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Old 09-20-2020, 11:25 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 4
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Moving the wheelchair lift/door to different location

Hi all--

I recently purchased a 2002 Blue Bird 35' flat front handicap bus with the lift in the passenger rear side, but need to reposition it to the middle of the bus on the passenger side (see sketchup images below). I'm not keeping the lift as a convenience, I use a manual chair 100% of the time to get around and repositioning it is the only way I can end up with a viable floorplan for my needs. I've modeled it every which way in Sketchup and the short of it is I can't get around the bed in the middle of the bus mostly because of the wheel wells.

I'm nearly done with inside demolition and have the walls stripped to a point where I can see the body frame abruptly ends above the lift door. The lift door essentially takes the place of the last two windows, so my idea is to swap it for two windows from the middle. It seems like I can cut around the lift door and the two middle windows (including their shared body frame rail) and flip the two.

Is there something obvious I am missing here? Or how you would go about it? I'm still a bit unsure about doing it myself, so I've spoken with a metal fabricator about it, but have no way to judge their ability to successfully complete this. What would you expect to pay? I'm building out the bus as my dad's house on the northwest side of Indianapolis (near Lebanon), any suggestions for folks in the area willing / capable of doing the job (happy to pay fairly in cash)?

Thanks, please see the attached Sketchup pics.
Attached Thumbnails
Screen Shot 2020-09-21 at 12.22.46 AM.jpg   Screen Shot 2020-09-21 at 12.23.32 AM.jpg  

jeffffff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2020, 11:38 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2,264
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
If Blue Bird can build 'em that way (and I assure you, they can and very likely have), then there's no reason you can't do it too.

You'll want to relocate any floor supports (if any) or consider adding a couple under the lift's new position.

I can't think of any other reason this can't be done, aside from relocating everything and re-using the original Blue Bird engineering to make it work.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2020, 12:04 AM   #3
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 4
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Thanks. Just wanted to follow-up that I successfully moved the lift and lift door.

Pictures here if anyone is interested:

Picture of lift door moved:

Welding it in place:

There's a hole in the bus:
jeffffff is offline   Reply With Quote

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