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Old 01-02-2020, 08:58 PM   #1
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Stainless steel floors with no plywood?

Hi,

We have started the demo work on a 1997 BBAA with the FE 8.3 Cummins, and we have finally started removing the floors.

I was pleasently surprised to realize that there was no plywood under or floors. The rubber is just adhered directly to the metal floors. I was excited to learn that we wouldn’t have to remove the plywood. But when we started the (painstaking) removal of the rubber mats near the stairs, there was stainless steel underneath the rubber.

First, I thought that the stainless steel must just be a safety feature for the stairs. But after pulling up the center walkway rubber strip, I verified that the stainless runs all the way to the back.

Obviously there won’t be any rust under the rubber, but we will still be removing it all to cut down on that ‘old bus’ smell in the new home.

I found one person mention that they had stainless steel floors in another thread, but it had no replies.

Is this a common thing in Bluebirds? Is there anything special I should do during the build?
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:10 PM   #2
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If it really is stainless that is a nice find. No painting needed, or anything special needed.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:18 PM   #3
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It is probably not stainless but galvanized steel in really good shape if it is still shiny. If a magnet sticks it is galvanized. If it doesn't stick its stainless or aluminium. There are magnetic alloys of stainless but they are not as common.

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Old 01-03-2020, 03:29 AM   #4
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It is probably not stainless but galvanized steel in really good shape if it is still shiny. If a magnet sticks it is galvanized. If it doesn't stick its stainless or aluminium. There are magnetic alloys of stainless but they are not as common.

Ted
Yep, this^^^
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:07 AM   #5
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Yea, I tried out a magnet salvaged from a roof speaker and it is magnetic. Must be galvanized. Guess it was just a but of a kneejerk assumption because I havent found any spec of rust on this 22 year old bus floor, it is characteristically shiny, and because it was much harder than aluminum. Is that common or am I just extremely lucky?
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:10 AM   #6
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Lucky, for sure.
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:39 AM   #7
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Very lucky! Did the bus come from the desert?

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Old 01-05-2020, 11:23 AM   #8
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If the roof and windows never leaked then the inside floor would stay rust free.

My bus like most, suffers from window and hatch leaks as well as salt crud thrown from the tires. The rust patterns are pretty obvious...
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:19 PM   #9
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Very lucky! Did the bus come from the desert?

Ted
It did come from the desert. I got it from a school district in Nevada. The mechanic at the Bus barn said there was only one town in Nevada that salts their roads. Now I cant remember what town that was. But not from where I got this one.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:22 PM   #10
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If the roof and windows never leaked then the inside floor would stay rust free.

My bus like most, suffers from window and hatch leaks as well as salt crud thrown from the tires. The rust patterns are pretty obvious...
I guess I had assumed that the kids coming in and out of the bus with rainy or snowy feet would be enough to trap water under the rubber.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:31 PM   #11
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I guess I had assumed that the kids coming in and out of the bus with rainy or snowy feet would be enough to trap water under the rubber.
I would bet money that it isn't the water that is the issue, it's the salt. And I believe most of that comes from kids tracking in salty snow from the roads. Atl. gets more rain than the PNW, yet our buses are not rusty. Water will dry out, salt continues to corrode.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:34 PM   #12
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I would bet money that it isn't the water that is the issue, it's the salt. And I believe most of that comes from kids tracking in salty snow from the roads. Atl. gets more rain than the PNW, yet our buses are not rusty. Water will dry out, salt continues to corrode.
IDK my texas bus never saw salt just lots of water and the floors were real rusty. Savable but completely a rusty mess.
All it takes is moisture to be trapped in a confined space.
Buses with plywood seem to just rust on their own. Maybe its the chemicals in the plywood.
Buses with just a rubber over steel floor do a lot better against rust.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:43 PM   #13
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IDK my texas bus never saw salt just lots of water and the floors were real rusty. Savable but completely a rusty mess.
All it takes is moisture to be trapped in a confined space.
Buses with plywood seem to just rust on their own. Maybe its the chemicals in the plywood.
Buses with just a rubber over steel floor do a lot better against rust.
How do you explain that wettest areas of the country don't have rusty buses? Was yours near the seashore in Tx.? Where did your rusty ceiling come from, is that the Ga. bus?
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:48 PM   #14
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How do you explain that wettest areas of the country don't have rusty buses? Was yours near the seashore in Tx.? Where did your rusty ceiling come from, is that the Ga. bus?
Came from an hour north of Houston.
Every bus floor I've ever seen was rusty regardless of snow, but I've not seen any floors from AZ or the actual desert personally.
My GA bus sure feels solid but thankfully its got no plywood. The plywood stays wet a LONG time and that isn't good.
Rusty Ceiling was from KY. But that had nothing to do with salt. That was another case of moisture being trapped.
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Old 01-05-2020, 08:44 PM   #15
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How do you explain that wettest areas of the country don't have rusty buses? Was yours near the seashore in Tx.? Where did your rusty ceiling come from, is that the Ga. bus?
1) Being the wettest part of the country they probably do a better job of keeping the windows closed, roof and window seals maintained. When they install a strobe light in the PNW I'll bet they install a gasket...

2) Eastern Oregon and WA is what you call high desert...
they are not wet areas...

two explanations -- both could be wrong...

I do think for sure that the plywood deck on the floor traps and holds moisture against the steel. Getting wet is bad, but staying wet is what really gets the rust or wood rot going...

The rubber mat glued directly to the steel leaves a lot less chance for moisture to puddle against the steel -- while the plywood, not glued to the steel sucks the water in via capillary action...
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:06 PM   #16
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1) Being the wettest part of the country they probably do a better job of keeping the windows closed, roof and window seals maintained. When they install a strobe light in the PNW I'll bet they install a gasket...

2) Eastern Oregon and WA is what you call high desert...
they are not wet areas...

two explanations -- both could be wrong...

I do think for sure that the plywood deck on the floor traps and holds moisture against the steel. Getting wet is bad, but staying wet is what really gets the rust or wood rot going...

The rubber mat glued directly to the steel leaves a lot less chance for moisture to puddle against the steel -- while the plywood, not glued to the steel sucks the water in via capillary action...
Seattle is not what I consider "high desert". I think the correlation to amount of rust to the areas that use salt is telling.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:38 PM   #17
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Seattle is not what I consider "high desert". I think the correlation to amount of rust to the areas that use salt is telling.
If you read what you quoted... I said eastern is high desert.

Seattle is 'bout as far west as you get and actually gets less rain than I do here in Columbus OH...

Salt. Totally agree, salt is a catalyst in the presence of moisture.
If you have completely dry metal, and pack it in salt, seal it up, still completely dry, I believe it will not rust...
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