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Old 02-11-2015, 03:10 PM   #1
Bus Crazy
ol trunt's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 2,169
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
1935 Chevy School Bus

I have not posted in this thread for quite some time but in light of numerous discussions about trailer hitches and how and where to mount them, I'd like to add my two cents worth.

My skoolie was built an a 2005 Chevy W3500 chassis (read Isuzu NPR). While studying the GM Upfitters manual for that chassis, I learned that no drilling, cutting or welding is to be done on the upper or lower flanges of the frame at any point whatsoever. With this in mind I designed and built my trailer hitch to bolt to the web (side) of the frame following the pattern mandated in that publication.

There are several strongly stated opinions as to whether or not it is OK to mount a trailer hitch to the bottom flange of a frame. That being said, I strongly recommend that each builder of a skoolie who plans on fabricating a trailer hitch determine via the mfg of the bus chassis exactly what they recommend as to mounting points and fasteners. As will be clearly seen in the following attachments, mounting a hitch on the flange of my frame would not be acceptable.

I apologize for not being able to get the attachments to rotate. They can, however be enlarged by left clicking on them. I sure find Windows 8.1 hard to use! Jack

This is a pic of my hitch prior to final welding and gusset instalation. The hitch bolts to side of frame and to the rear cross member.

[ATTACH]more bus.jpg[/ATTACH]
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File Type: jpg more bus_0001.jpg (249.5 KB, 10 views)
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:17 PM   #2
Bus Geek
Tango's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 7,988
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
I have to agree with you Jack. On issues regarding something as central to safety as the frame...checking the manufacturers reqs are definitely in order before diving in. According an acquaintance here who does truck body & frame work...the newer units use very different metallurgy than what was common even 20 or so years ago. The old schoolies like ours were built with crazy stiff springs and flexible frames. These days it is just the opposite. Extremely rigid frames coupled with highly reactive, long throw suspension.

I only learned this after checking with a few folks about how & what to add in the way of crossmembers on mine. If all else was left original, then adding too much stiffness would be contrary to the design concept. But...since I have modified the suspension quite a bit (took 1,000 pounds off the rear springs & added the shocks), he thought the crossmembers I am adding would play well with the rest of the frame. Hmmm...reminds me...I need to check back regarding the shock mount idea.

BTW...Thanks for putting your album link up again. What a trip!
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