It’s just a sport: test drive the bus ZIS-127

Rare car for a test drive – it is always a holiday. The single surviving copy – a real sensation. Especially if it’s not homemade, and the serial bus, the first of its kind and has so bizarre structure that makes whistle even experienced lovers of retro-engineering. (!) Two-stroke diesel engine that exceeds international standards width of 2.68 meters, a primitive power – ride on ZIS-127 as memorable as acquainted with the parents of the bride. “It’s just spo-ort” – he likes to impose, colorful drawing out the vowels, the Estonian driver named Tinu, who introduced me to these amazing vehicles. Let’s try?

Leningrad – Tallinn

Why in our country has always been in abundance – so it distances. And what always lacked? Togo, on what these distances to overcome. After the Great Patriotic War, the question of the movements of Soviet citizens across the expanses of the Motherland was particularly acute, but the ride was absolutely nothing to.

We had, however, ZIS-154 and later – ZIS-155, but the first is called the drivers and passengers tons of hate its diesel, and the second was too small and uncomfortable for long-distance transport. Meanwhile, in 1950, the first long-distance routes (naturally, from Moscow) and in 1956, buses started to walk long distances to and from Leningrad.

ZIS-154 ‘1946-48

ZIS 155 ‘1949-1957

For something like a long-distance bus could be released on the line, we tried to make an urgent basis the liner of the ZIS-155.

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When we were one Even before the end of World War II, 3 April 1945, a decision was made on the construction of the production plant of buses in the Ukrainian SSR. And by 21 May (this date is considered …

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To do this, instead of 28 seats set 15 and sent him to travel from Moscow to Simferopol – then the route was no longer easy. The experiment failed: poluzadohnuvshiesya exhaust from the passengers and the driver, the exhausted ruthlessness made of the truck ZIS-150 bus, no pleasure from the trip could not get. Willy-nilly, had to make a new type of transport – long-distance adapted for long trips, if possible a comfortable and reliable.

Awareness of the need to build a ship came very quickly – as early as 1951, immediately after the first flight from Moscow. Build the bus assigned to the Moscow plant buildings and structures, and engineers have tried to fulfill the commission as soon as possible (if time was different, no one was allowed to idle).

Some tend to believe that the production of ZIS-127 really helped the appointment of Ivan Likhachev, former director of the Zisa, the head of the Ministry of Road Transport and highway roads USSR. Allegedly, he strongly lobbied for the interests of the factory workers. Even so, there is nothing wrong here: tenders and competitions while not announced, did not know about the kickbacks, but the bus was badly needed.

Whatever it was, but already in 1953 the first experimental samples were prepared. Disappointed after the ZIS-154 diesel engines, for the first ZIS-127 tried to put the petrol engine capacity of 200 liters. from.

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On the other side of the partition it is not surprising that the vast majority of our population is currently well LiAZ salon. Almost all of us have been there, forget that …

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But during the tests it revealed that the moment at this motor is insufficient acceleration time (multiplied by the brutal consumption of gasoline) does not fit even in the limits of decency 1950s, so the engine is still changed to a two-stroke six-cylinder diesel YAZ-206 (this miracle we devote separate paragraph, even two – he was too unusual), who by that time had already manifest themselves on trucks YAZ-210. With him rode the bus is already a little better, and much time and did not require.

In 1955, the ZIS-127 was released into production. And just such a bus (there is every reason to think that it is this) opened the line Leningrad – Tallinn in 1956. The bus then departed from Leningrad to Peace Square (now Square Hay), and they were based in the First bus depot, so it is here that we meet with this ZiSom.

As many of you know, in 1956, Nikita Khrushchev flatly criticized the personality cult of Stalin’s, and then the last name began diligently to try to forget. As part of these activities to oblivion leader it was renamed and ZIS – he became ZILom.

All cars and buses that went from the enterprise conveyor, began to be called “ZiLami”, and according to their operating instructions to republish steel – already without abbreviations ZIS. Therefore, ZIS-127 produced only until July 1956, all buses later called ZIL-127. However, they had some differences from the Zisa, of which I am also sure to tell later.

In fairness, we note that the buses ZIL-127 still preserved, although they can be counted on the fingers of one hand (sometimes called the figure four, but this information could not be verified). But our ZIS 1956 release was a single copy. How did he survive?

About farmers from Estonia

Mileage ZIS-127
about 3 000 000 km

One trip from Leningrad to Tallinn and back – is not less than 750 kilometers (or sometimes 800 – routes were different). For the art of the last century such runs were very serious, so it is not surprising that the buses had to write off frequently to the same very soon have new Ikarus-55, which gradually replaced the ZIS-127 on long-distance routes. Spent his bus went to the dump, and then – in the smelter. This, of course, sad, but such is the fate of any transport – to be remelted. But one copy ZIS-127 was lucky he escaped this terrible fate. He was saved by the case.

Like many other buses Leningrad fleet, the buildings and structures after the end of life in 1965 he was sent to Vyborg, in the scrap. Now hard to say how it happened, but from there he was taken to Estonian farmers, at the same time taking two more ZiL-127. ZILy went to spare, and here it is ZiSu lucky to survive.

