Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-26-2019, 09:40 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Corvallis Oregon
Posts: 109
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Cat3126
Air suspension on a shortie necessary?

Were on the hunt and are wondering how you,who already own shorties, feel about the necessity of air ride? Seeing a lot coming up on public surplus sight with 545s and no air suspension or ride. I really have no experience driving a bus or big vehicle. All new to me!
Thanks,
Karen
Kaleth2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2019, 12:24 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,212
Air ride is a nice option but it isn't necessary.



Air ride on short wheelbase buses can smooth the ride out but it can also promote porposing while going down a concrete road with expansion joints.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2019, 02:43 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2,064
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
I addressed this on another thread, but I have a shorty with air ride and I feel like it's much smoother than a spring ride would be for a shorty. Good shocks will help with the "porpoising" Cowlitz mentioned (and to be fair, a spring ride suspension will do that too).


Basically, an air ride suspension will adjust itself to whatever level of "springiness" is needed for whatever load it is carrying, leaf springs are set up for a given maximum and no on-the-fly adjustment is possible.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2019, 05:44 AM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 13,451
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I’ve driven shorties with and without and all I’ll say is I’m sure glad both my shorties have it
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2019, 06:08 AM   #5
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 22,468
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleth2 View Post
We’re on the hunt and are wondering how you,who already own shorties, feel about the necessity of air ride? Seeing a lot coming up on public surplus sight with 545s and no air suspension or ride. I really have no experience driving a bus or big vehicle. All new to me!
Thanks,
Karen
I've had shorties and full size buses with both spring and air.
Air ride is a lot nicer but I'd take a deal on anything really. I'm not too picky if a bus is a rust free good runner and is $2500 or less.

My 2004 IC CE300 had spring suspension and it rode pretty well. Way better than the Thomas I had with springs.
I've got a 5 window shorty with air ride since its a Thomas I'm glad its air ride. After having several buses I sorta insist on my bus having it.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2019, 11:16 PM   #6
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: California
Posts: 1
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: E350
Engine: 7.3 IDI
I have a short bus with worn rear springs. I put air bags above the springs to supplement the springs. Not really air ride. I pump them up with a bicycle pump. It brings the bus up to a normal ride height especially when towing. I can use the air bags to level the back of the bus. I also put sway bars front and back. The sway bars are good for the road. Off road they give the ride rebound over big bumps. Not really suggesting anyone do what I did. Playing with the suspension to get an E350 Collins 4 window to feel less top heavy sway.
pauldaplumber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2019, 12:10 PM   #7
Skoolie
 
SolomonEagle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Foot of the siskiyou mountains Oregon.
Posts: 222
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas / international
Chassis: International
Engine: Dt 360/ spicer 5 speed
Rated Cap: 42
Finding a good short bus with a good engine/tranny and with low rust is hard enough. I wouldn't worry too much about the suspension. Air ride is a nice option and it rides consistently well. Leaf springs are standard and ride better with weight added. Having good shocks can do a lot for the ride as well. Don't let the suspension be a deal breaker
SolomonEagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2019, 09:41 AM   #8
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Corvallis Oregon
Posts: 109
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Cat3126
Paul, love that creative idea for your spring breaks. Solomon, thank you for the thoughts on priorities. So many qualities were juggling in the decision making process. Hoping weve found some we can narrow down. Seems more appearing on horizon with some regularity.
Kaleth2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019, 01:03 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: NorCal
Posts: 368
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauldaplumber View Post
I have a short bus with worn rear springs. I put air bags above the springs to supplement the springs. Not really air ride. I pump them up with a bicycle pump. It brings the bus up to a normal ride height especially when towing. I can use the air bags to level the back of the bus. I also put sway bars front and back. The sway bars are good for the road. Off road they give the ride rebound over big bumps. Not really suggesting anyone do what I did. Playing with the suspension to get an E350 Collins 4 window to feel less top heavy sway.

