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Old 06-15-2019, 01:22 AM   #1
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4x4 really that rare?

How hard is it to find a 4x4? I have only seen a few.
Are they really unicorns?
How much of a price increase compared to similar 2wd?
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Old 06-15-2019, 03:23 AM   #2
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I've never seen one that was functional. I've seen pics on the internet which could have been photoshopped for all I know and the one I saw at AAA in Phoenix was a half-finished custom build project. I think any 4x4 skoolie is going to be a Frankenstein project and as such requires a very knowledgeable and skilled wrenchhead to conceive and execute it.
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:39 AM   #3
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They're uncommon and expensive but if you want one and have the money they're totally out there.
I may end up with one of them some day.


https://nwbus.com/inventory/sold-bus...ve-school-bus/
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:35 AM   #4
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I’ve seen them infrequently on the Ritchie Brothers auction site. Most of the time they’re in Canada.
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:34 AM   #5
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Does Catalina Island still use their 4x4 school buses? At one time there was at least one in Avalon. A friend of mine has an older 4x4 International 1700 gasser with a shortie Gillig body - when I next see him I'll ask him if he's thinking of selling it, but I'm pretty sure the answer is No.

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Old 06-15-2019, 02:53 PM   #6
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I just saw a 4 or 5 window van style one up for sale. it's 3000 miles away from me.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:02 PM   #7
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We do 4x4 conversions in Australia on Toyota buses. If you have a Hiace or Coaster bus in your country, we can do the 4x4 conversion
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:05 PM   #8
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I occasionally find them on cl. I usually post them here when I do
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Old 11-24-2019, 11:56 PM   #9
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depends on what exactly you're looking for. the chevy/ford short buses like mine are converted fairly easily since they are just vans with bus conversions done to them. the thomas style buses like posted above are rare but are doable. hardest part would be finding a front 4x4 axle that would fit under it. using a divorce transfer case would eliminate the need for a 4x4 style transmission. then you would just be left with fabing up shift linkage and having someone make custom length drive shafts.
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Old 11-25-2019, 12:30 AM   #10
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4x4 really that rare?

A few them in Prudhoe Bay, AK.
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Old 11-25-2019, 08:26 AM   #11
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depends on what exactly you're looking for. the chevy/ford short buses like mine are converted fairly easily since they are just vans with bus conversions done to them. the thomas style buses like posted above are rare but are doable. hardest part would be finding a front 4x4 axle that would fit under it. using a divorce transfer case would eliminate the need for a 4x4 style transmission. then you would just be left with fabing up shift linkage and having someone make custom length drive shafts.
You left out the changes to steering, brakes, and clearance for the front diff and driveshaft.

In my case, (for example) I have a freightliner truck chassis so I'd start by looking at freightliner trucks of the same size class and era and see if freightliner ever offered those trucks with 4x4 -- those parts will be the most easily adaptable...
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Old 11-25-2019, 08:28 AM   #12
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You left out the changes to steering, brakes, and clearance for the front diff and driveshaft.

In my case, (for example) I have a freightliner truck chassis so I'd start by looking at freightliner trucks of the same size class and era and see if freightliner ever offered those trucks with 4x4 -- those parts will be the most easily adaptable...
If you ever want to lift your FL let me know. I can give you my vin. Mines 2wd but did come with 5" lift blocks. I'm really digging the ride height.
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Old 11-25-2019, 09:00 AM   #13
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If you ever want to lift your FL let me know. I can give you my vin. Mines 2wd but did come with 5" lift blocks. I'm really digging the ride height.
Step one -- replace the 'treadless' hwy drive tires with an all terrain tire.

If that doesn't solve the embarrassment of getting stuck in wet leaves
Step two -- I'll get a used detroit locker. (I don't think a limited slip (clutch pack) locker is a good idea for something this heavy...)

Step three -- get a different vehicle -- why be shoving the square peg in the round hole...?
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Old 11-26-2019, 12:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
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You left out the changes to steering, brakes, and clearance for the front diff and driveshaft.

