Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Front Seat Swap, (Town & Country 2nd Row)
Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 14, 15, 16  Next
Jump to:
Forum Index -> Vanagon Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Freshdub
Samba Member


Joined: February 15, 2015
Posts: 47
Location: Calgary, ab
Freshdub is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:18 pm    Post subject: Front Seat Swap, (Town & Country 2nd Row) Reply with quote

Hey all, ive found so much useful info and been helped so many times I just wanted to try and give something back. I decided to document the proccess of putting some different seats into my van, hopefully it helps someone else out!

My top needs for new seats were:
Had to recline
Had to slide and swivel, just like the factory ones
Armrests!
and most importantly, they had to suit the van

Because my 84 has the lovely dark brown/tan interior, that last point made finding the right seats very difficult. The gray eurovan seats, while easy to install, would look totally wrong, and black would also look very out of place. I soon found out that the tan used in 84 is nothing like the tans used in vehicles today and was just way too yellow. After weeks of searching locally and online I finally found something I liked on eBay and took a leap of faith that the pictures accurately depicted the color.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Brown Leather, 2nd row seats, out of a 2015 Town and Country. The camera seems to be playing tricks in these pictures, in real life they really do fit the color scheme well and do not stand out anywhere near as bad as the camera makes them look...

There was a few things I liked about these seats; they are the “Stow-n-go” meaning they fold totally flat (more room for storage while camped!), and because they are the 2nd row they have the correct seat height. Most seats in cars now are way too tall from the seat base to the floor, and with the factory swivels, this puts our legs right up against the steering wheel. No Bueno. Rather, these seats had the exact same dimensions as the factory ones I was taking out and worked beautifully.

While this is showing how I installed these specific seats, the concept would remain the same for any that you may come across. However, after doing the install, I really really really reccommend finding these exact ones. Everything about them works perfectly with our vehicles, right down to the location of the slides/mounting points and the geometry of the seat as a whole. 2009-2015 Grand Caravans and Town and country’s are what you are looking for.

Here we go

Things you need

8’ of 3x1 rectangular steel tubing
factory seat swivels
New seats (takeoffs like these are perfect, never been sat in)
The slides on the new seats, with hardware
4 Grade 8 5/16x3/4” bolts
4 Grade 8 5/16x1” bolts
8 Grade 8 5/16” nuts
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

tools: Cut off wheel(s), stepped drill bits at least 9/16”, drill, 13mm open end wrench (ratcheting even better), welder (only 2 easy welds need to be done, if this is beyond you it will be very easy to find someone who can do it for you, dont let it deter you!) loctite, and plenty of PPE
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Start on the passenger side, and cut the steel into (4) 2’ sections. This will give you plenty of adjustment and you can trim them more flush later. Remove the factory seats by pulling up the little “tooth” on the inboard side of the slide, and slide them forward until they fall out of the tracks. Put them off to the side.
Remove the 4 13mm bolts holding down the swivel plate, and lift up, then wiggle and maneuver until you get the lever through the vehicle base and place off to the side. take the swivel plate to your work area.

Curse yourself for not having built a bigger garage.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I just used 2 saw horses with my camping dog bed on top to protect the seats, and place the seats (folded up) upside down. Make sure you keep track of what is forwards, and ensure the slides on the new seat are in the same position (full foward, or full back)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

here is a quick mock up of how everything is going to go together. Bolt the seats to the tubing, then bolt the tubing to the swivel bases.

mark the location of where you need your first holes. I actually screwed up here without knowing it. Rather than placing these holes in the center of the tubing, if I could do it again I would place them further inside (moving the bars slightly outwards) which would help my bolt location for a later step. You’ll see what I mean later.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

the holes on one side only need to be large enough for the bolt to go through. The other side will need some “windows” on the forward 2 bolts/nuts and you can get a nut on the back nut from behind instead of needing a window to go from the bottom. My largest step on the stepped drill bit was a perfect fit for my 13mm socket to fit through, however it broke after one hole so I just cut some giant ugly square openings the rest of the way. but a 3/4 bit is perfect if you have higher quality tools than me. the rearmost bolt you can tighten using a 13mm open end wrench, and if you have a ratcheting one, it makes the proccess much faster.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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

