Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-08-2018, 03:14 PM   #1
Member
 
TheVagabondMBA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Back and forth between CA and AZ
Posts: 31
Front bench in e350?

I've tried searching a few sites and have not yet found anything on this.

Has anyone put a bench seat in the front? Trying to find a solution for a second sleeping spot in our DIY build and we got to thinking a front folding bench might be the solution. We aren't concerned with being able to walk-through from the cab to the rear as we already have stuff stored by the doghouse (my dog's bed to be exact) and we're already contemplating closing off the cab when we build our overhead storage. Just wondering if anyone has a bench up front in their rig.

Thanks!
__________________

TheVagabondMBA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2018, 04:39 AM   #2
JWA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Posts: 1,807
Send a message via Yahoo to JWA
Felt a bit bad your post went unanswered VB so here's an idea or two........

I've not seen a front bench seat in any domestic van built in the past 50 years so that says something. The engines have always been place where their intrusion into the front seating area is unavoidable. Anyone here remember those huge doghouses smack dab in between the front seats?

Rather than modifying the van to accommodate a full-time front bench seat consider the typical Ford center console does remove which gains 8"-12" of space---naturally the engine cover can't be removed and the van still driven.

With the center console removed some sort of "bridge" between the front seats could be made and installed when the extra sleeping area is needed. You'd still have the steering wheel in place, a tilt function helping a bit.

That's all I've got--not much but maybe helpful in your creative process?
__________________

JWA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2018, 05:57 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Ipswich, MA
Posts: 63
Have you considered installing swivels for the driver and passenger? With the seats turned and then pushed “back” towards the front of the van you open up that area quite a bit and may be able to span something over the seat cushions. It’s not quite as roomy as a fold down bench if you could even find one. I suspect you may need to look at different model van and adapt it to yours with belts, etc. I heard of an Astro fold down seat for the rears, not driver.
Smoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2018, 09:47 AM   #4
Member
 
TheVagabondMBA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Back and forth between CA and AZ
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWA View Post
Felt a bit bad your post went unanswered VB so here's an idea or two........

I've not seen a front bench seat in any domestic van built in the past 50 years so that says something. The engines have always been place where their intrusion into the front seating area is unavoidable. Anyone here remember those huge doghouses smack dab in between the front seats?

Rather than modifying the van to accommodate a full-time front bench seat consider the typical Ford center console does remove which gains 8"-12" of space---naturally the engine cover can't be removed and the van still driven.

With the center console removed some sort of "bridge" between the front seats could be made and installed when the extra sleeping area is needed. You'd still have the steering wheel in place, a tilt function helping a bit.

That's all I've got--not much but maybe helpful in your creative process?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoker View Post
Have you considered installing swivels for the driver and passenger? With the seats turned and then pushed “back” towards the front of the van you open up that area quite a bit and may be able to span something over the seat cushions. It’s not quite as roomy as a fold down bench if you could even find one. I suspect you may need to look at different model van and adapt it to yours with belts, etc. I heard of an Astro fold down seat for the rears, not driver.
Thank you both for the replies.

My concern was being able to remove the doghouse and still have access to the engine. I don't think it would be possible with the bench. I found someone local who was parting out an old Club Wagon and he had a nice red folding bench. I went to check it out and take some measurements of where it would bolt up, how wide it was, etc. Based on my measurements I don't think it would be possible. You could definitely fit it in there, but you'd have no access to work on the motor.

I think swivel seats with a foldable/removable platform is the best option. Either way, the OEM seats that are in my van need to be replaced. After 6 days on the road with them, my butt and back were hating me.
__________________
Falkor-1995 Hightop E350 build
Betty- 2003 Harley XL1200 (Daily Driver)
www.the-whiskey-circle.com
TheVagabondMBA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2018, 09:56 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Ipswich, MA
Posts: 63
I hear the Scheel-Mann seats are super comfy. Rather expensive, but you can't put a price on comfort and reduction of pain. MG sells them and has designed bases. Might even swivel.
Smoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2018, 05:23 AM   #6
JWA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Posts: 1,807
Send a message via Yahoo to JWA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoker View Post
I hear the Scheel-Mann seats are super comfy. Rather expensive, but you can't put a price on comfort and reduction of pain. MG sells them and has designed bases. Might even swivel.
Were I do go with the Scheel-Mann seats I'd definitely keep the original seats in case the van was ever sold----exchange the better seats for the OEM's in storage. Or perhaps the new owner would pay a bit more for the Scheel-Mann?

Also keep in mind the stock Ford seats can be renewed with replacement foam pads available from Ford. Personally I don't find the OEM versions all that uncomfortable.

Another aspect is stock seats from about '97 thru 2003 seem "better", built from materials better suited for longer term use. Having a few newer seats repaired its quite obvious the newer they are the cheaper they're built.

Also seat bottoms from left and right sides can be swapped out without any issues.
JWA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2018, 08:58 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
rallypanam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: San Francisco/Nevada City
Posts: 3,548
Garage
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...bed-10903.html
rallypanam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2018, 09:18 AM   #8
Member
 
TheVagabondMBA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Back and forth between CA and AZ
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by rallypanam View Post
I saw that one too. I was really hoping the bench would work. The idea of having to build and store a platform like that for the front seats seems like a waste of storage space. I'm sure I can come up with something
__________________
Falkor-1995 Hightop E350 build
Betty- 2003 Harley XL1200 (Daily Driver)
www.the-whiskey-circle.com
TheVagabondMBA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2018, 07:20 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Nomadic
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoker View Post
I hear the Scheel-Mann seats are super comfy. Rather expensive, but you can't put a price on comfort and reduction of pain. MG sells them and has designed bases. Might even swivel.
MG? Im looking to replace my econoline front seats and these tings look perfect
seal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2018, 04:45 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
shenrie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: boise idaho
Posts: 1,933
Garage
^^^ his screen name on here is mgmetalworks. This is his website: https://expovans.com
__________________

__________________
"understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of your car, oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of your car, horsepower is how hard your car hits the wall, and torque is how far your car moves the wall."
shenrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Sportsmobile Registry

Priscilla

DocMP

Betsy

darryldickie
Add your Sportsmobile
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.