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I work on Hino and Isuzu trucks. Ask me anything.

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Aside from limited passenger room, these little cabover trucks would make a cool toyhauler.  They also get reasonable fuel mileage considering that they are not all that aerodynamic.  We see them come in with 600,000-700,000 miles all the time.

 

The parts are fairly expensive, but it's rare that they need major component replacements if they are maintained.

 

Some systems are a cakewalk to work on.  Other systems, like the brakes, can be a challenge.

 

Anyway, if anyone was considering one for purchase, I can probably answer your questions.

 

Isuzu NPR

 

2005-isuzu-npr-hd-truck-picture_ce0d3.jp

 

Hino FA 

 

hino-fa-02.jpg

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cabover design makes the most sense to me. Why have an engine in front of you? What sort of mileage do they get with say only 1,000 pounds payload? 

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Aside from limited passenger room, these little cabover trucks would make a cool toyhauler.  They also get reasonable fuel mileage considering that they are not all that aerodynamic.  We see them come in with 600,000-700,000 miles all the time.

 

The parts are fairly expensive, but it's rare that they need major component replacements if they are maintained.

 

Some systems are a cakewalk to work on.  Other systems, like the brakes, can be a challenge.

 

Anyway, if anyone was considering one for purchase, I can probably answer your questions.

 

Isuzu NPR

 

2005-isuzu-npr-hd-truck-picture_ce0d3.jp

 

Hino FA 

 

hino-fa-02.jpg

What a conspiracy, commercial vehicles do the work and do the miles, the leather interior pickups are breaking down.🤣

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Is the hino built better?

 

They are both built well, IMO.

The interiors of both are about the same (acres of plastic).  

The Isuzus generally have disc brakes up front, and drums with dual wheel cylinders on each rear corner. The rears have to be manually adjusted, two adjusters per wheel.  Power assist comes from a vacuum pump running off of the rear of the alternator.

Older Hinos (like the one in the picture above) have 4 wheel drum. They have a ridiculous vacuum-over-hydraulic brake system.  Each corner has two wheel cylinders and two adjusters.  Does this sound like an epic pain in the ass?  Yes, it is, but the brake shoes are lined with adamantium and they last for a very long time.  The braking performance is very good.  Better than on the Isuzu, IMO.

 

If you ever had to rebuild either engine, the Hino is remarkably easier.  It has a traditional block layout with the crank held in place by bearing caps. The liners are a slip fit, cooled by a slow circulation of oil around them.  The liners are also coated with something similar to nickasil.  

 

The Isuzu has a block split down the crankshaft centerline.  While stronger in theory, there's no way to check the bearings without removing the engine and completely disassembling it.  COMPLETELY.  They use a press fit dry liner.  Gotta freeze them then hammer them in.  Will turn the toughest arm into jello.  

 

Both brands have the timing gears on the rear of the engine, behind the bellhousing.  These are usually reliable enough that no one would ever have to take one apart for the lifespan of the vehicle.  If something did go awry back there, it's gonna be hella expensive.  I recently had an Isuzu come in with the common rail pump dangling from the engine.  A bearing had let go, the fuel pump drive gear started turning in a different plane than the rest of the gears.  Every gear was slightly damaged.  The transmission, oil pan, cylinder head, and bellhousing all had to be removed to access the gears.  That ended up costing north of ten grand to fix. Granted, this sort of failure is very rare.  Some early conventional Hinos (2005,2006) sometimes had a similar failure with the air compressor drive gear nut backing off.  That problem was soon addressed by the factory.

 

Both brands could be purchased with auto or manual transmissions.  The manual trans often had an unsynchronized first gear.  Depending on year, they could have cable or linkage shifters. Both developed play that made some gears an adventure to find, especially if you were pulling out into traffic.  Luckily, both trucks make enough torque to manage a third or even fourth gear start if you decided to.  Not good for the clutch of course, but it'll do it.

 

Both brands were equipped with Jatco or Aisin transmissions (later Hinos getting Allisons).  I'm not a fan of the Jatco.  It has a band in it that is a little underwhelming in the durability department, and it needed a periodic adjustment (that no one ever adjusted).  If third gear didn't exist anymore, but it would shift into fourth if you lifted off the gas, it was that damned band.  The Aisin transmission is clearly better in every conceivable way.

 

I can go on and on...

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cabover design makes the most sense to me. Why have an engine in front of you? What sort of mileage do they get with say only 1,000 pounds payload? 

