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Old 02-20-2014, 08:58 PM   #11
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Re: Betsy

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Old 02-21-2014, 12:53 AM   #12
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Re: Betsy

The rivot may have 500 lbs of shear strength but the hole in the 12 gauge steel will not hold up to much. If you are worried about your welding weakening the material, just weld the overlapped sides. Your week point would be at the very edge, and you could have much more surface connected.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:58 AM   #13
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Re: Betsy

On my raise I welded in tubing inside the ribs now I'm going to be installing a doubler rib over the original with a few welds then rivet thru the skin material all the way thru both ribs & into the tubing
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:21 AM   #14
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Re: Betsy

At this point I feel compelled to apologize to orangepeel91 --- It was never my intent to hijack your thread or turn this into any kind of personal bash fest. This forum is better than that and the vast majority of folks who contribute here do so only to share their experiences in bus building with other like minded people. There are plenty of people here with many more years experience and vastly superior talents than I who are worth listening to. Ol' Trunt is a savvy and skilled builder who freely gives of himself just as many others do. So, as I said, just listen (read), filter out the BS as best you can and use what fits your needs. Sorry this got so sideways.

All my best and do it your way.
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:28 AM   #15
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Re: Betsy

The smell of testosterone is getting pretty rank in this thread!

Having welded professionally for 40 years now, and having taught for many years as a certified, 4-year college degreed professional at the high school and college level, well- I enjoy a good argument between 'experts' as much as the next guy but when it turns personal it gets in the way of real learnin'!

Some of you boys need to learn to play nice and not try to always have the last word
There is an old adage: "never get in a pissing match with a skunk, cuz' the skunk always wins" (something for some of us to think on?)
Anyway-
The arguments for riveting vs welding are, for the most part, moot points since most bus users on this forum will not be
using their buses as much, or as often or for as many miles as they were designed for in thier original use. The strength
in the roof sections and components was for roll-over protection. Proper placement and the correct number of rivets
would likely be very close in strength to welds with internal tube bracing done by a professional welder. So close in fact
that it would take an engineering firm much study and considerable roll over testing to tell if there was significant differences between either method for raising the roof. Now if anyone feels that either method is seriously compromising the original safety design intent, well- don't do it. But it seems that the internal clearances will be a mite tight for some
folks, so perhaps a compromise might be in order.

Bear in mind that for many years, before welding became common place, rivets held the industrial age together. So it is
possible to obtain great strength using that method. And if a person does not feel comfortable welding, then it is a viable option for fabrication due to the lower stress nature of the component use then, say a high speed jet or an Airstream travel trailer.

Just my 2 cents worth
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:22 PM   #16
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Re: Betsy

dburt, you can even beat Nat in condescension. At least you do it in a polite manner.
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:57 PM   #17
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Re: Betsy

A couple of questions.

Does your school bus or the MCI weigh 27k pounds? I can't beleive a 30 foot school bus weighs that much.
Why would you buy a bus that is too short for you? Now you want to raise the roof so you don't need to crawl?
Can't you rip the raised floor out to gain height?
Air suspension? If your bus didnt come with it, forgetaboutit unless you want to drop an easy 5 grand. But you might find a set up that came from a scrapped bus

Last question is not for you. It's for the membership.

Why the eff is everyone pissing on each other? Seriously? Every bus is different. Every owner is different. I've seen some crappy buses on this site but so what. If they want to buil out of cardboard, let them. If that is what he owner wants, let them have it.
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:14 PM   #18
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Re: Betsy

Crazy Cal,

An MCI MC-9 has a listed by MCI empty weight of 27,500lbs.

My bus has a max gvwr is 30K. The axle weights are slightly higher than that but Allison limits the 2000 series transmission to 30k.

Why would I buy a bus that is too short for me? I'm 6'2" in my socks. Where exactly am I supposed to find a school bus with enough headroom to allow more insulation on the floor and in the roof and still have at least 6'3" left over?

As for ripping out the raised floor, sorry there seem to be a few too many welds holding it in. My bus was set up for 7 wheelchairs. There are no wheelwells to accommodate that. Instead of just using wood spacers on the standard floor Bluebird raised the metal layer to make it flat too.

I have considered lowering just the center section of the floor, but have not been able to get under the bus to determine if that idea is practical.

As it is I'm not sure raising the roof is possible given the wheelchair door and its framing.

Bluebird engineers may not like it when a rib is not continuous from one side of the bus to the other but I have a door that says otherwise.......

5 grand for the air ride? Na too many truck wrecking yards for that. Remember mechanically speaking a school bus is nothing but a truck with windows in it. 34" wide frames are standard with trucks, and as it turns out my bus too. With a rear axle as a complete assembly I should be able to get an air ride rear for around $2500 tops. Shouldn't be more than another 700 to a g in labor. If I reused my existing rear axle cut at least $1500 off the parts price but I would still need to regear it so that would add back in most of the $1500

Converting my dually to air ride did cost about 5k. That was for a custom kit and labor, part of which had to be done twice because the kit was incorrect.

The really expensive part would be converting the transmission to a 10 speed manual.

Why didn't I buy a bus with a manual?
Didn't want a bus with a hood.
Bluebird says they made some TC2000's with manual transmissions but I've certainly never seen one.
Mostly I miss shifting for myself and it would sure help that poor little engine stay in it's sweet spot a lot longer.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:05 PM   #19
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Re: Betsy

My bus has 78" interior height and I have air ride. When I said 5k, I meant new. You already have your bus so it doesn't really make a difference now. Unless you find another bus, you will work with what you have I guess. I bid on a flat front Bluebird with a manual. I stopped when when it got over $6k. I didn't want a manual that bad.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:06 PM   #20
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Re: Betsy

I'm not all that worried about converting to air ride. All things considered it rides pretty well now for a bus that only has 4 seats and a wheelchair lift in it. Between the weight of the conversion and half a ton of water it should settle things nicely. May not even need that much water. As it is I was planning on 100gallons of fresh water not because I need that much water but because of the weight.

Most likely if I do alter the front or rear suspension it will be reduced capacity spring packs with helper style air bags. IF I alter it.

Spent some time sitting in the bus yesterday and noticed a couple of things. The first thing I noticed is that most TC2000's seem to have the top of the windows in line with the top of the drivers window. Not mine. My passenger windows are taller than the drivers window.

Now I'm not so sure about raising the roof. That wheelchair door is at minimum going to be a complication. It is taller than the window line, so the horizontal support the roof sheet metal is riveted to is different here from the rest of the bus. Maybe I'll be able to get a better idea of the structure when I get into the wire chases.
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