Driver Swivel Seat Install - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 08:54:PM Thread Starter
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Driver Swivel Seat Install

I'm new to the forums, but found a lot a great info here, so I figured I'd make my first post something useful . I bought a long wheel base high roof transit and am in the process of converting it to a bike hauler / camper for this summer/spring. My gf and I plan to travel around North America and hopefully I can hit some races too.

Anyway, I was never able to find a swivel seat base for the drivers side, so I tore into it to see what the difference was. As far as I can tell, the only problem is that the E-brake is about 2 5/8" too high. So I figured I'd order one of these to see if I could make it work and if not, I'd put it on the passenger side. http://www.swivelsrus.com/transit_swivels.php **** expensive, but seemed like a nice product.

Basically, you just need to lower the E-brake. Here's how I did it.

Pull all the plastic off the E-brake. This black metal bracket holds the nice plastic in place. Pull off the 4 nylock nuts and you'll have to cut a piece of it to fully remove it. I might cut off the vertical section and glue the base to the floor so the plastic can still mount.



The E-brake is mounted to the side of the seat base. You can see 2 studs that go in and what looks like a nut. You'll need to take the seat and battery out to get to these. Pretty straight forward. Seat is 4 torque bolts. Once you lift it up, you'll see a small hex bolt that holds the wiring harness in. Pull this out and you can put the seat off to the side. Then remove the battery so you have plenty of room to work.




Now, remove the the 2 nuts from the studs that hold the brake to the seat. The third is a bolt that has to be removed from inside the seat. That nut is actually welded to the brake mount. With the bolt out, cut the nut off the mount.



Now, carefully push the E-brake cable housing through the floor until the stud that mounted the black bracket lines up with the hole that you just cleared by sawing the nut off. GO UNDERNEATH AND CHECK CLEARANCE! Mine was close to the drive shaft and now that its pushed down, I need to work the opening from the bottom a bit so the sheet metal doesn't rub through the cable housing.

Here's where I got a little sloppy. The third bottom stud will be underneath the seat base and I don't see anyway to secure it. Its pulled tight against the bottom of the base though, so its synched in. If you pull the grommet out that goes around the wire for the E-brake switch, the front stud fits great into that hole, no drilling require. Now, this hole is much larger, but you get a good fit in the front and top. The top is what's really important because that's where the force will be when yank the handbrake to drift your van around corners. Anyway, I put a couple washers in there and it seems very secure. You could always drill a hole a little higher, but that might effect seat clearance. Here's how it looks mounted. Threads are M8x1.25 if you want to use new nylock nuts.







Mount the swivel to the seat first to save yourself some time. (unlike me ) The wire will go through the center hole.



Below are some finished product pictures. As expected, you have to open the door to swivel it and possibly have it in the right front/rear position. I haven't played with it to much.

Overall Impressions
It works great! Locks in position and swivels. So it does the job. But, honestly, I'm a bit let down. I haven't had the time to really play with it or drive around much, but it doesn't have the OEM feel that I was expecting at that price point. That brackets are super expensive. The passenger is rock solid (OEM), but the driver's side now has about 1/2" of wiggle if I shake the the top of the seat. You have to try to feel it, but its there. I was hoping for $360 that wouldn't be the case. Also, its a bit higher. I'm 6ft and the wheel is maxed out in height and feels close. I'll post an update after some driving with it.







And here's the outside, just mounted the panel and fan so far.

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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 09:26:PM
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Sounds intriguing, but, I don't see pics. So, you have 2 identical swivels, and the one has so much more play? Have you determined why the play exists?

Transit 250 Cargo MR LWB 3.5L w/3.31

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 09:30:PM
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Your pictures aren't showing up. I tried opening them individually and Google says "you don't have access"...

A question that I can't remember being asked before: Is the parking brake too tall when it's engaged (handle up), or is it too tall even when fully released (handle down)? Since I'm still waiting on my van...

I'm hoping to put swivels on both my seats. The "wiggle" issue is one thing I'm concerned about. Don't want to always feel like my seat is wobbly while driving down the road. I'd hoped the SwivelsRUs one would be stiffer due to the larger bearing surface they use.

2016 T250 LWB HR 3.5EB 3.31LS Most all the bells & whistles...

Ordered: 25 Jan 2016
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Window sticker: 25 Mar 2016
ETIS Build Date: 5 Apr 2016
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 01:10:AM Thread Starter
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Forgot to make the album public, should work now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieZ View Post
Sounds intriguing, but, I don't see pics. So, you have 2 identical swivels, and the one has so much more play? Have you determined why the play exists?
Just one swivel now. I'll put the same one on the passenger seat.

