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Old 11-10-2019, 04:07 PM   #1
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4' rear "deck"?

Hey all's...


So who here has added at least 4' to the rear of their full size bus?

I just drove my big bus home from Iowa (what a trip! Build thread to start soon).

Taking measurements, I'll need a 4' dove tail extension to the rear of the frame to give me the 14' of open rear flat deck for our jeep. Going to talk to an engineer friend of mine at the local fab shop for material selection (likely 6" channel or similar). This section will support the rear of the jeep (not much weight... Maybe 1200 lbs).

So.. who has done a large extension? How is it to drive with as far as tail swing and such? Any problems come up with it?

Thanks!
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:13 PM   #2
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I would be concerned about weight on an E350.

I drove an E450 cutaway for several months as my daily driver. Lots of Home Depot runs. My experience with that one causes me concern about converting an E350.

Just my $0.02 worth.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:16 PM   #3
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I picture lots of wheelies with that much weight hanging that far off center.

1200lb Jeep?
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I would be concerned about weight on an E350.

I drove an E450 cutaway for several months as my daily driver. Lots of Home Depot runs. My experience with that one causes me concern about converting an E350.

Just my $0.02 worth.
.... BIG bus... As in full size 66 passenger... 30k gvw rated chassis.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:29 PM   #5
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I picture lots of wheelies with that much weight hanging that far off center.
Amen!

I pulled a trailer with a tongue weight significantly higher than the truck was rated for. No wheelies but it was NOT a fun trip. The front end got really squirrly.

Mind your weight.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:30 PM   #6
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I picture lots of wheelies with that much weight hanging that far off center.
I highly doubt it'll be enough weight to make the front feel light let alone lift it off the ground. The main weight of the jeep will be 1' behind the rear axle of the bus... And with 3k+ lbs of drivetrain/powertrain and 2k+ lbs of fuel 8' in front of the rear axle... I don't think it'll make any noticeable difference.

Also considering it's designed cargo... There was originally ~2500 lbs worth of kids behind the rear axle (estimated at 100lbs per kid). I don't think adding a total weight of 1500lbs is going to cause any issues (especially since the chassis is rated substantially higher than the coach builder rated it for).
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:32 PM   #7
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You guys did read the part about it being a full size bus right?

I'm not talking about my short bus...

This is a '93 IH Ward full size... Not the e350.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:33 PM   #8
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This one..IMG_20191109_163956182.jpg
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr4btTahoe View Post
You guys did read the part about it being a full size bus right?

I'm not talking about my short bus...

This is a '93 IH Ward full size... Not the e350.
No.

I looked at your profile and made the, incorrect, assumption that you were asking about your E350.

In case I missed it as well, what drive train do you have?
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
No.



I looked at your profile and made the, incorrect, assumption that you were asking about your E350.



In case I missed it as well, what drive train do you have?
190hp dt360, at545 (for now... Will get something with a lockup converter and possibly overdrive), 4.88s in the rear according to the build sheet from IH.

Top speed around 65 on flat ground.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:16 PM   #11
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190hp dt360, at545 (for now... Will get something with a lockup converter and possibly overdrive), 4.88s in the rear according to the build sheet from IH.

Top speed around 65 on flat ground.
I think that for what you are wanting that you may be better served with a larger engine and better transmission.

I have been driving buses of one sort or another for 25 years. I don't recall ever saying "this bus has too much power".

If I were looking for a bus to accommodate your want I would be looking at DT-466 or 8.3 and an MD-3060 or 2000 series transmission.

I am a bit biased..... 8.3 and an MD-3060 is the bomb.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
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You guys did read the part about it being a full size bus right?

I'm not talking about my short bus...

This is a '93 IH Ward full size... Not the e350.
And the part where you were adding 4' to the back of a 40' bus. Changes all the numbers when you add that pendulum to the back. Go for it.
Curious why you asked our opinion when you've already decided not to listen to reason?
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:37 PM   #13
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And the part where you were adding 4' to the back of a 40' bus. Changes all the numbers when you add that pendulum to the back. Go for it.

Curious why you asked our opinion when you've already decided not to listen to reason?
Well.. this bus isn't 40'... And I've seen buses that were factory built on the same chassis with a longer tail (roughly 2').. so no, from an engineering standpoint, adding 2' with less weight on it doesn't look to be a problem.

I asked about drivability if you would go back and re-read the question. I asked for actual problems that people have experienced after doing something along these lines.

Will it put more load on the rear suspension? Obviously. Will it be enough to cause problems? Not sure which is why I asked. The main weight of the jeep will be almost directly over the rear axle of the bus. The jeep may weigh a total of 4500 lbs. I've not had it on the scales so not sure how much weight is on the back axle of the jeep but I know for a fact that most of the weight is on the front.

Now.. I've seen quite a few buses turned tow hauler.. have seen several with long extensions added to them for this purpose. What I want to know is if they ever caused them any trouble... And how drivability was after the added length.

