A LOWER LOLINE
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Redesigning by Dennis Achieves an Overall Height of 13 ft. 7 in. with a Normal 70-seat Body
IMPORTANT modifications to the Loline double-decker bus chassis have been made by Dennis Bros., Ltd., Guildford. The effect of redesigning it is to permit the use of a forward entrance to the body and to lower the unladen chassis-frame height by 2* in.
This reduction in chassis height allows a normal 70-seat body, without a dropped upper gangway, to be fitted at an overall height of-only 13 ft, 7 in. It is possible that with a low-bridge body this dimension could be reduced still further, although Willowbrook, Ltd., who are manufacturing the body for the prototype chassis, think that this would be required only in most exceptional circumstances.
Whereas previous Lolines ' had a straight-through chassis frame swept downwards behind the front spring hangers and upwards over the rear axle, the new model has a chassis incorporating fabricated three-piece side members. The original frame is cut behind the rear engine-gearbox mountings.
The centre section of the frame consists of two channelsection members turned upwards at an angle of 90° at each end. The depth of each member at the front is 8 in., increasing to 10 in, at t h e rear, with 21-in. flanges. The material used is in. in section.
Each curved side member is joined to the forward portion of the frame by a box structure made up of two steel plates and 12 1-in, tubes clamped together with fitted throughbolts.
Direct face-to face contact between the box and frame members is avoided by
protruding t he tubes J.in.-through the sides of the box. The effect is to drop the frame 11 in, at this point and outrig the side members by the same amount.
Thus a low chassis is provided for the forward entrance, the height to the top of the frame being I ft. 9 in. unladen. This sharp drop in the frame also occurs on the line of the front bulkhead, allowing the pneumatically operated doors to have their forward pillar built into tha member.
The frame centre section is upswept an cut off forward of the rear wheels. It i joined at this point by a tubular crost member cranked 'downwards to permit low floor line. Two similar 14-in.-lob tubes are through-bolted to the mai cross-member on the outside of the framt Bolted to this wtrigger on. each side ar
two large channel-section members Curve, upwards over, but outside, the rea
wheels. The section of the material use
for these components is in. and the. have 2-in. flanges. Their depth is 6 ir at the centre line of the rear axle.
These two side members take the plac of the normal upswept chassis frame, but as they are outrigged, they do not limi the frame height.
The outrigged members end behins the rear wheels, where they are joined b: a single-piece tubular cross-member. Th, actual chassis frame terminates at thi point. The front cross-member has twi
platforms welded underneath it, to whicl the front spring hanger brackets at., secured by U bolts.
Brackets are also fitted on top of thi cross-member as a support for two section angle members which pass ove the wheels to carry the wheel-boxes am stops for the rebound rubbers on the axle These arches, although in the position normal upswept frame members, do no act as part of the load-carrying structure Relay levers for the braking system an also mounted on the cross-member.
The single-piece rear cross-member ha: the bottom halves of two clamps wide( to it. The other half of each clamp i: bolted to the fixed portion and incorpor ates an eye for the swivel pin of the real spring shackle and a bracket for the rem end of the wheel-arch.
The new chassis presents a closet approach to integral construction thar the previous Loline, although the lattet had body-mounting outriggers integral with the • main cross-members. Thit latest model incorporates not only thit feature, but uses the load-carrying outrigged side members about the rear wheels as major body-mounting points with both longitudinal and horizontal body runners bolted directly to them.
A light-gauge 13-in.-deep channelsection fabricated member is bolted to the rear of each of these side members as a body support. Although the fabricated members are fitted by the coachbutiders, they can almost be considered as an extension of the chassis frame, whilst being an integral portion of the bodywork.
In other respects the chassis is similar in mechanical specification to the previous Loline, with a Gardner 6LW oil engine developing 1112 b.h.p. at 1,700 r.p.m. and 358 lb.-ft. torque at 1,300 r.p.m.
A five-speed Dennig inverse-drive gear
box drives through an offset propeller shaft to a Bristol-type, double-reduction rear axle with an offset differential and cranked axle casing. The wheelbase remains at 18 ft. 6 in., permitting a 30-ft. by 8-ft. body to be accommodated. The reduction in overall height and consequent lowering of the centre of gravity should make the new Loline extremely stable.
The 70-seat body seats 41 passengers in the upper saloon and 29 in the lower deck, the height of the saloons being 5 ft. 10+ in. and 5 ft. 8+ in. respectively. The body is of normal light-alloy and wood composite construction.
A two-landing staircase which passengers mount in the direction of travel, is fitted in conjunction with the forward entrance. This type of stair is favoured by the bodybuilders, as it is thought that most violent movement occurs during braking and that it is better that passengers should be thrown forward on to the steps than backward off them in an emergency stop.
Seating is on lightweight tubular frames with Dunlopillo upholstery. The pneumatically operated front entrance is controlled by the driver and the rear of the cab has an angled flat quarter light to enable him to have a complete view of the platform.
The bus will be seen on the Willowbrook stand at the Commercial Motor Show next month.