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!
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!
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:
(Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, Ram ProMaster, Mercedes Metris)
TIME SPENT ON THE JOB: ~8 hours
TOTAL COST : 400$ USD approx
- Scopema Swivel Seat Adapter (Buy on Travois)
- Stainless Steel Plate (to protect the cable housing from rubbing with sheet metal)
- Stainless Steel Fender Washer
- High-Tension Hack Saw (Buy on Amazon)
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)
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!
Now, let’s take that seat out of the way.
There are 2 screws to remove at the back:
and 2 screws to remove at the front:
Don’t take the seat off yet! We still have to detach the electrical harness:
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
And here are the batteries!
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).
The two batteries are located in a plastic basket. Remove it!
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:
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
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.
The nut is gone! Sweet!
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:
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!**
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:
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
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?
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:
We first re-routed the wiring harness in the battery case:
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:
And that’s a wrap!
ON SECOND THOUGHT…
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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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