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  • Hino Rainbow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  • Engine shutoff fails

    There are many possible reasons for the engine failing to shut off, but a common item to wear and fail is the engine shutoff vacuum operated switch.
    It can be found on page 19 of the motors workshop manual just to the left and above the number 27, or in this image.
    This item needs to be removed, an easy procedure, and the two main parts separated by unbending the retaining lugs.
    Inside, the rubber diaphragm will be found to have a split.
    This can be repaired by using a rubber glue that remains flexible, eg. a shoe repair glue, and placing a thinnish flexible blob over the split.
    Reassemble and reinstall.
    This repair will survive for quite some time, and saves you a fortune !

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    Gravel and sand roads

    When traveling on gravel roads, reduce your speed and reduce tyre pressure.
    This will substantially reduce the risk of tyre failure, and other damage from flying rocks.
    On sand, reduced pressure improves traction and reduces sinking.
    Be sure to reinflate tyres when back on the seal.

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    Tyre pressures

    When an RB145 bus fitted as a motorhome is fully loaded, the gross weight will be close to 6 Tonnes.
    According to tyre charts, front tyres need to be 10 ply minimum and operate at 75 psi (5.17 bar) and rear tyres need to be 12 ply at 85 psi (5.86 bar).
    (Tyre pressures depend on the make of the tyre so check for your tyres.)
    However these pressures results in a harsh ride and increases the possibility of tyre damage.
    It is recommended to have tyre pressures at; front 70 psi (4.83 bar) and rear 75psi (5.17 bar). For these pressures, 10 ply tyres may suffice.
    This also improves steering and may reduce sway if your vehicle suffers from this.
    The increase in fuel consumption is not significant.
    Links here, and here (light trucks).

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    Springs and dampers

    Hino RB145 buses converted to motorhomes are at the maximum weight for the spring sets, and adding an extra leaf to each spring set dramatically improves the ride, and avoids or reduces bottoming out.
    Haire Truck & Bus Repairs Wodonga, Victoria, do an excellent and price competitive job.
    Wilkinson's Engineering Atherton, Queensland, possibly do the best job in the country. Not only do they add a leaf to each spring set, but each set is removed and individually retempered.
    Powerdown is the pioneer and leading supplier of Australian designed shock absorbers and suspension components for trucks, buses, 4WD’s and European vans. Our shock absorbers have been specifically designed for Australian roads and climatic conditions. Powerdown has an extensive distribution network throughout Australia and New Zealand. Phone 02 4949 0000.
    Front Shock absorber, RT 336. (road train)
    Rear Shock absorber, RT104M3, heavy duty, non adjustable with bushings to fit
    Cost $225 per pair (2013)

    Be sure to check the dampers (shock absorbers) are working, or have them replaced.

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    Windscreens

       Koala glass

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    Air Conditioner V Belts

    Any one who has had to purchase V belts may have received a shock at the price.
    Well the other day the air con did not work and I thought it had lost it's gas.
    After organising an appointment at an air con fixer place, I decided to check if the engine was still in the housing as it has performed flawlessly for some long time, actually since the last oil change, and lo and behold, the air con belts were not there !
    Well only the remnants remained. So being computer savvy I decided to look on line and found the first link to be Super Cheap Auto. Yes they had the right size, code 11A1130M and only $19.99 for the pair !!!
    Not only does the air con work better, I am a happy and cooler man.
    Ron

    PS if any one purchases the belts for the alternator or the steering pump, please pass the code onto Admin, email at top of page - thanks.

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    Air conditioner compressor

    Air conditioner compressor replacement. Sanden model part number cxs7867, sd7h15 it is a universal type and you will need an adapter plate.

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    Reading oil dip stick

    I would like to know how to read the oil dipstick, there are no marks showing low or full however there appears to be a very small slot approximately 25mm long but showing no levels, I am only guessing the bottom of the cutout is low and the top is full but this only a guess and that I do not like. My motor is the W40C-T. I presume they are all similar ? Norm

    Norm, You are right, that is how Hino does the oil levels. You are also right regarding the motor, they are all W40C's and the T is for turbo-charged. Another way to check the oil, when you do an oil change, put on a new filter, add exactly 11 litres, start the engine to fill the oil ways and filter, and then stop, wait a minute for the oil to settle and then check the oil measuring stick, and it should be on the full mark, or top end of the slot. All the best, and thanks for the question, glad to be able to help. Happy travels.

    While on the subject of oil, grade to use is 15W40, and change oil and filter every 10,000 km. At the same time, clean the air filter. Try and grease the nipples every 5,000 km.


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    RB145 on car license

    There is a person advertising an RB145A for sale on Gumtree and also advertising that it can be driven on a car licence. Somehow he's had it de-rated to a GVM of 4495kgs to bypass the light rigid driving licence requirements and also the yearly safety inspections. Problem is, as we all know, is that you cannot get a fitted out RB145 under 4500kgs under any circumstances, so if some poor person buys this vehicle believing they can, they will certainly be in trouble if the vehicle is weighed by state transport authorities and worse still, if they are unfortunate enough to have an accident, their insurance may be void (refer to Collyn Rivers latest article in the Wanderer). I would just ask that if you know someone considering a Hino that you please point this out to them so they don't get caught out.
    Cheers, Les
    Ed comment - the tare weight of the RB145 without the seats is 4495 kg.

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    Hino extra radiator

    The Australian assembled RB145 has an extra radiator behind the air conditioner condenser on the right hand side of the bus.
    The imported RB145A's don't have this extra radiator and I was wondering if any of these owners have had any overheating issues whilst traveling Oz? I've heard of an owner who added extra cooling for towing but that's all. Perhaps our 'group' can shed some light on whether their vehicles cope ok without the extra radiator?
    When I remove my small radiator I was planning on using 'blank off' rubber caps 16mm I think they are, plus hose clamps obviously, to ensure the water flows straight through to the front radiator and back again.

