Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bongo Truck platform; potential jeepney platform for city and inter city transport

meet the Mazda Bongo platform one of the few new faces that may replace and even become a staple of Bacolod City public transport system (this bongo is a 1998 model 

well sad to admit to you guys some operators, passengers, jeep owners and bacolod motorists and some bacolod residents are getting annoyed with the L300s and the Hyundai porters, although with its robustness and superiority on long haulage and capacity it cannot cope with some international emission standards especially EURO-II, which is now a standard here in the country, well to say some passengers are getting bored riding in the same Hyundai porters and some other makes.. local jeep assemblers still use the porter to fabricate new models but when it seems this Korean heartthrob seems to be the only commercial vehicle platform available for jeepneys, those fabricators should better take a look at a more modern CV design and platform from Japan which is kind of an underdog but is slowly gaining popularity among some people and motorists in the city,

 meet the 1998-present Mazda Bongo Platform

One thing you'll notice about here in Bacolod is that most Bongo exported here are of special R14 double tire rears, but there are some single tire R15 rear models which is very good for a jeepney platform..

This Platform,Originally Launched in 1995, they are usually (but not exclusively) available in automatic transmissions, and come in 2WD (SGL3) and 4WD (SGL5) versions. 2.5 turbo diesels are common in Japan, although there is a 2.5 V6 petrol version available.

The SG platform Mazda Bongo Friendee. Bongo Friendee was introduced in 1995. Ford began selling the Friendee in the Japanese home market as the Ford Freda.

In June 1998, Mitsubishi Motors began reselling the Bongo. 

In 1999, a facelift version appeared with a revised bodystyle and different engines, although the 2.5 turbodiesel continues unchanged. Air conditioning,climate control and electronic blinds are fitted as standard.

The 4th generation Bongo has a more varied design Mazda dropped the boxy appearance and adopted a more aerodynamic design which resulted from their collaboration with Ford Europe. by giving more spaces and accessibility in the front, and at the same time a collision safety feature is also available in the design of the recent Bongo,

Well here are some a few aspects I can share to you about the 4th Generation Bongo platform;

Main Features:

The minimum turning radius of 4.3m, and demonstrate excellent mobility.

Bongo has proven adaptable to the minimum turning radius of 4.3m (2WD).
Combined with a compact body, delivers outstanding mobility easier maneuverability in the narrow alleys.

Rigid Chassis and High Rigidity Cabin

Support the running chassis is tough bongos, frame employs high-strength box section semi.This is the first of two closed section of steel frame, U-shaped cross section combines excellent build body in the second half, is also exceptionally strong. Support long frame to end the top of the box strong twisting and bending loads, and also allows fully loaded, and to protect the occupants from the collision force and superior shock absorption, high rigidity cabin is required to take it. The event of conflict with the Bongo Platform, adopted its own shock-absorbing frame to absorb impact energy efficiently.The support frame so as to strength of straight-up form. The development of these systems as a total shock, we have secured the safety of the crew well. Intact with excellent maneuverability, reliable safety body has been achieved..

Highly Adaptable Transmission shifting

 Column shift 4-speed automatic electronic control easy to operate. Precise pressure control and optimal timing and speed electronically controlled clutch DESC (Direct Electronic Shift Control) adopted, achieving a smooth shift feel less shift shock and superior power transmission efficiency.Also, with so that can hold its own quick-fix Mazda 2, is useful for acceleration and downhill snow-covered road and engine braking is required. The five-speed manual shift car gear ratio is the best practice and contribute to economic travel and reduced fuel consumption

Front Suspension features

excellent suspension and ride, is achieved thru the front suspension lower arm structure Uses a torsion compression arm this feature enhances the Bongo's rough handling characteristics and helps achieving a good ride while still keeping the nose of subduction during braking. The rear suspension is tuned for depth and position the leaf spring damper characteristics, enabling a balance of comfortable ride and stable handling characteristics and is less sensitive to loading conditions.

braking system features

LPSV system keeps braking secure and more reliable even in higher speeds
 The front 256mm ventilated excellent fade resistance of large diameter, the rear Brake drum is adopted to ensure reliable power during both braking when driving car. Rear brake is operated while the vehicle is an exercise leading trailing type stable braking force. When parking is the first commercial vehicle braking systems and demonstrate Duo Servo braking power. The brake pipe has a dual hydraulic circuit, the braking force to ensure reliability even when one circuit fails, the event X pipe, for adjusting the rear braking force depending on load capacity LSPV (load sensing pressure valve) has been adopted.

