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Old 05-12-2010, 05:30 PM   #1
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general bus info wanted

I am looking into making a car hauler out of the bus. Like the idea of being able to haul the car on the back and have a couple bunks up front.

Couple questions.

What are the tallest interior busses? floor to roof inside

What are the longest busses? from rear of drivers seat to back emergency door

I am also looking into having it a WVO bus. Can someone possibly point out a specific bus that works the best with the WVO keeping in mind my needs for overall length being the greatest need.

thanks all
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:54 PM   #2
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Re: general bus info wanted

Welcome!
I can atleast answer one question for you. The tallest interior roof height (at center of body) is 78". All body manufacturers offered high headroom that varied from 77 to 78" depending on brand. I know Thomas's were at about 78". Waynes and Blue Birds were 77" i believe.
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:58 PM   #3
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Re: general bus info wanted

im guessing the 72 passenger busses are the longest interior busses. Are there any special order or secret models I could look for that are longer?
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:04 PM   #4
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Re: general bus info wanted

The maximum outside length (with one exception for rear engine buses in some states, but REs don't work for car haulers) is 40 feet bumper to bumper. This would give you a 77/78 pass conventional (hood in front) or an 84/90 pass front-engine (FE) flat-nose. If you want maximum interior space, look for one of the 84/90 FEs. As Jared said, factory high headroom tops out at 6'5 or 6'6. If you need more than that, you'll have to do a roof raise like other members here have done.

FEs built in the 90s usually have either a Cummins 5.9 (same engine used in Dodge diesel pickups) or an International DT466 (the big brother of the T444E/7.3L Ford Powerstroke). Both are considered very reliable, give a decent amount of power, and are popular for veggie conversions. Some models may have CAT engines, which are good but not as common. I've heard varying opinions on the CATs.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:28 PM   #5
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Re: general bus info wanted

So other than being a P.I.T.A. to work on what do I gain or loose with going for the front engine flat nose school bus? What bus specifially am I lookin for with this combo? (with the engine like the 7.3) This sounds like the ideal bus for me. I imagine that the fuel mileage will be a little lower on a flat nose? Does anyone know the difference between dog nose and FE?

Is the rear of these busses lower to the ground? for some reason It seems like the flat nose busses are lower in the rear. this is also good for me otherwards im gunna have todo some research on how much I can dovetail a standard bus. Im worried about declining driveways and scrapping the rear of the bus if I dove tail it to much.

Does anyone have any experience with dovetails on a school bus?

thanks
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:14 PM   #6
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Re: general bus info wanted

Flat noses are a little harder to work on, generally louder up front, and you can feel a certain amount of engine heat. A custom center console loaded up with insulation will help with #2 and #3. The engine cover (doghouse) also makes it awkward climbing into the driver's seat, and requires an angled stepwell. However, the biggest advantage is interior length. As long as you account for the stepwell angle, your usable floor space is only about 5-6 feet less than the outside length, so on a 40ft bus you could have as much as 35 feet to play with.

If you want an International, look for anything that says Genesis/AmTran/Ward. Power ratings and performance with older buses vary a lot, it goes without saying you should test drive before buying. You won't get the actual 7.3 (T444E in bus applications) in an FE, the V8s are too wide to fit under a 90s doghouse, so they always used the I6 DTs.

If you want a Cummins, you have some choices. Blue Bird and Thomas are preferred. Carpenter offered the Cummins engines, but they had some major quality control issues and it's hit-or-miss with the rest of the bus.

Wayne buses were sometimes built on the International chassis and would have the same DT engines as above. They were also available on the Asia Smith chassis, which should be avoided due to non-standard hard-to-replace parts.

Fuel mileage varies a lot. The one I drive every day at work averages about 8 with mostly rural stop-and-go driving, but that's with electronic controls (2002 model) on a CAT 3126E and a modern MD3060 5-speed lockup transmission. A lot of 90s buses used the AT545 trans - reliable if it's been taken care of, but lower torque ratings and it's a 4-speed with no lockup. Look for something with an MT643 (or MD3060 if you want a newer bus).

As for rear clearance, it depends on the model, tires, and suspension. The buses my employer runs vary more than a foot with rear bumper height depending on the specs. However, one of the tradeoffs with an 84/90pax FE is extreme rear overhang - see Smitty's post in Conversion Discussion about rear decks.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:31 PM   #7
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Re: general bus info wanted

One of the things I was definetly worried about is the rear overhang of putting a full size car behind the rear axles of the bus.
I did a search and I came up with pretty much exactly what im lookin for .

not sure how to post links but ill try it http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3252179
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:32 PM   #8
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Re: general bus info wanted

Anybody know of a place I can find info on bus transmissions that will accept a PTO? I posted in the mechanical section also but seems liek this forum gets more traffic.


thanks
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:59 AM   #9
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Re: general bus info wanted

PTO will be used to power the winch for the car, the rear door, air compressor, welder, anything that I might need to use at the track. some tracks I can plug into but most I can not. The PTO option sounds like the best for me.
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:42 AM   #10
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Re: general bus info wanted

Im hopin that I can go searchin and find an old bus with a PTo on the bus and salavage the PTO. if not they are between $2000-$3000. I have thought about the generator and prolly will actually have one on board as well but I was trying to get away from using it.
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