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Old 01-17-2020, 08:32 PM   #1
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Folding Seat Hinges - AliExpress

I just ordered a set of 0 - 180 degree seat hinges from RVWorld Store via AliExpress ($29 + $44 shipping, which seems reasonable in total). Hopefully they will be perfect for converting a stock 3 passenger seat so it will both fold out flat and forward.

While I'm waiting for them to arrive, I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with these (I couldn't find anything by searching this forum)?

https://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/...Id=32777753123

The vendor has a lot of other products useful in a conversion assuming shipping isn't prohibitive :

https://rvworldstore.aliexpress.com/...57ad2e0exnU7Jr

This is my first time ordering from AliExpress so I'm a bit nervous but I figured it was worth the risk in lieu of spending hours trying to fabricate something or find something at Pick-N-Pull. Time will tell and I'll post an update when they arrive.
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:39 AM   #2
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I have been working on this for the past month or so. I could not see the hinges you ordered so I do not know if they are the same.

Here are the ones I am using:
Click image for larger version

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I have about 40 hrs into figuring out how to make these work to convert the stock bench seat. I am getting close and am at the point of fabricating the base frame to accept the hinges.

Challenges are the large V groove left between the stock back and seat when flat, plus the upholstery mods, and having the seat back upright enough to provide comfort yet able to transition to “flat”.
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:20 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response, Ray. I had a Gaucho bed in a travel trailer that was pretty uncomfortable so I know what you mean about the V-groove. Have you considered a V-shaped foam insert overlaid with a memory foam mattress pad?

The hinges I ordered are different from your's in that they are supposed to fold both ways, forward and back. I'm sure mounting will be a challenge but, hopefully, not too much of one.

My needs are unique in that my wife is disabled and I want to ensure that she would be able to exit through the back in the case of a fire or other emergency. The side barn doors are completely blocked by a wheelchair lift when it's in the stowed position. With the folding seat she would be able to make it over it to the back doors. She'd be without her chair but would be able to escape the vehicle.

Although I have two rear seats, a 4-passenger and the 3-passenger, I'll seldom use the 4-position seat and will add additional anchor points so the 3-passenger seat can be alternatively be installed as row 3 for daily use or in the back for camping, leaving room for a traditional, flat bed in front of it. In that case, the fold-forward option would still allow her access to the rear doors.

If this is successful, I'll order a set of hinges to modify the 4-passenger seat as well, although it will only need to fold forward. We would seldom need to carry more than three additional passengers so the 4-passenger seat likely will spend most of its time in storage.
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:43 PM   #4
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Looks like a great idea, I would like to check it out when you get it done or help out if you want. I’ve thought about converting mine. I’m in Elk Grove as well
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:14 PM   #5
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RLC85 - I sent you a PM
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Old 03-01-2020, 07:43 PM   #6
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I finished installing the hinges today and they work as advertised. On the stock seat, the flat position leaves something to be desired but that's not surprising but would probably be better if you were making a seat. It could probably be improved on the stock seat by playing with the mounting angle to the seat bottom. I mounted it parallel to the frame but if it were angled downward toward the back, it might open flatter. This may entail fabricating a new mounting bracket since I doubt the existing bracket and frame could accommodate the necessary angle. In my case, I was more interested in the fold-forward feature.

I cut the welds holding the original brackets to the seat back with my angle grinder and modified them to use in mounting the new folding brackets to the seat bottom since the rearmost mounting hole needed to be an inch or so behind the frame. In lieu of cutting the original brackets off the seat back, it might be possible just to cut them apart, ensuring that the back and bottom pieces don't interfere with each other.

Here are some photos that hopefully are pretty self explanatory. In the second photo, which shows the modified bracket, the two bolts are in the the original mounting holes. The nickel plated bolt is just holding it in alignment while drilling the mounting holes for the folding bracket and needs to be removed before mounting the folding bracket so it doesn't interfere with the mechanism. In the fourth photo you can see the new nickel plated mounting bolts. The forward (right in the photo) hole is between the two original mounting holes. The rear (left in the photo) is between the curved part of the bracket and the aft end of the frame.

I still need to re-attach the seat covers along with the plastic covers and handle that came with the new brackets. The bottom seat cover will need to be fitted around the mechanism, which is hidden in the photos.
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Old 03-02-2020, 11:17 AM   #7
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Update: Re-install the back seat pad and cover after mounting the brackets to the back frame before installing everything to the seat bottom. It's pretty much impossible to secure the black plastic retaining strips otherwise. The ends of the bottom seat cover need to be loose so you can access the mounting bolts.

It's easiest to mount the back to the bottom with the brackets in the fold-forward position so the back is supported by the bottom while you secure the brackets to the bottom.
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Old 03-08-2020, 05:46 PM   #8
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Stumbled across this...

https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lg...086667152.html

Looks like one of those surplus seat vendors. It appears to be a stock bench seat with a clean fold-forward design. How’d they do that?
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Old 03-08-2020, 07:03 PM   #9
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I wonder what the height is on the fold forward seat from the floor to the top when folded? Looks great for my needs.
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOZEMANGUY View Post
I wonder what the height is on the fold forward seat from the floor to the top when folded? Looks great for my needs.
Mine measures 27" from the floor to the highest point when folded forward. You could add a mounting plate to the seat bottom so you could raise the mounting point of the hinges up a couple of inches. This would allow for a flatter fold-forward position, but would, also change the fold back alignment. The seat back would also be higher in the upright position which may or may not be an issue in terms of seating comfort.

In any case, it would be an easily reversible mod if it didn't work out as planned.
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