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Old 01-31-2019, 10:18 PM   #1
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Cutting the rear tire wells

Has anyone chopped off some of their rear wheel wells to shorten them? It looks as if I’ll have plenty of upward/downward travel back there between the wheels and flooring. Just wondering if anyone has attempted this yet.
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Old 01-31-2019, 10:48 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by goinbroknstyle View Post
Has anyone chopped off some of their rear wheel wells to shorten them? It looks as if I’ll have plenty of upward/downward travel back there between the wheels and flooring. Just wondering if anyone has attempted this yet.
I would be very interested in this if it was an option.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:10 PM   #3
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I have not done it yet but fully intend to, cause there is way more room than necessary over the wheels unless one intends to get into heavy mud situations. I figure I can gain enough by lowering the wheel wells and a bit of insulation on the floor to end up with a completely flat floor.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:25 PM   #4
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The way I figure to do mine is to cut the bottom couple inches off then weld on a new flange. This will shorten the wheel wells considerably front to back as well. I also intend to lift the body right off the chassis and spray foam the underneath between cross members. So with that, and 2in. of ridgid Styrofoam on top, I'll have 4-1/2 to 5 in. of insulation in the floor. I hate cold feet!
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:43 PM   #5
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I did some further research and it has been done. I just want to shorten them a little so that I can put a sectional over the top. On the other side I’ll build a stand for the wood stove.
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Old 02-01-2019, 12:25 AM   #6
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Another, simpler way would be to cut the top off to whatever height you can get away with, then weld in a heavier [say 1/8 in. checker plate ] to fill the hole.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:02 AM   #7
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Another, simpler way would be to cut the top off to whatever height you can get away with, then weld in a heavier [say 1/8 in. checker plate ] to fill the hole.



I think doing it this way would be a lot easier.



The big issue is you will have to piece in some sheet metal on the outside regardless of how you change the wheel well.
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:52 AM   #8
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Check out Wess with Transcend Existence on You Tube. He lowered his by around 4 inches or so and has a pretty good video of the work in progress.
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Old 02-01-2019, 12:19 PM   #9
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Plating the cut down wheel well doesn't gain you any fore or aft floor space. I think some that have cut them down also swapped to a shorter tire.I would research how much travel your shocks go through on a normal run. There's 8" of gap at the top of my tire. the wheel well is 9" tall. If you remove it and flat floor it, you have 1" travel. Unless changing tires to a smaller size, there is little to be gained.
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Old 02-01-2019, 03:00 PM   #10
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Check out Wess with Transcend Existence on You Tube. He lowered his by around 4 inches or so and has a pretty good video of the work in progress.
I started to watch that video the other night and was called away almost as soon as it started, so didn't get to see it - I was searching for it today and couldn't find it - do you have the URL for it?
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:30 PM   #11
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I watched it a few weeks ago. Will see if I can find it and get it to you.
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:53 PM   #12
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I watched it a few weeks ago. Will see if I can find it and get it to you.
that would be much appreciated
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:15 PM   #13
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I thought/am thinking about this as well. The interesting thing is that my tires are flush - and I mean flush with the outside wall. If they were to travel that far up, there would be tire and metal damage. I have an additional 4-5" above the outside top arch on the inside. So I could easily bring them down by that much and not impact anything.

Not sure if I will do it or not, but it will certainly allow a flush floor when the rest is built up.
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:30 PM   #14
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I thought/am thinking about this as well. The interesting thing is that my tires are flush - and I mean flush with the outside wall. If they were to travel that far up, there would be tire and metal damage. I have an additional 4-5" above the outside top arch on the inside. So I could easily bring them down by that much and not impact anything.

Not sure if I will do it or not, but it will certainly allow a flush floor when the rest is built up.
How do you know that if you don't know how much travel your suspension makes when hitting a big bump? I'd be really surprised if the outside of your tire could come in contact with body of the bus under compression.
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:59 PM   #15
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I have flat floors in mine. The bus was an ADA school bus so needed flat floor for wheelchairs. They use 255/70R/22.5 tires which are low profile. Then they put air bags in the back. Clearance above tires is about 4 inches. I would be real careful with leaf springs as they flex quite a bit. My bus is 34 feet.
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Old 02-01-2019, 08:08 PM   #16
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You need to measure how much travel is possible on the rear axle. Measure from the bump stop to the axle than add maybe a half inch or so for some compression.


Then measure the distance from the top center of the tires to the inside top center of the wheel wells. See what the difference (if any) is.



You do not want to remove any more than that or you risk bottoming out and really tearing something up.


Example: if it is 7" from the axle to the bump stop and 11" from the tire to the well, the most you could reasonably remove is...


11" - 7.5" = 3.5"


And yes...also check the outer & inner clearance as well. Normally, the tires will clear easily...unless someone has gone to wider tires. Always possible.



Skoolies are notoriously over-sprung and rarely bottom out but it is still best to play it safe.
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Old 02-01-2019, 08:57 PM   #17
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You need to measure how much travel is possible on the rear axle. Measure from the bump stop to the axle than add maybe a half inch or so for some compression.


Then measure the distance from the top center of the tires to the inside top center of the wheel wells. See what the difference (if any) is.



You do not want to remove any more than that or you risk bottoming out and really tearing something up.


Example: if it is 7" from the axle to the bump stop and 11" from the tire to the well, the most you could reasonably remove is...


11" - 7.5" = 3.5"


And yes...also check the outer & inner clearance as well. Normally, the tires will clear easily...unless someone has gone to wider tires. Always possible.



Skoolies are notoriously over-sprung and rarely bottom out but it is still best to play it safe.
Good tip - makes sense
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:12 PM   #18
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How do you know that if you don't know how much travel your suspension makes when hitting a big bump? I'd be really surprised if the outside of your tire could come in contact with body of the bus under compression.


It’s got stops that are no more than 5” from resting position. I suppose if one side articulated up and the other down to 10” total, it might clear, but the stops will prevent it from going into the wheel well.

Of course, I’d like more comfort room than that, so if I did something like that, I’d make sure I have at least 1.5” from the stop.
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Old 02-02-2019, 02:27 AM   #19
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I have lowered the wheel well in our bus. We had a rust-out on the driver side in front of the wheel well, so we had to repair that. In the process, I decided to lower the wheel well. I cut the wheel well off at the floor. With the air suspension deflated and the frame resting on the axle stops, I put an arrangement of 2x4's on the tires which provided about 3" of clearance. I rested the cut off wheel well top on the 2x4 support and attached the top back on the floor, with additional floor supports as well.


With this arrangement, we have enough room to add snow chains if needed.


Only one side has been completed as the passenger side had no real rust damage. There was a leak in the driver side window that was not caught by the school district maintenance which made the hole. I will lower the passenger side after we get done using the bus as a moving van for our household goods. I have a TON of pictures and will see what I can find (easily) to post here.
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Old 02-02-2019, 04:09 AM   #20
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Just make sure whatever you do with these wheel wells is STRONG, folks.
I've got a destroyed wheel well from a flat tire before I owned the bus.75 lbs of steel belt does a huge amount of damage very quickly.
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