But he did not become a monument or a museum exhibit – after repair he went to travel from Estonia to … Crimea. “What he was there to do?” – Ask a few. Indeed, in the Crimea, it was nothing to do, but still less than he needed in the Estonian farm. The only application that he could find – is to carry people on vacation in the Crimea.

Try to include fantasy and imagine what became ZIS after a couple of decades of work on the farm. Even if your imagination is the professional interest of the psychiatrist, it is still not enough to create this terrible way. Yet in the early 1990s he worked ZIS again – in particular road transport sector. And from there, in a state avtotrupa, the bus finally came into the hands of restorers.

Its mileage is not less than three million (!) Kilometers, he had to stand something he could not, not to ride. But what is surprising – it has retained its natural packaging, a lot of little things that were considered lost forever preserved on this fortunate instance.

On the restoration it took four years, and now we can see with our own eyes the bus, which seemed completely lost. Say thank you to all of its temporary owners, current owners and begin an exciting journey around the ZIS-127.

Aircraft without wings

Back in the late 1940s, Soviet specialists were interested in the American technique Greyhound. While special recognition (and even love) got the coaches Silversides of this company in the United States. This US bestseller Greyhound Scenicruiser appeared later – in the 1954th, so the Soviet delegation to see him could not. However, in 1948 the prototype was ready this bus GX-2, but I would not say that the ZIS-127 was “pinched” with these “Americans”.

There is no doubt that some of them borrowed – in regard to the heavy automotive vehicles, Americans have always been on top, it would be a sin to pass on their experience. Our ZIS looks great and like a Greyhound, as we understand it, is not accidental. Corrugated sidewall round optics, kilograms of chrome – this is just something that catches the eye immediately.

Monocoque bus riveted, which is also impossible not to notice. Interestingly, it was collected by the stacker, and the first assembly body experiments ZIS-127 went back in 1952-1953 at the Tushino machine-building factory, which belonged to the Ministry of Aviation Industry. So what are some “Jets” features of a body is also not accidental – the whole is his explanation.

Now just take a closer look at the optics of the bus. Almost all of them are not Soviet. Their homeland – the United States, and they were in the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease as spare parts supplied by allies of the art. In the USSR, their reserves were substantial, somewhere they had to attach. So we decided – and let them shine our citizens out of the bus. And they shone.

Compulsory membership of intercity bus – cargo compartments. At ZIS-127 they are simply unprecedented size – used to have buses did not have them at all. In each – a wooden “rug” (I could not find a better word). Even if in a bag or suitcase passenger something will break and run out, the rest of the goods remain dry – that was the idea, and it turned out to be quite efficient.

The battery compartment has original chock – that’s where the real rarity! Batteries, by itself, is not native – they can not last for 60 years.

A lot of trouble to the current owner delivers the neck of the fuel tank. The tragedy of the situation lies in the fact that it does not climb the modern gun column, so each refill becomes a torment. But to alter the neck is not going to no one, this bus is more expensive than the nerves.

Another four flap on the sidewalls, about each of the wheels, hide behind a pneumatic air valves by opening them, you can remove the condensate from the brake system. And now it’s time to open the engine cover – here it is, than to admire.

Few technology

Engine YAZ-206 Yaroslavl automobile plant existed in three versions: 165, 180 and 205 liters. from. In the middle stood ZiSe engine YAZ-206D, issuing 180 hp. from. Probably already it is no disappointment to learn that the diesel was also a copy of the American motor. It just so happened: almost all domestic engines – is well converted Western.

In this case served as a role model for the motor GMC «6-71», which the Americans would stand in the light tanks like Valentine (yes, tank English, but one of the engines installed in it was still the US) or some of Sherman. Recent tanks in small numbers hit us in the Lend-Lease, their diesels like our designers, and in 1947 YAZ has mastered the production of these engines. Of course, even under its own brand. So, what is a two-stroke diesel?

The main feature of many two-stroke engine called the presence of the windows in the walls of the cylinder instead of the valve. YAZ-206 breaks these stereotypes as neurotic matches. Valves in it there, but the only outlet. Purged cylinders are three-bladed rotor supercharger.

ZIS-127
Brief specifications
Engine
YAZ-206D
Power
180 l. from.
Years
1955-1961
Issued in all buses
851
Mileage
not less than 3 000 000 km

And how the filling of the cylinder air-fuel mixture? Here, too, it’s not like a gasoline engine, and not as a modern diesel engine. The high pressure fuel pump (fuel pump) from YAZ-206 is no, but there is a pump-injector, which involved injection.

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The same “lorry”, only the base for the bus the bus was the truck GAZ-AA, which we have already described in detail. The chassis remains unchanged, it is still the same design, get us under license by …

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In effect, they are the rods and rocker arms from the camshaft. To this devilish design as something cool, we need a radiator and the impeller. Radiator is a side, it is the air intake grille can be seen on the left side of the bus. But to reach the fan belt did not work – prevents transmission, so to drive the impeller used cardan.

