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Old 05-15-2007, 06:28 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Western New York
Posts: 98
underbody storage

I am looking at installing some underbody storage boxes. I found some at my local salvage yard. Anyway, they are 24" high and poking around under the bus I see that the sides of the bus extend down past the bottom of the floor by 12" and basically it is a frame-work of metal braces with the yellow sheet-metal on the outside so the bus looks cooler I guess.

Was wondering if anyone has ever cut away the sides of the bus, not looking to cut away the entire side, just a hole about 48" long on one side. Not sure how much structural support the framework that is below the bus floor is providing to the overall bus.

Then I can mount the box directly to the underside of the floor and make it look all spiffy.
1988 Chevrolet S6000 8.2L Detroit Diesel
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Old 05-15-2007, 08:58 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: mid Mo.
Posts: 241
Year: 1976
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: F33695
Engine: 427 chevy
Rated Cap: 84
junk boxes

I put some under my bus at the rear and under the middle. I welded ears on the big box (24"X60") and bolted and welded it in the rear plus bolting to the floor and welding it to the side panels out front. The rear boxes are locker doors layed down, I made galvanized boxes that go all the way back to the frame, welded them to the door frames then welded that to the outer skin of the bus and screwed them to the floor. Then I bolted them to the bus frame with a small piece of plywood between them so they can move a little independent of the frame if neccessary. A friend of mine used to make RV's and told me no matter how hard you try you won't make them water proof so I didn't worry about that, we just put everything in tubs. We also coated the insides of the boxes with the same stuff we put on the roof, Kool Kote, it makes them almost rust proof and seals the seams although we did put drain holes in the floor too. Rubber mats with holes in them keep the stuff off the floor to help the water run out and evaporate. Use your think'n hat before doing it to keep the regrets down afterwards. Also put'm in to stay or you will find them stuck under your rear duals. sportyrick (my bus is in the gallery under my name on page 14)
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:46 AM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: downriver, detroit mi
Posts: 794
i've seen some thomas's that came from the factory without skirts on the sides. I imagine that the skirts are for appearance, anti spray and safety, mostly to keep foriegn objects from getting nder the bus (kids) they have minimal if any structural sicnificents
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Old 06-06-2007, 10:51 AM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Elk River, MN
Posts: 105
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Chevy C-60
Engine: 8.2L Turbo Detroit Diesel
Rated Cap: 77
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Re: underbody storage

For the most part the outer body the extends beyond the floor does not provide any structural support. You may find a thicker piece of steel running along the floor and a few inches below it. That probably provides some support between the walls and the floor. I cut way the body up to that thicker metal and I build my storage compartment.

I can take more pics but this this is what mine looks like:

It's built from scratch.

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