The UAZ-469 is an all-terrain vehicle manufactured by UAZ. It was used by the Red Army and other Warsaw Pact forces, as well as paramilitary units in Eastern Bloc countries. In the Soviet Union, it also saw widespread service in all state organizations that needed a robust off-road vehicle.The UAZ-469 was introduced in 1973, replacing the earlier GAZ-69. The UAZ-469 presented two great advantages: It was able to drive in virtually any terrain and it was very easy to fix. The UAZ-469 reached legendary status for its reliability and off-road ability. The vehicle was not available for purchase by the public, but many were sold as surplus to private owners.
Modifications include a basic UAZ-469B with ground clearance of 220 mm, and a specialized military UAZ-469, with ground clearance increased to 300 mm. Since 1985, due to new industry designation standards, they were renamed: the UAZ-469 became the UAZ-3151, while the UAZ-469B became the UAZ-31512. Manufacture of UAZ-31512 for the Russian Army continues, while the manufacture for civilian market is discontinued due to new emission standards. However, the currently manufactured UAZ Hunter is only an updated version of old UAZ-469B.
The UAZ-469 (and its modifications) has earned a reputation as a very reliable and capable 4x4. It has gained huge popularity among off-road enthusiasts within Russia, former Soviet republics as well as other countries.
One of the main reasons the 469 has enjoyed such popularity is its deliberately simple design, which allows for easy maintenance and repairs.
Furthermore, the UAZ's simplicity, easy maintenance and extremely inexpensive spare parts allow the car to last much longer than more expensive and complicated western 4x4s. Even the most complicated and costly repairs can be done by the owners themselves, and rarely cost more than a few hundred dollars.
Although the UAZ has proven to be a reliable 4x4, there have been a few problems with the car’s reliability that have slightly hurt its reputation.
The transmission of the original 469 has been known to have problems when not maintained properly (as the owners manual dictates). Another major problem within Russia has been the production of counterfeit parts made out of cheap metals. Furthermore, the 1990s (after the fall of the Soviet Union) saw a significant decline of quality in the assembly of UAZ vehicles as the company struggled to survive and could not afford to pay the salaries of its employees.
Other problems have been encountered with the modernization of the vehicle, as many of the new electrical and cosmetic parts have been of poor quality. To combat these problems, and return the reliability and dependability of UAZ vehicles to their former standards, the UAZ Company has recently introduced a new quality control system which has reduced the number of UAZ vehicles with defects arriving in showrooms around the world.
An episode of Jeremy Clarkson's Motorworld featured a Vietnamese UAZ-469, though it was not identified as such, where the transmission malfunctioned, among other problems.
- 2,450 cc petrol, in-line 4-cylinder, water cooled, 75 hp (56 kW) at 4000 rpm, 166.7 N·m (123.0 lb·ft) at 2200 rpm
- 76-octane petrol, tank capacity is 78 litres
- 4-speed manual gearbox, 2-speed transfer shift, 4-wheel drive
- Front axle
- Live axle with leaf springs, drum brakes
- Rear axle
- Live axle with leaf springs, drum brakes
- Dimensions and weights
- Empty weight with fuel: 1,650 kg (3,638 lb)
- Max. gross weight: 2,450 kg (5,401 lb)
- External dimensions (length/width/height): 4,025 mm (158.5 in) x 1,785 mm (70.3 in) x 2,050 mm (80.7 in)
- Wheelbase: 2,380 mm (93.7 in)
- Tread front/rear: 1,453 mm (57.2 in)/1,453 mm (57.2 in)
- Ground clearance: 220 mm (8.7 in)
- Tyre size: 215 SR 15
- Wheel size: 6Lx15
- Willys MB, the US vehicle of World War II. Other resemblance can be found in Jeep CJ, Jeep Wrangler.
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- ↑ Vietnam: the worst car in the world - Motorworld - BBC autos Jeremy Clarkson's Motorworld TopGear on Youtube (Uploaded December 19, 2008)