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crazyeyes
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« on: August 13, 2008, 03:19:02 PM »
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How do you narrow a bay beam???

does anyone have any pics of how to do this???

i have a 68 if that helps...

thanks,
    Mike
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russell
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2008, 11:27:54 PM »
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a buddy of mine just did it on his 68 singlecab

what he did was he welded 2 pieces that go from one tube to the other to keep the tubes in the right spots, then he cut off both of the sideplates that bolt to the frame, then he cleaned that tubing completly. he then used the bus sideplates i had and cut them in half an inch or so under the bolt pattern since it was the same as a split but for the early bays, then he welded in a piece of flatbar that is the same width as the sideplates.
(you're probably better off making your own sideplates out of one piece of metal or buy the ones that are made for it) because he had to gusset the shit outta the piece. then he just welded those on, cut out the dimples, put in the adjusters, and finally got the beam together TODAY and got it on the ground and driving. it looks hella nuts to be a 4" narrowed beam, looks alot more but we doublechecked the measurement of the tubing and its a 4.

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crazyeyes
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2008, 11:46:18 PM »
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it kinda makes sense.. do you have any pics... kinda confused on the sde plate issue.. i know a guy that can water jet... could i hack the ends off and make a template with the holes to mount to the tubes and then weld it??

 i think i just confused myself Huh?
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russell
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2008, 12:41:46 AM »
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like a balljoint bug beam compared to a link pin one, the tubes are spaced further apart, so he had to make up for it since he was using split bus sideplates. instead of messing with where the holes and top tube go, he just cut and spaced it however much to where it would fit to the bottom tube.

i'll try to get him to go on here and post pics of it
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mr. warehouse
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2008, 07:58:10 AM »
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Here's a CAD layout for both Bay and Split Bus beam sides plates I uploaded to the gallery.



Credit goes to Jeremy Rockjock
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crazyeyes
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2008, 09:50:28 AM »
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so... to just narrow my beam i could get a few of those cut and hack the old one off and slap those on??? and for adjustable would be the same as a slpit?Huh? just drill the dimples out and weld adjusters in?Huh?
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mr. warehouse
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2008, 10:00:00 AM »
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There's a little more to it than that (cut down the leaf pack, cut of the tube ends, etc.), but for the most part, yes.
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crazyeyes
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2008, 02:47:59 PM »
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There's a little more to it than that (cut down the leaf pack, cut of the tube ends, etc.), but for the most part, yes.

right, so can i lop the ends of the beam off like a bug L/P or do i need to keep them on like a bug B/J???
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Franz
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2008, 08:11:22 PM »
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Bay is the worst beam of them all to build....The best way is to call Nate and work a few extra hours at your day job.

But if you really want to do it yourself heres a How-to:







1)The first thing to do is scrape and remove as much dirt/greese as you can. Then carefully cut the welde so that you can remove the complete center pin carrier from the beam. On a bay window the beam tubes are flared/machined at the ends. Because of this you have to narrow the beam from the middle. I'm going to narrow this beam 4", so I'll have to remove exactly 4" from both tubes. Notice that I did not cut the 4" from the exact center. Instead I cut from the center block to 4" over. I did this so that when the beam is welded back together the welded area is not in the exact center of the beam where the adjuster will be.





2) Once the beam is cut in half its easy to remove the dust seal cups and bearings. I like to  use a piece of pipe and a hammer. I remove the bearings to prevent damage to them when I'm welding on the new shock towers. Also notice that I left the inner bearings. They are located far enough in the tubes that they are not in danger of being damaged, plus they are easy to ruin when trying to remove them.







3) Remove the center block from the old tube sections. I like to carefully cut a slit in the tube and pry it apart so that the block will simply fall out. Next, make sure that the center block will easily slide into the regular beam tube, you may have to remove a little material from the O.D. with a belt sander. If the center block is tight in the beam tube, it will be hard to adjust later.







4) Be sure to slide the center block in BEFORE welding the beam back together. I like grind bevels on the ends of the tubes so that the weld will be very strong. Clamp the beam in a vice and use several C-clamps, then use a strait edge to make sure the beam tubes are strait. After the beam tubes are aligned corectly, start welding it back together. I'll weld as much as I can before removing any clamps, then I'll remove one clamp and welds as much as I can before removing another clamp.









5) Since the beam was narrowed from the middle, the mounting locations on the stock shock towers will be too narrow to fit the frame on the bus. To solve this problem I have custom 1/4" plate shock towers that mimic the shape of the orginal shock towers. You'll have to do some measuring and cut the shock towers out of 1/4" plate.

The first thing to do is weld some braces on both sides and ends of the beam tubes. These braces are temporary and will be removed once the shock towers are welded on. After the braces are in place, cut the shock towers off, I used a plasma torch...but you may have to get creative if you don't have access to one. Once the bulk of the shock towers are removed, clean the remaining weld/shock tower with a grinder.





6) I have a bus frame section that I use to build bus beams. I'm guessing that most of you won't. So, you'll have to do this step in the bus. Bolt your  custom 1/4" plate towers to the bus and center your beam between them. Do as much welding as you can with it bolted in the bus to keep things from twisting/warping.



7) After the shock towers are welded on, remove it from the bus. Now you can cut the braces off. Re-weld your center pin carrier back on, postion it in the center of the lower tube. The center pin should be parallel to the beam tubes. Also notice that I welded a 2" x 1/4" gusset between the tubes on the back side of the shock towers for added strength.









8) Drill two 1/2" holes 1" apart in the center of the beam. Be careful on what angle you position them at, as it wil limit your adjustablilty. Then, cut between the two hole so that you have a slot for the adjuster bolt to move in. Finally weld the adjuster plate to the beam tube, take your time welding so that the beam tube does not warp.







9) Now that all of the cutting and welding has been done on the beam its time to re-install the bearing and dust seal cups. All thats left now is to narrow the tie rods and torsion springs the same amount as the beam.
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crazyeyes
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2008, 09:27:46 PM »
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holy crap thats alot of work.. well worth it.. my time is free and dont have $500 to throw at my bus
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68singlecab
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2008, 12:48:55 AM »
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thats the form on KCW that i followed when i built my beam for my 68. russell was talking about this earlier in this form. it was a pain in the ass. if you don't have a plasma cutter to cut off the original side plates, it takes a LONG time to cut them off with a grinder. but it looks good in the end and its a lot cheaper. i built mine for around $230, that includes, side plates, both adjusters, and new tie rods and ends. ill post pictures after Bus Fest this weekend. 
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Gadget Boy
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« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2009, 03:39:16 PM »
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 Heres a 4 inch beam i made for my panel. yeh it was a pain in the Ass But totally worth it . NOTE Dont try this at home if uve never done this sort of thing before . Ive done loads of buses and bugs an bug beams it aint easy . Also i use 1/2 inch plate shock towers with 7 degrees of added angle to get it to ride better. Even then i weld gussets into the tubing to be extra safe

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