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Old 12-18-2011, 10:19 PM   #1
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Moving drivers seat back

I need to move the drivers seat up and back to give myself more legroom for those long drives. I was thinking about having a fabricator build a custom bracket to raise and move the seat back a couple of inches. Has anyone done this?

I did a search but didn't stumble across any mods like this.

As always, pics of your solution to my problem would be appriciated.

Sorry for the crummy pic of my seat. It will give you an idea of how much room I have to move the seat.

On the plus side. Headroom isn't an issue in my application.

Thanks

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Old 12-19-2011, 09:09 AM   #2
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Re: Moving drivers seat back

Hi John;

I have owned a number of custom vans over the years. All the bases had factory holes drilled that put the seat further forward than I wanted.

I removed the seat from the base, measured and drilled holes in the base as far back as I could and then re-installed the seat.

I recall getting an extra 1 1/2" of leg room out of them.

You have a factory looking seat that could even be bolted to the floor instead of a base. I can't tell from the photo.

Dig underneath the seat and give the "new, rearward holes for legroom" idea a try. Some square, mild steel tubing could be used to raise the seat at the same time.

Regards,

Gavin
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:13 PM   #3
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Re: Moving drivers seat back

I did that to the passenger seat since the leg room is so limited, but I also replaced the seats and made my own frame mounts.
On my 06 with OEM seats, there was no way to move the base back without adding metal to it, since there was nothing round the mounting points. Also, since the base was angled, moving it back would lower the seat at the same time. BUT, the electric base that sat inbetween the seat and mounting frame did lift the seat a bit, also had a height adjustment, and also gave it more adjustment rear-wood that the passenger seat that was manual. So *MAYBE* if your seat is manual, adding the electric base would do the trick. That's probably the cheapest option if you have a manual seat.

This is what I did.
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:21 AM   #4
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Re: Moving drivers seat back

I moved the driver's seat back in my 2008 E350 by unbolting the seat from the base (4 bolts) and then measuring and drilling 4 new holes as far back as they'd fit in the base, about 1.5" back as I recall. I'm 6'3" and it's MUCH more comfortable to drive, as well as climb in and out. It's one of the easiest modifications I've done to my van, and is way worth the 30 minutes it took me.

I've got basic non-electric seats, and no swivel on that side.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:07 AM   #5
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Re: Moving drivers seat back

Quote:
Originally Posted by IheartDieselVans
I moved the driver's seat back in my 2008 E350 by unbolting the seat from the base (4 bolts) and then measuring and drilling 4 new holes as far back as they'd fit in the base, about 1.5" back as I recall. I'm 6'3" and it's MUCH more comfortable to drive, as well as climb in and out.

Good timing on your reply. Moving the seat back is on my list of things to do today. I was originally thinking I would have to remove the base from the body and move the whole unit back. This other option is way simpler.

Thanks to everyone who pointed this out to me. You folks help me think of solutions from a different perspective. It saves me time and grief. It's nice to have this forum as a resource.

Thanks again to Kenny at Aluminess for pointing me to this forum.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:35 AM   #6
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Re: Moving drivers seat back

BTW - you may want to raise it up a bit while you are doing all that work. The pre-'97 vans have a lower seat base than the newer ones. You probably won't have to sit back quite so far if you raise it up a little at the same time. There is a point where that B-pillar will start getting in your view...
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:17 AM   #7
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Re: Moving drivers seat back

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
BTW - you may want to raise it up a bit while you are doing all that work. The pre-'97 vans have a lower seat base than the newer ones.
If I had onboard air I would probably upgrade to an air ride seat. The freightliner shop in Portland always has new take out seats available for a reasonable price. I tend to have the air seats in my work trucks raised up pretty high. Being up higher gives my right 2 year old knee joint a better user friendly angle for long drives.

I'll probably get a couple peices of 1"x 1" square tubing to raise it up. I think I'll go out and drill the seat rails, move the seat back then drive down to the iron yard on Columbia Ave and buy the aluminum for the vent cover and the 1by stock to raise the seat if I think it needs it after driving over to Portland.

I liked your comment about the best boating happens when the sun doesn't shine. I had a great run on the Clackamas yesterday. It was a mix of snow, rain, sleet at the putin. The Wind and the Hood were to iced up to get to yesterday or I wouldn't have been out on the Clack.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:38 AM   #8
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Re: Moving drivers seat back

Edited to rename the conduit hanger Unistrut

I ran into some issues with just drilling the stock seat base. The way the base is built there is no room to move the front holes back without having a space conflict with the nuts that hold the seat to the base. I had some Unistrut in the garage so this is the plan I came up with. This plan will raise the seat 1 1/2" and move it back 1 1/2". See pictures.

I am concerned about the strength of the Unistrut. It's pretty stout stuff but I could strengthen it by welding a few pieces of flat bar on the open sides in areas that would still allow me to get to the nuts and bolts. Anyone on this forum have an opinion about the strength of these pieces and if I should weld them before I make them all purdy with rattlecan paint?

Photo of stock seat base


Photo of Unistrut drilled ready to install
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:47 AM   #9
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Re: Moving drivers seat back

Could you remove the entire base, place the square tubing on the floorboard, and then reinstall the base on top of the tubing?


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Old 01-23-2012, 12:36 PM   #10
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Re: Moving drivers seat back

conduit underneath would be more stable and less stress than on top and better air circulation...and while your at it, consider sound proofing or insulating the floor pan under the seat to the reduce condensation corrosion at the bolts
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