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Author Topic: stay or go tag axel  (Read 3007 times)
Lonnie time to go
Lonnie
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« on: June 06, 2008, 02:53:22 PM »

1975 4905  I will be towing a car behind when I travel.
Can i get better mpg with or without the tag.
I can put tanks where the tags are or in the other storage bays I am not worried to much about
storage.
bottom line is it better to keep it for extra braking or let it go for less weight
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1976 4905
JackConrad
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2008, 03:12:57 PM »

Don't know abouit a GM, but on the MC-7,8,9s, the tag also makes the bus handle much better. Jack
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2008, 03:43:26 PM »

The retractable tag axle on a GMC 4905 Buffalo was a option.
My GM 4905 did not have the retractable tag axle from the factory. Grin
You can remove the retractable tag axle assembly and use the 3rd baggage bin for you potable and waste water tanks
Also you will only have 2 axles on the GM coach not 3 like the other makes that have to pay toll charges for that extra axle.
The maintenance manual for the above GM coaches explain how to remove retractable the tag axle.
I would say that if it were me the retractable tag axle would be gone.
jlv Roll Eyes
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Ray D
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2008, 05:53:11 PM »

But darned, they look so cool...

Ray D
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2008, 10:36:30 PM »

The short answer is to remove them, as they are not needed in a conversion.
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
Blue Ridge Mountains, S.W. Virginia
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2008, 05:59:39 AM »

Sounds like a win win deal to me. 

You lose the extra weight and lose the extra cost of maintain the axle like tires and brakes and such.
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Fort Worth, Texas where GOD is so close you don't even need a phone!

1968 GM Bus of unknown model 6V53 engine (aftermarket) converted with house hold items.

Had small engine fire and had no 12 volt system at time of purchase. 
Coach is all 110 w 14KW diesel genrator
rv_safetyman
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2008, 03:12:30 PM »

Can't speak to the GMs, but I believe that most bus conversions are very close to the GVW.  Many are over.  While we don't have the passengers, and baggage, we have some very heavy equipment (generator, fridge, lots of water/gray/black, tons of "stuff" etc.

We had a fellow in the Eagle chapter that removed the tag and found that his axle weights were quite high compared to their ratings.

If you want to remove the tag, have the bus weighed first and see where you are and how the axles are loaded.  It is a very easy to calculate how removing an axle will load the others (statically).  That is a very important consideration.  However, the dynamic loads are an even bigger consideration and almost impossible to calculate. 

Not only do you have to be concerned about the tire and axle loadings of the remaining axles, you also need to be concerned about the impact on the structure loading.

Lastly, if you would ever be involved in an accident, you could be in deep dodo.  You have removed a significant percentage of the brake capacity.

Just a few thoughts

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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pabusnut
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2008, 03:34:35 PM »

I had a tag axle in my 1973 4905 when I bought it.  After much consultation, I decided to remove it and build a bay floor back into that space.  When you look at the gvw for the bus with the axle, it supposedly added 5K to the gvw, but weighed in at over 2200 lb, so the net gain was only 2800 lbs! 

For me, it is more worthwhile to have that amount of cubic area back for my "utilities bay" than to have the extra weight capacity.  I plan to do a light conversion, so I doubt I will even get close to the gvw.

As for removing the tag axle it is not difficult, but just remember that you either need to add pieces from a scrapped bus to build a floor for original design strength, or build your own.  I built my own, and the only concern I have is that it might not "flex" as much as an original floor.

Steve Toomey

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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2008, 05:49:51 PM »

see I would say that most conversion are much lower than gross, except for some professinal conversion which tend to get on the heavy side.

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Len Silva
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2008, 05:55:14 PM »

I think that if you are careful with the ceramic tile and granite, you will probably be OK.  Wi8th today's concerns about fuel economy, weight control becomes more of a factor than it might have been in the past.
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2008, 06:20:45 PM »

One thing that needs to be mentioned again is that the tag on the 4905 was an option, and they were designed from the start to work fine without them. I believe it was more of a requirement of some state laws than an engineering issue.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2008, 06:22:41 PM by Barn Owl » Logged

L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
Blue Ridge Mountains, S.W. Virginia
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4905 doc
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2008, 04:27:57 AM »

Pull it out. 
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2008, 10:27:53 AM »

Hummmmm,  now you guys have me thinking,,,, Huh

What is the GVW on a MCI-9 for passenger sevice?   I know, my 9 weight in as some 33,700lbs.

