Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-29-2019, 02:49 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Princeton, IN
Posts: 20
Year: 2006
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Removing seats with cutting torch

I did a search looking for removing the seats with a cutting torch, but didn't find much information. There were a few that said they were going to, but then never replied saying how it went.

I don't plan to keep any of the flooring, so if I burn a little of it, shouldn't matter too much. Just seems like it would be faster to burn the heads off and then pull the seats out. The bolts on the side I could take off the standard way with an impact. I would figure I could use a fan for ventilation and one of my kids or wife with a fire extinguisher for safety.

Anyone had any experience with this good or bad?
neversayneverbus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 02:59 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,177
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
It should work, but you would need to be extremely careful.


You could also use an angle grinder with a cut-off disk to take off the heads of the bolts.
Native is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 06:59 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,395
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by neversayneverbus View Post
I did a search looking for removing the seats with a cutting torch, but didn't find much information. There were a few that said they were going to, but then never replied saying how it went.

I don't plan to keep any of the flooring, so if I burn a little of it, shouldn't matter too much. Just seems like it would be faster to burn the heads off and then pull the seats out. The bolts on the side I could take off the standard way with an impact. I would figure I could use a fan for ventilation and one of my kids or wife with a fire extinguisher for safety.

Anyone had any experience with this good or bad?
I didn't do this, but I met one guy who cut his seats out with a torch. He parked his bus on an incline (front higher than the rear) and had a garden hose running with water at the front, so the water ran down the floor and out the back door as he was burning off the bolt heads (water was to make sure he didn't ignite the bus as he was doing this).

Says it took him about 30 minutes to cut all the seats out. However, if you have helpers, probably the easiest way to get the bolts out is to have someone on the underside clamping a vice grips onto the nuts and then someone inside working the impact wrench. I did one of my seats this way (a standalone bench seat mounted by the side exit door) and it was very easy except for my having to go under the bus to reset the vice grips for each bolt.
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 07:44 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 61
Year: 2008
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE300
Engine: DT
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I didn't do this, but I met one guy who cut his seats out with a torch. He parked his bus on an incline (front higher than the rear) and had a garden hose running with water at the front, so the water ran down the floor and out the back door as he was burning off the bolt heads (water was to make sure he didn't ignite the bus as he was doing this).

Says it took him about 30 minutes to cut all the seats out. However, if you have helpers, probably the easiest way to get the bolts out is to have someone on the underside clamping a vice grips onto the nuts and then someone inside working the impact wrench. I did one of my seats this way (a standalone bench seat mounted by the side exit door) and it was very easy except for my having to go under the bus to reset the vice grips for each bolt.

I just did mine with an angle grinder by myself in a few hours. I started clamping the bolts but it was taking me about 30 minutes per seat, which means it would have been a 2-day job. I figured it would be faster to just cut them all out. I only went through one $3 disc in the process to cut out all the seats on a 37 foot bus.
cofrari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 08:42 AM   #5
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,088
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Maybe I'm just getting good at it but I recently got 12 rows of seats out in a day with hand tools. Ground 3 bolts in the whole operation.
Seat removal isn't fun but I don't think fire would make it more fun.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2019, 01:40 AM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,177
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Maybe I'm just getting good at it but I recently got 12 rows of seats out in a day with hand tools. Ground 3 bolts in the whole operation.
Seat removal isn't fun but I don't think fire would make it more fun.
You had an exceptional bus to work with. Rust ... it really kills the production with hand tools.
Native is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2019, 02:25 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Princeton, IN
Posts: 20
Year: 2006
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
You had an exceptional bus to work with. Rust ... it really kills the production with hand tools.
Yeah, I'm assuming I'll have a lot of rust to contend with. I haven't seen the buses yet, but I'm sure there will be rust. I think I'm going to try the torch idea first with a scarfing tip and just see how quick it goes. I'll probably video it and put it up on youtube either way so others can benefit from seeing an alternative method.
neversayneverbus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2019, 06:51 AM   #8
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 19,088
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
You had an exceptional bus to work with. Rust ... it really kills the production with hand tools.
All the fasteners were a bit rusty but it is a nice bus. Plywood floor though so not the absolute easiest!
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2019, 07:12 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 61
Year: 2008
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE300
Engine: DT
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
All the fasteners were a bit rusty but it is a nice bus. Plywood floor though so not the absolute easiest!



