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Old 01-02-2008, 08:36 PM   #1
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Remove rubber floor?? and wall panel body strengthening??

So why would want to remove the rubber floor, pros? less weight maybe? would not it act like a vapor barrier, and in anyones experience do most buses have ply underneath?? i was about to get to my walls but was debating. removing the metal panel to replace with plywood, would that weaken the overall structure of the body. i know they're thin but every bit of resistance to racking is important no??
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:42 PM   #2
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Re: Remove rubber floor?? and wall panel body strengthening??

I took the walls and floor out in my bus. For a vapor barrier on my floor I used 15lb felt then foam board, then ply. Walls are getting plywood. With your outer skin I don't racking will be a problem if you take out interior metal.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:24 PM   #3
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Re: Remove rubber floor?? and wall panel body strengthening??

I debated on removing my floor too. I noticed that the aisle was about 1/8" higher than the rest of the rubber on the floor. I removed the aisle rubber and then went ahead and removed all of the rubber. The bus smelled quite a bit better too! That rubber was a real PITA to get out though. I had to use a hammer and chisel for parts of it. I thought about laying down some felt, but instead, I used liquid nails to seal up all of the holes where the seats were or any other holes. I then laid down some 3/4" foam insulation board down and then some 7/16" sub flooring sheets on top of that. I used firring strips around the edges and in the middle. Basically, I'd cut the foam out, and right before I was ready to lay it down, I'd put the liquid nails down where the holes were. I'd lay the foam on top of that, and then the sub flooring sheets. I'm definitely glad I removed the rubber. That stuff sucks.

Here's a pic of my floor as I was installing everything.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:49 PM   #4
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Re: Remove rubber floor?? and wall panel body strengthening??

It seems like a good idea to leave the rubber flooring in the bus. It will act as a moisture barrier from below and from things that might leak or get spilled inside your bus. I drilled a few holes through my bus floor to run electical hookups and I found 3/4" plywood beneath the rubber. Maybe that helps.

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Old 01-04-2008, 09:36 PM   #5
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Re: Remove rubber floor?? and wall panel body strengthening??

Oh it's a moisture barrier alright.. keeping moisture in!

Maybe it's just because my bus has been in Michigan it's whole life and has seen lots of snowy boots get on and off the bus over the years but when I removed the rubber floor there was a wet, rotten mess under it.



Removing that rubber floor and rotten plywood was one of the best decisions I made on my bus. Not to mention the school bus smell goes away when you tear out the floor.
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:25 PM   #6
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Re: Remove rubber floor?? and wall panel body strengthening??

My bus didn't have any wood on the floor. It was rubber on top of metal. Each bus is different though! Still, my rubber floor did a pretty good job of holding the moisture on the metal and making rusty spots! Get rid of it I say!
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Old 01-05-2008, 02:25 AM   #7
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Re: Remove rubber floor?? and wall panel body strengthening??

I kind of wish my bus DID have wood underneath. The rubber in my bus was glued to the floor and it took a lot of time to get out. My back was killing me afterwards. I had to use a hammer and a chisel to get it up. I tried all sorts of stuff. The hammer and chisel worked the best. If you have wood under your rubber, I would say to definitely take it up. I'm sure that it's wet, stinky, moldy etc. Get it out of there. You'll be happy you did. How much floor could you possible have in that short bus anyways? I'd make quick work of that! I've got 2.5 times the floor to work on!
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:47 AM   #8
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Re: Remove rubber floor?? and wall panel body strengthening??

Quote:
Originally Posted by KC10Chief
I kind of wish my bus DID have wood underneath. The rubber in my bus was glued to the floor and it took a lot of time to get out. My back was killing me afterwards. I had to use a hammer and a chisel to get it up. I tried all sorts of stuff. The hammer and chisel worked the best.
Yeah that helps a lot. Most of my rubber floor pealed off by hand. I was wondering when you said you had to use a pry bar and a hammer, makes since now since it was glued to metal not rotten wood.

At least rip up the rubber (or part of it) and see what it looks like under that. If it's good build on that wood, if it's all rotted like mine replace it.
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:56 PM   #9
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Re: Remove rubber floor?? and wall panel body strengthening??

Yeah, I'd remove the heater and leave it out of the bus forever! That thing runs off of antifreeze that's pumped from your engine. If you build the interior of your bus and that thing springs a leak someday, it will be a disaster! Antifreeze would be pretty easy to clean up in a regular bus interior, but it will NEVER come out of stuff like wood, mattresses, carpet or anything else you're going to put in your bus. I removed mine. It was a very messy job too. I'd do it now before you get too into converting your bus. If you do decide to keep it, you could grind the current screws off, and then just reattach it to the floor using some TEK screws. But seriously, that thing should go. The only time that heater will work is while you're driving the bus. It would be WAY too expensive to idle your engine to keep that heater warm. You can get a propane furnace real cheap for a bus that size. Then you can run it while you drive down the road. If you do have wood under there, you could get a circular saw and just set the blade depth to like 1/4" or so to start. Then get a big wrecking bar and start prying it up. If it's just rubber on metal, then do what I did. Hammer and chisel. In my opinion, that heater really needs to go. I know a few people have left them in there, but it's not worth the risks and the hassle if you ask me.
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:38 PM   #10
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Re: Remove rubber floor?? and wall panel body strengthening??

When I removed my heater, here's what I did. My bus has a heater in the front too right to the left of the driver. There's an access panel on the outside. There's a shutoff up there just to the left of the drivers left foot. But even after it's shut off, there was a LOT of antifreeze still in there. The heater works just like the radiator in your car. It's just a simple heat exchanger with a fan or two to blow air through it. There's an antifreeze line going to the rear heater, and one coming back. They're rubber just like the ones in your car. You can cut them with a knife. I had my wife help me with this too. I had her hold my shop vac while I cut the lines. There was a lot of antifreeze that came out, but 99% of it went into the shop vac. I then just connected the two lines together at the front of the bus. Eventually, I'm going to do away with the heater in the front too. I did all of this before I did any building in my bus. Some antifreeze leaked out onto the floor, but it was easy to clean up. So, remove it now before you do any building. You'll get antifreeze on the floor, but not a whole lot, especially if you use a shop vac. If you don't have one, see if you can borrow one. I bought my shop vac for my bus project and it's been one of my most used tools. It's a Craftsman one that I got at Sears for about $70. It's 16 gallons and is pretty much their biggest and baddest vac. It will suck up pretty much anything that will fit down the tube. It comes in really handy for cleaning up anything in the bus. It's a lot faster and easier than using a broom or something like that. You can also hook up the hose to the exhaust and use it as a blower. So, you can blow everything to the back of the bus, and then suck it up! It's awesome.
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