You came in here with a dick response. If you wanted me to take your opinion seriously... Maybe respond that way instead? Instead of saying a 40' bus would do a wheel stand with 1200 lbs hanging off the back (complete bs).. take 5 and actually point out the problems and if there is a way to correct them.

This chassis is rated for 30k according to IH. Now I haven't scaled the bus but empty, I know it's well under that. Considering we'll only have 13' of living space, we won't touch the chassis rating weight wise.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I think that for what you are wanting that you may be better served with a larger engine and better transmission.



I have been driving buses of one sort or another for 25 years. I don't recall ever saying "this bus has too much power".



If I were looking for a bus to accommodate your want I would be looking at DT-466 or 8.3 and an MD-3060 or 2000 series transmission.



I am a bit biased..... 8.3 and an MD-3060 is the bomb.
Not worried about the power. The DT360 can be pushed up to 250-300hp range without much work and still be rock solid reliable. Plus I'm hard set on a mechanical engine.. and there are zero mechanical 466s or big Cummins within 1k miles of me for under $4k.

The transmission is already in the plans. It'll get a 643 at minimum eventually.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr4btTahoe View Post
Not worried about the power. The DT360 can be pushed up to 250-300hp range without much work and still be rock solid reliable. Plus I'm hard set on a mechanical engine.. and there are zero mechanical 466s or big Cummins within 1k miles of me for under $4k.

The transmission is already in the plans. It'll get a 643 at minimum eventually.
It does sound like you have already up your mind.

Good luck.
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:09 PM   #16
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It does sound like you have already up your mind.



Good luck.
I mean... I did only ask how drivability was with a large deck on the back of a bus.

My debate is length. I REALLY wanted to keep it at 36".. but I don't think I can without reworking quite a bit.

That's why I asked if anyone had ran a deck that was 4' long and how it drove.

I see countless pictures on here of big decks... Some with a hitch hanging under them as well... Some with motorcycles on them.. etc.

The bus itself is what I've got.. so it's getting used. Pickings are slim around here and I don't want the electronic stuff. Too pricey to work on.

My plan all along for a big bus has been a toy hauler.. so yes my mind is made up unless someone can say that it just won't work or won't be fun driving with the added length (my actual question).

If someone would say "well the frame will fail" and explain why.. then explain how others have done the same thing without issue.. then I'd certainly reconsider the design. The other person that was posting didn't say anything of the sort.

Now of 4' is too long but 3' would work.. then I'll rework things and make it happen.

A toy hauler is what this bus will be. Now how it happens is in the air. It will need some form of dove tail extension to make it feasible. Length is the question.

Thanks for the input
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:43 PM   #17
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My questions are:


What is the current weight distribution, both for the bus and the Jeep? I might point out my *SUBURBAN* weighed 4700 empty, so I'd be surprised if the Jeep weighed that much - and I would expect closer to a 50/50 weight distribution on it, maybe 60/40.


Let's keep in mind not only are you *not* hauling a couple dozen kids behind the axle, but you're presumably removing the seats too, thus saving more weight. Now putting a vehicle in the back - well, any load really, will give a see-saw effect on the rear axle and the steering, respectively. If you have 6K on the steering axle unladen, this may drop to 4500 with Jeep on board. Might not make much of a difference but you probably will feel it.


Frame extensions are a thing and as long as they are done up to par, should work just fine. I'll leave the more technical aspects of that to those more knowledgeable than I.
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:59 PM   #18
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When talking about not having the student weight back there now, you also don't have the weight of 60 students in the middle of the bus. It could skew the calulations, just sayin. And you did say "full size" bus, to me, that's a 40'er.. The distance from the rear wheels to the rear is the same (4windows) on my 37' and the 40'. So the shorter the bus, the more pronounced the effect.
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:59 PM   #19
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Thanks for the input.

I think I may have been getting misunderstood a bit.

The plan is a dovetail on the back of the bus as an extension to the frame. The rear tires will be on the extension platform when loaded. Front tires will be just behind the rear wheel wells of the bus.

The jeep is 14' long roughly.

The jeep has a curb weight of 3700 lbs. With the larger tires, bumpers, winch, etc.. I'd say closer to 4k. The jeep is definitely front heavy with the winch bumper and such.

The bus (based on what I can find) is between 15-18k empty. We won't have much weight in the living area.

I'd estimate 1200-1500 lbs on the rear tires of the jeep which would be resting on the dove tail when loaded.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:02 PM   #20
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Mr4btTahoe,
"Taking measurements, I'll need a 4' dove tail extension to the rear of the frame to give me the 14' of open rear flat deck for our jeep. Going to talk to an engineer friend of mine at the local fab shop for material selection (likely 6" channel or similar). This section will support the rear of the jeep (not much weight... Maybe 1200 lbs)."


The only thing I question is:

When you set the ramp up to drive the jeep on you'll have the full weight of the jeep on the extension -- plan for that.

Post pix of how you do it. Some day, this may be what I want for my bus...
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