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Old 06-14-2016, 06:36 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Year: 1998
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Chassis: SafTLiner
Engine: CAT 3126
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, 07:43 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, 09:12 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, 01:34 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, 05:34 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, 10:54 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, 11:15 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, 01:11 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, 01:38 AM   #9
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Year: 1998
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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, 01:56 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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