Bill
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Auburndale, Florida
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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2008, 11:17:19 AM »

I did the math long ago and the conversion weight is a fraction of the original with 41 passengers, luggage and freight plus the original AC equipment.

No contest.
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JackConrad
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73' MC-8 8V71/HT740 Southwest Florida


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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2008, 02:24:07 PM »

Bill,
  The plate on our MC-8 says front axle 12,500, drive axle 22,000 and tag axle 6,000. Then list max GVW at 36,500  Jack
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2008, 04:54:47 PM »

Jack,

Where is this plate located?    After all, we are not on the road all that much.  Two less tires on the ground, could be very interesting.

Bill
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Auburndale, Florida
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tekebird
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« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2008, 05:35:17 PM »

likey gone if you don't know where it is.

check your battery compartment door
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buswarrior
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'75 MC8 8V71 HT740




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« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2008, 11:36:44 PM »

Don't think about removing the tag axle on an MCI.

Engine is too far hung out the back. The steer axle will be fairly unloaded.

Want to try?  Chain up the tags, and remove the tires, and take it for a spin on some windy or bumpy bits at a bit of speed.

Come back and report on your findings.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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Lonnie time to go
Lonnie
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Saginaw, Michgan




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« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2008, 09:37:50 PM »

the bus is a 1975  4905  but driving with the tag up might be a good idea to try
thanks
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1976 4905
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« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2008, 11:43:58 PM »

just lose the tag, it is not needed and is a maint item.....and as a bonus of dgetting rid of it you get more free space.
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Hobie
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« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2008, 06:20:09 AM »

Does a tag help smooth out the ride? 
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Tenor
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« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2008, 06:27:32 AM »

My old 4905 had the tags removed and it was not a problem.  Gave the bus 2 more bays for plumbing.  Lose the tags, save the weight and make some dough on the scrap metal!

Good Luck!
Glenn
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Glenn Williams
Lansing, MI
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1968 MCI 7 Ser. No. 7476 Unit No. 10056
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buswarrior
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« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2008, 12:53:35 AM »

Yes, in a 4905, go ahead, the tag was added optionally for regulation reasons, not engineering.

I thought I caught wind of MCI owners starting to wonder about theirs....

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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rv_safetyman
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Jim Shepherd


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« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2008, 10:02:57 AM »

Sorry to beat a dead horse here, but please be extremely cautious about removing tag axles.  On the 4905, since it was an option, you can probably get away with it.

HOWEVER, I *STRONGLY* suggest (again Wink) that you weigh your bus first to make sure your weight will not overload the axles or tires.

For any other coach, PLEASE be very careful.  Some have said that their conversion will not weigh as much as a loaded passenger bus.  I really question how often that happens and if they have actually weighed their conversion.  It is easy to fall into the trap of estimating the weight and I will guarantee you that your estimate will be low.  Almost everyone I know that has had their conversion weighed, has been quite surprised at how heavy they are.

Again repeating myself from previous posts, the total weight is only a small part of the issue.  The real issue is the weight on each axle and EACH tire!

Also repeating, if you modify your bus by removing a tag (unless it was an option) you expose yourself to some HUGE liability issues since you have reduced your braking capacity (plus the possible tire overload condition).

Just playing "devils advocate" to those who casually recommend removing tag axles.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
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Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
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« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2008, 11:38:10 AM »

loss of the tag on a 4903 or 4905 ohnly loses you about 2000# of available load...as the tag assembly itself consumes a fair ammount of it's increade weight capacity.

the tag on the GM was an option only because some states required 3 axles at certain weeights at the time.

Most companies that optioned the tag because they needed to often ran  with it up
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« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2008, 08:23:39 PM »

I'm with Jim & BW - maybe its OK to pull the tag on some GMs - dunno anything about them.  But I sure wouldn't want to lose it on our Prevost and we don't "need" it for weight carrying capacity.  I've run with it up and I don't like the feel.  It adds a tremendous amount of directional stability.  That's quite aside from any legal issues arising from modifying the original design. 

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« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2008, 08:49:32 PM »

keep in mind in a few eagles and all the 40 foot GM that are equiped with a Boggie ( yep the aux axle is forward of the drive....on MCI and Prevost and alot of Eagles, the aux axle is a tag axle....

dropping the tag shortens the wheelbase

dropping a boggie does nothing but increase payload and take up space.
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