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

bolt it all up, and test fit in the van. I reinstalled the swivel base and just laid the bars/seats across.
test the seat in as many ways as you can (remember if your slides are full forwards or back..) to make sure you have it right where you want it. I tested the swivels, the slides, the armrests, the seat belts, and made sure I could access the battery still. mark where the bars are in relation to the swivel plate. In my case, I liked the passenger side with the rearmost bolts being right above the edge of the swivel. take everything back out and setup in your work area. I cut the bars at the front and back now that I know exactly where everything will go, to a nicer fit.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

start by clamping everything together, and get ready to drill your holes to attach the swivel plate to the bars. Because the bolts will be going upwards, I wanted the bolt heads to be as high up as possible to avoid hitting/catching on anything when swiveling. This is where I wish I had moved the bars outwards at the beginning so I could put the bolts in these perfect reccess spots.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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

instead I had to shift the base slightly over, tested everything again to make sure it didnt bother me sitting a fraction of an inch closer to the inside of the car, and drilled my holes there. The drivers side I adjusted this properly.

start with the front 2 holes and after drilling them, I test fit the whole setup again. install the swivel bases to the car, and drop the seats ontop. if you swivel the seat on a 45* angle you can easily insert the 1” bolts upwards and into a nut located on the inside of the tube. do this to both front bolts. again, ratcheting open end wrench saves a ton of time here.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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

make sure you are happy with the way everything moves, and remove (again!)
With the whole setup upside down again, bolt the swivel plate down on the front holes, and vice grip the back. Drill your final 2 holes through the swivel into the bar, in the reccessed spits ideally, then remove everything.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The 2 holes you just put in the bars need to be drilled out to 9/16”, and the nut will fit nice and snug in this hole.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Put the bolt in the nut, and use vice grips to hold perfectly flush while welding. Clean/grind everything up to be ready for welding and then weld the nut in, clean everything up after and paint your now finished bars black.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

You are now ready to install for the final time. Use loctite on all male threads. Attach the bars to the seat base.
Attach the swivels back to the vehicle (i also added moly grease to all the tracks to get a smoother swivel) and test to make sure the nuts arent too tight. Use loctite here FOR SURE as the nuts dont take very much torque.

Now drop the seats ontop of the swivels and turn on a 45* angle. Attach your bolts/nuts on the front and just make them finger tight. Keep rotating and installing until all of your bolts are in. Final torque everything and make sure everything works. Then do your drivers seat.
The drivers is alot less fun as the rear left bolt doesnt have easy access because you cant swivel the seat all the way around (steering wheel) so you have to blindly get it going upwards from the battery box. Not fun but not that hard either. Bolt up, torque down.

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


Final Thoughts:
I love these seats. huge difference in comfort, and the drivers side I can either slide all the way back and stretch my legs, or if I move the seat forwards a ways, I can actually recline a decent amount before touching the stove. so much adjustment, and the arm rests are much much much nicer to have. longer drives will be much easier.
I mounted an aux fuse panel to the cabinet right above the aux battery box behind the drivers seat, this limited how far back I could put the drivers seat, so when I use the Stow-n-go feature, the drivers side wont fold perfectly flat. It hits the steering wheel just barely. doesnt bother me, but something to consider changing in your design. However, folding both seats flat and then installing the smaller front table overtop of the drivers seat gives a crazy amount of room to use for storing all that stuff while camping. increased area for meal prepping + plates and things on the table, really, I cant wait to get out camping to use all this new space!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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

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

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


USE YOUR PPE WHEN WORKING WITH METAL. that includes when “ive just got one more hole to drill.” take it from someone who has had to get a rusty metal sliver cut out of my eyeball, wear your safety gear and gloves. Dont rub your eyes/eyebrows or forehead until after youve removed your gloves and washed your hands. Keep a shop vac close by for quick cleanups after each hole or cut and youll keep your working area nice and neat.
enjoy!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
newfisher
Samba Member


Joined: January 05, 2012
Posts: 1780
Location: The wet spot--Oregon
newfisher is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

Great alternative and nice write up!

