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Old 11-13-2018, 11:04 AM   #1
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Anyone remove their metal floor completely?

Good day! My wife and I recently purchase a 2000 Thomas RE and have started our remodel. We're down to the metal flooring and while there's considerable rust on the metal panels it's not necessarily worse than any other rusted floor.

Our bus is from New England so there's also a fair amount of rust on the frame as well. An experienced friend (bus\heavy truck mechanic) recommended sandblasting the frame and putting on a rust treatment.

I don't have the right setup for sandblasting so this would be something I'd consider farming out. Alternatively, I'm comfortable hitting everything under the bus with a wire wheel\needle scaler and then undercoating all of it.

However, given the state of the metal floor, I'm wondering if there's any merit in removing the metal floor to have full access to the cross pieces and frame from above which might make the process more accessible.

If I wasn't concerned about the frame, I would just grind the metal floor, patch, seal and then move on with the build.

Wondering if anyone out there has successfully removed the metal floor and what roadblocks they encountered. I assume those panels are welded to the frame\crosspieces and would be resistant to removal.

Also, does anyone see any significant advantage to sandblasting\sealing over knocking all the heavy rust off the frame and sealing?

Despite the rust, I've yet to find any holes in the frame itself.

Thanks!
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Old 11-13-2018, 11:43 AM   #2
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Don't remove rust, convert it with Ospho or similar product. What you're proposing sounds expensive, time consuming, and probably counter productive. Remember that any metal you remove and don't replace is weakening your platform. Rusty spots that are flaking off are a lost cause but the rest of it can be converted back to a useful material. People certainly have removed their floors and replaced them but it doesn't sound like your floor is anywhere near that level of wasted.

Pics would be helpful for more specific opinions!
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Old 11-29-2018, 08:14 AM   #3
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Hey! I just ripped my floor up last night and found the entire metal floor has cancer. It must ALL come out. So, I'm about to do it it all this weekend.

I bought it in Jersey, so, plenty of rust on the frame but it's all surface rust. And by the way Collins laid down my metal floor, I'm glad to be ripping it up, it was done very poorly. They used an incredibly thin sheet metal, too. It's practically aluminum foil. I can push my finger through the floor at any point that has rust. The corners along the wall are just dust at this point.

Unfortunately, steel prices are UP with Trump's tariff's on China and Brokedown is right in saying it's a lot of work. However, I got the exact size and engine bus that I wanted and knew I would have to fight some rust so I'm putting on my boxing gloves.

I was incredibly overwhelmed by the sight of it at first but am going to KISS. Butyl tape, seam sealer, and locktite, and some rivets. I'm not going to overthink this part of it. Just lay it down, make sure it's sealed and secured, and call it good. Either way, what I'm doing is WAY more than Collins did and I won't be drilling holes for seats into it. Meaning, it should last longer than 15 years (which is how old my bus is now.)

This will give me a chance to repair the rust on TOP of the fuel tank (you should check yours having been in New England) and along the rest of the frame. I don't think you need to sandblast at all. I would powerwash it to get all the grime and flakes of rust off, let it dry for a day or two, Ospho, then paint or seal it somehow.

Hopefully this hasn't reached you too late but if it did, please let me know how you've made out.
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Old 11-29-2018, 11:00 AM   #4
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dont forget to leave an access plate for the hoses and sending unit / fuel pump if yours is equipped..



I just replaced the fuel sending unit in my red bus 2 days ago.. it was super easy with that access platye intact.. and the sending unit is large enough that I could not have gotten it out if that hole wasnt in the floor..
-Christopher
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Old 11-30-2018, 09:12 AM   #5
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What Cadillac said. I just did the same and without the access hole it would have been a nightmare!
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Old 12-01-2018, 03:24 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=Tango;299886]What Cadillac said. I just did the same and without the access hole it would have been a nightmare![/QUOTE

I wanted to just glue the new sheet metal down to the bus frame. There is a lot of exposed surface area to prep but it should provide enough area to cake down a bit of glue, all the way around.

The sheet metal guy highly recommended I fasten it it to. I wanted to get away with making NO holes. I am not a welder and just bought 050 aluminum sheets.

Any thoughts?
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