Friday 15 January 2021

T-43 Reliability Trials

 "To the People's Commissar of Tank Production, comrade Malyshev
To the Commander of the Armoured and Mechanized Forces of the Red Army, Colonel-General of the Tank Forces, comrade Fedorenko

According to your orders, I report on the work of the main components of experimental T-43 tanks.

Tank #1 travelled 2669 km.
  1. V-2-34 engine (Kirov factory production) broke after 20 hours and 9 minutes when the water pump drive broke. It was replaced by a factory #76 engine.
  2. Main clutch (mass production) worked without replacement. No disassembly was conducted.
  3. 5-speed gearbox (mass production) the teeth of the bevel gear broke due to the breaking of the washer tongue on the intermediate shaft washer. The gearbox was replaced.
  4. Final drive clutches (mass production): the right final drive is in good condition, the springs sagged in the left one. After 1292 km the inner drum of the right clutch broke due to a breakage in the hub web (manufacturing defect, the hub web was weakened). 
  5. Brakes (mass production) 3 bands were replaced at 1100 km, 1150 km, and 1690 km due to tearing and the iron liner detaching.
  6. Final drives (driven assembly changed) the bolts of the driving assembly were loosened at 218 km and 1150 km. At 1706 km the bolts of the driven gear were loosened.
    At 2137 km both final drives broke due to a strike of the drive sprockets when driving with broken 5th torsion bars.
  7. Drive sprockets (mass production): the right sprocket was replaced at 1665 km due to 4 broken roller axles and cracks in the reinforcement ribs.
    Two roller axles broke on the left sprocket at 1942 km.
  8. Road wheels (mass production).
    4 wheels were destroyed over the course of 2147 km due to damage to the rubber rims.
    The last 522 km the tank drove on experimental road wheels with an internal liner. No defects.
  9. Torsion bars: at 1955 km the 5th torsion bars on each side broke. At 2317 km the 1st torsion bars on each side broke. An analysis is being performed to find the cause.
Tank #2 travelled 1348 km
  1. V-2-34 engine (Kirov factory) after 15 hours and 5 minutes the socket and plug of the water pump broke.
    After 31 hours and 24 minutes the oil pump drive shaft broke. The lower crankcase was destroyed. The engine was replaced.
  2. Brake bands: the right band tore after 364 km.
  3. Final drives: at 1187 km the bolts of the driven gear were loosened.
  4. Drive sprockets: at 1059 km roller axles broke.
  5. Road wheels: 11 broken.
    A thorough analysis of all components will be in the report.
Guards Colonel Kulchitskiy.
September 1st, 1943"

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