    Admin - I have driven in 40 degree heat full throttle up the steep central divide mountains in third gear for a long time, and no overheating. The temperature gauge will rise much hotter than normal as per the owners manual until the electric fans start, and right to the top of the normal zone, but this is below the RED zone. I have heard on more than one occasion of owners modifying cooling systems as they believed their units were over heating, but this is not the case.

    photos from Les Trask


    side radiator 1 side radiator 2

    side radiator 3 side radiator 4

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    Bus heater system removal

    Hi my Hino RB145 has a water pump in front of the left side rear wheel which was for the heater system I think. I have removed the heaters and would like to remove it and the redundant pipes, as I would like to fit a water tank there. Can anyone tell me if this possible? Gary

    Gary, the water pump and diesel heater unit you are referring to is to heat the engine water system for the bus in the extreme cold of Japanese winters. It is possible to remove this system in total as well as all the bus interior heaters along with all the pipe work from the engine and return.
    The electrics need to be disconnected beneath the floor and the terminals protected from the environment by sealing in a plastic bag and securely tied to the chassis.

    PS On the other side of the bus is the diesel heater unit to keep the system from freezing in the -30C temperatures of the Japanese winters. This can also be removed. Seal the diesel line that comes from the tank. This line can be used to supply diesel to a diesel heater unit to heat the bus internally to great effect.
    Note: the outlet to this line is not at the bottom of the tank, so you can not run out of fuel for the engine, or put another way, the fuel will stop flowing here before the tank is empty, just in case you wonder why the heater stopped when there is still 10 or 15 litres of fuel in the tank - Ron


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    Tubeless tyres

    After a lot of searching I stumbled over a useful source of 17.5 x 6.00 tubeless rims with the correct 5 stud centres and 127mm offset.
    These allow the use of 215/75 or 205/80R17.5 tubeless tyres and fully comply with the Hino parts manual.
    For anyone interested, contact Dave or Nathan at Tyreright, Wangara WA
    Tel. 08 9302 5055 or info@wangara.tyreright.com.au.
    They import them by the container load for NW mining use and sell them at $170 each.
    Cheers Bob Wood .

    Admin - I asked Bob if he could give an insight into the use of the tyres - here is his reply.

    When I bought the bus it was sitting on 17.5 x 5.25 tubeless rims which had 115mm offset and 8mm centre thickness. I now know these were commonly fitted to the somewhat lighter Hino Dutro trucks as well as Toyota Dynas. The tyres were 215/75 Yokohamas on the front and 205/80 Bridgestones on the back and were all in very good condition.

    I found it had some tendency to wander and all the usual swaying problems.
    The swaying was largely tamed by replacing the shock absorbers at both ends – the rears are the Powerdown specials RT104M3 – and anti-roll bar bushes. This is the first bus I have ever driven and is the complete opposite of my normal drive.

    My research revealed that the rims were the minimum recommended size for the 205/80s but below minimum for the 215/75s and with little published data to work with, I had inflated them to 70psi. It felt OK, but I had nothing to compare with. With my tyres now fitted to the new rims the tyre place inflated them to 90psi. I have only driven it the 100km home since the new wheels were fitted but it certainly rolls along a little easier and maintains speed with a little less throttle. That may indicate that the 70psi was too low. The wandering also seems to be less, and to me it feels more ‘planted’, although that may be wishful thinking, I’d just parted with a chunk of unbudgeted money :-(

    tubeless rim The front tyres will now be sitting a little flatter, due to the wider rim, but may take a while to settle and wear to their new format. The track at the front is about the same as it was. The track at the rear is effectively increased by a few mm due in part to the offset but also the 2mm extra in centre thickness. The outside edge of the rim is just about flush with the body side. There are no conflict problems on the inside.

    rear tubless rims Overall then the footprint is marginally wider but the tyres are much better supported, lessening the tendency for the tyre to flex sideways relative to the wheel.
    On my limited experience I am pleased with the result.

    Of course, I already had the tubeless tyres so my cost was to replace 6 rims and to buy a complete spare rim & tyre as my spare had been a 16”. Compared with the original spec 7.00R16 on a split rim, the overall rolling diameter is effectively the same but the tubeless tyre will run cooler. I shall be carrying a repair plug kit which hopefully would allow me to repair a flat without removing the wheel – time will tell.

    Having spoken with many arms of the wheel and tyre industry over the last few weeks, it is nice to be able to prove wrong those eminent gentlemen who assured me that “you won’t get any”, “they don’t make them”, they wouldn’t be allowed”, “you’ll need all new tyres as well” etc. etc. I’m sure you’ve also encountered some of these ‘experts’.

    The responses I got when I asked for feedback showed that many are running 7.00R16s while some have opted for 7.50R16s. Nobody else had gone tubeless but that choice had already been taken by the previous owner of my bus.

    Interestingly, the operator of a local school bus contractor runs all of his smaller buses on 215/75s and swears by them.
    The other gem was that in the Bridgestone range, 205/80s are $300 each, 215/75s are $430 each.

