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Old 11-22-2020, 09:58 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Indiana + Louisiana
Posts: 1
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: CAT ER3126E210
Smile Starting 2002 Thomas conversion (Central Louisiana)

Been lurking for a few months, finally decided to post!

My wife and I were gifted a 2002 Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner by my parents who bought it to do a conversion but never got around to it. We've removed the rubber flooring, and started removing the side walls and ceiling. We live in Indiana but visit every couple of months to do more work on the bus.

We have a couple of questions for anyone who might stumble on this thread before we figure it out or post a separate question...

1. We are lucky enough to have screws instead of rivets, however we are struggling with about 20-30% of the screws, weve drilled a few out that were totally FUBAR but wondering if theres any tricks to getting them out cleanly.

2. Now that we have the passenger side walls cut out were wondering if we should apply any kind of sealant where the exterior screws enter the body (picture attached) we pulled out some pretty gross insulation and are wondering if we need go do anything before we replace it with newer insulation.

Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:31 AM   #2
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Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 1,008
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
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Originally Posted by TambayKano View Post
Been lurking for a few months, finally decided to post!

My wife and I were gifted a 2002 Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner by my parents who bought it to do a conversion but never got around to it. We've removed the rubber flooring, and started removing the side walls and ceiling. We live in Indiana but visit every couple of months to do more work on the bus.

We have a couple of questions for anyone who might stumble on this thread before we figure it out or post a separate question...

1. We are lucky enough to have screws instead of rivets, however we are struggling with about 20-30% of the screws, weve drilled a few out that were totally FUBAR but wondering if theres any tricks to getting them out cleanly.

2. Now that we have the passenger side walls cut out were wondering if we should apply any kind of sealant where the exterior screws enter the body (picture attached) we pulled out some pretty gross insulation and are wondering if we need go do anything before we replace it with newer insulation.

Thanks!
Hello and welcome to the insanity!
Regarding stripping the screws, if you use an impact driver to first loosen them it will help. Also if an impact driver is not in your tool box and you have an impact type cordless drill give them a small hit in the installing directing first to break them free.
The exterior screws could be allowing moisture in to the walls so yes it wouldn't hurt if you wanted to dab a little sealant on those you can access. Some urethane would make a good seal but not prevent the screw from being removed
in the future if needed.
Good luck with the build
Cheers
Oscar
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Old 11-23-2020, 05:06 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 6,063
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
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Originally Posted by TambayKano View Post
1. We are lucky enough to have screws instead of rivets, however we are struggling with about 20-30% of the screws, weve drilled a few out that were totally FUBAR but wondering if theres any tricks to getting them out cleanly.
Angle grinder with a cutting wheel, use it to cut a notch in the screw head that you can get a regular (big) screwdriver in and that should give you enough leverage to turn it out.
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Old 11-23-2020, 05:07 PM   #4
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Location: Melbourne, FL
Posts: 89
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
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If your Thomas is like mine, a #2 square bit might work better than a phillips bit. I use an impact driver, but every now and then some still strip. For those i've had luck using a stripped head screw remover, drilling the screwhead to help the remover get a grip if necessary.
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:17 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 516
Coachwork: Integrated Coach Corp.
Chassis: RE-300 42ft
Engine: 466ci
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Originally Posted by stlthe View Post
If your Thomas is like mine, a #2 square bit might work better than a phillips bit. I use an impact driver, but every now and then some still strip. For those i've had luck using a stripped head screw remover, drilling the screwhead to help the remover get a grip if necessary.
^ that works well. Also a #2 square tip hand driver and a whack with a hammer to 'die' the Phillips into square. I think it helps break 'em free, too.
I usually need a few ways to skin all the them cats.
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