Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-22-2020, 10:24 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 16
Flat nose FE

I am looking for a bus. So far I have been avoiding flat nose buses with front engines assuming they are difficult to work on having limited accessibility. Does anyone have experience with this? Any advice? I don't want to pass on a bus that meets my other requirements if its not that big of a deal
BUDDY1976 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2020, 10:52 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 213
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUDDY1976 View Post
I am looking for a bus. So far I have been avoiding flat nose buses with front engines assuming they are difficult to work on having limited accessibility. Does anyone have experience with this? Any advice? I don't want to pass on a bus that meets my other requirements if its not that big of a deal
Hello Buddy
I have a 2007 EF with a Cat motor.
There are many things to consider when making a decision to purchase a front engine. Yes it's a little tighter in there than a rear engine and much more than a conventional. I'll try and explain this choice from my perspective, yes the engine cover is something to climb over to get in the seat (long drive you should be in there for a few hours at a stretch) so no big deal. Front engine noise and heat? Absolutely! It's a little warmer and a little louder (you can still have a conversation with a passenger) now the upside, I was not prepared to give up the garage option for my motorcycle, related gear and other camping toys like kayak's, bicycles, fishing gear. Front engine over conventional means shorter wheelbase and better manoverability for tight camping areas and state parks (many restrict 40' access)
Lots of things to consider
Good luck with your search.
Stay safe out there
Oscar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2020, 10:53 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
dzl_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: California, Bay Area
Posts: 327
I don't have any personal experience or much insight, this video shows engine access from inside, looks better than most vans.
dzl_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2020, 03:49 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 455
Coachwork: In the market
While I'm not dismissing the legitimacy of this concern, I also like to remind that most people don't buy their bus to just tinker under the hood - they buy it to convert it and then live/explore. If you don't inherit any gremlins and take care of your rig with basic preventative care and routine maintenance then there should be very little time spent climbing around the engine compartment. Furthermore, and without knowing your level of expertise with diesel engines, if the situation does arise that necessitates comprehensive repairs they will most likely be beyond the scope of the average shade tree mechanic which means the issue of engine accessibility will no longer be your problem. Therefore, I would encourage doing all the pre-purchase research you can, decide which floorplan best suits your build plans, be patient and don't buy anything with questionable reliability just because it might be conveniently located or seem too good a deal to pass up. There are diamonds out there to be found if you're patient.

Speaking for myself, I am in the market for a specific type of RE not because I think it'll be easier for me to work on but because I know that layout will best suits my plans. The same goes for Oscar1 with needing a garage which is near impossible with an RE whilst enjoying the maximum maneuverability of FE Type D. Personally this would be my least likely candidate as I've spent an entire career behind a diesel engine and I have no intention of spending my retirement directly above one!
Sehnsucht is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2020, 07:31 AM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 7
Yes, you gain a lot of potential under carriage storage when you go RE and ditch the drive shaft. Too bad there were no mid engine buses to choose from! It's been a long time since the Crown's were made. Would it be that difficult/expensive to move the engine to about 6' in front of the rear axle? That would provide enough room for the garage...
pengyou1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2020, 07:39 AM   #6
Bus Geek
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 3,018
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by pengyou1 View Post
Yes, you gain a lot of potential under carriage storage when you go RE and ditch the drive shaft. Too bad there were no mid engine buses to choose from! It's been a long time since the Crown's were made. Would it be that difficult/expensive to move the engine to about 6' in front of the rear axle? That would provide enough room for the garage...
I'm going to give that one a high degree of difficulty.
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2020, 10:02 AM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 455
Coachwork: In the market
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I'm going to give that one a high degree of difficulty.
Indeed but I keep thinking about that myself. It would help if I sketched this one out but imagine if you took a box truck or semi truck with the engine you wanted, stripped off the cab, spliced it into the rear frame of the bus, and voila! a mid-engine! I think the biggest headache with REs is the drive axle because it is rear input.
Sehnsucht is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2020, 12:12 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 16
Can you explain about rear input difficulty?
BUDDY1976 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2020, 02:45 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 1,121
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
Quote:
Originally Posted by pengyou1 View Post
Yes, you gain a lot of potential under carriage storage when you go RE and ditch the drive shaft. Too bad there were no mid engine buses to choose from! It's been a long time since the Crown's were made. Would it be that difficult/expensive to move the engine to about 6' in front of the rear axle? That would provide enough room for the garage...
if you up for the endeavor of everything involved including longer throttle cable.
longer spedo cable,longer shift cable,longer tranny wiring and so on then the drive shaft is no big deal.
there are shops that make driveshafts for a living.
the only thing would be to get the motor transmission mounted at the right height to make the angle of the driveshaft correct to the rear end input shaft plus of course probably a carrier bearing to help account for the rear end and suspension moving up and down.
i think the other stuff will be tougher to find or make?
Jolly Roger bus 223 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2020, 05:46 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
Crown_Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 156
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Crown Coach
Chassis: 40ft 3-axle 10spd O/D, Factory A/C
Engine: 300hp Cummins 855
Rated Cap: 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by pengyou1 View Post
Yes, you gain a lot of potential under carriage storage when you go RE and ditch the drive shaft. Too bad there were no mid engine buses to choose from! It's been a long time since the Crown's were made. Would it be that difficult/expensive to move the engine to about 6' in front of the rear axle? That would provide enough room for the garage...
There are problems and trade-offs with the underfloor mid-mounted Crowns as well. There's always something as Finagle might say. Lost is most of that lovely underfloor space for plumbing, tanks, house batteries, generators, water heaters....much etc. The only recourse is to get very very creative and use what little free space there is available and put more required conversion equipment up inside.

The normal running gear takes up a lot of the space what with the laid over 80 degree pancaked engine, side mounted radiator and massive 90 degree plenum duct-work for the engine fan, the transmission and drive-line, and under the front or at the side is the spare tire laying on it's side. There is a small amount of space around the perimeter along the sides to find and use, and the enormous trunk under the rear windows is available, but the overall space is pretty limited and broken up into smaller and scattered locations requiring creative solutions. There isn't any completely through from side to side space for anything spanning the width of the body.

I'm dealing with this with mine and just accept it for what it is. But then I don't plan on any kind of garage or rear loading ramps for toys. I've seen some cool Crowns where they cut the rear cap and modified it into a lifting garage door like a C-5 and ramps to drive a car up inside and ride comfortably at the rear on the existing floor with about 1/3 of the front space still available for human comfort, located in front of a usually massive steel cage, and floor tie-downs, to keep the racer from rolling forward in a hard stop, which would ruin their whole day. These were usually hard core racing guys with various types of vehicles. Specialized to be sure but they had no real needs beyond basic human comfort and keeping everything in one vehicle (the Crown).

If and when I decide to add mobile toys to my Crown I'll just get a custom trailer and tow it behind. I don't particularly like having trailers since it spoils a lot of the close quarters maneuverability of the bus and adds other complications. But when the need should arise I intend to make the trailer a full on support vehicle with extra fuel, parts, tools, room for water craft and even a flying ultralight or some-such as well as the wheeled vehicle(s?) so I'll get the most out of it when having to drag the damn thing around.

It will definitely be reserved for those occasions where having all the added domain access devices onboard and with me will be of a benefit, the rest of the time I'll just keep the bus as a solo unit without the trailer since I get more fun out of just driving it and testing my limits with the local highway patrol.... The driving is truly the adventure, especially with a Crown.
Crown_Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2020, 06:51 PM   #11
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 455
Coachwork: In the market
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUDDY1976 View Post
Can you explain about rear input difficulty?
Imagine if you took the entire drivetrain out of a front engine vehicle and turned it around to install it as a rear engine. The engine and transmission are fine because their orientation has no impact on their performance. The big discrepancy will be the drive axle rotation because in the above scenario you've created a vehicle that can do 60mph in reverse! Furthermore, you can't just change the rotation input into the drive axle because the ring and pinion gears have a 'strong' and 'weak' side and reversing rotation puts the drive torque on the weak side of the gears. Now this isn't much of an issue when you put a truck in reverse at low speeds for limited duration but if you try to drive it up to speed you'll very quickly chew up the gears in the differential. Therefore, for this whole thing to work either you would need to utilize a pre-existing rear input drive axle or you can 'flip' the axle which isn't as easy as it sounds. The mounts, brakes, and so forth will all have to be removed and re-mounted on the other side once the axle is upside down from it's original orientation. Just seems like a lot of unnecessary work but I guess the entire front-engine-in-a-rear-engine-bus proposition is unnecessary work as well so what's a little more unnecessary hypothetical work?!
Sehnsucht 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 10:32 PM.


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