It's hard to say.  It's largely dependant on the configuration of the vehicle and on the driver.  One older fella comes in with his NPR.  He's one of those guys that checks his fuel mileage with every receipt.  His truck is slam full, but he takes it easy and gets around 12mpg.  Most everyone else is hauling ass and gets around ten. 

 

The height of that box makes a huge difference in mileage. If one could live with a shorter than average box, it would be worth it from a mileage standpoint.  If you needed more room, the wheelbase of the truck could be altered fairly easily to fit a longer box. There's a wind deflector thing you can get to go on top of the cab to direct air over and around the box, and it makes a measurable improvement in fuel economy.

 

Edit:  What I mean to say is that no one is driving one of these things with only 1000lbs of stuff in them for a long enough period to figure out the unloaded fuel mileage.  They are packed to the gills.  When one breaks down, it's either immediately unloaded on the side of the highway before the tow truck shows up, or a team of guys shows up at the shop, waiting for the tow truck to arrive.  It's fun trying to diagnose something while a team of guys is unloading god-knows-what out of the back of it while constantly asking me how long this will take.

 

 

Edit 2:  Both brands will run off of pure gasoline for a while before they quit (happens all the time).  Neither brand ever seems to be hurt by it, either.

Edited by BasketCaseSensitive

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It's hard to say.  It's largely dependant on the configuration of the vehicle and on the driver.  One older fella comes in with his NPR.  He's one of those guys that checks his fuel mileage with every receipt.  His truck is slam full, but he takes it easy and gets around 12mpg.  Most everyone else is hauling ass and gets around ten. 

 

The height of that box makes a huge difference in mileage. If one could live with a shorter than average box, it would be worth it from a mileage standpoint.  If you needed more room, the wheelbase of the truck could be altered fairly easily to fit a longer box. There's a wind deflector thing you can get to go on top of the cab to direct air over and around the box, and it makes a measurable improvement in fuel economy.

 

Edit:  What I mean to say is that no one is driving one of these things with only 1000lbs of stuff in them for a long enough period to figure out the unloaded fuel mileage.  They are packed to the gills.  When one breaks down, it's either immediately unloaded on the side of the highway before the tow truck shows up, or a team of guys shows up at the shop, waiting for the tow truck to arrive.  It's fun trying to diagnose something while a team of guys is unloading god-knows-what out of the back of it while constantly asking me how long this will take.

 

 

Edit 2:  Both brands will run off of pure gasoline for a while before they quit (happens all the time).  Neither brand ever seems to be hurt by it, either.

Ya, I'd prolly buy a stake bed model someday so bed wouldn't protrude too high. 

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Ya, I'd prolly buy a stake bed model someday so bed wouldn't protrude too high. 

The ride quality of these things is largely dependant on how much weight is over the rear axle.  You'll want some weight back there or it'll feel like you're riding a jackhammer.  

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Basketcase. How easy would it be to tow say a 24 foot travel trailer behind one of these and how would they handle the towing? I am looking at one - they are pretty reasonable used. I would like to just have the truck for short trips, well having the ability to bring along the TT is I go somewhere I can camp.

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To the original message post:   Are you saying these vehicles regularly come in with 600-700k on the clock, and are these mixed  50/50 city/highway miles - as in a metro area service truck?

 

Honestly now.....driving on highway for 600 miles a day......how it that experience?

 

What would  sustained  75 mph be like?  I dont like slow on the highway.

 

I really like the idea of commercial vehicles put to recreational use since I am of the opinion that all toy-haulers and recreational RV's are horribly built and begin falling apart in the showroom.

 

A quick glance at the used market reveals a lot are available in the 120k- 200k range.   Why are they selling good reliable work vehicles in this mileage range?

 

 

BB

Edited by BlackBuzzard
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Basketcase. How easy would it be to tow say a 24 foot travel trailer behind one of these and how would they handle the towing? I am looking at one - they are pretty reasonable used. I would like to just have the truck for short trips, well having the ability to bring along the TT is I go somewhere I can camp.

I'm only aware of a few guys that regularly tow anything with them, but there have been no complaints.  How heavy is the tt?

 

We have a customer that has a larger Hino 268, around 600,000 miles.  It's a moving truck.  He also tows a 20ft trailer behind it.  I don't know how heavy that thing is, but it's really pushing it, lol.

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To the original message post:   Are you saying these vehicles regularly come in with 600-700k on the clock, and are these mixed  50/50 city/highway miles - as in a metro area service truck?

 

Honestly now.....driving on highway for 600 miles a day......how it that experience?

 

What would  sustained  75 mph be like?  I dont like slow on the highway.

