The first step in our conversion was to tear out the rubber floors, to see what kind of shape the metal floor was underneath. The bus turned 40 years old this year, so we struggled with getting some of the screws out. We quickly realized the value of a hammer.
Another big hoop we had to jump through was the removal of the heater core, which was located inside the passenger area, next to the drivers seat. We didn’t realize that the engine coolant actually ran directly into the cabin. Trying to responsibly collect the antifreeze while removing the heavy core was tedious, but manageable. We ended up bypassing the core in the engine compartment, and removing the chunk of heater core. We didn’t need this heater, because we plan on having a wood stove as our heat source. In addition, the heater was old and scary… We were too afraid to fire it up, considering we found a little critter had made a home in the heater core. So we junked it.
Upon the removal of the rubber floor, we discovered that the metal floor had some surface rust. We were pleasantly surprised at how great of shape it was in, all things considered.
So we went out and bought a grinder. We used the grinder for the more rusted areas, a belt sander for the less rusted areas, and a wire brush for the areas around and on the wheel wells. We were very pleased with this approach, and it made short work of this task.
In addition to removing as much rust as possible, we did our research and found products that inhibit rusty floors. We used such a product, Rustoleum’s Rusty Metal Primer, and used almost a gallon. This product dried quickly, and we were able to walk on it the next morning. We simply rolled it right onto the floor, after we washed and dried the metal. Some folks might like to paint the floor again with another color, but we decided that painting another coat would be a waste of time. We will be laying foam panel insulation and sob board directly on top of the primed floor.
Now it’s off to Home Depot to purchase insulation and subfloor!
16 weeks left!