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Old 06-18-2024, 08:10 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Location: OKC, OK
Posts: 153
Year: 2010
Chassis: Bluebird Vision
Engine: Cummins 6.7 ISB Allison 2500
Rated Cap: ADA Lift Bus Lift Removed
Should I keep my flat floor or add wheel wells???

I know the obvious answer to this, BUT the caveat to having a flat floor without wheel wells is having Toyota Prius tires on the bus. Ok, so I exaggerated just a little bit. So the handy buses with the lifts and no wheel wells giving you a flat floor mean these buses run small short tires. They're even smaller than 9R/22.5 tires. The OE tires on the bus are 255R70-22.5 at just over 36in tall. Where 10R/22.5 are 40 in tall, and 11R/22.5 are just over 41 in tall. I do not beleive the 255R70-22.5 tires are much cheaper than 10R either.

Another disadvantage I know is top speed on the rpm governor. I have 2 buses, both Blue Birds with 5.29 rear axle ratios and both with Allison OD transmissions. This Handy bus seems to top out 6-8 mph slower. Part of it could be power related though. The Cat C7 seems to have more power for sure than the Cummins 6.7ISB. The Cat C7 with 11R/22.5 tires will hold 70 mph cruise control set speed climbing this small hill on one of my frequest trips, the Cummins 6.7 bus seems to drop to about 64 mph then will pick it back up to 70 once it tops the hill so that is power related and nother to do with tire size. I'm sure it has the lowest 6.7 ISB tune in it at 200hp. I may end up getting it retuned to the 230 or 250hp tune. All that is whole other discussion.

Getting to the point. I've got another parts bus with wheel wells in it. Thinking of installing those in this Handy Bus, so I can run 10R tires instead of 255/70-22.5. And I'm thinking if I'm going to do it, may as well go with the 11R tires since my other bus runs 11R tires and both will then run the same tires.

So what would you do? Is the flat floor really that big of a deal? Like I can build closets or pantry over the wheel wells and incorporate them into the build just like anyone else does to have the bigger tires. Or would you leave the smaller tires to keep the flat floor???


Thanks for your opinion !!!

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Old 06-18-2024, 08:25 AM   #2
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Option C. Add some lift blocks to the bus and stuff bigger tires under there. I had a flat rear floor because of my smaller tires. I cut out the front wheel well and made that flat and when i need new tires I'm moving up to an 11r or 10r since i added some lift blocks to the air suspension.
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Old 06-18-2024, 09:20 AM   #3
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the flat floor just lets you do a side aisle, instead of the usual center.

usually we hear about wheel well deletes, this is a first for me
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Old 06-18-2024, 11:27 AM   #4
Skoolie
 
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Year: 2010
Chassis: Bluebird Vision
Engine: Cummins 6.7 ISB Allison 2500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fo4imtippin View Post
Option C. Add some lift blocks to the bus and stuff bigger tires under there. I had a flat rear floor because of my smaller tires. I cut out the front wheel well and made that flat and when i need new tires I'm moving up to an 11r or 10r since i added some lift blocks to the air suspension.
The front I don't think would be a problem at all. Plenty of room for taller tires in the front. But then would the bus sit level if I put blocks in the rear? I have air ride too, so that is a possibility.

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Originally Posted by turf View Post
the flat floor just lets you do a side aisle, instead of the usual center.

usually we hear about wheel well deletes, this is a first for me
Yes, that part is true. A side isle would be cool too. I don't care for those buses that have a side isle and you have to step over the boxed in wheel well and duck your head to get to the bedroom area around the bathroom area.
I just don't care for the little tires. I think they'd tend to wear out faster too like most 19.5 tires do on medium duty trucks. And it's hard to get over the Prius looking little wheels.
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Old 06-18-2024, 12:23 PM   #5
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Would you also have to modify the body openings?
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Old 06-18-2024, 12:25 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
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Year: 2010
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Engine: Cummins 6.7 ISB Allison 2500
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Would you also have to modify the body openings?
Yes, the rear sheet meal over the wheels would have to be cut out bigger. That part is no big deal.
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Old 06-18-2024, 01:01 PM   #7
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I have a similar bus, a Thomas "7 window" dognose. Of course, it has wheel wells. Came with 10R-22.5s and I went to 11R-22.5s when replacing the tires, because the 11s were more readily available.

The wheel wells were in the perfect place for two closets which essentially divide the front of the build (kitchen/sitting area) from the back (bedroom/ bathroom).

If you want to do the mod work, and can work the wheel wells into your plan, go for it.
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Old 06-22-2024, 10:08 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 8 seats, 5 wheelchairs
low pro tires

