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Old 02-02-2019, 05:36 PM   #1
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help! wheelchair seatbelt track

I have no idea how to take this thing of with these rivets... any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-02-2019, 06:46 PM   #2
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PB Blaster for a day, whack them with a hammer and then use an appropriate size allen socket on an impact.
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Old 02-02-2019, 06:53 PM   #3
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Ive tried everything and found this to work best. I use 2 drill bits (cant recall the size rn), pin punch, hammer/maul and chisel. 1. Pin punch center of each and every rivet 2. Drill through each rivet hole with smaller bit. 3. Set Chisel behind Ltrack create tension between inside/outside of rivet 4. Drill through each rivet hole with slightly larger bit (Should pop with all that tension)

Sounds arduous, but itll go real fast if you’re doin it right. Hope this helps man. It was soooo frustrating for me, i tried angle grinder and just about every method other. Now onto the floor tracks. AyAyAy!

Is that an 03 Chevy by chance?
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:01 PM   #4
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Wow, fantastic stuff, why would you want to remove them?

Seen designs with shelving or carrier bags or airline style cabinets hung on them, can move around as needed when the layout changes.

Even movable insulated windows infill, wood-lined wall panels. . .
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:04 PM   #5
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Do you need to remove the rails to remove the wall panel? If not, then leave on and replace the wall panel with some wood to improve whatever insulation you use (no metal thermal bridge).

I'm curious if you need to remove the rails, as I have the same thing in my bus and just haven't gotten to the side rails yet (still working on the pesky floor rails - 4 on EACH SIDE), and I'm wondering what joy I have waiting for me up top.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:20 PM   #6
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The alum rivits holding the panels are drilling out easily once the center is punched thru with a 1/8” pin punch. These rails are held in by steel rivits with steel centers. Cant punch thru with pin punch and too tough to drill out. They go into steel frame and prevent removal of sheet metal sides. Raising roof about 12” and replacing all interior sheet metal with wood paneling after adding dynamat and insulation. Cabinets going in in this side. Dont need rails. Its a 99 E350 with Collins body.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:28 PM   #7
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Angle grinder through the head.
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:33 PM   #8
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Hmm i was using a small sledge hammer with the pin punch and they popped out pretty easy.. Im 98% sure the rivets were steel, definetely not aluminum because i could hardly get through them with an angle grinder. Then find a drill bit hardly bigger than the whole and then up in size so that the bit hardly as any stripping to do.
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:40 PM   #9
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farok, I think you’ll find that the rails are all attached to the frame, which is unfortunate for us. I’m working on the floor tracks now, also 4 on each side, seems a lot trickier than the wall tracks��
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:18 PM   #10
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Not what I was looking to hear, but thanks. I like the idea of punching out the center of the rivets then drilling. Hope that works well for me.
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:11 AM   #11
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Yea, I’m pretty sure we brought from the same fleet of ‘03 6-Window Collins Chevys, from the lot in Trenton perhaps;) I’ll get the two bit sizes I used, think ones a 3/16th. Glad to hear the “pesky” floor rails are comin up for you. Whats the trick to that?
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Old 02-03-2019, 09:17 AM   #12
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Mine were (are) bolted on - so removing was a lot easier. The rails cut fairly easily with an angle grinder - I would consider trying that - then grind out the rivets.
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:12 PM   #13
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There was a very recent thread on these same rails that were secured with a hex drive socket screw and not rivets. This seems strange that the same type buses used different securing method.
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Old 02-03-2019, 02:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheRoadW/theLord View Post
Yea, Iím pretty sure we brought from the same fleet of Ď03 6-Window Collins Chevys, from the lot in Trenton perhaps;) Iíll get the two bit sizes I used, think ones a 3/16th. Glad to hear the ďpeskyĒ floor rails are comin up for you. Whats the trick to that?
Yes we bought from the same lot in Trenton. The body and mechanical parts of the bus I got were in great shape, and so I didn't consider the nightmare of these other pieces - if so I may have considered one without the wheelchair side.

As for the floor rails, maybe I wasn't clear - sorry. I'm still working on how to get the floor rails out... haha So far I've stripped the hex on the pan-head bolt, and haven't gotten anywhere productive. An impact freed up the bolt, but not the nylock nut. Now the bolt just spins, but isn't loosening, and since the hex strips out easily, I can't hold the bolt. I think the angle grinder is the way to go, unfortunately. I'm hoping if I can grind off the head of the bolt, the rails can be pried up. For those I can reach from below, that's probably the easiest way (just grind the nut off).

If you figure out the drill bit sizes on the wall rails, yes please let me know.

