Say goodbye to the rear wheel wells!!

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

After reading another thread about removing/reducing the rear wheel wells I decided to look into more. Pointless for most builds, but for us it gives more space for the triple bunks going on both sides. We are trying to fit 3 bunks in a limited space so every inch counts and in this case it's a nine inch wheel well.

For years I have used a local engineering and fabrication shop for my steel needs. They specialize in custom job-specific heavy duty trucks. I was chatting with the owner about this idea. They are currently building a custom truck in which the client wanted the wheel wells as low as possible. Their calculations show they need 2" of clearance with the suspension bottomed out to account for the chassis roll. This was perfect for my bus and just the info I needed. After measuring everything several times I am able to reduce the wheel wells to just 2" above the factory steel floor. After insulation and plywood the floor will be flat!

So today I pulled the trigger and committed. After 5 minutes with a plasma cutter the first well was out. Another few minutes and the hole was squared off and cleaned up.

The new well is framed with 2" angle iron and now I can see exactly how low it will be.

Where it attaches to the wall I weld in a 5'x9" 10 gauge plate. This plate is what will also be seen from the exterior when everything is done.

Over the wheel goes a 24"x 24" 10 gauge plate that is stitch welded on the top and a continuous bead on the bottom.

The new rear wheel well fabrication is completed. With the drivers side welded up I removed them both and installed the new 16 gauge sheet metal on the floor. Both wheel wells were welded in place including 10 gauge in front and behind to protect against a tire blow. Still lots more welding to do, but over all I am very pleased with the new wells.

For those interested I have around $700 in materials to do this repair/modification. This includes everything to repair the front well rust with new angle iron under the floor and 16 gauge flooring. So far I've spent about 14 hours doing the work.

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