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Old 05-28-2018, 06:50 AM   #1
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WTB 4x4 Skoolie

Title says it all. I'm looking for a converted or partially converter skoolie 4x4 for an North-South Overland trip of the Americas. Located in Ottawa, Canada but will travel for "the one".

Cheers!
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:33 AM   #2
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What's your budget?
4x4 buses tend to be a rare breed. Mostly they will be van cutaway style. Take a look at online auctions with Colorado buses.
If you have the cash it may be easier to grab a van cutaway bus closer to home and have them do the 4x4 upgrade.. But it'll surely cost Ya
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:36 AM   #3
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A cheaper option would be to grab a typical rwd bus and add a diff lock. Might have to swap the whole rear axle with one from a wrecked dump truck or something.. Not too bad of a job, just heavy
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Old 05-28-2018, 09:33 AM   #4
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A cheaper option would be to grab a typical rwd bus and add a diff lock. Might have to swap the whole rear axle with one from a wrecked dump truck or something.. Not too bad of a job, just heavy
How much work are we talking about? My overall budget is 30-40k ish.

I found a converted 1975 blue bird flat nose w/ Diesel Cummings engine at fair-ish price but I don't like the ground clearance on it. If changing out the rear diff is it realistic to lift the bus 10 inches, put better and maybe larger tires? Bus has only about 10 inches of clearance now.

Any Idea on budget for this?
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Old 05-28-2018, 09:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by DarkBladeRunner View Post
Title says it all. I'm looking for a converted or partially converter skoolie 4x4 for an North-South Overland trip of the Americas. Located in Ottawa, Canada but will travel for "the one".

Cheers!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=ONkSV7SKW_Q



Its already sold four years ago. But they're out there. Good thing you've got deep pockets. You should be able to find a real 4x4 bus.
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Old 05-28-2018, 09:40 AM   #6
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Only 10" clearance on a Blue Bird? Are you talking about below the diff and front axle, or the body because the skirt of mine is closer to 24" high. Or maybe the bumper? I know that many of the flat nose buses have a dropped bumper.



30-40k should get you a good (no, amazing) 4x4 conversion. Again, the cut-away van style will be easier to figure out. Check out Z.E.U.S.V III: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/4x...uild-18314.htm
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Old 05-28-2018, 09:42 AM   #7
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That is a sweet find! The comments say it's around $10k, which isn't so bad for a full 4x4 conversion, I'd say. Not sure how correct Youtube comments are going to be, though
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Old 05-28-2018, 09:48 AM   #8
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That is a sweet find! The comments say it's around $10k, which isn't so bad for a full 4x4 conversion, I'd say. Not sure how correct Youtube comments are going to be, though
If I found one of those for 10k, I'd go take out a loan and buy it.
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Old 05-28-2018, 09:53 AM   #9
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Found this site, they sell bus 4x4 conversions.
4 x 4 bus buys, refurbishes, customizes and sells 4 x 4 school buses to be used by resorts, reserves, lodges and tours

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Old 05-28-2018, 09:54 AM   #10
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Not much ground clearance as you can see.

Also: thanks for the conversion link.
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:06 AM   #11
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Thanks for the link to the conversion site. Sent them an email.

And see below what I mean for ground clearance.

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Old 05-28-2018, 11:25 AM   #12
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Here is one.

https://wyoming.craigslist.org/rvs/d...597596557.html

And another

https://wyoming.craigslist.org/rvs/d...563795533.html

Full size 4x4 are hard to find. There was a green 74 international on CL but I cant find it now.

Ted
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:10 PM   #13
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Thanks for the link to the conversion site. Sent them an email.

And see below what I mean for ground clearance.


Yeah, that looks like a Wanderlodge. Real school buses have much more clearance than that. Type C buses seem to be the best for clearance.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:06 PM   #14
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So... should I stay away from it if it's a wanderlodge? Is it hopeless to increase clearance on it?
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:52 PM   #15
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Anything can be done with enough money. Actually, a WanderLodge of that vintage (aka: BB All American) should not be all that difficult to simply perform as lift on. Would it still handle as well? I doubt it, but hey...if dragging bottom is the issue...you gotta go up.
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Old 05-28-2018, 06:41 PM   #16
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So spoke with he seller. Itís not a wanderlodge itís a bus used to transport employees he bought and converted himself. Skirt is removable. Iíll go check it out. Has 12 to 16 inch ground clearance he says. Will consider simply adding locking diff. Although would buy a converted 4x4 full size for sure.
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Old 06-02-2018, 10:01 PM   #17
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I had no idea this was a thing, learned somthing today. now i can stop learning until tomorrow, thanks.
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:38 AM   #18
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90% of all full size school buses have the driven axle and transfer case added after the bus leaves the factory with the work done by Tulsa Truck Manufacturing. https://tulsatruckmfg.com/

On most Type 'C' full size buses the 4x4 option is about a $30,000.00 option. So obviously unless the need is great it isn't going to be an option ordered very often.

