Swivel Seat Installation

Passenger Side

Space is a very precious & rare thing in a camper van conversion. A swivel seat is a great way to create some space!

 

In our planning, the swivel seat installation was a “plug-and-play” kind of job. It should have taken roughly 4-6 total hours for both seats. Of course, we had few issues…

1- The hole pattern in the swivel we received from DiscountVanTruck.com did not match with the van and the seat.

2- There is an electrical harness attached under the seat (didn’t know that!) and since the swivel doesn’t come with instructions, it took few email exchanges with the supplier to figure out how to run it properly.

3- With the dual AGM batteries option, it is not possible to install the DiscountVanTruck swivel because the big bolt in the center would interfere with one of the battery. DiscountVanTruck advertises the swivel as “Passenger side”, so we don’t blame them for this; we took our chance because we knew some had done it before with the SwivelsRus.com swivel.




TIME SPENT ON THE JOB: 6-8 hours (passenger side only)

 

DISCLOSURE:

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click a product link and buy anything from the merchant, we will receive a commission fee. The price you pay remains the same, affiliate link or not.

Buying through our product links is the best way to say thanks if we were of any help for your conversion! Thanks for supporting us and for keeping this website alive 🙂

Alternatively, you can visit our Say Thanks! page.

 

TOTAL COST : 260$ USD

 

MATERIAL:

  • 1x Passenger side swivel (199$ + 49$ shipping)
  • 2x bolts 3/16″ diameter, ¾” length
  • 2x nuts 3/16″
  • 4x washers 3/16″
  • 4x locking washer 3/16″
  • 4x screws retained from seat removal

 

TOOLS:

  • Bolt Wrench
  • Drill
  • Tweezers
  • Banana

 

HOW WE DID IT*

*Disclaimer: we’re good, but not that much. Use these instructions at your own risks!

 

Removing the seat is fairly easy!

First, the seat needs to be pushed backward to access and remove the 2 front screws.
Van Conversion Swivel, remove front screws

 

Then, the seat is pushed forward to access and remove the 2 rear screws.

Van Conversion Swivel, rear screws

 

No more screws! But don’t remove the seat just yet… There is a harness that needs to be disconnected in order to set the seat free.

Van Conversion Swivel, Harness Disconnect

 

The cable is routed with tie wraps; cut them as it will give you some slack. Put the seat aside (be careful not to stain the seat with your dirty hands!).Van Conversion Swivel, seat is free





 

Now, check the hole pattern of your swivel to see if it matches with the van.

This is a supra-zoom-in of the upper-left hole.

Van Conversion Swivel, supra zoom in

DiscountVanTruck offered us 50% refund (excluding shipping, that would have cost us 100$ swivel + 50$ shipping-in + 50$ shipping-out to end up with NOTHING), so we saved the day by elongating the hole that was misdrilled. Not cool. We hesitated before elongating the hole because the ligament (material remaining between the hole and the edge of the plate) would be reduced. It turns out the hole was not drilled at the right place, so we were actually bringing it back close to where it should be. In addition, the swivel plate is a massive piece of steel (much beefier than the original seat plate) so we felt the strength is not less than the original setup. Case closed.

Van Conversion Swivel, elongated hole

 

We used a rotary file to elongate the hole. Get it on Amazon.

Drill bit rotary file

 

Now the electrical harness has to go through the drilled bold in the center.

Hang on! To avoid shorts, the battery has to be disconnected. Watch how in this sweet video (just disconnect the negative pole).

 

OK, now each wire must be disconnected from the connector. Use a very small tool (such as tweezers) to remove the red part then press the plastic tab inside the connector to release the wire.

Van Conversion Swivel, connector

 

Run the cable through the drilled bolt, reconnect each wire to the connector, screw the swivel, reconnect the battery: NICE.

Van Conversion Swivel, harness is passed





The seat will now be bolted to the swivel. Again, no luck, we had to elongate one hole because the pattern did not match…

Then the rest is just banana: re-assemble everything and make sure the electrical cable has enough slack to allow the swivel movement.Van Conversion Swivel, screw stackup

 

The swivel raised the seat up to about 1.85 inches. It is noticeable, but we’ll get used to it.

