Sammy the Volga Gaz 310221 gets a new front end…

Yesterday our Volga got a surprise front end replacement?

I and Sveta had planned to buy a certain part and replace a certain part. This made sense to her and it was the way I did things back in America. We found a guy a few weeks ago who said that he would sell us the part we needed for 5000 rubles and take 5000 rubles to install it…

This was fair and actually cheaper than anyone else. Everyone would get the new bushings and a couple of small pieces and do the job. They were still fair in price and we almost had a few of them do the work. It just did not seem to congeal and the work never got done. Then along came a man told to us by my Village buddy (I call him Vova, almost like the car Volvo!), named Andrew. Andrew was a quiet man and works at the hospital in the big village. He is one of the drivers for the ambulances and on his day off he would do the work. He works 24 hours on and 24 hours off…

For 10,000 rubles, we had assumptions of replacing just the lower control arm of the driver’s side of the car and was happy to get it done for I did not have the equipment to do the job. Then when we got to his shade tree spot, that he works at, within the hospital grounds, we got a surprise…

He planned to drop the whole front end out of our car and he had already pulled the front end from one of his 5 donor cars (That you see next to ours in the top picture.) and swap it out. Twelve stubborn bolts later, out fell our front end and then it was time for a break (Sveta bought candy cars for everyone) and back to work…

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Andrew and his dad working on our car…

This whole exercise caught us off guard, for I was close to doing the job myself and I was just going to rebuild the part that was bent. As it turned out, Andrew was a godsend and saved us much long-term issues, that would arise if the front had not been replaced. The front end that was installed in the front of our car came from the village, a village that never sees road salt or road deicer, such as we get in Moscow and Moscow area. Front ends, as well as body parts hardly corrode in the villages and we got almost a new complete piece of equipment. Which allowed him just to swap the thing out, which is a whole bunch easier as I could tell. The front end is definitely a modular device and as with almost everything on a Volga, it is designed to repair on the side of the road, if need be and be repaired with regular tools that anyone has…

The new front end is from a model 3110 Volga about 2004, so it was much newer than our 1999 Volga. We also are going to see about finding a much newer style front end and replace it again in a year or so. Our front end is a kingpin style suspension and we can bolt in a newer ball joint style suspension as easy as pie after this one went in. The truth is after all the work he did, the newer one would go in very easy now. Sammy the Volga fought him all the way, as all her bolts were corroded and many had to be broken and or torch cut…

All in all it was a fun and informative experience. I got to watch a very good shade tree mechanic at work and watched as he built and modified what tools he needed to do the job. I watched a man who knew everyone in the village and he knew who to go to to get parts that he needed…

Normally I do all my own work, so it was hard just to sit and watch, but I realized that this was out of my abilities, for a Volga is still a Russian car and my past is American cars and parts. This was better left to the guys who know about these cars…

Sveta had a blast and I explained everything they did to her. She like any good girl, listened and acted like she cared! What a girl I have and she is just plain wonderful. She called me today from Moscow, as her train arrived safely and now Boza and I are bachelors again…

At least our “Sammy the Volga” is safe to drive again…

Post by Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia…


kKEETON @ Windows to Russia…

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