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Old 12-04-2019, 08:24 PM   #1
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Help Me Put the SHORT in Short Bus

There are short buses, but then there are buses of the shortness that I desire. I wanna push the limits to the max and see if I truly can break the glass ceiling and achieve the fullest potential of man's greatest creation, the Short Bus. I'm hoping with the vast skoolie knowledge on this site, it just might be possible.





While the "About Me" section in my profile might not be serious, I'm as serious as it gets about this endeavor. I've wanted the following bus setup for as long as I can remember. I'm now in a position to make it happen. Thus, here I am before you and here is the bus setup I seek. Out of everything, I imagine mechanicals and drivetrain are going to be the biggest issue with something like this. I'm imagining getting larger bus, cutting out middle, and then dealing with drivetrain issue. That's where I'm at. Help bring me home here y'all.

In a world where cost isn't an issue and where questions like "Why the hell would you want to do this" or "what happened to you as a child" don't exist, how would you suggest I go about making my dream short bus a reality?

Main Things I'm Looking for Are as Follows:

1.) Look like the above image

2.) Best Gas Mileage Possible

3.) Off-Road Capability to Max while impacting #2 as little as possible


I'm open to new engine, complete engine & mechanical rebuild, nitros package, and anything under the sun that will help me go achieve the utmost potential of this bus. Please throw out all practicality and unleash the inner 12 year old that I know lies inside all of you and help me brainstorm how I should attack making this bus the most special of them all.

On a side note, I don't know how feasible it would be, but my soul truly does light up when imagining a short bus with the same interior capacity as the above picture, but in the flat-nose variety. If you aren't clear, just picture the same above bus, but just remove the dog-nose and replace with flat-nose. I hope you smile as large as I do when the resulting image appears in your mind.

I plan to do a conversion thread for this little bundle of joy as well as the normal full-size skoolie that I plan to do as well.


Yours Truly,

Tugz McBuckets
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:40 PM   #2
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Like your style, man. Like your style. And yeah, the only thing that made my smile wider than when I was looking at your supplied pics was when I imagined your flat-nosed variant.

Are we sure that isn't a photoshopped image, though?

Assuming you're serious about being serious, I'm thinking you would have to have hydraulic brakes (no room for air brake components under there). Tranny length might be an issue just to be able to squeeze some sort of (extremely) shortened driveline in there. Our actual short-bus is pretty harsh on ride quality due to heavy rear springs. I think pulling a leaf or 3 would be mandatory in your case unless you wanted the world's largest pogo stick. I'm sure there are plenty of other important considerations, but with something like this, I wouldn't know where to begin.

EDIT: I see you made a duplicate post in another thread, but promised cash upon failure. I'll take my $100 in beer. Big Sky Brewing Moose Drool is my fav.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:58 PM   #3
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Fortunately I'm just back from the bar...

I like the image -- but a '75 Scout was my dd for a long time -- still own it...

Anyway as I don't care for the flat faced look...

Get a full size bus. The bigger the bus, the bigger and stronger the eng/trannny it comes with. the drive shaft is is in segments so it's really very easy to remove the shafts, move the spring perches as far forward as you'd like using only one drive shaft section.
Cut off everything behind the new spring/axle location.
Remove the rear end cap and reweld/rivet it to the new rear end of your bus.
You'll need to relocate the fuel cell,
The springs will be too stiff (remove a few leaf's as already suggested)

MPG & offroad perforance don't quite go hand in hand...

Without the parameters of priorities and budget I can't get more specific.

I will say it's totally doable and if I wanted a "short bus" 20 feet long or so I would absolutely do what I said above -- I'd get a bus like I've actually got and move the axle fwd and cut 18' off the back -- that would be really easy.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:00 PM   #4
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A flat nose would make it a much shorter wheelbase than those CE's
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
A flat nose would make it a much shorter wheelbase than those CE's
I like my CE, and I've been drinkin'

(and if you wanna do any mod's for off-road or eng performance, a CE is so much easier to deal with...
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:24 PM   #6
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Is the top bus photoshopped? The shadow doesn’t look right. Also there doesn’t look like there’s any length to have a driveline if it’s stock.

