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Old 09-18-2023, 10:04 AM   #1
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Bus Seats / Floor Holes - Best Solutions?

Will be kicking off my Skoolie conversion project soon and have seen a myriad of creative ways to address the holes in the floor after the seat removal process, and would love to here what you did, and why, to best address this part of your build process.

I reside in the NW on the coast, so we get all seasons, temps that fluctuate from -4f to 86f, and have salty air. The underside of my bus has been undercoated annually by the school district (former owner), and I plan to apply a new coating once this aspect has been tackled, so I need the undercoating to stick long-term to whatever I end up doing to address these holes.

Looking forward to all your suggestions and feedback!

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Old 09-18-2023, 10:41 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackroadAdventures View Post
Will be kicking off my Skoolie conversion project soon and have seen a myriad of creative ways to address the holes in the floor after the seat removal process, and would love to here what you did, and why, to best address this part of your build process.

I reside in the NW on the coast, so we get all seasons, temps that fluctuate from -4f to 86f, and have salty air. The underside of my bus has been undercoated annually by the school district (former owner), and I plan to apply a new coating once this aspect has been tackled, so I need the undercoating to stick long-term to whatever I end up doing to address these holes.

Looking forward to all your suggestions and feedback!

Learn to weld. I'm being honest. This is a very handy skill which will allow you tackle MANY future projects, and filling holes is a PERFECT first learning project. You may not feel like this is something you can accomplish, but you can buy a Lincoln 110v welder with "Flux Core" capability. Requires no gas. Just the wire roll. It's far easier than you realize to do. Once you set it up, just clip onto the bus with a ground wire/clip, and point the tip at the holes edges and go in circles till it's filled while wearing a helmet shield and gloves. Once filled, take a wheel grinder and grind them flat. Done.


Your welds may look terrible but if it's filled it's going to do it's job. Keep in mind that flux core welds are terrible looking anyway but they give strong penetration and it's not you.



Later you can use welder to weld in seams or angle iron to hold water tanks, or storage tanks under the bus, weld in hat channel/c channel for a roof raise should you choose to do so. Or repairing panels or other rusted/broken items of your bus. It is such a valuable skill to learn and very beneficial to your Bus build. Look at how many Bus goers asked a friend to come weld on their Buses. All of them need a welder at some point just about within the project.



I used to be overwhelmed at the thought of trying to weld myself, but started with a rusty trailer restoration, and realized it wasn't that difficult at all, and the gains were tremendous with what I could do with it. It opens a whole new world of possibilities to fabrication and cheap solutions and will save you money in the long run. It's also something that will greatly enhance your joy with this Bus build, of that I can guarantee with a huge sense of accomplishment.



If you decide still you do not wish to weld, some people have used silicon to fill in the holes, but that will only last a few years as it's exposed to the outside elements, and rust can eventually seep in through those holes, if you want to future proof it for more than a few years, welding is best option imo.
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Old 09-18-2023, 10:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackroadAdventures View Post
Will be kicking off my Skoolie conversion project soon and have seen a myriad of creative ways to address the holes in the floor after the seat removal process, and would love to here what you did, and why, to best address this part of your build process.


Looking forward to all your suggestions and feedback!
I tried welding up some of the seat holes and ended up making the holes larger.
What i ended up doing is using roofing tin tabs and some PL400 construction adhesive. The adhesive gets down into the holes, provides a great sealant barrier between tin tab and floor and covers the hole up nicely...
Tin tabs are also galvanized so no worry about rust.

easy-peasy!
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Old 09-18-2023, 11:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
I tried welding up some of the seat holes and ended up making the holes larger.
What i ended up doing is using roofing tin tabs and some PL400 construction adhesive. The adhesive gets down into the holes, provides a great sealant barrier between tin tab and floor and covers the hole up nicely...
Tin tabs are also galvanized so no worry about rust.

easy-peasy!

Yeah that can work too, if you are burning holes in the floor, try the lowest setting on the welder, if it still burns holes then the metal is too thin for welding and will need small plates. If this is the case then his tabbing solution should work. Better than just silicon.
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Old 09-18-2023, 11:15 AM   #5
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I always leave the holes from the seats as-is. With the party buses the theory was to allow a mechanism for the spilled drinks to exit the bus, as well as give us a built-in drain for pressure washing when they got really bad.

Then I saw the the Chuck Cassady method of doing floors which confirmed my design. You'll have insulation glued down over them so critters aren't getting in. And worst case scenario if you have a water leak and flood your bus that water will have an escape avenue rather than turning your bus into a rolling swimming pool.

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Old 09-18-2023, 11:32 AM   #6
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Auto, Fastener, Rivet, Clip

Quote:
Originally Posted by BackroadAdventures View Post
Will be kicking off my Skoolie conversion project soon and have seen a myriad of creative ways to address the holes in the floor after the seat removal process, and would love to here what you did, and why, to best address this part of your build process.
(....)
Looking forward to all your suggestions and feedback!
----------------
Auto, Fastener, Rivet, Clip
(Search the terms above)

We used push-in plugs & added PL Locktite (Roof & Flashing) to the underside of each, to adhere the plastic to the metal. They're thin & fit snug.


Amazon: $7.99
Sold by Uxcell
100 pcs, 9mm

These are standard automotive parts, so you may be able to predict their lifespan, in your particular environment.

Mine have been installed for 3 years. My rig is my workshop, so I walk on them everyday as they're still exposed. They are holding up to impacts, dragging wood, daily sweeping/vacuuming...

I immediately wipe up spilled liquids. Use a mop, wet-vac, rags, towel, fan... whatever. Rinse mop, if it's sticky. The floor seams (photo) are the lowest point, so the "drain holes" don't work well.
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Old 09-18-2023, 01:54 PM   #7
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if you do decide trying to weld make sure to have a fire watch outside and a water hose or fire extinguisher handy.
that undercoating depending on the type can be flammable.
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Old 09-18-2023, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
if you do decide trying to weld make sure to have a fire watch outside and a water hose or fire extinguisher handy.
that undercoating depending on the type can be flammable.

Oh, interesting, wasn't aware of that. I've seen people do it before without issue, but thanks for that warning.
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Old 09-18-2023, 04:14 PM   #9
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I welded up one of mine to see how it would go. It worked, but my floor is galvanized, so it wanted to burn the zinc. Also you will burn off the galvanizing around the hole and can't get to it underneath to paint. I had a few places that wires or a/c lines ran right under the sheet metal. I decided to roll down butyl sound deadener beneath my xps foam to dampen the sound as well as seal the holes. Additionally, it will seal around and self tappers that come through my floor.
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Old 09-19-2023, 12:23 AM   #10
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Pennies and Sikaflex Construction Sealant
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Old 09-19-2023, 07:40 AM   #11
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Thanks for the suggestion. I see that these tabs are available in a 1 5/8" size and a 2" size. What size did you use, and where did you get them from?
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Old 09-19-2023, 07:42 AM   #12
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Good call on that insight about the undercoating being flammable! Thanks very much!
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Old 09-19-2023, 09:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackroadAdventures View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. I see that these tabs are available in a 1 5/8" size and a 2" size. What size did you use, and where did you get them from?
???

If your asking about the tin tabs, home depot, lowes...they are used for roofing. You will find it in the isle where they sell roofing nails.

Helpful tip= when responding to a particular post go ahead and use the "Quote" button in that post. It will "Quote" what was said in that post to your post and others will know what you are referring too..
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Old 09-19-2023, 10:16 PM   #14
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I used butyl tape to cover floor holes

I made sure that the area around each hole was clean and dry. I pressed down maybe 4"of butyl tape over each hole, and used a roller to ensure good adhesion. I can't speak to the longevity of this solution, but none ever peeled in the months before I covered the floor with insulation.