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    Swing away spare tyre carrier

    swing away spare wheel carrier 1 swing away spare wheel carrier 2
    swing away spare wheel carrier 3 swing away spare wheel carrier 4
    swing away spare wheel carrier 5swing away spare wheel carrier 6
    swing away spare wheel carrier 7 swing away spare wheel carrier 8

    swing away spare wheel carrier 9

    List of components 1 - 50*50*1.5 Square 735mm
    1 - 50*50*1.5 - 725mm
    1 - 50*50*1.5 - 660mm
    1 - 50*50*1.5 - 935mm
    1 - 50*50*1.5 - 355mm
    1 - 40*40*3 angle - 70mm - external top mount
    1 – 65*65*5 angle - 150mm - main bottom mount
    1 – 30*5 flat - 60mm - anti luce tab
    1 - 60*3 flat - 100mm - internal mount for top bracket
    2 - nylon bushed hinges
    1 - Anti Luce Lock
    3 - 100*25mm bolts cut to suit
    3 – nuts to suit bolts
    4 nuts and bolts to mount the carrier to the bumper and the top mount 12mm diameter and about 30mm long

    I bought the hinges and anti luce lock from OVESCO and the heavy bolts from a local bolt specialist.
    The anti luce lock should be available from any trailer parts place. (This is a common device on trailer tailgates).

    Bill Behan

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    Swivel front seats ?

    Has anyone got drawings or other information regarding swivel seats for the front ? Bob

    Important stuff to know DO NOT bolt anything to the floor until you have located the seat to your preferred driving position and you are sure it will rotate properly without hitting anything.

    To start with, use the original mounting holes. The engineers like this a lot.
    If you can’t utilise the holes at least use the original brackets, this too is really good. But make sure you fill the holes to stop water etc. getting in.
    Use 8mm high tensile bolts and nylock nuts.
    Use 3mm plate to make the new mounts.

    Check out Vehicle Standards Bulletins - used to be called DOTARS -for everything related to engineering in motor vehicles, trailers, etc. ( link here).

    I used Subaru seats because they had a arm rest but the seat was too long and hit my calf all the time, they also had a pressed metal base and formed foam which tended to get uncomfortable after a while. So I changed to Hilux seats. These are a lot (50mm) shorter in the seat and have springs under the foam to give a nicer ride, they are also a smallish seat (as opposed to something out of a commodore).

    When you find a seat simply cut the old pressed metal mounts off and bolt the runners directly to the new mounts you make.

    Drivers side floor to rotating seat base
    rotating seat base 2 * 370mm long 3mm plate bent to 50mm * 30mm. Note that the bracket is over bent to suit the rotating base. This is the rear bracket. The 50mm edge is bolted to the floor utilising the original under-floor reinforcing brackets. The front is exactly the same. It’s all mounted inside the frame of the rotating base.
    Bolt the bent bracket to the rotating base.

    Rotating base to seat brackets.
    braket dimensions rotating seat base 2 This bit is going to depend entirely on the type of seat you end up buying. I have used Toyota Hi Lux seats because they are relatively small and they have inner springs to help with the comfort factor.
    2 * 370 long *85 wide 3mm plate bent to a Z section. Remember you need left and right brackets. The 40mm and the 25mm are to make up for the difference in width between the rotating base and the seat.  The 20mm is for height adjustment depending on how tall you are. This is the right hand side bracket. In this photo I have used a nut as a spacer to allow the slide to run free.

    Car seats are usually built so the driver is leaning backward a bit with the legs extended out in front. In this photo I have used a piece of tube at the rear to bring the seat up to more level so I can sit more upright. Again this is entirely adjustable to preference.

    seatg leveler When you have everything bolted together you can start playing with where you want the seat to be located. In cars the relationship between the steering wheel, the pedals and the seat never line up. It might feel good but if you get a tape measure out you’ll be surprised at how far out of alignment they really are. So when you are playing with seat positioning don’t be too surprised to find that the seat may not be exactly parallel with the side of the bus. I moved my seat inboard a bit to allow it to rotate properly and then turned it a bit (about 10mm off square) so my feet lined up with the pedals. This also had the benefit of giving me a bit of elbow room.

    Passenger side
    ledft seat 2 * 420mm long 3mm plate bent to 50mm * 30mm . The passenger side is much the same as the driver side except for the narrower mud guard. Which means the seat is going to hang (unsupported) over the edge. I welded a small bracket to the overhang and then bolted the bracket onto the mudguard. How much overhang you have is going to depend on how much room you need to rotate the seat.
    left seat rear view
    In this photo you can see how the overhang ends about 60mm past the mudguard and in line with the bottom edge of the guard. I have also moved the seat belt mount.

    On another RB 145 I worked on, I extended the mudguard out to level with the width of the seat which looked really nice. But the seat belt mount was a lot of mucking around fixing it to the floor frame and the narrower walkway made things a bit tight.

    With the passenger seat I got a bit fancy and made the base to seat bracket on a taper to pick the back edge up a bit. This is 50mm at the rear and 20mm at the front. left saet taper braket In this photo you can see the seat on the tapered bracket bolted to the base. And the base bolted to the mudguard bracket with the overhang nicely supported.

    DOTARS has all the specifications on seat belt mounts so double check everything. I used 3mm plate 60mm * 120mm.

    seat belt brackets The nut is welded to the backing plate and the backing plate is riveted into position so it doesn't move when you tighten the bolt. This photo of the passenger side shows the seat belt mount and one of the plates that support the overhang brackets inside. Note the rounded corners on everything and it’s all painted to prevent rust and look a bit professional.

    The gear shift
    gear shift mod When moving the drivers seat you will probably find that the gear shift fouls somewhere. An easy fix is to cut it and move it sideways. I’ve been told this is a common ‘fix’ when converting (expensive) cars from left hand to right hand drive.