I got all my seats out in a day and thought the worst of the interior work was behind me. I assumed the floor would just come right out. But trying to remove the glued on rubber to get to the screws to remove the plywood has been pure torture. After like 24 hours of work, I've only gotten the back 12 feet done.
cofrari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2019, 07:50 AM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,395
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by cofrari View Post
I got all my seats out in a day and thought the worst of the interior work was behind me. I assumed the floor would just come right out. But trying to remove the glued on rubber to get to the screws to remove the plywood has been pure torture. After like 24 hours of work, I've only gotten the back 12 feet done.
There's no need to remove the rubber. Use a circular saw with the blade set to just less than the plywood depth and cut grooves in the floor to divide it into one-foot squares. Then pry each square up with a big digging bar; the plywood will come up despite the screws and you can easily remove the screws after.
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2019, 08:19 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 61
Year: 2008
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE300
Engine: DT
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
There's no need to remove the rubber. Use a circular saw with the blade set to just less than the plywood depth and cut grooves in the floor to divide it into one-foot squares. Then pry each square up with a big digging bar; the plywood will come up despite the screws and you can easily remove the screws after.



Thanks for the tip -- I'll definitely try this. I would be ecstatic to be done with this phase!
cofrari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2019, 08:23 AM   #12
Bus Crazy
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,395
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by cofrari View Post
Thanks for the tip -- I'll definitely try this. I would be ecstatic to be done with this phase!
This is the digging bar I mentioned: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Truper-Tru-...ng-Bar/3055437 , very handy tool to have for other reasons, too. Like pretending you're poking holes in Persians alongside Alexander the Great.
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2019, 01:19 PM   #13
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,605
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
Huh. I never thought about using the bar for make-believe role play. I'll have to think about that.


But anyway, yes, I too vouch for the effectiveness of dicing up the plywood and prying it out in pieces. One foot squares is definitely smaller than I used, but that just makes the job easier!


You already know the pattern of the screws based on the flooring you've already peeled and removed. If you position your cuts to be near the expected position of the hidden screws -- say, within an inch -- and then pry on the edge of the board far from the screws, you'll be able to tear the screws through the plywood especially easily.
family wagon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2019, 04:51 AM   #14
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,177
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Both Musigenesis and Family Wagon are spot on! That is the EVENTUAL method I used ... after removing the rubber. I did learn that I did not need to remove the rubber, but I guess I needed the exercise. Once the subfloor is gone, a crowbar makes short work of the screws and nails. Yes, pull out the screws like they are nails!
Native is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2019, 04:29 PM   #15
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: A bus
Posts: 104
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: Cummins 5.9 + Allison 3060
Rated Cap: Full size
Wear a face shield and probably a ventilator mask. I don't think a fan would provide enough fresh air to prevent you from inhaling potentially dangerous fumes. It will take you a couple seats to figure out the best method for what you are planning. Your health is far more valuable than the time you would save by doing this improperly. Please be careful. I personally took mine out the old fashioned way, with hand tools and elbow grease. I tried an angle grinder and burnt a spot on my shirt from the sparks. Went back to hand tools after that. It's just not worth the risk to save a few hours of work.
OlgaAK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2019, 05:37 PM   #16
Bus Crazy
 
CaptSquid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 1,258
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
I cheated! I paid 2 kids $340 to do the work. They used a Sawzall to cut through the seat stanchions on the aisle, an impact wrench on the seat rail and a die grinder to remove the bolts on the floor. I got $10 for the scrap value on the seats.
CaptSquid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2019, 01:26 AM   #17
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 152
I’d say bad idea- the linoleum flooring burns really well. Get a cutoff saw and cut the heads off. I spent about 8 min per seat.
Dirtdoctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2019, 08:44 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Southeast Georgia
Posts: 18
Year: 1992
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72 passengers
I used the Blue Flame Speed Wrench (cutting torch) and it worked great.
The seats were out in no time, just cut the bolt heads off and some of the bolts will fall under the bus.


A cutting blade on a angle grinder will work great also.


I gave the seats away, welded all of them up, two together to make a nice bench seat. I had no trouble giving them away like that.
WLDNWALT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2019, 10:07 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Princeton, IN
Posts: 20
Year: 2006
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
I got my buses in on Saturday and started on removing seats from the bus I'm keeping today. Just did about half of them, but after actually getting the buses in and walking around in them, there is not much room to work. For that reason I didn't try the torch. Just used an angle grinder with cutting wheel to chew through about half to 3/4 of the bolt head and then used an air hammer to knock the head the rest of the way off. I could only find 3 cutting wheels for my angle grinder, so was trying to save on the wheels. Still only got half the seats out with 3 wheels.

I'm not sure at this point if I will try the torch to take the rest out or just keep doing it like I've been doing it. With some of the seats out, I have more area to work in now.
neversayneverbus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2019, 11:14 AM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: AZ
Posts: 13
Year: 09
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Vision
Engine: 6.7
Rated Cap: 35
I got lucky with the track mounts I guess. Only took one minute per seat, four bolts each using a pneumatic socket. Looked at getting the tracks out, no way. Held down by a "bolt" every three inches. Just put plywood on top and is quite level. I'd go with a grinder over torch if possible.
Ranchorossa is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×