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Old 12-08-2019, 05:15 PM   #1
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Wheelbase

I've been thinking about wheelbase lately. I am looking at a few different 5 window buses, at that length you can find both short (~140 inch) and long (~160 inch) wheelbases for roughly the same length bus.


Shorter wheelbases have the benefit of a tighter turning radius, better breakover angle, and better manueverability. (it's also possible shorter wheelbases would incur less tire wear and friction)


Longer wheelbases seem to have slightly higher (+800lbs) GVWR (at least for the ford e-350/450 chassis) and they have less length behind the rear axle so a better departure angle and I think possibly safer/more controlled cornering at high speed (I have a vague--and possibly incorrect--impression that its a best practice to have minimal weight behind the rear axle when traveling on highway so 'the tail doesn't wag the dog').


What are your thoughts on the pros and cons of different wheelbases for a given overall length. Can anyone confirm my vague impression about the safety of cornering with more weight behind the rear axle?
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:25 PM   #2
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IF you plan to tow with it, the longer wheelbase and shorter overhang would be a big advantage. The shorter wheelbase definitely would maneuver better in town, but I don't think cornering safety would come into play until you had a disproportionate amount of weight behind the axle
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
IF you plan to tow with it, the longer wheelbase and shorter overhang would be a big advantage.
Let's set towing aside for now. I don't plan to tow, and I think its more clear cut in the case of towing (any weight you put behind the rear axle decreases gcwr as it essentially counts towards your tongue weight).
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The shorter wheelbase definitely would maneuver better in town
The shorter wheelbase is definitely an advantage in town and in many respects offroad. But I wonder what tradeoffs are made in terms of onroad handling, and I wonder what went into Fords reasoning of giving the longer wheelbase vehicle a marginally higher GVWR
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but I don't think cornering safety would come into play until you had a disproportionate amount of weight behind the axle
I wonder at what point weight behind the rear becomes 'disproportionate' or begins to negatively affect handling. Or if my premise is even correct that it would handle worse.
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:54 PM   #4
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This conversation discusses some of the physics as well as first hand impressions on the matter.
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