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Old 01-15-2021, 12:41 AM   #1
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Exclamation New to the Skoolie world!

Hello everyone!!

This is all very new to me, but I have been reading much advice on here and figured it was about time I got an account myself. My fiance and I recently bought an E350 1997 ex-prison shuttle bus, to convert into our home. It is a triton V10, and thats all about I know!

We have pretty much completed demo, but Bean ( short for Jellybean ) being an ex-prison bus has had MANY challenges for us along the way.

I was hoping to get some thoughts on the flooring of the bus. We have stripped away the nasty black rubber flooring and see the one inch thick wooden floor. We see a couple of small spots that were rotted from unknown window leaks over the many years. My fiance thinks that it will ok if we simply lay everything on top of the bottom layer.

I suggested that we take off the bottom wood layer and replace it with another one inch piece to avoid any more deterioration. We thought we would give it a try but we were unsuccessful in getting the wood panels off.. it seems impossible!!

so I suppose I have two questions!

1. Is it a bad idea to leave the slightly rotted floor, cover the bad parts with some sort of spray to prevent further deteriorating and then put a new half inch floor panel on top, then proceed to do insulation?? (my fiances current plan)
2. If it seems to be a necessity to remove the semi-rotted floor.. how in the world do you do it?!

Thank you for taking time to read and respond! We greatly look forward to reading your responses
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Old 01-15-2021, 03:33 AM   #2
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It is hard to say without seeing it, but 'slightly rotted' doesn't sound bad, 'semi rotted' sounds worse.. LOL, but my guess is its not an issue if its still solid and not spongy. and no reason to put another thin layer over the top before some foam board. If you want to cut out the section, I'd try a vibrating/oscillating tool as it is safer to hit metal, once you know what your cutting through, a circular saw or reciprocating saw with a wood blade,
and maybe good idea to cut on 45 angle so a patch glues in well.
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:02 AM   #3
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I agree with BeNimble and also suggest that some photos will help us guide you better. But you can repair some pretty large "small spots" by chiseling or gouging out the rotted bits...even a screwdriver will work...then filling the void with a 2-part wood repair filler. We like the System Three products, like this:

https://www.systemthree.com/products...le-epoxy-paste

A 2-gallon size is a bit over $200, but that's a lot of repair...and if you've priced wood lately then you'll realize that's not unreasonable. They have smaller quantities, so you may not need the 2-gallon size.
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:13 AM   #4
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It's very easy to remove the wood by setting a circular saw's blade depth to just less than the thickness of the plywood and then making a series of transverse and longitudinal cuts every foot or so (some people go bigger), dividing the floor into a grid of 1'x1' squares. With a long, heavy pry bar (I highly recommend this fellow, also great for taking your place in the phalanx) you can then get each square up separately. And you're left with a nice neat stack of plywood squares which are easy to dispose of.

Your plywood is almost certainly nasty and rotten in places you can't see, not to mention that every inch of headroom counts in a skoolie without a roof raise. You really should get rid of it, and it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours at most to do it.
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Old 01-15-2021, 11:22 AM   #5
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Welcome to the site B-tb.

If you're planning on keeping it forever, ripping out the existing flooring down to bare metal is the way to go.

For a few more years of continued use, the plywood flooring doesn't need to come out.
Unfortunately without tearing up the plywood you'll never know if, or how badly, the metal is rusted/rotted.

Good luck, and post pics if you can...
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Old 01-15-2021, 11:37 AM   #6
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The E-350 may have only wood bolted to steel frame, no sheet metal beneath the wood. Go underneath and poke at that area. Maybe the prison put in steel or aluminum. Search the forum for "E350 floor", two examples below:

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/f...ion-28637.html

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/9...ect-21606.html
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Old 01-15-2021, 11:45 AM   #7
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Make absolutely sure there actually is steel under the floor before you tear things up. You stated that the plywood was 1" thick. That is quite a bit thicker than most wood over metal floors. The 1" thick stuff is often used as the entire floor material in the larger coaches. Depending on how the side walls of the bus are supported, removing an all wood floor could lead to problems.
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Old 01-15-2021, 01:01 PM   #8
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They probably put that thick floor in because when the driver stopped for donuts and coffee it would take longer for the prisoners to hack through it.
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Old 01-15-2021, 04:33 PM   #9
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bean.
do you know what bus body you have?
ford was the cab and chassis manufacturer but not the bus body manufacturer.
i idea of bus body will also help us help you but pictures will be the quickest response.
easiest is to crawl under the bus with a good magnet clean a spot of the underside floor off and see if the magnet sticks?
if it does then personally i say the plywood needs to come up because if the leaks are from the windows or ribs or whatever but the plywood is sitting on the metal floor so if the plywood has spots/areas in it showing then the metal underneath definitley needs attention.
be safe.
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:03 PM   #10
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Hello everyone! thank you for your replies! I am slacking on the picture part, I tried to take a few tonight but will get some better ones another time. Here is really the biggest piece that is in the bus that I think I would like to remove ( at least )
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WjN...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
bean.
do you know what bus body you have?
ford was the cab and chassis manufacturer but not the bus body manufacturer.
i idea of bus body will also help us help you but pictures will be the quickest response.
easiest is to crawl under the bus with a good magnet clean a spot of the underside floor off and see if the magnet sticks?
if it does then personally i say the plywood needs to come up because if the leaks are from the windows or ribs or whatever but the plywood is sitting on the metal floor so if the plywood has spots/areas in it showing then the metal underneath definitley needs attention.
be safe.
Weirdly enough the company that made it only wrote on the sticker "custom" and the number 1. Looking under the bus we don't think there is any sheet metal, just the frame.

Also I keep trying to post pictures but am having trouble figure that out can someone give me a quick tutorial?? Thanks!!
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bean-thebus View Post
Also I keep trying to post pictures but am having trouble figure that out can someone give me a quick tutorial?? Thanks!!

You'll need to make 5 posts before the forum will allow pictures (anti-spam/bot measure). Or host the photos someplace like a Google drive and post the links here.
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:09 PM   #13
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It looks like torx screws need to be located and remove. Oh, what fun!
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