Driver Swivel Seat Installation & e-brake relocation on a Ford Transit

Driver-and-Passenger-Swivels

Driver Swivel Seat Installation & e-brake relocation on a Ford Transit

At first, we did not plan on installing a swivel seat on the driver-side. After using the passenger-side for a while, we realized that a swivel seat is a beautiful thing in a camper van conversion! It creates a lot of space. We changed our mind and we are installing a swivel seat on the driver-side RIGHT NOW!

 

Read first:

The emergency brake is located just beside the driver seat. Unfortunately, the swivel seat will interfere with the emergency brake when rotating, so the emergency brake must first be lowered. Then, the swivel adapter can be installed. That’s OK, all of this will be covered in this post! Just keep reading!

 

Read Second:

We installed a Discountvantruck swivel seat on the passenger-side and tried to install it on the driver-side too. Because of its design, it will interfere with the dual batteries and therefore it’s a no-go. (it might work with a single battery option, but we’re not sure). That’s why we are installing a SwivelRus on the driver side.

 


Update June 2018:

There’s a new swivel seat in town: Scopema. If we had to start over, we would install it because:

  • It raises the seat by only 1 inch, compared to 1.75 inches for the SwivelRus. That’s nice, especially for the driver side; we found the driving position not as good after we installed the SwivelRus.
  • We were told by folks that installed it that there is less wobble than with the SwivelRus.
  • The hole pattern match perfectly the factory seat.
  • In fact, we plan on installing one in the fore-coming weeks and make a complete review; stay tuned! We DID install it! Check out our full review:

SCOPEMA SWIVELS ARE AVAILABLE HERE:

the-swivel-shop_logo
Buy on TheSwivelShop.com

(Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, Ram ProMaster, Mercedes Metris)


 

TIME SPENT ON THE JOB: ~8 hours

 

TOTAL COST : 400$ USD approx

 


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

Portrait


 

 

 

MATERIAL:

  • Scopema Swivel Seat Adapter (Buy on Travois)
  • Stainless Steel Plate (to protect the cable housing from rubbing with sheet metal)
  • Stainless Steel Fender Washer

 

TOOLS:

 

RESOURCE:

We want to thank and give credit to “freeriden”; on the Ford Transit forum, he was the first to publish a solution to lower the emergency-brake: “Driver Swivel Seat Install” thread on Fordtransitusaforum.com

 

Let’s install the swivel seat!

 

STEP 1: Lower the Emergency-Brake

It must be lowered to resolve the interference issue.

 

First, remove the 2 plastic parts by pulling them up (no tools required)

Ford-Transit-Driver-Side-Swivel-Installation-(12-marked)

Ford Transit Driver Side Swivel Installation (14)
Success! The 2 plastic parts are out of the way!

 

Here is the idea of this modification: we take the 3 existing attachment points (start of arrow) and re-located them lower in other existing holes (end of arrow). Not clear? Keep reading!

Ford-Transit-Driver-Side-Swivel-Installation-(15-marked)

 

Now, let’s take that seat out of the way.

There are 2 screws to remove at the back:

Ford-Transit-Driver-Side-Swivel-Installation-(16-marked)

 

and 2 screws to remove at the front:

Ford-Transit-Driver-Side-Swivel-Installation-(17-marked)

 

Don’t take the seat off yet! We still have to detach the electrical harness:

Ford-Transit-Driver-Side-Swivel-Installation-(18-marked)
Just unscrew this bolt and the electrical harness will come off

 

We’re going to take the batteries off to access the e-brake screws inside the seat base.

NOTE: we have the dual batteries option. Your setup might differs!




To remove the protective plate, we need to remove these 2 screws

Ford-Transit-Driver-Side-Swivel-Installation-(20-marked)

 

And here are the batteries!

Ford Transit Driver Side Swivel Installation (23)

 

All the batteries posts can be detached. The two batteries are “linked” together with this small tube (to locate in the picture, follow the arrow head). It looks like it is a venting tube. It can be detached (and re-attached later, no problem) to remove each battery individually (unless you’re much stronger than me).

Ford-Transit-Driver-Side-Swivel-Installation-(25-marked)

 

The two batteries are located in a plastic basket. Remove it!

