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Old 10-23-2015, 09:22 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Super singles on an E450 based bus?

In contemplating a 4x4 bus conversion I've been thinking about converting the DRW axle configuration to "super singles." It makes sense from a track width perspective, and IMO, just looks better. The issue of course, is weight. The GAWR on an E450 based bus is 9500lbs. Mil Spec 315/75/R16.5E Goodyear MTRs are rated for 4540lbs @ 65 psi. That would get me within 400lbs of the GAWR, which I think is probably adequate. Of course, these are 37" tires, so some clearancing will be in order, but I would tub the body as much as possible before lifting it at all. Any thoughts? These are the tires-they can be had for about $200 each used-there are tons available off of HUMVEEs:

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Old 10-23-2015, 11:14 PM   #2
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I have a set of custom 22.5 rims I had made to my specs in the 8 lug 8x6.5 flavor.

A single 22.5 tire can range from a 9R 22.5 to a 12R 22.5. The 9R is 36 inches tall, and the 12R is around 44 inches tall.

All the 22.5 tires in a single configuration have massive load ratings beyond what the duel tires the bus originally had.

Most tread you can get on a Light truck tire no mater how tall is 3/4 of a inch Recap 22.5 tires with 1.5 inches of nice grip tread can be had around here for $250 each if I have a trade in casing. (tire with good side wall) A tire that size in the light truck world is Min $800. A small one ton unit like you have in mind would never wear the tires out. Unlike light truck tires, the casings are stiff enough to keep the treads from acting like fingers walking across the road in the wind and going around turns.

In snow they are almost unstoppable. Narrow and tall, they claw their way along.

Pics of mine. Made by Stazworks in the USA.
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Truck they were built for. These would be the same height as the tires below, but perform well on the street.



These tires were for the bush.





Nat
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:28 AM   #3
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I was hoping you meant you had custom bus wheels fabricated.
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:01 AM   #4
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That truck looks like fun. Where'd you get those cool, wooden jackstands? Lol
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHOMBUS View Post
I was hoping you meant you had custom bus wheels fabricated.
If a bus has 8 on 6.5 inch lug pattern, they can be bus rims.

Most one ton buses use the standard or metric 8 lug pattern.

That company will make rims in any lug pattern, in any size. I'm just trying to expand your imagination a bit.

For clearance, cut wheel wells, don't lift the bus.
For the front, stretch the wheel base by moving the front axle forward like I did on my black truck. I only lifted that truck 3 inches over stock. The tractor tires were 43 inches high by 24 inches wide. That is a big tire to clear with only 3 inches of lift.

Don't run tires right at their weight limit. That will cause continuous tire failures, and premature wear. You may get as little as 20,000 miles on a overloaded tire. This was the case on my 03 Dodge when running 16.5 tires and hauling shipping containers. I changed it to 19.5's and never had a tire issue after.

Running large rims enables you to run large disk brakes. This is why my 01 dodge uses 16 inch rims, and my 03 used 16.5 inch rims. For every inch bigger in diameter the rotor is, the stopping power is far better due to the large tire having less leverage.
The 4x4 world is full of inadequate brakes due to large tires and small rims. Guys trying to use all that crap off the military hummers. The rims are just to small to get decent brakes behind them.

I will just never own a bus that small. Useless to me.

These rims are going on my 01 Dodge 2500 truck at some point in the near future.

Quote:
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That truck looks like fun. Where'd you get those cool, wooden jackstands? Lol

It was a pile of fun. I cut it in half to keep from losing it in the divorce.

I still have the axles, 22.5 rims and engine. Everything else got sold off.

Large blocks of wood are always better than jack stands when working outside in the soft ground. Much more stable.
I even still have a few of the wood blocks. They are holding my Honda CRX car 2.5 feet in the air right now. It's getting a complete suspension rebuild.

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Old 10-24-2015, 01:35 PM   #6
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Lots of good info regarding the commercial tires, but can you air them down with damaging them? This bus will see a lot of time on loose sand (surf fishing) so airing down is imperative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
Don't run tires right at their weight limit. That will cause continuous tire failures, and premature wear. You may get as little as 20,000 miles on a overloaded tire.
I'll be honest, I don't know enough as to whether these tires would be run at their limit in my case or not. As I said, GAWR for an E450 bus rear axle (Dana S70) is 9,500lbs, but GAWR for the front axle is 5,000lbs for a total GVWR of 14,500lbs. Assuming the bus is fully loaded, does the rear axle (and thus the tires) see 9,500lbs, or does it see more like 7,250? I suppose the only way to know for sure is to get each axle on the scale separately.
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Old 10-24-2015, 03:41 PM   #7
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Just to add fuel to the fire...

I asked around about the new super singles just out of curiosity and it seems many of the OTR truckers hate'em. Especially on their trailers where most are seen. One guy said it was "like having a single pot brake system, if one goes, everything goes".

With duallies, if one blows the other rarely does and you retain control. With the super singles, when one blows, the trailer can quickly get completely out of control.

Not sure on a bus, but that was their story regarding trailers.
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Old 10-24-2015, 04:48 PM   #8
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By that same idea, we should all start running duallies on the front axle.

A good tire that is rated for more than the load being carried with a side wall like a 22.5 will never "Blow Out". It may get a flat like any tire, but the air will go down slowly, allowing you to pull over safely.

I have never gotten a flat on a 22.5 tire due to the thickness of the casing, and the depth of the tread. After all, bald tires and performance low pro tires are the worst for picking up nails.

No commercial tire can be "Aired Down". This is due to the lack of a bead like light truck tires. Any of the commercial .5 sizes can be mounted and unmounted without removing the rim from the vehicle.

The only way to lower the air pressure in a commercial tire is to run bead locks. Bead lock rims can also be made by Staz works.

Nat
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Old 10-24-2015, 08:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
I asked around about the new super singles just out of curiosity and it seems many of the OTR truckers hate'em. Especially on their trailers where most are seen. One guy said it was "like having a single pot brake system, if one goes, everything goes".
It's kind of an apples and oranges comparison. I'm looking to build a vehicle to drive 60 miles over the highway to the beach where I'm going to air down and drive 15 MPH over sand to my fishing spot. If I get a flat on the way, it will be inconvenient, but I'll change it get on with my day, just like I would if I was driving at SRW pickup with a truck camper like most of the guys I fish with. In fact that's what I do now (I fish out of an SUV). That said, I do get why OTR truckers would prefer duallies, I just think that for my purposes it will make more sense. Ruts are not as big an issue in loose beach sand, but when we take it to Maine having a SRW will definitely be an advantage.
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Old 10-25-2015, 01:18 PM   #10
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Found another option-Michelin 325/85/16 XMLs:



They can be hard to find as the supply from the DoD ebbs and flows, and prices can vary quite a bit, but $150 a tire (used-90% tread) is not unheard of. I think 5,070lbs per tire ought to suit a 14,500lb bus just fine
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