    Bill

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    Air Con woes

    I had a problem with the air con compressor and the thing froze up.
    The first time this happened it shredded the drive belts, so thinking that there was a bit of slippage I did the belts up a bit tighter.
    Then it happened again tore the rubber out of the clutch.
    You can’t buy these bits.
    I have found a local company who can vulcanise the rubber back into the air con clutch.
    I had to make a jig to hold both the inner and outer bits in perfect alignment but it works. The cost was a few dollars to buy the steel for the jig and a carton of beer for the vulcanising.
    So if you have a problem with the air con clutch it can be repaired.
    Now I have to find out why the compressor is freezing up, but I think the fans are not working.

    The company I found to repair my air con clutch is called WEARX at Hexham, not far from Newcastle. http://www.wearx.com.
    They do not repair air con clutches but they do vulcanise rubber so they said they would do it for me if I made the jig to hold the two pieces in perfect central alignment. Put that info onto your resources page for future reference.

    Bill

    An update to my earlier air con problems. It turns out that the reason for the unit ‘freezing’ up was actually the magnetic clutch bearing. Mike Varley from Mt Isa (on our list) pointed me in the right direction. The bearing is a massive 2 race unit and literally half the bearings were missing. This was causing the pulley to stop turning and thus destroying the drive belts.

    It could sit and idle all day and the pressures were all correct which was why all the air con specialists I went to could not find anything wrong with it and suggested that the air con pump had a problem. Not one of these specialists suggested looking at the clutch bearing.

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    Wheel Winder Part Required

    Does anyone know where I could procure the eccentric spindle that winds up the chain to lift the spare wheel ? Ron

    After contacting many wreckers around the country I had no luck.
    On a recent visit to NZ, I looked on line and talked to a couple of truck wreckers.
    As I drove around I visited one in Taranaki, just north of New Plymouth, and he also did not have one, but suggested I try one off an old Mitsubishi truck. I took the whole unit back to base by Qantas hoping the spindle would fit, as it looked by eye to be good, but on removing the old unit found the second hand Mitsy unit is identical and fitted exactly. Looks like the Chinese are not the only ones to use parts universally between companies.
    Ron

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    Brass Slippers

    I have just replaced the brass slipper plates in the springs on my bus. To do this I had to make a little jig to put the locating dimple in the plate (this just holds it in place in the spring).

    The front springs have to come out to fit the plates (it’s not that hard a job and if you need bushes you may as well do it while you are there). I haven’t fitted the rear yet but I think it can be done in place by spreading the leaves.

    If any one is feeling keen and you want to do this I could make them for you. One metre of brass costs about $50.00 plus delivery and and I need to pay for the use of oxy to heat it up enough to work it to shape.

    I reckon I could make a set for $100.00 plus delivery to you.
    By comparison Hino tell me there are none in Australia and wanted $68.00 for each slipper plate. There’s 16 of them.
    Bill

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    Wreckers

    It seems difficult to find wreckers for our Hino buses, and not just in this country.
    This maybe as a result of the great reliability of our machines.

    So in summary this is what I have found -
    Firstly look at the links page for possible places.
    Secondly, any wrecker for small to medium Japanese trucks should be tried, as often parts for other makes of Japanese trucks are interchangeable with Hino, for example Mitzubishi, Nissan, etc.
    And thirdly, spend a bit of time and read all the other knowledge based information, it is surprising the little hints that are imbedded in these gems of wisdom, and just maybe the answer that alludes you.

    Happy hunting..
    Ron

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    Rust - Roof Line

    Has anyone had experience with rust in the roof at the front?

    This appears to be a common problem with the RB 145’s.
    I have had a fellow suggest that the problem occurs because the air conditioner encourages moisture to form in that area and that is why the newer models have vents in the roof, to get rid of the moisture laden air.
    So I am wondering if anyone has heard that explanation?

    The other possible cause is moisture being sucked up (via a vacuum effect) through the rear frame work. I know from experience that dust and exhaust fumes enter the bus via the rear column.
    When I built the bus I was really amazed to find carbon soot in the insulation material at least a third of the way forward from the rear and fine dust in cavities even further towards the front.

    So am absolutely convinced that moisture laden air gets into the area between the outer skin and the the plastic air con liner where it condenses and sits on the frame work and encourages rust to form.

    I have made several little repairs to that area but I realised the problem was never going away. I ended up removing the entire curved bit (I call it a ‘hip’). Well not all of it, but a length of 2.4 metres from the front joint .

    I wasn’t too surprised to find the rust had gotten into the frame members, and that is where the trap really exists. Everyone is probably repairing the visible rust and not realising the rust is eating the frame of the bus away.

    I am interested in your thoughts on this issue and if anyone is keen I could do a little ‘how to’ on replacing the roof hip utilising the photos I took.

    Bill


    Yes I too have had rust problems in the roof area, just above the guttering, and yes it is from condensation which I have been told is common in the RB145's.

    My thoughts are - it is caused by the cold air from the air-con going along the roof line inside, where the air comes out into the bus. This cold air would cause condensation along the whole length of the bus, the more and longer you use the air-con the more likely you are to get moisture there, and if then you switch off and park the bus, this moisture will eventually cause problems.

    The thing that could be done to get rid of this moisture is to leave the fan for the air-con running for sometime on high without the air-con going, before you put the bus to sleep. My guess is that you would need to get the bus warm again and run the fan for at least fifteen minutes.

    Keep the engine running otherwise the battery will be discharged and bus batteries should always remain fully charged to ensure long life.

