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Old 12-17-2015, 04:28 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 12
Squating bus with air suspension

I'm daydreaming about a toy hauler project and had an idea that may be unique, but certainly interesting. The toy I want to haul is a racecar which is quite low. Getting it into the back of a bus will take some doing, either removing the bumper, dropping the tail of the bus, like this, obscenely long ramps, or all of the above.

Some buses with air suspension have a kneeling capability to make for easier entry of passengers and/or a load leveling capability. Is there a way to tap into this system to control it, either with new programming, or just forcing each corner to do what you want? Instead of dropping just the front, you could drop the rear and raise the front to make the bus squat, lowering the tail of the bus. Just a 1" change in the front and rear heights translates to over 2" of drop in the rear (obviously this depends on the length of the particular bus). That could be pretty helpful right there. If you went all the way to the end of the travel at each end, it could be quite a difference. Anybody know the typical available droop and compression available in the front and rear?

Side question, what would repeatedly cycling the system to the ends of the range of travel do to the long term durability of the shocks and air bags? It can't be good, but how bad is it?

Aside from using this to squat the bus, if you had individual control you could level the bus when stationary, like an RV leveling system. A capability I'd like anyway since I'd like to turn the center section of the bus into a camper.

Thoughts? This doesn't seem complicated, and may have been done before. How common are used buses with air suspension anyway?
cdlong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2015, 06:54 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 66
Most school buses are leaf front and rear, some were, and more now a days, are being built with rear air and front leaf. Most coaches, like greyhound, are air front and rear. I have an older Gmc 4107 that has air front and rear and I'm going to set it up so I can use the air bags to level it. My kenworth service truck had a "dump" lever on the dash that dumps the air in the rear to set it down to deploy the crane out riggers. I haven't measure it but I bet it sits down about 4 or so inches. They tell me on the coaches give you about 6"'s total from ride height to full deflate.
daddyoften is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2015, 11:50 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 12
Thinking about this a little more, just dropping the rear might be the best plan for a number of reasons. First, it seems getting a skoolie with air front may be next to impossible. Just dropping the rear 5" vs 5" drop in the rear and 5" rise in front gets you almost 8" at the tail vs 10.5". The more the better, but 8" is still a good help. Lastly, raising the front will require raising the pressure pretty high I would imagine, which worries me from a safety and air bag longevity perspective.
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