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Old 12-02-2021, 01:23 PM   #1
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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 Iíd have to fabricate some type of temporary bulkhead so my cabís 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 everyoneís input on everything. Itís quite inspiring and motivates me to live more in your world than the one with ďAll of the big hairy bull&$@t.Ē Quote from the movie Housesitter. Thanks.
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Old 12-02-2021, 01:26 PM   #2
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To me, i would find a box truck.. Already separated for you.
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Old 12-02-2021, 02:17 PM   #3
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Old 12-02-2021, 02:32 PM   #4
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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...
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Old 12-02-2021, 02:33 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 12-02-2021, 04:46 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 12-02-2021, 05:17 PM   #7
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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 . . . .
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Old 12-02-2021, 07:12 PM   #8
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Skoolie flatbed

Or you can build something like this ..
You get living/ work space and a flatbed to earn a living while transporting.
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Old 12-02-2021, 07:29 PM   #9
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Thanks fo. My mind was around a skoolie but you may be right. Modularization may be the key. Thanks.
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Old 12-02-2021, 07:31 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 12-02-2021, 07:36 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 12-02-2021, 07:49 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 12-02-2021, 07:55 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 12-02-2021, 09:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
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:

https://i.imgur.com/nMgt5SM.png

Rust will make the job more difficult, but theoretically you could unbolt all of the clips in a very short time.
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