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Old 06-14-2016, 05:36 PM   #1
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How to get take 10 inches out of the clearance height...path of least resistance

I believe this Thomas is about 10'4" approximately, though that's not a 100% guaranteed number. (1998 Thomas SafTLiner 84 pass rear engine). It would be a tremendous asset to get this bus into my shop, so I'm exploring several possibilities.

1. The eve on my overhead door may be a trim piece that reveals some extra height. Right now it's at 10ft exactly. There may be something there, may not.

2. Remove outer dual rears and air down the 4 corners to gain approx 4 inches at best...likely won't be enough

3. Find some used steel semi wheels, cut the centers down and weld to some type of 17" or 16" rim with an E rated tire. Mount the faces away from the brake package. Kind of the approach monster trucks take to load into transporters....tiny move around wheel/tire package.

4. Drive from outside to inside on bare rim...don't want to do this at all.

I've been searching the net for what I may not be thinkin of. The cut/fab/weld option seems fine, but that comes with a cost, plus a lot of work just to make it happen. Need a torque multiplier, some kind of lift jack for this weight/height, etc.

Any suggestions? I have MIG/TIG/Plasma ability, so that's optional.
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Old 06-14-2016, 06:43 PM   #2
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My first thought was along the lines of 11 FOOT 8 - The Canopener Bridge but a skylight probably isn't what you're after.

Getting the suspension down seems like the most direct approach. When you say "air down the 4 corners" I assume you mean let the tires down, not air bag suspension? Anyway, if you can conveniently borrow say 10,000 pounds of bagged sand or salt, or maybe a 2-3 pallets of concrete block, that weight piled inside might be good for another inch or two of altitude adjustment. Check the distance to the bump stops to be sure there's room to give before going to all that trouble!

Possibly make some new shackles for the leaf springs to lower the ride height.

I assume the shop has a concrete slab floor. Dirt or gravel might have been dug down to gain extra height.
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:12 PM   #3
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Option 1 - Snag 4 junk wheels at a boneyard, drive in without tires. Weld on some flat bar/sheet metal if you're worried about damaging the floor.

Option 2 - Deflate the tires to almost nothing and ease it in. Wouldn't leave the tires like this any length of time, if it can be avoided. Saw a truck get wedged under a low bridge and this is the method they used to extract it. If it has an air-ride suspension, deflate that too.

Option 3 - Raise door height and/or lower floor depth. Drawback to doing the floor is that you'll have to do this for the 80' or so it will take to get the bus all the way through the door.
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Old 06-15-2016, 12:34 PM   #4
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Floor modification isn't an option. It's finished/polished concrete. Door opening also likely won't get me much.

To me it was either a tire deflation or drive in on rims. I've also considered maybe a suspension "modification" to reduce ride height dramatically...disconnect front leafs/remove shocks and create some type of temp "pedestal". Then deflate the rear bags.

Maybe deflating the suspension and deflating tires is a means to get it in in combination. Once inside, my ceiling height is 14', so re-inflating everything would be immediate. I just need to get it in there.

My question is, how far can these tires deflate and stay stable enough to turn and not roll over on themselves. Will have to take it a little at a time I suppose. We'll find out in a couple weeks here. I have until the 28th to get it. I could leave it outside of course, for a little but, being limited to only daylight and summer sun will really slow me down, versus being in the shop with power/air/welders/etc. I can extend air and power outside but, will require cleanup daily, in and out, etc...sucks. I have a 4k sqft space and a door keeping me from using it...lol.
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:34 PM   #5
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Sounds to me it would cheaper easier and quicker to raise the roll up door a foot.
If you have the weld and fab capabilities then with an extra hand and some prep it's not even a days worth of work?
Roll up doors usually have some extra left on the roll when dropped down.
You are going to want to drive the bus around while in various phases of destruction/construction or to me anyway.
The door fix is the best and quickest solution then if you ever needed the bus in there again just open the door.
Or you can look into wheel dollies,some good floor jacks , some good friends.
Take the tires off drop it down on the dollies and push it or a chain fall,winch or come along anchored to the floor ahead of the monster and pull it in on the dollies.
Food for thought anyway?
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:54 PM   #6
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Without knowing the details of your bus and wheels and tires... I would guess a bus of that size would probably have 22.5 rims and somewhere about a 11r size tire. That puts the combination in the 41" tire diameter range. If its the standard 10 lug rim and not dayton style rim, you could get a 19.5 rim 10 lug, and used/worn out 225/70 19.5 tires and be under 32" tall(more like 30.5" if no tread). Just run the four of them to get them in your building. I see old worn out 19.5 tires quite a bit on craigslist pretty cheap. Should find steel 10 lug wheels pretty cheap at a big truck salvage yard.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
Sounds to me it would cheaper easier and quicker to raise the roll up door a foot.
If you have the weld and fab capabilities then with an extra hand and some prep it's not even a days worth of work?
Roll up doors usually have some extra left on the roll when dropped down.
You are going to want to drive the bus around while in various phases of destruction/construction or to me anyway.
The door fix is the best and quickest solution then if you ever needed the bus in there again just open the door.
Or you can look into wheel dollies,some good floor jacks , some good friends.
Take the tires off drop it down on the dollies and push it or a chain fall,winch or come along anchored to the floor ahead of the monster and pull it in on the dollies.
Food for thought anyway?
Well...let me say this much...lol:

