The CarAdvice team reveals what's hidden away in their sheds and backyards awaiting some TLC.
Those of you who have ever experienced the joys and frustrations of project car ownership will know that feeling of disappointment when you go to start your lovely machine, and you are greeted by a telltale tick.
Tick. Tick. Click.
The dead battery can be a sign of a current leak, a lack of use, or just perhaps not closing the door properly and leaving the thing for a few months with the interior light on...
In my case, the battery was alive enough to light up the alternator warning lamp but didn't have enough juice to even attempt a crack of the starter motor.
So sadly, there is no rolling update for the 1988 Lada Niva this time around, but I can at least show you where the battery is.
And yes, you can actually crank start a Niva, but I don't have the crank handle. I'm looking for one now though!
Under the forward-hinge bonnet of the Lada, you need to remove the spare tyre which is held in by some rubber straps and a screw-on plug.
Hoik the wheel out, noting you'll most assuredly get dirty, and put to the side.
The battery tray is against the firewall, with the battery itself secured by a clamp requiring a 10mm socket or spanner to remove. Conveniently, mine needs one of each.
Now is a fair time to note that the car is in a poorly lit area of the garage at the CarAdvice / Drive office and so this was not a super easy task.
It wasn't helped by the socket end falling off the wrench a couple of times, neatly caught by the bottom of the suspension arm each time.
Note too that I've now also ordered a 10mm ratchet spanner.
The cable clamps also needed a 10mm wrench. Remember to always remove the negative terminal first.
With the Bosch 12-volt battery out, I dropped it in to the crew at Carcierge to run on the charger for a few days.
That was in December...
However, just this week I have the battery back and will get the green machine out in the sunshine, hopefully, ready to fit some new bits and pieces to keep her heading in the constant time-machine, back to 1988.