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Old 03-26-2019, 02:27 PM   #1
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Will big rig seats work in my E350?

Folks. Making a big decision and I need input. Self building the interior of a 2004 E350 4wd with older style leaf spring front end and I cant afford Agile's estimate of $10 K to make it ride better with coil spring style front end. I'm planning a long summer trip with my bride on occasion of our 25th anniversary and suspect that if I dont do something we wont have a 26th.
I have been seriously considering a set of trucker air ride seats and have done enough investigation to find that I can get a good pair for under $2000. Of course I will have to fabricate mounting plates but that is just an engineering problem. Another consideration is the Seatbelt light and alarm but judicious wire clipping and black marker pen should take care of that. These things are usually too high for a van but they make a "low" model for certain trucks that measures to my current seats height.
So has anyone tried this and to what result and does anyone see the considerations I have probably missed? And if this happens I will have a pair of nice seats with swivel bases available in the San Diego area for reasonably cheap. Thanks
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Old 03-27-2019, 11:30 AM   #2
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I have nothing to contribute but very interested in seeing the outcome.
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Greyswann View Post
Folks. Making a big decision and I need input. Self building the interior of a 2004 E350 4wd with older style leaf spring front end and I cant afford Agile's estimate of $10 K to make it ride better with coil spring style front end. I'm planning a long summer trip with my bride on occasion of our 25th anniversary and suspect that if I dont do something we wont have a 26th.
I have been seriously considering a set of trucker air ride seats and have done enough investigation to find that I can get a good pair for under $2000. Of course I will have to fabricate mounting plates but that is just an engineering problem. Another consideration is the Seatbelt light and alarm but judicious wire clipping and black marker pen should take care of that. These things are usually too high for a van but they make a "low" model for certain trucks that measures to my current seats height.
So has anyone tried this and to what result and does anyone see the considerations I have probably missed? And if this happens I will have a pair of nice seats with swivel bases available in the San Diego area for reasonably cheap. Thanks
Greyswan, I dont know exactly what level of suspension you are looking for, but I am strongly leaning toward these for my E-series. They come highly recommended by my Fabricator and he uses them in all sorts of builds and swears by their comfort. Now will this be as cushy as a full Tractor Suspension seat? probably not but if you cant find fitment for the ones you are looking at, then this could be a good option to consider for a replacement from stock for a decent price (750 for a base pair -- 1200 for a pair with heated seats and adjustable lumbar)

The biggest problem is they dont sell a direct base/adaptor to the e-series bolt pattern so you would have to consider a custom built adaptor or hope one of their universal bases/adaptors will work.
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:24 PM   #4
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Also consider the Scheel-Mann (sp?) seats. There's a regular contributor on this forum who can set you up with the seats and adapters to mount those seats on existing Ford base.


As I spend more time in the van I was getting ready to pull the trigger on at least one of the S-M seats, but thought I should try a lower cost option first so I went to one of those Relax-the-Back stores. I bought a lumbar support and a memory foam seat pad to provide pelvic tilt. Turns out the seat pad alone provided the most relief for me. I would still like some lumbar support but the add-on options tend to be too thick and push me too far forward and I then feel cramped in the cockpit.
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:27 PM   #5
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Here's a link: https://expovans.com/parts/
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:41 PM   #6
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Also consider the Scheel-Mann (sp?) seats. There's a regular contributor on this forum who can set you up with the seats and adapters to mount those seats on existing Ford base.


As I spend more time in the van I was getting ready to pull the trigger on at least one of the S-M seats, but thought I should try a lower cost option first so I went to one of those Relax-the-Back stores. I bought a lumbar support and a memory foam seat pad to provide pelvic tilt. Turns out the seat pad alone provided the most relief for me. I would still like some lumbar support but the add-on options tend to be too thick and push me too far forward and I then feel cramped in the cockpit.
I have looked at them lovingly for quite awhile, just too cost prohibitive for me needing 2 of them plus adaptors to my existing swivel bases etc.... sadly, no SM for me. Perhaps the OP will have the budget, they look fantastic.
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Old 03-27-2019, 01:07 PM   #7
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Oh wow... there's some amazing stuff on that site. An E-series with a 6.7L Cummins and an Allison??

But on the seating side, the Sienna conversion mounts look interesting.
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Old 03-27-2019, 01:36 PM   #8
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in short air seats do not work in off road vehicles "they will bounce your spine into oblivion, even with leaf springs you can manage a great ride thru quality shocks, Agile and weldtec can get you set up under the 2k for big rig seats
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:52 PM   #9
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You'll also need a very reliable air source to support air seats. This is another large expense (500, give or take) plus fabbing mounts and everything under the van for tank, compressor, etc.

I've also thought a few times about HDT (heavy duty truck) air seats but I think it would be more trouble than it's worth.

Sorry but there is little you can do with an older leaf sprung 4wd van. You could trade it out for a nice 2wd one, problem solved, but of course you'd be giving up offroadability.
I just made that up. Offroadability. Neat.
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:07 PM   #10
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...I just made that up. Offroadability. Neat.

And then there's its big, expensive brother; Offroadaffordability.




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