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Old 04-12-2015, 10:59 AM   #1
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Mounting a Box

Forget the double entendre for a second. Any reason why not to cut the body off the chassis just past the driver's seat and then mount a 8' high box from an old moving truck to avoid having to do a roof raise?
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Old 04-12-2015, 11:09 AM   #2
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Go for it.

Why not just get a box truck. Why the bus?

Buying the box truck from the start would save a ton of work.

Nat
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:14 PM   #3
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Decent box trucks start around $17K.
I can get a good box off one with a seized engine and other bad mechanics for 1k.
I can get a newish school bus with a dt466 mechanical no emission req for a couple thousand.
I'd raise the roof on the skoolie if I had the skills and tools.
On the other hand, I can probably have a local shop do the mounting as this is more in their line of work than raising the roof on a skoolie (if they would do it at all).

So it seems like my best course is to buy the bus and the box and mate them.
I'm just wondering if there is anything structural right off the bat that might make this a bad idea.
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Old 04-12-2015, 05:03 PM   #4
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I might/would add in a atleast what would be called a "B" bar cage

I would keep atleast 8 ft of the bus for roof strength, and then use 2" dia .120 wall tubing and make a "cage for driver area" and tie it into the bus body like you would for a WRC (world rally car and other highend highspeed cars) this makes body and cage 1 pc

install the box using a 3 point pivot mount and rubber bellows, this would be awesome and sturdy and about perfect
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Old 04-12-2015, 05:16 PM   #5
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Buy the box truck with the seized engine for $1000, rebuild it for $1000 and your done. Way less work, much much more simple to insure.

I cut a bus down from 32 feet of cab to 10 feet of cab. It's a ton of work.

The tools to shorten the cab of a bus are the same tools you need to raise the roof. They are also the same tools you need to swap the box onto the chassis.

Many of them box trucks have wet sleeve engines. This means you don't even have to pull the engine to rebuild it.

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Old 04-12-2015, 05:30 PM   #6
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I'll ask about a rebuild, the truck repair shop wants 3,500 for the whole truck/1000 for the box alone and from what I understand it's not just the engine that doesn't work.

Since they can take the box off, I figure they can put it back on (a bus). Who does the bus's cab cutting is another story. I was hopping to rent a sawzall and/or plasma torch and cut the bus cab down to the floor -sortof make it a flatbed. then mount the box and have a enough space in the rear to haul some toys.

But if you're saying the effort cutting is more than it's worth, i've got to rethink (even though bansil's idea about a roll cage is right where my head is at).
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:33 PM   #7
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you are looking at so much work....I would think of a mitsu/isuzu 4x4 and mount a 20ft camper on the back using a nice pivot mount

there are so many options as to a build, that you need to envision what you want and how to get there...or how much you want to spend to get it done....make sure to post pictures of whatever it is
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Old 04-12-2015, 08:17 PM   #8
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pictures, ok. build parameters: I need the thing superinsulated to withstand -25F with only a pellet stove going to keep water tanks (internal) from freezing. There needs to be space for 1-2 adults and 2 teenage boys, all their gear, piggybacking a snowmobile (maybe with room for a second) and be able to occasionally to tow a car. Here are the two vehicles I am thinking about having joined. Sure it's weird, but at least it's no human centipede:

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Old 04-12-2015, 08:18 PM   #9
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with the box off this:

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Old 04-12-2015, 09:05 PM   #10
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It's not that big a deal and based on what you want to use the vehicle for it would work out better than a roof raise and consider all the under box space there is for storage boxes. Just be sure to check that the bus driveline and CGVW will support what you want to do and get choppin'. I know several people on the forum have started bus "cutaways" of one sort or another and for what ever reason none to my knowledge have been completed which I don't understand because it ain't rocket science--just a bunch of work. Since almost none of us can read or write, pictures are of utmost importance. Good luck and go for it.
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:54 PM   #11
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hahaha. you guys are the real thing. thanks for the pointers. i'll check em all out and if i can go forward on this thing, you'll have plenty more pics and questions from me. anyway, i got my fingers crossed. cheers.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:10 PM   #12
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I never finished my bus cut away due to not being able to register it.

Same build with a 76 truck cab is a walk in the park to register and insure.

Sucks, but is what it is.

Nat
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:34 PM   #13
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what prevented it from being registered as an RV?
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Old 04-16-2015, 02:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slideforlife View Post
what prevented it from being registered as an RV?
The cab was not the length it was from the factory.

However with my new insurance agent, I think I could have gotten it papered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
I know several people on the forum have started bus "cutaways" of one sort or another and for what ever reason none to my knowledge have been completed.
How about the bus cut away that has a tilt deck on the back for carrying his unimog? It got completed, and has made many miles hauling that unimog.

Nat
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Old 04-17-2015, 06:20 PM   #15
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Why not steal the engine from a bus for the truck?
Most of thoes international box trucks came with T444e engine. Really nasty and rusty busses with the T444e engine often show up for around $600 where I live.
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:15 AM   #16
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The truck is a mess and apparently so is the box. Neither one of them is viable for this project without lot$ of repair.

The bus, on the other hand, surpassed my expectations. It's clean as a whistle and cranked up to 65 right away on its auto-5 speed. It looks like i'm going to endeavor to do a roof raise (if I manage to buy the bus: owner wants 4900 and I'm going to start by offering 3k) and I approach that with more than mild trepidation. I have a driveway and it is the beginning of spring (here in VT anyway), so there's that. But my skills suck -even though my persistence is good- and my tools (other than a huge angle grinder) are almost non-existent. Anyone wanna come over and do it for me? Maybe while you're at it, you can get my ex-wife off my back too.
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:19 AM   #17
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Remember, a bus in good shape with little or no rust is worth twice what a run down rust wagon is. If you need to, pay the extra $$ to get a good bus.

I look forward to your conversion.

Nat
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:56 PM   #18
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My offer's been accepted! Now to do the final inspection, get the title, registration, and insurance in order. DMV inspection, odometer and VIN verification too.

The bus's a little shorter than I would have liked (at 35' there's room for a back porch), but it has better bus qualities than I've seen up here and the price was definitely right. Pics to come.
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Old 04-26-2015, 01:24 PM   #19
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I'm wondering at this point in the planning whether to do an end to end roof raise so I can put a rv-type bed over the drivers area. Maybe insulating the drivers area is too difficult and it'd be better to just wall it off and start the roof raise right behind it. I hate to waste space (that's the cardinal sin here, right?), but I'm worried about the moving parts (pedals, steering) bridging to the outside cold.
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Old 04-26-2015, 01:45 PM   #20
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Nice call on the bus. I hired help for my roof raise, which was expensive, but my bus was cheap and the result of the roof raise is much higher quality than I would have expected or been able to achieve on my own. Plus the guy and I ended up friends and I've learned a good deal from him.

Your bus is the 1985 International in your profile info? I have almost the identical bus if yours is a bluebird.
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