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Old 07-27-2009, 10:55 PM   #1
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Re: Rub Rails

I dont think they are structural in the sense of integrity of the bus body construction but are structural in a safety sense. You often see transit style non-school, school buses (like thomas saftliner) without them. Since school busses are all built on 100% protection, by design, they are like a big wrap around bumper to prevent /slow inward penetration in a side impact. Transits dont have to meet the same requirements and aren't uglied up in the name of safety.

When you remove them you might have areas of steel that have been deformed, pulled out etc where the screws went in and possibly waves from the skin being pulled tight along the rail. I was pretty close to removing all of mine but just dont have the time to do it.
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:00 PM   #2
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Re: Rub Rails

I removed a couple of of them from my Thomas, nothing underneath of it and can't see any structural worries. As stated above, there was some rippling of the metal in places, and if you take them all out you're going to have an awful lot of screw/rivet holes to fill...
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:02 PM   #3
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Re: Rub Rails

I am not totally convinced that they are for structural safety so much as exterior ridgidity for the knuckle head bus drivers. My bus has one at the very bottom of the skirt. I can't see how this would provide safety to the passengers except maybe to prevent another vehicle from running under the bus in an accident. I see the placements of the rails more in the fashion bump guards are installed on passenger vehicles. They are designed to prevent more extensive damage to the rest of the body in the event of a small fender bender.

I will be taking the two middle rails off of my bus and leaving the top and bottom rail simply for cosmetics. I have already taken a few pieces off and I think it does look better. Not quite so "industrial" you might say. However, my wife said she likes it better with them on. Opinions vary i'd say. I am basing our conversion by asking myself this. "Do i want a RV that looks like a school bus, or do I want a school bus that looks like an RV?" I choose the latter and that is why I will be investing as much time on the outside of our bus as the inside of it. We've spent over $700 on the outside of the bus trying to make it NOT look like a school bus, of coarse i'm going to remove stuff like rub rails and warning lights. $.02
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:13 PM   #4
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Re: Rub Rails

I'm seriously considering removing mine. I just don't like the idea of an open space that is impossible to get completely clean. I also think it will look nicer with them gone.

jim
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:51 PM   #5
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Re: Rub Rails

Yes, each states have differing requirements for the rails among other things such as side door emergency exits vs push out windows. Some busses have those stupid rails one on top of another on the sides about where the seats are at. I thought they might be for the dummy drivers but truth be told they will dent and make a mess of the bodywork if you "rub" your 25k lb bus against a stationary object. Don't think many districts would keep crash prone employees hauling children employed very long. Also you wouldnt want a car to be able to get under the side of the bus since this could pose a roll over issue so this may be the reason for one on the bottom of the skirt.
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Old 07-29-2009, 03:19 PM   #6
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Re: Rub Rails

I think a skoolie without ribs would look so much better! Here is one I found a while back for sale (posted in another thread).

How about this linky!

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4367
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:46 PM   #7
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Re: Rub Rails

Try the link above...
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:18 PM   #8
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Re: Rub Rails

yea I don't care for the treatment to the outside of THAT bus but I think that it would look good in paint without ribs... in my opinion!
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:34 PM   #9
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Re: Rub Rails

Now that is ridiculous... every 2 inches??? What were they thinking!? Imagine welding 800 holes...JEEESH!
I think even removing some of the rub rails would really clean up a skoolie... Our Thomas does have rub rails even tho it is a smooth body - at the bottom of the body & in the black just below the windows. I like that setup, cleeean!
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:47 PM   #10
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Re: Rub Rails

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanguy67
I agree. I think my bus would look better without the rub rails too. Unfortunately, Bluebird, in their infinite over-engineering wisdom, shot a rivet EVERY TWO INCHES!! in my rub rails and I don't want to have to patch 800 holes per side just to get the streamlined look. I would be a raving maniac!!

For me, rub rails stay.
DITTO, my Wayne is the same way, and they are hard ass solid rivets. Not the kind that you can punch out the center and then drill out. I hate rivets AAAAAAARRRRGGGGG!
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