Years of stagnation
In fact, the entire production life of "Zakhar" was divided into three periods: the first - from 1958 to 1961, the second lasted until 1978, the third, final - until 1992.
In its original form, it was a machine capable of taking on board up to 2.5 tons of cargo on a dirt road, while on paved roads this figure increased to 4.5 tons. "Cleaver" was also capable of pulling a trailer weighing up to 3.6 tons. The engine on the truck was mounted from the predecessor ZIS-151, only with a new aluminum block head and an improved carburetor. This allowed us to increase the power to 104 liters. with. with a reference fuel consumption of 42 liters per 100 km. Gasoline consumption was less than that of the heavier ZIS-151, but due to the reduced supply of fuel on board, the headroom dropped to 510 km.
Despite the fact that the ZIL-157 received the Grand Prix in Brussels as a truck for agriculture, the main consumer in the early years was the Soviet Army. One of the options for the military version was a machine with an index G, equipped with shielded equipment. The army also received the ZIL-157E chassis, prepared for the installation of special equipment and superstructures. There were options with an additional power take-off, designed for superstructure work. Also in the production range was the ZIL-157V truck tractor, which could haul semi-trailers up to 11 tons. It is interesting that all truck tractors based on the Kolun were equipped with self-recovery winches without fail - this was insurance in case the heavy train got stuck in the mud. ZIL-157V and its later modifications under the KV and KDV indices were, in fact, a piece goods - the production was limited to 300 copies per year.
In addition, as already mentioned in the first part of the story, amphibians ZIL-485A and BTR-152V1 were assembled on the Zakhara units. The advertisement that the truck received in 1958 in Brussels attracted the attention of foreign customers and export modifications of ZIL appeared on the conveyor - for countries with a temperate climate (version 157E), with hot (157U without a “stove” and preheater) and humid tropical (157T with sealed wiring).
A couple of years after the launch of the car in series at the 38th Experimental Plant on the basis of Zakhara, a light wheeled evacuation tractor (KET-L) was created, the main profile of which was pulling out stuck, overturned or sunken vehicles, transportation of damaged vehicles by semi-loading. The tow truck remained in the category of experienced.
Also, on the basis of the 157th ZIL, a PMZ-27 fire engine appeared, developed in the city of Priluki, Chernigov region. If you look closely at the photos of the car, you can see the rear doors of the second row of the original design. Prior to that, standard front doors were simply installed on fire trucks. Naturally, this design turned out to be very tenacious and migrated to the ZIL-131 and ZIL-130. On the basis of the PMZ-27 fire department, an option for hot countries was developed, as well as the first airfield version in the USSR with the letter A, featuring a fire monitor on the roof. It made it possible to start extinguishing the plane even before the car stopped. In the PMZ-27, tanks were provided for 2,150 liters of water and 80 liters of foam concentrate, and the cabin could accommodate 7 personnel. After a small modernization, the fire engine based on the ZIL-157 was discontinued in the early 70s, replacing it with a more advanced 131st vehicle.
Oddly enough, but the first modernization overtook the car in the third year of the conveyor life. Now even foreign automakers do not always withstand such a frequency of renewal - and here ZIL is in the middle of the 20th century. This was due to the appearance of machines of 130 and 131 families, which shared some of their units with Zakhar. The second-generation car received the name ZIL-157K, as well as a single-plate clutch, synchronizers for all forward gears (except for the first), a hand drum brake and shock absorbers on the front suspension. This was the last version of Zakhar produced at the capital's plant. Since 1977 (according to one of the versions since 1982), the Ural Automobile Plant in the city of Novouralsk has taken up production. The car became known as ZIL-157KD, acquired a new piston engine from ZIL-130 (110 hp) and a reinforced chassis from the younger 131st brother.
Now "Cleaver" could take on board 5 tons in case of use on hard roads and 3 tons off-road. This option in many ways became the most civilian among all modifications of the ZIL-157, since the outdated truck was no longer popular in the army and the cars went mainly to agriculture. The design headquarters added some innovations to Zakhar every year, but they cannot be called serious. For example, in 1981, FG1-EV headlights with non-separable optical elements FG140 and A-12-45 + 40 lamps with European asymmetric dipped beam distribution were introduced, and C311-01 was installed instead of the C44 sound signal. But the hydraulic booster never appeared in the design.