I will not discuss other features further because some features are in the 4wd models which are not of interest in jeepney platforms..

Cabin and Spaces:

A Delica Truck for Okinawa Prefecture, Okinawa vehicles are mostly original factory LHD

The Bongo platform seems to be one of the most sleekest cab for flat headed commercial vehicles there are so many amenities and features that may get well the attention of our madlang drivers, the Bongo Platform has been designed for driver comfort and safety in mind, and in Japan CV's must pass strict rules and regulations pretaining all aspects of the vehicle; which includes driver saftey and comfort..

The Bongo Sports the following cabin amenities, LCD Backlit, Large clustered instrument panel and indicators, Tilt steering column, high level seats, large legroom and plenty of storage spaces which includes cupholders, gloveboxes, water repellent mirrors and additional storage areas not seen in previous makes and models and also this features of this kind can only be available for this platform


The Bongo platform especially the older models from 1998 to 2000 uses Mazda RF Diesel engines of 2.0 to 2.4L displacement while another one is euqipped with a more modern 2.5L CRDi Engine from Mitsubishi,  Mitsubishi, Nissan and Mazda once offered 2.0 to 2.5L diesel engines, but as of 2009 they now only stick to a 1.8L gasoline engine (maybe due to regulations in japan) and Mitsubishi is offering 2 engine variants, A 2.5L CRDi diesel engine variant and a 1.8L gasoline engine variant

2.4L RF diesel engine

2.5L RF diesel engine built by Nissan for use in Vanette Trucks; notice that its cylinder head cover is plain aluminum not coated in Black like that found in Mazda RF diesel engines..

favorably earlier models (from 1998 to 2005 ) from the 3 companies using this engines  are already available in the surplus market, plus there are also numerous diesel bongos on stock in japanese surplus dealers so, why not let's give it a try..

Recent Bongo platform engines

A 2500cc Mitsubishi Diesel engine for the Delica Truck

as of this moment only Mitsubishi offers the diesel variant of the Bongo Platform, powered by a 2.5L CRDi Engine. This new 2.5L engine is similar Mitsubishi 4M40 diesel engine, this model is more viable for export here, Mitsubishi also offers a 1.8L engine like the pic below..

The Mitsubishi Delica truck's 2.5L engine comes equipped with EGR system and DPF filter

An 1800cc DOHC gas engine for Bongo Platform produced by Nissan and Mazda 
Mazda and Nissan built Bongo platforms using the 1800cc gas engine may have a hard time to get the crowd here in Bacolod,  mostly who will appreciate this models of bongos from 2007 onwards built by Mazda and Nissan here in bacolod are from the private high class sector..

here are some of how the single tire platform models look like

A bongo single tire model it has the same specs of all ranges of delicas, vanette trucks of the same type and models, the 1998 to 2005 models are available in diesel engines ranging from 2.0 to 2.5L engines

a Delica Truck platform, Mitsubishi has retained a 2.5L engine on their recent models, but older models are available in 2.0 to 2.5L diesel models mainly using Mitsubishi 4D5 series of engines 

A nissan vanette truck platform also available in 2.0L and 2.4L engines from models ranging from 1998 to 2004,  later models starting 2007 varied from diesel to gas engines..

Well for keepsakes here's a spec sheet i've made based on the Mitsubishi Delica Truck  Specifications; most specs of the Bongo, Delica truck and Vanette Truck from the 3 companies remains the same

Opinions on the Bongo platform

some drivers see the bongo CV platform as a very acceptable new model of vehicle which can help ease out and modernize the transport system of the city, some few disadvantages they see is that the Bongo's cab design seems to let sunlight penetrate the cab easier and leading to a more humid space inside, but some drivers said additional tint on the upper windshield would help ease this, next is the engine, some bongos are now CRDi, meaning as for now and as long there is only a few CRDI specialized mechanics and technicians in bacolod, it will be another big problem to be tackled by the "madlang mekaniko",

but for me positive traits matter most, in closing; well lets just hope importation of Bongo CV platforms from Mitsubishi, Nissan and Mazda to continue and start to increase and will help replace our aging Hyundai Porter designs, once more more modern Hyundai porter-II design are arriving, (similar to nyala commuter shuttle's cab design), and hope to freshen up and give some new looks to Bacolod City's Public transport, sector..

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