I made the comparison between the current passenger seat with no swivel and the driver's seat. I suppose "play" probably isn't the right word. It just doesn't feel rock solid like it does from the factory. I was hoping for that with these premium mounts, but they seem to be great overall. I'm probably just being picky.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 01:12:AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomJoe View Post
Your pictures aren't showing up. I tried opening them individually and Google says "you don't have access"...

A question that I can't remember being asked before: Is the parking brake too tall when it's engaged (handle up), or is it too tall even when fully released (handle down)? Since I'm still waiting on my van...

I'm hoping to put swivels on both my seats. The "wiggle" issue is one thing I'm concerned about. Don't want to always feel like my seat is wobbly while driving down the road. I'd hoped the SwivelsRUs one would be stiffer due to the larger bearing surface they use.
Its an issue with the parking brake down too. I still wouldn't be able to swivel with the brake fully engaged.

As for the wiggle, its not serious and would be the same if they were mounted the way they were supposed to. From my understanding, there is less play in these then the regular ball bearing style. So these seem to still be the best bet.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 09:03:AM
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freeriden, how about a pic of the finished emergency brake? That mod may appeal to some who don't even install a swivel -- maybe for pass-through clearance.

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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 09:03:AM
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thanks for tackling this!

so, to be clear: the parking brake has room to move downward, and you were able to do that with the loss of one mounting bolt, and another that is now in a hole that's oversized, but where the force on the bolt is still on a solid edge. there was no lateral movement of the brake unit needed? just straight down?

this next part is a bit worrying:
Quote:
GO UNDERNEATH AND CHECK CLEARANCE! Mine was close to the drive shaft and now that its pushed down, I need to work the opening from the bottom a bit so the sheet metal doesn't rub through the cable housing.
i'm unclear on what's going on here. you pushed the excess cable through the floor, and now there's some risk of the cable... doing what, exactly? rubbing on the driveshaft? rubbing on some sheetmetal? what does "I need to work on the opening" mean?

and finally (besides congratulations, again :-), i understood that there were some electronics mounted under the parking brake handle -- perhaps something to do with the airbags. you didn't mention that at all. not an issue? not present? what year is your van? (i think there's a place to put that info in your forum profile so people don't have to keep asking.)

paul

Silver 2016 high roof cargo van, 3.5l Ego-boost, 3.31LSD. HD alt, dual batteries, power seats, and the coveted chrome grill.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 12:06:PM Thread Starter
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Its a 2016 long wheel base, high roof. Just got it 2 weeks ago!

Correct. The E-brake is moved straight down about 2 3/4".

To clarify the rubbing on the sheet metal; the housing passes through 2 pieces of metal. The top has a solid grommet that keeps it off the metal and centered. You can see it from my 6th pic down. The second pass through (only visibly from below) doesn't use a grommet. It is just over sized, and with the factory E-brake location, the housing passes through the center (with 1/2" clearance around it).

Since you're lowering the E-brake significantly, you have to push that much of the cable & housing through the floor (unless you wanted to take the time and shorten the cable & housing). When you push this extra through the floor, its fine because it will just have more slack under the van. This does however, make it off center on the second pass through and touch the metal. With long term vibrations, this will undoubtedly wear through the housing. I haven't done it yet because I didn't have plug in power for my jig saw, but simply making the second pass through larger to re-center the cable should do the trick. I'll post a pic when complete, I won't drive much till then to minimize wear.

I'll also post a pic of the final E-brake covered up if I can get it looking factory again.
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Last edited by freeriden; 01-09-2016 at 12:12:PM. Reason: Added clarification
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 01:25:PM
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thanks for the extra info. all makes sense.

we'd resigned ourselves to perhaps only being able to swivel the passenger seat. and after all, that was going to give us more potential storage behind the driver position. now we'll be thinking of swiveling both seats again, and losing some of that storage. maybe if the dog bed goes there it'll all work out.

oh -- any thoughts on those extra electronics? i wonder if they relocated them on the 2016 models. i can't seem to find a better reference on the forums than this post: Swivel seats , so i confess i can't be more specific.

paul

Silver 2016 high roof cargo van, 3.5l Ego-boost, 3.31LSD. HD alt, dual batteries, power seats, and the coveted chrome grill.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 02:17:PM
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freeriden

Thanks for posting your E brake mod-

I have been thinking of doing the same thing and am glad
to see that it works before jumping into this E brake mod--

For those of you that asked about the electronics under
mounted under the E brake -

There is a Air Bag control unit mounted Under the black steel Z shaped
bracket-

freeriden can you post some more pictures of the finished
e brake with a side view --

to protect the extra cable under the van -
Do you think cutting a short piece of Rubber hose
and encasing the e brake cable with it would solve
the rubbing problem ??

-
-
-

Last edited by GROOVY2; 01-09-2016 at 04:16:PM.
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