    I took my bus to a panel shop and had the rust cut out and replaced with steel. I think a fibre glass fix up job is probably a waste of time.
    And yes, make sure the panel shop does check for any structural damage.
    Ron

    Thanks for this.
    In my bus, there is a strip (~300mm wide) of 0.9mm opaque plastic sheeting, pushed into place between the wall and roof rails and sealed with silicone all the way along. This formed a smooth, curved rear for the A/C duct.
    The silicone completely covered the steel rails and with a gap of ~20mm between the plastic and the steel ‘hip’ panel, the condensation problem would have been solved.
    Not sure if this was standard on all 145’s but it may also explain why there’s no rust in that area. Again ambient Rh helps. Cheers Bob

    Hi everybody . from northern NSW, we have had our 145a now for 10 years now we never use the AC as I removed the motor drive belt to it 8 years ago the vehicle is always enclosed in a shed and now rust has broken through above the drivers door the 145a has had little use the last 2 years as we have been having other adventures. Food for thought? Sue

    Hello Sue, The bus will have been used before you owned it and the air-con used, and the process of rust development will have started. Once rust begins, it continues relentlessly using any atmospheric moisture until its presence is shown, nothing stops it except complete removal, so inside storage may slow the progression but it will not stop it. Sorry for the bad news, but you have to live with the problem and in time it will show in other places. Kind regards, Ron

    Dear Ronald Thank you so much for your response it was very informative. I did eventually get the downloads off the site and they are most helpful. My dad, Allan, also managed to get the part he was seeking. What a great site you have and so very helpful. You are to be credited for the effort you have put into it. Thanking you kindly Yours sincerely Deborah Khan and her father Allan Coleman.

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    Refrigerator fire

    Hello everyone Bad news.

    I have just experienced a fire at the rear of the Dometic 3 way fridge.
    Fortunately the damage was limited to the fridge insulation, the timber cabinet enclosure and the roof vents are melted.

    burnt enclosure I was lucky to be next to the bus when someone came and brought my attention to the smoke coming out of the roof vent. The fire was caused when the cooling system on the fridge started leaking at the base of the flue, this leak released the ammonia and nitrogen mix and when I turned the fridge to GAS and lit the pilot light the pilot ignited the nitrogen ammonia mix. What actually caused the vast majority of the damage was the fact that the timber cabinetry surrounding the fridge caught fire. So even after I turned off the LPG to the fridge the timber kept burning.

    What have I learned from this experience?
    If you smell ammonia it is not the toilet or cleaning fluid, it is the fridge leaking, my eyes started to water and I still didn’t realise what it was. How slow can I be?
    If the fire alarm goes off, it does so for a reason and it needs to be investigated. I couldn’t see or smell any smoke and I thought it was a nearby smoker combining with the fumes I thought were coming from cleaning fluid.

    The insulation foam in the refrigerator will not support fire, if you take the fire away the foam will not burn.

    The cooling unit of the fridge is remarkably fragile. The unit is tack welded to a frame and these little tacks crack due to vibration and allow the entire weight of the cooling unit to hang on the boiler, that’s the bit at the bottom of the flue where everything joins up.

    damaged insulation What am I doing next. I am going to line the fridge enclosure with a sheet of sign white. This is a metal sheet used in the signage industry and is only about half a millimetre thick so it doesn’t weigh much. In the event that I have another fire the sign white will stop the timber cabinet from catching fire and this will dramatically lower the risk of major damage or a complete wipe out. It will also make the enclosure look a whole lot smarter with a nice smooth white finish. Repairing the fridge insulation is remarkably easy and I am taking photos as I go, for future reference. I have also found a video of how to remove the cooling unit from the fridge. Again this is extremely easy.

    Repairs I have taken the cooling unit out of the fridge and a new one is being made. This is done by Alternate Gas Refrigeration in Arndell Park in Sydney. This is the only company in NSW that does this type of repair and all caravan shops and fridge technicians send fridges here for repair. I’m just cutting out the middleman.

    I have cut out the fire damaged urethane insulation and replaced this with a similar product. The silver sisilation is there to reflect heat and also prevent any damage to the very soft urethane. I can’t get a small quantity of the heavy paper based stuff as original so I am using something lighter but it will work.

    Why not just get a new fridge? There’s nothing wrong with what I have, if you ignore the fire damage and the fact that it no longer cools anything. A new fridge is $3,000.00 and I have been told they are being made in China and the quality is not there.

    The company in Sydney do these repairs for a living and I am confident that it will be better than a new unit. The replacement cooling unit is about $1,000.00, so I should be able to replace, repair and mend all the bits for well under $1,300.00. It gives me something to do and I have learned a whole lot of new things.

    My recommendations. Take your fridge out and have a look at the little tack welds to see if they are broken. This is important because it happens a lot more than we are told. Some fridge units are delivered with tacks missing or barely there.

    Secondly and most importantly, line your fridge enclosure with something that will not catch fire and make a little gas fire into a major inferno.

    Taking the fridge out is also quite easy, there are only four screws at the base and 2 at the top and it simply slides out.

    Bill

    The fridge repairs are going well and I thought I would share these links in case anyone gets really keen about fridge modifications.

    The cooling unit simply pops out of the back of the foam box. http://www.dreampod.net/index.html shows how to put a heat extraction fan and thermostat on the outside of the fridge and a circulating fan inside the fridge to help keep the air moving and reduce ice build up on the fins.
    http://rvrefrigeration.com/training-videos/ an excellent range of videos designed to train people on all aspects of gas fridge operation.

    top left cornerDon’t ever be afraid to pull the fridge apart, it is simply a foam box which is covered in insulation material with a plastic liner which is only 0.5mm thick.

    I have also attached some photos of the repairs I did a few years ago when the tack welds broke off or the cooling fins broke. I don’t really recommend this type of repair, but it did the job.

    top right corner mountPlease note that the wrap around bracket on the top right corner was not too good because it still allowed the tube to move up and down. The point is that the tiny little tacks that hold the cooling unit to the frame often break and it is probably worthwhile checking.

    Bill !

     

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    Insurance

    Question - I've been looking for insurance but can't get much sense out of them when they hear it's a converted bus.
    Answer - If you join the CMCA www.cmca.net.au then as a member you can get insurance from Ken Tame, this is not necessarily the cheapest, but most definitely the best, check it out.
    I have been a member for the last six + years and had to claim twice, windscreen and accident, never a question. Mine as you know is a converted bus, all RB's are of course. It's the norm, not the exception.

    Ken Tame Iand Associates.
    t: 03 9853 5555
    f: 03 9853 5554
    e:
    w: www.kentame.com.au
    POB 2390 Kew VIC 3101

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    Sway Bars

    Bill wrote - There is a difference between the Australian RB145K and Grey import RB145A anti sway bars.
    The K model has a 40 mm anti sway bar and the A has a 34 mm anti sway bar.
    If you have a problem with swaying in your model A bus, it maybe worth infesting in upgrading to a 40 mm sway bar.
    I had my 40mm rear sway bar made by Signature Sway bars at Nowra for about $600.00.
    I had to send him the original to copy and it took about 3 weeks, but he makes the bar at Nowra and then sends it to Adelaide for heat treatment.
    New sway bar mounts and bushes. I went to a truck wrecker and found a 40mm truck Sway bar. I then cut the mounts off the truck unit and fitted them in place of the existing Hino units. I think that cost about $50.00. (Yes there was a bit of cutting and welding involved). Signature Sway bars can make some mounts for you if need them to.

    Swaying Hino Rainbow RB145R Fellow Hino Drivers,
    I built our Hino about 7 years ago, have only traveled 30.000km since complete. I posted a blog about 5 years ago in CMCA forum to help Hino owners solve the Swaying problems with this imported vehicle.
    I got together with the engineer for Bents Engineering who copied my old bar (34mm) and made a (42mm) bar. This worked a treat. No other modifications were made to the bus, Shocks & springs all original. Bents have informed me they have built 20 bars since, all with positive feedback.
    Bents also supply 42mm poly bushes to suit the bar.
    So before you spend a lot of money on new springs & shocks, try fitting a new bar. It will work.
    Regards Bob & Di.

    I bought an imported RB145 around five years ago and experienced the swaying issue. We put new adjustable shockers on but this did not resolve the sway. Doug

    That bar will fix the sway, but inevitably changes the way the bus handles in an emergency swerve situation.
    See my Tech Notes in March 2013 issue re just how and why.
    Collyn Rivers

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    Door Conversion

    Conversion of Hino RB145 entry door from sliding to hinged.

    This conversion was decided upon to improve the overall access to the bus, without the effort required and the associated noise which was a part of the original sliding door.

    My door was suffering problems which included worn runners on deformed brackets and cracks in the inner door pressing, above and below the middle runner port and next to the lock mounting.

    As a part of the conversion, I strengthened the door inner skin by welding both the cracks and a sheet metal patch into the middle runner port, using a wooden jig to keep the door the correct shape. It will be noticed that the door is not straight. The lower half is slightly curved while the upper half is canted inwards. This dictates that the hinges must be fitted between the upper and lower body grooves, in order to keep the two hinge-pins perfectly in line and allow free movement of the door.

    Tools required:
    1 Various hand tools, files, hacksaw etc.
    2 Metric spanners or sockets 12mm, 14mm, Phillips #2 screwdriver
    3 Power drill and suitable bits 3,5,8.5 & (13.5mm) diameter. This diameter will depend on the rivnuts selected.
    4 Rivnut setting tool
    5 Welding and sheet metal facilities (or a friendly panel beater)
    6 Multi-tool with steel blade / angle grinder / reciprocating saw/cold chisel etc.
    7 Anything else

    The required components are as follows:
    1 2 off Heavy duty over-seal type hinges (obtainable from Dunn & Watson, IRS, UES or others)
    2 2 off Aluminium spacers 2mm thick (See sketch and pics below)
    3 2 off Aluminium spacers 3mm thick ( “ “ )
    4 2 off Reinforcing brackets to fit hinge mountings inside door ( “ “ )
    5 1 off Reinforcing bracket for new lock mounting inside door ( “ “ )
    6 8 off M8 Steel long rivnuts, large flange
    7 4 off M5 x 12mm pan head screws and nyloc nuts
    8 5 off M8 x 30 button head high-tensile cap screws
    9 6 off M8 x 20 button head stainless steel cap screws
    10 6 off M8 Nyloc nuts
    11 12 off M6 Steel rivnuts
    12 1 off Outside door handle to suit (Eberhard 4-21100-K or similar)
    13 1 off Inside door handle to suit
    14 1 off Lock unit (Eberhard 1-400-L or similar)
    15 1off Lock striker pin (Eberhard ....... or similar – to suit lock)
    16 1 off Striker pin mount (See sketch and pics below)
    17 12 off M6 x 25 High tensile set screws

    Method Preparation:
    1 The door auto-operator can be removed from under the bus.
    2 The door control unit, just inside the door on the right and its dashboard mounted switch can be removed.
    3 Remove the door trim panel (may be re-used in original or modified form)
    4 Remove the glued-on sealing rubbers from both the body and the front edge of the door.(may be re-used if in good condition)
    5 Remove the lock striker pin.

    Hinge installation
    1 For setting the hinges in the correct locations, leave the door mounted on its sliding runners at this stage.
    2 The hinges used in this conversion are heavy-duty, stainless steel ‘over-seal’ type. It is advisable to modify the body tab of the upper hinge to enable three fixing bolts to be used instead of two. It is the upper hinge that will be in tension due to the weight of the door. Offsetting the third hole achieves a triangular footprint for a completely rigid mounting. As in the pic below, an additional piece of 4.5mm stainless steel was welded to the original hinge tab to allow the third hole to be offset.
    3 In order that the outside of the door finishes level with the outside of the body, it is necessary to measure your hinge offset. Place the hinge flat on a level surface and measure the height of the centre of the pin above the surface. This is the measurement that the hinge pin must lie outside of the body face.
    4 The location of the hinges was chosen to maximise the distance between them. door hinge
    It was decided to mount the body tabs to the rear face of the ‘B’ post. To ensure that the hinges are mounted perfectly in line, it is best to bolt them to a suitable piece of steel bar or angle by their door tabs. This allows the hinges to be set square to the piece of steel, and the two hinge pins kept in line while they were offered up to the body to mark the fixing positions.
    5 Examination of the mounting face shows that where the nearside body panel and the front edge of the door opening panel come together on the ‘B’ post, the surface is not level. To achieve a level mounting for the hinge tab, a 2mm thick spacer was made from aluminium sheet, with its innermost edge filed to achieve a fit against the raised surface. (See pics below)
    6 Large-flanged, steel, M8 long rivnuts were fitted through the 2mm spacer into the ‘B’ post. Mine required a 13.5mm hole diameter, but do check what your chosen rivnuts require. At this point the total metal thickness is comprised of the 2mm spacer, the body skin and the ‘B’ post. This total ~5mm requires the use of long-series rivnuts.
    7 To allow the 3mm thick aluminium spacer to fit between the hinge tab and the rivnuts, it was necessary to counter-bore the rear face by about 1mm to clear the rivnut flanges. I did this using a router bit in the pillar drill with everything clamped firmly in place!!
    door hinge lower 8 With the upper hinge secured by two M8 screws, the third hole can be drilled as a pilot hole through the hinge into the ‘B’ post. After removing the hinge and 3mm packer, this hole will then require to be drilled out to suit your rivnut which can then be fitted. The third hole in the packer will also need to be counter-bored.
    9 The lower hinge position does not allow a third fixing but the original door alignment fitting should be removed.
    10 With both hinges fitted to the body, the door can be slid into its normal closed position. The door tab of the upper hinge is then swung onto the door, allowing the hole positions to be marked on the door. door hinge lower At this point it should be noted that if the hinge pins are perfectly aligned, the tab will not sit perfectly flat on the door. The tab can be twisted slightly when off the bus by mounting the entire length of the hinge pin in a vice, while applying a twisting force in the required direction to the tab.
    11 Once the necessary adjustments have been made, the upper hinge can be secured to the body and the three fixing bolts tightened
    door hinge lower 12 The first hole in the door skin can now be drilled. I drilled through one of the marked positions at 3mm diameter with the reinforcing bracket (see pic below) held inside the door. This marked the bracket, allowing me then to remove it and then drill both the bracket and the door at 5mm diameter.
    13 The hole in the reinforcing bracket was then filed out to create a slot <5mm rearwards. The bracket is then replaced inside the door, pushed fully forward and secured by one M4 screw & nut.
    14 The holes for the two M5 front fixing screws were then drilled through the front edge of the door and the bracket. Note that these screws should be positioned inwards of the rubber door seal. With these two screws in place and tightened, the reinforcing bracket is drawn fully against the front edge of the door and firmly held in place.
    15 The first hole in the door skin and bracket, previously drilled at 5mm, can now be increased to 8.5mm diameter by drilling through the hinge tab to ensure alignment, using light pressure, so as to not distort the bracket.
    16 At this stage an assistant will be useful! With one of you inside the bus and the door closed, the hinge tab can now be temporarily secured to the door by an M8 screw and nut. The remaining two fixing holes can then be drilled through the hinge tab, door and bracket at 8.5mm and two more temporary screws fitted.
    17 With some support under the rear/bottom of the door (I used a trolley jack), one of you inside the bus and the door closed, the two bolts securing the middle door runner can be removed from the inside (12mm socket). This will allow the middle runner to be withdrawn rearwards along its track, leaving the door supported at the front by the lower runner and at the rear by your support, with the top of the door kept inwards by the top runner.
    18 Careful adjustment of the height of your door support will allow the gap between the front edge of the door and the ‘B’ post to be adjusted so that it is parallel. It is also most important to check that the door is completely covering its inner sealing rubber and that the gap around the door is equal at all heights.
    19 When the door position is correct, the lower hinge can be swung into position and the required hole positions marked.
    20 One of these hole positions can be drilled at 8.5mm, as before.
    21 Remove the three door screws from the upper hinge before carefully sliding the door open, while continuing to support the rear edge.
    22 With the door open, the top runner can be removed, followed by removing the two fixing bolts from the lower runner. The door can then be lifted from the bottom runner and taken away for its modifications.

