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Old 09-19-2015, 11:49 PM   #1
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HELP! Subfloor work

Hello fellow busdrivers!

I am a first time school bus enthusiast, who is currently in phase one of a fairly complex, longterm remodel. The seats are out, the floor is ripped up, and the sheet metal is fully exposed. However, it is heavily rusted, and i plan on replacing with 18 gauge sheet metal.

I started cutting the rusted sheet metal out, but am finding that it is much more difficult than I had expected. It seems to be attached to the main supports with a MIG/TIG. There has to be an easier way to remove the subfloor sheet metal without damaging the supports running from wall to wall.

Can someone please shed some light on this?

Peace and love,

Dennis with 2 N's.
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Old 09-19-2015, 11:55 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,939
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Welcome.

You need to go to the build thread section and do some reading. Start with build threads over 20 pages long. That's where the real info and experience can be found.

Asking questions will only get you opinions, not experience.

First off, the metal you use to replace the rusted metal should be at minimum 14 gauge. 12 gauge is what the factory used.

Take it up in small pieces. No easy way to go about it.

If your floor is that rusted, what does the bottom of your bus look like?

How about the U shaped supports? They usually fill with road crud and rust from the inside out. You won't even know till you hit them with a hammer from below and find they are nearly rusted through.

Hate to say it, but you made the same mistake I did. Never buy a rusty bus. To much money, time, and effort to try to fix it.

Pics also help.

Nat
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:39 AM   #3
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the floor and a few exterior panels are the only parts subjected to major rust. its a 94 international bluebird. paid 1000 at an auction. the U shaped floor supports are in good condition, and free of rust. the chassis is in great shape as well.

Thanks for the quick reply!!
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:51 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
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Year: 1992
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Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Sweet, sounds like a great deal then.

I look forward to pics and a build thread.

Nat
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:21 AM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Gainesville. Georgia
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Year: 1992
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Hi & welcome.

Not sure what your plans are or how far you are going to take the interior down prior to building however; If the underside appears to have little rust & your interior rust problem is extensive then I would suggest that before you replace the floor you look to see where the rust is coming from.

If you can't see visible water leaks after a rain storm, such as water spots coming from your windows etc. then possibly you have much work to do on your roof.

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Old 09-23-2015, 10:19 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input. I have already stripped the interior to the frame and not only is the frame spotless, as I stated, but the insulation still looks and feels new from 1994. The rust, I can only guess, has come up from under the bus over the years, or in through the windows.

I am still unsure of the most efficient way to remove the subfloor!! Does anyone have a good idea??
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Old 09-23-2015, 11:49 PM   #7
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,939
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
We need pics.

Are you asking what blade or saw to use?

I would cut it into sections with a 7 inch angle grinder and a .45 zip disk between every floor joist. Then take some big vise grips and bend the floor steel back over its self till it bends beside the floor joist. Now with it bent back passed 90 degree's, you can see the welds that hold the steel down. Grind them out with a angle grinder. Then pull some more, use a few flat cold chisel's to break the weld, at alternating angles. Ect.

I have a hard time believing just the floor is that rusty.

Nat
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