Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Learning as We Go

Before you ask, I've been sanding. That's where I've been. Well, sanding and grinding. It all started shortly after that last post....

Interior Pull Really Complete
what lies beneath
I posted about removing the interior about a month ago. The last photo was taken right before I pulled the rock-n-roll bed out. Once that was out, I removed the rails the middle row seat slides into, and then pulled up the wood flooring. I had forgotten that I had put McMaster-Carr vibration deadener onto the steel floor way back when. I took a seat on the black rubber and was taking a rest when I noticed a light rusty-brown colored dust sitting at the seam between the two rubber swathes. Curious, I started pulling a little bit and prodding at it. The mats didn't feel firmly affixed at the seam. So, I grabbed a box-cutter and started cutting away at the rubber to see why, hoping I could cut back to where the mats were really well attached. Before long, I had removed all of the rubberized vibration deadener and was looking at some serious rust. There was even some standing water, and the bus hasn't been on the road for months! Bah!

Rust Habitat
post-grinding, mid-rust converting
First thing we learn from this is: Don't apply sound deadener directly to a steel floor. Water will find its way underneath and once its there it will become trapped. Trapped water = rust habitat. I was inspired to find all of the rest of the rust in the interior. I pulled the carpet off the front seat pedestals. More rust. As best I could, I pulled the vibration absorbtion mats from the front cab floor too. Now, these were much better than the McMaster-Carr ones, so in some sections, they were completely sealed in, effectively protecting the floor. I hacked at the mats with a paint scraper to loosen any bits which were sitting on loose rust.

I spent the next 3 weeks of free time grinding the rust with a sanding wheel on my Dremel. Just last night, I finished clearing the floor of the grinder-reachable rust. After multiple passes with the shop vac, and then a wash-down with mineral spirits, I painted 2 coats of NAPA's Rust Converter on. The floor is now nearly completely black and ready for primer.

It hasn't been all grinding, though. I'll post a trip report next time.
Thanks for following along-

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