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Old 11-11-2019, 08:13 PM   #1
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Do all school buses have a plywood subfloor

I'm not quite there to ripping out my floor yet, but I've got a 2006 international and when I've taken some of the seats out, it looks like the flooring is very very thin. Watching youtube videos is always showing a wooden subfloor. Is that what I can expect as well, or do some buses just have the linoleum/rubber applied directly to the metal floor?
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:20 PM   #2
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I'd feel lucky to have the wood. At least for the insulation value. I've only found vinyl and metal. 98 amtran international. But you never know.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:37 PM   #3
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Mine had no plywood. Just rubber stuck to the floor.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:39 PM   #4
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I was afraid that might be the answer. With the wooden subfloor, the common advice is to use a circular saw and cut it into manageable chunks to remove it. But I've seen some threads on here that said taking up the vinyl/rubber flooring was very difficult due to it all being glued down.

I'm hoping my experience won't be completely negative. Especially after watching all the videos of them taking the ceiling and side metal off with crowbars and hammers and noticing mine had all phillips head screws. I thought maybe it would all be easy...
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:44 PM   #5
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This question was discussed in a recent thread. My understanding is that it is a customer option when ordering the bus.

I am not sure that I understand the advantage of the plywood. Some have said that it is the insulation value. I am not sure that I buy that. There are less expensive methods that provide a higher R value than 3/4" plywood.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by neversayneverbus View Post
I was afraid that might be the answer. With the wooden subfloor, the common advice is to use a circular saw and cut it into manageable chunks to remove it. But I've seen some threads on here that said taking up the vinyl/rubber flooring was very difficult due to it all being glued down.

I'm hoping my experience won't be completely negative. Especially after watching all the videos of them taking the ceiling and side metal off with crowbars and hammers and noticing mine had all phillips head screws. I thought maybe it would all be easy...
A heat gun will make the rubber floor easier to scrape up. And it's not like working a heat gun is a terrible experience this time of year.
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:42 PM   #7
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A heat gun will make the rubber floor easier to scrape up. And it's not like working a heat gun is a terrible experience this time of year.
I watched a video of someone who used one of those shop lights to heat the rubber and peel it off. Those yellow rectangle lights with the cage on it.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
This question was discussed in a recent thread. My understanding is that it is a customer option when ordering the bus.

I am not sure that I understand the advantage of the plywood. Some have said that it is the insulation value. I am not sure that I buy that. There are less expensive methods that provide a higher R value than 3/4" plywood.

I read it in VA state law regarding school buses, plywood treated with a flame-retardant chemical is the only thing allowed to serve as 'insulation' in school bus floors. I expect it's a fairly uniform standard for states that spec it.
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neversayneverbus View Post
I'm not quite there to ripping out my floor yet, but I've got a 2006 international and when I've taken some of the seats out, it looks like the flooring is very very thin. Watching youtube videos is always showing a wooden subfloor. Is that what I can expect as well, or do some buses just have the linoleum/rubber applied directly to the metal floor?
Only one bus I've owned has had plywood flooring.
I sold the bus and helped the next owned demo the floors. Even on a rust free texas bus the plywood was disgusting and so was the metal under it.
I hate the plywood its a bitch to get out.
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:19 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by neversayneverbus View Post
I was afraid that might be the answer. With the wooden subfloor, the common advice is to use a circular saw and cut it into manageable chunks to remove it. But I've seen some threads on here that said taking up the vinyl/rubber flooring was very difficult due to it all being glued down.

I'm hoping my experience won't be completely negative. Especially after watching all the videos of them taking the ceiling and side metal off with crowbars and hammers and noticing mine had all phillips head screws. I thought maybe it would all be easy...
circular saw and a big pry bar are the tools for the job.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:10 AM   #11
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yep like others have said polywood was optional.. and while it was supposed to be marine grade.. it is often a huge source of rust in the floors.. ive found busses with plywood floors from wet / rainy areas often have much more rust than busses without the wood.. that wood traps alot of moisture and just enough air gets in to rust rust rust.



my nearly 42 year old Superior bus has its original rubber flooring right on the metal and that floor is still solid all over.. i suspect though if I were to drive it in winter that even with Superior's Fantastic "Circulair" heating that it would be freezing inside...


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Old 11-12-2019, 08:39 AM   #12
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circular saw and a big pry bar are the tools for the job.
On my Thomas Minotour the floor pan is pretty light gauge, maybe 20 guage galvanized. A circular saw could cut this too, at least for an initial pass. Set your depth correctly.

If you want to know that the floor is you can probably see it by removing some steel trim. Or take a drill and drill a hole.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:32 PM   #13
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I bought a 3" flat chisel for my air hammer. Hopefully it works with removing the rubber.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:51 PM   #14
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I bought a 3" flat chisel for my air hammer. Hopefully it works with removing the rubber.
75% of my rubber floor came out by hand basically. I used a pry bar to get under it and then it just peeled right up all the way to the back. Only had one section in the middle on one side that required the pry bar all the way through.
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:59 AM   #15
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75% of my rubber floor came out by hand basically. I used a pry bar to get under it and then it just peeled right up all the way to the back. Only had one section in the middle on one side that required the pry bar all the way through.
Same here. Mine have all just peeled right up in large pieces unless there's plywood involved.
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:39 PM   #16
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A lot of the southern spec buses have rubber on metal floors and it has a lot to do with manufacturer I got a older wane coach no wood and it was used in in a small Texas town no rust and low miles if you have one from the deep South or up north look for rust under the bus if you need to ask questions one on one e mail me and I'll see what I can do if picked up a fur thing as a 5 year bus tec and 17 yrs in the towing feild
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:43 PM   #17
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My 2003 international from Texas had sheet metal, plywood, and rubber glued on top. The plywood was also held down by some big screws here-and-there. I think there was some small nails too, that were down into the metal floor. I cut some, pried till stuff broke, etc. The rotted out stuff was easy, though gross.
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:46 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by neversayneverbus View Post
I'm not quite there to ripping out my floor yet, but I've got a 2006 international and when I've taken some of the seats out, it looks like the flooring is very very thin. Watching youtube videos is always showing a wooden subfloor. Is that what I can expect as well, or do some buses just have the linoleum/rubber applied directly to the metal floor?
I have a 1996 international DT and it was rubber directly glued onto the steel floor!
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:52 PM   #19
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Maybe one of those dish radiant heaters would heat up a larger area. I think the are about $25 -30 at northern tool. You could try it for a couple of hours and if I'd doesn't help return it and get your money back.
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Old 11-20-2019, 06:03 PM   #20
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I don't know if my plywood floor was factory but it is the cat's meow for fastening down cabinets to the floor. Then again my bus came from Lodi Ca. Moderate rain, no salt.
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