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Old 01-28-2010, 11:06 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Year: 1988
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International
Engine: DTA360
Rated Cap: 70
School bus construction

Hello I just acquired a Carpenter International with DT360 5 speed. I am into transit coaches and know how they are built. But how is the body on a typical school bus built? Is it on a tubular frame like a transit or are they built different? I mean in the walls and roof I know they have an I beam frame kinda like my Gillig. Thanks scoob
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:05 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Year: 1988
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Re: School bus construction

I asked this question three days ago. Doesn't anyone on here know? Or can someone direct me to a forum that does? Thanks
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:44 PM   #3
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Re: School bus construction

I don't know if this will answer your question or not.

I have 2 thomas built busses, a rear engine diesel pusher, and a front engine gasser conventional nose. Both have a medium duty truck style "ladder" frame. Two major frame rails, with lots of cross members. The frame rails are C channels.

Upon these frame rails, the floor of the body appears to be constructed of a lot of bent steel sections that run perpendicular to the frame rails. These sections are also C shaped, with an approx. 1" lip on each end of the C, and the back of the C being the surface of the floor.

I haven't gotten far enough into the walls of either bus to see how the walls and ceiling are constructed. However, from the conversion threads I've read on here, it appears that there are ribs running from the ends of the floor sections up and over the top in a hoop configuration and back down to the floor on the other side. These hoops run up between the windows. I'm not sure of the exact configuration though.

There is an inner and an outer skin for these walls, that helps form a hollow box, usually filled with insulation. The skin is typically steel, and I've seen a variety of attachment methods, from riveting to torx screws to standard phillips head screws.

Down the outside of the sides there is a "rub rail". This performs 2 functions, one being to help protect the skin in the event the driver scrapes something, and the other is to add extra rigidity to the sides. As a side effect, these collect grime and water, ruining your attempts to paint the vehicle.

Upon the roof of my 2 busses, there's also an area about 2' or 3' wide, that has ribs on either side. These like to hold water as well, and I think adds some strength in the case of a rollover event.

I hope this information is helpful in some way,
jim
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:20 PM   #4
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Re: School bus construction

Pictures? You might try looking through the gallery, alot of nice pictures in there. Probably find what your looking for in short order.
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:12 PM   #5
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Re: School bus construction

here are some pics I found in the gallery. (click on full size for a better view)
here you can see the side view without the skin of the bus.
http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/v/Skooli ... 1.jpg.html
I think he was doing a roof raise and wanted to re skin the whole bus and include storage bays underneath
http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/v/Skooli ... 7.jpg.html


Chris
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:47 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Year: 1988
Coachwork: Carpenter
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Re: School bus construction

Thanks very much for your replies and pictures. I now understand how they are built. There isn't a tubular frame but a "C" channel type thing. Looks stout. Smitty I really enjoyed your website and the pictures of your Carpenter. I have the same bus. So now I know how my bus is put together. I need to fix the welds on my roof which this spring I will do. I would love to raise my roof so I can put in a hardwood floor.

Thanks Scoob
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:14 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Year: 1988
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International
Engine: DTA360
Rated Cap: 70
Re: School bus construction

Yes I know my bus was made in Mitchell. You can tell by the rub rails if the rub rail is broken by the wheels like mine it wa made in Mitchell Also I noticed one weld over the door needs serious attention. IT is no big deal as I can weld thankfully. I would never use it for passengers if I were a transportation company. Unless it was repaired by a certified welder. Scoob.
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