Video: Little-known Motors Of The USSR: Diesel For Zhiguli
2023 Author: Natalie MacDonald | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 13:59
Soviet passenger cars began to try on diesel engines at about the same time that the fashion for passenger cars with heavy fuel engines covered Western Europe - in the early 60s. And they began to try them on in Western Europe, and these motors were not at all of Soviet origin.
In 1960, in the West, sales of 21 Volgas began, which were built by the Belgian company S. A. Scaldia-Volga. In order for them to have at least some chance in the capitalist world, the cars differed not only in the extended configuration, but also in the presence of new diesel engines: in S. A. Scaldia-Volg believed that such a decision would increase the popularity of Volga among Benelux taxi companies. Unfortunately, these hopes did not come true, and diesel Soviet sedans with Peugeot, Rover and Perkins engines sold out in ridiculous numbers. We will definitely tell about this story in one of the following materials.
In the meantime, let's return to the Soviet Union. And we will find that there were no serial diesels for passenger cars in the country at all. It was unlikely that it was a technical limitation. Rather, it all came down to the futility of such a development: why did the USSR passenger cars need scrap torque? Why fuel efficiency when gasoline is in bulk, but it costs a penny? And is there any point in a motor that suddenly refuses to start in the harsh Russian winter?
That is why in the USSR, unlike the USA or Western Europe, even trucks were most often equipped with gasoline engines. And diesel power plants were the lot of specialized equipment for which traction and efficiency are important. We translate into understandable language: for tanks, tractors and very heavy trucks.
However, the 1973 fuel crisis made it clear that oil, regardless of the country, should be used as efficiently as possible. Therefore, even in the USSR, they began to think about creating a diesel engine for passenger cars. Traditionally, the greatest enthusiasm was shown by the minds of the flagship of the Soviet automotive industry - the Volzhsky Automobile Plant. However, they managed to get funding for an expensive and very dubious project only by the beginning of the 80s.
It took engineers three years to create the engine, and in 1983 the first prototype was ready. They took a block from a VAZ-2103 as a basis, so the working volume of the diesel engine was 1.45 liters. The valve mechanism was similar to that used on the G8: the engineers tried to unify the new power plant with the existing ones as much as possible. At the same time, they were worried that excessive vibrations would not destroy the unit ahead of time, so the chain drive of the gas distribution mechanism was replaced with a belt drive.
For maximum reliability of the vortex-chamber diesel engine, diesel fuel was injected with a classic high-pressure fuel pump (TNVD). The motor turned out to be extremely simple in order to exclude additional difficulties during its serial production and further maintenance. That is why the technical characteristics of the VAZ diesel engine were not impressive: power - a measly 55 horsepower. Even a diesel second generation Golf would not be enough.
What can we say about the larger VAZ-2105, which after the installation of the diesel engine received the index 21055. In 1988 the car was taken out for state tests, and it even received the approval of the commission, but there were several significant problems. The first is sluggish acceleration dynamics: 23 seconds. For such a long time, the "five" has never traveled up to 100 kilometers per hour. The second reason is still low reliability: a diesel engine required the utmost accuracy and strength of the crank mechanism and piston group, and Soviet machines did not know how. Finally, the third reason: the country at that time did not have extra money to eliminate the first two …
That is why the poor debut of the VAZ-341 diesel engine took place after the collapse of the Union. Initially, it was planned to launch the production of motors at the Kirov plant in the early 90s, but the continuing difficult times forced the VAZ engineers to postpone this idea until 1996, until the piece production of motors was organized jointly with the Barnaultransmash enterprise.
Meanwhile, by 1996, the VAZ scientific and technical group already had three diesel engines: a 1.5-liter aspirated VAZ-341, a 1.8-liter naturally aspirated VAZ-343 and a 1.8-liter turbodiesel (!) VAZ- 3431. It was assumed that the motors will be installed on the VAZ-2104/2105/2107, as well as the Niva.
But reality again had its own plans. Barnaultransmash mastered full-scale serial production of diesel engines only by 2000. Moreover, it was only about one engine - the base VAZ-341, which began to be equipped with station wagons (VAZ-21045) and sedans (VAZ-21055). Other motors have survived on paper.
We all remember how “quality” the domestic cars of the early 2000s were distinguished by. Therefore, the diesel "classics" did not please with durability: the engines nursed 40-50 thousand kilometers, after which they required major repairs. The long-term and long-suffering project was closed in 2003, and since then VAZ has not returned to diesel engines.
From the end of 1999 to 2003, about 6,000 diesel Zhiguli were manufactured, which, in addition to the characteristic clatter, are distinguished by the exhaust pipe bent to the side and the Diesel nameplate. They still periodically appear on sale. For example, at the end of 2019, the diesel "four" was sold in Vladivostok.
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