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Old 07-24-2019, 12:01 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Got Ballast?

My 2007 Thomas Minotour has a stack of four 1/2Ē inch thick steel plates that span the frame rails at the very back just ahead of the bumper, whatís this for? Itís all n the way of my trailer hitch installation. Think it can go?.

Thereís a (Chevy) factory crossmember just ahead of it.
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Old 07-24-2019, 12:58 PM   #2
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That's where the armor plating attaches for bomb proofing your bus.
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:32 PM   #3
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Does the Chevy frame extend all the way to the rear bumper or were these maybe some sort of reinforcement to carry the weight of bodywork which extended past the end of the frame? Sorry I cannot tell from the photos but I recall my grandfather running into this issue with a class C RV which wasn't built to tow but when he went to install a hitch discovered the frame ended two feet from the bumper and the rest was just light weight steel to carry the body but would never withstand the weight or torsion of a towable. They had to weld in even more heavier steel and then beef up the suspension to compensate so after all was said and done it would have been cheaper to just trade up to a tow-rated RV.
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:41 PM   #4
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Without a blueprint on your chassis, my guess would be added ballast for traction in winter driving, maybe?
Looks like its simply bolted on and could be removed fairly easily?

Better to get it straight from someone who knows, rather than going from some internet yahoo guessing at the construction engineering of your bus!
Good luck and keep us posted on what you find on that mystery metal...
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Old 07-24-2019, 04:05 PM   #5
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Year: 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sehnsucht View Post
Does the Chevy frame extend all the way to the rear bumper or were these maybe some sort of reinforcement to carry the weight of bodywork which extended past the end of the frame? Sorry I cannot tell from the photos but I recall my grandfather running into this issue with a class C RV which wasn't built to tow but when he went to install a hitch discovered the frame ended two feet from the bumper and the rest was just light weight steel to carry the body but would never withstand the weight or torsion of a towable. They had to weld in even more heavier steel and then beef up the suspension to compensate so after all was said and done it would have been cheaper to just trade up to a tow-rated RV.
Sounds like another great reason to be doing what we are doing.

The frame rails are continuous C channels that came from the GM factory. The stack of plates wouldnít be for extending a frame. The only thing I can think of is ballast for a more stable ride or better traction. I think 50 gallons of water can replace that.
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Old 07-24-2019, 04:26 PM   #6
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Check your headlight adjustment before removing and after. Beams would lower when removed I think, might give you better vision or worse in the dark. Better to know where headlights are aimed before removal.

They seem to far back from the axle for traction but might dampen the shocks a bit. Does the rear end bounce hard on bumps, railway crossings?


John
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Old 07-24-2019, 04:45 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Year: 2007
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Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
Check your headlight adjustment before removing and after. Beams would lower when removed I think, might give you better vision or worse in the dark. Better to know where headlights are aimed before removal.

They seem to far back from the axle for traction but might dampen the shocks a bit. Does the rear end bounce hard on bumps, railway crossings?


John
Good idea to check the headlight adjustment. Iíll do a before and after on that.

Iíll take note of the bounce and see if it changes.
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Old 07-24-2019, 05:49 PM   #8
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I'm not disagreeing with the theory that they're ballast to improve the ride but this seems to me like a bass-ackwards way to accomplish said objective.
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sehnsucht View Post
I'm not disagreeing with the theory that they're ballast to improve the ride but this seems to me like a bass-ackwards way to accomplish said objective.
itís a simple solution. Chevy makes an incomplete van. It could be a box truck, could be a bus. They might have a couple different options for suspension, but when not knowing the final configuration, they wouldnít be able to deliver a balance chassis. So bolting cheap weight to the frame is an easy fix.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:13 PM   #10
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A friend of mine got a TC1000 and it had ballast on it. Somewhere between making the big bus suspension work on a small bus and balancing out the weight of the fuel tank it clearly made sense at the factory.
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