Bolt Breaking & Heavy Lifting

Okay, so the lifting wasn’t that heavy. But we definitely broke a few bolts.

After successfully finding a home for the bus, our next step was to remove the interior seats and, being outfitted for 71-passengers, there were a LOT of seats to remove.  The seats were bolted to the floors and the walls of the bus, and without an angle-grinder on hand, we resorted manual labor. Perfect activity for a hot afternoon in Texas!

First, we went about removing all of the bolts connecting the seats to the wall. This presented an opportunity for several interesting archaeological finds along the way – primarily consisting of a decade’s worth of chewed bubble gum and calcified candy stuck to the underside of the seats. Other notable finds included a torrent of broken glass released from at least one seat cushion, a surprisingly un-fossilized pack of jolly ranchers, and this really awesome omen from a fortune cookie: “A good home is happiness.”

After unbolting all of the seats from the wall, our next move  was to remove the floor bolts. We opted for a team approach: one person on the underside with a wrench holding the nut in place, the second person with a wrench on the topside to unscrew the bolt from the interior. After catching a glimpse of what lay beneath our bus, I balked at the thought of hanging out with the spiders, bugs, and grime lining the underside of the frame and instead elected to provide the manual labor – turning bolts from the inside. Hard, sweaty work over creepy crawlies any day.

It took about 2 hours, but we eventually unscrewed all of the bolts. We even managed to break several in the process. The final bolt-breaking score: Justine 3, Ryan 1. I win!

On to the lifting part. We finished up for the day by unloading the seats from the bus. They now form a disorganized pile of metal and vinyl that’s totally available for free if you’re into that sort of thing. Seriously, anyone want 25+ bus seats? Call us!

Here are the before and after shots:

Holy bolt holes!

Holy bolt holes!

The third shot in the before & after sequence is how we left it for the day. The bolts for these two seats were stripped so badly we had to come back and grind them down later.


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