In my case, (for example) I have a freightliner truck chassis so I'd start by looking at freightliner trucks of the same size class and era and see if freightliner ever offered those trucks with 4x4 -- those parts will be the most easily adaptable...
my experience is limited to the cutaways but other then lengthening the drag link and track bar i couldn't really see what all would need changed in the steering. i also would assume you would only need to get longer brake lines if you lifted it for clearance but nothing really modified brake wise. But again i never messed with a full size one.



in my experience people over complicate things and tell people it cost 14k to convert something to 4x4 when it can be done for less then 2k. If you're good with a welder and have basic mechanic skills its not that hard to pull off.
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Old 11-26-2019, 12:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 802trees View Post
How hard is it to find a 4x4? I have only seen a few.
Are they really unicorns?
How much of a price increase compared to similar 2wd?

Difficult, they are rare. But it's massively easier if you are also looking at cutaway buses. There are at least two companies (Quadvan and Quigly) that produced straight-from-the-factory 4x4s using the Ford E-Series and other chassis' and Ujointoffroad.com and a few others will do aftermarket 4x4 conversions or sell you the parts to do it yourself. There is at least one company offering conversion kits for the older (pre 1996) chevy/gm van chassis.



As for fullsize/conventional buses, I have seen 4x4's but they seem really rare and I have no idea what companies did the conversion.


I believe their are many more 4x4 buses in overseas markets, specifically Australia and Japan. But there is a 25 year import restriction on vehicles in America, meaning that as of 2019 the latest model vehicle that can be imported is a 1994.
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:53 AM   #16
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Step one -- replace the 'treadless' hwy drive tires with an all terrain tire.

If that doesn't solve the embarrassment of getting stuck in wet leaves
Step two -- I'll get a used detroit locker. (I don't think a limited slip (clutch pack) locker is a good idea for something this heavy...)

Step three -- get a different vehicle -- why be shoving the square peg in the round hole...?
Since you say full size tires won't fit I'd start with making them fit.

Or- find a bus that's not lowrider?
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:32 AM   #17
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my experience is limited to the cutaways but other then lengthening the drag link and track bar i couldn't really see what all would need changed in the steering. i also would assume you would only need to get longer brake lines if you lifted it for clearance but nothing really modified brake wise. But again i never messed with a full size one.

in my experience people over complicate things and tell people it cost 14k to convert something to 4x4 when it can be done for less then 2k. If you're good with a welder and have basic mechanic skills its not that hard to pull off.
Mostly agreed -- that's why I said look for the same chassis as your bus in it's 4x4 truck form so all the front end parts easily move over and fit.

I was noticing with MY bus -- the front axle is a "drop beam axle" -- so to put a drive axle in it's place you'd need to lift the front considerably for clearance, or move the axle forward... or flip a top loading rockwell axle upside down (can you even do that...idk?) so it loads from the bottom...
In short -- I suspect in the example of MY bus -- I probably can't convert it -- period. Meaning the cost is prohibitive...


Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Since you say full size tires won't fit I'd start with making them fit.

Or- find a bus that's not lowrider?
??? I never said this.

You did mention your FS65 is on 5" blocks.
My FS65, the front end is on 2" blocks.
The rears are on over-load springs which act like a block but I haven't measured how thick they are.
I don't look fwd to messing with the axle U-bolts...
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:42 AM   #18
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You said you don't think 10 or 11R's would fit and that the lowpros you have now are "stuffed" in the wheel wells. Or am I confusing you with someone else? Cause that can happen!
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:46 AM   #19
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You said you don't think 10 or 11R's would fit and that the lowpros you have now are "stuffed" in the wheel wells. Or am I confusing you with someone else? Cause that can happen!
Someone else...

But since we're 'talking';

My bus has Michelin XDE M/S drive tires on it now -- but they are worn close to the legal limit -- but they also say (molded onto the sidewall) that they're regroovable -- is this a real thing? Do I wanna try that with 4 tires? It would be nice to save $1000 that's for sure!!!
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:50 AM   #20
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Someone else...

But since we're 'talking';

My bus has Michelin XDE M/S drive tires on it now -- but they are worn close to the legal limit -- but they also say (molded onto the sidewall) that they're regroovable -- is this a real thing? Do I wanna try that with 4 tires? It would be nice to save $1000 that's for sure!!!
Yeah you can have them retread your tires. Just don't run retreads on the steer tires.
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