Let us know how they fare on a long roadtrip
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
ThankYouJerry
Samba Member


Joined: September 01, 2012
Posts: 2133
Location: Shakedown Street
ThankYouJerry is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

Nice work!
_________________
1990 Multivan - "Ohana"
1.8T, Auto w/3.27 R&P + Peloquin TBD
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
SteveMc
Samba Member


Joined: December 19, 2013
Posts: 121
Location: Alberta, Canada
SteveMc is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

Well done! Applause
_________________
1986 Transporter Single Cab Syncro
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
rlevans
Samba Member


Joined: January 19, 2006
Posts: 181

rlevans is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

WOW Cool
I really like those. I have the self-composting beige corduroy upholstery and I have been contemplating the crazy cost of recovering, but man I may just try and find some of those. The fold flat feature would definitely increase camping area. Mine are not swivel (weekender) but I imagine install would be similar.

Mind telling how much you had to give for those seats?
Any issues with seat belt compatibility ?

Ha ha I just found the same seats in the "VW" Routan, so you can even keep it "stock" lol


Last edited by rlevans on Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Freshdub
Samba Member


Joined: February 15, 2015
Posts: 47
Location: Calgary, ab
Freshdub is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

Seat belts work great, both in the regular receivers and in the ones on the seat. I will likely remove the factory ones, but i can decide that later.
I got absolutely HOSED on the exchange rate and on shipping so Canadian it came to $750, but it was in my budget and i still feel it was worth the cash. The seats were only $199us though.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
ThankYouJerry
Samba Member


Joined: September 01, 2012
Posts: 2133
Location: Shakedown Street
ThankYouJerry is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

rlevans wrote:
Mine are not swivel (weekender) but I imagine install would be similar.


Great time to consider adding a swivel (at least to the passenger side) if you're gonna do the seats anyway.

Swivel fixtures are readily available both new or used. If you decide to go with a used fixture make sure you replace the bushings before installation.
_________________
1990 Multivan - "Ohana"
1.8T, Auto w/3.27 R&P + Peloquin TBD
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
hdenter
Samba Member


Joined: October 14, 2008
Posts: 1884
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
hdenter is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

Great! I've been storing a pristine set of OEM front seats for years now waiting for my build, and for nothing! These seats are GREAT! I want to add hooks for a child's cot across the front and with these seats that gets even easier. Tell us how they feel after a 3-4hr drive.

Hans
_________________
'84 sunroof vanagon
'85 weekender
'96 golf
'07 Passat Wgn
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
djkeev
Samba Member


Joined: September 30, 2007
Posts: 19906
Location: North West New Jersey
djkeev is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:01 am    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

Very nice seats!
Very nice install documentation too.

I would caution you about using the built in latch on the seat.

The turntable does not have the strength to hold you and the seat in place should a crash occur.
The forces are tremendous in a crash and the swivel would most likely snap and deform like a twig hurtling you into the windshield
.
I do believe That seat belt buckle on the seat is giving you a sense of false security.
Do keep and utilize the factory center aisle location.

My 2 cents anyway.

Dave
_________________
I HATE PHOTOBUCKET!!!!!!
Add ~original to photo links between .jpg and [/img]
.jpg~original[/img]

86 Vanagon Westy "Weekender" 2.1 Auto
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537
Karmann Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473
Beetle
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
metropoj
Samba Member


Joined: April 23, 2004
Posts: 1058

metropoj is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:27 am    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

Great write up, thanks for the step by step.

My 2004 Caravan has some nice tan captains chairs in the back that will go through a similar process once it dies......
_________________
John.
86 Westy L90D w/TiiCo Inline 4.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
campism
Samba Member


Joined: September 07, 2007
Posts: 2710
Location: Richmond VA
campism is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:48 am    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

Good documentation on the install and good research on finding an alternate seat for our vans. I have an '05 Grand Caravan with Stow 'N Go and realize certain compromises had to be made to get the SNG to work. I don't find the seats to be that comfy but the newer ones might be better and would be worth checking out. Good job!

Hmm, grey leather...

