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Old 05-18-2016, 10:20 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Rear or front engine?

As a newby , i would like to know if i should looking for a front or rear engine for my conversion.i prefer flatnose bus. Is it very noisy to have the engine in the front ? Is it possible to ad some insulation ? Is it more stable on the road ?
What is the main difference? I know that there is no long drive shaft and muffler tubing. But i think that whent the engine is in front,i can put my water tanks in the rear.
If the engine is on rear,i should install the tank in front to ballance the bus .
I also guess the the cooling is better with the front engine.
So many questions......
Alain
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:55 PM   #2
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Well, as far as I can tell, all flat nose buses will take a little getting used to in that your steering tires are behind you so it's not like turning the corner in a car or even a truck/van. You almost have to drive into the center of the intersection before you start turning the wheel.

Obviously a front engine flat nose will be the noisiest of your choices but how noisy may depend on the engine and how well insulated it is... But you're still sitting right on top of that beast!

I don't know about stability but for ride comfort I'd steer towards the rear engine. Think of it this way - with the engine up front, the front axle suspension has to be beefier to carry the weight. You may have more overall weight because of that long drive line.

On the plus side, front engine buses will have less cooling issues and also have better turning radius. A rear engine bus usually has the rear axle as close to the rear as possible but if you look at the rear overhang on a front engine bus it's like half the overall length!

In any case, water tanks should be between the front and rear axles if at all possible. Water is both heavy in weight and in momentum, meaning that when you try to stop there's suddenly a surge of weight pushing you forward as all the water rushes forward. When you try to turn the water wants to rush to the outside of the turn, causing body sway. Simply, as much as possible keep water tanks low in the vehicle, center as much as possible, between the axles and if you have the option baffled or opt for several smaller tanks over one large tank to allow you to distribute the overall weight of water.
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:12 PM   #3
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Agreed, for driving pleasure you should have a nice pusher. Knowing you're getting air ride would be a plus.

I went with a FE for a number of reasons. The best reason is for a back door to load things in and out. That bowling alley works great for lumber, plumbing projects and garage sales. I don't feel that there is a noise problem because I like listening to the engine while I drive. Some people do build an additional plywood doghouse to put over the bus doghouse to block noise or maybe just so they can build in coffee holders.
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:50 AM   #4
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I like my FE. The turning radius is amazing, the ride is AWESOME (air ride), and I have a rear door that's useful.

In an FE bus, everything behind the driver seat is useful square footage.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:04 AM   #5
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I talked to a driver this morning who drive a front engine flatnose and he told me that whent the fan kick in , the noise is terrible.
Still prefer rear engine.
With the rear bedroom done the noise is very low.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:09 AM   #6
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ive always liked a dognose, for one I want something thats easy to work on... with a dognose the hood opens wide and for anything related to the rear of the engine the doghouse pops open..

on a falt nose FE getting to the mid and rear of the engine is easy as the doghouse opens up but servicing things like the fan, radiator, etc is a pain..

on an RE it just looks like a lot is crammed into a small space.. but ive never tried to work on one so I cant say from experience...

I like to be able to hear the engine for the simple fact if anything is going wrong that doesnt show up on a gauge im more likely to hear it, feel it, smell it if the engine is up front..
-Christopher
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:12 AM   #7
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I was fairly certain I wanted a rear engine bus when I was looking, but ended up with a front engine due to availability in my price range and time frame.
I'm super glad I got a front engine bus now because, as Robin said, the rear door is great! My bedroom in the back doubles as a garage when travelling.
The noise is not so bad on mine, although as Templar said, the fan noise is impressive. The fan very rarely kicks on, so I don't mind.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:50 AM   #8
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on an RE it just looks like a lot is crammed into a small space.. but ive never tried to work on one so I cant say from experience...
Depends on the RE. My Amtran/ICBus 3000RE has plenty of space to access both sides of the block. It's a little shy on headroom over the engine and towards the rear, but the full size radiator and two huge airflow vents help make up for that.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:55 PM   #9
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Is it possible there is something wrong if the fan is making that much noise? I can't hear my fan at all.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:07 PM   #10
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Is it possible there is something wrong if the fan is making that much noise? I can't hear my fan at all.
Same here, man.
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