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Old 09-07-2018, 02:02 PM   #41
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,401
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Roger that. 1-1/4" square tubing fits perfectly inside BB ribs. That is what I used...then applied an overlap of cut down OEM rib to each section using a combination of welding and quarter inch steel rivets.

I had to use a hammer on a few of my 1-3/16" inserts. No way I could fit 1-1/4".

There is another build on here where the member used 1-3/16" that he found in a salvage yard for his BB raise.

I wonder if there were different hat channel profiles for different years or different factories?

Also, all of the exterior rivets I have removed on mine are 3/16" also.

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Old 09-08-2018, 10:14 PM   #42
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Golden Valley AZ
Posts: 1,044
Year: 1993
Chassis: ThomasBuilt 30'
Engine: need someone to tell me
Rated Cap: me + 1
Originally Posted by skytz View Post
I have a flatnose 30' Thomas that I've been slowly gutting. I've pulled up the plywood and I came across this. As you can see the floor is made up of 1ft by 8 ft strips of metal, which to my understanding covers the floor from the front to the rear. As you can see a 3ft by 8ft was used over the rear wheel axle. The 2d picture was taken at floor level so you can see what it looks like from the side. It looks like it has sunk or the metal on either side are pushing up. I was hoping to show close-ups of what it looks like on either side of the panel where it juts up against the wall. Didn't have both. The 3rd shows the driver's side. The 4th, if you zoom in on the left side, you'll notice a change. Can someone please tell me whether or not it's been in an accident and what I can do about that area the rear axle. Thanks.

I support the ''eliminate the wheel well theory''. If the bus has been in any serious accident that would bend the frame you could probably see it by sighting along the frame from underneath. The frame is in plain view and bends should be obvious.

If you look from the bottom, you will see that those "1ft by 8 ft strips of metal" are actually bent sheet metal C section panels with the legs of the C fastened to the frame. The legs add considerable strength to the 1 foot panels but since they stick down they take up clearance in the wheel well. The 3 foot C panel eliminates the 2 sets of legs that would be in the wheel well if they used 3 - 1 foot C panels thereby providing several more inches clearance in the wheel well. With out the additional leg stiffeners provided by the 1 foot panels, this 3 foot section is weaker - unless they used heavier gauge sheet metal. Wide sections of sheet metal tend to oilcan and/or sag. This is what you are seeing that looks like wavy metal in the 3 foot panel. An additional L shaped brace was added along the drivers side to either add strength or cover a crack/ hole. I would not be surprised to find hat channel or some other type of metal support under the center section of the 3 foot panel to add additional support in the aisle. Makes sense to me.

If they changed the wheels to smaller 19.5" then it is also possible that they changed the rear gear ratio or the speedo is off. They may have also changed the GVWR. My 1993 30 foot Thomas is rated @ 30,000 lbs with 22 inch tires. What is yours?
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