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Author Topic: OEM floor removal??  (Read 2339 times)
tarrfish
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« on: January 07, 2011, 12:28:27 PM »

I am just getting started on a MCI 1023A. I have removed most of the interior and am considering whether or not to put new plywood on the floor. I am wondering how large a job this would likely be and what would I be able to access for inspection and repair with the floor out. This bus has some rust around the rear escape hatch so I figure there must be more places that need attention. The floor seems sound so I don't know if it is worth the trouble to tear it out. Thanks for any advice.
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robertglines1
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2011, 12:35:14 PM »

if it's not soft to walk on put your time and $ toward next step. The area around the factory bath room and above drive wheels are usually the most prone to soft spots. these areas can be replaced without removing complete coach floor. If it is soft or flexes when you walk on a area out it goes.  Again do it your way that's what nice about this hobby.    would be a good idea to put where your from in profile ;you might be just around corner from one of us.   Bob
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 12:37:55 PM by robertglines1 » Logged

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tarrfish
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2011, 12:50:57 PM »

Thanks for the reply Bob. I'm from mid coast maine and the bus has spent most of its life on the east coast. David
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2011, 01:11:35 PM »

I'm with Bob. You'll know if it needs replacing. Chances are it will somewhere down the line, but if it ain't broke...
Not sure if you noticed my article in BCM about removing my floor. Not a terribly huge job, but I only did it because it NEEDED doing. The floor was spongy and springy to my step. I only ripped out the rear where the damage was and kept the front. Most of these buses were built to last, so chances are, your floor will be fine for quite a while.
FWIW,
DRT
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tarrfish
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2011, 04:51:08 PM »

Thanks, I still need to get the tank out from underneath the rest room, so I'll get a better look there soon. (UHG) David
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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2011, 05:00:26 PM »

I found that there were a number of "small" soft spots in a few places where the floor met the walls.  Not good.  When I got the soft spots out, I didn't have much floor left so I took it all out.  Then I found that the air brake system was almost all gone -- everything that could be rusty was corroded badly.  I had to rebuild the system from the unloader valve to the wheel hubs -- that was much easier with the floor out (I also went from old technology - the emerg/parking brake was a big lever next to the driver and a 5/8" rod going to the rear wheels - to new; spring brakes on the rear, modern release valves, etc.).  There wasn't much rust on the chassis or the framework for the floor but I was glad to have the chance to paint the chassis and rebuild the floor support structure.  I probably overdid it -- my bus was built to carry 99 people and it was just fine with thin-gauge angle under 1/2" ply but I strengthened it a lot.

But as others said, it was a *big* job and one to be avoided if you can.
Bruce H NC USA
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Paladin
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2011, 05:22:29 PM »

I'm of the opinion that it really should be done for numerous reasons even though it is big and disgusting job and is ultimately up to the individual.
Every one of the MCI's that I've seen under the floors of has had issues under the floor beginning with the wood, it gets trashed. Mine was no different, the floor was fairly sound BUT under it was trouble. I not only found multiple pounds of hair, grime, junk etc but undiscovered rust ( I had to weld up new cross supports in a few places), issues around the lavatory area and a large hole in the air beam that I never would have seen unless uncovered though I suspected it.  Personally I'd hate to lay down wood, tile or whatever only to find out that I had to rip it up to repair rust, stench or an air beam leak that I didn't know about previously and you can only reach the leak from up top. The air beam repair alone made it well worth the time in my book. Somewhere here I have pictures of the hole and the repair. I can tell you right where you could look for a leak in yours since they appear to be somewhat common in MCI's at least.
 
To each his own and have at it either way I say but for me it was well worth the peace of mind to get it done and unfortunately I'd plan on it again if I ever did another bus, just a dirty job needing doing.
Craig (Gumpy) did his before I did mine and mine was pretty much a mirror image of his and maybe a little more.

As Craig said in his write up regarding the grime alone, "Personally, I wouldn't be able to sleep nights knowing it was down there just waiting for the chance to rise up against me! "

http://gumpydog.com/Bus/MC9_WIP/Structural/Floor_Removal/floor_removal.htm




Addendum: I forgot to mention that while you have the floor up is a great time to mount some solid anchoring points to steel for furniture etc. Weld them in now and you have good points to mount to later, I don't really trust wood floor anchors to keep heavy furniture from giving me a nasty headache in a emergency stop or roll over.  Also a good time to run extra wire chases or what have you.


« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 06:47:33 PM by Paladin » Logged

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tarrfish
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2011, 08:51:54 AM »

Thanks for the honest opinions, that is exactly what I am looking for. The link was very helpful as well. I will probably tear it out so I can repair any rust and replace worn or old parts. Thanks, David
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John316
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2011, 11:16:02 AM »

I have mentioned this before, but here it is again.

Taking the old bathroom tank is easy. All you do (if it is like ours, which I'll bet it is), is take a hammer and big old prybar to the underside of the tank, which should be covered in fiberglass (with a layer of insulation underneath that). That shouldn't take more then seven to ten minutes to break the outer "purdy" casing off. Just knock a hole in it, and break it off. Just make sure you are wearing gloves, because that stuff can hurt.

At this point you should be seeing a stainless steel tank. There should be two straps holding the tank up. There is a bolt on each end of each strap, four total (like my math Wink ). Then there are several ways of getting it loose. I simply took my air impact wrench, with a long extension, and backed the bolts out of there (that might have taken 1.5 minutes to take the bolts out). Watch out, because the tank could fall, so make sure it is supported.

