Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
September 20, 2014, 03:09:47 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an E-Mag Subscription: You will not incur forwarding fees when you are on the road.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Gillig Low Floor Conversions  (Read 6861 times)
Lostranger
Sophia
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 124


Gillig Low Floor


WWW

Ignore
« on: November 10, 2012, 03:03:57 AM »

Greetings All,

I'm new to this list, but not to bus conversions. We converted a Flxible Metro in 2001 and used it until the summer of 2011. When the inherent design problems of that bus became unbearable, we sold it. We currently full-time in a converted step van, but we want more space, and I'm in the process of buying a Gillig H2000LF. We've looked at several of these, and I am in love with the platform.

I'd like to hear from anyone who has converted a low floor or who has links to such conversions. I'm not concerned about the lack of under body space because I plan to extend the rear platform toward the door and put tanks, AGM batteries and some other infrastructure below the new floor. I'll mount my gen set in the area originally occupied by the air handler. I've not yet figured a good way to carry a spare tire, but I'm open to suggestion. We'll have large overhead cabinets in all the area forward of the door, and that will make up for a good bit of lost basement space.

I'll be new to the DD Series 40 found in a lot of these busses. Any input on these will be appreciated. We'll never be in a hurry, so maximum HP is not an issue. I hope to be able to cruise at 65 on the level, but we can live with slower. I'm hoping for good fuel economy. I'm confident that I can rebuild this engine if necessary, but I hope it won't be.

Looking forward to your input.

Jim in North Carolina
Logged

Jim Huskins
Marion, NC
1999 Gillig H2000LF
Yes Virginia,
You CAN convert a low floor.
Utahclaimjumper
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 838




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2012, 03:13:21 AM »

Loose the spare,, its not needed.>>>Dan
Logged

Utahclaimjumper 
 EX 4106 (presently SOB)
Cedar City, Ut.
 72 VW Baja towed
Lostranger
Sophia
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 124


Gillig Low Floor


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2012, 05:16:32 AM »

Loose the spare,, its not needed.>>>Dan

What? I'm putting brand new tires all round, but I don't think they're bullet proof. My life experience convinces me that all tires eventually go down, and some do so catastrophically. Dan, what would you do if you gash one near BF Egypt, WY? No truck tire service for 150 miles, and nobody in the state carrying 12R-22.5 tires? At least no one in bicycle distance. I'm big enough to change a bus tire, and I'm unwilling to run a single rear for long distance. Don't think I can go the no spare route. I'm a risk taker, but that one might get in bed with me.

On a related topic. We do not currently carry a toad, and we're undecided whether one will be necessary in our next bus phase. Vehicle reliability will be a large factor.

Jim in NC
Logged

Jim Huskins
Marion, NC
1999 Gillig H2000LF
Yes Virginia,
You CAN convert a low floor.
chessie4905
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 668





Ignore
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2012, 05:20:32 AM »

a little info in series 40, 50 and 60's:

http://www.thedieselstop.com/archives/ubbthreads/General_Archives/forums.thedieselstop.com/archives/showflat.php-Cat=&Number=56644&page=8&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1.htm
Logged

GMC h8h 649#028
Pennsylvania-central
RJ
Former Giant Greenbrier Owner
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2815





Ignore
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2012, 01:32:10 PM »

Jim -

The easiest place to put a spare tire is in the compartment it was designed for.    Grin

Oh, wait, they don't design spare tire compartments for transit buses.  No need, as they're always relatively close to the shop should a flat occur.

100% of all highway model buses have a spare tire compartment behind the front bumper.   

Problem solved if you're willing to give up the transit's challenges, especially the low-floor models.

With the market for conversions in the toilet right now, you can pick up some awfully nice units for far less than you'll spend starting from scratch with a bus that's really not designed for highway usage.  As you discovered with the Flx Metro. . .

However, "do it your way," that's our motto!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
Logged

RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
Geoff
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 521





Ignore
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2012, 04:05:45 PM »

I've been in a few low floor buses and I purposely looked at the floors and interior build and quickly decided that it was not a good candidate for a serious bus conversion.  Like you said: "inherent design problems".
Logged

Geoff
'82 RTS AZ
belfert
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5440




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2012, 05:36:38 PM »

100% of all highway model buses have a spare tire compartment behind the front bumper.   

On my Dina the spare tire isn't mounted behind the bumper like most highway coaches.  It is on a cable winch like many SUVs and pickups these days.