Seems like the easiest way to get there would be to use a 4x4 chassis and drop a bus body on it.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:26 PM   #7
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My question is where is the fuel tank? And as mentioned above, where would the air tanks go for an air brake equipped version?
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHogwartsExpress View Post
There are short buses, but then there are buses of the shortness that I desire. I wanna push the limits to the max and see if I truly can break the glass ceiling and achieve the fullest potential of man's greatest creation, the Short Bus. I'm hoping with the vast skoolie knowledge on this site, it just might be possible.





While the "About Me" section in my profile might not be serious, I'm as serious as it gets about this endeavor. I've wanted the following bus setup for as long as I can remember. I'm now in a position to make it happen. Thus, here I am before you and here is the bus setup I seek. Out of everything, I imagine mechanicals and drivetrain are going to be the biggest issue with something like this. I'm imagining getting larger bus, cutting out middle, and then dealing with drivetrain issue. That's where I'm at. Help bring me home here y'all.

In a world where cost isn't an issue and where questions like "Why the hell would you want to do this" or "what happened to you as a child" don't exist, how would you suggest I go about making my dream short bus a reality?

Main Things I'm Looking for Are as Follows:

1.) Look like the above image

2.) Best Gas Mileage Possible

3.) Off-Road Capability to Max while impacting #2 as little as possible


I'm open to new engine, complete engine & mechanical rebuild, nitros package, and anything under the sun that will help me go achieve the utmost potential of this bus. Please throw out all practicality and unleash the inner 12 year old that I know lies inside all of you and help me brainstorm how I should attack making this bus the most special of them all.

On a side note, I don't know how feasible it would be, but my soul truly does light up when imagining a short bus with the same interior capacity as the above picture, but in the flat-nose variety. If you aren't clear, just picture the same above bus, but just remove the dog-nose and replace with flat-nose. I hope you smile as large as I do when the resulting image appears in your mind.

I plan to do a conversion thread for this little bundle of joy as well as the normal full-size skoolie that I plan to do as well.


Yours Truly,

Tugz McBuckets
Probably has no driveshaft. I'll bet they've got he tranny tied right to the rear end.

YOu do know its just a conversation peice, not a real bus you'd wana drive around.
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:35 AM   #9
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if I were going to build similar.. I would go with a slightly longer wheel base.. start out with a 6 window full chassis chorty.. they are everywhere. .. use a CVE not a flat-nose.. your drivetrain will be easier..



use a V8 diesel vs an I-6 as your engine site far forward.. a T-444E is a good choice.. and yes they Can be tuned contrary to what most of the world will tell you..



choose an allison 1000/2000 series transmission as the overall trans length is 4 inches shorter than an MT643. the AT545 isnt rugged enough for a tuned up engine to dont use one of those..



yes to hydraulic brakes and yes to air-ride suspension. if your bus has a factory air system on it with hydrauic brakes (they exist one of mione is this).. you can install a MUCH smaller tank to run just the suspension..



full size tires for ground clearance.. so 11R22.5" rims / tires are your friend in this.. will help with breakover and departue.. I would leave an extra window behind the axle..



your fuel tank can locate behind the axle.. a properly size tank can tuck up between the frame rails and be protected by skid plates on the botom.. the exhaust can run outside the frame rail..



you cant run drive-shaft-less.. as you likely know the engine moves with the frame and the axle moves with the springs. . you need at least a short driveshft.. because the pinion angle will be steep, i'd likely suggest a CV-style shaft as opposed to a U-joint type driveshaft.



un-rivet the rear cap from the bus, save it and remove body sections and frame from the rear.. transfer the holes to re-drill for the axle and suspension.. there may already be holes for moving the axle depending on what wheel base you are going for.


this is a bad-ass project.. cant wait to watch it unfold.. My kinda build!!
-Christopher
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:57 AM   #10
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Is there room for a driveshaft? My 5 window already has a very borderline setup and I'm going to eat though u joints as it is. That bus pictured couldn't have more than a half a foot or so for the shaft, could it?

