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ZIL-131: load capacity, specifications, fuel consumption and operating features

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ZIL-131: load capacity, specifications, fuel consumption and operating features
ZIL-131: load capacity, specifications, fuel consumption and operating features

The ZIL-131 truck, whose carrying capacity and cross-country ability have increased performance, was created in parallel with its 130th counterpart. The car differs in reliability, unpretentiousness in service and simplicity of a design. The vehicle has been widely used in the economic and military industries. Consider the features and characteristics of the legendary vehicles.

Military truck ZIL 131

Development and creation

In 1959, the party leadership set an important task for the designers of the Likhachev plant to create an improved military-oriented truck. Such a task was due to the development of the national economy, the resolution on which was adopted at the 21st Party Congress.

The carrying capacity of the ZIL-131 was originally oriented towards the use of the truck for military purposes. The development of the car began in the 50s of the last century, it was supposed to replace the obsolete model of the 157 series. Despite the earlier start of testing, the car in questionit was planned to put into mass production no earlier than 1962. This lengthy period is due to the emergence of some unforeseen obstacles, which took some time to overcome.

Immediately after the development of the 130th modification, planning began for the 131st series. Experienced units of the military line were born in 1966. During the year, tests were successfully carried out, already in 1967 the car began to mass-produce off the assembly line.

Interesting facts

During the tests, the load capacity of the ZIL-131, its performance and operational parameters have improved significantly. One of the modernization factors was the transformation of the base chassis. As a result, the build quality and the main characteristics of the car have improved. The equipment was equipped with an improved motor, the driver's workplace received some ergonomic touches.

The off-road truck innovations of the time were welcomed and embraced with enthusiasm. The modernization did not end there, in 1986 the vehicle was equipped with an updated engine, making it possible to increase productivity while reducing the loss of operational resources.

Flatbed truck ZIL 131

Exterior and cockpit

The car in question, like most analogues, was made with a bonnet body configuration. The load capacity of the ZIL-131, as well as the cab, were identical to those of the 130th series, only the body color was predominantly khaki. Based on an all-metal construction, the front partchanged to a finished part from ZIL-165. The intricately shaped grille and curved fenders were removed. Instead, they put simplified and strict analogues.

For the 60s of the last century in the domestic automotive industry, this design has become revolutionary. Especially if you compare the exterior of the updated truck with its predecessors, the design of which has changed only in small things for 40 years. Another innovation that catches the eye is the panoramic windshield. The engine was not hidden under the cockpit, which is due to a number of reasons: in the field, access to the “engine” was facilitated, the danger to the crew decreased if the power unit was damaged in combat. The military truck in question is outwardly similar to its “colleague” Ural-375.

Truck cab ZIL 131


Taking into account the high load capacity parameter, the onboard ZIL-131 was equipped with a pair of static benches and one folding bench. The side boards are not hinged, which did not affect the convenience of carrying out loading and unloading manipulations through the rear compartment. To ensure the tension of the awning, special arcs are provided. The configuration of the vehicle made it possible to mount other modular structures instead of a cargo body:

  • field kitchen;
  • base for rocket launchers;
  • fire equipment;
  • an arrow with a cradle and the like.

Internal comfort was provided through a number of innovations. Improved thermal insulation provided ease of movement in sub-zerotemperature, and a voluminous windshield has significantly improved visibility compared to its predecessor.

Driver's seat

As for the characteristics of the ZIL-131 in terms of workplace equipment, it is noted that the driver's seat was separated from the paired passenger seat, adjusted for the backrest angle, height and reach. The dashboard was equipped with instruments that gave the driver all the necessary information.

Sensors showed:

  • fuel level;
  • current and voltage of electrical system;
  • speed;
  • oil pressure and temperature level;
  • tachometer data.

One of the controls was placed on the steering column. This is the lever to activate the turns. The large mirrors ensured good visibility even with a trailer, minimizing blind spots.

