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Old 06-28-2016, 07:53 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Anyone in the Everett, WA area?

I hear rumor of a Crown tandem parked/abandoned on the flats between Everett & Marysville.

Anyone seen it?
I just passed by one sitting in a lot in Billings, MT... Not a Crown I don't think but it was a tandem axle so who else made a WestCoastER style bus? It looked pretty rough and parted out but just to have that frame and axle set would be nice.
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Old 06-28-2016, 10:19 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by jake_blue View Post
I just passed by one sitting in a lot in Billings, MT... Not a Crown I don't think but it was a tandem axle so who else made a WestCoastER style bus? It looked pretty rough and parted out but just to have that frame and axle set would be nice.
Crown and Gillig made md-engine 40-foot tandem school buses (both axles driven, with a lockable inter-axle differential for snowy/icy conditions); I was told that Gillig also made some pusher tandem school buses, but I've never seen a picture of one. Crown also made high-floor 3-axle tour buses, such as the Atomics built for the AEC to ferry workers to nuclear sites in Idaho and elsewhere, that had 8V71 Detroits and tag axles: only one axle was driven. Thomas WestCoastERs were made in 3-axle versions to compete with Crown and Gillig, but I don't know if they had single or double axle drive. I saw a brochure picture once of a Blue Bird All American pusher 3-axle demonstrator, but was it the only one ever made? 3-axle school buses were only for the West Coast markets, especially the difficult mountain or desert school districts.

The first ever three-axle Crown school bus, a 1955, still exists - it belongs to a friend of mine. It originally had a Hall-Scott gasoline engine, but was later repowered with a Cummins 220 (which unfortunately seized while being driven back from OR to CA). What makes it interesting is its rear axles arrangement - the drive axle is the rearmost one, and it looks like something from a military truck with its top-loader design of differential. The other rear axle looks like a front axle and is ahead of the drive axle, and its wheels were driven by some large V-belts or bands from the drive axle's wheels. Needless to say, these drive belts are now long gone. I hope that at some point this historically important bus will be restored to its former glory, but there's lots of hard work ahead to get there.

John
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:11 AM   #53
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Any idea how I share pics here?
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:43 AM   #54
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I was mistaken, it's not tandem drive axles, the rear is only a tag axle... But it's got Blue Bird mudflaps! Must be a Wanderlodge.
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Old 06-29-2016, 06:09 PM   #55
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Issaquah school district had a bunch of Gillig 10-wheeler RE buses in the mid-'70's. It has been so long ago I don't remember if they were stick or automatic. They most likely had the Cat 1160, the forerunner of the 3208. Since Issaquah has a lot of hills I would imagine both axles were driven.

The belt drive you describe sounds like the same sort of poor mans differential interlock Greyhound used on their Scenicruisers. All they were was a very large cogged fan belt that was put between the duals before the outside tire was put on the bus. There was a disc that went between the duals on which the belt rode. It didn't work all that well but it was enough to keep the Scenicruisers from being stuck all the time.

Longview school district had two Thomas West-Coast-ER 10-wheelers with Cat 3208T with Allisons. Only the rear axle was driven, the middle axle was just along for the ride.
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Old 06-29-2016, 07:09 PM   #56
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That actually gets me to wondering if there is any value to wear a drive axle is position in a 3-axle vehicle. I am used to seeing on contemporary coaches a tag axle in the back which means the drive axle is in the middle but I think there are earlier buses that predate me obviously which have a tag axle in the middle and the drive is in the rear and I just don't know how those arrangements very one from another in terms of performance or ride quality.
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Old 06-29-2016, 07:20 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by jake_blue View Post
I was mistaken, it's not tandem drive axles, the rear is only a tag axle... But it's got Blue Bird mudflaps! Must be a Wanderlodge.
The Crown tandem I looked at a month or so ago had both axles as drivers.
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Old 06-30-2016, 12:13 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by jake_blue View Post
That actually gets me to wondering if there is any value to wear a drive axle is position in a 3-axle vehicle. I am used to seeing on contemporary coaches a tag axle in the back which means the drive axle is in the middle but I think there are earlier buses that predate me obviously which have a tag axle in the middle and the drive is in the rear and I just don't know how those arrangements very one from another in terms of performance or ride quality.
Early model Eagles had their tag axle ahead of the drive axle, and they were known for a sometimes bouncy ride in the front. Mind you, some of that may have been because of their Torsilastic suspension.

John
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Old 06-30-2016, 01:20 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by jake_blue View Post
That actually gets me to wondering if there is any value to wear a drive axle is position in a 3-axle vehicle. I am used to seeing on contemporary coaches a tag axle in the back which means the drive axle is in the middle but I think there are earlier buses that predate me obviously which have a tag axle in the middle and the drive is in the rear and I just don't know how those arrangements very one from another in terms of performance or ride quality.
The pivot point for going around a corner is the center of the drive axle. On buses with a bogey axle the pivot point is the rear axle. On buses with a tag axle the pivot point is the middle axle. When it comes time to get around a corner that extra five feet of wheelbase makes a big difference on how sharp you can cut the corner.

On Crown 10-wheelers, the pivot point was not that much different than on a regular two axle bus. The distance from the rear bumper to the center of the rear axle is the same as a two axle bus. The distance between the front axle and the second axle is the same as a two axle bus. You needed a little more space to get around a corner with a 10-wheeler because you have to slide everything around. But it would turn just about as sharp as a two axle and better than almost any RE bus.
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Old 06-30-2016, 06:15 AM   #60
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Early model Eagles had their tag axle ahead of the drive axle, and they were known for a sometimes bouncy ride in the front. Mind you, some of that may have been because of their Torsilastic suspension.

John
That's what I recall hearing but couldn't understand why that would be due to the tag axle position. I'd give more credence to the suspension system.

I know turning radius can be affected by tandems and tag axles and contemporary coaches have countersteering tag axles to prevent the 'subordinate' axle from scrubbing it's tires in the sideways motion of parking lot and corner turns. In trucking when you have three and four or more axles on a trailer you also have lift control or else you can't turn the trailer without dragging some of the tires sideways, causing wear and tear on the tires and burdening your engine trying to overcome the lateral drag. I know the problem isn't as pronounced in a tag axle or tandem coach configuration but I figured it's still a minor factor.

I appreciate the feedback and insight.
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