 

I really like the idea of commercial vehicles put to recreational use since I am of the opinion that all toy-haulers and recreational RV's are horribly built and begin falling apart in the showroom.

 

A quick glance at the used market reveals a lot are available in the 120k- 200k range.   Why are they selling good reliable work vehicles in this mileage range?

 

 

BB

A great question.  BTW, what brands and models were you looking at?  

 

The small cabovers (both Hino and Isuzu) are really designed for metro area use, and are often geared kinda low, which limits their top speeds. You can cruise at 70 all day, but it's not gonna go much faster than that without finding one with taller gearing.  The Isuzus I've run across appear to all have similar gearing.  

 

Cabovers running at the top end of their maximum speed can get a little squirrelly if the wind is blowing and they're running a light load.

 

The larger Hino cabovers with the six cylinder engines (FD, FE, FF, SG)will happily break the speed limit all day if geared appropriately and still get over 10 mpg.  I believe the SG has a weight rating that demands a CDL.

 

I recently went with a friend from Virginia to Massachusetts with my shop's Hino SG rollback. I was picking up a Ford tractor and a '32 Ford Model A from my grandparent's estate.  We decided to take 81 up to 84.  Truck traffic has destroyed 84 and parts of 81.  Running an empty rollback is kind of bumpy.  Running it through that pothole-infested gauntlet was like sitting on a jackhammer.  Coming back with some weight on it made it much more pleasant.  Then we blew a tire in Carlise PA and the cops showed up.🤣

 

When Hino released their conventional trucks in 2005, the cabovers were dropped.  4 and 6 cylinder variants with GVWRs between 14,500 to 33,000 were available.  Sometimes you'll get into an early one that has a 4 banger and gearing so tall that high gear is useless.  Someone didn't spec that correctly!  Hino began selling a redesigned cabover in 2013.  They are sweet little trucks.  

 

To address the used market question:  I'm not sure what the percentage of the small commercial truck market Isuzu has.  Hino went to 11% this year.  Almost all Hino dealerships are also dealers of more popular brands like Freightliner and Kenworth.  Thier mechanics are busy mostly working on those brands, and are making the place the most money with those brands.  They see more of those other trucks.  So actually forking out the dollars to send your guys to Hino school does not happen at the rate it should.  In other words, there's a lot of trucks out there that have given their owners some grief and the owners can't get anyone to fix the damn thing because no one at the local Hino dealership has the experience they need to get really good at it.  This is the general consensus I've gotten from Hino owners.  More information can be found here:   http://www.expeditersonline.com/forum/truck-talk/61030-i-work-hino-trucks-ill-answer-any-questions-i-know-answers.html

Yes, that's me.  Different username.

 

The place I work is a rare Hino-only dealer.  I've been fully immersed in their ins and outs.

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I have an Isuzu NQR at work with a 14' reefer box and 250k on it...thing is a beast...not a speed demon and the seats suck...so where can I get better aftermarket seats?

 

Thanks,

     -MT-

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Ask you anything? Why are there 10 pack hotdogs and only 8 hotdog buns in a package?

 

because at least 2 always fall into the fire....

 

 

I like those trucks....kinda big to haul yourself in and out of after a good digger, and pretty tall to load, but like ya say, decent mileage, lots of space, last forever.

 

Anybody found me a Ford Transit for a reasonable price yet?  Not me :D

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Holy Hell...the seats in it now sit directly on the floor...I doubt I have space for an air ride...ouch...gonna need to find another option...

 

    -MT-

Any truck junkyards near you?  The seat out of a newer NPR/NQR may be more comfortable, and it might even directly bolt in.

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Aside from limited passenger room, these little cabover trucks would make a cool toyhauler. They also get reasonable fuel mileage considering that they are not all that aerodynamic. We see them come in with 600,000-700,000 miles all the time.

The parts are fairly expensive, but it's rare that they need major component replacements if they are maintained.

Some systems are a cakewalk to work on. Other systems, like the brakes, can be a challenge.

Anyway, if anyone was considering one for purchase, I can probably answer your questions.

Isuzu NPR

2005-isuzu-npr-hd-truck-picture_ce0d3.jp

Hino FA

hino-fa-02.jpg

WHY DIDNT YOU TELL ME BEFORE!!! WE JUST TRADED OURS IN ON A RAM! WE Traded it in because they suck in -20 degrees Celsius. We had to do the headgasket. If I knew this before, you probably would of had 100 PMS worth of questions from me. The 4.8 Isuzu is pretty much a bullet proof motor.

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