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Old 04-20-2017, 12:19 PM   #21
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After 20 years of getting water into the flooring from kids as well a from being hosed out, it's no wonder most of them are found rusty.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:02 PM   #22
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what did you do to get to that painted surface? Did you use any solutions to arrest the rust?
I cleaned with dawn dish soap. Then scrubbed with a push broom and sprayed with water. Really cleaned and degreased the surface. Then I put a heavy layer of klean strip "cut & etch" down. It turned all the rust black. Then I did two coats of rustoleum rusty metal primer then one coat of protective enamel. Make sure the let the cut&etch sit over night then make sure you paint within 48 hours.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:55 PM   #23
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Thanks, was the "cut & etch" purchased at a local hardware store or did you order it? I am patching my floor this weekend and hope to get it at least painted.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:44 PM   #24
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Thanks, was the "cut & etch" purchased at a local hardware store or did you order it? I am patching my floor this weekend and hope to get it at least painted.
Just grab some ospho at ace. $25 a gallon.
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:33 AM   #25
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Thanks, was the "cut & etch" purchased at a local hardware store or did you order it? I am patching my floor this weekend and hope to get it at least painted.
You can find it at Home Depot. I want to say around $20. If you can find Ospho thanks good too!
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:51 AM   #26
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Thanks EastCoastCB and MelodyMachine. I picked up a grinder and cutting wheel yesterday so me and the bus floor have an appointment tonight and it aint gonna like it.
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Old 04-23-2017, 08:29 PM   #27
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So how did it go? Did you find much rust? I can compare pics with everyone here. And I'm so glad I stripped the floor!! I'm 80% finished working on my rust. I used Prep & Etch by Kleen Strip from Home Depot. It was $15.78 for the gallon. It works beautifully. Then I used Rustoleum Metal Primer Paint. My wheel wells are pretty bad and I can see clear through to the grass underneath. I'll be replacing some of the steel. Grinding away at the rust sure is one messy job! Make sure you're wearing a respirator, goggles and ear plugs... One day I was grinding away at the rust without ear plugs and i wasn't hearing the TV too good that night!


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Old 04-24-2017, 05:38 AM   #28
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The second picture is how it looks after I finish grinding and BEFORE I put down the Etch and Prep and then Paint. I don't fully trust that anything will stop the rust so I get rid of all of it first to a shiny finish before applying the E&P. Alot of spots are pitted where the rust is eating away at it but it's pretty darn shiny when I'm done.
I haven't dealt with rust in the first photo yet because I'll need to replace that panel in between the wheels and around the wheel wells. I need to teach myself how to weld first and pick up some 14ga sheets.



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Old 11-21-2018, 07:55 AM   #29
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I asked the same question. At first I was going to leave the existing flooring. Then I read several people say replace the subflooring and fix rust issues of metal flooring. Yesterday I started removing vinyl flooring and plywood. Then I discovered there was NO metal under the plywood. Now I have to figure out how to put in a new flooring. The underside of existing plywood has been painted/sprayed with something black (flex seal?). So my plans right now are to add another layer of plywood on what is left, put in 2" x 4" floor joists with solid insulation to fill in between boards, and add top layer of plywood. I may add vinyl flooring on top of that. I hope that will provide enough support. I plan to patch in the hole with plywood again.
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Old 08-08-2020, 04:58 PM   #30
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I bought a 2009 bluebird in az Not a sign of rust anywhere so I put furing strips right over the rubber then foam insulation . I'm 77 so the floor will outlast me .
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Old 08-08-2020, 05:48 PM   #31
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I wish I had done that. When I removed part of the plywood I discovered there was no metal subflooring (I believe only school buses, not shuttle buses have metal subflooring), So I ended patching the hole I had cut, adding another layer of plywood, then 2 x 3 joists and solid foam insulation, then another layer of plywood, and finally vinyl flooring.
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Old 08-08-2020, 06:47 PM   #32
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I wish I had done that. When I removed part of the plywood I discovered there was no metal subflooring (I believe only school buses, not shuttle buses have metal subflooring), So I ended patching the hole I had cut, adding another layer of plywood, then 2 x 3 joists and solid foam insulation, then another layer of plywood, and finally vinyl flooring.
Yeah, on full size school buses the plywood is what REALLY needs to come out. It causes the rust. None of the floors I've pulled up were harboring much rust except the ones with plywood.
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Old 08-08-2020, 07:42 PM   #33
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Mine didn't have sheet metal under the plywood. It wasn't rusted either because there was some sort of black coating on the framework. It wasn't until later that I heard that some people were installing metal subflooring on the framework. I didn't. Just reinforcing with additional plywood worked for me. And I am proud that I didn't have to ask anyone to help me with the flooring. I will be 69 in 2 weeks. Carrying the sheets of plywood was the hardest. But since then I have seen a jig someone made to make it easier to carry those large items. I did have mold in wooden adds the prior owners had installed. I removed all their adds.
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Old 08-08-2020, 08:15 PM   #34
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Why remove the floor?

