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Old 04-25-2020, 07:08 PM   #1
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Wheelwell modification

Hello all
So I have a 2007 Thomas EF and I want to fabricate a seat mount over the passenger Wheelwell and mount from the chair rail over the well down to the body cross members. There is 11.5 inches of clearance above the tire to the underside of the arch and I would like to reduce that to keep the platform as low as possible for the new seat mount. Maybe shave the top off a few inches? Anyone have any experience doing this and or thoughts on front wheel travel? I can't see it being 11 inches of travel and if I hit anything hard enough to travel that far I'm thinking there's going to be bigger issues. Bump stops?
Thanks
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Old 04-25-2020, 07:13 PM   #2
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A number of skooliers have shaved off most of their wheel wells. Seems if you leave it 2" above the level of the floor you'll be fine.
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Old 04-25-2020, 07:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
A number of skooliers have shaved off most of their wheel wells. Seems if you leave it 2" above the level of the floor you'll be fine.
I was thinking not even that much, maybe half then box it in flat. I want to put an air ride on that side to keep the wife happy on the long rides and the bases on them are so tall with all the hardware in them.
Thanks much
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Old 04-25-2020, 07:38 PM   #4
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I was thinking not even that much, maybe half then box it in flat. I want to put an air ride on that side to keep the wife happy on the long rides and the bases on them are so tall with all the hardware in them.
Thanks much
My bus is lifted so its got a lot of gap between the tire and wheel well. One rear wheel well is badly mangled from a flat tire. Make sure whatever you do to build it STRONG if your wife's gona ride on it. You'd be surprised how much damage a 100lb band of rubber and steel can do at speed.
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Old 04-25-2020, 07:45 PM   #5
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My bus is lifted so its got a lot of gap between the tire and wheel well. One rear wheel well is badly mangled from a flat tire. Make sure whatever you do to build it STRONG if your wife's gona ride on it. You'd be surprised how much damage a 100lb band of rubber and steel can do at speed.
Exactly! Was going to reduce the tin box Wheelwell, cover it in roadkill then fab a heavy steel cage over the whole thing to mount seat and belts. Steel frame gets a light plywood box to dress with carpet so she has a nice step off to floor level. Stepwell will get a removable filler panel for safety.
Thanks
Cheers
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Old 04-25-2020, 07:57 PM   #6
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Exactly! Was going to reduce the tin box Wheelwell, cover it in roadkill then fab a heavy steel cage over the whole thing to mount seat and belts. Steel frame gets a light plywood box to dress with carpet so she has a nice step off to floor level. Stepwell will get a removable filler panel for safety.
Thanks
Cheers
IDK bout your bus but mine has thick inner wheel wells that are the real structure.

Sounds like a good plan man.
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Old 04-26-2020, 02:40 AM   #7
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IDK bout your bus but mine has thick inner wheel wells that are the real structure.

Sounds like a good plan man.
Their bus is a Freightliner so it would have the thick wheel well material. It really is thick stuff.
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:55 PM   #8
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image.jpg
Finished up the seat and belt installation on Sunday.
Removed the exterior window trim and crash rails to get inside the hat channel so I could reinforce the mounting points for the seatbelt.
Still have the plywood base and carpet to do plus the air line and electrical for the seat.
So far very happy with the outcome.
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Old 05-26-2020, 01:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
A number of skooliers have shaved off most of their wheel wells. Seems if you leave it 2" above the level of the floor you'll be fine.
The available clearance may vary between buses.

I decided to cut my front ones down. First step was to measure available suspension travel and resting clearance...,..and I was done.

If my front suspension hits the stops I have about two inches of clearance between wheel well and tire.

My bus turned out to be a poor candidate for wheel well delete.

Measure your particular bus and see how much room you have to work with.
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Old 05-26-2020, 01:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
The available clearance may vary between buses.

I decided to cut my front ones down. First step was to measure available suspension travel and resting clearance...,..and I was done.

If my front suspension hits the stops I have about two inches of clearance between wheel well and tire.

My bus turned out to be a poor candidate for wheel well delete.

Measure your particular bus and see how much room you have to work with.
Extremely good advice, Steve. That is what I did before contemplating lowering our wheelhouses.
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
The available clearance may vary between buses.

I decided to cut my front ones down. First step was to measure available suspension travel and resting clearance...,..and I was done.

If my front suspension hits the stops I have about two inches of clearance between wheel well and tire.

My bus turned out to be a poor candidate for wheel well delete.

Measure your particular bus and see how much room you have to work with.
I have 3.5" of travel on the front spring bump stop. 13" clearance from tire to underside of the wheelwell. I removed 5" from the wheelwell to fit the seat base frame and used an air ride seat with a shorter pedestal to allow proper vision below the top of the windshield. The seat base cage has twelve grade five bolts through six of the bus body floor frames. The seat position was set to allow the seatbelt to mount through the hat channel. The hat channel was reinforced for the belt mounts from the exterior by removing the window trims and crash rails to go through the skin.
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
I have 3.5" of travel on the front spring bump stop. 13" clearance from tire to underside of the wheelwell. I removed 5" from the wheelwell to fit the seat base frame and used an air ride seat with a shorter pedestal to allow proper vision below the top of the windshield. The seat base cage has twelve grade five bolts through six of the bus body floor frames. The seat position was set to allow the seatbelt to mount through the hat channel. The hat channel was reinforced for the belt mounts from the exterior by removing the window trims and crash rails to go through the skin.
Do you have any pics of the underside of this mounting? Do your bolts go through the cross-members on the underside or through the flat part?
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:36 AM   #13
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Do you have any pics of the underside of this mounting? Do your bolts go through the cross-members on the underside or through the flat part?
No pics from below but all bolt positions were planned and drilled to go only through the floor crossmembers for maximum strength. Heavy fender type washers were also used as backing plates on the underside to spread the load.
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Old 05-26-2020, 12:34 PM   #14
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Dude, that is bad a$$.
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Old 05-26-2020, 07:02 PM   #15
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Dude, that is bad a$$.
Thanks Dave
Lots of advance planning to make sure it was all going to line up according to plan. The biggest part was figuring out what seat would work and then locating one. The pedestal on this one has a swivel feature in it also.image.jpg
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Old 05-27-2020, 02:45 AM   #16
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Is that a 2 foot forward-backward slide on that?
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Old 05-27-2020, 12:15 PM   #17
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Is that a 2 foot forward-backward slide on that?
Actually not sure of travel on the slid, will check it out. The forward position allows it to swivel without contacting the side wall.
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Old 05-27-2020, 12:23 PM   #18
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Anyone cutting down a wheelwell needs to consider a little math. Remember the distance of the bump stop is not the same amount of potential travel of the tire.
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