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Old 10-03-2019, 12:12 PM   #1
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Question Making a smoother ride.

Hello all,
My wife and I just purchased a 1997 GMC Bluebird. It is a 53 passenger bus. We plan to convert to a skoolie. However, the suspension is kind of rough. Is there a different size tire I can use to give it a smoother ride? It currently has 9R 22.5 tires on it. Also open to any other suggestions. Look forward to hearing from you all.

Thanks
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:28 PM   #2
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budget

what are you willing to spend? how much you will spend will dictate what can be done. I spent $7000 on my suspension.

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Old 10-03-2019, 01:11 PM   #3
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Buses are designed to carry a lot of weight and to operate loaded most of the time so the suspension is gona be stiff. As you progress on your conversion and put more weight into the bus, the ride she get better.also, replace your shocks as they are often overlooked.
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:14 PM   #4
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I ran into a gent who had removed one or more leafs from the spring pack and added air bags. He was very happy with the results.
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SolomonEagle View Post
Buses are designed to carry a lot of weight and to operate loaded most of the time so the suspension is gona be stiff. As you progress on your conversion and put more weight into the bus, the ride she get better.also, replace your shocks as they are often overlooked.

THIS!!


an empty bus is the worst ride quality you will have.. when loaded with your conversion and added weight of water tanks, etc it will ride better..


HOWEVER..


like easgle said, the suspension is stiff to handle the weight.. you also have rock-hard tires you are riding on. a regular car you typically ride on 40 PSI or less of air pressure which makes the tires fairly soft.. and they help to absorb road bumps.. esp small but pointed bumps like expansion joints... car tires re-shape as you hit the bump and soften the blow.. along with a softer suspension..


in your bus your tires are going to likely be 95-100 (or more) PSI.. that in and ofitself helps to contribute to a stiffer ride quality... buying a bus with rear or full air ride is a big improvement or a fully leaf-spring suspension.. but still is going to be stiff...



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Old 10-03-2019, 01:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Humphrey4178 View Post
Hello all,
My wife and I just purchased a 1997 GMC Bluebird. It is a 53 passenger bus. We plan to convert to a skoolie. However, the suspension is kind of rough. Is there a different size tire I can use to give it a smoother ride? It currently has 9R 22.5 tires on it. Also open to any other suggestions. Look forward to hearing from you all.

Thanks
Is your bus a lower bus?
Is it a flat floor or do you have wheel wells?

With your tire size I'm guessing its a lowrider type bus. If so- those just ride rough, not a whole lot you can do.
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:45 PM   #7
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I ran into a gent who had removed one or more leafs from the spring pack and added air bags. He was very happy with the results.
I've seen enough buses for sale with broken leaf springs to be skeptical of this approach, at least for long term durability.
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:48 PM   #8
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I have spring suspension all around. Honestly, the bus rides far better than I expected it to.

I thought that I was going to have to spend some $$$ to upgrade. After taking 300-400 mile trips both loaded and empty I don't think that I will need to do anything to it.

I used it as a moving truck when I relocated across the state. Drove great and the ride was decent.
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:50 PM   #9
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Bagging up a suspension is common practice.. the 1 ton dually guys do it all the time to help with 5th wheel ride quality and weight management..



ive not seen a bus or big rig that had a hybrid approach to springs.. they are all either bagged or are spring..



EC is right smaller tires definitely ride rougher.. unless im fully loaded with a group of people or bunch of equipment in my red bus with 19.5" tires it rides rough.. even with air ride.. when im fully loaded that bus rides really smooth
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:07 PM   #10
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Bagging up a suspension is common practice.. the 1 ton dually guys do it all the time to help with 5th wheel ride quality and weight management..



ive not seen a bus or big rig that had a hybrid approach to springs.. they are all either bagged or are spring..



EC is right smaller tires definitely ride rougher.. unless im fully loaded with a group of people or bunch of equipment in my red bus with 19.5" tires it rides rough.. even with air ride.. when im fully loaded that bus rides really smooth
That's what got me looking. If I said that my 3500 rides like a buckboard empty, I would be insulting buckboards. I was considering options to smooth the ride without sacrificing hauling capacity.

Regarding tires, it seems to me that it isn't just about size but more about sidewall height. Am I thinking correctly?

I shed the 19.5's on my truck for low profile 22.5's. I can haul more but it rides much worse. The gent at the tire store told me that if I went to 11r22.5's the ride would improve. That won't happen until I wear these out.
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:18 PM   #11
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Adding airbags alone to a 3500 1ton isn't going to make it ride any better unless you throw some weight into the equation or modify the suspension otherwise. Airbags are usually added to those trucks to increase load capacity. A School bus is going to be the same deal, it's gonna ride stiff until it's loaded down a bit. Personally, I lucked out and found a bus with air ride in the rear. Front hits hard on bumps and the rear end glides right over.
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:51 PM   #12
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Adding airbags alone to a 3500 1ton isn't going to make it ride any better unless you throw some weight into the equation or modify the suspension otherwise. Airbags are usually added to those trucks to increase load capacity. A School bus is going to be the same deal, it's gonna ride stiff until it's loaded down a bit. Personally, I lucked out and found a bus with air ride in the rear. Front hits hard on bumps and the rear end glides right over.
You missed the part of my post about removing leafs from the spring pack along with the air bags.
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Old 10-03-2019, 03:04 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=PNW_Steve;352026]You missed the part of my post about removing leafs from the spring pack along with the air bags.[/QUOTE
sorry, I didn't see that part. Just wanted to clarify for any newbies
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Old 10-03-2019, 03:41 PM   #14
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I've seen enough buses for sale with broken leaf springs to be skeptical of this approach, at least for long term durability.
Your PM box is full, go empty it.
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Old 10-04-2019, 04:58 AM   #15
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Your PM box is full, go empty it.
I have never really paid any attention tothe PM inbox level. Perhaps I'll take a closer look next time I receive a PM.
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:11 PM   #16
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I have never really paid any attention tothe PM inbox level. Perhaps I'll take a closer look next time I receive a PM.
Not yours, ECCB's
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:18 PM   #17
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Not yours, ECCB's
I made a bit of room.
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