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Old 08-03-2011, 11:44 PM   #1
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Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

I just started reading some of the bus conversion books to help make a better decision on what type of bus to buy and how to convert it properly. Question for everyone regarding the three types: Dog Nose, Front Engine Flate Nose and Rear Engine Flat Nose. Which one is the easiest to perform engine work on? One of the books states the rear engines are easiest to work on, but this goes against other things I've read that say Dog Noses are easiest to work on. So which is it?
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:57 AM   #2
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

wich ever one has the best engine access covers that wont interfere with the conversion floor plan!
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:22 AM   #3
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

I've never worked on a rear engine bus, but I would have to think the dog nose is the most accessible. Floor plan and intended use are the factors that usually dictate engine location. Rear engines are quiet but if you want to load things into the back then not a good option. Front engine flat face provides maximum interior space related to length of bus, but they are loud and put off heat into the cabin. Dog nose is also loud, though not as bad, and extends length of bus relative to interior space and also looks the most like a "school bus" after conversion. The flat face buses look more RV-like. I would have chosen rear engine except I didn't want a 40' bus and the rear engine buses only come full size. So given the choice of dog nose and flat face, I went with a dog nose due to the advantages of easy access and less noise/heat. I was willing to sacrifice a bit of interior space, and I kind of like the school bus look, plus I like having an impact buffer zone in case of accident.
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:46 AM   #4
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgorila1
I... Question for everyone regarding the three types: Dog Nose, Front Engine Flate Nose and Rear Engine Flat Nose... So which is it?
We got a flat faced BlueBird. No planning, that was what was in the paper... never said how big it was. We bought mostly on price. Okay, we bought on price. We needed a moving van. We had $1500 budgeted for the bus. We paid $1400. We did not want a 40 ft bus. We got a 40 ft bus in very good condition. It didn't LOOK like it was 40 ft sitting out in the pasture. It grew on the way home. Now we are recycling the "moving van" into an "RV".
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:09 AM   #5
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

Front engine ______ (<---enter vehicle type here) are always loud. You can make them quieter, but they are still loud. They also have 10-25FT of drive shaft.

They do have cool curved steps though!

Rear engine _______ (<--- enter vehicle here) are quieter and can be made very quiet. No driveshaft, longer wheel base compared to a FE (Front engine) due to the weight of the engine hanging out back, which is far past the rear axle. Also less turning radius due to the longer wheels base. But I think a better ride for the same reason.

JMHO.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:00 PM   #6
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

I have only limited experience with my RE bus but so far from what I have learned.... the rear engine is pretty easy to get to all sides except for the top. The engine noise is very minimal and I think having more weight behind the rear axel makes for a little nicer riding bus.

The pass through under belly storage is awesome. That feature alone is what really sold us on a RE bus.

Overall we are extremely happy with our RE choice.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:40 AM   #7
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

One of the biggest reasons I chose a dognose bus is saftey. If I'm going to hit something or somethings going to hit me, it better have 7 feet of engine and frame to get past first. Most flatnose busses afford no protection for the front occupants in a crash.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:40 PM   #8
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

That Volvo tractor seems to have faired pretty well.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:18 PM   #9
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bender477
ahh , its a meatscraper
...I am guessing your kids were not on the bus.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:06 AM   #10
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

Driving position is a factor. I really like the driving position of the dognose I tried out. It's quite a bit like my Class C motor home. Steering wheels in flat-nose rigs are more horizontal. If you or your partner have short arms that might be awkward. I haven't driven a flat-nose but that big windshield looks like it'd have an awesome view.

As for safety, I'd trust a flat-nose bus over an RV. Read the Fatal RV Flaws thread. Also check the that CNN link about the bus crash in Missouri where one Blue Bird shoved another on top of that Volvo semi. To the best of my knowledge, all aboard the buses (including both drivers) survived...except a poor girl who was in the wrong seat at the wrong time when the second bus plowed into the first.

My two cents...
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Old 08-29-2011, 04:38 PM   #11
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

I imagine that driving a flat nose is exactly like driving a fire truck. Used to do that in my former career and loved it. It's actually nice not having the hood to look over/around (i.e. lots of viewing area in front of you). From a maintenance standpoint though, I can see the dog nose winning out over a front engine flat nose. Not sure how accessible a rear engine is, but I do like the extra length and space the flat noses give vs. the dog nose. It's a hard decision, guess I'll have to keep reading the forums and looking at buses and eventually make a choice. I want the cake and want to eat it too!
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:17 PM   #12
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

The front engine is the easiest to work on. Rear engine vehicles are fine as long as you have a forklift to move it in or out for major repairs or have a midget contorsionist available 24/7 to work on it underneath.

When first considering a schoolie, I went to consult the professionals.

As a professional driver and Owner/Operator of a 1999 Freightliner with 700K miles, I'm well aware that EVERYTHING will eventually need fixing.

I spoke with the bus mechanix at their shop in downtown St.Louis city, just north of the stadium.

They also work on other large commercial vehicle as well as large buses and some RV's.

The boss had time to spare and so gave me the 20 minute run-down on all concerned.

