I am very late in writing this post!
Before the cold got the best of us and snow covered the bus, we did some work getting the luggage racks/air conditioning vents out.
This is what we were working with. The luggage racks/vents on each side the whole length of the bus with the air conditioning units in the middle that blow the air into the vents.
Every time I went into the bus I would stare at them wondering how they would come out. Many people said I should just grind the brackets and just cut them out but it was more complicated and more simple than that at the same time. See down the middle there? On top of the rack. There are air conditioning units that use the racks as a vent. So cutting it all out wouldn’t work well at that section and it would ruin the brackets which would be great to be able to re-use.
So I looked at it another way. How did they get them in?
I pulled out the bumper strip that went along on the top and then started to see how it was all connected.
Rivets #1 were holding the shelf and the plastic together to the bracket. So those needed to be the first to go.
Once those rivets were out I took out the rivets that were holding the plastic at the joints. They could just be pulled out and snipped as needed and then I was able to start pulling and breaking the plastic vent cover. This stuff is sturdy plastic and it tore on a line but could easily span back and when it did it hurt. I had many scratches at the end from it.
On this picture, you can see how I have ripped the plastic into strips. I took all of the vent covers off and popped the lights out of their sockets. They were all broken so I didn’t pay attention to trying to keep anything intact with the wires or lighting.
All of the front rivets are out and the whole shelf is being held by the back rivets and the rivets that hold the sections together.
After that I did the back rivets (Rivets #2). I started with the ones that were closest to where the shelves meet and not the ones at the end. If I were to work backwards, all of the weight would be disproportionate and it would make it harder. Once you get to the the rivets near the end. You need to either have someone close to hold the shelf and guide it down. (or make sure that the path is clear and do it yourself and be prepared to frighten everyone with the loud bang that makes people run out of the house to make sure you are still alive)
Oh yes… Can you see that piece of carpet dangling on the other shelf in this next picture?
That is at the joint and you will need to pull and chisel it away to get to the rivets where the shelves meet. Then, with the shelf down, the middle of those rivets with be exposed and with the weight that is being put on them with the other shelf hanging, they will be easy to break by using a hammer and chisel.
Next you can take out the brackets by drilling into the rivets (#3 and #4 in the picture above).
Make sure you are using a drill bit that is larger than the hole. That way you take the head off and the rivet is free. Xavier loved that he was able to do all them on his own. The only thing is that he quickly learned that even if it is hot, you need a long sleeve shirt to protect you from tiny pieces of burning metal.
This is basically the point where we stopped last year…
The only thing left up are the sections that house the air conditioners and that are not being held by brackets but by the air conditioner units themselves and we needed to find someone to empty the freon from them in order to continue. I finally found someone to do it after calling everywhere but now we just need to wait until there is a bit less snow.
Why don’t we keep them? One reason is that only one side was working. The second reason, is that they blow into the vents which we took off. They also take up a lot of space and can only be used when the bus is running. So there are no real positives in keeping them in there.
So next step:
- Get the Freon taken out.
- Take out the last section of vent and the units
- Take the rest of the plywood off the floor
- Clean up, fill the holes in the floor and put a rust treatment on the floor