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Old 10-06-2013, 07:35 PM   #1
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Replacing Bench Seats with Captain chairs

This is my first post and I really like this site! Cool vans from many members.

We are buying a 2011 15 passenger E350 van, and we would like to replace the 2nd row bench with 2 captains chairs. The reason is that my mother lives with us and travels with us, and I would like for her to have a very comfortable seat so she can be comfortable and enjoy herself (she is 74). The benches are okay for the rest of us (10 in all), but not too comfortable for her.

I know that there is a way to get captain seats in the e350 vans, but I'm having a hard time finding information related to this conversion What I have in mind is similar to what Enterprise Rideshare has for their vans.

I cannot find diagrams or pictures of the mount points for the seats or companies who do conversions. I cannot find mount brackets for captain chairs for the back part of the van. Any lead would help--google terms, who, what, where, etc.

I'm in Charlotte, NC.

Thanks,

David
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:37 PM   #2
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Re: Replacing Bench Seats with Captain chairs

I had five of these installed in our SMB. We have the Luxor model.

http://www.superior-seats.com/SeatingProducts.htm

Three in the rear replaced the bench seat that SMB installed with the original build.

These seats are outstanding in terms of comfort and build quality. But they were expensive.

My wife and kids are now much more comfortable on long road trips.

I assume that one of their distributors could handle installation.

Good luck.

Rob
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:02 PM   #3
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Re: Replacing Bench Seats with Captain chairs

Option 1) The cheapest option is using a front seat in the back, however that would require new bolt holes for the bases and they won't be Quick Release. This is what Adventure Vans in Charlotte does.

Option 2) http://www.cvcandmore.com/ This is the company that builds the Enterprise vans (mine was a former Enterprise Ride Share van). The older seats simply bolted to the stock rear seats holes, but they were not Quick Release. The newer CVC seats are all Quick release, but I believe they install their own seat track to allow this. CVC is in SoCal so shipping may be prohibitively expensive.

Option 3) Use actual rear captains chairs from Ford. This is the most straightforward conversion, since the bases use the same bolt holes for the bench seats. Also, they use the same hip point for the passenger side seatbelt quick release. These seats came in the Premium, Traveller, and Chateau trim levels. I have no idea what Ford charges for these, and they only come in leather now (older style seats came in cloth or leather).

Option 4) Toyota Sienna captains seats with rear seats bases from http://ujointoffroad.com/parts.html. Chris is in Asheville. Best bet for takeout seats would be a mobility van converter. I suspect new seats from Toyota are $$$.
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:37 PM   #4
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Re: Replacing Bench Seats with Captain chairs

I picked up a couple Dodge caravan rear seats (recline and fold flat) on ebay for $100.
Picked up some 3" steel angle to make mounting brackets, drilled holes, made backers for underfloor and mounted them up.
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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Re: Replacing Bench Seats with Captain chairs

I have some older captain's in the shop that haven't been in the van in over a year or year and a half (they're grey-factory Ford seats-unknown year). They will not fit your seat bolt pattern (almost sure)(I drilled holes and bolted through the floor in the bolt locations that didn't line up). Thought about selling them but never got that serious. When we started that's almost the same setup we had. It worked well for us for a while but we ended up changing. I'm down by Myrtle Beach if your interested. Send me a pm.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:46 PM   #6
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Re: Replacing Bench Seats with Captain chairs

I have Toyota Sienna recliners in my van and my Mom and Mom-in-law are both very happy with the ride. Integrated seat belts and child seat anchors too. Foot rest extends out for a lazy-boy style ride. I looked at a lot of seats before I went this route, I don't regret it at all. I even put them in the front.




Under $600/pair through Warehouse Salvage. They have tons of them.
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:04 PM   #7
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Re: Replacing Bench Seats with Captain chairs

Nice move. Are they well built as far as durability? Looks like the front passenger seat swings by the transfer case sticks OK as well.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:44 PM   #8
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Re: Replacing Bench Seats with Captain chairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Nice move. Are they well built as far as durability? Looks like the front passenger seat swings by the transfer case sticks OK as well.
The Sienna seats are well built. Having had both the Ford seats and the Toyota seats torn down to almost nothing, I can say that the Toyota seat is built out of heavier materials and the frame is more substantial than the Ford. The recliner is really simple and cable operated.

There are no clearance issues with the swivel on the passenger side (I spent a lot of time designing the mount so it wouldn't have any issues).

We've really enjoyed the seats. They are a huge improvement over the stock setup.
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:01 PM   #9
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Re: Replacing Bench Seats with Captain chairs

I'm not too happy with my driver seat. I ordered the 8-way electric and being I'm a hefty 300lber it hasn't held up too well. I thought I'd like the power seat for ease during long drives but actually use the heater more. Don't know if I need a recliner on the passenger side but it is a nice option. I'm just looking for a more heavy duty seat. Thanks for the info. I take it you sell the brackets you manufacture?
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:48 PM   #10
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Re: Replacing Bench Seats with Captain chairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmetalworks
I have Toyota Sienna recliners in my van and my Mom and Mom-in-law are both very happy with the ride. Integrated seat belts and child seat anchors too. Foot rest extends out for a lazy-boy style ride. I looked at a lot of seats before I went this route, I don't regret it at all. I even put them in the front.




Under $600/pair through Warehouse Salvage. They have tons of them.

what method did you use to mount them? i like the swivel on the on front like that!
did you use the factory seat belt on the front or the seats??
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