My bus has the low-pro 255-70-22.5 tires, it is a very common widely used tire and is available almost anywhere large truck tires are sold. They are less expensive then the larger 11-22.5. I have a six speed open transmission, 5.9 cummins and 5.13 rear end and cruise 65mph at 2100rpm. top speed is 85mph. I wouldn't go to all the hassle of adding wheel wells when you can get pretty much the same performance out of your bus and buy less expensive tires to boot. No wheel wells makes it easier to set your layout since you don't have to worry about those wheel wells. just my opinion.
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Old 06-23-2024, 05:47 AM   #9
Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by 1dmpo View Post
My bus has the low-pro 255-70-22.5 tires, it is a very common widely used tire and is available almost anywhere large truck tires are sold. They are less expensive then the larger 11-22.5. I have a six speed open transmission, 5.9 cummins and 5.13 rear end and cruise 65mph at 2100rpm. top speed is 85mph. I wouldn't go to all the hassle of adding wheel wells when you can get pretty much the same performance out of your bus and buy less expensive tires to boot. No wheel wells makes it easier to set your layout since you don't have to worry about those wheel wells. just my opinion.
I do believe the Allison 2500PTS can have 6th gear opened up too, but I think it's more expensive than just an electornic tune. I think the valve body has to be changed too. I might be just fine if I had the 6th gear opened up to compensate the smaller tires. Mine is a 6.7 ISB Cummins and 5.29 rear axle ratio, which is just a hair lower than your 5.13's, I'd pretty much consider equal they're so close at .16 difference. I've not seen a huge price difference in the tires. Maybe $30 or so at the most? I do understand all the advantages of the smaller tires. Most don't even think of the lower step in height either, but that'll be a couple inches less and when you're old af or have a bad back, that 2 or so inches can make a difference. Also, you'd think a bit better mpg. The higher you stick that brick in the air, the more wind drag you're going to have, and the smaller tires should be lighter weight and a bit easier to get moving too so there's the mpg advantage too even very little, it'll add up if it's only 1/2 mpg better than with the taller heavier tires. I may just leave it. I do like the idea of the 11R and higher top speed.

My 2005 with 5.29's and 11R and Allison 2000 with OD, will run 80+ with wind behind me. Now that I know it'll do it, doesn't mean I do it. I really like 70mph and cruise control. I think that's plenty fast enough for a bus, but it's nice to be able to hit 75 easily when needing to pass the semi trucks that are governed at 66-69 mph and jump over in the fast lane and get around them and then get back over in a shorter distance not taking 2 miles to pass that tractor and a 53 foot trailer or UPS and Fed Ex pulling 30 foot doubles with a dolly in between making them about 70 feet plus tractor. It tends to piss people off when faster traffic is held up by a vehicle passing a goverend semi and taking 1.5-2 miles to do it. So 70 to cruise is what I like with 75 ability to pass. I think I just barely have that in the small tire bus but that 6.7 ISB Cummins also don't have the power that the CAT C7 has in the 11R tire bus. I'm also sure I can have the 6.7 ISB Cummins tuned up a bit too. The buses get the lowest hp tune of like 200 or 220hp tune and I think my CAT is 240 or 250hp. I know there's like 4 different 6.7 ISB Tunes by Cummins that you can go with on this engine without changing anything on the engine, just by chaning the tune. Of course by doing that, the mpg goes down, the maintenenace intervals recommendations get tighter, and the engine longevity goes down. I don't need the 300hp tune, but maybe a 240-250hp instead of the base tune, and if I can unlock that 6th gear, I'd probably be pretty happy with it and keep the smaller tires even though they'll still look like puny azz Prius tires.
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Old 06-23-2024, 06:43 AM   #10
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ive been driving my Redbyrd for close to 8 years with 225/70R19.5's i dont see the big deal in the smaller tires... works fine
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Old 06-23-2024, 01:53 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooker View Post
I do believe the Allison 2500PTS can have 6th gear opened up too, but I think it's more expensive than just an electornic tune. I think the valve body has to be changed too. I might be just fine if I had the 6th gear opened up to compensate the smaller tires. Mine is a 6.7 ISB Cummins and 5.29 rear axle ratio, which is just a hair lower than your 5.13's, I'd pretty much consider equal they're so close at .16 difference. I've not seen a huge price difference in the tires. Maybe $30 or so at the most? I do understand all the advantages of the smaller tires. Most don't even think of the lower step in height either, but that'll be a couple inches less and when you're old af or have a bad back, that 2 or so inches can make a difference. Also, you'd think a bit better mpg. The higher you stick that brick in the air, the more wind drag you're going to have, and the smaller tires should be lighter weight and a bit easier to get moving too so there's the mpg advantage too even very little, it'll add up if it's only 1/2 mpg better than with the taller heavier tires. I may just leave it. I do like the idea of the 11R and higher top speed.

My 2005 with 5.29's and 11R and Allison 2000 with OD, will run 80+ with wind behind me. Now that I know it'll do it, doesn't mean I do it. I really like 70mph and cruise control. I think that's plenty fast enough for a bus, but it's nice to be able to hit 75 easily when needing to pass the semi trucks that are governed at 66-69 mph and jump over in the fast lane and get around them and then get back over in a shorter distance not taking 2 miles to pass that tractor and a 53 foot trailer or UPS and Fed Ex pulling 30 foot doubles with a dolly in between making them about 70 feet plus tractor. It tends to piss people off when faster traffic is held up by a vehicle passing a goverend semi and taking 1.5-2 miles to do it. So 70 to cruise is what I like with 75 ability to pass. I think I just barely have that in the small tire bus but that 6.7 ISB Cummins also don't have the power that the CAT C7 has in the 11R tire bus. I'm also sure I can have the 6.7 ISB Cummins tuned up a bit too. The buses get the lowest hp tune of like 200 or 220hp tune and I think my CAT is 240 or 250hp. I know there's like 4 different 6.7 ISB Tunes by Cummins that you can go with on this engine without changing anything on the engine, just by chaning the tune. Of course by doing that, the mpg goes down, the maintenenace intervals recommendations get tighter, and the engine longevity goes down. I don't need the 300hp tune, but maybe a 240-250hp instead of the base tune, and if I can unlock that 6th gear, I'd probably be pretty happy with it and keep the smaller tires even though they'll still look like puny azz Prius tires.
I have the AD2500 Allison. It was just electronic unlocking sixth gear. Clarke Power Service in Nashville did it and they were very helpful with the paperwork I needed from Thomas then they just click click click and it was done. I don't know if there's a big difference between the 2500PTS and the AD2500 but it's certainly worth looking into.
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