The Great Seat Removal.
The seats! They are no more! Now, if you've seen lots of bus blogs/vlogs (No? Well, since this type of thing is my porn now, I've seen plenty, so just trust me here.), you'll know that seat removal is essentially the kick off to your project. It's the very first thing most people do and they are always pretty pumped to do it. It's a lot of super dirty heavy lifting that generally takes a few hours, but it's exciting, visible progress, and at the end, you'll know way more about your bus than when you started. (The boys were THRILLED with the 24 years of trash they discovered stuffed in-between the seats and the walls. They called it "bus treasure" and insisted on collecting every broken pencil and questionable chunk of old candy. There even had to be a discussion about how already chewed gum isn't something that needed to be added to the treasured finds bucket.) (Really. Please. Guys. Stop. That. Is. SO. GROSS.) (NO YOU CAN NOT EAT IT.)
Most authorities on the matter say to get an angle grinder and sheer off the top of each bolt that is holding the seat in place because there is likely a rusted nut on the other side that will make just unscrewing the bolt next to impossible.
You can send your really gung-ho, will agree to most anything bus-related wife (ahem, me in this case) under the bus with a set of vice grips. In the dark. Calling the advice "don't get eaten by any possessed clowns" after her.
Yeah. Greaaat. Thanks for that, honey.
Instead of it taking several HOURS of angle grinding, we had all but the last 3 rows (blocked by engine-related stuff and they were later tackled by the recommended angle grinder) taken out in about 30 minutes.
Not today killer clowns!
The downside of this was the fact that since my iPhone was being used as a flashlight and easy access to Google for queries such as "will you die if the bus engine spontaneously starts while you are under said bus?" and "best recipes to make on a bus" and "how many wives would go under a bus for their husband?" while waiting for Jake to move the next seat out, I didn't get to take any pictures of the process.
The good news is blogs/vlogs about seat removal happen to all look pretty much the same.
So! Here's a few of my favorite YouTube videos, and a fellow blog thrown in for good measure, for those curious about the process:
We kept the frames off most of our seats to possibly reuse as roof racks. A friend took a few to use for a different project. We only saved the emergency exit seat as it folds up and down and it's the only seat with 4 legs. (Did you know that bus seats only have 2 legs? The other side is held up by a rail that's also crucial to bus body integrity.) (The more you know, am I right? Going to have to change this into an educational website...look at y'all learning stuff!)