ZiL-E167 (1963) is an experimental wheeled cross-country vehicle designed for use in adverse weather conditions in impassable remote areas of Siberia. ZiL was being developed under the lead of a woman, and this fact makes the project even more unique.
ZiS-E134 №1 (1955) whose units and strengthened chassis were used for creation of ZiL-E167.
The Likhachev plant was entrusted to make a wheeled snowmobile with carrying capacity of three tons for transportation of people. The project had to be finished by January 1, 1963.
Basic characteristics of the vehicle:
1. Wheel arrangement — 6×6.
2. Power-to-rate ratio — at least 20 hp/t.
3. Ground clearance — at least 800 mm.
4. Wheel diameter – at least 1700 mm.
5. Smooth bottom to reduce resistance of the bullzoxer effect.
6. Contact pressure factor — 0,5 kg/cm2.
7. Automatic locking of differentials.
8. First gear ability rating — 0,8 at least.
Carrying capacity of the new vehicle was increased to five tons.
Original wheel-hub drive for installation of the wheel with tyre 21.00-28.
In the rear of the vehicle were two V 8 engines, 180 hp each. In front of the engine was a hydromechanical transmission that consisted of a fluid torque converter and a planetary automatic transmission from ZiL-135L.
ZiL-E152V got broken when was crossing the anti-tank ditch and the model of ZiS-E134 №2 with an increased chassis.
The vehicle had a special transmission that enabled the machine to start smoothly and shocklessly transfer torque to the wheels, so ZiL didn’t tear away the uppermost layer of soil, its wheels didn’t slip.
Specialists of the construction bureau ZiL at the snow mobile ZiL-E167.
For better maneuverability it could be steered by both front and rear wheels. Bigger tyres provided higher ground clearance.
Each engine had its own liquid cooling system.
Disc wheels had split rims made from glass fiber-plastic.
The winch was taken from vehicle ZiL-134.
ZiL had a four seat cabin, a station wagon.
Vitaliy Grachev – one of the best Soviet designers of cross-country vehicles.
Snow mobile ZIL-E-167 was assembled on December 31, 1962 in only two months.
In January 1963 the vehicle had its first run, 742 km on snowy and asphalted roads of the Moscow region and 183 km on virgin snow.
In February it travelled from Moscow to Perm.
It ran at speeds up to 75 km/h.
On the fourth day of its trip, not far from Kazan, it drove away from the road into the deep snow pit. But it could easily got out from the snow captivity by itself. The driver didn’t even have to leave his cabin.
Its average speed while travelling on virgin snow was 10 km/h. The depth of the snow in the suburbs of Perm, where ZiL was tested, reached 700-1200 mm.
The main competitor of ZiL-E167 was a tracked snow-and-swamp going vehicle GAZ-47, but it had worse maneuverability and speed characteristics.
Only the cargo truck AT-T was a close competitor of ZiL-E167, it could haul loads up to fifteen tons.
During the winter testing ZiL traveled 2684 km, 739 km of them – in impassable areas. Irrespective of road conditions travelling was always comfortable for the driver.
ZiL could also overcome serious obstacles on its way – it could easily compare with the best tracked transporters.
When it was stuck it usually managed to come out by itself.
The cabin and the body of ZiL were provided with separate heaters, there was an additional small stove in the body of the vehicle.
Production of the model stopped by a new director of the ZiL plant despite the readiness of Defence Ministry to buy ZiL snow mobiles.