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Old 12-18-2013, 06:31 AM   #11
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Re: amputating the passenger area of a bus?

check out Nat_ster's build
http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10908

closest I have seen to actually documentation
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:00 AM   #12
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Re: amputating the passenger area of a bus?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
check out Nat_ster's build
http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10908

closest I have seen to actually documentation

Back wall on a bluebird weighs just over 100 pounds with the heavy rear door removed. Myself and one other person were able to handle it without a problem.

If there is anything specific you want to know that the pics didn't show, ask away.

You can remove as much of the bus body as you need, then build a nice flat deck to haul your stuff.

Nat
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:03 PM   #13
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Re: amputating the passenger area of a bus?

Thank you for making me aware of that thread! Nat, you has one heck of a game plan and a skill set to make it happen (read the whole thing twice it was so good)

I was surprised when the whole middle section of the bus was pulled clean off- pretty cool.

But is necessary to remove the flooring down to the frame where I want to rear-door to be?

What I want to do is move the the back wall of the bus to just behind or on the wheel wells and leave the school bus exterior from the bottom of the windows down, as well as the floor. Eventually I'll install an electric lift (from a moving truck or something) that when all the way up acts like a tail gate on what looks like a big pick-up truck. If my guesstimations are correct that will give me about a 9 foot bed

It is looking like once I remove the back section I'll have to measure that and then remove a section that wide and meld it back together
-OR-
remove the back wall from the floor as well and welding it to the sub-floor

first method adds the benefit of leaving a small gap on the floor to aid in cleaning out what i'm sure will be come a messy messy place.


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Old 12-21-2013, 02:51 PM   #14
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Re: amputating the passenger area of a bus?

You essentially want to create a pick up truck box at the rear for hauling your stuff. Floor, 2 foot walls, and build a tail gate.

Unforchantly, the way the bus is put together will not make this simple, but it is doable. This picture shows how a BlueBird bus is put together.


You will notice that the floor support ribs are not attached to the bottoms of the wall support ribs. Once you cut the roof off at the base of the windows, the sides will be a floppy mess with no structure. To remedy this, you would need to add a formed piece of steel across the top off all the cut wall support ribs. From there the formed pieces would need to be attached to a front for your box, and a rear with a tail gate. Front and rear you would need to build using the same way the bus was built. Rivets and formed pieces of steel. I feel welding is not nearly as strong in this application, nor is it necessary. Also welding tends to cause people to use thicker steel, adding unnecessary weight. Formed pieces of 10 gauge steel are all you would need. It is just a bit thicker than the stock bus floor.

If you leave the stock floor, you need the walls above the floor, and the skirt below the floor to keep it from buckling under load. Also the bus frame flexes without the body keeping it rigid. Without the roof on the cargo area, the bus body will flex and buckle the floor. The bus floor will need to be cut free from the loading box at the rear. Just like a pick up truck.

I'm in favor of flat decks. They are the most versatile, strongest, safest. Need a lift of plywood at home, but don't want to hand load 72 sheets. No problem with a flat deck. Forklift loads, you drive away. Need to pull a 5th wheel trailer, much easier with the flat deck, Something over size to haul, no issue with a flat deck.

I personally don't like pick up truck boxes. They don't force the driver to secure the cargo properly. I cleaned up far too many accidents where all the accumulated junk in the back of some ones truck ended up all over the road.

Newly constructing a flat deck from new steel would be the strongest, safest, and quickest. However, it is also the most expensive.

Hope this helps

Nat
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:18 AM   #15
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Re: amputating the passenger area of a bus?

Are you kidding me Nat, "helps" is an understatement. Thank you. Anymore more help would be running a grinder with me. So far, I've been working off of memory of a buddy's bus who hasn't done much in the way of remodeling, and what pictures I can find on interweb. Then just figuring I can do it what ever it is to make my dream come true.

I hadn't considered building a whole new bed area, but after reading your post over and thinking about the whole process I probably will (eventually) do a total rebuild on the back section, sooner if the cost isn't too great. In the mean time it is great to hear that rivets will be just as good as a weld, and that this project, so far, has not come to "well that is impossible/stupid/unsafe."

I agree that some people get lazy with truck beds (and the cab for that matter), and that annoys me too- especially when some dude with a huge truck, no tail gate and a bed full of crap whips out in front of me on some back road spewing debris while trying to get out of my way.
I'm looking to use the space as an outside work area (like a mini shoppe/storage/haul area); utilizing a tie-down system involving ratchet straps and crates (heavy duty plastic bins, something like that).

-Redbone
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