This will be updated as I work on the van.
I recently bought one of my employers old vans and am (very slowly) turning it into a family vehicle for trips. This project will include but is not limited to:
-New front bumper/winch mount for a 12,500lb winch I have
-Some sort of entertainment system for the kids
-Minimal sleeping options
-Extra battery/ugraded alternator(s)
-And if I am lucky a 4x4 conversion and possibly 5.7l
First, the seats
I got some freedman seats(8 pairs for 300$ worth of scrap plus 200$ cash) out of an old bus and am going to mount 6 of them along the driver side wall in the back. Half of the seats have an armrest and a head/upper back rest while the others are plain. The bolt holes I need to drill towards the wall of the van will be easy to get at underneath, however the row of bolts towards the inside will all be above the gas tank. Luckily I have access to a camera and may just need a hand putting in the bolts. I went back today to give the guy the last 100$ and ended up trading him back 2 pairs of the seat style I didn't want for two nice tires on rims for our car. After I had bought the seats the weekend prior he realised some of them would have been nice in his utv he drives around the yard.
Inside I am bolting two unistrut p3300 rails to the floor of the van, which if I wasn't using up the whole distance would allow me to slide the seats forward or back. To bolt the seat base to the unistrut rails you use unistrut spring nuts which when loose can slide but have teeth to grip the rails when tightened. This makes the whole system semi-modular and will allow me to easily remove and slide seats for different trips with different numbers of people. The unistrut is about 5/8" tall but I will be putting down rubber mat and have rubber moulding pieces to go in the unused options of the rail to make the floor a smooth surface.
I have already removed the old shelving on the driver side of the van, for now the shelving will remain on the passenger side but may be removed to fit 2 or 3 more seats later. Most likely I will remove the shelving and remount it to unistrut so I can swap it out with extra seats when I need the space.
Is the stock bumper really only held on with two bolts that are easy to get at? Seems too good to be true. I have some I-beams and want to make a custom bumper that can accept the winch. I forget if the I-beams are 11" tall and 15' long or 15" tall and 11' long, either way they are nice 3/8" thick steel. I will cut one middle piece and two end pieces that will be mitered. I will also drill holes for weight reduction that should also double nicely as tow points. Initially at the mitered joints I will cut flat pieces to bolt the I-beam sections together but will have it welded at a later point. It might not look pretty but hey, it was free steel