GAZ Valdai 3310 is a Russian medium-duty low-frame truck of the MCV group No2 class, which has been produced since the end of 2004 at a motor-vehicle plant in the city of Nizhny Novgorod. If the model is compared to the LCV, GAZelle needs a category C driver’s license (Russian classification of car categories).
Following the collapse of the late 90’s with AMO ZIL, GAZ was concerned about the design of the market’s desired low-frame medium-duty distribution vehicle, which could carry out transportation on roads of higher categories. Everyone was expected from the city truck 3310 to satisfy the increased needs of small and medium businesses in freight traffic. Surprisingly, the model has become one of the most popular medium-duty trucks in the Russian Federation. The whole model range is GAZ.
Despite the fact that neither large nor medium business buys the car with great excitement, sold more than 23,000 copies. This indicator is an unattainable result for classmates of foreign models. It should be added that the car is produced only for about 9 years, and many cars bought at lower prices in other countries, the statistics did not include.
Such an intricate prevalence can be explained quite easily – from a distance the car looks like a “GAZelka”, which is not conspicuous. And GAZ-3310 is purchased most often by small carriers who have outgrown GAZelle with 1.5 tons of cargo. However, so far, such vehicles are nothing, and GAZelle exceeds the number of Valdai vehicles by a factor of 50.
Besides, if we remind that the “lorry” was produced by about four million units (GAZ-53), then GAZ-3310 is not a leader, but rather an outsider. Although this is not the case, because the modern logistics of medium-tonnage vehicles is much less important than it was during the era of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which used to be an agricultural power.
To date, the delivery of goods has been driven by massive lorries along with frameless, light-duty vans. But already in the small area of medium-duty trucks, GAZ-3310 is the favourite. Moreover, it has not yet exhausted its market potential, as the difference in price with GAZelle on diesel fuel does not cross the border by 20%.
The debut samples were designed together with the Minsk Automobile Plant, but in the future Minsk specialists decided to unilaterally refuse to sell their own cabins, such as MAZ-5336, for the Gorki Automobile Plant. They decided to launch a whole generation of 5-ton low-frame trucks MAZ-4370 Zubryonok into the conveyor belt.
Therefore, Gorky workers had no choice but to develop a cabin for the existing chassis. They decided to use the power base of the mass cabin of the famous “GAZeli”. When the truck was prepared for mass production, they mastered the production of 1,295 unique spare parts.
In order to achieve this, 6,747 items of equipment were manufactured, including 207 solid and medium-sized dies, 62 forging dies, 40 welded constructors, 14 plastic moulds and 547 work tools. In the shortest possible time, using the latest methods of mathematical modeling “FutoForm”, together with computer-aided design, developed processes and designs of 67 large, 117 medium and 246 small dies for 207 unique stamped elements. Experimental model of 4-ton truck 3310, which was called “Valdai”, was shown at the International Moscow Motor Show in 1999.
GAZ-3310 “Valdai” can be easily confused with the usual “GAZelle”, because they have a lot in common both outside and inside.
The current design of the new car, which received the name of GAZ-3310, received through the introduction of current segmented headlamps with droplet shape, hood, radiator grille, which shape has been changed, and a massive integrated bumper. The hood, together with the mudguards and the power room panel, received a noise insulation coating.
In general, the GAZ-3310 conveyor track indicated the use of block headlamps since 2003, which were used for renewed generations of commercial vehicles of the Gorky Automobile Plant, which also includes Sobol. The car has a number of its own advantages, including a small turning radius (6.4 m).
Thanks to its low height (from 985 mm), it is possible to load heavy things comfortably. The Valdai division is a reliable business vehicle that pays off fairly quickly with good economy and maintainability. Various Valdai vans are available.
For example, there is an isothermal van on the GAZ-33106 platform. It was designed to transport cargo that is critical to changes in temperature conditions. Thanks to the special material of the van, it is possible to maintain the required temperature regime, which protects the products from environmental influences.
A pair of body types are used: polymeric and sandwich panels. The latter have metal sheets of external cladding, between which pour liquid polyurethane foam. When it hardens, it begins to harden, which serves as an excellent thermal insulation.
After all this, the glue is poured. This kind of vans is perfect for mounting the refrigeration system. There is a modification of GAZ 33104 Valdai and GAZ 33106 Valdai. This popular car will be discussed in this article.
Appearance and salon
If we talk about the cabin of the GAZ-3310 Valdai truck, it is represented by a “gazelle” version, but it was changed a little bit. For example, plastic wing extensions were used, the radiator lining was renewed. The bumper now consists of 3 parts, the middle of which has a metal material. As externally, inside GAZ 3310 “Valdai” is completely identical to the simplest and most common “GAZeli”.
The driver’s seat is separated from the passenger seat. The front panel was made of not very qualitative plastic. The steering wheel has a thin rim and a pair of spokes. Immediately after it there is a control lever for direction indicators (left) and audible signal, as well as a control lever for wipers (right).
The dashboard has two large round sensors, the left is a speedometer and the right is a tachometer. In the extreme left corner is the fuel level sensor, and in the right one is the sensor that shows the engine temperature. A little lower, underneath them, there are air pressure sensors on the sides. The ignition switch is installed on the left side of the steering wheel. The middle of the front panel has compartments for installing music players. In front of the windshield, on the sides, installed already familiar speakers of the music system.
The location of the deflectors is quite standard, which allows you to maintain the desired temperature in the cabin. All controls are quite clear. On the right there is a small glove compartment for storing the necessary small items. The seats received headrests, which made the trip more comfortable. In general, the cabin is quite spacious, the height of space is sufficient. In addition to the pressure gauges, the electronic gas pedal was added, which was not much to the liking of the drivers, because it is very expensive to maintain, and the benefits it has quite doubtful.
Initially, this model was planned to be equipped with a GAZ-562 engine, which was a modified version of the 6-cylinder licensed diesel engine Steyr M1. It was nice to see that the design staff did not move further, as the engine was very difficult to repair, and also had an excessive cost, if compared to the rivals. Following this, the company decided to install an Italian diesel engine, IVECO, with a volume of 3.9 liters. It produced 136 horsepower.
But it didn’t come up again. As a result, it was decided to stop at the Minsk version of the MMZ-245, which all of Valdai began to supply, which were intended for export. A modification with Cummins ISF 3.8 engine was produced for the domestic market of the Russian Federation. It is able to develop capacity up to 143/154/170 horses and produce 450/491/600 N/m of torque, and this is in the range from 1,200 to 1,300 rpm.
The technical component of the motor depends directly on the settings selected during production. For our vehicle, we chose the average value, which, according to the developers, was an optimized variation – the power of the engine is sufficient, and the gearbox will be operational for a much longer time. It consumes 3310 from 14 to 17 liters per hundred.
American company producing power units Cummins is one of the world leaders. It has more than 20 branches in different countries, but it does not interfere with the production of quality parts, regardless of where the production is located. For example, ISF line is produced at a Chinese company specialized for these needs, which is able to provide up to 400 thousand power units per year.
ISF’s engines have a turbocharger, where there is a cast-iron sleeveless unit and a common head for all cylinders, which each has 4 valves. The hydraulic fracturing machine is driven by a single-row chain installed on the flywheel side. Such an intention was decided to do to reduce the noise level. Presence of automatic chain tensioner allows not to service it during 500 thousand km of run. Just as many kilometers without maintenance will be able to run the engine, as the company claims.
I would also like to tell you a little about the system, which provides a trouble-free start of the diesel-powered engine in the cold season. To achieve this, we decided to install an air heating coil in the inlet manifold. In addition, there is a function of heating the fuel filter, and it is possible to mount heating parts with power from 220 V to heat the coolant in the jacket and oil in the pallet of the power unit. Therefore, it turns out that GAZ 3310 was well prepared for our harsh climatic conditions, and therefore, it has a small advantage.
What surprised me was that there was nothing new in the transmission. As an exception, there is a single disk clutch of diaphragm type “Sachs”. All other elements, which were produced at the Gorky Automobile Plant, can be noticed at other machines of this enterprise.
