How To Remove School Bus Seats

How To Remove School Bus Seats

Here is our step-by-step tutorial on how to remove seats from a school bus with floor tracking.  Seat removal was ridiculously easy for us, all because our bus came with that in-floor tracking.  But before you go rushing off to buy a bus with tracking, read our post on the headache it caused while removing the bus flooring.


Tools & Material Required:
  • Socket wrench with size 14 socket
  • WD-40
  • Angle grinder
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Protective gloves and protective glasses
  • A friend to help lug the seats out (thanks, Kimberly!)

How To Remove the Seats and Dividers:

See how the seat footers are bolted directly to the tracking, rather than through the floor of the bus.

  1. Use a size 14 socket to remove all the bolts that will come out easily.
  2. Use WD-40 on tough cases, allowing a few minutes for the WD-40 to sink into the grooves.

Tough Case Scenario #1:
  1. Hammer the pry bar underneath the seat foot (the part that is bolted in).  
  2. Put weight on the pry bar to lift up the foot as much as possible.  This leverage and tension helped make some bolts easy to remove with the socket wrench.
Removing stubborn school bus seats

Use a hammer to wedge the pry bar between the foot and the floor.

Using pry bar to remove bus seats

Have a handy helper put weight on the pry bar to provide tension while you use the wrench to bring up the bolt.

Tough Case Scenario #2:  
  1. Use the angle grinder to cut off the top of the bolt.  Once all bolt tops are cut off, rock the seat back and forth until the seat pops out.
Angle grinder to remove bus seats

Use the angle grinder to lop off the top of the bolts.

When all the seats are out:
  1. Clean and save the hardware that bolted the seats into the tracking.  If you re-use the tracking, you can re-use the hardware.  If you sell the tracking, the hardware an extra perk you can throw in to sweeten the deal for the buyer.
  2. Vacuum or sweep to clean the inside the tracking (oh, the treasures you will find!).  This is really important for the next step of tracking removal.
  3. Put those seats up on craigslist!  We sold ours for $20 a piece!


School bus with tracking floor

Years of gross inside the tracking

School bus flooring with seat tracking

Tracking all cleaned out and ready for removal.

How To Remove the Lift:
  1. Disconnect the bus battery.
  2. Cut the wire to the box on the lift and seal with electrical tape.
  3. Remove all the bolts within a socket wrench or normal wrench.
Removing school bus lift

The normal wrench was easier to get to bolts in hard-to-reach places.

  1. Rock the lift towards the inside of the bus to jimmy and remove the long screws near the lift door.
  2. Have a plan for safe removal of the lift from the bus (these things are HEAVY).
  3. Because the side door of our bus was blocked, we had to slide the lift to the back door and very carefully remove it with a forklift.  You will need 3-4 really strong people or a forklift to remove the lift (ironic, I know).
  4. Get advice from an electrician friend on how to safely remove the wiring (we have yet to do this).
  5. Save the hardware that bolted the lift to the floor, as well as the hardware used to hang the lift controller on the wall.  The person you give or sell the lift to will be grateful!

NEXT STEP:  Removing the Flooring!