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Old 07-21-2016, 07:53 AM   #1
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Adding seats to cargo van

I think this is the right place for this thread... Can you kind SMb fans explain the process if adding a couple of captain seats to a cargo van please? The object is to outfit the cargo for sleeping and some storage but still haul a few passengers when needed.

I see the up fit vans with bench/bed combo with seat belts. I don't have a final design yet but want the area behind front seats open and I'm considering how to get removable second row seating added to a cargo van. What specs are required for meeting safety standards?

Or should I be starting with a passenger van?
Thanks!
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Old 07-27-2016, 02:13 AM   #2
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I have no answer for you, but it's a question I have been wondering about too. So along with you I will wait for someone in the know to chime in.
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Old 07-27-2016, 04:16 AM   #3
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Adding seats to cargo van

I added a third captains chair just inside the barn doors on my SMB (cargo van base). Well, actually I had a professional do it. I believe the base came with reinforcement plats that went under the van to deal with the bolts. Otherwise, just make sure you have a good-quality base, high-grade bolts and other appropriate hardware, and drill some holes! Of course, you'll need seatbelt anchors to the van body, too.
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Old 07-28-2016, 03:18 AM   #4
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I'm not sure about the original poster but the seat belts are key for me as I will have a kid seat strapped in. Does anyone know if the Crew version of the SMB come with anchors?

I can't imagine the mounting holes being left off on some versions and put in on others (ie passenger version with 3 rows). Seems like it would be too much money to change the build and not do it. More than likely the holes are there and then just covered up by the flooring but I would need that confirmed. If that was the case it would seem that the original poster (or myself) could just buy the added row of seating and add it in the second or third row position as it is in the passenger van.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:52 PM   #5
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This is my experience with a similar situation.

I just recently removed the stock 2nd row bench set from my cargo van and installed a side-facing gaucho on the driver's side and a captain's chair next to the sliding door. I purchased both from another SMB Forum member in the spring.

The captain's chair was from a Sprinter, mounted on a swivel base that fits the Ford bolt pattern. It's nice because it has an integrated seat/shoulder belt as part of the seat, so installing a seatbelt wasn't a concern. Apparently, SMB West did the original install, including mounting the new Sprinter captain's chair on the swivel base.

I used the bolts, nuts and backing plates from the (removed) bench seat to attach the gaucho and captain's chair. I had to drill holes in the floor - while there were a couple factory plastic plugs in the floor, none were close to or lined up with where I wanted to install the new seat and gaucho.

I did a little research into the hardware Ford used to install the bench seat(s) and this is what I found:
The bolts are metric - M12-1.75x40mm, Class 10.9
The equivalent SAE hardware is a 7/16" Grade 7 bolt and nuts. I found some metric stainless steel hardware at Lowes matching those specs.

************************************************** *****************************************

DISCLAIMER - the following is what I did, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it , so I can't be held liable for what you do

************************************************** ****************************************

Also, I've read threads, advice, warnings and flames warning against what I have done, but I did it of my own volition and free will. Please don't throw those warnings or flames at me here

************************************************** ****************************************

For the side-facing gaucho, I once again, used some of the original brackets, bolts and nuts (made new backing plates from 3/16" flat steel bar 1-1/2" wide) from the bench seat to install the gaucho, along with drilling 8 new holes in the floor.

Now, for the seat belts, (I realize seat belts should not be used with a side-facing couch) I purchased lap belts from SMB West and bolted those to the floor with the stainless steel hardware from Lowes, along with the previously mentioned 3/16" backing plates on the underside of the floor. I would rather have lap belts than nothing at all on the rare occasion that passengers will be sitting on the gaucho while moving

Good luck

Phil
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Old 07-29-2016, 06:13 AM   #6
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SMB installed lap belts on my two side-facing dinette benches, so I would assume that's acceptable.
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Old 07-29-2016, 02:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Annie O View Post
Or should I be starting with a passenger van?
Thanks!
The passenger van part won't help much, if at all, because the new seats are unlikely to line up with the old ones... Unless you're going to fabricate your own bases. We did use a couple of the existing holes, but that was somewhat random. As in, it just happened to line up in a few places. My thread on that install is here and there are others:

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...rig-17377.html

My plan is to make the seats movable on a track and more easily removed. Search for L-track installs here and on expedition portal to see what folks are currently doing. But it's labor intensive.

I would say the biggest caveat in putting in new seats to new holes is to be really careful about backing up the bolts with extra heavy/thick material to increase safety in a mva.

Edit: BTW, getting seats with integrated seat belts like the Siennas takes that issue out of the equation. You can put them anywhere.
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Old 08-01-2016, 05:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otter View Post
The passenger van part won't help much, if at all, because the new seats are unlikely to line up with the old ones... Unless you're going to fabricate your own bases. We did use a couple of the existing holes, but that was somewhat random. As in, it just happened to line up in a few places. My thread on that install is here and there are others:

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...rig-17377.html

My plan is to make the seats movable on a track and more easily removed. Search for L-track installs here and on expedition portal to see what folks are currently doing. But it's labor intensive.

I would say the biggest caveat in putting in new seats to new holes is to be really careful about backing up the bolts with extra heavy/thick material to increase safety in a mva.

Edit: BTW, getting seats with integrated seat belts like the Siennas takes that issue out of the equation. You can put them anywhere.
THANKS really good info, especially your thread with install photos. A take away from this site is lots of new vision! Love the concept of the modular track system

If I end up with a cargo van and add seats, they will be professionally installed somewhere
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:55 AM   #9
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Still shopping and have a short list of a few good options. One is GMC G3500 I am considering but adding a second row 2-seat bench or bucket seat may not work on the because of the 30 gallon gas tank.

I spoke with an auto installer/upholster shop owner. He said to consider the ford transit seats on rails with integrated seatbelts (not as deluxe as Sienna) BUT....

As he mentioned a second row seat has gas tank underneath which would need to be dropped. He won't do that and this is a small job so it is challenging finding an up-fitter for small job so far. Any input on where to install the track mount for added seat/s without getting into dropping the gas tank?

Edit to add: * so far I only found a diagram for location of CNG tanks
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Old 02-20-2017, 10:11 AM   #10
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Looks like this post was over 6 months ago; but I would love to know if you solved your problem. I own a 2007 E350 passenger van and I would like to replace the 2nd row bench seat with a single bucket seat with swivel base for my daughter. Since child safety is my main priority, I am hesitate to DIY; however, if you (or anyone) know if this is a simple conversion, please respond. Thank you.
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