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240 Landmarks of Japanese Automotive Technology
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240 Landmarks TopBuses > Minsei Rear Engine Bus
 Minsei Rear Engine Bus
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This was the first rear engine bus in Japan to be built with a monocoque structure, a technique used in the manufacture of aircraft in which the frame is eliminated and strength and rigidity are provided instead by the skin of the vehicle body. It was modeled after a General Motors rear engine bus that the American Occupation forces had brought into Japan. The shapes of the front and rear windows resemble those of the GM bus. Seats were provided along the entire length of the body, and visibility was good. At this time, the body did not have a row of fixed windows above the passenger windows to provide visibility for standing passengers. Because the body had no frame, the aisle over the rear axle was wide and flat, and in models with bench seats along the sides, not only was it easy to take a seat, but there was also plenty of room for standing passengers. The engine was a German-made Krupp-Junkers Type KD3 with three opposed-piston cylinders and direct fuel injection. The engine had an unusual structure, with no cylinder head, and in each of the tubular cylinders, two pistons that came together from opposite directions, above and below, to form the combustion chamber. At the time, Minsei was the only Japanese manufacturer of direct injection engines for automobiles. The engine was mounted so that the crankshaft was perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the body, and it drove the rear axle through a 70-degree angle drive mechanism.
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Storage location:NISSAN DIESEL MOTOR CO., LTD. (1-1, Ageo-shi, Saitama-ken 362-8523)
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Year manufactured:1949
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Manufacturer:Minsei Diesel Industries, Ltd.
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Classification:Literature
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Current status:In storage: open to the public
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Vehicle name / Manufacture
Vehicle name:Minsei Condor Rear Engine Bus
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Model name:BR30
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Company name:Minsei Diesel Industries, Ltd. (current Nissan Diesel Motor Co., Ltd.)
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Year manufactured:1949
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Designed by:Minsei Diesel
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Collaboration:Fuji Jidosha Kogyo Co., Ltd.
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Vehicle type/usage:Large bus for sightseeing
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Location of actual vehicle/replica:None
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Model / Weight
Style:Box type bus
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Number of doors:Front: 1 + emergency exit: 1
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Passenger capacity:Seat: 45 + standing capacity: 10 + other: 2
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Vehicle weight:6950 kg
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Points of interest, topicality:Japan's first monocoque rear-engined sightseeing bus
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Body / Size
Structure:Stressed skin construction Riveted steel sheets
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Bumpers:Stamped steel sheets
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Step:1 step (step height: 395 mm)
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Overall length:10390 mm
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Overall width:2450 mm
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Overall height:2785 mm
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Tire size:36×8
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Features:Aircraft manufacturing technology was applied. It was Japan's first monocoque rear engine bus, and had a stressed skin construction that was light and very rigid.
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Body / Axle / Driving / Others
Frame:None
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Front axle:Forged I beam reverse Elliott type, parallel laminated spring, variable effective length Nagisa type
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Rear axle:Cast steel banjo axle tube full floating type parallel laminated spring, variable effective length Nagisa type
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Wheelbase:5300
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Front tread x rear tread:1775×1730 mm
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Vehicle height adjustment:None
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Steering:Worm and roller type
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Dampers:Hydraulic cylinder single-acting type, hydraulic cylinder type
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Stabilizer:None
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Driving stability devices:None
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Features:Nagisa type springs with a contact type rear end. Its effective length becomes shorter as the load on the spring increases. Good ride comfort in loaded and unloaded states.
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Engine / Size / Power
Cooling/cylinder arrangement:Water-cooled/opposed piston inline 3-cylinder
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Valve train:Port type for intake and exhaust
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Bore x stroke:85×(144+96) mm
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Displacement:4.086 L
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Max. power/r.p.m.:90 ps/1500 rpm
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Fetures:Opposed piston uniflow-scavenging 2-cycle direct injection engine produced under the patent of Krupp-Junkers of Germany. The nozzle is an open type with an open valve pressure of 0.
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Hybrid
Hybrid system type:None
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Drive-train
Transmission:4 forward speeds and 1 reverse speed, constant-mesh type with 70 deg turning device
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Drive system:RR engine lateral
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Performance
Mode fuel efficiency:-
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Reference materials:Minsei Giho, No. 5, pp. 1-9, Junjiro Tsurumi, "Minsei Ria Enjin Bus No Kakubu Kozo Ni Tsuite", May 1952; Shaho "Minsei" Sokango, p. 2, Apr. 1950
Minsei Giho, No. 5, pp. 10-14, Shinroku Momose, "Shingata Condor Ni Tsuite", May 1952
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