The front step area on a Split or Bay Bus always comes in for a lot of abuse. Whether it’s through mud and grit being thrown up from the tyres, dirty wet feet landing on them all the time, or water ingress that literally eats the step from the inside, it’s a very common area to need repair.
The Bus in the pictures came in for a very different kind of abuse: someone driving into it while parked, but the outcome is the same – complete replacement of the lower inner and outer step. A few years ago this job would have been much more involved, but thanks to some nice fitting panels now available, it’s so much easier. Thanks to Simon at Specialist Motorcaravan Services (07791 948880) for allowing us to photograph this work being carried out.
HOW TO Split bus front step replacement
As you will be accessing the step from the inside and out, it is necessary to jack up the Bus and remove the front wheel. We prefer to jack the bus near the centre of the beam, but avoiding the centre/idler pin. Make sure you use axle stands on a level surface, either at the outer ends of the beam tubes or on the front chassis.
02 Remove trim, protect glass
Before the cutting can commence, you will need to remove a few trim items. Firstly, either remove or secure out of the way the front cab mat and wheel stand mats if fitted. We found it prudent to remove the passenger seat at this point too and store it carefully out of the way. With this done, we used a plastic lever to remove the cab door to body seals out of their respective seal channels – go careful if you don’t want to damage them, as they may be glued in place. Lastly, we chose to protect the glass from stray sparks with cardboard and to tape some plastic sheeting over the surrounding bodywork which also acted as a barrier to the Bus interior.
03 Start cutting away step
You can now start to cut away the wheel arch in sections. As it is a box section, it helps to try and remove the outer piece first. Fit a 1mm cutting disc to the grinder and make a horizontal cut along the step as pictured, followed by a vertical cut around the lower A-pillar, to remove the outer step panel.
With this done, cut away the inner step in the same manner, being ultra-careful not to cut into the surrounding metal. Make a cut in the wheel arch area, followed by a cut inside the seal channel, just below the cab floor. Then make another vertical cut along the top front edge of the inner step. With you’ve finished doing this you will be able to remove the entire step, apart from the remains that are spot welded to the surrounding structures.
04 Remove step remains
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