Here is the tape I used:
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B088KMLP48
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Old 09-21-2023, 07:56 AM   #15
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Learn to weld. I'm being honest. This is a very handy skill which will allow you tackle MANY future projects, and filling holes is a PERFECT first learning project. You may not feel like this is something you can accomplish, but you can buy a Lincoln 110v welder with "Flux Core" capability. Requires no gas. Just the wire roll. It's far easier than you realize to do. Once you set it up, just clip onto the bus with a ground wire/clip, and point the tip at the holes edges and go in circles till it's filled while wearing a helmet shield and gloves. Once filled, take a wheel grinder and grind them flat. Done.


Your welds may look terrible but if it's filled it's going to do it's job. Keep in mind that flux core welds are terrible looking anyway but they give strong penetration and it's not you.



Later you can use welder to weld in seams or angle iron to hold water tanks, or storage tanks under the bus, weld in hat channel/c channel for a roof raise should you choose to do so. Or repairing panels or other rusted/broken items of your bus. It is such a valuable skill to learn and very beneficial to your Bus build. Look at how many Bus goers asked a friend to come weld on their Buses. All of them need a welder at some point just about within the project.



I used to be overwhelmed at the thought of trying to weld myself, but started with a rusty trailer restoration, and realized it wasn't that difficult at all, and the gains were tremendous with what I could do with it. It opens a whole new world of possibilities to fabrication and cheap solutions and will save you money in the long run. It's also something that will greatly enhance your joy with this Bus build, of that I can guarantee with a huge sense of accomplishment.



If you decide still you do not wish to weld, some people have used silicon to fill in the holes, but that will only last a few years as it's exposed to the outside elements, and rust can eventually seep in through those holes, if you want to future proof it for more than a few years, welding is best option imo.

Thanks very much for your feedback - much appreciated!
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Old 09-21-2023, 03:53 PM   #16
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I kept the plywood in mine and didn’t have seat holes. I had track holes. So I just cut the tip of the Sikaflex to fit and gave each one a squirt.

Welding the holes seems a bit overboard and maybe a little hazardous because of the undercoating.

I still think pennies are the best answer
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Old 09-23-2023, 04:10 PM   #17
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3M Dynatron Seam Sealer. Squirt some through the hole, make sure to fill all gaps. Itíll plug it completely and last forever. Did it on my bus back in 2018, and it hasnít so much as cracked. Itís literally made for this.
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Old 09-23-2023, 04:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeb2 View Post
3M Dynatron Seam Sealer. Squirt some through the hole, make sure to fill all gaps. Itíll plug it completely and last forever. Did it on my bus back in 2018, and it hasnít so much as cracked. Itís literally made for this.
I used the stuff for seams. This stuff is a good choice
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Old 09-23-2023, 05:29 PM   #19
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For mine I didnít weld them because I didnít want to burn off the undercoating and not be able to fix it. For the small nail and screw holes I just filled them with 3m 5200. For the seat bolt holes I cut little squares of my leftover ceiling sheet metal and glued them down. I did this after treating some mild surface rust and painting the whole floor with epoxy primer.
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Old 09-23-2023, 07:12 PM   #20
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Playin' Possum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BackroadAdventures View Post
Will be kicking off my Skoolie conversion project soon and have seen a myriad of creative ways to address the holes in the floor after the seat removal process, and would love to here what you did, and why, to best address this part of your build process.
(...)
Looking forward to all your suggestions and feedback!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BackroadAdventures View Post
Learn to weld. I'm being honest. This is a very handy skill which will allow you tackle MANY future projects, and filling holes is a PERFECT first learning project.
(....)
Thanks very much for your feedback - much appreciated!
-----------

You may have missed the "Why" part if your original post....

🤔Why not weld?

Learning how to delegate...

There are a great many tasks to be completed, not all of which must be finished to a best-of-the-best standard. Especially, if its done by someone other-than-me. In which case, Done is often acceptable.

Builders may be more efficient to purchace products which can be easily installed by others. Make it fun! 😉

I'm thankful for the various helpers who worked on the floor. Once I had removed the plywood & scrubbed the interior, help arrived. The steel was osphoed, primered, painted and sealed by volunteers. 👍
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