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Installing swivel seat base. Help!
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surfgeek33
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:57 pm    Post subject: Installing swivel seat base. Help! Reply with quote

Hello all,
I bought a swivel base seat last week for my weekender. I am planning on installing it in the passenger side. However, I don't have a clue how to install this. Do I need to fabricate something to bolt in on? No clue. Any advise is appreciated. thanks. SG33
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terryg
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take it apart, line up the seat adjustment teeth with the base, and weld it back in. There should be some obvious places where the base was cut out - just weld it back in there. Be careful and you can install and remove it without destroying your seat adjustment ability.
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joetiger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found a guy on Craigslist who came over and tack-welded mine in for $20.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I sent some pictures to your email. If you have any more questions, you can PM me. Good Luck! -Rick
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jakebayless
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:21 pm    Post subject: pix Reply with quote

I too am looking to undertake the much coveted seat pivot installation.

I just snapped a couple of snappys showing my dilemma:
I got a seat pivot that was chopped off at the lower portion of the metal seam rather than simply at the dozen or so tack welds! (madness!!!)

Which leaves me with a few problems I'd like your advice on. (purty please)

#1 - I think I will weld 4 pieces of stock onto the top of the gold swivel base - at the corners... this'll allow me to hang the base in the right spot, then tack it in to the rails. Alternately, I am also thinking maybe a quadruplet of angle iron brackets underneath to rest it on? Probably could attach it with 4 bolts if I do that... make it removable? I'm on the fence. Anyone else lucky enough to have a swivel base neatly and expertly cut off the donor vehicle in this magical and helpful manner?

#2 - Battery cover. Shall I just remove it? How do westys deal with this? It seems too long to now actually fit.

#3 - what is the rearmost metal tab on the swivel base for? Battery mount? If so, can someone take a snappy for me so I can fabricate my own like yours?

#4 - under swivel storage - looks like I am losing a breadbox sized chunk of storage under the passenger seat! Ah! No! I think I remember seeing someone take a shot of the front metal removal so you recover access to this space again?

#5 - Strut tower access - there is a useful little rubber plug that I can only guess westys have a difficult time gaining access to - if the swivel base is welded on, what a PITA it would become to get a tool in there to work on the top of the strut! No??

Pictures: (BTW, I have figured out how to imbed Picasa images here - let me know if you want to know the trick.)

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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...and for those of you, like me, who have no access to an original westy, here is a photo Rick gave me showing the proper tack welds to the original rails... (thanks, Rick)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too bad someone screwed up your seat bases by cutting them that way. You will probably have to extend them at both edges by welding on some flat bar stock. If you lap-weld it on top, so that it extends them right out to fit between the inside edges of both track adjustment racks, then you can make them fit and at the same time you might be able to make the final installed height a bit lower than it would have been.

Adding swivels to normal seats lifts them 1.25". The factory seats installed on swivels had thinner bases to compensate. You can really sense the height increase, it feels like you're driving a big rig, and I was worried that by putting one under the driver's seat my 5'3" wife wouldn't be able to reach the pedals well enough. She tested it, though, and it's still OK for her.

Although it would have been much quicker to weld them in, I wanted to retain access to the spaces underneath. My stereo power amp is living under the driver's side base, and it's not so important on the other side which is vacant, but I like to be able to reverse my mods if possible. On the passenger side, I plan on cutting down the forward wall of the box and making a map drawer that will slide into that space.

So I bolted mine down to the racks. Like this:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I used 4 M6 bolts and nuts for each seat. The exact position of the holes is pretty critical. The outboard ones go thru the top of the wheel well, so the nuts are exposed above the wheel.

You should grind off or bend down the tabs that project inward from the right-hand rail of each pair. They are the normal seat slider safety stops, but only the left-hand ones are used.

