In accordance with the terms of reference of the Ministry of Defense, the prospective all-terrain vehicle developed as part of the ZIS-E134 project should have a four-wheel wheeled undercarriage. Model samples №1 and №2 had just such a layout of the wheeled chassis. It was found that the desired results can be obtained by using a different undercarriage. The variant of a three-axle machine with a stiffer suspension and transmission that provides four-wheel drive looked promising.
Model trolley ZIS-E134 "Layout No.3". Photo Denisovets.ru
The abandonment of the fourth axle allowed to some extent simplify the chassis and transmission, as well as reduce the load on certain units. In addition, there was an opportunity to improve overall throughput. Axle spacing across the base at an equal distance gave an advantage in the form of a uniform distribution of the load on the ground and the power to the wheels. However, in order to obtain high maneuverability, the car still needed two steered axles at once. There could be other problems that could hamper production and operation.
At the beginning of 1956, the SKB ZIS under the leadership of V.A. Gracheva began to develop a new experimental machine, with the help of which it was planned to study in practice the potential of several new ideas. This mockup model was created as part of a larger project, ZIS-E134, and - to distinguish it from other experimental equipment - received its own number # 3. According to reports, in the documents of the military department this machine appeared under the designation ZIS-134E3. In the middle of the year the plant them. Stalin was renamed the Plant them. Likhachev, as a result of which the “army” designation ZIL-134E3 appeared.
It is curious that all experienced all-terrain vehicles of the ZIS-E134 family were referred to as prototype models, but another term was used with respect to the No. XXUMX vehicle. Small-sized lightweight single all-terrain vehicle also referred to as a breadcart. It should be remembered that the “Layout No. XXNX” was a full-fledged ultra-high cross-country vehicle capable of independently moving along various routes. However, unlike other prototypes, he could not carry any payload.
As part of the ZIS-134E3 project, it was planned to test the viability of several new ideas affecting the design of the transmission and the undercarriage. For this reason, it was possible to do with a relatively small and light machine, which has only the necessary composition of the onboard equipment. Moreover, unlike other prototypes, it had to have a cabin with only one working place. In the case of obtaining acceptable results with a breadcart, it was possible to design and build a full-size all-terrain vehicle based on tested solutions.
The ZIS-ЭNNXX “Layout No. 134” cart received a lightweight compact supporting body of the simplest design that could accommodate only the most necessary devices. Its front end accommodated some units, behind which there was a volume to accommodate the driver. The rear half of the body was the engine compartment in which the engine and part of the transmission devices were located. The units responsible for the transmission of torque to the six drive wheels were located near the bottom of the sides, including under the driver.
"Layout No.3" at the site. In the cockpit, presumably, the chief designer of SKB ZIS V.A. Grachev. Photo Denisovets.ru
The case had the simplest design based on a metal frame. On the latter, with the help of rivets and sides, they fixed a small rectangular vertical frontal sheet with a pair of headlamp openings. Above it was an inclined sheet. Large vertical sides of complex shape were used. The front trapezoid part of the board was connected with the inclined frontal sheet, behind which there was a section of lesser height. Cut-out top side facilitated access to the cabin. The stern of the sides, a small rectangular roof with a sloping section and a vertical stern sheet formed the engine compartment. Between the cabin and the power compartment there was a metal partition. On top of the roof was placed bucket air intake cooling system.
A six-cylinder in-line gasoline engine GAZ-51 with a power 78 hp, connected to a manual gearbox, was installed in the rear part of the hull. The engine radiator received air through the upper intake device of the housing. The all-terrain vehicle transmission was based on ready-made components taken from different types of existing equipment. So, the transfer box was taken from the GAZ-63 truck. The main gear and part of the bridge units were borrowed from the amphibious all-terrain vehicle ZIS-485. Instead of three bridges with their own mechanisms, only one was used. The wheels of the two other axles were driven using a set of cardan shafts extending from the bridge, and several onboard gears.
Model No.3 received a special design undercarriage. She partially repeated the system of the previous machines, but at the same time differed some innovations. For example, the hard wheel suspension was used again without any depreciation. Instead of solid bridges, fully borrowed from the existing amphibian, its individual units were used, placed on the sides of the hull and on internal supports. It is noteworthy that the pair of wheels of such a machine, by tradition, was still referred to as bridges. In order to obtain acceptable maneuverability, the wheels of two axles out of three were made manageable.
The ZIS-E134 “Layout No. 3” project provided for the use of several types of wheels with tires of different sizes. To study different configurations of the chassis, the machine could be equipped with 14.00-18 or 16.00-20 tires, capable of operating at reduced pressure to 0,05 kg / sq. Cm. Some experiments involved the dismantling of wheels with a change in the wheel formula. This made it possible to study new versions of the undercarriage of the all-terrain vehicle without building a new car.
