Today, we set out to remove the wall paneling to check out the insulation with plans to remove and replace it. After fighting our way through about half of the screws, we were no where close to removing them (Fun Fact: Much like ambulances, school buses were never built to be taken apart later by amateur RV builders.)
Admitting defeat wasn't something we wanted to do without proving to ourselves that there wasn't black mold growing in the walls, so we got two panels undone enough to pull back and check. To our surprise, the original insulation appeared relatively clean and still had it's "bounce"…so to speak.
Satisfied that we weren't leaving anything more than old insulation behind the walls, we buttoned them back up and continued working on the remaining flooring left at the front of the bus.
Removing the captain's seat wasn't a project we wanted to tackle knowing we were still needing to drive Stubbs around to a mechanic and body shop tomorrow. Christian instead put some cuts into the wood surrounding it and we worked to pull it up with pry bars.
I strained some sort of tendon or muscle in my upper right wrist on the day we removed all the seats, so any sort of side to side or squeezing actions causes excruciating pain to shoot down into my hand and up my arm. Sadly, this rendered me mostly useless when it came to the heavy work. Sometimes I'd get frustrated by my own inability to help and jump back into the action only to have to sit out even longer because I was in so much pain.
We got most of the wood removed from the front at last, as well as some of the weird (and now disgusting) foam-backed vinyl that had been used on the footwell and sides of the stairs.
We did our best to clean everything to get Stubbs ready to go to the body shop. We drove her over to the mechanic to drop the key off with them so they'd work on her first thing in the morning. Hopefully Danny and the guys at Integrity Auto will have a solution or a referral for the floor.
As you can see in the photo below, the rust is the worst over the rear wheel wells and just behind them. Makes sense, given the fact that years of water and road crud were kicked up into it. We hope we can get someplace to fashion some new steel supports and reinforcements to allow us to move forward with the conversion. We'll know more tomorrow!