Passenger Swivel Seat Installation

Last Updated: July 24, 2021

Passenger Swivel Seat Installation

Swivel Seat Installation

Swivel seats are a great way to create some space in a camper van conversion! The Ford Transit van doesn’t come with factory swivels, so we had to install aftermarket ones.

 

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 seat 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 seat doesn’t come with instructions, it took a 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 seat because the big bolt in the center would interfere with one of the batteries. DiscountVanTruck advertises the swivel as “Passenger side”, so we don’t blame them for this; we took a chance because we knew some had done it before with the SwivelsRus.com swivel seat.

 


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 or the DiscountVanTruck. That’s nice, especially for the driver side to maintain a good driving position.
  • There is less wobble than with the SwivelRus or the DiscountVanTruck.
  • The hole pattern perfectly matches 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: 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 (Amazon, eBay, etc), we will receive a commission fee. The price you pay remains the same, affiliate link or not.

Portrait


 

 

TOTAL COST : $260 USD

 

MATERIAL:

  • 1x Passenger side swivel seat (Buy on TheSwivelShop.com)
  • 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 INSTALLED THE SWIVEL SEAT*

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

 

Removing the Ford Transit factory seat is fairly easy!

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

 

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

Van Conversion Swivel seat, 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, seat is free





Now, check the hole pattern of your swivel seat 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 probably equivalent to the original setup. Case closed.

 

Do yourself a favor, and get the Scopema Swivel seat instead! (link on top of this page)

 

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.*

 

*If you get the Scopema Swivel, the cutout is large enough to route the wire without having to disassemble it. So skip the next steps; you’re ready to install the swivel plate right now!

 

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, and then press the plastic tab inside the connector to release the wire.

Van Conversion Swivel seat, connector

 

Run the cable through the drilled bolt, reconnect each wire to the connector, screw the swivel, and 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 seat movement.Van Conversion Swivel, screw stackup

 

The swivel seat 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.

 

 

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About-Us-Narrow

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!