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Old 10-28-2017, 01:02 PM   #61
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2,264
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
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Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
Google is your friend. I can't find any reference to "SFA" except "Solid Front Axle". which is everywhere.
I found an IH VIN document which contains multiple references to "SFA" and "SBA", some of which are clearly listed as "Set Forward Axle" and "Set Back Axle". I stand corrected, but by my own findings.

ftp://ftp.nhtsa.dot.gov/mfrmail/01-022-N11B-7559.pdf

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Old 10-28-2017, 03:05 PM   #62
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
I found an IH VIN document which contains multiple references to "SFA" and "SBA", some of which are clearly listed as "Set Forward Axle" and "Set Back Axle". I stand corrected, but by my own findings.

ftp://ftp.nhtsa.dot.gov/mfrmail/01-022-N11B-7559.pdf


So, being someone not super familiar with mechanics, is there any benefit to SFA vs SBA? How important is that to consider when looking for a bus for conversion?


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Old 10-28-2017, 04:50 PM   #63
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2,264
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
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Originally Posted by Missmichelleb View Post
So, being someone not super familiar with mechanics, is there any benefit to SFA vs SBA? How important is that to consider when looking for a bus for conversion?


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This is more common in the world of big trucks, where there is concern for steering geometry (and the ability to make sharp turns), weight distribution, and ride quality. A longer wheelbase (common with the Set Forward Axle) has a wider turn radius (assuming the same steering angles otherwise), but will experience less "bobbing" and "Nosedive" when braking.

Even with a full length bus, I doubt you'll be visiting many narrow residential streets so the turning radius won't be much of an issue while on the road. Your storage arrangement is another matter. I know mine was, which was why I needed a shorter bus. The SFA will give you a little more distance between the axles, which is good for all the "basement" stuff you may wish to add.

For our purposes, I don't think there is much practical difference between the SFA and SBA - maybe a foot or 2 of wheelbase length for an otherwise identical length bus. The SBA would be somewhat easier to navigate through congested city streets and tight turns with its shorter wheelbase.
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Old 10-28-2017, 05:46 PM   #64
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
This is more common in the world of big trucks, where there is concern for steering geometry (and the ability to make sharp turns), weight distribution, and ride quality. A longer wheelbase (common with the Set Forward Axle) has a wider turn radius (assuming the same steering angles otherwise), but will experience less "bobbing" and "Nosedive" when braking.

Even with a full length bus, I doubt you'll be visiting many narrow residential streets so the turning radius won't be much of an issue while on the road. Your storage arrangement is another matter. I know mine was, which was why I needed a shorter bus. The SFA will give you a little more distance between the axles, which is good for all the "basement" stuff you may wish to add.

For our purposes, I don't think there is much practical difference between the SFA and SBA - maybe a foot or 2 of wheelbase length for an otherwise identical length bus. The SBA would be somewhat easier to navigate through congested city streets and tight turns with its shorter wheelbase.


Awesome Info! Thank you


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Old 10-29-2017, 09:09 PM   #65
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
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I don't think so, as I have never seen an IH school bus (or any full size school bus, medium or heavy truck for that matter) with independent front suspension. Virtually all of them have solid front axles.

Yes, I am fully aware military and off-road trucks have independent front suspensions, and smaller cutaway-style buses often do too.
GM in the late '50's and early '60's made torsion bar independent suspension on the school bus chassis and medium duty trucks to about the equivalent of a C-60.

It worked fairly well, gave a good ride, and steered well and tight. The downside is finding replacement parts for the wearable pieces is right up there with unicorn hunting.
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:46 PM   #66
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Another plus from the RE camp. The rear engines usually have a raiseable engine cover easy access tofluid checks and god forbid belt replacement. Front engine buses you work on it from the doghouse and with age those seals allow leakage of cold air while traveling I had the honor of replacing one on an old airport shuttle. Customer having trouble keeping it heated in SC? Dang engine compartment was a wind tunnel plus had open spaces I closed with blocks of wood and aluminum angle. He ain't cold now.

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Old 12-10-2017, 04:41 PM   #67
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Year: 1999
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CE's are my favorite, as they're the easiest to service and don't require working in the living space to do repairs or maintenance.
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