A. I have no friends/family...anymore. I left them all behind and moved 1k miles away.
B. You could be right on the extension but, looking at the type of steel building construction it is, it strikes me as a pretty indepth project requiring a good bit of resources. Extending the guide track is easy enough, but the door will certainly be short. The "eve" is I beam steel, so extending that 2ft higher to add a door panel...I don't know...strikes me as a lot of work. Granted, it does make in and out less of an issue. I have to look at it more frankly...but we'll see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hvbuzz View Post
Without knowing the details of your bus and wheels and tires... I would guess a bus of that size would probably have 22.5 rims and somewhere about a 11r size tire. That puts the combination in the 41" tire diameter range. If its the standard 10 lug rim and not dayton style rim, you could get a 19.5 rim 10 lug, and used/worn out 225/70 19.5 tires and be under 32" tall(more like 30.5" if no tread). Just run the four of them to get them in your building. I see old worn out 19.5 tires quite a bit on craigslist pretty cheap. Should find steel 10 lug wheels pretty cheap at a big truck salvage yard.
This is info I had hard time finding. My tire size based upon the bus label that was in the auction is running a 22.5 and 40" diameter tire. My question is, what is a "dayton" rim? 19.5 on those tires sounds like a good option for sure. Something worth exploring.

Here is pic of my bus

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Old 06-16-2016, 12:11 AM   #8
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I would look at a price quote for enlarging the door. I'm not suggesting that you actually go that route now - but even when the bus is done, wouldn't it be nice to be able to park or work on it inside?

I like the idea of just rolling it in on a junk set of hubs, or finding 4 rims and smaller tires (if it will drop the height enough to fit.) 80 feet or so rolling on the hubs should be okay - I'd just plan to push/pull it with another vehicle, rather then risk spinning and damaging a rim.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:38 AM   #9
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Definitely going to look into the door. See what I can come up with here. I have to head out of town for a couple days, then work on getting this thing here next week.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:56 AM   #10
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Just as a reference in answer to your question 'what is a Dayton rim' ... (with pictures for comparison)

Dayton or Budd? The eternal question. |
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:22 AM   #11
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Ahhh yes, I see those Dayton styles on older buses. I've generally had them on an "avoid" list. Many "what bus to buy" type of online articles advise to stay away from that kind of rim...I just kind of took their word for it...lol.

So, my bus definitely doesn't have those.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:38 AM   #12
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I'll add this here for completion and to keep the wheel conversation going. Here's the thread on skoolie.net about wheel types:
Wheel types: Dayton and Budd pros, cons and other info

It lays out some pros, cons and photos as well.
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Old 06-16-2016, 10:17 AM   #13
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If you start looking for 19.5 rims, make sure you let them know you are looking for the big 10 bolt pattern, not the more common, small 10 that comes on all the newer ford f550 and 450 trucks.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:04 AM   #14
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I am going to explore the door option today, as I am heading over to my shop. It would require modding the whole deal, but buying 19" wheels/tires and or modding rims, etc all have cost, so either way putting inside requires cash. The only non cash option is airing everything down and squeezing it in there. For the no cost factor, it would be great if it worked.
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:09 PM   #15
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I actually Love the dayton rims.. if you bang up a Rim they are cheapo and everywhere...

if you get a flat on a steer... one man CAN handle a dayton rim to make a swap of a tandem to the steer axle to limp you to a safe place without a truckdown service..

you can also carry a spare with daytons..

the ones that are on most people;s Avoid List are the old split rim daytons or the tab rim datytons which both used inner-tubes.. thos have been gone out of production since the early 80s and were required removed from semi trucks by I think it was 88 or 90.. but Dayton rims are mainly on older busses.. Budd's are common on a lot of busses in this forum (I have dayton's) and on all new stuff its hub-pilot style rims..

does your bus have full air ride suspsension ? if so flattening the air bag suspension is usually good for 3-6" depending on the bag setup.. mine is rear only but I tried letting al lthe air out of mine as an experiment for you and I Lost about 4-5" of height off my rear... I dont have front air suspension but I could easily see getting 4-5" by letting Most of the air outr of the steers.. mine are 11R22.5 fronts so a pretty tall tire...