The inboard bolts are tricky. I drilled 2 holes inboard of each track adjustment rack like this:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

You can see the remnant of the ground-off stop tab. The dilemma was how to get the nuts onto the bolts from underneath the inboard rails, especially because the swivel base totally blocks the already difficult access once it's in place. So I got a longer bolt that would reach down to below the inboard lip of the seatbase wall. I made up a thin strand of JB Steel epoxy putty, made it into a ring, and laid it on top of a nut so it wouldn't interfere with the threads. Holding the nut on my fingertip underneath the lip, I reached down with the longer bolt and started the nut onto the bolt. Then I pulled the bolt upward to mash the nut with its epoxy to adhere to the inside of the rail under the hole. I then replaced the long bolt with a shorter one, and tightened it down to hold the nut in the final position while the epoxy set. That way I had fixed nuts in place under the inboard rails, and the swivel base bolts right down to them.

For a battery hold-down, I just used a short bit of 1" aluminum bar, drilled an M8-sized hole, and bent it to the angle where it would snug down against the rear angled flange of the swivel base and engage the edge of the battery casing:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Et voila! Swivels! My big bad alarm system doesn't seem to mind:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


And now it's so much easier to back into the garage!

Swiveling the driver's seat is tricky, because the steering wheel gets in the way. There's a sequence you learn that makes it work. But in an attempt to get more forward tilt, which would have allowed it to clear the wheel, I looked at the tilting mechanism. It wasn't possible to gain any more forward tilt, but I found you can modify the cog segment to get one more click of rearward tilt if you remove the metal to the left of the white line:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Just lay a ruler against the projecting end of the pipe axle, and mark a line that is a tangent of the pipe and goes straight to the center of the first cog recess. Then cut and grind off the last tooth of the segment, and you get a couple inches more rearward tilt.

The battery doors have to be shortened to close behind the new bases. Maybe you can find shortened ones at a wrecker, but it's just a custom cut'n'shape job and not too hard to do. I drilled out the hinge rivets, removed the hinges from the doors by drilling the spot welds, and shortened the rear edge of each door the right amount. I reshaped the rear lip of each with a 1/8" bend to keep them rigid, then welded the hinges back on. After painting, 5 pop rivets reattached the hinges to the seat box. The forward lip needs to be notched to fit over the battery hold down, and the carpet flaps that cover them also have to be trimmed back to fit.


Last edited by tencentlife on Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, if you bend up the wire eye a bit at the tip of the swivel release spring lever, it's a lot easier to assemble the swivel mechanism once it's in place. And use 4 M8 Nylock nuts to hold the circle piece down. The torque is very light, or the swivel will bind too much to move.
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getset
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also wanted a swivel seat base. However, my lack of a welder has kept me from buying one. Instead, whenever I am camping I just slide my seat off, turn it around and slide it back on. It works well for the time being.
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Orbitald
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tencent,

I'm wondering about the strength of the four M6 bolts.

Did you use higher grade bolt (12.9)?

And could you have installed 6 rather than 4 blots?

What length bolt did you use? It looks like they are fairly short 10mm-20mm?

Would a socket head screw be slightly more effective?
http://www.fastenal.com/web/products/detail.ex?sku=Product:0135918&ucst=t
http://www.amazon.com/Metric-Socket-Screw-12-9-Plain/dp/B001AQHDR6

I'm considering doing the same mod but am concerned about the possibility of the bolts shearing in an accident and throwing myself and passenger through the windshield. But I really like the idea of having longer term access to the underside of the seat area and will probably do the same but I want to make sure that it is as safe as possible.

Thanks!

David R.
Oakland, CA

FYI:
http://www.portlandbolt.com/faqs/bolt-shear-strength-considerations

First, unlike tensile and yield strengths, there are no published shear strength values or requirements for ASTM specifications. The Industrial Fastener Institute (Inch Fastener Standards, 7th ed. 2003. B-Cool states that shear strength is approximately 60% of the minimum tensile strength.

