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Old 11-22-2016, 03:21 PM   #21
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Music City USA
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Chassis: Freightliner
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I took some more photos today to illustrate exactly what I'm dealing with..... as I said before the main bus frame only goes to the rear seat. At that point two frame members are bolted onto the outside of the main frame rails, which then curve downward about 8 to 12 inches then level back out and go to the rear bumper.

I also found quite a bit more rust that I'm gonna have to deal with, but fortunately it doesn't look TOO bad, again just surface rust that will have to have a wire wheel taken to it then repainted with Rustoleum or similar.

#1 - taken from curb side underneath.


#2 - taken from drivers side through air cleaner side panel opening. You can see the main bus frame where the subframe starts the downward bend.


#3 - taken from rear, on curb side, looking between radiator fan and engine. The fan is blurry because the engine was running when I took this picture.


After the closer look I got of it today, it does seem to be a more sturdy construction than I first thought, but I would still prefer it to be one full-length piece rather than two bolted together. But it is what it is and I'll just have to work within those limitations.

I wish I definitively knew what the tongue weight of a tandem dolly loaded with car and bike would be, within a few lbs.... or if I opted for a flatbed trailer long enough for both, what that would be (more than the dolly if the trailer axles are centered, I know...)
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:38 PM   #22
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If it were me, I would just put a receiver hitch on the ends of the sub frame as if it were the main frame.

I doubt the engineers made the subframe capacity only strong enough to carry the engine assembly and whatever else it is supporting.
The rear bumper still has to meet the same impact standards.

Put the motorcycle back as close as it will fit to the car.
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:42 PM   #23
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I agree with DoubleO7 about the strength of the sub frame. If it really concerns you that it can't support the weight I would run a another rail inside the rails to reinforce the drop frame from further forward to the rear bumper.

I also think that the relatively low weight of the tongue on that tow dolly shouldn't be a problem for you.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:41 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
I agree with DoubleO7 about the strength of the sub frame. If it really concerns you that it can't support the weight I would run a another rail inside the rails to reinforce the drop frame from further forward to the rear bumper.

I also think that the relatively low weight of the tongue on that tow dolly shouldn't be a problem for you.
I wouldn't think so.... but I'd rather err on the side of caution and safety. As I said it does look beefier than I first expected. The reinforcing members, should I need them, would have to be mounted on the OUTSIDE of the main frame to get them inside the sub-frame channel though, as that is where the sub-frame is mounted.

I'm probably WAY overthinking this.... but I've seen too many trailers drop off their tow vehicles going down the road because of overloading the hitch or the tow vehicle structure... 2 years of trucking, you see things..... some of them you can't un-see. But that's a story for another day.
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Old 03-21-2017, 02:50 PM   #25
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Year: 1992
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Custom vs. Universal Hitch

I have a 1992 bluebird mid-size bus that I want to put a hitch on to pull my trailer and Smart Car. Any suggestions between spending tons of money for a custom hitch and Installation vs. a Reese or Curt brand Universal Multi-fit hitch that me and my son-in-law can probably install...I know it will probably need a drop down ball to accommodate the trailer difference but I hate to spend almost a thousand dollars to have someone else do mount a hitch...Of course there is the logic that you get what you pay for and the business knows what they are doing, but it seem pretty straight forward to install a hitch...but I'm turning to others that know way more than I do about hitches for your trusted Input....thanks in advance...
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:21 PM   #26
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Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9
So you'r talking about towing one of these?

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Old 03-21-2017, 05:19 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoolbus1 View Post
I have a 1992 bluebird mid-size bus that I want to put a hitch on to pull my trailer and Smart Car. Any suggestions between spending tons of money for a custom hitch and Installation vs. a Reese or Curt brand Universal Multi-fit hitch that me and my son-in-law can probably install...I know it will probably need a drop down ball to accommodate the trailer difference but I hate to spend almost a thousand dollars to have someone else do mount a hitch...Of course there is the logic that you get what you pay for and the business knows what they are doing, but it seem pretty straight forward to install a hitch...but I'm turning to others that know way more than I do about hitches for your trusted Input....thanks in advance...
You don't say which Blue Bird bus you have and who made the chassis under your bus. It does make a difference.

If the chassis is an OEM vendor supplied chassis from IHC, Ford, GM, Freightliner, or Volvo it should be pretty straight forward installing an off the shelf Curt or Reese hitch receiver. You might have to modify or make some new brackets to be made to fit. The back end of the frame rails on a Type 'C' bus is no different than the back end of a frame of a conventional medium duty truck.

If it is a Blue Bird All American, TC2000, or TC1000 with a front engine the process is not going to be that different from a Type 'C' bus. If it is a rear engine bus it only gets complicated in that you have to mount the hitch receiver in such a manner that it doesn't interfere with any of the moving parts of the engine.

Regardless of what you decide to do, purchase hitches with drop shanks to get the hitch ball down to the level you need to make the trailer tow level. Do NOT drop the hitch receiver down. If you do you will find yourself dragging it on curb cuts, speed bumps, and any other sort object where the front end goes up pushing the hitch down towards the ground.
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