ZIL 131 with a winch

Specifications and load capacity ZIL-131

The following are the parameters of the truck in question:

  • engine - carbureted V-twin engine with 8 cylinders;
  • working volume - 5.97 l;
  • compression ratio - 6, 5;
  • power - 150/110 (hp/kW);
  • maximum speed - 85 km/h;
  • cooling - liquid type;
  • fuel consumption - 35 l/100 km;
  • type of main gear - double;
  • drive - series-through unit on the rear axle;
  • length/width/height - 7, 0/2, 5/2, 48 m;
  • clearance - 33 cm;
  • wheel track - 1.82 m.

ZIL load capacity 131(tons) -3.5 on a dirt road, 5.0 on a highway. At the same time, the weight of the towed trailer was 4 tons. The clutch disc of the car was equipped with spring-type dampers, which made it possible to soften the switching of gearbox modes. The new truck differed from its predecessor by access to a pair of rear axles, and the front-wheel drive was switched on using a special electric regulator.

Engine ZIL 131

Electrical system and suspension assembly

The designers paid great attention to the insulation and sealing of the electrical system. In the standard version, all units are non-contact transistor type with screening. This ensures uninterrupted operation of the unit even in the most difficult climatic conditions. The screens made it possible to minimize interference during ignition, tightness ensured protection of contacts from short circuit when overcoming fords. The devices were powered by a 12-volt battery and a generator.

The high load capacity of the ZIL-131 dump truck was ensured by a reliable front suspension with a pair of springs and sliding rear end elements. Additionally, the unit was equipped with shock absorbers. On the rear block, the developers installed a balancer on two springs with six rods. Reliability of braking was guaranteed by drum mechanisms, supplemented by pneumatic and mechanical drives.


Several variations have been created on the basis of the truck in question. Let's take a quick look at some of them:

  1. Series 131B - short frame truck tractor.
  2. 131D - experimental development for dump trucks,which never went into the series.
  3. 131Н - a modernized version of the base model with an updated ZIL-5081 engine and improved optics.
  4. Diesel dump truck ZIL-131 N-1, 105 horsepower.
  5. 131AC - modifications in the northern version. They were equipped with an autonomous heater, double glazing, additional thermal insulation, designed to work even in 60-degree frost.
  6. 131X - truck for desert and hot regions.
  7. KUNG is a multifunctional car with the possibility of mounting a stove and an air filtration station.
  8. AC-40 - fire truck.
  9. AT-3 - fuel tanker.
Fire truck based on ZIL 131

Advantages and disadvantages

What is the carrying capacity of the ZIL-131 and its main characteristics - are indicated above. Now we note the pros and cons of the truck in question. The vehicle is equipped with a unique chassis, designed to install various body modifications without much difficulty. The parameters and equipment of the machine make it possible to work reliably in the most extreme conditions. The car was intended for the military sphere, but continues to be successfully used for civilian purposes. In many ways, the popularity of the truck is due to its high maintainability, good cross-country ability and simplicity of design. It is worth noting that the model 131 was clearly superior to its predecessor ZIL-157 in all respects. Nevertheless, the "progenitor" was produced for another two decades since the release of the updated version.

The disadvantages of the machine include its gradualobsolescence. In connection with the development of industry and the complication of work tasks, higher requirements are placed on technology. For this reason, the 131st ZIL was discontinued in 2002. In addition, the carburetor engine is not very economical, and in the diesel version, this car was produced in rather limited series. Buying a truck is now available only in the secondary market at a price of 200 to 600 thousand rubles, depending on the condition and modification of the vehicle.

Modernized ZIL 131


For 35 years of serial production, the ZIL-131 truck has been repeatedly improved, which had a positive effect on its performance. The machine was recognized in various fields of activity, was awarded the USSR quality mark. Despite the end of mass production, these machines can still be found in domestic open spaces. They continue to confidently carry out their tasks, sometimes giving odds in some aspects to more modern counterparts.

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