“As an empirical guide, shear strengths of carbon steel fasteners may be assumed to be approximately 60 percent of their specified minimum tensile strengths. For example, an SAE grade 5 hex cap screw has a specified minimum tensile strength of 120,000 psi. Therefore, for design purposes, its shear strength could be reasonably assumed to be 70,000 psi.”
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sanchius Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orbitald wrote:
Tencent,

I'm wondering about the strength of the four M6 bolts.

Did you use higher grade bolt (12.9)?

And could you have installed 6 rather than 4 blots?

...
I'm considering doing the same mod but am concerned about the possibility of the bolts shearing in an accident and throwing myself and passenger through the windshield. But I really like the idea of having longer term access to the underside of the seat area and will probably do the same but I want to make sure that it is as safe as possible.


AFAIAC, the weak point is not the four m6 bolts holding 251-801-296B to the body (you could put 9 per side if you want), but the nylock nuts that go onto the 4 studs in the center of the ring in part 251-801-296B failing in the event of a rear hit.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Last edited by sanchius on Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:41 pm; edited 4 times in total
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
but am concerned about the possibility of the bolts shearing in an accident and throwing myself and passenger through the windshield.


You should get in the habit of using seatbelts.

(That's not snark; it contains a specific answer to your question if you think about it for a moment)
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Orbitald
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stand corrected.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orbitald wrote:
Tencent,

I'm wondering about the strength of the four M6 bolts.

Did you use higher grade bolt (12.9)?

And could you have installed 6 rather than 4 blots?


Heehee...I thought the same way when I used 10c's swivel base install method on my '85. I used 6 M8's and ran into a little bit of clearance issues.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=289505

After all was said and done, 10c pointed out to me that it is the seatbelts/seatbelt anchor that restrains me...not my 6 big bolts. When I installed swivels on my Syncro, I used 4. Rolling Eyes
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populuxe59
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had 2 welded into my week-ender. I removed the driver's side and am selling it if anyone's interested... There is no specific side that it fits.
It is a pretty easy job to tack weld it in (if you have a welder) . Of course, the prep work and protecting the area around the weld takes longer than the welding.
Check Samba classifieds.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have part of a swivel seat.It is only the upper 1/2 with the removable circle and lever. I am going to try to make it work on the syncro. I added one to my 74 westy and it has been the greatest mod. Anyone have any ideas. My plan is to do this by Thanksgiving, so I'll post pics if it works well. I'll take any ideas. Thanks
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blurat
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Installing swivel seat base. Help! Reply with quote

Well, after a bit of a drive I bought 2 swivel bases for my 87. Too bad I didnt know exactly what they were supposed to look like. Now I am in need of the lower base.

What are the chances someone still has these for sale or do I just wait till a boneyard comes up with a couple.

Thanks as always
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TopBud
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Installing swivel seat base. Help! Reply with quote

I made a bottom with just stock steel I bought at the local metal shop/welder. It is thick enough that it doesn't flex and it works fine. Another way to do it is just use 2 pieces of metal about 2" wide and weld them to the rails and make sure they line up with the mounting holes. That will still allow the top to spin. I played with the different ways to mount it. Do you have someone in your area that has a swivel seat to look at and see how it works. Once you see it, you will be able to make something work. I am not a professional on these, but have been driving them and working on my own vehicles.
but, the main idea here is to make sure the "base" is thick enough to support the seat and the passenger and also allow it to swivel.
I don't have pictures but can draw something up if you need it
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blurat
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: Installing swivel seat base. Help! Reply with quote

I C. So the indentation on the lower plate isnt all that critical to the function of the rotation. What about the wear or plastic strips the original has for ease of rotation, or wear?

Thanks
Chris
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:30 am    Post subject: Re: Installing swivel seat base. Help! Reply with quote

sandwich a section of kids plastic roll up sled in between as a wear/friction surface.

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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Installing swivel seat base. Help! Reply with quote

^^^ Interesting!

I went with: https://www.amazon.com/CS-Hyde-Polyethylene-Rubber-Adhesive/dp/B000REGUE4

Works great! Cool

- Dave
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