I would definitely be interested in what it takes to do this but part of me thinks its a fools errand and more for a conversation piece/lawn ornament than an actual driver.

Kinda reminds me of a yard truck, maybe look into one of those for the chassis.


If you're wanting a driver and actually want to use it a lot you'd be way better off getting a 6 window bus and keeping the frame full length but shorten/bob the body. Get some lift blocks and bigger tires and you'll have a short TALL bus like mine only shorter!



If you're not going for some "worlds shortest bus" record you could bob a 5 or 6 window behind the axle and shorten the body to whatever window count that leaves. That would give you the shortest usable shorty and would still ride real nice.

The bus yard where I got my current bus had this sitting on the lot-
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:24 AM   #11
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EC - remember you are I-6, your engine sits back a good 8-10 inches from that of a V-8..



I think its about 9" difference or so from my DTA-360 to my T-444E.. my red bus still has a 2 piece driveshaft.. I could easily take my axle forward a row or 2 before i'd have no driveshaft.. again, i'd run a CV shaft because of the bind angle of the U-joints.. even perfectly phased I wouldnt like it..
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
EC - remember you are I-6, your engine sits back a good 8-10 inches from that of a V-8..



I think its about 9" difference or so from my DTA-360 to my T-444E.. my red bus still has a 2 piece driveshaft.. I could easily take my axle forward a row or 2 before i'd have no driveshaft.. again, i'd run a CV shaft because of the bind angle of the U-joints.. even perfectly phased I wouldnt like it..
Well said from your first post and here -- and since you're being all serious...

Swap the rear end for a Rockwell (military) 2Ĺ ton top loading axle. This will greatly improve your pinion angle.

Probably the easiest thing to do (if you really want off road capability as well) is to bob an army deuce n' half truck and put your bus body on it.
Now you've got a great drive train w/ 4x4
Does it matter that it was never really a bus...?
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post


Like your style, man. Like your style. And yeah, the only thing that made my smile wider than when I was looking at your supplied pics was when I imagined your flat-nosed variant.

Are we sure that isn't a photoshopped image, though?

Assuming you're serious about being serious, I'm thinking you would have to have hydraulic brakes (no room for air brake components under there). Tranny length might be an issue just to be able to squeeze some sort of (extremely) shortened driveline in there. Our actual short-bus is pretty harsh on ride quality due to heavy rear springs. I think pulling a leaf or 3 would be mandatory in your case unless you wanted the world's largest pogo stick. I'm sure there are plenty of other important considerations, but with something like this, I wouldn't know where to begin.

EDIT: I see you made a duplicate post in another thread, but promised cash upon failure. I'll take my $100 in beer. Big Sky Brewing Moose Drool is my fav.
Cash offer upon failure still stands. Failure is not an option here. If you ain’t first you last. We can’t let the Soviets beat us in the Short Bus race.

In duplicate/original thread, I made references to myself wanting to go “full retard” in reference to the humorous line from the movie Tropic Thunder. The post almost immediately disappeared, which I assumed because of my use of the r word. Thus I edited and made this new thread.

And Yes, I’m as cereal as Kellogg’s. This thing is happening.

Pogo-stick eh??? I wouldn’t be opposed to grabbing a little air ever now and then. Keep the ladies on their toes and remind them every now and then that Tugz McBuckets isn’t afraid to send it ��.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banman View Post
Well said from your first post and here -- and since you're being all serious...

Swap the rear end for a Rockwell (military) 2Ĺ ton top loading axle. This will greatly improve your pinion angle.