It is noteworthy that instead of a superficial modernization, the plant workers proposed to make a full-fledged facelift under the index 4311. Zakhar 2.0 was supposed to receive new fenders with built-in headlights and cargo with increased sides, more suitable for transporting agricultural products. But the new cabin did not live up to expectations, since it did not fundamentally change in capacity and ergonomics, and the ZIL-4311 remained in a single copy.
100 variants of execution
Initially, the ZIL-157 took over all the military professions that the predecessor of the ZIS-151 had, but over the years the specialization has expanded to more than 100 use cases. The machine actively worked in the countries of the Warsaw Pact, as well as in several dozen friendly countries, which explained such a wide military specialization. The airborne Zakhar, capable of carrying up to 18 personnel, as well as towing artillery systems, has become a real army classic. The second most common were various kungas made by numbered factories of the Ministry of Defense. Of these, the experimental sliding body KR-157 of variable volume deserves special mention to accommodate a command post or a canteen. The body was developed in 1963, but in the serial embodiment, a similar technique appeared many years later, already on the ZIL-131.
The first two generations of ZIL-157 became an excellent base for various means of communication and control, also because the truck for its time well combined carrying capacity and high mobility. For example, since 1977 on the Zakhar, an ultra-short-wave radio direction finder R-363 has been installed in the body of the KUNG-2.
The next path of ZIL-157 was field repair shops, the first of which was VAREM (military automobile repair and maintenance workshop). By the way, the first prototypes of the experimental workshops appeared at the 38th Experimental Plant in Bronnitsy ten years before the serial Zakhar appeared and were mounted on the Studebaker US6 lendleighs. Later, more advanced versions of PARM, MTO-AT and APRIM (autonomous mobile repair engineering workshop) appeared.
Water, diesel fuel, gasoline, oil and kerosene became important cargoes for many tankers and tankers based on the ZIL-157, which were produced literally throughout the Soviet Union. And the most exotic filling of tanks was air in the VZ-20-350 model, intended for refueling the airborne pneumatic systems of aircraft.
"Zakhar" appeared in the army in the era of the birth of the country's rocketry, therefore it took on a lot of functions of providing such complex weapons. Starting from refuelers with rocket oxidizer type 8G17M and ending with equipment 8N215 and 8N216 for transportation and testing of cable equipment. Many bodies were simply removed from the outdated ZIS-151 and mounted on the brand new ZIL-157 chassis. Also, the chassis was used for transporting and reloading missiles for both air defense and operational-tactical purposes, in particular, the 9K72 "Elbrus". Naturally, heavy and large missiles were mounted on ZIL-157V and KV truck tractors.
The most formidable modifications of the ZIL-157 were the BM-13NM (modernized Katyusha) multiple launch rocket systems with a 132 mm caliber, a BM-14M with a 140.3 mm caliber and a BM-24 with a 240.9 mm caliber.
In addition to all of the above, the ZIL-157 platform was used in the interests of the chemical protection troops, also as a base for various evacuators and bridge parks. And the most, perhaps, the rare version of the "Zakhara" was the mobile recompression station PRS-V, which served in the Soviet fleet and pontoon parks. In the back there was a pressure chamber, equipment for filling cylinders and means for restoring the health of divers. The most powerful "Zakhars" were undoubtedly auger snow blowers with power plants located on the cargo platform, driving both wheels and a massive auger at the same time. One of these was the D-470 or ShRS-A with a 130-horsepower U2D6-C2 engine.
In the end, let's touch on a couple of interesting experimental machines based on the Kolun. The first of them is the ZIL-157R from 1957, in which all three drive axles were evenly distributed along the length of the vehicle. This made it possible, as conceived by the designers, to improve cross-country ability due to better weight distribution. The 157P had options with both arched tires and conventional ones with an increased diameter. At the same time, the rear axle was steerable and turned in antiphase to the front axle. This made it possible, when turning / turning, not to plow several ruts, but to be limited to one. The Zilovites' developments on this machine formed the basis for further experiments on extremely all-climbing technique.
The second interesting specimen dates back to 1982 and is a hybrid of the ZIL-130 and -131 cabs with the Zakhara chassis. Here the engineers from Novouralsk tried to solve the problem of the Zakhar's cabin, which was inconvenient by that time and cramped, but the direction turned out to be a dead end; several ZIL-157KDM machines remained experimental.
For the last 10-15 years of production, the ZIL-157 was already a frankly outdated machine, which the armed forces abandoned, and only the lack of intelligible competition forced civilian structures to buy a well-deserved "crook". A total of 797,934 vehicles were assembled. This ZIL left an indelible mark on the automotive and military history of the country.