The last major issue is likely going to be the walls below the windows. It looks like the top panel is riveted behind the chair rail, so I may simply elect to leave the lower walls in place and insulate over them. I lose some width, but it doesn't matter so much on one side since the cabinet will hide the loss as the top of the cabinet will be above the insulation.

On an unrelated note, does your wheelchair lift work? If so, any tricks to get power to it? I haven't started troubleshooting, but it doesn't seem to have any power to the hydraulic motor, even though the buttons seem energized.
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:40 PM   #15
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After pin punching each rivet, i used the 3/16 bit, then crammed the chisel prying the rail from the wall slightly and drilled at slight angle with the 1/4inch bit away from the chisel. Rivet should pop almost instantly, if not you can create a little more tension. You can knock about 3-4 at a time without moving the chisel. Hope I’m explaing clearly enough. It took me a long time (and some friendly suggestions from fellow skoolie folk) to figure out this pattern, but it shouldn’t take more than a couple hours bottom and top both sides if done right.

As for the wheelchair lift, i have no idea, i was lucky enough to have the buyer pick up and take apart with his impact wrench. I think he paid around $250ish. Not sure this would be of use, but I have the schematics from Collins, theyre real pleasant to deal with if youve got any questions they can answer. I know 0 about electric, so Ill probably summon a friend to help deal with all that

Yea, i was thinking to myself “Id have bought any other bus not to have to deal with these darn rails” haha but oh well, its all more manageable than it looks im sure and as you said, we got a great deal on a solid bus.

Sounds like grinding the head for the floor rails would work, but I was hoping to save the L track (i never thought id say that, but hey, there worth a pretty penny). I saw one guy on youtube cut out the plywood in between the rails with a perfectly adjusted circular saw, then go at the bolts between the sheet metal and plywood with a reciprocating saw. And what about bringing the angle grinder underneath the bus and knocking the nut off? Sounds sketchy, guess theres no easy answer.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farok View Post
The last major issue is likely going to be the walls below the windows. It looks like the top panel is riveted behind the chair rail, so I may simply elect to leave the lower walls in place and insulate over them. I lose some width, but it doesn't matter so much on one side since the cabinet will hide the loss as the top of the cabinet will be above the insulation.
Isn't it spot welded at the window bar and screwed or riveted at the seat rail, which you do not want to remove. cut the sheet metal panel off about 1/2" below the weld lip. remove the old wet insulation and replace with spray in or rigid.
If the nuts are easily accessible from underneath, that's the way to go. If they are stuck it might only take one person to do this. Then pry them up from above. Some will be in places you can't reach underneath, grind those off.
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:07 PM   #17
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I managed to get the top rail off on one side - thanks for the tips @ OnTheRoadW/theLord! I'll work on the other side when I get a bit more time. I simply punched the centers out and ran a 1/4" drill through the remains, and the L Track popped right out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Isn't it spot welded at the window bar and screwed or riveted at the seat rail, which you do not want to remove. cut the sheet metal panel off about 1/2" below the weld lip. remove the old wet insulation and replace with spray in or rigid.
If the nuts are easily accessible from underneath, that's the way to go. If they are stuck it might only take one person to do this. Then pry them up from above. Some will be in places you can't reach underneath, grind those off.
As for the lower panel, it's screwed just below the windows (no weld that I can see), and riveted with the chair rail -- which I do not intend to remove. I'll probably borrow or buy a grinder and cut the side panels just above the chair rail. I can at least unscrew the top of each panel first to see what's behind and if that makes sense.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:08 PM   #18
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My hex bolts were so rusted that I couldn't remove them so had to use a pry bar to lift one end of rail, then a reciprocating saw to cut the bolts one by one from underneath. Was a lot of hard work. By the way keep those rails - I used them as a bar to permanently seal the two emergency doors I didn't want.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:55 PM   #19
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Hey druidwood, did you use the circ saw to cut out any of the plywood floor? I noticed in your pics you had the majority of plywood up before reaching the tracks. I saw someone on youtube cutting out sections of plywood floor with circ saw, but Im afraid if not perfectly adjusted i’d slice through the ?steel/aluminum? floor. Love the idea of taking reciprocating saw to the bolts. Thanks
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:49 PM   #20
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circular saw

Yes "Ontheroad..." I did just that with circular saw. Start shallower than you think on circular blade then bump it up. I found a big, 4 foot pry bar to do the trick for tearing sections of wood up once you had cut it almost through, and for lifting the ends of the seat-belt bar to give access to saw blade. I went through a lot of blades so suggest cheap Harbor Freight saw blades for that job. My bus wasn't badly rusted, but plenty of bolts were, so angle grinder and reciprocating saw both helped for removing those.
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