Probably the easiest thing to do (if you really want off road capability as well) is to bob an army deuce n' half truck and put your bus body on it.
Now you've got a great drive train w/ 4x4
Does it matter that it was never really a bus...?
Not at all, only that it looks like the bus in the above picture. How would engine setup go in your proposed scenario? I definitely think something along these lines might be the way to go.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:02 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Probably has no driveshaft. I'll bet they've got he tranny tied right to the rear end.

YOu do know its just a conversation peice, not a real bus you'd wana drive around.
Yeah, but I want one that I can drive around.

“BIG DREAMS scare small minds”

That’s why we’re here man. To break down barriers and uplift all of mankind. To inspire a generation to what is truly possible.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
if I were going to build similar.. I would go with a slightly longer wheel base.. start out with a 6 window full chassis chorty.. they are everywhere. .. use a CVE not a flat-nose.. your drivetrain will be easier..



use a V8 diesel vs an I-6 as your engine site far forward.. a T-444E is a good choice.. and yes they Can be tuned contrary to what most of the world will tell you..



choose an allison 1000/2000 series transmission as the overall trans length is 4 inches shorter than an MT643. the AT545 isnt rugged enough for a tuned up engine to dont use one of those..



yes to hydraulic brakes and yes to air-ride suspension. if your bus has a factory air system on it with hydrauic brakes (they exist one of mione is this).. you can install a MUCH smaller tank to run just the suspension..



full size tires for ground clearance.. so 11R22.5" rims / tires are your friend in this.. will help with breakover and departue.. I would leave an extra window behind the axle..



your fuel tank can locate behind the axle.. a properly size tank can tuck up between the frame rails and be protected by skid plates on the botom.. the exhaust can run outside the frame rail..



you cant run drive-shaft-less.. as you likely know the engine moves with the frame and the axle moves with the springs. . you need at least a short driveshft.. because the pinion angle will be steep, i'd likely suggest a CV-style shaft as opposed to a U-joint type driveshaft.



un-rivet the rear cap from the bus, save it and remove body sections and frame from the rear.. transfer the holes to re-drill for the axle and suspension.. there may already be holes for moving the axle depending on what wheel base you are going for.


this is a bad-ass project.. cant wait to watch it unfold.. My kinda build!!
-Christopher
Chris,

Thank you for taking the time to respond and seriously approaching this concept. I’m joking around with some of my responses, but I am dead serious in undertaking this.

I am truly set on the shortest possible bus possible, with only two windows. Three or four if went with flat nose, but two would be amazing in flat-nose (drooling emoji...)

Someone in this thread mentioned simply using another vehicle for wheel base, drivetrain, and frame, and just use the bus body. Which I think
might be the way to go here. It doesn’t have to be a BUS, it just has to look like the short bus above.

Would a fully electric setup be in order? Find a cheap sacrificial electric vehicle to sacrifice and wouldn’t that solve drivetrain & wheelbase issue?

I am very well versed in construction/remodeling. Carpentry, plumbing, electrical, etc. What I do for a living. But I am pretty useless when it comes to mechanicals for vehicles. Doing something like this would be way outside my wheelhouse. A lot of the responses in this thread go right over my head.

Thus, I plan on hiring someone to do it for me. I just want to brainstorm ideas from more knowledgeable individuals such as yourself and others in this thread about how such a project could be approached before I start approaching ppl.

That said, if this is a project that truly excites yourself or anyone else here and something you’d be interested in undertaking, I’d more than gladly pay whatever you’d deem fair for time, materials, and labor to bring this vision to life for me.

I’ve wanted this setup for quite a while now, and I’m now in a position financially to make it happen, no matter what it takes. Some ppl have Ferrari’s or whatever as their dream vehicle, this is mine. And I plan to make it happen
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:12 PM   #17
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Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
a different chassis vehicle is definiterly an option... Bus bodies are assembled completely before they are married to the chassis... so in effect they are simply setting on the frame and attached with body clips.. so removing a bus body and setting on another fframe is definitely viable..