*edit*

On my '05 seats the SNGs have a seatback height of only 20" compared with the 24" of the front seats. This improves the foldability, no doubt, but should be a consideration when getting the later seats also. Be sure to measure that dimension. Yours look taller but I'd be interested to know that measurement.

Freshdub, you might want to edit your thread title to add the seat brand for easy identification.
_________________
'87 Westy in Wolfram Grey Metallic


Last edited by campism on Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:15 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
slackin' at work
Samba Member


Joined: May 07, 2003
Posts: 402
Location: Central Virginia
slackin' at work is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:01 am    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

wow! nice find!
excellent write up.

<off to scour for a set of these seats>
_________________
`12 R: APR stage 2+
`85 Westfalia: The Staypuft Marshmallow Van™ 2.5DOHC
`84 J10
`75 TR6: supercharged- sold: on its way to Germany
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
pinetreeporsche
Samba Member


Joined: June 11, 2009
Posts: 415
Location: Falls Church, VA
pinetreeporsche is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:19 am    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

[quote="djkeev"]Very nice seats!
Very nice install documentation too. I would caution you about using the built in latch on the seat. ... That seat belt buckle on the seat is giving you a sense of false security. Do keep and utilize the factory center aisle location.


I'm with Dave-- Don't trust your teeth (or worse) to the seat mount. Remove or tape over the ones on the seat so no one will use them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
[email protected]
Samba Member


Joined: April 29, 2015
Posts: 297
Location: Berkeley Ca
ahmed.aboudan@gmail.com is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:37 am    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

Great job, thanks for the documentation.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
pathao
Samba Member


Joined: November 01, 2012
Posts: 79
Location: Montreal, Canada
pathao is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

Great work
Looks good
I want

Since the driver side touches the steering wheel when folding. If you rotate the seat 90° doest it works ? ( is the base width narrower that its length ?).

Now time for me to keep an eye finding those seats ... and my safety glasses!
_________________
1982 AC P27 - 2.0 FI FED - 091 - BA6


English is a second language to me
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Sloride
Samba Member


Joined: February 09, 2002
Posts: 785

Sloride is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

Looks like a really good option. So there are the second row seats right?
_________________
1972 Westfalia - 1.8 VW in-line h2o conversion
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Link to the engine swap:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=565304&highlight=
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
wiskas
Samba Member


Joined: April 14, 2015
Posts: 17
Location: Vegas & Socal
wiskas is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

This looks awesome. Do you happen to know if the seats sit taller or higher than stock?


Thanks!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Freshdub
Samba Member


Joined: February 15, 2015
Posts: 47
Location: Calgary, ab
Freshdub is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

Yes, these are 2nd row seats. Which have significantly less bolster than front seats, but for these vehicles i actually think is better suited. Easier to get in and out around that giant, unmoveable, steering wheel. I still find these more comfortable than the front seats in my '10 frontier, fwiw.

The top of the seat base sits within a half inch, in height, as the factory ones did. Im a fairly average build and height though so hard to tell how theyll work for the 6+ers out there. I can grab measurements if you want, just let me know where. Swivel to top of the backs, top of seat base to top of backs etc

And ive definitely decided to keep the factory buckle receivers, good call everyone
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
VWagabond
Samba Member


Joined: March 19, 2011
Posts: 180
Location: Charlotte, NC
VWagabond is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap Reply with quote

If you take off the side covers, don't you think you could get rid of the seat mounted buckles and then put the covers back on?

Tom
_________________
The Road Goes Ever On & On……...
VWagabond
87 Camper GL
87 Syncro GL
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
campism
Samba Member


Joined: September 07, 2007
Posts: 2710
Location: Richmond VA
campism is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Seat Swap, (Town & Country 2nd Row) Reply with quote

Tonight I had the opportunity to sit in the back of a late model Mopar minivan with the Stow 'N Go rear and these seats are definitely worth considering. I'd want a little more time to test but they are vastly more comfortable than my '05 SNG seats. These were black with cloth inserts and still had the new car smell. Could not persuade the owner to part with them.
_________________
'87 Westy in Wolfram Grey Metallic
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Vanagon All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 14, 15, 16  Next
Jump to:
Page 1 of 16

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2016, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB