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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
This item needs to be removed, an easy procedure, and
the two main parts separated by unbending the retaining
Inside, the rubber diaphragm will be found to have
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 !
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
Be sure to reinflate tyres when back on the seal.
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.
and here (light
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.
Truck & Bus Repairs Wodonga, Victoria, do an
excellent and price competitive job.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ed comment - the tare weight of the RB145 without the
seats is 4495 kg.
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
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
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, 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
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,
Tel. 08 9302 5055 or email@example.com.
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 :-(
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
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
The other gem was that in the Bridgestone range, 205/80s
are $300 each, 215/75s are $430 each.
Swing away spare tyre
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).
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
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
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
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
* 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.
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
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.
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.
* 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.
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
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. 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 *
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
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
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.
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
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
Wheel Winder Part Required
Does anyone know where I could procure the eccentric
spindle that winds up the chain to lift the spare wheel
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
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
By comparison Hino tell me there are none in Australia
and wanted $68.00 for each slipper plate. There’s 16
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
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.
Rust - Roof Line
Has anyone had experience with rust in the roof at
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Secondly and most importantly,
line your fridge enclosure with something that will
not catch fire and make a little gas fire into a
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.
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.
excellent range of videos designed to train people
on all aspects of gas fridge operation.
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
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.
Question - I've been looking for insurance but can't
get much sense out of them when they hear it's a converted
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
POB 2390 Kew VIC 3101
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
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
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
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.
1 Various hand tools, files, hacksaw etc.
2 Metric spanners or sockets 12mm, 14mm, Phillips #2
3 Power drill and suitable bits 3,5,8.5 & (13.5mm)
diameter. This diameter will depend on the rivnuts
4 Rivnut setting tool
5 Welding and sheet metal facilities (or a friendly
6 Multi-tool with steel blade / angle grinder / reciprocating
saw/cold chisel etc.
7 Anything else
The required components are
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
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
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
16 1 off Striker pin mount (See sketch and pics below)
17 12 off M6 x 25 High tensile set screws
1 The door auto-operator can be removed from under
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.
1 For setting the hinges in the correct locations,
leave the door mounted on its sliding runners at
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.
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!!
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. 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
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
20 One of these hole positions can be drilled at 8.5mm,
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.
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
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
16 The Eberhard lock required a slot to be cut to allow
its operating lever to be accessed from the inside
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
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
26 The door is now ready to be prepared and painted
Refitting the Door
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
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
10 When the door is closed onto the pin it should align
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
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.
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
Does anyone have more information regarding towing
regulations or hitch requirments ?
Please send, as this
is important information, thanks, admin.