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Mine didn't have sheet metal under the plywood. It wasn't rusted either because there was some sort of black coating on the framework. It wasn't until later that I heard that some people were installing metal subflooring on the framework. I didn't. Just reinforcing with additional plywood worked for me. And I am proud that I didn't have to ask anyone to help me with the flooring. I will be 69 in 2 weeks. Carrying the sheets of plywood was the hardest. But since then I have seen a jig someone made to make it easier to carry those large items. I did have mold in wooden adds the prior owners had installed. I removed all their adds.

I removed the flooring after I thought Iíd leave it and Iím glad I did. I did not read the entire thread but if you are like me you will always wonder if you should have. So give your mind a break from this one and remove the flooring. Or donít and always wonder...

Or. Drill a couple 2 inch holes in front of each wheel well(near outside wall)and see what you find
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:46 PM   #35
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Mine didn't have sheet metal under the plywood. It wasn't rusted either because there was some sort of black coating on the framework. It wasn't until later that I heard that some people were installing metal subflooring on the framework. I didn't. Just reinforcing with additional plywood worked for me. And I am proud that I didn't have to ask anyone to help me with the flooring. I will be 69 in 2 weeks. Carrying the sheets of plywood was the hardest. But since then I have seen a jig someone made to make it easier to carry those large items. I did have mold in wooden adds the prior owners had installed. I removed all their adds.
we're talking about two different animals here.
Regular, full size school buses have steel floors. Some districts ordered plywood on TOP of the steel.
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:40 AM   #36
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Thanks for the input, I'm thinking I'll take it out, with this bus I'm thinking rust isn't an issue,

The floors also hold other funky stuff you most likely don't want to keep around a dwelling.

The plywood with rubber on top hold in moisture to make mold and decay. Much of the plywood was treated with ?/strange chemicals mixed in with the decomposing rubber. You will probably want to lay your head a few feet from the floor and sleep 8 hours a night.

You might think I sound dramatic but when most people tear up the floor they are very glad to have it out and away.
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Old 08-14-2020, 10:58 AM   #37
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Thats kind of just common sense isnt it? the floor is kind of one of the most important things since its going to be the foundation of your new home or camper.... you definitely want to know where youre literally basing all your money and hard work. If the vehicle is not so old I think you could get away with doing the lazy thing and cutting that corner but most of us are using older vehicles for our conversion. You definitely want to make sure youre not investing on top of mold or something rotten or rusted. Or at least thats just me, I want my home to be nice.
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Old 08-16-2020, 05:11 PM   #38
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I was on the fence about this. I have a 2013 with 70k miles on it, not a school bus, lightly used by a railroad company.

I pulled up the floors and found a good amount of rust and moisture, I'm glad I did. Just go ahead and pull em up!
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:09 PM   #39
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Well my bus is an Arizona bus and I have crawled under it and found no sign of rust .
No rust around around bolts that held down the seats no ware.
.and since I'm 77 I'm not going to worry about it.
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Old 08-31-2020, 12:53 PM   #40
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Same experience for me. 2009 school activity bus (only used for trips, not daily as a school bus) with only 60k miles and less than 2800 hrs. Looked great and absolutely no rust underneath (AL registered). But wow was there a lot of moisture in the plywood flooring. Surface rust everywhere, but not a problem when it is removed/neutralized. I would not recommend leaving any existing plywood flooring in...
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