He said that whatever the charge was, say for changing an alternator, that charge was doubled for "pusher" type vehicles.
Even those with the engine inside next to the driver (dog-nose???) were easier as the "hump" comes off as well as the grill to get at everything. it was not hated nearly so much as the "pusher" types and these guys work on them for a living.
Sort of like a difficult love/hate marriage, that no one can do anything about.

Mechanix also hate the "cab-over" tractor-trailer rigs for similar reasons. Even when the cab is hydraulically pumped over and hanging upside down in front of the bumper (something to see!!!) the mechanix STILL have diffiuclty reaching critical components. A happy mechanioc is a thorough mechanic.
When the engine is easily accressed, PM / preventative maintenance is also done regularly and not postponed til the roadside inevitably beckons and ALWAYS at the worst possible and expensive time.

I have a 1987 skoolie for sale. Near mint condition with new diesel engine and many extras not usually found on skoolies.
With its conventional hood, I can easily get-at any and all components for a quick looksee.
I recently removed and rebuilt a power steering pump. A slow shaft drip was easily seen with weekly "looksee" PM,
and with pump quickly and easily removed, new seals were pressed in place by General Hydraulics.

This would never have been noticed on a "pusher" until a weekend or vacation was ruined by oily slipping belts or a totally
in-operable or fluid-empty steering pump grinding itself to bits.

Conventional cabs may not look as cool as a BIG pusher but day to day reality rules them out for all but a wealthy or very motivated few.

Back to work now full time, 80hrs/week for a prof driver, My skoolie is for sale.
for complete details email me at espiritusengineering@yahoo.com
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:43 PM   #13
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

At least on my pusher, the altenator and steering pump are right there and extermely easy to get to, not a problem at all. Doing valves and injectors can be issue toward the back of the engine (toward the front of the bus). There are access panels inside the bus that are removed to allow access. Just make sure you can remove those after your build. If you don't, you're f***ed.
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:45 PM   #14
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

Some cool pics I found from links on this site. I could go either way, especially after seeing these:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg smooth skoolie2.jpg (49.3 KB, 1167 views)
File Type: jpg raised flatnose.jpg (30.3 KB, 1165 views)
File Type: jpg Kool Bus Dog Nose.jpg (45.6 KB, 1166 views)
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:33 PM   #15
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgorila1
My what a big forehead you have!
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:20 PM   #16
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 100MPG
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgorila1
My what a big forehead you have!
My daughter like this one. She thinks it's tall enough to have a second story bedroom for her
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:33 PM   #17
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishphart
I have a 1987 skoolie for sale. Near mint condition with new diesel engine and many extras not usually found on skoolies.
With its conventional hood, I can easily get-at any and all components for a quick looksee.
I recently removed and rebuilt a power steering pump. A slow shaft drip was easily seen with weekly "looksee" PM,
and with pump quickly and easily removed, new seals were pressed in place by General Hydraulics.

This would never have been noticed on a "pusher" until a weekend or vacation was ruined by oily slipping belts or a totally
in-operable or fluid-empty steering pump grinding itself to bits.
Too bad I'm in no position to do any more than plan and dream right now. I don't think a 1976 Winnebago that needs some work could bring enough dough to buy your bus!

My Winnie is a Class "C" with a Dodge van front. For certain repairs it's a pain in the ass. (Except for adjusting the carb; I can access it via the doghouse and don't have to run back and forth between the engine and the driver's seat.) That doghouse lets a lot of noise through, especially past 60 mph. Driver and copilot have to shout. ("You have a spout?" "No, I said you have to SHOUT!")
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:05 PM   #18
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bender477
Holy crap !! that pusher is mounting the semi why is bus porn being posted here ? Seriously , the vehicle in between the two , ouch . wonder if anyone walked away from that one ?
That happened here in Missouri last spring. School Field trip to Six Flags.
The vehicle in between WAS a small pickup....
The small pickup driver was DOA. They had to cut his remains loose from the vehicle.
Bus driver wasnt paying attention and didnt realize that traffic was temporarily stopped for road repair.
Gotta stay alert.
A semi driver did the same thing approaching St.louis on hwy 40. Ran into about two dozen "parked" cars while he was doing about 65-70 & Killed I dont know how many people.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:35 PM   #19
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

I'm in the middle of building a flat nose front engine bus...

Finding space for holding tanks, propane, batteries and such has been a chore...

It is also pretty noisy...

Plenty of room to work on the engine...
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:58 PM   #20
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Re: Dog Nose vs. front engine vs. rear engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John
Quote:
Originally Posted by bender477
Seriously , the vehicle in between the two , ouch . wonder if anyone walked away from that one ?
No.
http://news.yahoo.com/driver-texting-mi ... 41737.html
That's one less idiot on the roads. Good. Too bad he also involved others in his stupidity.

John
yes, texting is bad, but how did that cause the BUS DRIVER BEHIND him to not be able to stop in time and crumple his pickup into an unrecognizable pile of steel? Does texting cause people behind you to loose control of their vehicle also?
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