I have an E350 Girardin with rusty leaf springs on the rear axle. My dumb ass designed the bus so that the passenger seats are all the way in the back, and my wife says the ride is AWFUL and I'm trying to figure out how to improve it.



Paul, did you install these air bags yourself? Did you do a write up on it or anything? If you had to go back and do it again, would you do anything differently? My wife said she's willing to shell out ~$2,000 to do anything to improve the ride.


Oh, and for the OP, it would be great to find a shorty with air suspension, but I wouldn't make it a requirement--I wouldn't pass on a good, rust free shorty because it lacks good suspension. If you do get simple leaf springs, I'd design your interior to keep your passengers while moving as far forward as possible to alleviate the bounce.
TheArgobus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019, 03:21 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
banman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,493
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: 71 passenger 30,000 gvwr
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArgobus View Post
I have an E350 Girardin with rusty leaf springs on the rear axle. My dumb ass designed the bus so that the passenger seats are all the way in the back, and my wife says the ride is AWFUL and I'm trying to figure out how to improve it.

SNIP...
My wife said she's willing to shell out ~$2,000 to do anything to improve the ride.
.
Now that your bus is set up. Weigh it. Total weight and individual axle weight.
Go to a good local spring shop if you have one or someone like https://www.alcanspring.com/
if you don't...
Tell them what you want -- they will build it -- you will be happy...
This will probably be a lot cheaper than converting to airbags.
banman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2020, 05:13 AM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Ronnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,664
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
Quote:
Originally Posted by banman View Post
Now that your bus is set up. Weigh it. Total weight and individual axle weight.
Go to a good local spring shop if you have one or someone like https://www.alcanspring.com/
if you don't...
Tell them what you want -- they will build it -- you will be happy...
This will probably be a lot cheaper than converting to airbags.

This is good.

Also if you are inclined you can remove a leaf or two to soften the ride, or ask the spring shop about it.
Ronnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2020, 06:29 PM   #12
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: NorCal
Posts: 368
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Are there any downsides to removing a leaf or two?
TheArgobus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2020, 06:33 PM   #13
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,333
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArgobus View Post
Are there any downsides to removing a leaf or two?
Only the amount of load you will be able to safely handle.
__________________
I Thank God That He Gifted Me with Common Sense
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2020, 06:41 PM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: NorCal
Posts: 368
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Oh I see. I think I might wait until after I add the last few things to weigh it for that
TheArgobus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2020, 06:47 PM   #15
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,333
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArgobus View Post
Oh I see. I think I might wait until after I add the last few things to weigh it for that
When it's done, if it still rides harshly, consider removing a leaf to soften the ride. Hard to tell until real world action.
__________________
I Thank God That He Gifted Me with Common Sense
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2020, 06:59 PM   #16
Bus Crazy
 
Ronnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,664
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
exactly, build it and see what it weighs, then if still rough riding remove a leaf or two.
Ronnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2020, 08:24 PM   #17
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 22,468
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArgobus View Post
Are there any downsides to removing a leaf or two?
more likely to break a leaf?

I've seen plenty of buses for sale on broken leafs, so removing them may be comfier but would probably last a bit less.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2020, 08:29 PM   #18
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,333
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
more likely to break a leaf?

I've seen plenty of buses for sale on broken leafs, so removing them may be comfier but would probably last a bit less.
Were they broken from overloading them because they removed too much, or weren't as light as they thought they would be. That's why it's important to be at full weight before deciding to remove them.
__________________
I Thank God That He Gifted Me with Common Sense
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2020, 08:32 PM   #19
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 22,468
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Were they broken from overloading them because they removed too much, or weren't as light as they thought they would be. That's why it's important to be at full weight before deciding to remove them.
Broken from running around hauling kids on normal routes man. Its fairly common.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2020, 08:34 PM   #20
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,333
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Broken from running around hauling kids on normal routes man. Its fairly common.
Normal or abnormal routes of busted up roads. I hit a couple sections on the way home last night that felt like I was going across a washboard with no control
__________________
I Thank God That He Gifted Me with Common Sense
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×