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Old 03-03-2019, 09:18 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: partout
Posts: 18
Year: 2003
Coachwork: ???
Chassis: chevy express
Engine: v 3500 chevy
Rated Cap: 15
seat track removal success

so, i've been struggling with the seat tracks on a wheel chair accessible bus. anyone who's struggled with button head cap screws embedded in L-tracks knows how tedious it is. The best method i had before was getting under the bus and angle grinding the nuts off and hitting them with a punch upward. however, it's pretty cramped down there and the majority of the bolts are tucked neatly under gas tanks or other apparati. so, i was searching a way to stay in the bus and getting them out from above.

note - my bolts were rusted and there was unremovable black gunk around the nuts below. deep well sockets below and an impact wrench above with an allen key head had no effect for me.

so, i began with a 3/4 inch hole saw. the hole saw cannot have it's auger ... grade bolts are like gandolf ... even cobalt bits shall not pass. however, aluminum is a soft metal and the bi-metal hole saw it pretty useful. (pic 1) when i started i could drill around one bolt every 45 seconds or so. but after about 40-50 i spent minutes drilling around the bolt. i found that putting a claw hammer or crow bar under the L-track helped me to know when i passed through the aluminum (i didn't want to cut through the sheet metal and make a bigger hole in my floor(pic 2)). it makes a pretty satisfying pop once you get through. after you cut around all the bolts in track you can just lift it out.

then i tore up the plywood with a crow bar. as the tracks were counter-sunk in the plywood, i could cut the bolt heads with neither an angle grinder nor a sawzall. however, after getting rid of the plywood, the angle grinder demolished everything. (progression of this process pic 3-5)

use the punch to pound the headless bolt through.

the whole process took me about 2 hours, 4 hole saws and 4 angle grinder discs. thanks doost rooskie and shane!
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mnexpress2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2019, 12:19 AM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 777
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Seems like you have thought up a very decent way to handle those tracks!
Native is offline   Reply With Quote

bane of my existence, button head cap screws, l-tracks

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