Ford Transit Driver Side Swivel Installation (26)

 

 

You can now remove the 3 screws that attach the e-brake from inside of the seat base (we have no picture, but you’ll figure it’s pretty obvious)

 

The e-brake is not yet free! Remove the 4 nuts that attaches the metal plate to the seat base and trim the plate as shown to be able to remove it:

Ford-Transit-Driver-Side-Swivel-Installation-(29-marked)

 

Then, disconnect the e-brake electrical wire (at the red arrow)

First, remove the grommet (rubber part in the seat base), then pull away the electrical wire

Ford-Transit-Driver-Side-Swivel-Installation-(30-marked)

 

The nut below is welded. We need to remove it, because we will use the hole that is under the nut.

Make sure to catch all the metal chips! Those are evil! They will create rust spot in a short time! We used a bag and then vacuumed all over.

Ford Transit Driver Side Swivel Installation (1)

 

The nut is gone! Sweet!

Ford Transit Driver Side Swivel Installation (2)

 

We’re about to lower the e-brake, but doing so makes the cable housing rub with the sheet metal. Indeed, it off-centers the cable housing through the cutout. (the rubbing happens below the van, not shown here)

 

We must prepare a device to protect the cable housing from rubbing with the sheet metal. We kept the sheet metal that we trimmed when installing the Maxxair Fan! Neat!

We trimmed it the right size, made it “round” to match the cable housing, sanded the rough edges and encapsulated it in heavy-duty 3M protector:

Ford Transit Driver Side Swivel Installation (8)

 

We will now lower the e-brake. The back screw fit nicely, the front screw “fits” in the large cutout (where the e-brake switch wire grommet was). The cutout is way too big, but adding a fender washer will make everything secured! The third screw (the lower one) is no longer used… (but we feel that it is strong enough with only 2 screws)

**while lowering the e-brake, carefully guide the cable housing so it does not rub with the sheet metal below the floor. The sheet metal is really sharp!**





Ford-Transit-Driver-Side-Swivel-Installation-(4-marked)

 

We must now crawl under the van to install the part that will protect the cable housing from rubbing with the sheet metal. We fixed it with a worm-drive clamp:

Ford Transit Driver Side Swivel Installation (9)

 

We’re not done just yet! See, the airbag control module is located just forward of the e-brake. The metal bracket that we removed previously was acting as a shield, since the module is suppose to be pressure-sensitive
Ford Transit Driver Side Swivel Installation (10)
Showing the airbag control module

 

We need to modify the metal bracket and put it back in place.

We were a bit aggressive with the modification, but it’s doing its job of protecting the module. Only the 2 front nuts are used to hold the bracket now. You might come up with something better?

Ford-Transit-Driver-Side-Swivel-Installation-(6-marked--2)

 

 

Re-connect the e-brake electrical wire previously disconnected and put everything back in place!

Unfortunately, the 2 plastic parts that we first removed do not fit anymore, but this is only aesthetic. We still have to do something about that… trim them or something.

 

Nice, we’re done with the e-brake!

 

STEP 2: Install the swivel adapter

We have to re-locate the wiring harness, otherwise it’ll rub during rotations and wear out prematurely. Below is the “BEFORE”; take note where the wiring harness comes out:

BEFORE:

 

We first re-routed the wiring harness in the battery case:

Travois-Scopema-Wire-Re-Route

 

And then we made a hole in the battery case cover so the wiring harness can comes out. We also had to trim the “ribs” on the cover to make room for the Scopema plate:

Scopema-Travois-Rib-Trim

 

Final result:

Scopema Installed

 

And that’s a wrap!
Driver and Passenger Swivel Seats

 

 

 

 

ON SECOND THOUGHT…

 

 

 

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ABOUT US

Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine 🙂 In 2017 we sold our house (and everything in it), quit our engineering careers and moved into our self built campervan. We’ve been on the road since then and every day is an opportunity for a new adventure; we’re chasing our dreams and hopefully it inspires others to do the same!

 

 

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38 thoughts on “Driver Swivel Seat Installation & e-brake relocation on a Ford Transit”

  1. I have to agree with no access to batteries after installing swivel without removing seats it’s worrisome. I bought both $$$$. I’d only get the passenger if I did this on another transit. Besides the ebrake installation was quick. You guys made some dough off me with your articles a few times! Lol

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