French version

Using the Gear Levers

For those who are unfamiliar with the Niva, the first thing they notice is the number of gear levers:
no less than 3, for such a little Niva!
Let us see what all these levers do.
The gear lever is quite simply a lever like on every other car.
Old Nivas had 4 gears, but since 1986 there are 5.
Using this lever is exactly the same as using the gear lever on any other vehicule.

This lever has 3 positions :
- low box towards the front,
- neutral in the middle,
- high box towards the back.
Low box is used to drive slowly whilst keeping the power of the engine.
First gear is much lower than a normal first gear.
It is used primarily for off-roading.
Neutral is primarily for installing accessories that take power from the box - a bit like on agricultural tractors.
Usually this position is not used.
High box is used for driving on the road, it allows the car to achieve respectable speeds.
Warning :
This lever should only be used once the car has come to a complete standstill!
This is why one should always engage it before taking to the road, because top speed in 5th is lucky to top 70 km/h!
An option exists (rare nowadays) to reduce the low box to go even slower.

This lever has 2 positions :
- to the front the difflock is disengaged,
- to the back the difflock is engaged.
The difflock can be used with both the high and low boxes.
It is used a low speeds.
Warning, never engage the difflock on hard ground!
Sometimes it is difficult to disengage the difflock.
Hint : at very low speeds a small pace backwards or braking usually does the trick.
An option exists called Promolada that gives a third position, allowing disactivation of the front axle and hence non-permenant 4-wheel drive.

Of course, you should always use the clutch to use any of the levers.

Photo of the levers

Les 3 leviers

Photo of Promolada instructions

Commande Promolada

Thanks to hoverfrog for this translation.