Driver Swivel Seat Installation

Driver-and-Passenger-Swivels

Driver Swivel Seat Installation

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 ON TRAVOIS:

Travois Logo
Buy on Travois. North American Scopema Swivel Superstore!

(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 eBay)
  • 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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CHEERS!

 

 

23 thoughts on “Driver Swivel Seat Installation”

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Thanks for your comprehension and your support, you're awesome! See you on the road.

- Your hosts, Isabelle and Antoine.
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  1. Antoine

    I understand removing the brake handle and cutting the metal bracket allowing you to remove the bracket without disconnecting the brake cable. With that said is the bracket that holds the brake hand to the seat also attached or is part of the bracket that covers the air bag controller? It looks in the final install you simply took a grinder and cut the back half of the bracket that rests on the floor and is attached to the seat on the side.

    Reply
  2. Antoine
    Just read the complete install story. I’m ordering the Scopema tomorrow from the ebay supplier in your link. My biggest concern is modifying the ebrake lower cover. What did you guys do? Simply grind or trim down to fit. I haven’t looked that cover but would trimming down the cover compromise the tabs used to lock into place?

    Reply
    • We simply removed the cover… We planned on making something nicer but it never happened! You can probably trim it and make something nice.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  3. Hi Farouts:

    Okay, been meaning to ask this Q for a long time, and now that you are contemplative mode, now is the time!

    So.

    Um.

    Do you actually use the emergency brake? Ever? In the last three vehicles with automatic transmissions that we have had, the emergency brake stopped working after about 100K. And we never missed it.

    And to be honest, it is in the way all the time. Maybe I might remove it entirely…

    Reply
    • Morning,
      We actually use it (and it’s still working fine at 110 000km) when we park on steep incline; I don’t want my 9000lbs home-on-wheel to go for a ghost ride!
      I guess someone living in the prairies wouldn’t really need it, but we spend most of our time in the mountains.

      Have a good one,
      antoine

      Reply
  4. Thanks so much for the thorough write up! I purchased both Scopema swivels and am just about done installing the driver side now (after a good amount of cutting, grinding, and drilling) using the newly added plate that Travois included to make dropping the E brake easier. It’s good because it keeps the alignment of the cable housing the same so no modifications are required there, but you do have to cut off some welded studs and bolts which is a pain.

    My question is what did you do about the wiring harness under the seat, since it seems to get mashed up by the swivel as it rotates. The clearance under the swivel above the plastic battery case cover is not enough for the wiring loom that mounts under the seat in the harness. Wondering if you came up with a crafty solution other than removing the battery box lid assembly?

    Reply
    • Geez, just realized I didn’t update the article 🙁 Thanks for the heads-up.

      Year we re-routed the wire inside the battery case and modify the cover; I just added the pictures in the article. Hope that makes sense!

      Antoine

      Reply
  5. Do the seats swivel a full 180 degrees or only 120 or whatever that knee-cap and foot crowded angle is that all the swivels seem to stop at? I see some photos on the web that allow 180, so I know it can be done. Why wouldn’t they all be that way? Who wants their knee and foot space jammed up in someone else’s?

    Having said all of that, your review was very well done and the photos were a big help.

    Cheers.

    Reply
  6. Love your journal and writeups. I purchased the Scopema driver’s-side swivel seat for my 2018 Ford Transit 250. Just installed it today. Love how the seat height isn’t affected much. I was really unimpressed by the craftsmanship, though. Three of the four holes that line up with the seat base line up. The fourth doesn’t. Measured it up and it doesn’t fit. So I have to drill through the Scopema plate to get the fourth bolt to fit, which it needs to because the seat shakes without it. Also, I had to grind out two of the welded studs in the handbrake bracket. The instructions provided weren’t very good.

    Anyway, I’m happy with the seat height, but this job required a LOT of work, cutting, grinding, and the plate wasn’t made properly.

    Reply
    • Oh and the worst part about it is your can’t access the battery negative to turn off van power without removing the entire swivel seat base. That’s nuts. You used to be able to just slide the seat forward to access. Not any more.

      Reply
  7. I want to remove the driver chair, so I can drive my wheel chair
    Over the driver seat platform ? And figure a way to secure the wheelchair
    On the platform. Or take the platform out all together ?
    Scott and David
    Race Hawaii
    Racehawaiistandup.com !

    Reply
  8. Quick Question: When you disconnect the two batteries under the driver’s seat, do you lose your “presets” on the on board computer system because of complete power loss? I know when I take my car to get the battery replaced, the sales tech will hook up a temporary power source under my dash to keep power to all of my presets as they are? That way I do not lose my clock, radio stations, etc…

    Reply
  9. Great site, I hope to use many of your ideas soon. Do you know if these seat swivels work on the 10 way power seat option ?
    Thank you for your insights

    Reply
  10. If I buy the driver model of the swivel-r-us swivel bracket, will I still need to modify the e-brake assembly by lowering it, or is it sufficiently high that the e-brake won’t be a problem?

    I’m debating the increased cost of the driver swivel versus the time and effort it will take to modify the e-brake assembly. I’m also curious about the increased height of the driver’s seat if I went with the driver swivel as I’m not very tall.

    Any info you have about the differences between the driver and passenger swivels would be great! The info on their website isn’t as informative as I’d like.

    Reply
    • I just sent them an email to set the record straight.

      As you know, we installed the passenger swivel on the driver side to minimize the height increase (which is about 1.75″). This makes quite a difference, I would definitely not want any more height increase. In other word, I think it’s worth the time and effort to lower the e-brake assembly.

      I’ll report back with the info from SwivelsRus when i hear from them.

      Cheers!

      Reply
  11. Thanks for the post. I also just recently installed the swivel-r-us adapter (passenger side) and am happy with the quality, albeit a bit high cost. Been referencing your site beaucoup so thanks for taking the time to document your build!

    Merci encore mec~


    J

    Reply
  12. Hi. Would love to do this on my 16 T250. I just dropped my Transit at Quigley for the 4×4 conversion. Do you have a shop drawing from the top view showing the angular protrusions as it swivels and when it is at 90°? I will have a Sortimo partition with the slider door installed so 90° will probably be it’s limit. I just want it to be easier to get to and thru that doorway.

    The 4×4 transfer case shifter is located in that same middle isle and since I can’t move that I want to see if the seat on the swivel will clear that. Also the back of the seat as it swivels is a concern but I would certainly live with having to bring up the seat back if need be.

    Reply
    • Hi David,
      unfortunatly we don’t have a drawing. But keep in mind that, to rotate, the seat has to be pushed almost completely forward with the back of the seat pushed forward too; then during the rotation, it has to be pushed slightly backward to clear the dash…
      What I’m trying to say is, you cannot just sit on the seat while rotating; it’s a bit more complicated than that! I doubt it will help you achieve what you want.

      antoine

      Reply

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