The design came out, to put it mildly, severe, extreme reliability but it is no different. In case of breakage of the cross find it virtually impossible to substitute – this has already had to face. While helping out welding, but would be better if this transfer does not break – trouble with its repair is usually a lot.

Of course, the timing is implemented with all sincerity of the art of time – with the help of iron gears rotate the camshaft to the lower position, which by means of rods, pushrods and rocker opens the valves. The block is also cast iron, sleeves “dry” type – steel. Engine capacity is 7 liters, the compression ratio – 16. Maximum torque 706 Nm is available at 1300 rpm, with a diesel has a maximum speed limiter, which prevents twisting it quickly two thousand.

Diesel is a cross, the box turns heavily offset to the left. How to convey her spin on the rear axle gearbox? Of course, the cardan. Only he did not climbed at a right angle, so it is placed diagonally, which, I confess, I had never seen (cardan drive impeller can sometimes come across).

Transmission on ZIS-127 four-stage, without synchronizers. About her say nothing – nothing revolutionary in it was not. But there was something new in the brake system: the contours of the front rear axle there are separate. The very air brake system, brakes – drum. Classics of the genre, so to speak.

There are a few design decisions to keep silent about who would be a crime. For example, GUR pump only operates when engine speeds of 1300 – 1500 rpm. If the engine speed is lower, Power Steering simply ceases to perform its function. Can you imagine how it came up with a perverted fantasy?

To GUR worked as it should, it is necessary to untwist the engine for three-quarters of the maximum permissible speed. That is to say that there is almost no when starting off or slow motion Góra, but on the road it begins to operate at full capacity. As a human being, everything should be strictly on the contrary! But no, and generally need to say “thank you” for GUR in principle, before his bus was not at all.

Engine power ZIS-127
180 hp

Another oddity of the bus: it has a 12-volt on-board network, but the 24-volt starter. With voltage on-board network is connected another interesting fact about it but we learn only inside the cabin. Let zaberёmsya it.

The luxury of the past century

I do not “zaberёmsya” casually said, in 1950 no one thought that the bus floor should be low. Older man to get into the interior will be as difficult as a lover of Chinese xenon – in paradise. But the award for the feat of conquering Zisa is great – such a comfort, bordering with the bourgeois luxury, to see was more simply nowhere!

No wonder the creation Zisa put hands samolёtostroiteli – chair here and indeed from the plane, the other was not.

Colour Zisa salon was just that – a white and red, but the ZIL-127 already issued with a brown interior. And the reason for that was … chocolate that loved cracking the Soviet tourists.

Laundered after each voyage white interior all quickly tired, so from the second half of 1956, the salon has become brown – on it is not as noticeable traces of chocolate. Anyway, so says my guide Tonu.

It was truly fantastic innovation for the convenience of passengers. Each seat had a seat back inclination adjustment, and even steps can be adjusted on your own. He appeared and a personal light and air vents on each window that could open up using the “lamb.” There was on this ship and floor lights – made it blue.

Between adjacent seats left hooks – if these seats were on the plane, there would be mounting center armrest. They did not put the bus. Total seats in ZiSe was 32, and the rear seat (which is hidden under the motor) Drivers loved to use as a bed.

Since the driver’s door on the bus there, the driver got into place through a single door for passengers. Hidden from them, he could not, but he could shut out the turnstile chromed pipe. We turnstile was closed, because the purpose of our meeting is just there – in the driver’s seat of the bus. Forward!

Behind the wheel of ZIS-127

I had to go on different buses and trucks, but sit behind the wheel and go Zisa – that would be too easy. Или сложно? Нет, тут без внимательного осмотра не обойтись. Давайте вместе примемся разглядывать приборную панель и органы управления.

Рабочее место водителя выполнено в той же цветовой гамме – красно-белой. Не могу сказать, что дизайн приборной панели смог чем-то удивить: покрась его зелёной краской — и получится всё тот же советский грузовик. Приборы тоже вполне ожидаемые: в центре расположился спидометр, слева – амперметр, указатели давления масла в двигателе и температуры воды (вы ведь не ждёте, что в системе охлаждения ЗиСа мог быть антифриз, не так ли?) Справа – манометры каждого из тормозных контуров и тахометр с забавной надписью «сотни об/мин».

Слева от водительского кресла, там, где должна быть дверь, есть ещё одна панель с тумблерами. Ими включается освещение в салоне и отопитель. Последний хоть и есть, но не имеет дефлекторов в ноги – зимой ехать далеко на ЗиС-127 не слишком приятно.

Справа от приборной панели расположилась ещё одна новинка автобуса – радиоприёмник. Причём не какой-то там приёмник, а ламповый А-5, тот самый, что стоял на ЗиС-110 и ЗиМ. Вот только там он был шестивольтовым, а тут он рассчитан на 12 вольт. Да, эти приёмники делали в двух модификациях, и именно в двенадцативольтовой версии его ставили на ЗиС-127.

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