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Old 06-20-2018, 04:13 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 11
Floor removal beneath front heater

I've got all the floor out...except for the wood under the front heater. Luckily, my 20-year-old Thomas has little rust, but there is some at the entry that needs attention. My concern is the wood I can't get to...I can only just see surface rust below the plywood (which was still wet after sitting in a bus barn for ten months), but can't rip up the floor without moving the heater.

Taking this heater out looks to be a bear, even though the hoses are accessible from a panel in front. Looking for suggestions/recommendations on moving the heater just enough to replace the floor. If I'm gonna replace it (I'm so tired and beat up), now is the time since I removed the other two heater blocks and linked the lines to the front; I've not refilled the coolant yet. My preference is to replace the floor, but I'm running out of physical resources.

I've not found any advice on how others moved forward with their similar bus conversions. Maybe no one has because it's just too big a bear to wrestle? This is my one-shot chance to build my forever home. Maybe this is a project for after everything else is finished. Maybe these ambiguous questions are my welcome to the skoolie klub... Thanks for any wisdom you might impart, and my apologies if this has been asked. I searched, but only found out how to remove the heaters in back.
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File Type: jpg Floor1.jpg (147.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Floor2.jpg (133.0 KB, 7 views)
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:38 AM   #2
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Location: Tahoe
Posts: 513
Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3000RE
Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuppa Tee View Post
I've got all the floor out...except for the wood under the front heater. Luckily, my 20-year-old Thomas has little rust, but there is some at the entry that needs attention. My concern is the wood I can't get to...I can only just see surface rust below the plywood (which was still wet after sitting in a bus barn for ten months), but can't rip up the floor without moving the heater.

Taking this heater out looks to be a bear, even though the hoses are accessible from a panel in front. Looking for suggestions/recommendations on moving the heater just enough to replace the floor. If I'm gonna replace it (I'm so tired and beat up), now is the time since I removed the other two heater blocks and linked the lines to the front; I've not refilled the coolant yet. My preference is to replace the floor, but I'm running out of physical resources.

I've not found any advice on how others moved forward with their similar bus conversions. Maybe no one has because it's just too big a bear to wrestle? This is my one-shot chance to build my forever home. Maybe this is a project for after everything else is finished. Maybe these ambiguous questions are my welcome to the skoolie klub... Thanks for any wisdom you might impart, and my apologies if this has been asked. I searched, but only found out how to remove the heaters in back.
You got out more than I have so far. I have read several posts where people just go around them because it's too hard to remove. Mine is fairly revolting so I'd like to at least clean it well. Hoping someone knowledgeable chimes in!!
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:29 AM   #3
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Location: Brevard County, FL
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Year: 1990
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Rated Cap: 60 kids, 10 window
Well, I just started unscrewing every screw that was visible I'm the area. Removed what came loose. Found more screws, removed them. You just gotta take it apart. No short cut on this one. Luckily, all the screw holes are still there if you put it back together. It's just a puzzle. Good luck! 1529771365247.jpeg

That's where the heater used to be.
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:30 AM   #4
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The new heater will mount in here somewhere1529771420293.jpeg
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:51 AM   #5
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This is a completely different setup than the one I need to address, but I'm glad it's going well for you. I'm working around the area I can't deconstruct...for now.
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Old 06-23-2018, 12:42 PM   #6
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This is a completely different setup than the one I need to address, but I'm glad it's going well for you. I'm working around the area I can't deconstruct...for now.
Well, if you say so. I was just showing after shots of removal. To remove the wood, your going to have to bite the bullet and disassemble the area
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Old 06-23-2018, 02:10 PM   #7
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Sorry if I sounded snippy...it wasn't intentional. Just that your process is very, very different than the method I'll have to use for a different type of beast. Egads, I've learned so much about so much. Grateful for the synapses that still fire, wondering where the others went. The ones that would have figured this out for me already.
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:11 PM   #8
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Location: Mainland Mexico
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Year: 2006
Chassis: IC bus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuppa Tee View Post
This is a completely different setup than the one I need to address, but I'm glad it's going well for you. I'm working around the area I can't deconstruct...for now.
In case this helps either of you...
Mine was also different. I will try to include a photo with this post. It our case, we though we were going to have to rip it out by force until we found the method. Firstly the entire dash had to be taken off... then the screws (all the ones we could see plus a couple from the front corner of the bus frame)... then we had to figure out what to do with the fuse panel since the heater was the mount for the fuse panel that we access from the outside. So we temporarily hung it with straps hooked to the top of the driverīs window to keep it up off the ground and more or less in place.

Our sub floor did not go under the heater. Our plan and motivation for getting it out was to change the heater unit out for a custom furniture piece but we ended up reinstalling the same heater unit all clean and painted and re-sealed. However, It was worth getting under there to clean (yes, more pencils and candy wrappers) and de-rust and paint.

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Old 06-26-2018, 11:11 AM   #9
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Location: Tahoe
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 3000RE
Engine: T444E w/ MT643
Rated Cap: 84 pass, 40'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyania View Post
In case this helps either of you...
Mine was also different. I will try to include a photo with this post. It our case, we though we were going to have to rip it out by force until we found the method. Firstly the entire dash had to be taken off... then the screws (all the ones we could see plus a couple from the front corner of the bus frame)... then we had to figure out what to do with the fuse panel since the heater was the mount for the fuse panel that we access from the outside. So we temporarily hung it with straps hooked to the top of the driverīs window to keep it up off the ground and more or less in place.

Our sub floor did not go under the heater. Our plan and motivation for getting it out was to change the heater unit out for a custom furniture piece but we ended up reinstalling the same heater unit all clean and painted and re-sealed. However, It was worth getting under there to clean (yes, more pencils and candy wrappers) and de-rust and paint.

We don't have subfloor under our 1997 RE International 40' bus and we have gotten it mostly disassembled but I think we'll have to take the box with the gear shift in it and I was scared to do that. I don't want to screw up the gear shift! If anyone can reassure me that simply unscrewing the box around the gear shift is NOT dangerous as long as I am reasonably careful, I would appreciate it. Or tell me I am right to be scared and to leave it alone, I just need to know.
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:29 PM   #10
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 3,491
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
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Originally Posted by 2martins View Post
We don't have subfloor under our 1997 RE International 40' bus and we have gotten it mostly disassembled but I think we'll have to take the box with the gear shift in it and I was scared to do that. I don't want to screw up the gear shift! If anyone can reassure me that simply unscrewing the box around the gear shift is NOT dangerous as long as I am reasonably careful, I would appreciate it. Or tell me I am right to be scared and to leave it alone, I just need to know.
I don't know your bus but I have the same transmission in a '99 Blue Bird. There shouldn't be anything fancy at all about your gear shift. Quite the opposite; should be rather robust and simple. The only worries would be the same as working on any vehicle interior trim that is 20+ yrs old. If it's plastic, it's going to break. As long as you accept that then you should be good. If you're lucky and teh car gods are smiling you'll only break pieces that you can't see later.
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