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.
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.