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Old 01-06-2013, 10:39 PM   #1
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Ward Patriot Questions

I am looking to buy my first bus and found what I think may work but I have a couple of questions I'm hoping someone can help with.

This is an 87 Patriot which as the snubby nose. It's ugly but if the rest works I'll take it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AmTran

Here are the questions.

1. I want to eventually convert whatever I buy to 4WD. Does anyone know if this is possible (or impossible) on this bus?
2. If you know about these buses, is their anything specific I should know before I buy?

It's built on a GMC Type C semi forward-control conventional chassis with a Detroit Diesel and air brakes.

Any information would be helpful and very much appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:53 AM   #2
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Re: Ward Patriot Questions

Maybe ask http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...55534169,d.dmQ
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:05 PM   #3
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Re: Ward Patriot Questions

Thanks. Looks like they can convert just about anything. Now it's just a matter of cost.

Much appreciate the help and speedy reply.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:33 PM   #4
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Re: Ward Patriot Questions

So the Patriot didn't pan out but it was worth taking a look at. Now I know I absolutely don't want one.

I contacted the Tulsa 4WD conversion dealer mentioned and found out I'm looking at about $25,000 to $30,000 to convert a bus to 4WD. That won't work.

So now I'm on a quest to find what I'm looking for that already has a 4wd. The bad part about this is that I'm going to have to go to snow country to find this and that means rust.

Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:01 PM   #5
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Re: Ward Patriot Questions

Yeah, snow country or canada... i have seen some 4wd's on cl that were not on salt roads. and 25K for conversion seems cheap to me at the near $100 hr rate.
Why not just put a bus body on a 4wd oil field or snow plow chassis with dual drive/lockers. - using springs instead of airbags if you tend to drive sideways on the hills.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:26 AM   #6
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Re: Ward Patriot Questions

Four wheel drive is not a complicated magical thing - a company will charge high dollar to do it for you, but anyone at all able to convert a bus to an rv is capable of doing most of the work to put a 4wd drive train under it. All it is, is a driven front axle with driveshaft, that mates to a transfer gear box, that attaches behind the transmission - finding the parts is not difficult, even for a large vehicle like a school bus. There is a ton of room under all buses so fitment would not be difficult either. Using used parts, that you would search the internet for, you could put a driven front axle under a bus for about $8,000 max. Get a good deal somewhere and it could be a lot less. I have converted a couple of vehicles to 4wd, and a motorcycle to 2wd in the past so am very used to the idea of self converting. For a bus, I would probably look at a scrapped utility truck, or railways truck - they are the high side of medium duty and will mate with the existing equipment well - it is not hard to change or have changed, the ratio in the axle to match that in the rear axle.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:51 AM   #7
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Re: Ward Patriot Questions

FWIW... It might not be hard to add addl frame rail pieces and brackets and transfer case, machine work for new drive shafts, change the axles out, etc., on a large vehicle like a heavy truck chassis... but it is a lot of heavy work...and hard work....just like working on some enormous excavator...
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:34 PM   #8
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Re: Ward Patriot Questions

This section is for tutorials and how to's. nothing wrong with questions, but should be in appropriate section.
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