Rim of the World School District in northern CA has started running most of their Type 'A' buses that go out of town with a 4x4 conversion. Some of them were done by Tulsa Truck. Others have been done by upfitters like Northwest Quad Van. 4X4 Vans - Conversions, Buses, Campers & Motorhomes by QuadVan

Every 4x4 bus I have seen that has been built in the last 30+ years were all automatic transmission buses. Some had just a single speed transfer case. And some had a 2-speed transfer case. None of the Type '
C' buses had locking front hubs--the front driveline was turning whenever the front wheels were turning.

Probably less than 1% of all buses built are delivered with 4x4. Finding a good used one is going to be a challenge. It might actually be easier to find a good bus and use a used military truck as a donor to contribute the all wheel drive system. Or go to a military surplus/salvage yard and find a pair of axles and transfer case to make your bus into a 4x4.

All of the Type 'C' 4x4 buses I have seen have had pretty short legs. 50-55 MPH was about tops for all of them. On the other hand, putting it in low range low gear meant you could really creep along slowly.

The 4x4 buses are out there but outside of that one outfit in the mid-west you are going to have a hard time finding one for sale anywhere.

By the way, you will never find a Type 'D' bus with 4x4. It would be impossible to put a front drive axle on a bus with a rear engine. Or rather for all practical and monetary reasons you would not be able to do so. And while it might be possible to put a driven front axle on the front of a Type 'D' with a front engine, in order to clear everything the bus would have to be lifted to dangerous heights.

Good luck!
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:46 AM   #19
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Another idea but smaller is a F350 van/bus with 7.3 diesel and go with a U-joint off road bolt in 4x4 conversion
They are out of NC and are an awesome group of guys/gals to work with 4x4 Van Conversion kits
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
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90% of all full size school buses have the driven axle and transfer case added after the bus leaves the factory with the work done by Tulsa Truck Manufacturing. https://tulsatruckmfg.com/

On most Type 'C' full size buses the 4x4 option is about a $30,000.00 option. So obviously unless the need is great it isn't going to be an option ordered very often.

Rim of the World School District in northern CA has started running most of their Type 'A' buses that go out of town with a 4x4 conversion. Some of them were done by Tulsa Truck. Others have been done by upfitters like Northwest Quad Van. 4X4 Vans - Conversions, Buses, Campers & Motorhomes by QuadVan

Every 4x4 bus I have seen that has been built in the last 30+ years were all automatic transmission buses. Some had just a single speed transfer case. And some had a 2-speed transfer case. None of the Type '
C' buses had locking front hubs--the front driveline was turning whenever the front wheels were turning.

Probably less than 1% of all buses built are delivered with 4x4. Finding a good used one is going to be a challenge. It might actually be easier to find a good bus and use a used military truck as a donor to contribute the all wheel drive system. Or go to a military surplus/salvage yard and find a pair of axles and transfer case to make your bus into a 4x4.

All of the Type 'C' 4x4 buses I have seen have had pretty short legs. 50-55 MPH was about tops for all of them. On the other hand, putting it in low range low gear meant you could really creep along slowly.

The 4x4 buses are out there but outside of that one outfit in the mid-west you are going to have a hard time finding one for sale anywhere.

By the way, you will never find a Type 'D' bus with 4x4. It would be impossible to put a front drive axle on a bus with a rear engine. Or rather for all practical and monetary reasons you would not be able to do so. And while it might be possible to put a driven front axle on the front of a Type 'D' with a front engine, in order to clear everything the bus would have to be lifted to dangerous heights.

Good luck!
Cowlitzcoach,

Hypothetically... with unlimited time and resources could you use the front diff from a tandom rear axle truck on the rear of a RE type D and then run a driveline off the through shaft to a driven front axle then use the inter axel lock to egage and disengage the the front axle? Only problem I see is the rear axle would be running in reverse most of the time... unless you flip it upside down.

Ted
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