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:
(Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, Ram ProMaster, Mercedes Metris)
TIME SPENT ON THE JOB: 6-8 hours (passenger side only)
TOTAL COST : $260 USD
- 1x Passenger side swivel seat (Buy on TheSwivelShop.com)
- 2x bolts 3/16″ diameter, ¾” length
- 2x nuts 3/16″
- 4x washers 3/16″
- 4x locking washer 3/16″
- 4x screws retained from seat removal
- Bolt Wrench
HOW WE INSTALLED THE SWIVEL SEAT*
*Disclaimer: we’re good, but not that much. Use these instructions at your own risk 😛
Removing the Ford Transit factory seat is fairly easy!
Then, the seat is pushed forward to access and remove the 2 rear screws.
No more screws! But don’t remove the seat just yet… There is a harness that needs to be disconnected in order to set the seat free.
Now, check the hole pattern of your swivel seat to see if it matches with the van.
This is a supra-zoom-in of the upper-left hole.
DiscountVanTruck offered us 50% refund (excluding shipping, that would have cost us 100$ 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)
We used a rotary file to elongate the hole. Get it on Amazon.
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.
Run the cable through the drilled bolt, reconnect each wire to the connector, screw the swivel, and reconnect the battery: NICE.
The seat will now be bolted to the swivel. Again, no luck, we had to elongate one hole because the pattern did not match…
The swivel seat raised the seat up to about 1.85 inches. It is noticeable, but we’ll get used to it.