    Door modifications
    door hinge lower 1 Remove all of the original lock, handles and linkages.
    2 If you intend to remove the original external door release, its entire pressing can be removed from the door skin by drilling through the eight spot welds.
    3 With the pressed recess edges trimmed away, a flat 1mm steel patch may be fitted inside the door skin, secured with countersunk head pop rivets.
    4 Mark out the intended cutting lines to accept the new lock unit. I was using an Eberhard #1-400-L passenger restraint lock.
    5 With the door laid on a padded support, so that it is horizontal with the inside facing up. Make two cuts down the 45° face of the door edge, above and below the original lock location.
    6 Cut along the lower edge of the original lock location, nearest to the door flange, see diagram #.
    7 Cut along the original lock location through the two outermost lock fixing holes. This will reduce the length of the 45° tab to allow it to be bent to 90°.
    8 Fabricate the reinforcement bracket as diagram # , and the outer cover piece, diagram #.
    9 Insert the reinforcing bracket inside the door and ensure that it fits snugly in place.
    10 Mark the required fixing locations for the new lock.
    11 Drill through the tab and the reinforcement for the lock fixing screws.
    12 Remove the reinforcement and apply Sikaflex Auto inside the door where the reinforcement will go, then insert it into its position and draw it fully into place, using spare bolts and nuts.
    13 Once the Sikaflex is fully cured (24 hours minimum), the bolts may be removed.
    14 The lock fixing screw holes can be enlarged to allow the installation of long rivnuts.
    15 Apply Sikaflex to the outer cover piece, which is then held in place by the fitment of the 3 rivnuts. These pull together the outer cover with the tab and reinforcement and provide a secure mounting for the lock. Allow 24 hours for the Sikaflex to fully cure before continuing.
    16 The Eberhard lock required a slot to be cut to allow its operating lever to be accessed from the inside the door.
    17 The chosen Eberhard door handle also required an installation hole which was cut through both the door skin and the reinforcement.
    18 Making and installing the linkage rods is not easy due to the confined space and limited visibility. As there will be some paintwork to be done after all these modifications are complete, don’t lock linkage rods in place until you are sure they will not have to be removed again.
    19 If you are not using the original inner door release, you may need to fabricate a mounting to suit your chosen handle. I used the original release but added an extension piece to make it easier to operate.
    20 The hole in the inner skin where the lower runner used to fit passes across the rubber door seal and may now be patched, if desired.
    21 On a trial fit of my door, with new pinchweld seal rubber installed to the step, I found that the lower inside panel of the door was bowed, allowing a gap of some 6mm between the centre of the door and the seal. To overcome this I cut the grill from the lower inside panel of the door. I then inserted some wooden packers inside the door to bring the inner panel straight. These were then coated in resin to waterproof them and bond them permanently in place.
    22 In order to create a ventilation path that would comply with the gas requirements, I then cut a series of 32mm diameter holes below the seal line. Both these and the previous grill hole will need to be covered with suitable mesh.
    23 Rods and linkages will also need to be fitted to operate the lock from the inside. I fabricated a bell-crank assembly to enable me to use the original lock button in its original position.
    24 The area around the patched middle runner port and the lock position will now need some filler to bring them to a finished level.
    25 If you have removed the original external release and patched the hole, a thin coat of body filler can be applied to bring the patched area up to the original panel level.
    26 The door is now ready to be prepared and painted as required.

    Refitting the Door
    door hinge lower 1 To refit the door, one assistant will be required, two would be useful. Using a jack or similar to support the weight of the door, one assistant can hold the door upright in the open position (90°) while the stainless steel screws can then be pushed through the hinge tab and door and have the nyloc nuts fitted on the inside.
    2 Until all six screws are fitted, only lightly tighten them. The door operation can now be checked to ensure that it swings smoothly into the correct position.
    3 Once the alignment is confirmed, all six screws should be fully tightened. Lock Striker Pin Since the new lock has been installed at the same height as the original, it will be necessary to remove the original pin and its mounting, to be able to install the new pin, aligned at 90° to the lock mounting face. To do this the original pressed pin mount must be removed.
    1 Mark the cutting lines around the original pin mount.
    2 Using a multi-tool / angle grinder/ chisels etc, carefully cut around the raised portion and remove it entirely.
    3 Fabricate the new angle bracket (diagram # ) and mark the mounting holes on the door (C) post. (It may be preferred to weld this bracket into the ‘C’ post)
    4 Drill the holes into the door (C) post, enlarge to suit your rivnuts and set them into the post. I used M6 steel rivnuts which required holes of 9mm diameter.
    5 Fabricate the new striker pin mounting, including mounting slots to allow fine adjustment.
    6 With all exposed metal faces treated for corrosion protection, the bracket may be secured to the post by M6 high tensile screws and with Sikaflex Auto applied to the rear face of the bracket. This will bond the bracket to the post and prevent any water ingress.
    7 Allow minimum 24 hours for Sikaflex to fully cure.
    8 The new striker pin mount complete with striker pin can now be installed to the post.
    9 Before closing the door, ensure that the unlock is working correctly
    10 When the door is closed onto the pin it should align smoothly.
    11 Adjust the position of the striker pin as necessary to achieve a smooth operation and when in the closed position, that the outer skin of the door is in line with the body

    Door glass
    door hinge lower The original door glass is 5mm thick, toughened and marked with the applicable standard. However, it also includes three Japanese symbols which are etched into the glass, and therefore cannot be removed. We decided to replace this with a new piece of tinted, toughened, marked glass. The original rubber seal and lockstrip was still supple after 27 years, and was able to be re-used.

    Interior trim panel
    The interior trim panel is made from sheet aluminium and includes a pressed piece to provides clearance for the original door handle. This can be easily removed by drilling through all of the spotwelds and replacing with a flat piece of aluminium, riveted in place. The original trim clips may be re-used with new Champion inserts (#39) if required. The original panel was trimmed with two layers of fabric, glued in place. As the lower inside panel of our door was quite badly marked, we decided to add a new lower trim panel which was made from aluminium sheet. Both panels were then covered in macromarine fabric trim, matching that which had been used for the bus interior.

    Was it worth it? Oh yes!!! That soft but comforting clunk as the door closes is a vast improvement on the whoosh, rumble, clatter and bang that was its previous sound and, on the road, there are no rattles.

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    Towing Infromation

    Under Australian regulations, an RB145 is allowed to tow a trailer of up to 4500kgs gross mass as long as the driver holds an MR (12T ) or higher license. (thank you Bob)

    Does anyone have more information regarding towing regulations or hitch requirments ?
    Please send, as this is important information, thanks, admin.

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