Passenger Van Bench Seat Rear Facing

gklott

New member
Have 2010 Passenger van. Can I install the front, 3 passenger bench seat facing to the rear using the existing tracks and mounts?
 

israndy

2007 LTV Serenity
My 1966 VW Microbuss always had the middle seat resting against the driver's outside wall, like a sectional sofa, if I had the Sprinter passenger van that's what I'd be trying to do.

-Randy
 

upnorth

Member
I just had all of my seats and floor bracket out. I think you could just rotate the mounting bracket. I seemed to me the bolts were spaced evenly. It would only be a 15min job to try one bracket.

Bob
 

dynaco1

Member
You will need a Torx E14 socket to remove bolts from floor brackets. They do fit when rotated 180 degrees. The three-seater benches will install facing backwards.

For our North America market, MB designed the three-seater benches with an offset towards the drivers side to create the passageway from the slider door to the rear bench seats. When a three-person bench seat is turned to face backwards, the off-set is moved to the opposite side of the van, which can create clearance problems. Unsure if this is the case with passenger van destined for other countries, where slider doors may be located on the opposite Side.

When a three-seater bench is moved directly behind the drivers seat facing backwards, both the reclining seat feature and walk-through front seats feature are obstructed. Furthermore, the headrest nearest the slider door may come in contact with the passenger grab handle on the "B" pillar.

When the center-most three-seater is facing backwards, the passageway to the rear-most four-seater bench is obstructed. A passenger could squeeze by on the driver side, where a gap has been created.

When a four-seater bench is removed and a three-seater bench is moved to the rear-most four-seater location (facing forward), a passageway to the rear cargo area is created but one must also step over the wheel well hump.
 
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ECU

Well-known member
I have a T1n. putting the seat sideways puts all the pressure on the headrests against the van wall. Lots of scuffing and breaking of the shoulder strap plastic things. Other than that, great location.
 

ECU

Well-known member
When it is there, it isn't mounted. Just strapped to the side, not for use.
 

cahaak

New member
That is a nice pic. Those of us with a T1N have the luxury of putting the 2 seater facing rearward so have a bit more room there. I may try that at some point if you simply have to flip the brackets around.

Chris
 

dynaco1

Member
You'll need to perform that large seat maneuver in your own van to determine if it will fit.

I seem to remember you selling your rear most passenger seat. Change of heart?
 
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wshtb

Member
You'll need to perform that large seat maneuver in your own van to determine if it will fit.

I seem to remember you selling your rear most passenger seat. Change of heart?
Well I'm still selling it. But seeing that nobody has made any offer yet, I'm making alternative plans.
 

wshtb

Member
Ok I tried the 4-person seat. It doesn't fit in the 2nd row facing backward. The primary issue is the last seat-belt anchor/box at the top of the seat. It won't clear the door frame.

From my rough measurement, if I remove the last seat belt mount, the seat should fit. However, that'd render it into a 3 person seat. I already got a 3 person seat.

As for mounting the 3-person seat backward: it is very easy to do, thanks dynaco1 for the detailed pictures. The track fits perfectly fine when reversed. Only issue is the grab handle on the door. It interferes with the last seat-belt mounting box. If you plan to do this, remove that handle first.

Now, does anyone know if there is any MB part that covers up the holes left after removing the grab handle? The hole is an odd shape.
 

dynaco1

Member
Hope you didn't hurt yourself moving the four-seater bench. It's a bear.

Although it's good to know they will fit facing backward, I prefer the three-seater bench seats facing forward. The walk-through front seat feature is essential to me.
 

BBQ Ribs

Member
Are the crew seats in the same spot as passenger vans?
I would like to flip mine around however I still want access to the rear area
 

gtstanggirl91

New member
Has anyone turned a bench backwards further back in the van? I want my far back row flipped backwards so I can sit in the AC and watch my kids softball games in the AC in TX summer months!
 

FamilyAdventure

New member
I just got a passenger van and tried to flip the front seat without reversing the floor bracket. The only thing that stops it from working is the additional cross bar in the floor support, which sits under the plastic cover piece. I actually think that bar was put there just to prevent you from reversing the seat. I do not want to reverse the bracket as I only want to flip the seat occasionally.

Has anyone ever just cut out the front bar of the seat brackets? It provides no support to the seat when it is installed in the normal forward facing direction. Any thoughts?
 

odix@yahoo.com

'16 I4 2WD High Roof 144”
FamilyAdventure, I like your idea of not flipping the brackets but removing the cross bars. The cross bars may have some structural purpose, not sure. Also not sure if the benches are designed more for front impact, facing forward, protection. Many folks (like me) would not mount our benches rear-facing for driving, more for the purposes like gtstanggirl91 notes above.

I have a 144" passenger model and have used my various benches in all kinds of configurations. I have 2 three person benches and 1 four person bench. A lot of folks disparage the four-person bench. For sure it's a heavy beast but it's also great for travelling with six people and only needing one bench (plus driver and passenger seats).

My go-to configuration is the four person bench in the middle of the van -- lots of legroom and still space. The bench fits no problem against the walls. Tight fit but ok. Sliding door works fine. Wall-to-wall means no way to walk past the bench to the rear of the van but the rear doors are there and I can also stand on the bench and hop over it to get to the rear. (If anyone wants a pic of this configuration let me know and I'll post one.)

I have a friend with a 144" and he borrows my four person bench from time to time when he's going on road trips with six people. We usually park our vans very close to one another (rear to front and front to rear) with the sliding doors aligned and move the bench from one van to the other without have to step down to the ground.

Last week I was in a hurry and had some long cargo to load. I needed to quickly move the four person bench (facing forward) to the row just behind the driver and passenger seat. To my pleasant surprise it fir perfectly. Tight but the sliding door worked and people (mostly kids) could exit through the side door or come through the gap between the driver and passenger seat and exit the front doors.
 

FamilyAdventure

New member
I agree the question is if the cross bar provides any structural support. However if you reverse the bracket you are also negating the extra structural support that was welded around the bolt hole on the back of the seat side of the mount. In a head on collision, the greatest force will be on the rear/aft mount, which is why they welded on extra metal in that area.

Also the way the seat slides in to mount is designed to be strongest for rapid deceleration, so I am not sure if the seat could come unlatched from the floor in the rear facing direction in a head on collision. My main desire is to reverse the seat when parked at a camp site so we have a small living room space if weather is bad. I do realize most people use swivel front seats to accomplish the same effect, which may be the better way to go.

I have not moved my 4th row forward as you suggest, but I have been considering that when I do not need all 12 seat. When you move it forward are you re-attaching the side wall restraints on either side? They were obviously put there based on either force calculations or crash testing with a fully loaded 4 person seat. Having been and engineer in a past life, I imagine they are based on calculations with safety tolerances, but I am still a little hesitant to use it with out at least 1 strap connected.
 

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