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Old 09-19-2016, 04:22 PM   #1
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Bus converted into a pickup truck ?

Hello I'm sorry if someone has already asked this question and I just didn't see it.
I was wondering if anyone here has chopped a full size school bus then added a pickup truck bed to make it the same overall length as a Chevy Silverado, Ford F- Series, or Dodge Ram ? I'm asking because I'm confined to a wheelchair and unless I spend more than $100,000 I'm going to be stuck with a minivan as my only option, where I've seen a lot of school buses with wheelchair lifts. Thanks in advance for any and all thoughts, opinions, or answers.
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Old 09-19-2016, 04:27 PM   #2
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theres been a lot of people cut the back off a bus and put a flatbed on or a steak-side bed.. if you found a shortie like a 5 or 6 row bus you would be close to the length of a crew-cab long bed dualie pickup..

my 7 row bus fits well within 2 standard parking spaces back to back... im guessing a 5 or 6 row could get you just a little longer than a standard spot..

a cutaway bus like a collins,starcraft, etc (front looks like a van, rear like a school bus) is build on a Cargo Van chassis.. I see these in 4 and 5 window variants, with chair lifts... alot of the cutaways come with front and sometimes rear Air-cond too... more often than a regular school bus does..

-Christopher
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Old 09-19-2016, 04:38 PM   #3
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Can't imagine why you'd want to chop a bus and add a pickup bed, but to each their own, I suppose.

Anyway, I'm sure it's been done or at least do-able. Trick is finding the right bus to start with. Some have wheelchair lifts near the front, others toward the back. Cutting down a full length bus - as in, cutting the frame, relocating the axle, shortening the driveshafts - is likely to be quite an endeavor, and you'd probably be much better off simply starting with a Shorty. Simply cutting off the last 6-8 feet, moving the rear wall/door forward would be mostly a matter of removing some center sections, some cutting, drilling, welding and riveting would be in order, but otherwise seems a fairly straightforward task. Mind you, a pickup bed is likely going to be considerably higher than it would be on a pickup truck.
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Old 09-19-2016, 04:47 PM   #4
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if you started with an IC BE series they are much lower deck height than a standard S3800 style IHC..

im not sure they ever made a front lift in a BE though... ive only seen rear lifts.. the BE was a nice length though at usyally 6 rows...

the wheelchair door on the BE looks to be an add-on on the frame of the bus so it might be reasonably possible to relocate it and the lift.. after-all he is going to chop apart the bus body anyway..

anything is better than a boring soccer-mom van!!!!

what wheelchair vehicles cost over $100k? heck i can buy a brand new school bus with lift, and A/C for less than that.

-Christopher
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Old 09-19-2016, 05:40 PM   #5
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I think its a great idea and i am confident it is possible. No reason it wouldnt be.
I daydream about having a spot of land and making old dump trucks into pickup trucks
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Old 09-19-2016, 05:48 PM   #6
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I think its a great idea and i am confident it is possible. No reason it wouldnt be.
I daydream about having a spot of land and making old dump trucks into pickup trucks
Ah, the metalsmith runs strong in this one...
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Old 09-19-2016, 05:56 PM   #7
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Through my research into my bus. There was a lot of "dump trucks" turned into bad ass pickups. Turning a bus into a pickup truck would only take the dream, hard work, & passion to succeed.

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Old 09-21-2016, 02:14 PM   #8
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Full Size VS Shorty

Hello everyone I know that all of up I are recommending that I should start out with a shorty 5 to 7 row bus, I'll tell you why I would rather start out with a full size. 1. I plan on using a 8.3 L C-Seriers Cummins engine, 2. I want to have the largest approach, break over, departure angles, and ground clearance, 3. Eventually I plan on swapping the stock bus axles for 2.5 or 5 ton rockwells, 4. I plan on putting a SCS gearbox transfercase so it would be front wheel drive until I added power to the rear axle, and 5. I plan on using an Allison 10 speed, or Eaton automatic transmission, I don't think that this Engine,Transfercase, and Transmission would 'fit' under the hood on a shorty without extensive modification first. Thanks in advance for any and all thoughts, opinions, or answers.
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:20 PM   #9
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there are busses out there that already have the cummins 8.3 in it... granted they arent front drive but they exist..

why front drive when in 2WD as opposed to rear drive? seems front drive with the torwue of an 8.3 and a heavy bus is going to make for a lot of torque steer ..

if you start with an RE, i could imagine the light front end actually causing wheel spin in rainy weather unless you engaged your 4WD...

even with an FE and rear drive you have more tire area on the ground for traction...

-Christopher
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:20 PM   #10
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Hello everyone I know that all of up I are recommending that I should start out with a shorty 5 to 7 row bus, I'll tell you why I would rather start out with a full size. 1. I plan on using a 8.3 L C-Seriers Cummins engine, 2. I want to have the largest approach, break over, departure angles, and ground clearance, 3. Eventually I plan on swapping the stock bus axles for 2.5 or 5 ton rockwells, 4. I plan on putting a SCS gearbox transfercase so it would be front wheel drive until I added power to the rear axle, and 5. I plan on using an Allison 10 speed, or Eaton automatic transmission, I don't think that this Engine,Transfercase, and Transmission would 'fit' under the hood on a shorty without extensive modification first. Thanks in advance for any and all thoughts, opinions, or answers.

It might be good to go ahead and find a bus that has the 8.3 already in it. That will save you a good bit of headache and cost right off the top. I can't imagine why you'd want to swap to Rockwell axles; many buses come with Eaton or Dana axles that are plenty solid .... except, of course, you intend to do a 4x4 conversion on it and I expect this is for the purpose of matching front/rear axle ratios. A driving steering axle is definitely going to give you some lift and I expect you'll want the back to match.

I'm not familiar with an Eaton "automatic", at least, not in the same sense as the Allisons. I am familiar with the Eaton transmissions that are set up like automatics (Auto-Clutch, Auto-shift); you'll probably need an air system for the low/high range selector to work. In fact, if my trans ever goes Kaput, I would consider swapping one of these in.

For the conversion you seem to have in mind, a front-engine bus seems to be the way to go. You might find one nearby with a dead transmission on the cheap, since you plan to replace it anyway. I'm personally partial to air brakes myself (and as a professional driver, I am well accustomed and quite knowledgeable about them); if I am correct about the Eaton trans, you may need the air setup as well.
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