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Old 09-08-2019, 11:05 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Upgrading Suspension?

I'd love to upgrade the suspension on any bus I get in order for it to handle longer rides and back roads. Also to help with any weight I put on it. Lifting it up would be nice but I may just go for bigger tires to do that. Anyone know of a good and reliable suspension kit that'd work well for most buses?

By the way, the guy who has given me some ideas on under bus storage also gave me ideas on the bigger tires. This video is what brought those thoughts up. Would bigger tires like the one's shown in the video be bad or good? Any major flaws or gains?
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:16 PM   #2
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I've never heard of any suspension kits for full sized buses. Anything you would find would be a custom build.

You might find something that was pickup truck based to use on a shorty, but I wouldn't use it.

If you're looking for a quick improvement, replace your shocks. Most are shot and neglected.

If you want the best ride, get a bus with an air ride suspension front and rear.

I've also heard of people running their tires below the max air pressure, but I've never done it.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:01 PM   #3
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Most of our builds never get close to exceeding the GVWR, so seldom does one need to add to the suspension, some remove leafs to soften the ride. Super single tires look great, untill you have a flat and no expensive spare with you. At least with duallies, one goes flat, you keep moving. Those tires don't look any taller than a standard 11-22.5
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:46 AM   #4
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I talked to a gent in Utah who sells kits and does custom suspension work. He suggested dropping one leaf from each spring pack and put airbags at all four corners.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:12 PM   #5
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PNW_Steve, was that a private individual or a spring vendor you spoke with? I've talked on the phone a bit with a person at Best Deal Springs in Payson Utah and was impressed, but haven't had them do any work for me yet.
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Old 12-01-2020, 05:19 PM   #6
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Just came across this information for softening a suspension on a school bus. Not sure of the cost, but it looks like it would do the trick. Google LiquidSpring.
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:02 AM   #7
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air bags... "air ride"

I replaced my rear springs with air bags. Total kit from Reyco Granning. I included something called "ping" tanks. springs, compressor, air tanks, valves, assorted susspension parts, I have been to several truck salvage yards and have seen on market place, stuff that should be able to put air bag suspension on bus medium duty suspensions.

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Old 12-02-2020, 08:10 AM   #8
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Cool deal. I've been looking casually for an air ride front and rear suspension for mine.

If you don't mind answering, how much did the upgrade cost? I assume it was rear axle only?
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:49 AM   #9
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rear air ride new cost

about $5000 my front end is on coil springs.... I dont think I will need to change those....


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Old 12-02-2020, 01:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Cool deal. I've been looking casually for an air ride front and rear suspension for mine.

If you don't mind answering, how much did the upgrade cost? I assume it was rear axle only?
When we came to visit this summer, our rig had Donvel, Inc. air bags on the front. It came with rear air-ride suspension.


Here is a link to the steer-axle info: Donvel - Steer Axle ... but they do drive axles motion controls, sleeper cab motion controls, seats, etc. However, the controls assume air-ride. it is only the front stabilizer system that includes the addition of air bags.
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Old 12-03-2020, 08:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
When we came to visit this summer, our rig had Donvel, Inc. air bags on the front. It came with rear air-ride suspension.


Here is a link to the steer-axle info: Donvel - Steer Axle ... but they do drive axles motion controls, sleeper cab motion controls, seats, etc. However, the controls assume air-ride. it is only the front stabilizer system that includes the addition of air bags.
I remember you mentioning air ride front and rear. I just assumed it was factory I guess. Do you have the stabilizer system from donvel, or a true front air suspension? I'm looking for a true front air suspension, no spring to speak of. I submitted a inquiry to donvel about their products, so we'll see what they offer.
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
PNW_Steve, was that a private individual or a spring vendor you spoke with? I've talked on the phone a bit with a person at Best Deal Springs in Payson Utah and was impressed, but haven't had them do any work for me yet.
Kinda funny to see this business referred to on here. I grew up a block from them. I remember looking in the big windows as a kid in the 70's watching what they were doing. Coming from a family of gearheads, it was always fascinating.

I think a full air ride system would be great, but definitely waiting on that to see how the ride is once the full build is completed.
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Old 12-03-2020, 06:18 PM   #13
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80 mph in a school bus...
Another "just because you can, doesn't mean you should" moment.

As for suspension, as frame rail spacing is pretty standard at 34" rail to rail on 99.9% of trucks and buses, here's an idea if you already have air brakes. I would see about whether a heavy truck salvage yard could cut you a deal on a nice air-ride setup from a Class 8 semi tractor. Be sure to get any brackets that secure the air bags to the axles. You may find the steer axle a bit tricky to get air-ride components for - these may have to be sourced from an RV or tour bus. You might consider getting one or two air tanks from a donor as well, just in case they are larger than your existing ones.
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
I remember you mentioning air ride front and rear. I just assumed it was factory I guess. Do you have the stabilizer system from donvel, or a true front air suspension? I'm looking for a true front air suspension, no spring to speak of. I submitted a inquiry to donvel about their products, so we'll see what they offer.
We have the steer-axle stabilizer system. It is basically a pair of air bags placed just behind the axle between the frame and the springs, one on each side. The controller valve and pressure gauge are mounted in the cab. The pressure can be adjusted on demand. I have used it to adjust to load and road conditions. The Donvel system includes their in-line pressure stabilizers.
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