Swivel Seat

April 4th, 2017

Making one or both of the seats a swivel seat is the easiest way to increase usable space and comfort. Since I plan on putting cabinets behind the driver seat, and since “swiveling” it requires the tedious added project of lowering the hand brake as it is in the way, I decided to leave it alone, but the passenger seat definitely had to start spinning.

From a lot of reading around I learned that there are quite a few brands and models, and some people have even made their own. One of the considerations for me was the wiring with large plug for the heat/electric positioning that needs to go up the center. Time and again, and although not the cheapest, this one got high marks for quality and ease of installation:

http://www.swivelsrus.com/transit_swivels.php

So here goes the installation, which is relatively straight forward. First, and I didn’t do this but I should have, disconnect the wiring harness to the seat. I ended up doing it after unbolting the seat and tilting it back, but doing it first is easier. Now remember, these are 10 way power heated seats. From the front remove one small bolt in the center of the large plug:. (Again this pic shows doing it AFTER unbolting the seat, don’t do that).

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Remove the front of the plug and voila, the wiring is disconnected. Release the wire from two accessible tie down points. The chair is going to need more freedom of movement after the swivel is installed.

Next slide the seat all the way aft and remove two black star head bolts in the track that connect it to the base, then slide the seat forward and repeat in the rear for a total of four bolts.

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Note the yellow bottle jack. Remove it, you will not be able to get it out later! Yes, there is now wasted space here, I may get to use it for something else.

Next tilt the seat back onto a soft blanket or cushions. Place the swivel on the base and bolt it down. Hint: If you turn the swivel a little here or there things are easier to get to:

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Now it’s time to mount the seat back onto the swivel and bolt it down. Again, turning the swivel makes it easier. Here is the first of two mods that need to be made. With the provided washer on the new bolts on the back of the tracks the seat runs into the washers and can not travel far enough aft. Modify the washers like the top one:

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Then mount them so the seat can get by. Once the seat is bolted down, reconnect the wiring and then there is one more mod to be made. With the seat heat switch comes quite a bit of plastic trim on the side, and as-is the seat can not turn counter clockwise, even after raising it all the way up. Some people have reduced the size of the plastic trim pieces, it didn’t look to me like that was a good idea in my case as it would have required a LOT of plastic to be removed. So, the only way it will swivel is to put it all the way up and aft and then it can turn clockwise. The right side trim then runs into the baby seat tie down on the rear of the base (shown in picture). Since I will never have a baby seat up there I removed it with a grinder. I can always reinstall a bolt eye if I change my mind:

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Once that was done the seat JUST clears everything and can be positioned facing aft:

Next: The floor.