Prototype №3 received an open single cabin. The driver had to get into it, climbing over the side. The cabin had all the necessary control devices and controls. The steered wheels were controlled by an automobile-type rudder, the transmission - by a set of levers. A low windshield secured to the inclined hull sheet protected the driver from headwinds and dirt spreading on the roads.
All-terrain vehicle on the marshland. Photo Strangernn.livejournal.com
The model trolley of the ZIS-134E3 project was distinguished by relatively small dimensions and low weight. The length of such a machine did not exceed 3,5 m with a width of the order of 2 m and a height less than 1,8 m. Ground clearance - 290 mm. When using 14.00-18 tires, the curb weight of the all-terrain vehicle was 2850 kg. After installing wheels with larger tires, this parameter increased by 300 kg. According to calculations, on the highway the car had to accelerate to 65 km / h. Power reserve did not exceed tens or hundreds of kilometers, but for a purely experimental machine, this characteristic did not have much value.
The construction of the only experienced all-terrain vehicle ZIS-E134 “Layout No.3” was completed in July 1956. From the assembly shop the prototype was transferred to the landfill for the necessary tests. According to the available data, the testing of the mock-up sample under the number №3 started at the Research and testing autotractor test site in the city of Bronnitsy (Moscow region). This object had a number of tracks of various kinds, which made it possible to assess the possibilities of technology in various conditions. Inspections were carried out both on land routes and on fords and wetlands.
According to reports, the tests of the prototype model №3 started with checks of the car in the original configuration of the three-axle all-terrain vehicle. There were running-in with both 14.00-18 tires and larger 16.00-20 tires. Studied the behavior of the chassis when the pressure in the tires. In the presence of certain problems, the layout proved to be a good idea and, in practice, confirmed the viability of the three-axle undercarriage with equal intervals between the wheels. There were also confirmed the conclusions about the fundamental possibility of using a rigid suspension of large low-pressure wheels, made earlier according to the test results of “Layout No. XXUMX”.
It is known that the use of two pairs of steered wheels at once did not lead to the desired results. Maneuverability of the car was lower than expected. Also, for obvious reasons, the transmission of the machine was to a certain extent more difficult than the units of previous prototypes, which made it difficult to operate and maintain.
After the tests of the “Model №3” in the initial configuration, the experiments began. So, for the new test, the front and rear axles of the all-terrain vehicle were fitted with 16.00-20 tires. At the same time, the central axis remained without wheels and without work, as a result of which the wheel formula of the prototype changed from 6x6 to 4x4. Removing a pair of wheels resulted in a reduction in the curb weight to 2730 kg while maintaining the overall thrust parameters and other characteristics. In a modified configuration, the car again went through all the tracks, showing its new features.
The main result of the long-term tests of the experienced ZIS-E134 / ZIL-134Е3 all-terrain vehicle was the conclusion that it is possible in principle to use a number of new technical solutions in the field of undercarriage design. “Model №3” confirmed the previous conclusions about the viability of the low-pressure wheel with a rigid suspension, and also showed the prospects for a three-axle undercarriage with similar wheels. Exact information about the results of testing the machine with the formula 4х4 is missing, but there is reason to believe that in this form it showed not the best performance, because of which the subject of biaxial all-terrain vehicles did not receive further development.
Conclusions were also made regarding the capabilities and prospects of the transmission, built using a set of onboard gears instead of traditional units. Such a transmission was justified and later developed. It effectively solved the main tasks, distributing the power to several driving wheels, and at the same time allowed to optimize the layout of the internal hull volumes.
In the mid-fifties, the Plant them. Stalin implemented the ZIS-E134 project, in which several prototypes of ultra-high-traffic vehicles were created and tested, both meeting the initial requirements of the military department (“Layout No. XXUMX” and “Layout No. XXUMX”), and intended to test individual ideas and solutions (“Layout No. 1” and “Layout No. 2”). The project as a whole was purely experimental in nature and, first of all, was intended to study the existing possibilities with the subsequent formation of variants of the appearance of the required equipment. Testing of new ideas was carried out using original prototypes.
Due to the research nature of the project, none of the four prototypes had any chance to go beyond the landfills and reach mass production with subsequent operation in the military or civilian organizations. Nevertheless, four “license” all-terrain vehicles made it possible to collect a significant amount of data and accumulate much experience in the field of ultra-high-traffic machines. This knowledge was now planned to be used in new projects of special equipment suitable for practical use.
Work on the creation of new all-terrain vehicles using the accumulated experience started in 1957 year. The first model of this kind was the multipurpose tractor ZIL-134. Later a number of tested ideas was implemented in the project ZIL-135. Several new experimental machines were also developed. The most successful project of this series was ZIL-135. In the future, it became the basis for a whole family of special vehicles built in large batches and found application in a number of areas. Developments on the topic of ZIS-E134 gave a real result.
Kochnev E.D. Secret cars of the Soviet Army. - M .: Yauza, Eksmo, 2011.