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Old 02-22-2020, 06:29 PM   #1
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Thin aluminum?? Flooring

Hey gang. This is my first post.

Iíve been looking around the site for a while and couldnít come up with anything similar to my situation.

I recently purchased a 1998 Ford E Super Duty shuttle bus.

I pulled the seats out and ripped up the rubber floor. I did this because I noticed some ďsoftĒ spots while I was walking around.

After pulling up a 1/4 sheet of plywood there is a thing aluminum type metal underneath the wood.

The problem is, when I go to remove the wood, I canít use a pry bar. When I do the pry bar goes right through this thin material.

I am not a metal expert, so I am assuming itís aluminum. I can EASILY bend it with my hands.

Any ever deal with this? If so, how did you get the floor up without losing the metal floor and your patience.


Thank you.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:46 PM   #2
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It's almost certainly not aluminum. Hold a magnet against it to be sure (aluminum will not attract the magnet, steel will).

Most likely it is steel and your pry bar is going through it because it is severely rusted.
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:03 PM   #3
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It's almost certainly not aluminum. Hold a magnet against it to be sure (aluminum will not attract the magnet, steel will).

Most likely it is steel and your pry bar is going through it because it is severely rusted.
That was my first thought but then I realized we're talking about an E350 -- basically a 1 ton work van. It could have an aluminum box on it to save weight...

The magnet will not lie.

If it is Al -- I would look for the fasteners and remove them OR just drill the heads off -- then the plywood will come up.
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:06 PM   #4
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No rust on it. It’s clean, very clean. I will post a photo tomorrow and try a magnet.

It just bends anytime my pry bar is applying any pressure and then a hole rips through it.
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:11 PM   #5
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A floor made from 1/4" plywood and metal so thin you can poke holes in it with a crowbar sounds interesting (or did you mean a quarter of a thicker piece of plywood?).
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:12 PM   #6
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It’s fiberglass shell.

I’m having to cut the plywood into small sections and remove it. This will take a few full days if I don’t figure out another method.

I’ve been removing the bolts, set my saw to 3/4” and been cutting. Again, I can’t use a pry bar to lift the sheets.

��
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:13 PM   #7
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3/4” plywood, 1/4 of a sheet of plywood was removed to expose this thin floor.
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:14 PM   #8
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No rust on it. Itís clean, very clean. I will post a photo tomorrow and try a magnet.

It just bends anytime my pry bar is applying any pressure and then a hole rips through it.
If the plywood is only ľ" thick over tearable metal -- consider leaving the plywood in place -- it's structural.
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:17 PM   #9
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Iím having to cut the plywood into small sections and remove it. This will take a few full days if I donít figure out another method.
I think this is the best and fastest method.
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Old 02-22-2020, 08:00 PM   #10
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It's possible it's a thin galvanized steel. I poked through my non-rusted floor a few times with a crowbar when removing my floor, since the steel was much thinner there than anywhere else. Not sure why they used such thin steel for the floor, though I guess it was more of a moisture barrier, and the 3/4" plywood they put down over it was more of the structural part of the floor. That said, with the plywood out, I could walk over my floor, though it did deflect when I stepped where there were no ribs.

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Old 02-22-2020, 11:22 PM   #11
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It could be aluminum. My new bus Giridan Micro Bird) is all aluminum skin- inside outside, top and bottom. Much thinner than the steel on my old Thomas.
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:42 AM   #12
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The plywood is 3/4” thick not 1/4”

I removed 1/4 of a sheet of plywood To expose this flimsy “metal”
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:42 AM   #13
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I was afraid someone would say that haha
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:47 AM   #14
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It could be aluminum. My new bus Giridan Micro Bird) is all aluminum skin- inside outside, top and bottom. Much thinner than the steel on my old Thomas.
Really? Hmmmm I guess for moisture and weight
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:05 AM   #15
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If the plywood is only ľ" thick over tearable metal -- consider leaving the plywood in place -- it's structural.
Structural flooring? hmmmm.. Never heard of plywood being structural
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:20 AM   #16
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Structural flooring? hmmmm.. Never heard of plywood being structural
Yeah there are some buses- Crown and Gillig- that didn't have any metal for the floor. They were all marine grade ply.
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:36 AM   #17
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Yeah there are some buses- Crown and Gillig- that didn't have any metal for the floor. They were all marine grade ply.
That makes a bit more sense.

Who knows with this bus.. one small piece at a time.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:56 AM   #18
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Probably galvanized steel sheet metal. My shuttle has plywood floor only.
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