, like the rest of the world, didn’t drive Yugos, they pushed them.

            But one thing I am thankful about Yugos, their oil filter (still available at WalMart for ~$3) can be used on a Briggs and Stratton engine, instead of the $17 B&S filter.

    1. And then issues like not being able to pass the first MOT 3yrs from new because the emissions were so utterly terrible.
      Bearing in mind this being pre 93, when emissions testing allowed for no CAT to be fitted.
      That’s how bad they were.

      A lot of the 4×4 Niva’s in the UK are running with the venerable XUD engine. Bullet proof,

      “Why do lada’s have heated rear windows”?
      “to keep your hands warm when pushing it”

      1. Those XUD powered Niva’s were conversions done on new, petrol based Niva’s – I was hitch-hiking back in the 90’s and got a lift in a diesel Niva, had a chat with the owner who worked for the company doing the conversions and told me about it all.

        The XUD was a great engine, I wouldn’t call them bullet proof though. Head gaskets were an issue for some reason at around 100-120k miles, aside from this they would keep going, had a couple with nearly 300k miles (Pug 205 & 406)

      1. Bugger. I wasn’t aware the comment system could accept html formatting. We really, really need an edit button…

        What the first line should have said was:

        {points finger} Witch! Witch!

  4. I woner how long it will take for the woodruff key on the rear engine to fail? Wish there was more detail on the coupling of the engines, did each engine retain it’s harmonic balancer? I couldn’t tell from the video. As a single person, I dont have a Christmas tree in my house. much less in my shop.

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