Bench seat - making a 3-seater into a 2-seater

JJolls

'14 170 4cyl Crew
Wheeljack: Wonderful job on your galley and dining booth! I'm wondering if you put the new bench in the 1.5 position, or 2? I had originally wanted to do what you've done, but changed directions due to time constraints.

Thanks for reporting, AND including your pics... your sewing machine rocks!
Jolls
 

Wheeljack

Member
How much space from the left edge of seat to the wall? How wide is your cabinet?
Thanks!

It is a snug fit. I haven't measured but with the curvature of the wall, it is a little under 19.5" at the top of the counter. I made the cabinet 19.5" deep, so it pushes into the cushion a bit. I shaved it down to add more clearance, but since I wanted the CFX50 to be nearly flush, I had to keep room to access the door, which is already pushing it. All made with the super light 80/20 1" Quickframe. It turned out more solid than I was expecting, which is a nice surprise. I wanted everything lightweight and easily removable.
 

Wheeljack

Member
Wheeljack: Wonderful job on your galley and dining booth! I'm wondering if you put the new bench in the 1.5 position, or 2? I had originally wanted to do what you've done, but changed directions due to time constraints.

Thanks for reporting, AND including your pics... your sewing machine rocks!
Jolls
Thanks, I had a great teacher!

Anyway, the bench is roughly in 1.5 position. My cargo had no mounts, so I drilled and used fender washers to distribute the load. I am comfortable with their integrity.

I say roughly 1.5 because it was mainly to allow ~78" inch bed length.
 

KenW

New member
This is going to be really helpful for me as I am cutting a 4 seat bench to 3. (I want the space on the drivers side for a cabinet and the 3 seater has space on the passenger side.

Did you consider for the fabric modification just unstitching and removing the whole middle seat fabric and then sewing the 2 outer seat fabric together at the existing seams? Do you think this would work? be easier?
 

SOLBRTs

Member
I have an MB 3 person bench cover (both pieces, 2017 leatherette) and 3 seat foam (both pieces) for sale. Don’t know how you are planning to dimension things but maybe they could save you some effort. If you are in the PNW.
 
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JJolls

'14 170 4cyl Crew
KenW:

I essentially did what you are thinking (cut out the middle), but to keep intact the two "outside" sections of the seat cover, I had to cut the middle section out up the center of the BLACK fabric, adding 1/4" to the "outsides" for seam allowance. I did not pull apart the seams between the two types of fabric... if I had done so, there wouldn't have been enough black fabric to attach to the other section. Plus, doing it this way only required stitching one seam for each section of the seat cover. Didn't have to deal with the top and bottom sections that wrap around the top and bottom of the seat.

Lack of fabric terminology is getting in the way with my description here, so what I try to say above may not make sense here. The way I visualized it here was to see what was needed to cover the 2 outside cushions that were joined together after removing the middle one. This required a seam down the middle of the all black fabric... for both the seat cushion and seat back. I don't know if the 4 person bench is made the same as the 3... I imagine it is since it is by the same manufacturer.

I think once you lay out the fabric on your new configuration of cushions, you will see what to do here. Good luck with it!
 

Farfrumwork

Member
they (VS30) have reclining bench seats!?!

same mounting rails?
 
Yeah the VS30 passenger seats are reclining, not sure if available as an option on crew. Clark 2.0 build has some good pics and they are not the same rails and require a lot more room to remove. I don't think the seats are backward compatible without modification but not sure.
 

cruxology

New member
Anyone have any more detail on the plastic seat belt hoods? I punched in the plastic pin but still managed to break the tab when prying it out. It appears the pin doesn’t recess far enough to let the tab release. Or I’m doing it wrong.

Thanks!
 

cruxology

New member
Anyone have any more detail on the plastic seat belt hoods? I punched in the plastic pin but still managed to break the tab when prying it out. It appears the pin doesn’t recess far enough to let the tab release. Or I’m doing it wrong.

Thanks!
Oh, hmm, never mind, I just tried a second one and it worked flawlessly. Not sure how I managed to screw up the first one!
 

sailorman

New member
This thread is awesome... I'd looked through this and wanted to do it, and got a bug a few days ago. 2 things came up that might be easier for anyone trying this, the headrest parts can come out from the top, by using a dull rod or screwdriver. Pushing down on the foam/ fabric, and looking from the driver's side, you can see a tab that needs to be pushed in. I broke two of the pieces that have the button on them by popping them up from the bottom. They still function, but not as good as new. I popped out the last couple from the top, and it worked much better.

The other thing that came up, was that as a cheaper... less parts needed, I cut about 3 inches of the large tube, slit it, and crunched it a bit into a spring shape to act as an inside tube. I had some other materials laying around that I could fit in the other parts. Using the McMaster tube inserts or whatever source... would have been much easier.
 

jdl8r

New member
I'd private message you, but the forums say I don't have it enabled and cannot for the life of me figure out how to do it. I'm looking to convert my 3-person to a 2 person and I'm in San Diego (Pacific Beach). How long does it take?






I'll need to pop my current seat out for any other pics. Can Do that later if needed.

$500 to convert your seat.





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

CopaJoe

Your go to source for all things Sprinter!
I disassembled the seat and took off the fabric and foam today in about 30 minutes with your instructions. Will work on the cutting of the metal and welding soon. I do not sew so I will need to find some help with this.

Question, if you wanted, will the seat fit into the bracket closest to the sliding door as well (if you wanted) or is the measurement different? I actually need to make mine a two seater but using the sliding door and middle hold downs.

thanks for the excellent instructions (so far for me at least!)

EDIT - I read the entire thread and found a few that said the distances are the same so you can put the 2 seater up against the drivers side wall or the sliding door side depending upon your needs. that is excellent!

Next up, cutting and welding. btw - anyone lock the seat in place in the van prior to welding (or to tack weld) just to confirm fitment? Seems that it would help make sure you are doing the sizing correctly!
 
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JJolls

'14 170 4cyl Crew
CopaJoe:
Yes... it's an excellent idea to use the van's floor brackets as a sizing jig. I do this to ensure exact measurements. If you want to tack weld things together, you might want to shield the floor from welding spatter with a blanket or something!
Good luck with your project!
 
Work in progress, started this yesterday. Have to find an open welding supply to get some gas before I can proceed. Thanks for the inspiration. Admittedly should have read the details before I started. Would have saved me about 1/4" of grinding work on all surfaces.

 

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