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Discussion Starter #1
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. >:D 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 :mad:) 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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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?
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Forgot to make the album public, should work now.

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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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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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:
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
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
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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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: http://www.fordtransitusaforum.com/interior/3698-swivel-seats-7.html#post186730 , so i confess i can't be more specific.

paul
 

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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 ??

-
-
-
 

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After looking at more closely at your pictures I see what you did --

I wonder if the bracket that you removed that holds the plastic
e brake cover on if it was just Cut metal bracket where the Blue tape in this picture
if mounts for the front of plastic cover could still be used ???


Cutting bracket at that point would remove the part of the bracket covered
in blue tape -



Then the front 2 cover clips may be able to still work -

Looks like cover could possibly clear base of seat-
-


Probably be more trouble than its worth tho --

since 3rd lower stud goes Under the seat base do you think putting
some VHB tape where the remainder of the flat part of the bracket
still makes contact with seat base would help make it stronger ???

My Hat is Off to You - Pretty Slick how you did it -
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys!

I tried mounting all original plastics today, but couldn't get the lower piece on because its made for an E-brake that sits higher. I could cut some plastic and probably make it fit, but its not gonna look great.

Here's what it looks like finished. You really don't see it from the top, especially if I paint the silver bracket black.



Here's how you would need to cut the bracket to make it fit around the dropped E-brake if you want to bother cutting plastics. Everything snaps back in nice and would work if the E-brake is up, but you just can't put the E-brake down.



And this is what I mean by the housing is rubbing. I was going to make the hole bigger, but that's a structural support, so I just wrapped the housing in sheet metal and zip tied it. Basically what GROOVY2 suggested, but should take the wear better.

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here's a pic showing how the bracket mounts to the plastic that I'm not using. I just used white paint around where I cut for rust.

 

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if it's true that the airbag electronics are under that bump in the floor mat, then they're now unprotected with your removal of the metal bracket. it doesn't look easy to step there, but you should satisfy yourself that that's true, and that if you do step there that you won't crunch anything.

other than that, i agree that it seems like the lower plastic isn't all that necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
if it's true that the airbag electronics are under that bump in the floor mat, then they're now unprotected with your removal of the metal bracket. it doesn't look easy to step there, but you should satisfy yourself that that's true, and that if you do step there that you won't crunch anything.

other than that, i agree that it seems like the lower plastic isn't all that necessary.
I'll have to pull the mat up and check that out. Good call
 

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With some trepidation I removed the seat and took the plastic parts off the e brake. A day later and its done! No big issues. In fact the only 'hard' part was to rework the base plate and lower plastic e brake cover so that they fit back on well and look good.

Thanks for the idea and pics that really helped get me going on this great mod. The swivel is ordered and will be an easy install. Have already done the passenger side and am very excited about being able to have a driver side swivel the same height.

Happy in CO!
 

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roadtripper -- did you have any issues other than the ones freeriden hit? no rubbing on driveshaft? were you able to protect the cable from rubbing in the same way?

i'm very interested in your mods to the base plate and lower plastic to make them fit, since (if i understand what you're saying correctly) that's something freeriden didn't do. have pictures?

paul
 

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No drive shaft issues and no rubbing on the base plate. I may have 'modified' (cut) my base plate a bit more than he did bc I took some off to get the bottom plastic 'hood' to fit well.

I've got some pics on the camera that I'll down load and post asap. Am waiting for the swivel to arrive (today or tomorrow) so I can install it and make sure it really works. For measuring and eyeballing it: should be fine.

This mod was much easier than I'd thought it would be. The only hard part was trimming the bottom plastic hood down to size.
 

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Danger

I have been off the sight for a while because of a Christmas trip and hospitalization, so I did not see this post (s) till now.

According to my up fitter, it is not just a single control for the airbags that was designed and placed under the protection of the EB. It is the sensors and controls for the whole system. When he removed mine, he placed a steel cover over the whole assembly to protect it from ANY pressure, from any source that might defeat the system permanently or activate it accidentally. Just a heads up, tampering with it could cost you more than your warranty.

Mine was replaced entirely, with a dash mounted electronic system. The new EB works great.

Semper Fi
 
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