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Old 12-31-2020, 02:31 PM   #1
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E450 Transite

Need advice! Looking at purchase of transit bus that has cracks in the body frame...the c channels that support the floor.
Concerns:
Can these cracks be welded?
Any estimate on welding repair costs?
Do they affect structural integrity?
Do they need to be welded-can it be left as is?
How would they have happened? Accident?
Any advice is appreciated!!!

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Old 12-31-2020, 02:59 PM   #2
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Year: 1990
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Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
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Welcome to the site RS.
Unfortunately, without pics it is difficult at best to give you an accurate assessment of your issue(s).

Generally, any load bearing part of the structural "skeleton" is critical and should be fixed before taking to the road again.

If possible, post up pics of what you are looking to get advised on...
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:27 PM   #3
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Like Peteg59 said...pics! But if you're talking about the frame rails themselves then those are often heat treated and, if so, they have specific prohibitions against welding them. It can be done, but with special support plates (usually diamond shaped or with V ends to spread out the stress locations and with special attention to heat affected zones)...that can get complicated and require special expertise. So, we'd need pics to know what parts you are talking about.
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:13 PM   #4
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Here are pics for details. Is c channel steel?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_6916.JPG (188.1 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_6915.JPG (219.4 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_6917.JPG (330.0 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_6918.JPG (261.3 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_6919.JPG (277.6 KB, 9 views)
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:39 PM   #5
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Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
Most of the pics show the affected subframe above and near the chassis body mounts.
I'm not sure what caused those fractures in metal, but it looks like someone tried an earlier repair to some of them and this "new" damage might/could be the result?

At least the auction co isn't trying to hide these issues...
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:36 PM   #6
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I looked at the listing and it sure is a nice looking rig...and the engine's got less than 100k miles now, right? I'm not a gasser fan, but if this is the right bus for you I wouldn't let those cracks dissuade me. They're not in the primary chassis frame (the rails running fore/aft) so they can be welded or reinforced or you can get additional crossmembers added if needed. I happen to be a professional welder/fabricator, so that would factor into my decision if I were bidding...it would be just labor and some rod. If I were to guess at the cost to have those visible cracks reinforced and welded, I'd say that's a sub-$500 job. Welds are about $1 per inch, plus the grinding and prep, plus the fabrication of some reinforcing plates. But yes, I think $500 would be more than enough to budget for that.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:04 PM   #7
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Is there a reason to worry if not repaired? This is why the auction is starting at $100.
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Old 01-01-2021, 08:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rising Sun View Post
Is there a reason to worry if not repaired?

If those are cracking it's because they're overstressed or flexing. And once those points of stress fail, those forces will need to be supported by other members...which increases the load on those other members. So, yes, I'd certainly recommend getting those repaired.
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Old 01-01-2021, 10:33 AM   #9
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Repairable--maybe so but why start out with a bus that clearly has been run over some rough roads. I wonder how many other cracks and failed spot welds would be found if the bus were systematically taken apart.

I'm surprised that the auction is offering that bus for sale to the general public. Vehicles with that kind of damage are usually sold only to licensed dismantlers.

As the Brits would say, "She's a pretty face but she's a bit of a tart".
Jack
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