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Old 10-20-2015, 08:55 AM   #1
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"Bobbed" buses?

I really like Trask's bus but he's got his hands full and I didn't want to jack his thread with my somewhat unrelated questions:

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Originally Posted by Trask97140 View Post
I really like these old "bobbed" buses-I just made that up, but is there a specific term for them that would help me find more through a Google search? Did only certain body manufacturers make them? Is it a regional thing (I'm on the East Coast)? They seem to be a regular sized school bus, just cut off 2 or 3 feet behind the rear axle. I'm just getting into this game and familiarizing myself but these things seem like they are the king of the short buses! I've seen a few E450 based Collins built shorties that would fit the bill, but they tend to be pricey. NJ's law for school buses is that they can be no older than 15 years before the school district has to sell them off, and all the ones I've seen are no older than 2009 or so, so they're still holding value. Full sizes on the other hand are plentiful and cheap. For this reason I've thought about buying a full size bus and bobbing it. It would be a lot of work though, so I'd rather find one of these.

Of course, the other caveat is that I need 4WD-the whole point of the shorter bus and better departure angle is off road ability. I'm guessing the only way to do it with a bus like this would be with a Rockwell front axle off of a 2.5 ton military truck. With the front fenders clearanced, the rear wheel wells tubbed, and some 40" military tires it would not only be nearly unstoppable it would also look seriously bada-- as well Anyway, the more information I can find on these the better as I'd really love to look into them more as far as what engines and transmissions were used, etc... Trask, if you're reading this and could fill me in on the following regarding your bus I'd be grateful:

GVWR
Engine (Model/Diesel/Gas/Size, etc...)
Transmission (Manual/Auto/Number of gears?)
Length of passenger compartment from rear of driver's seat to rear door.
Interior width
Interior height
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:59 AM   #2
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4wd on one of those could get REALLY expensive, but the components are out there.

There are shorties like this all over, you just have to start looking for them. There are some 6 window shorties in GA on public surplus right now, cheap too. Cummins 5.9's and dt360's.
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:05 AM   #3
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I've delivered new ones to Colorado. They were new buses that got sent somewhere to get converted to 4wd. Sticker shock on delivered price.
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:30 AM   #4
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enjoy

Tulsa Truck Manufacturing - All Wheel Drive Conversions

you would have to lift it 2 feet to get a top loader to fit under the engine/frame

so a rockwell toploader 2-1/2 and 5 ton are realistically out of equation, the rockwell tcase would work tho'
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:30 AM   #5
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so a rockwell toploader 2-1/2 and 5 ton are realistically out of equation, the rockwell tcase would work tho'
Thanks for posting I guess I'll have to familiarize myself with the options between a regular 1 ton front axle (which I'd have to believe would be way undersized) and a 2.5 ton Rockwell. I'm guessing there is some kind of 1.5-2 ton sideloader option that is used in the kinds of medium duty trucks that utility and timber companies often use.
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:05 AM   #6
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Hey bud. Glad you like the bus, and yes I do have a lot of work to do! I also like the look, its proportions front to back, side to side are spot on. "Bobbed" works, though it sounds like something the ol lady would do to her hair... haha

GVWR - Not sure, but google says 24,500
Engine - International SV345 5.7L V8 Gasoline
Transmission - Allison AT545 4 Speed Auto
Front(back of drivers seat) to back measurement - 144"
Side to side - 88"
Height interior - 74"

Hope that helps! Also, the tree farm I bought it from had two of these... Sounds like your on the east coast, im in Oregon. But it may still be available. Just sayin!
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:34 AM   #7
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Unless you have the skills to do the work yourself, you better have a ton of cash. This will be an expensive conversion if you have to pay a shop to finish it.
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Old 10-20-2015, 12:06 PM   #8
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I'd hit up Cowlitzcoach and see if he has any or any leads. Buying one outright would be tons cheaper.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trask97140 View Post
Hey bud. Glad you like the bus, and yes I do have a lot of work to do! I also like the look, its proportions front to back, side to side are spot on. "Bobbed" works, though it sounds like something the ol lady would do to her hair... haha
Just to show that you can use the term "Bobbed" and still keep your man-card, here's a picture of a what is officially known as a "Bobbed Deuce," which is essentially a shortened 2.5 ton truck with one rear axle removed, making it a giant 4x4 pickup:



Quote:
Originally Posted by Trask97140 View Post
GVWR - Not sure, but google says 24,500
Engine - International SV345 5.7L V8 Gasoline
Transmission - Allison AT545 4 Speed Auto
Front(back of drivers seat) to back measurement - 144"
Side to side - 88"
Height interior - 74"

Hope that helps!
It definitely does-thanks! What is really interesting is the size-not at all what I was expecting. The Ford E450 based Collins Grand Bantam has a 186" passenger compartment. I am assuming that they are only measuring the bus body, not the van portion which includes the driver's cockpit, but maybe not since there is no diagram to confirm. However, if that is indeed just the passenger compartment that's nearly four feet of additional room. Internally, the Grand Bantam is 91" wide so no major gain there. Aisle height is 76.5" and of course every little bit helps there.

Where the International really has the Ford based bus beat is GVWR-nearly double the capacity of the Ford (14,000), but it's obviously much heavier to start, so it may be a wash, I don't honestly know. Either way, for my purposes, the gain of 27SF combined with a much easier (and cheaper) 4WD conversion wins the day, so I may just have to wait them out. Lord knows I don't have the time to put into it now with two little ones running around. I do really like the look of the nose of the International and the way it flows with the body though. The E450 based buses kind of look like ticks about to pop
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
It definitely does-thanks! What is really interesting is the size-not at all what I was expecting. The Ford E450 based Collins Grand Bantam has a 186" passenger compartment. I am assuming that they are only measuring the bus body, not the van portion which includes the driver's cockpit, but maybe not since there is no diagram to confirm. However, if that is indeed just the passenger compartment that's nearly four feet of additional room. Internally, the Grand Bantam is 91" wide so no major gain there. Aisle height is 76.5" and of course every little bit helps there.

Where the International really has the Ford based bus beat is GVWR-nearly double the capacity of the Ford (14,000), but it's obviously much heavier to start, so it may be a wash, I don't honestly know. Either way, for my purposes, the gain of 27SF combined with a much easier (and cheaper) 4WD conversion wins the day, so I may just have to wait them out. Lord knows I don't have the time to put into it now with two little ones running around. I do really like the look of the nose of the International and the way it flows with the body though. The E450 based buses kind of look like ticks about to pop

Exactly what is it that you want. An E450 is basically a one ton truck with an extended frame and some beefed up components. An International is a Medium duty truck.
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