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Old 05-04-2016, 12:24 PM   #121
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I would like to chime in here, because I'm an engineer... I find this response from Blue Bird to be a bit inadequate. Engineers like numbers-- in order to mean anything, we need numbers on which to base our decisions. Lacking numbers, this response could mean anything... What I suspect they are saying with their response is this:

"We rate the structural integrity of the bus to be ____ for torsion/shear/strain/etc., and by removing the interior side panels and headlining panels, the bus no longer satisfies the threshold criteria to meet our structural integrity guideline. Therefore, it 'has no structural integrity.' "

What I would really like as a response is a numerical answer: how MUCH does it change the strength of the body? Give me torsion/shear/strain 3D analysis. I suspect that by replacing the panels with new paneling (even wood), and placing interior walls and things as most skoolies do, the structural integrity has not actually been diminished very much. Perhaps, it is even strengthened, depending on what exactly is done. Placing interior walls, specifically, would improve the torsion and strain on the vehicle body. That's my input. Hope it's helpful.

Kemosabe, you speak with forked tongue. You ask for numbers from their engineers but make a statement without backing it up WITH numbers. If you want to modify you bus, go ahead and do it. Don't try and pretend that you are strengthening the bus by removing structural components.
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Old 05-04-2016, 01:03 PM   #122
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Kemosabe, you speak with forked tongue. You ask for numbers from their engineers but make a statement without backing it up WITH numbers. If you want to modify you bus, go ahead and do it. Don't try and pretend that you are strengthening the bus by removing structural components.
He said "Perhaps". That's sufficient for me.

I'm with the majority here; I'm willing to hack into the ol' girl and put my eggs in the "use her gently and she'll do just fine" basket. But it's functionally impossible for any of us to determine it numerically and the manufacturers are not gonna open-source their FEA code. So it becomes a matter of a few old men arguing a point ad infinitum on the porch of the general store. They enjoy the argument; so should we.

Who knows? "Perhaps" my plan to put in horizontal lintel-style reinforcements where I cut ribs for big windows will make a local section too stiff and transfer more stress and load than it should to adjacent areas. I dunno. I'm going to do it and hope I never roll-test the result.
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Old 05-04-2016, 01:49 PM   #123
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dan-fox is right-- I can't run an accurate analysis without very detailed specs from the manufacturer, which I'm sure they wouldn't provide. I was simply putting forth an alternate argument to continue the dialogue. I'm willing to accept whatever answer is correct on this point, but right now I don't have enough evidence to know one way or the other. I think it's an important topic, and a conversation we should continue to have. After all, for all of our time and money, we still need safe vehicles... Glad to be part of your community, looking forward to good future dialogue.
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:41 PM   #124
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Would anyone like to submit some crash test vehicles?
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Old 05-04-2016, 03:49 PM   #125
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I am not recommending that people not modify their buses. To me it's a personal choice. Do as you please and live or don't with your choice. I get angry with members that say just do it. It won't harm anything or you without backing it up with facts. They didn't design the bus. While some may be engineers, most are not. You don't actually know what you think you know.
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Old 05-04-2016, 05:56 PM   #126
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My 2 cents: I think the moment we took the seats out, we left the technical-spec reservation as far as the manufacturers are concerned. From there on out, its just shades and phases of how far we went.

Fortunately for us these busses are massively over-engineered for our purposes. They once held a very precious cargo (kids), and because a bunch of jury arguments were won that essentially said "so Mr. Bus Engineer, for less than 1000 lbs more metal, and $100 worth of labor, and $20 worth of fasteners, 71 kids would still be alive today", they have become progressively more sound. When defense lawyers tell the bean counters to loosen the designers purse strings, suddenly some very gifted engineers get to do great work.

We skoolies eventually benefit from that. We routinely exploit this over-built nature to our good advantage. I would wager the worst roof-raise of a 1990's era bus is still vastly stronger than a brand new Winnebago. Is that an excuse to get seriously stupid and make obviously dangerous calls? No. But we might want to consider a little tolerance for "outside-the-box" thinkers. Left-brain stuff, with some right-brain guidance, can be totally amazing if the builder is brave enough to try.

On that note, I REALLY hope Chief Dan Fox shares some of his incredible work in "other" mechanical areas. I'm not going to blow his cover, but the lad is a damned legend for making some seriously big and expensive stuff that moves and makes you go "WOW" in the middle of the desert. None of this would ever have seen the light of day if he had listened to many of the nay-saying armchair quarterbacks.

There might be a lesson here... or it might be this nice glass of wine. You decide.
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:18 PM   #127
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I guess the key here is the difference between recommending what other people should do with their conversions and deciding what you want to try with your conversion. You pay the price if you weaken it and that is your problem, but making suggestions for other people could lead to a bad situation for them if you are incorrect.
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:16 PM   #128
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On that note, I REALLY hope Chief Dan Fox shares some of his incredible work in "other" mechanical areas. I'm not going to blow his cover, but the lad is a damned legend for making some seriously big and expensive stuff that moves and makes you go "WOW" in the middle of the desert. None of this would ever have seen the light of day if he had listened to many of the nay-saying armchair quarterbacks.
Ummmmm... I'd like to meet him too. The guy sounds interesting.

I've met 9 other Dan Foxes, but none of them meet that spec. I'm a private pilot and a good software engineer (if I do say so myself), and in an earlier life I designed and installed high end home and auditorium sound systems, but I've never been in the desert and I've never made anything larger than a 24' cabover box truck full of PA gear move.
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:35 PM   #129
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Ummmmm... I'd like to meet him too. The guy sounds interesting.

I've met 9 other Dan Foxes, but none of them meet that spec. I'm a private pilot and a good software engineer (if I do say so myself), and in an earlier life I designed and installed high end home and auditorium sound systems, but I've never been in the desert and I've never made anything larger than a 24' cabover box truck full of PA gear move.
Whoops. Wrong Dan Fox, but you guys could be twins.

Your evil twin did this a couple of years ago: "alien seige machine"

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5557/1...3ca69a6a_b.jpg
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:51 PM   #130
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Ohhh...THAT Dan Fox.

No place like Burning Man to find wacky geniuses.
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