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Old 08-15-2013, 10:43 AM   #41
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Re: A hippie with a not-so-minivan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Dan
Pulling up the floor is a miserable job, and whether or not you do it depends on how thorough you want to be, and how important it is for you to have peace of mind that you know what is going on down there. If you pull it all up, you may find that there is not a bit of rust in the other areas, or... you may find some surprises you will be glad you found. I suppose you could take the perspective that during the time you will own the bus, any rust that may be hidden in there will not reach a critical point. I personally cannot stand the thought that my vehicle might have hidden rust. But then I'm kinda OCD in that respect. If you do decide to continue, you might consider bigger pry implements. The most useful tools for me doing that job was a large cold chisel with hand guard, sledge hammer, and 5 foot steel pry bar:

The trick is to get big pieces to come up at once, rather than having it just splinter. But that may or may not happen for you.
No... I am like you... I want to make sure that I have a good foundation without surprises down the line that could have been avoided.

We would have loved to have a 5 foot pry bar. My neighbour did loan me a 3 foot one after this picture was taken and that helped a lot along with using the air chisel around the screws that we could not get out but were still helping the floor somewhat in place. I am going to try to find another one that is longer used if I can... The part that is out in the pics was all rotten and we were able to take it apart by hand... the rest though came out in larger pieces.

Anyone take out a TransAir unit? I checked around for tips but I could find anything.
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:15 PM   #42
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Re: A hippie with a not-so-minivan

oh... This is looking good...

I just pulled out a bit of the middle isle and and started pulling up the rubber floor to see underneath and I got a pleasant surprise

So after seeing the floor in the back section I was nervous about the condition of the rest of the floor though I did have a feeling that it would be better. So today I started to rip up parts of the rubber floor starting with the centre aisle. Most of the screws were stripped so I used the pry bar on most of it one screw at a time.

If you look at my last post of pictures just above... you can see what the section looked like yesterday in the centre aisle...

Rotten, moldy wood that smelled awful and was falling apart in our hands...

We had checked a small portion that was on the other side of the wall and saw that the wood was better but it still didn't look that great, especially the condition of the screws...



But then as I starting to pry the middle aisle rubber up I was able to grab a hold of it and start pulling and what was under is much more promising!



The Plywood is in great condition. You can even read the stamp on it.



Not only that, but the screws are also in great condition and I can take them out no problem!



So, hopefully, I will not only be able to take them out easily but I will also most likely be able to reuse the plywood in most of the bus. I looked under a section of flooring that would have been at the feet of one of the rows of passengers and it also looks great. But not only that. As I was taking the floor off a few splinters came up with the glue and instead of the moldy stink that we had in the back and that was still lingering, It smelled like wood. And it actually changed the smell inside of the bus.



Next step is to move the heaters out of the way (we might keep them) and then remove the 3 seats in front to continue getting the floors out while salvaging as much wood as I can.
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:58 PM   #43
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Re: A hippie with a not-so-minivan

That is good news, especially if you can re-use the wood. I have a Thomas bus and have been told the rubber is glued to the steel, no plywood and very hard to get up.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:43 PM   #44
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Re: A hippie with a not-so-minivan

I was able to reuse some of the wood from my floor back over the insulation I put in (under where cabinets and benches and beds would go), and some more I chopped up to be platforms to park on in wetter area, since it was marine-grade plywood.

But I have to say, those screws looked new. That's awesome!
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:11 PM   #45
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Re: A hippie with a not-so-minivan

I used to wish we had wood under our rubber floor because it would have made a thermal break and the floor itself wouldn't be so hot/cold. After reading enough of you guy dealing with rotted wood makes me glad our floor is rubber on metal... and well stuck at that.

So..... nonny nonny boo-boo! :P
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:30 PM   #46
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Re: A hippie with a not-so-minivan

LOL!! Mine was fairly brutal as well. It wasn't screwed down, it was NAILED. So much fun to tear up.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:00 PM   #47
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Re: A hippie with a not-so-minivan

As you know... Getting the floors out of the bus is not a small task, just like most of the things that we need to do on the bus. As showed in my last post, the back of the bus had rotten plywood but the rest of the bus had plywood that looked almost new. I hurt my shoulder at one point last week so as Simon used the crowbar while I concentrated on the screws holding the plywood down on the metal. At one point when I was looking under the bus I saw just how far those screes so past the metal floors. They are thick also....



