I'm quite a bit further along than this thread indicates, and with a December 2014 live-in deadline, I'm strapped for time.
So I'm going to fast track you guys. By now there are plenty of threads detailing how to gut your school bus, so I'm going to post only the crucially relevant and the somewhat interesting photos and give what I hope are concise descriptions of our process.
I used a 7" angle grinder to cut the seats out three inches from the floor. I used the same grinder to remove all the bolt heads, and a prybar to remove the feet. Then, with some help, went to work on the plywood subfloor with some prybars. A T-style wrecking bar proved the fastest, most useful tool for this job.
We ripped the heaters out at some point. Yes, coolant spilled everywhere. No, we didn't care. (that night i cared because my gloves got soaked in it, and my hands shriveled up like i've never seen and stayed that way until the morning... they tingled for a while... i'm sure they'll fall off someday because of that... so please, if you aren't in a hurry, watch for the glycol.)
We ripped out the black box along with the surveillance camera. I cut the lock off the box with the angle grinder and behold! VHS!
We spent pretty much an entire day with an angle grinder and wire wheels, grinding off rust.
The next day was torrential downpour, so we had most of the windows closed. We were using the halogen lamp to try and dry off the floor because the grinder was just rubbing mud around =D... The bus leans to one side so we close all the windows on the side where the rain falls in. I upgraded by now to a non-woven abrasive, an extremely coarse, tough one. It worked well, but please wear your N-95s. You can see the smoke in this picture. I'm sure my lungs will fall off someday despite the mask.
Starting to look better...
Before the bondo. Why did we Bondo? I'm not sure. I like smooth surfaces. What, you thought we knew what we were doing? Balderdash!
Bondo. It smells.
This is me putting Rustoleum, an oil-based paint, directly onto galvanized steel. Apparently you're not supposed to do this, which I found out after two coats had fully cured. Let me just say that this project has been a very humbling experience.
For what it's worth, we didn't have any major flaking due to the reaction. Some parts scratched off, because we dropped sheet metal on them, but I would expect that from any paint job. Just walking around though, wear and tear, putting tools down, etc... nothing horrible to report. So maybe the terrible flaking disaster is something that takes time.
Sometimes we just like to hang out and be family.
We decided to strip all sheet metal and dispose of fiberglass batting. If you have headliner panels that are screwed in, I envy you.
The toilet goes here. I don't know if it has a steering wheel. Maybe that is supposed to be a magazine.
A lot of people recommended a cold chisel and a hammer. This panel was removed that way.
The rest were removed much more hastily by the angle grinder.
The headliner panels got interesting. Rivet heads become glowing hot when they're ground off, and then they fall. Usually you're standing under them. I tried dodging a couple, and failed. So I went to Goodwill and bought a leather jacket and a wool sweater.
Then there was more dust.
Messy, yes. But a 4 or 5 hour job became a 1.5 hour job.
This is where my sanders were. I know I will be flamed for this, but I can't justify the extra weight and besides, I could put something there. I also live in an area where snowfall is about one week in February. All the metro buses here just throw chains on the tires and call it a day. Sorry, guys.
Stop arm delete