I have a 1998 E350 Clubwagon 12 passenger van with the old seats and no armrests. Do the seats from the newer Econoline vans bolt straight in or would they need to be modified?
Yes, all the same, easy mod. You can find armrests on certain trims all the way back in to the early 90's but they have always been in demand as an upgrade for base vans and most are gone by now or worn. All of the XLT's from around 2000 up have an inner armrest (right side of the driver seat and left side of the passenger seat). These are still MUCH better seats than the vinyl base seats. It's an easy 4 bolt swap. The only ones I'm NOT sure of are the newer Ford vans with the different grill (08-09 up?) but I'd be willing to be they're the same too. Keep in mind that there are LOTS of conversion vans out there with aftermarket seats. What I speak of are the OEM Ford seats. No telling what you are going to find in a conversion van.