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Old 05-05-2019, 12:17 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 130
Seat Swap -- what to do about airbags

Sorry if this has been covered, I searched around and didnt find anything touching on this topic and I am hoping someone might have some thoughts/insight.

I have a 1998 E-350 am looking to swap out my passenger/driver captains chairs. I was going to use straight aftermarket but found a deal on rear captains chairs with a bench which I bought and brought home today. I am hoping to use the bench in the rear for the kiddo and the captains chairs in place of my current driver/passenger seats. I have not gotten to the bolt patterns yet (hoping they match and didnt use different bolt patterns for the rear captains chairs vs the front but either way getting custom brackets is a fairly straightforward thing) but I am more concerned with my current set of seats having plugs for the seat belt pretensioner but the new ones being rear captains chairs do not.

I see a lot of people put in the toyota sienna seats or straight aftermarket seats but no one talks about the vehicle specific stuff in the stock seats. Can anyone point me in the right direction on how to handle this? Can I just take that seatbelt/pretensioner and just put it on the new seat?

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Old 05-05-2019, 09:04 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: North East IA
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Here for similar info.

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Old 05-05-2019, 09:42 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2019
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When I removed similar vintage belt receiver w/pre-tensioner from Ford seat it had a bolt AND two tabs that ensured the whole assembly wouldn't spin. I drilled a hole for the bolt in the new non-Ford seat base and it was pretty straightforward to drill a series of small holes to create slots for the tabs. This made the receiver a little lower than before but the belt reached. What I was concerned about was the base not being up to the task, the receiver was previously mounted to the seat cushion frame not the base, so I used a 1.5" square washer behind the hole and a nylock nut. In 5 years of service nothing ever loosened up but never had an accident... sorry no pics, sold that vehicle (seats were worn out by that time and I had swapped them for new 2009 E series; nice fabric short seat cushion).
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:23 PM   #4
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To respond to my own thread with my current answer, for me, its a "you cant get there from here". The caveat is that I wanted to keep my swivel bases. Had I opted to go with a full base redesign there is a potential for that design to incorporate the seatbelt pretensioner (for those looking at similar this is the only path) but the seats are fundamentally different with the front buckets having the seatbelt and its pretensioner mounting to the seat frame not the base whereas the back bucket seats, the seatbelt buckle (no pretensioner) mounts to the base not the seat frame.

So for now we will go back to the original plan and look for something else upfront while putting one or both of the buckets in the back (one for now as that is all we need with the option of adding the second later).
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