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Old 02-13-2017, 06:59 AM   #1
ourmefa's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Nashville, TN
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Sourcing Frame Diagram / Dimensions / Images of a Bus Frame

Looking for tips and tricks to find images / diagrams/ dimensions of the frame under a conventional school bus. Rough estimates will be good enough for now if someone has some of this info off the top of their head.

My primary questions are as follows:

Width of the distance between frame rails where driveline runs?
How wide are the frame rails?
Where is the fuel tank located and how big is it?

Thanks for the help!
Family of 4 - Jamie, Mel, Jensen and Maddie (+3 cats) - less than 60 days out from ditching suburbia in a converted school bus.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:28 AM   #2
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Location: EHT New Jersey
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Year: 2003
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Originally Posted by ourmefa View Post
Where is the fuel tank located and how big is it?
Depends on the bus builder and what the original agency ordered. If you take the VIN to your friendly neighborhood bus dealer's service department, they can get you a *lot* of information about that specific chassis, through the coachwork's build sheet.

As for tank location- on an RE, it will probably be between the frame rails. On an FE or convention, outboard of the frame rails, probably up near the driver's seat, but not necessarily. I've seen conventions with the tank on the curb-side
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:37 AM   #3
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Both my AmTrans have the tank on the curb side. Just a bit back from the service door.
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:10 AM   #4
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Distance between frame rails is going to pretty much the same on everything. It will be the same as pretty much every medium duty truck anywhere. Conventional buses are just a truck with a different body. Fuel tank placement will vary greatly according to how the bus was spec'd. My AARE Bluebird has 2 50gl tanks outside the frame rails in front of the baggage compartments.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:34 AM   #5
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As it was already noted, frame rail dimensions are pretty standard across the industry. It will be pretty much identical to a medium/heavy duty truck.

As far as fuel tanks are concerned, back in the day most fuel tanks filled on the curb side usually behind the service door on Type 'C' buses and behind the front axle on Type 'D' buses.

As safety became more important fuel tanks started moving around. Probably the first ones to move the fuel tank behind the rear axle and between the frame rails were the Type 'D' FE buses to remove weight off of the front axle.

Today all front engine buses regardless of type or size will have the fuel tank behind the rear axle between the frame rails.

Rear engine buses will have their fuel tank between the frame rails as well but can be found anywhere under the bus between the front and rear axles.
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:48 PM   #6
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Year: 1999
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Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
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Would be easier knowing what mfg, year, and number of rows you have.

Meantime, here's a 2003 Thomas.
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