All Valdai vehicles come with a five-speed manual gearbox with numbers from 6.55 to 1. The gearbox is equipped with a power take-off shaft. The gearbox crankcase was cast from an aluminum alloy, which received the presence of developed stiffening ribs. As a basis for the rear axle, they decided to take the presence of an “indestructible” node from the well-known model GAZ-53.
The designers decided to keep the hypoid single-stage gearbox, however, taking into account the low speed of the diesel engine and the reduced (compared to the original model) diameter of the wheels, its ratio was reduced. After that, it was about 2,417 instead of 6,83, as it used to be. The use of a high friction differential is very much lacking, then the cross-country ability would have been greatly improved.
For the frame of the Valdai vehicle, spars with variable profile height were used. On the sides it is 100 mm and the middle part is 210 mm, the width of the shelf is 70 mm and the thickness of the metal is 6 mm. Considering that different wheelbases are required for different vehicle configurations, the factory decided not to produce several frame sizes, but to use spar inserts. These inserts are fastened to the rivets, and they provide the necessary frame strength.
For example, the Model 33104 received a transformed suspension structure, where the main leaf springs had twisted lugs at the ends and silent blocks in the joints of the springs with the frame. The front springs are made up of 75 millimetre wide sheets.
As for the rear, they received 3 straight sheets out of 11, but the rear suspension did not receive standard springs. This solution, together with the use of transverse stability stabilizers on two axles, provided the vehicle with the opportunity to improve smoothness and stability while driving.
It represents the presence of disk mechanisms on all wheels. GAZ-33104 became the first car in the history, which used the presence of imported pneumatic drive. Thanks to new solutions in the braking system, it was possible to use a truck with a trailer, which uses a pneumatic braking system.
In addition, the braking system on the pneumatic device is much more confident than the hydraulic one – operation also showed that it is easier to maintain. Also, the ABS system appeared, which indicates a high level of active safety.
Steering wheel control
It is represented by the steering mechanism of the “screw nut” type. It was decided to combine it with hydraulic power steering. The wheels themselves rotate at an angle of up to 45 degrees.
For those who want to buy for themselves or for small and medium-sized businesses such a helper as GAZ-3310 “Valdai”, I would like to say that the cost of a car is quite different. Everything comes from the fact that, depending on what equipment. Today the price starts at 13005 $ and exceeds the mark in a million. Although the price is still much lower than that of his “brothers”.
The pros and cons
- Powerful power unit;
- Smooth running;
- Silent operation of the motor;
- Good maneuverability;
- Small size;
- Small turning radius of the car;
- Increased load-carrying capacity;
- Small improvements in the exterior;
- Distinction of updatings;
- There was a pneumatic system of brakes;
- Hydraulic power steering;
- American engine of Cummins company;
- Improved suspension;
- Not afraid of a bad road;
- Can run on gasoline, gas and diesel;
- Good visibility;
- Relatively low cost of the car.
Cons of a car
- High fuel consumption;
- Sometimes the speedometer shows false information;
- Electronics problems occur;
- The gearbox is quite noisy;
- The level and quality of the interior is still far from European;
- Unchanged appearance of “Valdai” from the usual “GAZelle”.
We sum up
If we compare the Valdai model of GAZ 3310 with a simple GAZelle, the model has become much better. It has increased its payload, improved technical characteristics, suspension, which improves the quality and level of control, which provides a good smooth ride.
In the end, a pneumatic braking system was introduced, which is much better than the hydraulic system in terms of cost and maintainability. In addition, the new vehicles were equipped with the well-known U.S. powertrains from Cummins, which had a positive impact on fuel consumption and was reduced by 1 liter.
Also, the engine has become a little quieter and improved efficiency. It is clear that on the outside and inside, Valdai is very similar to the old GAZelle, but the similarities almost end there. A truck of the Gorky Automobile Plant can be ordered for any of its small and medium businesses, and it will serve the right way.
The truck is even equipped with an ABS system, which, together with ventilated disc brakes, provides productive braking. Even in terms of cost, GAZ-3310 is the market leader in the Russian Federation, which is why it is so often found on the roads of many countries. On the Internet, the reviews of GAZ Valdai are very good.
We advise you to read the article: GAS – history of car production.