Van Conversion Swivel, seat raised

 

Done.

 

#SwivelLife ON.

 

 

WANT MORE?

Check out our Build Journal, learn everything about The Van, join us for The Ride, or if you’re new to this start by reading The Prologue.

 

 

STAY IN TOUCH!

Join 9,000+ followers via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or e-mail:

 

ABOUT US

Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine, a couple dreaming of being on the move and we’re seeking for the ride of our life. We bought a Ford Transit van, converted it to a campervan, sold our house, quit our jobs and hit the road full-time to make our dream a reality. We are sharing this in hope of inspiring and helping others to follow their dreams too!

 

KEEP THE DREAM ALIVE

Our Store

Here are some FarOutRide goodies that we will personally package and ship from the van:

Patreon

Patreon is a simple way for you to contribute and to get rewards in return!

 

 

CHEERS!

 

 

13 comments

  1. Comment by Nicola

    Nicola Reply August 15, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Salut!
    We are working on our own Transit conversion for mtb biking and skiing here in Wa state and would like to install a swivel seat also. In the end was the bolt pattern just machined incorrectly by the company by accident or does it not fit as intended? I don’t want to place an order and have the same challenge you did!
    Thanks for any help or insights!

    • Comment by admin

      admin Reply August 15, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      Hi Nicola!
      It looked like the hole pattern was slightly incorrect; one of the hole seemed to have a bigger ligament than the other holes. Is it a “one-of” defect? I don’t know, but i read on a forum somewhere about a few others having this issue. Maybe the Transit seat bolts pattern have variation? Maybe the more expensive “Swivel-R-Us” are better? In the end, the fix was quite simple using just a drill and a rotary file such as this one.

      We can’t wait to make it to WA state! We’ve been dreaming of riding mount Baker for a while… so.much.snow.

      Good luck with your build!
      Cheers!

  2. Comment by GRC

    GRC Reply October 2, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Great job and excellant info… Thank you for the post.

  3. Comment by Greg

    Greg Reply January 3, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Did you do a swivel on the drivers side?

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply January 4, 2017 at 7:23 am

      We planned on doing it, but the Discount Van Truck swivel did not fit with the dual batteries option; the center bolt of the swivel clash with the batteries. We’re looking for a different supplier at the moment. I think Swivel R Us should fit, but they are quite expensive and i have not-so-good feedback about that company communication & service… Also, to install a swivel on the driver side, to e-brake must be lowered. It think it is documented on the FordTransitUSAforum somewhere…

  4. Comment by Tyler

    Tyler Reply February 3, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Thank you so much for the review! I’m working on my Transit conversion right now. Just got the insulation/walls/led lights/bed put in, heading for our first road trip this weekend as a shakedown. Told my wife about the swivel, we want to do it, but I too am worried about it not fitting properly. I know I can customize it like you did, just wonder if they have fixed it yet? Once installed, how smooth does it work?
    Thanks so much, wish I would have found your site 3 months ago before I started.

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply February 3, 2017 at 8:27 am

      Hey Tyler,
      don’t know if they fixed it (or if i was just unlucky), but you could also check the “Swivel R us” swivel; i have not heard complain about it (except for some play in it, but it’s not too bad). We just ordered one to install on the driver-side (because the design of the Discountvantruck would not fit on top of the dual-batteries).
      Except for the installation, we’re satisfied with the discountvantruck swivel. There is not much play in it and it operates as it should.

      cheers!

  5. Comment by Shawn Moore

    Shawn Moore Reply August 24, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I’m in the shopping stage for a van to convert. I need 3 seats as there are 3 of us. Do you have any advice for adding a 3rd seat to a cargo van? Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply August 24, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      Sorry Shawn, we haven’t done any research on this topic! You could always ask on fordtransitusaforum.com

  6. Comment by Winston Blount

    Winston Blount Reply November 3, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I need to convert my chevy express Van driver seat modified

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Go top