I think the first stage is determining how you want tio power it.. ie like you mention, electric? diesel? gas? and do you want it highway capable in terms of speed and torque? towing a boat? just a cool bus to take to Car shows and cruise your friends in? (thats what all 3 of my busses are for)..



as far as whats possible and whats not.. i know for sure the Bluebird pictured above was built.. someone on one of my classic bus forums has seen it.. its powered by an SV392 from what I understand..


the first one was a movie prop bus but was fully operational.. you can read about it.. its a Bus from the sequel to the movie Dumb and Dumber.. it had a beefed up engine / suspension and such so it could be used in stunts.. I have no idea its whereabouts now.. or if they destroyed it in the movie...



those 2 should tell all the nay sayers here that what the OP wants can be done..



-Christopher
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:41 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
a different chassis vehicle is definiterly an option... Bus bodies are assembled completely before they are married to the chassis... so in effect they are simply setting on the frame and attached with body clips.. so removing a bus body and setting on another fframe is definitely viable..



I think the first stage is determining how you want tio power it.. ie like you mention, electric? diesel? gas? and do you want it highway capable in terms of speed and torque? towing a boat? just a cool bus to take to Car shows and cruise your friends in? (thats what all 3 of my busses are for)..



as far as whats possible and whats not.. i know for sure the Bluebird pictured above was built.. someone on one of my classic bus forums has seen it.. its powered by an SV392 from what I understand..


the first one was a movie prop bus but was fully operational.. you can read about it.. its a Bus from the sequel to the movie Dumb and Dumber.. it had a beefed up engine / suspension and such so it could be used in stunts.. I have no idea its whereabouts now.. or if they destroyed it in the movie...



those 2 should tell all the nay sayers here that what the OP wants can be done..



-Christopher
Open to whatever would be the best and most practical power platform to deliver end results I want. Whether that be diesel, electric, or plutonium. Iím game.

No need for towing. I have my truck for that.

In order of importance. I think first and foremost would simply be a cool bus to tour around and cruise with friends in. Then would come ability to go highway speeds if possible. And finally, performance would be cool so long as it doesnít sacrifice too much reliability or so forth.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:18 PM   #19
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apparently i learned that the folks at the canadian campground still to this day Have the shorty Bluebird.. "whispering winds family campground" has Jack the Bus.. I was asking around a couple friends about it and figured he was long gone. but they saw it this past summer cruising around..

its a 2 window S-series bluebird.. apparently as simple as cutting the bus in half and putting it back together shorter from the way I understand. it is a V8 so the trans sits forward... they have had Jack for years..



they had it built.. im thinking contacting the campground and asking about it might be a start..
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
apparently i learned that the folks at the canadian campground still to this day Have the shorty Bluebird.. "whispering winds family campground" has Jack the Bus.. I was asking around a couple friends about it and figured he was long gone. but they saw it this past summer cruising around..

its a 2 window S-series bluebird.. apparently as simple as cutting the bus in half and putting it back together shorter from the way I understand. it is a V8 so the trans sits forward... they have had Jack for years..



they had it built.. im thinking contacting the campground and asking about it might be a start..
You da man Chris!!!

I just gave them a call and got the low down. Apparently a couple guys that worked for the school district up there did custom alterations to an old bus on the side themselves to shrink it down to its current, glorious form. School district used it as some sort of shuttle bus for a while (so apparently some school children did apparently get to enjoy this very special bus). However, the school district shut things down pretty quick with it due to safety concerns (understandable). The campground then bought it and did some additional alterations to make it safe enough to use again, which is how it is used as a shuttle at the campground today.

The individual I talked to is still in touch with one of the guys who did the alterations. Whether it was the initial alterations at the district or once the bus got to the campground, I don’t know. He’s gonna dig up the guys number and text it to me here in a bit.

Isn’t the inter webs just a beautiful thing! Knowledge and ideas flowing like the raging waters of Niagara.

I know everyone here is on the edge of their seats in excitement, so I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated on the quest to track down the legends behind this ground-breaking creation.
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