Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-02-2021, 12:23 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 6
Removal of body from chassis

Hi all, im new here and wanted to pose this question. How difficult would it be to separate the entirety of the passenger box from the chassis? (Sorry for the likely mis-descriptions of the bus parts.). My idea is to pull off the box, convert it at our leisure and turn the chassis into a flatbed for transporting things to earn a living. I realize I’d have to fabricate some type of temporary bulkhead so my cab’s not exposed to the elements while in flatbed mode, removable or with a hatch that can open into skoolie mode.

I also want to say thanks for all of everyone’s input on everything. It’s quite inspiring and motivates me to live more in your world than the one with “All of the big hairy bull&$@t.” Quote from the movie Housesitter. Thanks.

Kipster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 12:26 PM   #2
Bus Nut
fo4imtippin's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Jax Beach, FL
Posts: 486
Year: 2003
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000 28ft
Engine: Cummins ISB 5.9 24v, MD3060
Rated Cap: 14
To me, i would find a box truck.. Already separated for you.
fo4imtippin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 01:17 PM   #3
Bus Geek
ol trunt's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 3,200
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
This is how I did it.


ol trunt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 01:32 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,345
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"?
Welcome to the site.
To answer your question, it will depend on a few things:

1. How mechanically adept you are
2. Do you have a place to do said work.
3. Do you have tools to work extensively on it?
3. Do you have sufficient finances to see it through? Especially if you have to pay for others to work on it.

All of the above will come into play if you get into the hobby.
Good luck, and post pics if you go ahead with it...
peteg59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 01:33 PM   #5
Bus Nut
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 912
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Winnebago
Chassis: Ford F53
Engine: Ford Triton V-10
Rated Cap: currently 2
A picture is worth a thousand words ... There's two thousand right there!

Yeah, the underside frame mounts shouldn't be too bad, the firewall might be time consuming, it's all the wiring and plumbing that'll break your heart! Knowing that when manufactured the body is married to the frame but all the connections between them are simply coiled up and waiting, now you have to find them, disconnect them, and either recoil or remove entirely all that wiring as well as a few plumbing lines. Then it's a matter of having heavy duty enough equipment to lift the body which even sans seats is going to be several tons more than an average car or SUV so no thinking a couple of jacks is all it'll take.

One question, in regards to the driveable frame, just to clarify, are you looking for a way to drive it/use it while the body is off? Or just cover it for the time while it's exposed? The latter is easy enough but if the former I'm inclined to agree with fo4imtippin to just go with a box truck. Actually less work to disconnect the box and if necessary cut the back of the cab for passthrough access.
Sehnsucht is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 03:46 PM   #6
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 3,265
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
I think we need to elaborate on the type of bus being discussed here, as a type A bus built on a cutaway van chassis will have remarkably different construction compared to a type C, as to a type D, etc.

A type D bus would never work with the body removed as you're envisioning, as the bus body is sole component that is mounted to the frame. There is no drivers cab so-to-speak, so remove it and you've removed the bus entirely.

Type A and C buses might operate how you're wanting to with the body removed and a separate cab structure built in place. But it would require fab work to get it to operate correctly. Some being pretty significant based off of the design.

To do what I believe you're after, I'd follow fo4imtippin's recommendation and use a box truck. The cab, box, and chassis are already individual units, and would be fairly uncomplicated to separate the box from the cab and chassis.
My build: The Silver Bullet
Booyah45828 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 04:17 PM   #7
Bus Nut
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Communist State of New Jersey
Posts: 964
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: CE200
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 27,500
Depending on what state you're in it could be very difficult to register and insure the resulting vehicle. Before you do anything else you'd want to figure that part out.

I have some experience wacking off sections of school bus body so you might want to have a look at my conversion thread to get an idea of what it would be like to cut one off behind the driver's seat. One thing is certain, before you cut through the shell you need to weld in substantial internal bracing and you need to create a very solid support structure to hold the detached shell solidly level 'cause when you cut through the shell and detach the body that cut end is going to get wiggly-woggly.

Booyah45828 is right you need to know what type of bus before anyone can make specific suggestions.

On the positive side, none of what we do with these buses is rocket science. What you're thinking about is doable - if you're nuts - like some of the rest of us. If you're really nuts - like some of the rest of us - you'll probably actually enjoy yourself . . . .
Oldyeller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 06:12 PM   #8
Bus Crazy
ewo1's Avatar
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 1,144
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E HT 250HP - Md3060
Skoolie flatbed

Or you can build something like this ..
You get living/ work space and a flatbed to earn a living while transporting.
Attached Thumbnails
ewo1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 06:29 PM   #9
New Member
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 6
Thanks fo. My mind was around a skoolie but you may be right. Modularization may be the key. Thanks.
Kipster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 06:31 PM   #10
New Member
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 6
Trunt, wow fantastic pics. Thats what I was envisioning in my mind. But of course as a newbie my knowledge base is limited. Further research on my part necessary. Thanks.
Kipster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 06:36 PM   #11
New Member
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 6
Thanks petag,
1-3a yes. At least in my mind. 3b well I gotta further develop the master plan before I can answer that one. Very good points. Thanks. And yes if I push the go button I will be back with updates but more likely asking for help in the interim.
Kipster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 06:49 PM   #12
New Member
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 6
Thanks sehns, my idea was to unbolt (obviously an understatement) the kiddy compartment lift it off and work on converting it to something inhabitable which of course would take me who knows how long. In the meantime I have some opportunities to haul large logs which I could accomplish by fabricating a suitable bed. Neither of which are slam dunks for sure. On the other hand after seeing what all of you can do and have done I’m energized and inspired by it. Thanks.
Kipster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 06:55 PM   #13
New Member
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 6
Booyah thanks. That info is extremely useful. More research required on my part on the bus types. I’ve perused the forums here and it’s like learning another language. Or entering a gym full of people and looking for the correct name tag of the person I need to have a chat with. Thanks for finding me instead.
Kipster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 08:29 PM   #14
Bus Geek
musigenesis's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 6,781
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Originally Posted by Kipster View Post
my idea was to unbolt (obviously an understatement) the kiddy compartment
The unbolting part should actually not be all that difficult (depending on what type of school bus you have). For the most part, common school bus bodies are just attached to the chassis rails with special clips that hold the body in place via friction (this is so that the bus can slide forward a couple of feet in the event of a head-on collision, greatly lessening the deceleration forces experienced by the riders). Here's a pic of one of these clips on the underside of my bus:

Rust will make the job more difficult, but theoretically you could unbolt all of the clips in a very short time.
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:28 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.