Why do charter buses even bother to carry a spare?  The average driver wouldn't be able to change a tire and a service could patch a tire or provide a new one.  I suppose it saves costs on a new tire as a tire truck can jack the price of a tire through the roof.
Logged

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
luvrbus
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12497




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2012, 06:12:07 PM »

Which series 40 do you have the 7.6 (466) or the 8.7 (530) neither was built by Detroit those are International Harvester engine parts are cheaper at a IH dealer vs a Detroit dealer fwiw 
Logged

Life is short drink the good wine first
Lin
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4555

1965 MC-5a




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2012, 10:16:07 PM »

As mentioned, you can get a good conversion for lot less than doing one now.  If you are committed to that particular model, maybe you can find one already completed.  I would think that you might get it for 50 cents on the dollar with all the labor free.  I wish I was wrong!
Logged

You don't have to believe everything you think.
Lostranger
Sophia
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 124


Gillig Low Floor


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2012, 02:53:04 PM »

Thanks to everyone who has taken time to respond. I appreciate all input.

The bus I'm buying has the 7.6 liter Series 40. We should have it home in about a week.

I get amused when people tell me I'm feeble minded for not getting a "real" bus. When I mentioned the "design problems" with my Flxible Metro, I was referring to inherent flaws in the Flex 870/Metro body: roofs that always leak, the lack of any reasonable way to attach a different sub frame as part of a repower, the fact that that engine removal requires a special body brace to keep the thing from splaying outward while the drive train is out. Protruding interior wheel wells and a lack of cargo bays did not bother me. We worked around those things and thoroughly enjoyed our conversion for ten years. The final nail in that coffin was a leaking rear main seal on the 6v92TA. That's when I learned what a PITA removing the engine would be.

The Gillig H2000LF we are buying was never a "transit" bus. It was an airport shuttle and has highway gears with a modern engine and drive train. It does not have a front door. Most of the floor frame is stainless steel. We think the body style is gorgeous. It has 8 foot head room through most of the coach, and at 6'5", I find that thrilling. I have the interior layout mostly done, and all my tanks (except propane and other fuels) will be in heated space. We'll have a full size front-load washer and dryer, independent solar power with a serious generator for backup, a Sundanzer chest-type refrigerator, and plenty of high cabinets. My wife regrets that we will not have a tub, but nothing's perfect. Keep in mind that we currently live full time in a vehicle I converted. No one else's conversion of any coach would suit me as well as one that we will do ourselves. This will be home until I'm dead or too feeble to make that single step into the low floor.

I confess that doing the conversion is a major part of the fun for me. If we wanted a bus to use two or three weeks a year, I might consider buying one already done, but I don't want to wake up every morning and wonder why some idiot did it "that" way. If I'm the idiot du jour, I'll at least know what my thinking was and have a better idea of how to improve the next version.

Apparently no one who has read my original post knows of other low floor conversions. Very well, I'll be the first on this list, and I'll let the rest of you see what I'm doing. It won't be for everyone, but I tend to enjoy the lunatic fringe.

Best to all,

Jim in North Carolina

P.S. I still plan to carry a spare.
Logged

Jim Huskins
Marion, NC
1999 Gillig H2000LF
Yes Virginia,
You CAN convert a low floor.
luvrbus
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12497




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2012, 03:11:19 PM »

I would be sure to check the rear axle ratio, the ones Hertz rental owned were 50 mph tops fwiw I doubt you find a H2000 that is going to cruise at 65 mph with the 466 IH
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 03:13:30 PM by luvrbus » Logged

Life is short drink the good wine first
Lin
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4555

1965 MC-5a




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2012, 03:33:53 PM »

Heck, if that's what you like and want to do, it trumps everything else.  There are even guys on this board that like Eagles!
Logged

You don't have to believe everything you think.
buswarrior
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3571


'75 MC8 8V71 HT740




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2012, 03:52:03 PM »

Low floor transits are just getting to be available for converters to consider.

As noted, an 8 foot high ceiling in the front half gives the converter some fascinating options as to where and how to make up for the lack of under body capacity.

Lots of Series 50 and B400 combinations available, and all stainless steel construction.

We will be seeing more busnuts giving these a whirl.

After all, where's the challenge in having a bunch of bays to carelessly fill up following the tired formula?

Pioneers are not followers.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
Logged

Frozen North, Greater Toronto Area
TomC
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6785





Ignore
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2012, 08:01:02 AM »

One way to save space is to use a low profile RV toilet. Then raise it up to normal height with the black tank mounted directly under. Good Luck, TomC
Logged

Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
DMoedave
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 321





Ignore
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2012, 05:19:50 AM »

one of the great guru/pioneer busnuts had and converted a gillig i think as his second bus. George Myers and he had a great bus bulliten and went under the name Epic Conversions. he was a major contributor BCM for many years, did the electrical column. his had a 6v92 and he well documented his conversion, the good, the bad, and the ugly, lol. Look him up and everyone would love the old bulliten, it had lots of tips by and from busnuts in it. Not sure of how much will be in the archives but thats always a great place to start on this and the Busnut site. good luck
Logged

we love our buses!!! NE Pa or LI NY, or somewhere in between!
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!