It’s Time to Remove School Bus Seats!

Getting your hands dirty in the school bus demo

Let the fun begin! The first place to start in any school bus conversion is removing the essence of the school bus itself, AKA those pesky bus seats. Can you tell this is not my favorite part of the conversion? (Read about my favorite part HERE!) Actually it’s not even my favorite part of the demo! I do have to admit that it is very rewarding to see the bus once all the seats are out, the first real look at a blank canvas. But man oh man, getting there sucks!

After removing the seats out of two school buses now, I’ve come to a conclusion. Kids are gross. Especially on school buses. They spill their pop, they pick their boogers, and they leave their gum and dirty band-aids stuck to the underside of seats. Are you starting to see why I hate bus seat demo so much?

Remove the Seat Cushions

Physically, this is the easiest part of the bus seat demo. Mentally, not so much. Cue unknown sticky, disgusting substances.

On our bus, the seat cushions just latch into place onto the frame. All you have to do is reach under the seat, flip the latch, and get that seat cushion out of there!

school bus seat with cushion removed

Remove the Seatbelts

This step is totally optional. We chose to remove the seatbelts from the frame so that we can use them later in our build. They are just bolted through the frame of seat, so they are relatively simple to remove!

man removing seat belts from seat frame

Remove the Bolts

The seats are held in place by a total of six bolts. Three bolts are in the leg of the seat through the floor and three bolts attach the seat frame into side rail of the bus. Removing the bus seats is definitely a two person job. One person needs to be under the bus, taking the nut off the bolt, while the other person is in the bus, holding the bolt secure to keep it from spinning (or vice versa).

man under school bus using impact gun to remove bolts

This process works pretty well until you come across a rusted or stripped bolt. Then we pull out the angle grinder and cut through the bolt itself!

man using angle grinder with cutoff wheel to cut through bolt

Take out the Bus Seat

After you’ve removed all six bolts from the seat, it is time to get that seat out of there! It is so satisfying to watch the seats leave one by one.

man removing bus seat from short bus


One seat down, only nine more to go! It is times like these I am very thankful we don’t have a full sized bus. I couldn’t even imagine taking out dozens of seats! The whole process of removing ten seats took Bryant and I about four hours on a bus with relatively minimal rust (only four bolts needed to be cut). Even though I despise removing bus seats, I must admit seeing the bus all emptied out is so exciting! It is really the moment that you can first see your crazy plan start to take shape!

dog sitting in short bus with seats removed

Now you have the fun of figuring out what do DO with all your seats! I’m not going to lie, they sat piled in our driveway for about four days… until we moved them… to a pile inside our garage. We do have a few plans up our sleeves for them, so they definitely will not be going to waste! But that is a post for another day…

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