-Christopher
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Old 06-16-2016, 05:23 PM   #16
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I have the old tube style Dayton's and from everything I have gathered is that I am stuck with my 9r20's.
Is there an acceptable swap out rim to go radial?
I am looking into changing the rear end but I want it to be one (hub,rim,tire) that I can change my front end to also?
Or find a way to update my tubed Dayton's to tubeless.
I have been told that 10r22.5 would work but my rims need a tube so if I did change to tubeless tire size I would still need a tube and boot?
Any ideas. Any comment's good or bad is appreciated and you won't hurt my feelings cause I have been chasing this dog for awhile?
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Old 06-16-2016, 05:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC000E View Post
I am going to explore the door option today, as I am heading over to my shop. It would require modding the whole deal, but buying 19" wheels/tires and or modding rims, etc all have cost, so either way putting inside requires cash. The only non cash option is airing everything down and squeezing it in there. For the no cost factor, it would be great if it worked.
It sounds like have have some weld/fab capabilities so make some wheel dollies that fit your hubs with out rims and use a winch or chain hoist to pull it in.
They make steel casters all day long that won't bend buckle or bow under the weight?
If you have a drop (like concrete to gravel) that would catch the casters going in then use some good lumber to make a smooth transition even if it is all the way back to the rear? With rear air bags maybe the front is your only problem?
If you are able pics of the garage entrance and of the door inside and out would help?
I have helped move equipment heavier than (because it wasnt built before the roof wenton ) with steel pipe, pinch bars and all kinds of old Egyptian style.
Yes 10'4" is 10'4" but if you are driving in on grade then 10'4" could be 11' or more 10'4 is only 10'4 if the entire bus is level and most unloaded are not.
You might know this and you might not.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
I have the old tube style Dayton's and from everything I have gathered is that I am stuck with my 9r20's.
Is there an acceptable swap out rim to go radial?
I am looking into changing the rear end but I want it to be one (hub,rim,tire) that I can change my front end to also?
Or find a way to update my tubed Dayton's to tubeless.
I have been told that 10r22.5 would work but my rims need a tube so if I did change to tubeless tire size I would still need a tube and boot?
It is my understanding the 20 / 22.5 rims will interchange perfectly. The 22.5 rims are made in both 7.5 and 8.25 inch widths, either of which should fit the 10R22.5 tires; anything larger should use the 8.25" wheels. 20" tires are usually tube-type, where the 22.5's are tubeless.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:50 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
It is my understanding the 20 / 22.5 rims will interchange perfectly. The 22.5 rims are made in both 7.5 and 8.25 inch widths, either of which should fit the 10R22.5 tires; anything larger should use the 8.25" wheels. 20" tires are usually tube-type, where the 22.5's are tubeless.
if he has daytons wouldnt he also have to change the Hub to go to a bigger size rim?
-Christopher
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Old 06-17-2016, 03:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
if he has daytons wouldnt he also have to change the Hub to go to a bigger size rim?
-Christopher
Nope! My IH/Carpenter has 22.5's on the front and 20's on the back. My local mechanic (from who the bus was bought) (and several other sources) tell me the wheels will interchange perfectly (and he has a number of junkers around his lot I can probably get some wheels off of, for a fair price).

Now if you're talking 22" tubes to 24.5 tubeless, it's the same deal. All bets are off, if you want to go from 20's to 22's or 24.5's.

Budd wheels are a whole different breed. As far as trucks and buses go, the vast majority of 10-lug Budds boil down to 2 basic types (sizes should interchange). There's the older "stud piloted" wheels and the newer "Hub piloted" wheels. How do you tell the difference? The stud piloted wheels use a tapered nut to center the wheel on the studs. For the rear duals, it's a 2-piece inner stud, middle nut/stud, and outer nut. All are tapered to center the wheel on the studs.
The hub piloted wheels have a precision machined hub and wheel, the nuts typically have made-in washers the help spread the load over a larger surface area of the wheel, helping to reduce metal fatigue and wheel cracking. The studs do not bear as much of the weight; their job is to secure the wheel to the hub. One thing I have witnessed with hub piloted wheels is if the nuts aren't tight, a hard bump can break off the flanges that are intended to center the wheel, causing a vibration at speeds. They are there to center the wheel when mounting it, *NOT* to carry the weight of the vehicle.
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