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TRUCK - ON GAS

Recently, private gazelles, bull-calves and other trucks have been actively refitting. The benefits are told by a specialist at Moscow Automobile Plant No. 41, where this fuel has been used for 20 years.

Dmitry ALEXANDROV

Of course, the main thing that attracts private “cabmen” is the price of liquefied gas, which always remains two to three times lower than the price of gasoline. But a less harmful exhaust is a moral incentive for many drivers.

For trucks, the choice of equipment is much more modest than for cars, although gasification began with them.

There are most of all systems designed for light-duty vehicles - gazelles, sables, UAZ cars. They are produced by all factories of gas equipment - domestic and foreign. Differences from "cars" only in cylinders. The most noticeable (30–40% of deliveries) is the Novogrudok Gas Equipment Plant (NZGA), the equipment of which is simple and attractive in price, which cannot be said about quality.

The products of the Ryazan Automobile Equipment Plant (RZAA), Moscow-based development companies - SAGA and Avtosistema, which together provide 10–20% of supplies, are located a step higher in terms of configuration and price.

Recently, equipment imports from Italy and South Korea have grown, which has noticeably squeezed domestic competitors. Winter decline in demand equalized prices in the market for gas equipment, and now domestic kits for gazelles cost $ 200–230, and import kits cost $ 220–280.

The volume of a gas cylinder for trucks is now a decisive factor - queues at gas stations take too much time. If last year the most popular cylinder for the Gazelle was a 103-liter tank, now 130-liter ones are in high demand. Some craftsmen even fit balloons from "lawns" with a volume of 170 and 200 liters to gazelles, and only too large dimensions prevent the use of cylinders for ZILs (250-270 liters).

Good gasification opportunities are provided by gasification to owners of medium-duty vehicles of the ZIL-130 and GAZ-53 type, especially during interurban transportation. Here, the choice of equipment for liquefied gas is limited to products of the same domestic manufacturers - RZAA and NZGA. The products of these factories belong to different generations - the oldest is represented by Ryazan equipment, and the younger - by Novogrudok. Ryazan equipment, although reliable in operation, is already morally obsolete. An impressive structure is placed under the hood of such a ZIL or GAZ - an evaporator and a reducer on a special frame mounted on the engine. When converting a gasoline ZIL to gas, experts replace its K-88 carburetor with gasoline K-91. A very weak point of the Ryazan is balloon fittings: it is not protected from road dirt and is inconvenient to maintain.

In the Novogrudok equipment, the cylinder is equipped with a compact multivalve under a strong casing, as on cylinders for gazelles. The gas mixer is made in the form of a spacer under the carburetor and does not require significant alteration of the standard design. The remaining elements of the Novogrudok truck equipment are also identical to the "Gazelle" ones. Simplicity of design and unification of Novogrudok equipment are attractive from the point of view of its reliability and maintainability. The completely strengths and weaknesses of Novogrudok equipment will be revealed by operating experience. While it is small, but with cautious optimism, we can admit that the "new breast" is worthy of competing with the "Ryazan". Sets of equipment for ZIL-130 are sold in Moscow for 300-350 dollars.

What do gas tanker owners gain and donate? If the re-equipment of the Gazelle costs 8–10 thousand rubles, and the fuel economy is more than 60 rubles / 100 km, then the costs will pay off for 12–15 thousand km. Switching to gas fuel ZIL-130 costs 12-14 thousand rubles, and pays for 10-12 thousand km.

Due to the low compression ratio of the truck’s engine, the loss of power when working on gas is slightly larger than that of a passenger car. It happens that immediately after switching the truck to gas, drivers are faced with the problem of starting and stability of the engine, especially in severe frost. The reason lies in the properties of the gas itself. For example, at low pressure in the cylinder, the fuel supply to the reducer is insufficient, the cold gas-air mixture is reluctantly ignited in the combustion chamber. The latter circumstance also manifests itself in an unregulated ignition system.

If one or two cylinders of eight have low compression, then when working on gasoline this is not felt much. On gas fuel, the ignition temperature of which is much higher than that of a gasoline mixture, a drop in power is noticeable.

Owners of "gazelles" should take into account the features of the K-151 carburetor. With constant driving on gas fuel, it shuts down for a long time and gradually accumulating defects do not immediately manifest themselves, so regular checks of the carburetor during small runs of the car on gasoline are useful.