The other way is to cut the straps out of there with a grinder. Again, not a big deal.

I don't remember, but there might be a hose clamp connecting the "drop tube" with the tank. All in all, I found that part to be super easy. It was less then twenty minutes by the time it was out and in the junk pile.

FWIW HTH

God bless,

John
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2011, 11:35:07 AM »

 

I have mentioned this before, but here it is again.

Taking the old bathroom tank is easy. All you do (if it is like ours, which I'll bet it is), is take a hammer and big old prybar to the underside of the tank, which should be covered in fiberglass (with a layer of insulation underneath that). That shouldn't take more then seven to ten minutes to break the outer "purdy" casing off. Just knock a hole in it, and break it off. Just make sure you are wearing gloves, because that stuff can hurt.

At this point you should be seeing a stainless steel tank. There should be two straps holding the tank up. There is a bolt on each end of each strap, four total (like my math Wink ). Then there are several ways of getting it loose. I simply took my air impact wrench, with a long extension, and backed the bolts out of there (that might have taken 1.5 minutes to take the bolts out). Watch out, because the tank could fall, so make sure it is supported.

The other way is to cut the straps out of there with a grinder. Again, not a big deal.

I don't remember, but there might be a hose clamp connecting the "drop tube" with the tank. All in all, I found that part to be super easy. It was less then twenty minutes by the time it was out and in the junk pile.

FWIW HTH

God bless,

John

They are talking about the floor?

John
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 12:33:59 PM by Jriddle » Logged

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John Riddle
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2011, 01:52:35 PM »

I have the entire floor out of my 102D3 and am glad that I took it out. The dirt and filth that is under the floor is unbelievable. Also it allows the cutting out of the chair rails so the the new floor will be flat. I will be putting in metal plates where I want to bolt down copilots seat and other furniture. Also will spray foam insulate all voids not needed.  I have found some surface rust that will be addressed before new floor goes in, none of it major but will give peace of mind having found and fixed it. My plywood was in good shape with no soft spots but the odor from be a passenger bus for so long will not come out.   Rod
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tarrfish
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2011, 03:39:16 PM »

I started tearing into it this afternoon. Got the ramp out, the linoleum up and about 20% of the plywood. It was definitely a good choice as the fasteners are pretty rusty, and plywood had some water damage. I am surprised the plywood is so thin, I would have thought it would be at least 3/4". I will fix any corrosion I find and have a nice flat surface to work with. Thanks for the advice, David
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John316
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2011, 04:03:57 PM »

Jriddle,

I was a tad OT, referring to this post. Sorry for not being clear.

Thanks, I still need to get the tank out from underneath the rest room, so I'll get a better look there soon. (UHG) David

On another side note, RWC, that is great that you have a D modal. There are just a couple of us that have them now.

God bless,

John
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Doug1968
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2011, 05:36:32 PM »

Tarfish,

I am converting a 102A3. I am about a year into it and thought I would chime in on your question regarding removing the floor.Here are some reasons you would want to remove the old floor.

1) You cannot believe how filthy the ducting and all of the pockets under the plywood will be.
2) It allows you to remove the seat rails and install a thicker plywood that will give you a more solid floor.
3) The sheet metal over the wheel wells on my coach were rusted and ready to be replaced.
4) Like Paladin stated, it allows you to add plating into the bus structure for mounting things like the copilot seat.
5) If you pre-paint the bottom side of the plywood you have a nicely finished ceiling in each of your bays.

I used 1 1/8" tongue & groove plywood and it finished off very nicely and is very solid.

Good Luck, Doug
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Jriddle
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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2011, 07:14:43 PM »

John

No Harm No foul. Just LOL. I too thought getting the tank out was not to hard. I used big__ bar to get mine out. Smiley  Wink Cheesy Grin

John
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John Riddle
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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2011, 08:51:22 PM »

Doug did you seal the edges with anything going back?   Rod
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2011, 09:30:25 AM »

I removed my floor and found that I had very little to repair. I found a lot of DNA that I got rid off LOL. I want my bus to be clean. Like Gumpy said I could not sleep at night knowing that junk was still there. Here are a few pictures. I used 3/4 plywood for the first layer then I insulated in the back over the engine with fire resistant blanket then up front with styrofoam. I then put a layer of 5/8 plywood on top of that. We didn't do a roof raise and have found that if you are very tall you may hit your head. My wife and I are vertically challenged so this is no problem for us.

John
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 09:51:59 AM by Jriddle » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2011, 09:32:07 AM »

Here are the rest.
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John Riddle
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« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2011, 01:22:05 PM »

I painted the bottom and the sides of the plywood with a marine exterior paint. I left the upper side bare wood. I fastened the plywood down with self tapping plated flush head screws. I turned out nice. Doug
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« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2011, 01:28:04 PM »

I ended up removing and replacing my original floor.  I used 3/4" T&G plywood and I still have some bounce in spots.  I removed most of the seat rails, but it turns out they also provided support for the floor.  I should have welded some braces in while the floor was out.

I don't have any vents under my floor like an MCI.  Dina actually placed an aluminum pan filled with spray foam under the floor everywhere except over the luggage bays.  Over the luggage bays I put epoxy paint of the back side of the plywood.
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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2011, 01:44:35 PM »

I painted the bottom and the sides of the plywood with a marine exterior paint. I left the upper side bare wood. I fastened the plywood down with self tapping plated flush head screws. I turned out nice. Doug

I'm sure your mom will be happy to hear that!  Cheesy Cheesy (Sorry, couldn't resist....)

With tongue firmly in my cheek,
Mike
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