How To Remove School Bus Flooring with Tracking

How To Remove School Bus Flooring with Tracking

Our school bus had in floor tracking and we thought it would be easy to remove.  The tracking made bus seat removal easy-peasy, but boy howdy removing the tracking was a different story.  Let’s start with a diagram of the school bus flooring and how the tracking was built in:

School Bus Flooring with Tracking Diagram

Imagine you are looking at eye level with the floor, looking from the rear of the bus towards the front.

School bus tracking on floor

Here you can see how the tracking installed between strips of plywood and bolted directly through the metal floor.

Tools & Material Required:
  • Hammer
  • Power drill
  • Angle grinder
  • Long pry bar
  • Wrench
  • Protective gloves and protective glasses
  • A sibling or two to be under the bus to anchor the screw from underneath (thanks, Jairo and Norlan!)

STEP 1:  Remove the Metal Liner
  1. The metal liner is screwed through the rubber and into the plywood (not through the metal floor)
  2. Wack each screw a few times with a hammer (this helps prevent stripping)
  3. Unscrew with the power drill
  4. Pull up stubborn screws with the pry bar
STEP 2: Remove the Rubber
  1. Fit the pry bar in a loose space between the plywood and rubber
  2. Use the pry bar to pull up the rubber, it will come up fairly easily with if you use a long (3ft) pry bar
STEP 3: Remove the Plywood
  1. Use the pry bar as leverage to pull the plywood up from the metal floor, the nails will remain behind
  2. Use the pry bar to pull up the nails (wear your safety glasses!)
  3. Use the angle grinder to cut off the nails that you can’t get up with the pry bar
STEP 4: Remove the In-Floor Tracking
  1. Get ready for a lot of work.  This step took us three days; you will need two people for the job.
  2. Clean inside the heads of the tracking screws with a nail so that there is no gunk inside.
  3. Have someone go underneath the bus and hold the screw’s locker nut in place with a wrench.  This is key.  If someone is not holding the nut in place, the screw-nut-washer will simply spin in place.
  4. While the person underneath holds the nut steady, the person inside the bus will use the power drill to unscrew the bolt.
  5. Use the angle grinder to cut the tracking into 4-6 feet sections, then use the pry bar to pull the tracking up

There will be sections where you can’t reach the nut from underneath the bus.  There will also be some screws that simply won’t come up.  In these cases:

  1. Use the angle grinder to cut both the screw and tracking in half (diagram below).  Make one cut that halves the screw and completely cuts through the tracking, going down to the rubber but not into the metal bus floor below.
  2. Use the pry bar to pull the tracking up.

NEXT STEP:  Treating the rust on the floor (post coming soon)!

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