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Old 12-12-2018, 05:04 PM   #1
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Wheel Chair Rail dilemma!

We have 8 wheel chair rails that are bolted down approximately every 3 inches. Any tips on how to best removed these???

They are bolted through the sheet metal and there is no plywood beneath them, only in between.
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:12 PM   #2
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Same setup as in our bus. I've attacked them with two people. One up top with a blow gun and allen wrench socket. The other underneath with the correct socket. Takes time and perseverance. Some of them stripped out on top so we had to drill them out and then punch them through the floor. We have removed about 1/4 of them and not looking forward to completing the job.

I'm not inclined to cutting them up since we want to reuse some ourselves and figure they may be good bargaining chips, trading for stuff we actually need.
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:19 PM   #3
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Leave em and insulate between them?
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:26 PM   #4
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Thanks for your response! It’s awesome to have the wheelchair lift, but all that come with it adds some difficult and frustrating steps to the demolition process for sure!
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:29 PM   #5
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We’re hoping to be able to patch and clean up the entire floor before insulating. Leaving the rails would likely be a source for future problems, either with rust and/or poor insulation.
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for your response! Itís awesome to have the wheelchair lift, but all that come with it adds some difficult and frustrating steps to the demolition process for sure!
I agree, the lift is great to have, but I'd rather grind off another 1000 ceiling rivets than finish up removing the floor rails.... It will get done though.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:54 PM   #7
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We have 8 wheel chair rails that are bolted down approximately every 3 inches. Any tips on how to best removed these???

They are bolted through the sheet metal and there is no plywood beneath them, only in between.
Build ,grind a socket, weld up a tool that will hold the head on the top. Squirt Aerokroil or equivalent on all the nuts on the bottom. Use an impact tool not a drill or a ratchet. If you have ones that strip or spin come back to them and use a 4 inch angle grinder with a cutoff wheel or an air die grinder with a cutoff wheel on the nut.

If you cannot access the nut,drill it out starting with center punching the fastener in the rail. Using lubricant, drill a 1/8 or 3/16 pilot and then drill it to a size close to the fasteners diameter. A good whack with a cold chisel and a BFH will help off centered holes seperate.
Punch the remainder through the hole.

It will be fun!!!

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Old 12-13-2018, 01:03 AM   #8
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Plasma cutter... seconds for each one. After a few dozen you will be so good st it to won’t get into the floor. Those that you did, fill with a MIG and grind smooth.
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Old 12-13-2018, 11:11 AM   #9
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Plasma cutter... seconds for each one. After a few dozen you will be so good st it to wonít get into the floor. Those that you did, fill with a MIG and grind smooth.
That would be great if you have a plasma cutter and a mig welder and the skillsets to operate both safely. I would guess that a lot of people here do not.
A cutoff wheel in a cheap Harbor Freight angle grinder is much more cost effective than a MIG and a plasma cutter IMHO and a lot easier to learn to use.

But hey, whatever gets the job done and there are many ways to do the job right.
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Old 12-13-2018, 11:22 AM   #10
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That would be great if you have a plasma cutter and a mig welder and the skillsets to operate both safely. I would guess that a lot of people here do not.
A cutoff wheel in a cheap Harbor Freight angle grinder is much more cost effective than a MIG and a plasma cutter IMHO and a lot easier to learn to use.

But hey, whatever gets the job done and there are many ways to do the job right.
I took welding classes at the local community collage a few years back and bought MIG welder back then so Iím lucky there.

Iím cutting with an angle grinder I found it just doesnít reach in some places. Knowing what my plans were in the future for the bus there are many other things that I will need to cut that an angle grind could -barely- do and I just hit the bullet for a plasma cutter. It was two months budget for my project and since I donít really have a timeline, I just figured what the hell - get the right tool and do it right.

But I hear ya - most people donít have to tools or know how so make do with an angle grinder - which is a totally viable solution for most things.
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