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Old 08-20-2010, 09:48 PM   #1
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Upgraded Driver & front Passenger seat


Who has upgraded the standard Ford driver & front Passenger seats?
What brand did you pick?
How well do they perform after 3-4 hours of driving?
What non-Ford seats are compatible with the swivel base SMB sells?

Any advice is appreciated!



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Old 08-21-2010, 08:00 AM   #2
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Re: Upgraded Driver & front Passenger seat

We did but I'm not sure of the manufacturer. After a number of years, the stock seats were just getting worn out and were no later as supportive as they were when new.

We went to a van conversion shop, tried out a number of seats in different vans, and picked a set that felt good. The shop ordered them and installed them. Such after-market seats are designed to fit a variety of vans and have a number of options (yes, they still swivel but the swing is little tighter than the stock seats) including electric lumbar supports (which we opted for), electric seat warmers (no), etc. The installer needed to drill some new holes but that was it.

And, yes, they are much more comfortable after a couple hours of driving than the worn out stock seats.

'01 Ford EB50p Quigley 4WD
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:33 AM   #3
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Re: Upgraded Driver & front Passenger seat

National Air Ride.
These are the most popular seat used in big trucks and my butt has riden in them for about 2 million miles and many 7-800 mile days plus a few 1000 + days as well. When I'm ready for an upgrade in the Econoline these are what I will use. They can come with many options like: color, swivel base, heat, leather, arm rests, varios choises in lumbar support, etc ect. They also come in a low profile base version if you like ( meant for the passenger position in certain trucks). They have a flat base so mounting should be a breeze.

They need air, but many have on board air already or you could just hook up an air fitting and "set it and forget it." One feature you wont find in other seats is a fore/ aft isolator. This could really help in hard riding vans. They have many adjustment features, last about 500,000 miles with very little maintenance and you can pick them up for about $450 (Canadian) for a middile of the road cloth seat around here.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:36 AM   #4
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Re: Upgraded Driver & front Passenger seat ... egoryID=20
Current vehicle: 08' Power Wagon
Future vehicle,hopefully: SMB 4x4 RB 50, Purpose built for off-roading & camping, in style of course !!!
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:23 AM   #5
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Re: Upgraded Driver & front Passenger seat

Originally Posted by TwinStick
I wonder if I can add this inline to my existing seat? ... egoryID=23

Looks doable.
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:37 PM   #6
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Re: Upgraded Driver & front Passenger seat

The National air suspension with the Sportster Air Ride HD captain seats sound boss!

National Sportster HD seats:

National air suspension:

Who has these on their rig? Does anyone know if they swivel?
Newbie trying to create the ultimate expeditioning vehicle!
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:41 PM   #7
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Re: Upgraded Driver & front Passenger seat

New guy here. Waiting for my 4x4 Fresno build to be completed mid April. I am not thrilled by the factory seats and have been combing these threads for options. I would really like an air ride seat. Of course, the passenger has to also swivel. Here's my finding so far out in the real world:

Hard to find samples locally of truck seats I can sit in before buying
Truck seat manufacturers are just not set up to deal with air bag and seat belt system electronic integration
Spoke with local consumer products Recaro dealer and he said they harvest all the electronics from the stock seat and integrate them completely into their Recaro seat
Called Recaro commercial division, who makes air ride seats, and they don't sell to consumers

So, the consumer Recaro dealer seemed very willing to work with me on a custom solution and is prepared to deal with the electronic integration. There are some low profile air ride suspensions and swivel bases, mentioned on these threads, that I'm sure he would adapt for me.

Writing to see if anyone else has found a solution that doesn't get me sideways with the airbag integration.

D' & O
2010 E-350 6.0 PSD SMB EB 50 4x4, Toyo 35" M/T's
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:08 PM   #8
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Re: Upgraded Driver & front Passenger seat

Jay Shapiro has this one (the Excalibur-from Superior Seats) on swivels (it also slides, tilts, and lifts) in his EcoRoamer [with headrests (from a different manufacturer and supplier) that have built in DVD players in the back of them for the kids to watch from the back]:

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Old 02-03-2011, 07:38 PM   #9
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Re: Upgraded Driver & front Passenger seat

Thanks TomH. I'll give them a call!
D' & O
2010 E-350 6.0 PSD SMB EB 50 4x4, Toyo 35" M/T's
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:06 PM   #10
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Re: Upgraded Driver & front Passenger seat

Another vote for calling, when I was installing different seats these guys were extremely helpful. You can make just about any seat fit you want since there is so much height in the std van seats, you just need to worry about the width. There are a variety of bases and pedestals that are direct bolt in.
As for the comment that not many work with the std airbags, that not really accurate since there are no censors in the seat and all the charge / restraint is in the seatbelt female clip on the Ford, and that usually bolts to the base not the seat on aftermarket seats. There are adapters available, called piro adapters. My personal view is to steer clear or as they just gave me a bunch of crap on the phone trying to palm off as much of their product as possible.

In the end I made some Toyota 2nd row seats fit in the front with electric bases from Superior Seats.

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