Some came up easy, some needed a little help, some made me go crazy and some were just impossible. Finally I found the best strategy.
  • Use the right bit. ;)
    Using the tork wrench, loosen the screw slightly
    Use Jig-a-loo or another lubricant and spray the screw so that it can go under a bit.
    Tap the screw with the hammer a few times.
    Use the tork wrench or the power drill/screwdriver to get it out slowly work it out. If it doesn’t work tap it a few more times and go onto the next screw while the lubricant gets into it a bit. Then come back to it.
    There were even a few that didn’t come out yesterday as much as I tried and pleaded but before heading inside I sprayed/tapped them one more time and in the morning they came out like butter.

A few didn't come up we will have to grind them later.

Here are the floors with most of the flooring off. Each piece of plywood was held by about 20 screws…



A friend came over today and lent a hand and helped us get most of the plywood out. the pieces in back were a bit rotten but not as much as the other day and it came off in pieces that can’t be reused but didn’t fall apart either.

After that, the rest came out slowly… maneuvering around the wheel wells, the heaters and the thick layer of caulking that was still holding on for dear life.


There were a few spots of rust after that back section but most of the floors look like new. A very good thing.



We had to stop with the floor while we go the three remaining seats out (the kids wanted us to wait until the last minute because they like sitting there) and we will have to grind those brackets out, but it feels great to know that we almost have all of the floors out now.

Oh and see that sink? It was a garage sale find for 35$ with the faucet. It is nicer then the one in our house



Next steps:
  • Grinding the three remaining seat bracket screws out
    Getting the rest of the floor covering, screws and plywood out.
    Getting the front rail and the separater that is behind the drivers seat out
    filling the holes in the floor, using the wire brush on the rusty parts and then painting the floor with Rust-Oleum paint.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:50 PM   #48
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Re: A hippie with a not-so-minivan

Remember....only the BEST....for the BUS
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I constintly say "oh I have --- in the BUS"
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They are truly an awesome "TACO" (vessel)
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:49 PM   #49
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Re: A hippie with a not-so-minivan

So we have not been doing much in the bus lately... Not-Going-Back-to-School time here with all of the fun activities that go with that including Camping and picnics etc. I LOVE celebrating our choice to not send our kids to school.

I did make a video though so I thought I would share that here... (made a small mistake in the intro to the bus though... oops)

http://youtu.be/M3_gJ8QK3c0

Also, we are going to start tackling the luggage racks and we are still debating about the ceiling and wondering about the air conditioners.

So my questions:
-Anyone take the air conditioners out? How does it work? what steps did you take?
-We are still debating about the ceiling. The insulation looks good still and even in FULL sun, the roof is cool to the touch except for a slight warmness at the ribs. It feels like SO much work to take the ceiling out if it is insluating well already. It is darn ugly though and it will be even worse after the luggage racks are out with all of the holes etc... Could it be painted? even if it has those little holes? What about the emergency hatches? Would taking out the ceiling and replacing it possibly make a leak?
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:38 PM   #50
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Re: A hippie with a not-so-minivan

I did not have air conditioners, but I know how I would start taking them out. One part at a time It probably sounds like I'm tryin to be a smart ass, but I'm not. Things like that look overwhelming when you look at the project in it's entirety, but it's an example of when you need to see the trees, vs. the forest. Start removing the simple, obvious parts and keep going. Obviously, freon should be relesed first, but after that...game on! You will also need some muscles, I am guessing.

The ceiling... I left the ceiling in my bus for those very reasons. Is removing it and reinsulating the best? Probably. Is it worth the work? Maybe. For me, though, it wasn't. I coated my roof with bus-kote to keep it cool, I plan to apply 1/4" luan (as a sub-ceiling to go around all the ribs screw heads, etc...), and then cork to my ceiling for aesthetics and an additional thermal/sound barrier. I have 0 regrets on not removing my ceiling. As for the holes? Just a dab of latex caulking will do the trick for aesthetics. You'll barely see them once the bus is done, and you can absolutely paint the ceiling or finish it with another material.

Edit: We homeschool our 4 children as well. We aren't die-hards, as we kind of give our kids the option to either be home-schooled or go to public, but they have all chosen to be homeschooled, from my 8yr old to my 15yr old. We like to be spontaneous and this fits our lifestyle wayyy better. Once the bus is done, my goal is to shift my job so that I can do most of my work remotely. You'll have a tough time pulling us off the road at that point
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