Floor Removal

This one is mostly about school bus floor removal.

Fluffing Around

The video starts off with a traditional title screen made in physical space on the project. Then I start working on cleaning the rust off a small part of the floor to get an idea for how the process will go.

For some reason I wanted to make the gas cap look really good. I think I was zoning out listening to something and I just kept working on it until it looked great.

Existing School Bus Floor Removal

After fluffing around with the gas cap, I cleaned out the bus so we could remove the floor. The floor was attached with steel nails. We pulled all the black existing school bus material up with the plywood. No need to pull up the rubber first, just go straight to the plywood.

The key is to use what I call a decider.

A decider is a giant prybar. Something like this. It’s really expensive to buy one, so if you don’t have one you can use a giant steel pipe over a more regular sized pry bar. The one I had is a friends who has had it in the family for a long time. It was amazing.

One thing that made a big difference was preparation. Because we took great care to remove all the metal trim from around the plywood, the floor came out with some heavy pry work. If we hadn’t spent much of the day preparing the floor to come out, it would have been a nightmare.

School Bus Floor Removal Process
Once the floor was prepped, it only took a short time to remove all the floorboards from the old school bus

Floor Removal Process:

  1. Remove all metal that overlays the floor
  2. Insert sharper prybar between steel floor and ply wood at the rear of the bus
  3. Use the gap to insert a decider pry bar (meaning a really big one)
  4. Hold it like you’re doing a dead-lift (straight back, lift with hamstrings)
  5. Once flooring is raised to be perpendicular from floor, have someone use a razor knife to cut the black existing bus flooring
  6. Take the floor board out of the bus to maintain a clean working space
  7. Remove all floor boards, then go around cleaning up left behind screws and nails
  8. Shop-vac everything, clean shops are critical to success

Tools and Products Used

  • CLC Mechanic Gloves – These make everything I do better during the conversion
  • Milwaukee Cordless Grinder (Not recommended, get one with a cord)
  • Blaster Penetrating Catalyst – Liquid which helps clean up grimy spots
  • Husky Razor Knife – Disposable blade for cutting gross things
  • Rust-Oleum Rust Reformer – Great for cleaning up rust… not recommended for entire floor.
  • Knot Brush – Put this on a cord grinder and you become a rust killing monster. I used one of these brushes to remove all the rust on the sub-floor of our 40′ 2001 Thomas School Bus
  • Blue tooth head phones – These are way more expensive than normal ear protection, but I love these headphones. They cancel noise, but you can listen to an audiobook or music while doing something super loud
  • Vise  grips – Multi-use, great for removing exposed screws with stripped heads
  • Shop Vac – I like the Ridgid for the lifetime warranty. This one is the perfect size for this small project.

School Bus Conversion Electrical

School Bus Conversion Electrical System

Today was hard to explain. We tested continuity of wires. We wanted to know if a wire runs to a light we didn’t need. If the controls to that wire attached to the fusebox (for lack of a better word) in a way that was no longer necessary, we knew we could take out that component.

The end goal was to wire the bus to run as a vehicle with road legal lights and take out everything else.

school bus conversion electrical system

Two School Bus Home Electrical System

We have two separate electrical systems:

  1. The Vehicles Electrical System – Charged by the engine
  2. The Houses Electrical System – Charged by the solar energy system

Electrical Removal Decision Process

Knowing that the bus’s electrical system would be separate from the vehicle’s system empowered us to take out a lot of wires, relays and other devices. That helped move the project along all day.

“Is that element essential to the bus for regulations or driver comfort?”

If no, get rid of it.

If yes, label it and move on.

Honestly, about 15 pounds of wire was removed after everything was said and done. Some of the wire is this awesome 12 gage copper wire that we can use for lights and whatever else. That’ll save us running a lot of wires later into the build.

school bus conversion floor removal

Moving the Floor

The floor turned out to be pretty easy to start. We just used really big crowbars and razor blade knives to cut the plastic on the top of the existing floor.

We’re ready to have a big day of existing floor removal tomorrow. Please feel free to watch that.

School Bus to Tiny Home – School Bus Electrical Disassembly

School Bus Electrical Disassembly

Today we spent the day removing things that are generally part of a school bus. Things like the kid gate, the stop sign and the internal heaters for the bus.

The back exit (emergency exit) had some sort of a short so we decided to take all the electrical aspects out it. Now the back door doesn’t have running emergency red light or the buzzers if someone opens the emergency door.

There were two heaters that warmed up due to the engine coolant running through the bus. To take those out, I got a little dirty crawling under the bus and reconnecting all the coolant hoses. We have a lot of nice coolant hosing now. That was a really dirty afternoon.

School Bus Electrical Disassembly

The New Fuel Pump Problem

It lead to a fuel problem. Now when we start the bus, the fuel filter pours out diesel. So I’m seeking a solution to that problem.

Big Thank You

Big thanks to Erik for being our sparky. We couldn’t have done it without you buddy.