MITSUBISHI Fuso is one of the medium-duty truck importers that will be using the Aisin automatic transmission this year. The company expects customers to continue to shift over to automatic transmissions and is geared up to put the transmission's PTO provision to work in commercial applications.
The Aisin transmission is new for two-wheel drive Class 3 and 4 Mitsubishi chassis, replacing the Jatco. Other new announcements from Mitsubishi included a new electronic engine and provisions for stretching wheelbases without affecting the newly required antilock brake systems.
"You will see a lot of Aisin transmissions coming your way," Bob Aquaro, vice-president of product planning at Mitsubishi Fuso, said during his company's segment of the NTEA Truck Product Conference. "Of the Class 3 and 4 trucks we sell, about 70% have automatic transmissions. In Class 5, it is reaching 50%, and the percentage is rising in Class 6 and 7. To find out why, ask your kids. They probably don't know how to drive a vehicle that has a manual transmission, and most of their friends don't."
Installing PTOs At its product display following the company's presentation, Mitsubishi showed a PTO kit designed for the Aisin transmission. The kit has an adapter that does two things-reaches the transmission's PTO drive gear and angles the PTO away from the frame.
Also included in the kit are PTO, electric shift, direct-mount pump flange, wiring for the electric shift, and a lubrication line. The lubrication line delivers lubricant to the PTO from a lubrication fitting on the transmission. Installers should make certain that the lubrication line is installed properly.
Muncie Power Products produced the kit that Mitsubishi displayed. Additional options from Muncie include speeds other than 104% of engine speed that is standard for Mitsubishi. A choice of shift methods is available, including air, mechanical, and hydraulic.
Chelsea also makes a PTO for the Aisin A445 automatic, according to Jeff King, product manager for Chelsea Auxiliary Products. A separate Powershift PTO designed to fit both the Aisin transmission and the Mitsubishi chassis is scheduled to be available by December.
Kits Make It Easier The company has introduced a driveline modification kit for Class 5, 6, and 7 trucks. Mitsubishi will package the driveshafts, slip yokes, and slip joints.
"When the shafts arrive, make sure they are balanced to industry standards," said Leighton Good, application engineering specialist. "Follow the same recommended practices as those of U S companies, such as keeping the driveline working angle between one and three degrees.
Antilock brakes are new for Class 6 and 7 trucks. "Normally that will not present a problem for the truck equipment industry-unless you are modifying the wheelbase," Aquaro said.
The company is offering a harness extension for use when stretching the wheelbase of its Class 6 and 7 trucks. The longer wheelbases will require longer ABS wiring. Mitsubishi is offering 24-inch and 72-inch extension harnesses so that the ABS can continue to receive power. The 72-inch extension is designed specifically for drop frames used in beverage body applications.
"We don't want you to cut the harness," Aquaro said. "Cutting wires and soldering them back together increases resistance. This is not something you want to do with antilock brakes. When you are lengthening the wheelbase on a Mitsubishi, our recommendation is to order a harness. They are available from any Mitsubishi dealer."
Other News Also new this year: * A new electronic engine. "Others are still using mechanical governors," Aquaro said. "This one is fully electronic."
* New mirror brackets that can be used with 102-inch-wide van bodies. The brackets will be offered only on Class 6 and 7 models. They will not appear on lighter chassis.
* Body builder manuals have been consolidated this year. Previous years had separate editions for Class 3 and 4, another for Class 5, and one more for Class 6 and 7. The 1999 manual, mounted in a four-inch binder, shows every model Mitsubishi offers.
* AutoCAD drawings. Upon request, the company also will provide AutoCAD drawings of its chassis. The drawings are the same as those in the body builders manual, but are saved as AutoCAD Version 14 file format. Fax requests to (609) 467-2781.
Installation Tips Leighton Good, application engineering specialist, offered recommendations for working on Mitsubishi chassis.
One area he discussed is frame reinforcements.
"We like to see tapered and chamfered frame reinforcements to avoid stress concentrations in the frame," Good said. "Reinforcements should be Huck-bolted, rather than welded. Holes for the fasteners should be staggered.
When mounting bodies, use crush blocks so that the channel frame is not deformed, he added. This is particularly important on Class 3 and 4 models.
Electrical Issues Tom Marchini, manager of corporate training for sales and service, provided additional tips for working with Mitsubishi electrical systems. Among the points he made:
* All electrical components have a ground wire that runs to a separate grounding location. Mitsubishi does not ground any working device where it is mounted.
* On the Class 3 and 4 Mitsubishi trucks, wiring locations for powering truck body lamps can be found behind the cab and at the tail light. The circuit is rated for 15 amps, and existing lamps draw about seven amps. The typical amp draw of a body is between six and seven amps. Places for tapping into the chassis electrical system are marked with blue tape and silver tags secured to the wires.
* The FH (Class 5) and the FM (Class 6 and 7) have only one location for powering truck body lighting. It is located halfway down the driver-side frame rail and is marked with yellow tape.
Installers can take advantage of a switch already in place inside the FE cab to power a van body dome lamp. The switch, relay, and fuse are installed at the factory, powered by a 15-amp circuit.
* Problems with turn sig nals that flash too quickly are the result of having too few lights on the circuit, rather than too many. If lights are dropped off either side of the circuit, the remaining lights will flash quickly. Mitsubishi tests have shown that as many as eight lights can be added to the turn signal circuit without causing problems.
* When welding on a frame, the truck batter must be disconnected. Mitsubishi also suggests unplugging the electronic control unit (ECU).
* For the 2000 model year truck, Mitsubishi plans to increase the amperage limits of some circuits-particularly the one used for lighting truck bodies.